Friday 30 October 2009

Afternoon roundup

Posting has been light as I've finished one set of grading and polished off a submission with Matt Burgess to the Law Commission on their alcohol issues paper. More grading for the weekend. In the meantime, enjoy these:
  • The University of Akron demands a DNA sample from staff. I don't worry much about my DNA being out there, but is the kind of place that would want this the kind of place that you'd want to work? Sheesh.

  • George Soros throws $50 million at funding anti-economics economists. Will the academic outcries be as loud as when BB&T gave $1 million to fund a course in Ayn Rand studies? Similar bequests on the right have led to endless handwringing about subversion of the independence of academia: just remember the establishment of the Friedman Center. Why the silence now? Hmm.

  • I'd warned that ACC might have cause to worry about annoying John Small. Seems I was right.

  • Lindsay Mitchell points to a new Treasury document showing that
    Households (with children) in the bottom half of the income distribution effectively pay no income tax or receive tax credits, because of the interaction with the income support system.

    The top 10% of income earners (those earning more than $70,000) pay more than 40% of all income tax revenues and about 20% of GST revenue.
    The bottom half pay zero net tax; the top 10% pay 40% of the tax. Yikes.


  1. "The bottom half pay zero net tax; the top 10% pay 40% of the tax. Yikes"

    Is that a yikes-surprising or a yikes-scary? I don't think it's at all surprising: its pretty much what you'd expect in a progressive tax-benefits system. Whether it's scary depends on your point of view. Care to elaborate on why you might think so?

  2. I'd reckoned the proportion paying net zero taxes was smaller, that's about it. The top bit doesn't surprise me at all; indeed, I mildly expected it to be worse.