Friday, February 15, 2013

And about those confiscatory taxes ...

The notion of tax flight “is almost entirely bogus — it’s a myth,” said Jon Shure, director of state fiscal studies at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonprofit research group in Washington. “The anecdotal coverage makes it seem like people are leaving in droves because of high taxes. They’re not. There are a lot of low-tax states, and you don’t see millionaires flocking there.”

Despite the allure of low taxes, Mr. Depardieu hasn’t been seen in Russia since picking up his passport and seems to be hedging his bets by maintaining a residence in Belgium. Meanwhile, Russian billionaires are snapping up trophy properties in high-tax London, New York and Beverly Hills, Calif. “I don’t hear about many billionaires moving to Moscow,” said Robert Tannenwald, a lecturer in economic policy at Brandeis University and former Federal Reserve economist. Along with Nicholas Johnson, he and Mr. Shure are co-authors of “Tax Flight Is a Myth,” a 2011 research paper.

French Communists Dump Hammer and Sickle

The French Communist Party has dropped the hammer and sickle from its membership cards. Into the dustbin of history ... I always rather liked the hammer and sickle as symbols, because these tools, materially concrete manifestations of labor power, also symbolized a whole sociology and theory of history. But the sociology is increasingly remote from reality, the theory of history has proved wrong, and the very materiality of the symbolism has a certain archaic quality that suggests a party oriented toward a world gone by rather than toward les lendemains qui chantent. RIP, le marteau et la faucille.