Welcome to part three of my three part series on our presidential candidates’ stances on economic issues. In case you missed it, here’s the first on taxation and the second on financial reform. Again, we lost some candidates since last I posted. Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina will be sorely missed, as well as Jim Gilmore, I guess. For this final week, the issue is the Fed! First, a woefully short description of the Federal Reserve (aka the Fed). They deal with monetary policy, playing some role in deciding the value of the dollar by controlling the federal funds rate. Banks and Continue reading The Economics of Our Candidates, Part 3
Whether it’s in my personal or academic life, I always have this desire to figure out why people do the things that they do. Fortunately, there’s a branch of economics for that. This past fall, I took a microeconomics class where we touched upon a topic that I found especially fascinating called Game Theory. In case you don’t know what it is, Game Theory is a strategy of analyzing decision making wherein a model is made to figure out the optimal strategies for two or more parties in some sort of competitive situation. Game Theory is used not just in economics, but Continue reading Game Theory in International Climate Change Politics
Along with his proposal to raise the minimum wage, President Obama is trying to tackle poverty with a broad expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC program essentially gives those earning around and below the federal poverty line ($12,566 a year) a tax credit when they file their taxes. In 2012, it helped lift 6.5 million Americans, including 3.3 million children, out of poverty. President Obama is currently proposing a $60 Billion expansion of the tax credit’s benefits over 10 years. The program’s expansion will in part help to provide greater benefits to childless workers. Currently, the Continue reading Poverty, Equitable Taxation, and the Earned Income Tax Credit
For my senior thesis, I examined how cities react to economic decline. An all too common reaction by local governments is to offer more and more tax rebates and monetary incentives to try to attract large businesses. These incentives can range from sales, corporate, and property tax reductions, to guaranteed loans, and in some cases straight up cash. In total, local governments in the US spend $80 billion a year on business incentives. An article in the New York Times from 2012 paints a good picture of the problem. Now you may say, “Well isn’t it worth it in some cases for Continue reading Are Local Tax Incentives for Businesses Worth Their Cost?