More money, more problems

Most rich countries had a drastic fall in crime rates in the early to mid 1990s. This decrease in crime seemed inexplicable.The theories run from an “aging population, higher incarceration and immigration rates, less exposure to lead paint, better police tactics…” the list goes on and on. Freakonomics even contains a chapter on the possible linkage between Roe v. Wade (1972), increases in abortions, and the reduction of crime; the reduction of children being born into poor circumstances being the reason for this abrupt (and welcomed) reduction in crime. The reasons all come with their fair share of anecdotes, but Continue reading More money, more problems

Are Local Tax Incentives for Businesses Worth Their Cost?

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?