Comparing Democratic and Republican tax plans

Comparing Democratic and Republican tax plans:

GR2010081106717.gifSOURCE: Joint Committee on Taxation

(Via The Washington Post.)

Reason #4080 to vote against the GOP: rational economic self-interest.

Amos on Economic Justice

“We will buy the lowly for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!’ The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!” What does that say about minimum wage?

USCCB | NAB – September 19, 2010:

Am 8:4-7

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! ‘When will the new moon be over,’ you ask, ‘that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating! We will buy the lowly for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!’ The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: ‘Never will I forget a thing they have done!'”

(Via United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

This was the First Reading at Mass this morning on the theme of the day: socio-economic justice.  I always read this Bible passage as a general attack on the exploitation of the poor and so it is.  But it’s worth examining exactly what’s going on here.  Diminishing the ephah and adding to the shekel is pretty straightforward: It’s evil to cheat the poor.  But buying the lowly for silver the the poor for a pair of sandals hit me because it speaks to the morality of living wages and paying people below them.

Continue reading “Amos on Economic Justice”

Efficiently Just?

“These are not idle academic ruminations. Suppose a restructuring of the economy has the effect of increasing the growth of average gross domestic product per capita, but that the benefits of that growth accrue disproportionately to a minority of citizens, while others are worse off as a result, as appears to have been the case in the United States in the last several decades. Can economists judge this to be a good thing?”

Is ‘More Efficient’ Always Better? – Economix Blog – NYTimes.com:

“These are not idle academic ruminations. Suppose a restructuring of the economy has the effect of increasing the growth of average gross domestic product per capita, but that the benefits of that growth accrue disproportionately to a minority of citizens, while others are worse off as a result, as appears to have been the case in the United States in the last several decades. Can economists judge this to be a good thing?”

(Via Economix Blog.)

And this is where politics comes in.  Free market zealots (so-called, but that’s an argument for another day) argue in terms of GDP growth, side stepping the issue that only the top 10% of wage earners saw any of the gains over the last few decades.

Morally Impoverished Economics?

One must wonder whether physicians, nurses and other workers toiling day and night in health care — let alone the medics and helicopter pilots who risk their lives to help the wounded — see their work and its product quite as Mr. Limbaugh casts it.

One further wonders whether families with a cancer-stricken member are likely to view going without health care as the moral equivalent of going without a beach house.

via Is Health Care Special? – Economix Blog – NYTimes.com.

Great article.  There are moral dimensions to healthcare and it shows how economics can handle something as thorny as morality. But, as for Limbaugh, I can see why Jon Stewart calls him a douche.  Wow.