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Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Policing minor traffic violations as a pretext for more intrusive, "crime-fighting" stops is a real and dangerous problem -- Slate's Jamelle Bouie broke down the numbers of how people of color are hit hardest by this rampant style of roadside discrimination.

But there's another problem: The legal pretexts police use for such traffic stops can be plainly mistaken or made up. read more

Monday, April 13, 2015

After weeks of tireless work that ranged from convincing the band to negotiating agreements that enabled the use of an online mail order system, Peter Shapiro and the Gratefyk Dead have announced today that there will be two additional shows June 27 and 28 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Most importantly, some 90 percent of the tickets will be sold in true Dead style, through an innovative online mail order lottery. According to Shapiro, "We will not be using the typical on-sale method. Everybody who enters will have an equal chance to get tickets in a true lottery, and the ability of 'bots' and other online ticket gathering techniques is eliminated."

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Stan Freberg -- a multitalented satirist whose reach extended to advertising, radio skits, TV puppet shows, musical parody records, and classic cartoons -- has died at the age of 88. Freberg's death was announced today on Facebook by his son Donovan and later confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, who notes that Freberg died of natural causes.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rejoice, then, because the "club" is having another meeting! To celebrate the film's 30th anniversary, the John Hughes-directed film will again play in theaters on March 26 and March 31, thanks to Fathom Events, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, and BY Experience, reports Entertainment Weekly.

The film has undergone a restoration, and the screenings will be accompanied by a short film that features comments from cast members and teen-movie directors like Diablo Cody and Amy Heckerling.

Tickets go on sale Friday, with an anniversary edition of the movie out on Blu-Ray and DVD March 10.


Why Capital Gains are taxed at a Lower Rate

The justification for a lower tax rate on capital gains relative to ordinary income is threefold: it is not indexed for inflation, it is a double tax, and it encourages present consumption over future consumption.

First, the tax is not adjusted for inflation, so any appreciation of assets is taxed at the nominal instead of the real value. This means investors must pay tax not only on the real return but also on the inflation created by the Federal Reserve.

Second, the capital gains tax is merely part of a long line of federal taxation of the same dollar of income. Wages are first taxed by payroll and personal income taxes, then again by the corporate income tax if one chooses to invest in corporate equities, and then again when those investments pay off in the form of dividends and capital gains. This puts corporations at a disadvantage relative to pass through business entities, whose owners pay personal income tax on distributed profits, instead of taxes on corporate income, capital gains, and dividends. One way corporations mitigate this excessive taxation is through debt rather than equity financing, since interest is deductible. This creates perverse incentives to over leverage, contributing to the boom and bust cycle.

Finally, a capital gains tax, like nearly all of the federal tax code, is a tax on future consumption. Future personal consumption, in the form of savings, is taxed, while present consumption is not. By favoring present over future consumption, savings are discouraged, which decreases future available capital and lowers long term growth.

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