The Rahn Curve – shows the ideal level of Government

In this clip Dan Mitchell of The Centre for Freedom and Prosperity talks about the Rahn Curve, and it is the spending equivalent of the Laffer curve (which is about taxation). If government gets too big it can have the effect of reducing prosperity, figuring out the ideal level is difficult as many affecting factors come into play, however, the ideal tends to be between 15% & 25%, in the USA current spending is c. 40% – so will it be any surprise to see crowding out or reduced productive sector activity?

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Bad incentives created the housing crisis

This is a fascinating video that clearly points out some of the myths surrounding the housing bubble in the USA, describing the role that Federal Reserve policy played in creating the bubble, they created a set of incentives which were badly aligned with long term aims. We have long felt that the role of monetary policy and regulation have been central to the problems in both the US and Europe, the full video of the conference is below.

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Should Capital Gains even exist?

We have long been critics of the taxation system in general, primarily on the basis that the tax base doesn’t make sense, it should be focused more on sustainable and easily interpreted taxation, Site Value Tax, taxes on any activity which takes away from another party (carbon taxes, pollution taxes etc.) and finally on consumption. The idea being to cut Government spending according to the cloth available rather than the current approach which is to tax until you find the money available to meet the budget.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute has a video below which spells it out.

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Dan Mitchell of Cato

Dan Mitchell of Cato (and the Centre for Freedom and Prosperity) is a guy I enjoy speaking and listening to as well, he is a great Libertarian thinker and regular commentator on Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN and Fox News. Here are two of his latest video’s, the first is on debt and the second is about money laundering laws.

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Dan Mitchell on Stimulus

Labour Department numbers show that the Obama Administrations $787 billion stimulus was a flop. Instead of holding the unemployment rate at 8 percent or below, the jobless rate soared to 10 percent. Now there is discussion of second so-called ‘stimulus’, which politicians are calling a jobs bill. However, making government bigger, this CF&P Foundation video explains, is a recipe for long-run stagnation and lower living standards, regardless of what the policy is named.

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Taxing Banks & Taxing Risk

In the first clip, James Galbraith (son of the famous JK), economics professor at University of Texas, discusses whether a new tax on big banks is justified. Ken Bentsen, of the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association, and Mark Calabria, of the Cato Institute, share their insight as well.

In the second clip Mark Walsh, of ‘Left Jab,’ and Dan Mitchell, of the Cato Institute, discuss taxing banks based on their risk to the system.

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USA: Failed mortgage modification programme

Kudlow talks to Christian Weller, Center for American Progress and Dan Mitchell, Cato Institute on the topic of debt relief and mortgages in the USA, the argument for straight out write-downs on mortgages is compelling, and yet so too is the argument for allowing the market to work. Sometimes believing in the free market is seen as a ‘dirty thing’, but the side effect of trying to manage an economy from every aspect is also a bad thing (look no further than the former Eastern Bloc). Somewhere in the middle is a fair and sustainable path, but ideology bias is usually in the way before the conversation passes go, for that reason you will favour one speaker over the other quite often from the outset. However, ideology doesn’t actually get results, it is merely the platform from which a concept is launched and the better path would be to have an operational model to prove the point – although that isn’t always practical.

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Dan Mitchell – The real cost of government run healthcare

Dan Mitchell makes some comments here that really hit some home truths on healthcare, in Ireland one third of our total spending is on healthcare, we could learn some big lessons from taking a more rational approach, in the Netherlands there are systems in place which we could replicate and while they have a bigger population they have smaller waiting times.

In fact, if I call Four Star Pizza in Artane they know what I ordered from the branch in Raheny, but if you get an x-ray in the Mater nobody in Beaumont knows about it, we need to computerize our systems and Dan’s points show, in part, that without efficiencies inherent in the system that letting the state run healthcare as is or expanding present offerings is throwing away money, far better would be a more meaningful relationship between spending and efficiency gains.

People confuse price with volume and that is the constant threat that cutbacks come with – cut our budget and we can’t offer the same volume of care, but that is a myth, the first …

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