Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Economics: Josh Barro Cites Greg Mankiw, and I Learn Something Sort of New

Property Tax
Illustration by Mark Shaver

In an article titled "The Inevitable, Indispensable Property Tax" (NYT, July 4, 2015), Josh Barro reminds us of something we already know (else it wouldn't be re-minding):
As the economist Greg Mankiw wrote in this space three years ago, "A good rule of thumb is that when you tax something, you get less of it."
I kind of knew this intuitively, but I'd never heard it formulated, not even as a rule of thumb. The exception to this rule is . . . da-da-da-dum: Property Tax. Why the exception? "[B]ecause it can't be moved and it lasts a long time."

That makes two (or three?) new things I learned today! I realize most of my readers know these things already, but I've got a very spotty education. In fact, if I had my education to do over again, I'd make sure to take some economics courses.

"Hindsight is better than foresight" - which I think means we can see better with our hind ends than with our foreheads.

Labels: ,


At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Sperwer said...

Hmm. Seems to me that when property is taxed you still get less of something - i.e., the value of the income the property generates. The supposed DUh moment is based on a very primitive idea of property as an undifferentiated It. The first thing one learns in the first day of Property class in law school is that "Property" is a concept and a bundle of rights not just some inert thing)

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I unlearn something new every day.

Maybe you can explain this to me in greater detail over a beer. You have any time the 9th or the 16th (both Thursdays)? Or the 24th (a Friday)?

I'm going to be gone from July 29th to August 13th - to see all my brothers the first weekend and all my classmates the second weekend.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Sperwer said...

We may have to wait til you return. I'm off to Vietnam today. I get back early next week, but have a heavy schedule until the end of the month with the charitable fundraising activites of my KBO ball player client

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sperwer: Secret Agent Man

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


Post a Comment

<< Home