Millennium to Florida

December 3, 2021 at 5:57 am

The Financial Times reports on the scramble by hedge funds to attract trading talent: "As the competition for staff has intensified, Millennium, a $57bn fund headquartered in New York, this year opened offices in the far more temperate Palm Beach and Miami as part of its sales pitch."

The flow of talent to Florida, and the reasons for it beyond weather, have been the topic of extensive previous coverage here.

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Biden Aims for Nuclear-Weapons-Free World

December 1, 2021 at 7:20 pm

President Biden's arms control push, which is shaping up to be considerably more ambitious than is widely recognized, is the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun ("A Faltering Biden Is Pursuing Arms Control Ahead of Freedom") and at Newsmax ("Biden's Nuclear Disarmament Push Makes Him Look 'Carter-esque'").

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Nadella Sells

December 1, 2021 at 7:08 pm

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella sold about half his Microsoft shares. The shares he sold were worth about $285 million, the Wall Street Journal reports based on an SEC filing. "Analysts said the move could be related to Washington state instituting a 7% tax for long-term capital gains beginning at the start of next year for anything exceeding $250,000 a year," the Journal says.

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Black Bitcoin Ownership

November 24, 2021 at 3:13 pm

Black ownership of cryptocurrency and what it implies possibly for politics is the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at Newsmax ("Black Distrust of Govt Is Opportunity for Crypto, GOP") and at the New York Sun ("Crypto, Pew Reports, Gains Some Illuminating Fans—and Guess Why That Might Be.")

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Solar Stimulus Risks Repeat of Failures

November 19, 2021 at 8:23 am

Before President Biden pushes out trillions more dollars, he may want to reflect on some of the clean energy failures of the prior cycle, I write in my column this week. Please check out the full column at Newsmax ("Solar Stimulus Risks Repeat of 'Strange! Strange! Strange!'") and at the New York Sun ("As Biden Gets Set To Spend That $1.2 Trillion, Here's a Cautionary Tale of Bright Hopes That Disappeared.") The column also got linked at RealClearMarkets ("Ahead of $1.2T in Spending, Biden Might Look to Past").

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Massachusetts Bans Light Bulbs

November 11, 2021 at 5:58 pm

The photo of the day comes from my trip to the hardware store:

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Do Generational Differences Matter?

October 31, 2021 at 4:09 pm

"The Bunk of Generational Talk," the Wall Street Journal "Saturday Essay" published October 22, observes, "Across a range of issues, manufacturing fake generational battles denies us the benefits of intergenerational connection and solidarity."

The Journal essay was apparently published not soon enough to halt publication of a couple of New York Times articles engaging in "generational talk" of the sort the Journal article questioned the value of.

This Sunday's New York Times featured a business-page front article headlined "The 37-Year-Olds Are Afraid of the 23-Year-Olds Who Work for Them," claiming "there's a new boldness in the way Gen Z dictates taste."

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The Biden-Wyden Wealth Tax

October 26, 2021 at 8:35 am

Joe Biden's move to support a possibly unconstitutional wealth tax—or what some Democrats claim isn't a wealth tax but merely a tax on unrealized capital gains—is the topic of my column this week. Please read the full column at Newsmax ("Biden-Wyden Wealth Tax Would Break Campaign Pledge, Run Afoul of Constitution"), at Reason ("Democrats' Proposed 'Billionaire Tax' Is Definitely a Wealth Tax, and It May Be Unconstitutional"), and at the New York Sun ("Biden-Widen Wealth Tax Would Break Campaign Pledge, Run Afoul of Constitution.") The column also got some nice pickup in the New York Post ("Democrats' new tax problems and other commentary") and RealClearMarkets.

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Did Anyone Miss the Transportation Secretary?

October 20, 2021 at 8:57 am

The two-month stealth paternity leave of the secretary of transportation, Pete Buttigieg, is the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at Reason ("Put the Whole Department of Transportation on Paternity Leave") and at the New York Sun ("Buttigieg 'Disappears,' So To Speak, Raising the Question: Is the DOT Really Necessary?").

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When Newspaper Folds, City Spending Soars

October 14, 2021 at 9:24 pm

From a long article in the Atlantic bemoaning the decline of local newspapers, with a focus on the Chicago Tribune and its new owners:

When a local newspaper vanishes, research shows, it tends to correspond with lower voter turnout, increased polarization, and a general erosion of civic engagement. Misinformation proliferates. City budgets balloon, along with corruption and dysfunction.

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Trial Penalty

October 12, 2021 at 8:10 am

The "trial penalty" and the associated erosion of the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial are the topics of my column this week. Please check out the full column at Reason ("The Varsity Blues Trial Is a Reminder of Our Corrupt Criminal Justice System"), Newsmax ("'Varsity Blues' Punishments Corrupt 6th Amendment Rights"), the New York Sun ("'Trial Penalty' Shocks the Constitutional Conscience—and Cries Out for Reform"), and the New Boston Post ("'Varsity Blues' Conviction Highlights Erosion of Sixth Amendment Rights.")

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New York Times Gets Grants After Praise of Ford Foundation

October 6, 2021 at 6:42 am

The New York Times' highly favorable coverage of the Ford Foundation and its president, Darren Walker, was followed by at least two grants by the Ford Foundation supporting the New York Times, which is a for-profit company controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family, I report in my column this week. Please check out the full column at the New York Sun ("New York Times Might Be One of Ford Foundation's Neediest Cases"), the Algemeiner ("New York Times Tightens Ties With Foundation Known for Anti-Israel Grants"), and Newsmax ("NY Times Lavishes Praise on Ford Foundation Chief, Wins Funding.")

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Mankiw on Biden's Spending Blowout

September 17, 2021 at 6:42 am

Characteristically sensible Greg Mankiw column in the New York Times about the downsides of President Biden's "build back better" spending extravaganza:

Providing a social safety net is like using a leaky bucket to redistribute water among people with different amounts. While bringing water to the thirstiest may be noble, it is also costly as some water is lost in transit.

In the real world, this leakage occurs because higher taxes distort incentives and impede economic growth. And those taxes aren't just the explicit ones that finance benefits such as public education or health care. They also include implicit taxes baked into the benefits themselves. If these benefits decline when your income rises, people are discouraged from working. This implicit tax distorts incentives just as explicit taxes do. That doesn't mean there is no point in trying to help those in need, but it does require being mindful of the downsides of doing so.

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Democrats Try to Hide a $3 Trillion Tax Increase

September 15, 2021 at 7:50 am

No wonder Democrats are so eager to obscure the details of their plans to raise taxes. The president who insisted that the American retreat from Afghanistan was an "extraordinary success" now is going to try to claim that a tax increase on Americans making less than $400,000 is not that. All this is discussed in my latest column. Please read the full column at Reason ("Democrats Try To Hide a $3 Trillion Tax Increase from Voters") and at the New York Sun ("Ways and Means Shock: 'Hold Off on the Pay-fors Until We Are at the Altar'") and at the Las Vegas Review-Journal ("Here's why Democrats kept their tax hike plans secret").

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Is America One Family Under God?

September 15, 2021 at 7:40 am

The Wall Street Journal has published a letter to the editor I wrote in response to a recent column by Joe Lieberman, the former senator from Connecticut. "When both nationalism and the family are under attack, it doesn't help to confuse the two," the subheadline puts it. Special bonus: a mention of Hayek.

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