The widely respected Initiative on Global Markets is a research center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business that's well known for weekly polls "it conducts of its Economics Experts Panel, a panel of 51 leading economists in United States universities."
Last week, they posed several questions about student loan forgiveness. The group of experts seemed to widely agree that paying off student debt is likely a net regressive idea that won't nearly be as fruitful as many on the left claim.
They first asked whether or not paying off student loans would be net regressive. All answers ranged from "Uncertain" to "Strongly Agree" with 0% of respondents answering that they disagreed or strongly disagreed.
David Autor, Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, said: "Alongside my kids' student loans, I'd like the government to pay off my mortgage. If the latter idea shocks you, the first one should too."
Anil Kashyap, Professor of Economics in Chicago, said of the second question: "Depends on the threshold and the limit, but chosen carefully this could be progressive. There are still major fairness issues with this idea."
They were then asked whether or not paying off the loans could be progressive if the government is limited in the amount of debt they issue, and if the payoffs are directed to borrowers below certain income levels. 86% of the group either "Agreed" or "Strongly Agreed" that this type of nuance in distributing the assistance would be progressive.
On the second question, Autor commented: "This could create terrible incentives, both for labor supply and (bad) educational investments. Proceed with great caution."
Finally, the group was asked whether suspending payments on student loans would help the recovery more than helicopter money. 49% of the group disagreed, while 40% said they were uncertain.
Survey participant Ray Fair, Professor, Cowles Foundation, Department of Economics at Yale, said of all of the questions: "It depends on how the government debt will eventually be paid off."
News flash, Ray: it won't be.
The IGM, per its website, "brings together policymakers, financial leaders, and top scholars from Chicago Booth and beyond to examine key issues facing the global economy and international business. By facilitating the exchange of ideas, IGM helps improve financial and economic decision-making around the world."
You can view the survey results in more detail and the list of participants in the poll here.
The following article, Canadian BBQ Restaurant Owner is Arrested on Thanksgiving for Providing Food to the Community, was first published on Big League Politics.
This is the new normal.
INSTANT KARMA: Mainstream journalists all get tickets after shaming restaurant owner who defied lockdown
HYPOCRITE: Ontario mayor breaks COVID-19 rules just hours after calling for ‘zero tolerance approach’
Submitted by Joseph Jankowski of Planet Free Will
Under Joe Biden’s proposed gun control plan, American gun owners would cough up tens of billions dollars in taxes as millions of rifles and magazines now in their possession would be subject to a tax under the National Firearms Act.
The center piece of Biden’s gun plan is to place a ban on the manufacture and sale of “assault weapons,” while bringing the regulation of possession of such firearms under the 1934 National Firearms Act.
Currently, the NFA of 1934 applies to fully automatics firearms, silencers and short-barreled rifles. But Biden would drag “assault weapons”, meaning semiautomatic rifles, pistols and shotguns (think the AR-15) along with “high capacity magazines”, which have generally been understood to be magazines that carry more than 10 rounds, under the act.
According to a National Shooting Sports Foundation report on firearm production figures, Americans in total own at least 20 million rifles and 150 million ammunition magazines that would be subject to the NFA regulations if Biden’s plan were put in place.
Under the NFA, each rifle and each magazine would be taxed at $200 per item. On top of that, gun owners would be subjected to complicated paper work and an identification process.
As Americans for Tax Reform reports:
As detailed on Biden’s campaign website, “Biden will also institute a program to buy back weapons of war currently on our streets. This will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.” This triggers the $200 tax.
In order to register a firearm (or a magazine, under Joe Biden’s plan), you have to send in a 13-page, complicated application form with the $200 tax included, your fingerprints, and a photograph of yourself. In this way, the hurdles to legally own your weapon or high-capacity magazine go far beyond the expensive tax.
With 20 million rifles and 150 million magazines to fall under the NFA with Biden’s plan, the amount of taxes paid by American gun owners would equate to $34 billion dollars.
If a gun-owner chooses not to hand in his NFA regulated rifle or magazine, he or she would face up to 10 years in federal prison, and a potential $10,000 fine.
The move would be in total violation of Biden’s pledge not to tax those who make under $400,000 annually and would put an even greater financial burden on Americans who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and state induced economic shutdowns.
More from Americans for Tax Reform:
Many families who have already been struggling due to the economic damage done by the coronavirus would find themselves incapable of paying for the ability to practice a constitutional right of theirs.
According to the Biden campaign, any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds is a “high capacity” magazine. Even if someone owns only one AR-15, if they have just four standard capacity magazines, they would owe the federal government $1,000.
Suddenly, gun control becomes less about mere firearm ownership and more about controlling working-class Americans. In urban areas, where people are most vulnerable to crime, it’s not hard to imagine how crushing this could be. There is nothing new about leftist politicians taxing urban residents in order to dictate behavior, ownership, and lifestyle.
While Biden’s gun control plan likely wont catch much fan fair in the more red, new congress taking hold at the start of 2021 – especially if Republicans can take at least one of the upcoming Georgia run-offs – the idea lends more credence to the suspicion that Trump’s America is likely to be flipped on its head under a Biden presidency.
Ever since it burst out of Wuhan, China roughly one year ago, the coronavirus has created what one economist described as a "trilemma" - that is, the struggle to balance the inevitable tradeoffs between safeguarding public health, the economy and personal freedom.
In the US (and in many spots around Europe as well), some have pointed to skepticism surrounding the accelerated development process for the myriad COVID vaccine projects as a potential obstacle to achieving herd immunity, since a lack of public confidence might force some governments to try and unduly pressure citizens to accept the vaccine.
With all this in mind, policymakers and economists are struggling to pinpoint an acceptable trade-off between public health, economic health and personal freedom. Some analysts have taken to calling these conflicting priorities the coronavirus "trilemma". However these conflicts are resolved will be critical to the economic outlook in 2021, and with Wall Street increasingly expecting the US economy to slide back into contraction during Q4, speculation about the timing and pace of the rebound has been pushed out to next year, and 2022.
To be sure, the timing of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout will be critical in deciding how all of this plays out. But there's another issue, more closely related to the "personal freedom" leg of the "trilemma", that epidemiologists and policymakers may have underestimated. And that's the question of public confidence in the vaccine.
Several Wall Street research shops have published insights on the subject, using data gleaned from YouGov and Gallup opinion polls, along with other sources. The other day, Deutsche Bank published a chart breaking down eagerness to receive the vaccine, along with opinions about whether it should be "mandatory".
Opinion polling is clear: In the US, more than 2/3rds of the population feels receiving a COVID-19 vaccine should be voluntary. What's more, only a small percentage of Americans would push to be vaccinated within the first month of a vaccine being widely available. Most appear content to hang back, presumably more concerned about when the economy will be allowed to reopen than when they might be able to get vaccinated.
Of course, opinions could shift substantially if something unexpected happens between now and when the FDA is due to begin reviewing the Pfizer (and, eventually, Moderna) applications for emergency-use approval. As Bloomberg's John Authers reminds us, it's not a done deal.
It’s also conceivable that something goes wrong with vaccine safety or the manufacturing process. Most precariously, there is what is known as “vaccine-hesitancy.” Across the world, many are reluctant to take one. These are the results of surveys conducted in the U.S. and western Europe for Deutsche Bank AG. They suggest that politicians may be forced to make vaccinations mandatory, which could make the politics of 2021 very dangerous:
Authers shared another chart from DB showing that attitudes about vaccines across Europe are mostly the same as in the US, with the UK seeing generally higher acceptance of vaccines (perhaps there might be a correlation between acceptance and levels of public hysteria driven by notably higher mortality rates?).
Over the past week, Dr. Fauci has upped the rhetoric about vaccine skeptics, labeling them as a "serious threat" to public health, while millions of Americans prepare to ignore the CDC's guidelines and travel to see family and friends despite the situation.
Could it be that, nearly a year into the worst pandemic in a century, the public's attitudes about the threat posed by COVID-19 are notably more lax than Dr. Fauci's?
The following article, U.S. Government Found Half-Dozen Chinese Military Researchers Who Lied About Their Visas Status, was first published on Big League Politics.
China is Keen on Exploiting America's Mass Migration Policies
The following article, John Oliver: It is ‘Completely Insane’ to Use Vulnerable Computer Systems to Count Votes; Trump is ‘All the Way Completely Right’, was first published on Big League Politics.
Before this year’s presidential election, liberal politicians and commentators used to admit how the voting process was incredibly rife for fraud – particularly pertaining to electronic voting machines. HBO host John Oliver tore into paperless direct-record electronic (DRE) voting machines during a segment on his show. He spoke specifically about the problems that the devices […]
A new bill proposed by Councilman Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn) encourages anyone in NYC to report illegally parked cars, and in return, whistleblowers would receive part of the fines paid by violators.
The bill, introduced by Levin and Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Nov. 19, would increase parking ticket fines from $115 to $175. It allows anyone who reports an infraction to receive 25% of the money or a max payout of around $45.
The bill "creates a new violation and civil penalty for hazardous obstruction by a vehicle of a bicycle lane, bus lane when bus lane restrictions are in effect, sidewalk, crosswalk, or fire hydrant when such vehicle is located within a radial distance of 1,320 feet of a school building, entrance, or exit," Levin and Johnson wrote.
The bill's co-sponsors hope the proposed change would improve safety on bike lanes, bus lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks, and fire hydrants.
According to ABC7 New York, those who report parking violators will do so via an online portal. The site will be managed by the Department of Transportation, which would review each case.
Vehicles with city-issued placards are not exempt under the proposed bill.
This caused NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) to poke fun at the proposal on Twitter:
"Imagine if every cop wrote a summons to every vehicle parked illegally or vehicles that violate the vehicle and traffic laws.
"We could probably bail out NYC, NYS, and even feed the homeless. Everyone will then get exactly what they ask for," the SBA snarked last week.
Some on social media were quick to react, replying to SBA with pictures of vehicles parked illegally throughout NYC:
Maybe start here? pic.twitter.com/Q9yLj0A9UD— Rbratspies (@RBratspies) November 20, 2020
get on it sarge https://t.co/nxLBGULkGE— Endless Shrimp (@9EndlessShrimp6) November 20, 2020
This all suggests the surveillance state wants to transform ordinary citizens into government parking snitches for the sole purpose of collecting more taxes.
With President Trump’s critics decrying his lack of respect for America’s democratic system by his refusal to concede to Joe Biden, now would be a good time to remind such critics of one dark-side aspect of America’s much-vaunted democratic system - the national-security’s state’s violent regime-change operation in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
From the beginning, the official story has been that a lone-nut communist ex-U.S. Marine, with no apparent motive, assassinated the president. Nothing to see here, folks, time to move on - U.S, officials said. Just a plain old ordinary murder case.
If anyone murders a federal official, you can be assured of one thing: the feds will do everything they can to ensure that everyone involved in the crime is brought to justice. It’s like when someone kills a cop. The entire police force mobilizes to capture, arrest, and prosecute everyone involved in killing the cop. The phenomenon is even more pronounced at the federal level, especially given the overwhelming power of the federal government
Yet, the exact opposite occurred in the Kennedy assassination. The entire effort immediately became to pin the crime solely on a communist ex-U.S. Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald and to shut down any aggressive investigation into whether others were involved in the crime.
What’s up with that? That’s not the way we would expect federal officials to handle the assassination of any federal official, especially the president of the United States. We would expect them to do everything — even torture a suspect — in order to capture and arrest everyone who may have participated in the crime.
For example, just three days after the assassination and after Oswald himself had been murdered, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach sent out a memo stating,
“The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.”
How in the world could he be so certain that Oswald was the assassin and that he had no confederates? Why would he want to shut down the investigation so soon? Does that sound like a normal federal official who is confronted with the assassination of a president?
The answer to this riddle lies in the brilliantly cunning scheme of the U.S. national-security establishment to ensure that the investigation into Kennedy’s assassination would be shut down immediately and, therefore, not lead to the U.S. national-security establishment.
The assassination itself had all the earmarks of a classic military ambush, one in which shooters were firing from both the front and back of the president. It is a virtual certainty that responsibility for the ambush lay with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had been waging a vicious war against Kennedy practically since the time he assumed office. (See FFF’s book JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne, who served on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s.)
While the JCS were experts at preparing military-style ambushes, they lacked the intellectual capability of devising the overall plot and cover-up, given its high level of cunning and sophistication. That responsibility undoubtedly lay with the CIA, whose top officials were brilliant graduates of Ivy League Schools. Moreover, practically from its inception the CIA was specializing in the art of state-sponsored assassinations and in how to conceal the CIA’s role in them.
To ensure that the role of the Pentagon and the CIA in the Kennedy assassination would be kept secret, they had to figure out a way to shut down the investigation from the start. Their plan worked brilliantly. While the normal thing would have been all out investigations into the murder, in this particular murder the state of Texas and U.S. officials did the exact opposite. They settled for simply pinning the crime on Oswald, the purported lone nut communist ex-U.S. Marine.
Here is how they pulled it off.
As the years have passed, it has become increasingly clear that Oswald was a government operative, most likely for military intelligence or maybe the CIA and the FBI as well. His job was to portray himself as a communist, which would enable him to infiltrate not only domestic communist and socialist organizations but also communist countries, such as Cuba and the Soviet Union.
After all, how many communist Marines have you ever heard of? The Marines would be a good place to recruit people for intelligence roles. Oswald learned fluent Russian while in the military. How does an enlisted man do that, without the assistance of the military’s language schools? When he returned from the Soviet Union after supposedly trying to defect and after promising that he was going to give up secret information he had acquired in the military, no federal grand jury or congressional investigation was launched into his conduct, even though this was the height of the Cold War.
Thus, Oswald would make the perfect patsy. He could be stationed wherever his superiors instructed. And he would have all the earmarks of a communist, which would immediately prejudice Americans at the height of the Cold War.
But simply framing Oswald wouldn’t have been enough to shut down the investigation. An aggressive investigation would undoubtedly be able to pierce through the pat nature of the frame-up. They needed something more.
If you’re going to frame someone who is supposedly firing from the rear, then doesn’t it make sense that you would have shots being fired only from the rear? Why would they frame a guy who is supposedly firing from the rear by having shots fired from the front?
That’s where the sheer brilliance of this particular regime-change operation came into play. The plan was much more cunning than even the successful regime-change operations and assassinations that took place prior to the one against Kennedy — i.e., Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Cuba from 1959-1963, and the Congo in 1961.
There is now virtually no doubt that Kennedy was hit by two shots fired from the front. Immediately after Kennedy was declared dead, the treating physicians at Parkland Hospital described the neck wound as a wound of entry. They also said that Kennedy had a massive, orange-sized wound in the back of his head. Nurses at Parkland said the same things. Two FBI agents said they saw the big exit-sized wound. Secret Service agent Clint Hill saw it. Navy photography expert Saundra Spencer told the ARRB in the 1990s that she developed the JFK autopsy photos on a top-secret basis on the weekend of the assassination and that they depicted a big exit-sized wound in the back of JFK’s head. A bone fragment from the back of the president’s head was found in Dealey Plaza after the assassination. That is just part of the overwhelming evidence that establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the shot that hit Kennedy in the head came from the front.
Okay, if you’ve got a shooter firing from the back and he’s a communist, and if you have other shooters firing from the front, then they have to be working together. So, who would the shooters be who were firing from the front? The logical inference is that they had to be communist cohorts of Oswald.
That’s what Oswald’s supposed visits to the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico just before the assassination were all about —making it look like Oswald was acting in concert with the Soviet and Cuban communists to kill Kennedy.
If the assassination was part of the Soviet Union’s supposed quest to conquer the world, retaliation would mean World War III, which almost surely would have meant nuclear war, which was the biggest fear among the American people in 1963.
But why not retaliate in some way? Would U.S. officials at the height of the Cold War hesitate to retaliate for the communist killing of a U.S. president, simply because they were scared of nuclear war? Not a chance! In fact, throughout Kennedy’s term in office the Pentagon and the CIA were champing at the bit to attack Cuba and go to war with the Soviet Union.
But here’s the catch: How do you take action that is going to destroy the world when it was your side that started the assassination game in the first place? Remember: It was the CIA that started the assassination game by partnering with the Mafia to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Thus, Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, and the JCS had the perfect excuse to shut down the investigation and pin the crime only on Oswald: If they instead retaliated, it would be all-out nuclear war based on an assassination game that the U.S. had started.
In fact, when Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade alleged from the start that Oswald was part of a communist conspiracy, Johnson told him to shut it down for fear that Wade might inadvertently start World War III.
Moreover, when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren initially declined Johnson’s invitation to serve on what ultimately became the Warren Commission, Johnson appealed to his sense of patriotism by alluding to the importance of avoiding a nuclear war. Johnson used the same argument on Senator Richard Russell Jr.
From the start, the Warren Commission proceedings were shrouded in “national-security” state secrecy, including a top-secret meeting of the commissioners to discuss information they had received that Oswald was an intelligence agent. When Warren was asked if the American people would be able to see all the evidence, Warren responded yes, but not in your lifetime.
Does that make any sense? If the assassination was, in fact, committed by some lone nut, then what would “national security” and state secrecy have to do with it?
That’s undoubtedly how they induced the three military pathologists to conduct a fraudulent autopsy — by telling them that they had to hide the fact that shots had been fired from the front in order to ensure that there was no all-out nuclear war. That’s how we ended up with a fraudulent autopsy. (See my books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2.)
Thus, the plan entailed operating at two levels: One level involved what some call the World War III cover story. It entailed shutting down the investigation, as well as a fraudulent autopsy, to prevent nuclear war. The other level involved showing the American people that their president had been killed by only one person, a supposed lone nut communist former Marine.
Obviously, secrecy and obedience to orders were essential for the plan to succeed. That was why the autopsy was taken out of the hands of civilian officials and given to the military. With the military, people could be ordered to participate in the fraudulent autopsy and could be forced to keep everything they did and witnessed secret.
That’s why Navy photography expert Saundra Spencer kept her secret for some 30 years. She had been told that her development of the JFK autopsy photos was a classified operation. Military people follow orders and keep classified information secret. Imagine if Spencer had told her story suggesting a fraudulent autopsy in the week following the assassination.
Gradually, as the years have passed, the incriminating puzzle has come together. The big avalanche of secret information came out in the 1990s as part of the work done by the Assassination Records Review Board.
Of course, there are still missing pieces to the puzzle, many of which are undoubtedly among the records that the CIA and national-security establishment are still keeping secret. But enough circumstantial evidence has come to light to enable people to see the contours of one of the most cunning and successful assassination plots in history.
* * *
It’s time to release all of the official assassination records of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, and all other federal agencies. The national-security rationale for continued secrecy is ludicrous and baseless. The only reason for continued secrecy is that the national-security establishment knows that the records will fill in more pieces to its November 22, 1963, regime-change operation.
In the 1990s, the JFK Records Collection Act gave federal agencies another 25 years to release their assassination-related records, based on the ridiculous claim of “national security.” That period of time expired early in Trump’s administration. After promising to release the files, Trump surrendered to the CIA’s demands for more secrecy, extending the time for secrecy until October 2021.
But we all know what’s going to happen in 2021. The CIA is going to tell President Biden that national security requires more years of secrecy and Biden is going to defer to the CIA.
Time’s up. Amidst all the hoopla over whether Trump is behaving disrespectfully of America’s democratic system, how about ordering the release of the estimated 15,000 records of the CIA and the federal agencies that are still being kept secret from the American people? After all, it’s pretty hard to reconcile regime-change and cover up with America’s much-vaunted democratic system, isn’t it?
President Trump — Do the right thing. Order the National Archives to release those long-secret assassination records to the American people now. Who cares if the CIA, the Pentagon, and other federal agencies get upset?