It was a week of madness. We started with a post on hysteria about debt and deficits, visited Michael Pacanowsky’s classic investigation of whether the utterance “Please Pass the Salt” can cause salt to travel, and dredged up an old proposal to reduce carbon emissions by making everyone wear a device that plugs up one nostril—segueing from the latter into an even crazier proposal from this week’s Washington Post. We rounded out the week with some educational madness, which gave me a chance to plug the brilliant writing of Caitlin Flanagan.
Note: Wednesday’s blogpost currently links to just the first page of Pacanowsky’s article; in the next few days I hope to have permission from the copyright owner to link to the entire thing.
On a less mad note, there’s an economic principle that says it’s best for everything to be taxed equally; paradoxically (until you understand it) this means that capital income should be taxed not at all. Last week, we saw that this is because a tax on capital income implicitly taxes current and future consumption at different rates; on Tuesday of this week, we saw that it’s also because a tax on capital income implicitly taxes current and future labor at different rates.
Next week: More madness, more sanity, more economics, and probably some math and some physics as well. See you then.