Category Archives: public economics

Ten Minute English and British History #19 – The Early Stuarts and the Gunpowder Plot


Dead Wrong® with Johan Norberg – Why Swedes Vote for Populists

To the Press Council on Inequality Tower 2018 @toby_etc @XTOTL @MaxRashbrooke @TheSpinoffTV

Two words. Two words would have changed the Inequality Tower from deeply misleading to accurate. Those two words also would have greatly undermined the political narrative in the cartoon of the political powerlessness of ordinary people over housing affordability.

The response of The Spinoff to my complaint was on one aspect and ignored all the others.

The editor ran the line that capital gains taxes is the same as saying comprehensive capital gains tax. You might have been able to run that line a few years ago but not now after the capital gains tax bright line test of 2 years and now 5 years. A five-year bright line is enough to deal with speculation and changes the debate from the lack of a capital gains tax at all to a capital gains tax on the family home or farm after the death of parents and other deeply unpopular political ramifications.

The other missing word was might. It was simply wrong to claim that people will not pay taxes on the sale of their home. They might under current law.

Ironically, editor’s reply was on the day the ban on foreign sales was passed into law showing once again responsiveness of parliament to popular concerns about housing affordability. The same responsiveness to the angst of ordinary voters led to the bright line test of 2 years and now 5 years.

At bottom, if you ask a careful and scrupulous scholar such as Max Rashbrooke to sign onto your comic cartoon, you raise the bar for yourself in terms of factual accuracy in an opinion piece. If he had not co-signed the cartoon, I most likely would never have read it.

This rejoinder is in addition to my attached original complaint to The Spinoff which I also submit to the Press Council.

Welfare and the Politics of Poverty | Retro Report @nytimes @swinshi