Here's an interesting development. Some of you may have heard this news already.
[ https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/411828-us-announces-intent-to-withdraw-from-international-postal-rate-system ]
I learned about the "Universal Postal Union" while reading retrospective pieces about the demise of Radio Shack. One of the reasons they went down is because it's cheaper to ship those yummy little piecesparts from China than it is to ship domestically within the US. This is because the UPU still considers China a third-world nation, and the US subsidizes the shipping costs of incoming parcels.
This, of course, is why Amazon and others are able to abuse the system. I wondered how long it would take for the "America First" administration to take notice, and make efforts to fix the problem. We can leave the politics out of it by avoiding discussion of whether the approach being taken is correct. But it does seem to be pretty obvious that China no longer has any need for this kind of economic advantage at our expense, so I'm happy to hear that it's being addressed.
Yes, that $0.99 widget will now cost $1.49. Who cares.
Clive will care, all his stuff comes from China.
Big Clive lives in Scotland. He won't be affected by the United States pulling out of the UPU unless the rest of the western world does it too.
Speaking of economics...
Arthur Laffer has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
This, of course, has upset critics of both Laffer himself and also the President.
No big surprise there, but it's probably a force-multiplier in both directions.
Laffer is known for pointing out that revenue relative to GDP remains fairly constant, regardless of where the tax rates are actually set, therefore tax rates should be set to maximize GDP and therefore tax revenue. His theory places that maximum revenue point towards the lower end of the tax rate scale.
Don't bother reading the Wikipedia article on the Laffer Curve. It reads as if it were written by Paul Krugman, and basically concludes that we should all be taxed at 70%.
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