Posts by Eric Crampton

  • Polity: Land of the brave little kids,

    Agree. NZ has something pretty close to a sweet spot in combination of public and private provision.

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Sunlight Resistance, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I was only congratulating their having fooled me, as I like to imagine that my radar isn't that terrible for this stuff.

    Patton could say "Rommel, you magnificent bastard!", couldn't he?

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The plan against the rebuild, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Thanks, Rob!

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The plan against the rebuild, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Hate on Houston all you want, Deep Red, but note that it successfully delivers very affordable housing while making sure the infrastructure costs are borne by the people who live out in the sprawling suburbs. I put more emphasis on also easing up on the height limits and making it easier to increase density than Hugh does, but I don't think he's opposed to also allowing greater densification.

    Note too that the true friend of the property speculator ISN'T Hugh Paveltich. Property speculators make bundles by knowing which areas will be scheduled for intensification and buying them up then dribbling them out. Paveltich tends to say, on the edges of town, let anybody develop suburbs anywhere so long as they're willing to front the infrastructure costs via MUDs. It is hard to think of anything that would more quickly destroy the regulatory rents earned by the speculators than a blanket policy allowing development.

    Think real hard about mood affiliation, Deep Red. The policies you favour may well be lining the speculators' pockets.

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The plan against the rebuild, in reply to David Haywood,

    Thanks, David. We both missed the Christchurch launch: I'd already moved to Wellington. It was in late August.

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The plan against the rebuild, in reply to andin,

    Thanks! The word I stole from Scott Adams, who used it to explain cell phone pricing plans that make it deliberately difficult to compare things against competitors.

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Why does the top 10% paying…,

    A few points worth noting:
    - 2003-2012, average after-tax income is up 50% plus or minus a bit across all income cohorts. "Oh, the system's only helping the rich?" Decile 2 had higher percentage growth in after-tax income than Decile 10.
    - A default start point in 2008 makes after-tax income gains for Decile 10 look disproportionately large; the top end had far less growth 2006-2008 than did the middle. Basic story is that the rich guys tanked more in the recession than did others, and consequently had a bigger upswing in the post-crash. If you want to net the tax-change effects from the recession effects, you're better looking at a 2006 or earlier start date.
    - Note too that some of the income gains in the higher deciles will be due to the reduction in the top marginal rate: labour supply does respond a bit here, and some income that previously was hidden in companies isn't worth hiding at a 33% rate. I doubt this means that we'd have huge income gains were top tax rates to be lowered further, but there'd be some.
    - The share of tax paid by top earners' going up would be irrelevant, but for the very relevant fact that Labour opposed the tax shift on grounds that the rich would wind up paying less in tax. The drop in top decile income tax, in percentage terms, is much smaller than the drop in other deciles' income taxes, though a full analysis here would definitely require adding in the GST effects.

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Think it possible that you…,

    Nicely done, Graeme. Thanks.

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Or It's Who We're Drinking With..., in reply to Hebe,

    Both can be going on at the same time, Hebe. In some cases, it's entirely the underlying stuff that's driving demand for intoxication; in others, drinking problems cause the other problems. Where alcohol or other intoxicants are used as self-medication for other pre-existing problems, sometimes it makes things better and sometimes it makes things worse. What is clear though is that counting all of the resulting problems as though they're solely due to alcohol rather overstates alcohol's relative contribution.

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Or It's Who We're Drinking With...,

    The 5+ standard is a nice way of getting really big numbers on problem drinking. Sometimes they'll use a 7+ standard for adults, which feels more like binging.

    The $4.8 billion "social cost of alcohol" figure that gets bandied about for New Zealand relies on an assumption that anybody who drinks more than 4 standard drinks on average per day gets zero benefit from any part of their consumption - that lets them count $700m in individual expenditure on alcohol as a social cost.

    As a good rule of thumb, most stuff on alcohol is just nuts.

    The New Zealand Initiativ… • Since Nov 2009 • 16 posts Report Reply

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