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$1 NEWS // THURSDAY, JANUARY 11
Some states are responding to concerns about rising wealth inequality by proposing taxes on high earners’ assets, such as stocks and bonds. (WSJ)
Yesterday, California’s state Assembly held a hearing to consider a wealth tax, which would help close a $68 billion spending gap. Last year, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York and Washington introduced tax the rich bills.
A recent poll found 74% of New York voters think taxes should be raised on the state’s richest residents. Other polls show the U.S. public’s views of billionaires has grown more negative. Most Americans support raising taxes on billionaires.
A Tax Policy Center analysis estimated a national wealth tax would generate between $800 billion to $1 trillion in revenue over 10 years. Another analysis estimated that a 1% wealth tax could bring in as much as $94 billion, or 3% of total federal revenues in 2019, not accounting for weak enforcement and tax evasion.
Meta plans to bar teens from accessing harmful content on Facebook and Instagram, following lawsuits alleging the company misled the public about the dangers its platforms pose to young people. (WSJ)
Accounts belonging to users under 18 will be subject to the strictest content settings, with teens under 16 unable to view sexually explicit content. Teens will also be blocked from viewing self-harm, graphic violence and eating disorder content.
While teens' material and physical well-being has improved in the past decade (dash line in the chart below), their mental health has taken a nose dive since 2012 (solid line). This has led some sociologists to theorize that the rise of smartphones and social media are to blame. Studies have found links between increased social media usage and negative health outcomes among adolescents.
A tweet from New York University social psychologist Jonathan Haidt: “The teen mental health crisis was not caused by reality getting worse around 2012. Their material and physical health improved steadily. To paraphrase Epictetus: ‘It is not events which disturb teens. It is the device through which they interpret all events.’”
Following the “success sequence,” which involves graduating high school, working full-time and getting married in that order, can reduce poverty rates for unmarried moms, according to a new study. (Institute for Family Studies)
Chart: Institute for Family Studies
A number of studies have found links between the success sequence and keeping young people out poverty.
While unmarried mothers are more likely to experience poverty compared to their married counterparts, those who achieve success sequence milestones later in life are less likely to be in poverty.
Unmarried mothers who reached all success sequence milestones by the time their child turned 15 had a poverty rate of only 9%, compared to 78% for those who achieved none.
American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Angela Rachidi: “Some critics (and supporters) of the success sequence acknowledge that the ability to achieve success sequence milestones are often the result of circumstance. In other words, structural factors influence poverty more than individual choices. This study shows that despite the challenges surrounding a nonmarital birth, achieving success sequence milestones later in life, such as getting married, completing high school, and working full-time, offers families a realistic path out of poverty.”
Top infectious disease expert and former White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci testified before Congress Tuesday that the “six feet apart” social distancing guidelines he championed during the pandemic were "likely not based on scientific data" and "sort of just appeared." (Reason)
Fauci to MSNBC host Chuck Todd in June 2021: “It’s very dangerous, Chuck, because a lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science, because all of the things that I have spoken about consistently from the very beginning, have been fundamentally based on science.”
Trust in scientists has fallen 14 points (from 87% to 73%) compared to the start of the pandemic, according to a Pew Research Center poll from November.
Senate and House Republicans are increasingly not seeing eye to eye on a number of issues. (Punchbowl News)
Punchbowl News' Andrew Desiderio: "The strategic differences between Senate and House Republicans right now cannot be overstated. You could even make the argument that they’re irreconcilable."
Short-term funding: Republican leaders in the Senate this week said Congress would likely need to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government open. GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson vowed in November not to pass any more short-term funding bills to avert government shutdowns.
Ukraine: Senate Republicans have generally been more supportive of passing Ukraine aid than their counterparts in the House. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been particularly bullish on getting an aid package done.
How to fix the border: Senate Republicans have taken a much less combative approach to the border crisis, emphasizing the need to work with Democrats in order to get legislation passed. GOP Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma this week suggested House Republicans’ attempted impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is futile and ineffective.
Here’s a data point from economist Robert Cherry on how affirmative action policies don’t distinguish between the descendants of 20th-century black immigrants and the descendants of enslaved blacks. (RealClearMarkets)
Black students from immigrant families make up over 40% of Ivy League black students, despite comprising only 10% of the U.S. black population.
Some black immigrant groups are more highly educated and wealthier than African Americans. For instance, one study found Nigerian Americans have higher levels of educational attainment than American whites and their wages are on par with them.
Thomas Sowell, a black economist, on affirmative action policies: “[T]hey help the affluent members of disadvantaged groups while the lower members of those groups fall further behind than ever before.”
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