Category Archives: Taxes

As Predicted, IRS Deems Bitcoin to be Property, Limiting Its Usefulness in Commercial Transactions

We told readers earlier this month that the IRS was well-nigh certain to deem Bitcoin to be property, not a currency, and that would deter its use in commerce. We got pushback from Bitcoin defenders, who tried several lines of argument, basically along the lines of “digital currencies are inevitable” and “the tax authorities are irrelevant”. Today, the IRS issued a release that states that it regards Bitcoin as tradeable property, which will make it cumbersome to use it in commercial transactions.

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Tax Havens Make US and Europe Look Poorer than They Are, Exaggerate Size of “Global Imbalances”

Peculiarly, despite the importance of tax havens, a pathbreaking paper published in 2013 by Gabriel Zucman of the Paris School of Economics, The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. Net Debtors or Net Creditors? (hat tip Dikaios Logos) has received perilous little attention. Perhaps that’s because, among other things, it undercuts the Bernanke-flattering claim that “global imbalances” were a major driver of the financial crisis.

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Money and Elections in Washington: Pro Wrestling, but With More Respectable Clothes

kayfabe: Term in pro wrestling. Kayfabe was the unsaid rule that the wrestlers should stay in character during the show and in public appearances in order to maintain a feeling of reality (albeit suspended) among the fans.

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Can Democracy Help With Inequality?

Inequality is currently a prominent topic of debate in Western democracies. In democratic countries, we might expect rising inequality to be partially offset by an increase in political support for redistribution. A new paper argues that the relationship between democracy, redistribution, and inequality is more complicated than that.

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