Joe Hines

Recent Articles

Wall Street Built That

(Flickr/Ed Gaillard)
As we celebrate Occupy Wall Street’s first birthday, the movement's pivoted from financial regulation to focus on crushing consumer debt . While reforming debt is crucial (particularly student debt), finance remains an imminent threat to the American economy. We shouldn't forget it. There's little evidence that Wall Street's changed since 2008. The drumbeat of flagrant financial crimes has continued unabated in the year since Occupy Wall Street’s inception. As Senior Fellow Wallace Turbeville aptly illustrates, the culture of the "alpha" remains . In addition, coming on the heels of a report by Better Markets last week that apprised the cost of the financial crisis at $12.8 trillion dollars in lost wealth and human capital, a new report from the Americans for Financial Reform estimates the financial crisis’ additional costs. Some glaring figures the AFR highlight: 8.8 million Americans (1 in 20 full-time workers) lost their jobs between 2007 to 2009. The unemployment rate doubled from...

Understanding Poverty: What the Census Doesn't Tell Us

It’s time we change how we think about poverty. The newly released Census report on poverty received a lot of attention from the chattering class. But was it really deserved? There are many ways in which the rate understates poverty. The poverty line, individuals making $11,484 a year, has been used since 1964. A CBS report explores the inadequacy of the measure: This amount was originally set as the earnings line below which a family of three or more would have to spend more than a third of its income on food. Notably, the report does not consider other major expenses, such as housing, transportation, medical care and child care, in gauging the nation's poverty rate. That’s a big blind spot. In his article for the Prospect’s Poverty issue , Mark Levinson provided a thorough critique of the way that the Census measures poverty. The poverty line was roughly equal to 50 percent of median income when it was set in the 1960s. It has now declined to about 36 percent. So today’s official...

Corporate Tax Myths

(Flickr/Contando Estrelas)
There's no corporate income tax in Bermuda. Can we really compete with that? In The Wall Street Journal today , John McKinnon and Scott Thurm revive the zombie of too-high corporate taxes causing businesses to flee offshore. Needless to say, they give too large a megaphone to international outsourcers and too little to their critics. Based on their interviews with companies that have moved their businesses to commerce-centers like Bermuda and Ireland, McKinnon and Thurm find: Companies cite various reasons for moving, including expanding their operations and their geographic reach. But tax bills remain a primary concern. A few cite worries that U.S. taxes will rise in the future, especially if Washington revamps the tax code next year to shrink the federal budget deficit. The uncertainty fairy strikes again. The authors go on to make the claim that we need to “rewrite the tax code to give companies an extra incentive to stay in the U.S.” We couldn’t possibly raise taxes or business...