Author Archive: Burt Abrams

Burt Abrams is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Director of
Full biography and recent publications

Pop Quiz

Friday December 21st, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 1:15pm PST   •   6 Comments

I’ve been asking a number of friends (mostly Democrats) if they could guess the amount of gross public debt that exists for each U.S. taxpayer. No one has come close. Now with final exams in progress in universities, I reckoned a pop quiz was in order for the readership. So here it is (no peeking at the...
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Blowing in the Wind: Taxpayers’ Dollars

Friday December 21st, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 1:09pm PST   •   2 Comments

The infant-industry argument claims that tariff protection is needed so that fledgling industries can grow up and fend for themselves. History taught us that these industries rarely, if ever, grow up. Today, due to the rules of the World Trade Organization, tariff protection is no longer a viable policy tool. So what’s an infant industry to do? Seek subsidies, of course. The year 2012 marked...
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Free Lunch

Monday October 1st, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 12:51pm PDT   •   4 Comments

Americans have become dependent on publicly provided “free lunches,” government programs without the taxes. The public whines about any attempt to raise taxes (other than those on the “rich”) while clamoring for all the entitlement programs the government can dish out. As a result of this whine and dining, nearly half of all households...
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Teach Me to Fish

Friday September 7th, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 2:05pm PDT   •   4 Comments

Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime. Now that the major party conventions are over, I’m dismayed over the complete neglect of one of the most important industries and pressure groups in America: recreational fishing and fisherpersons. As this is an activity...
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Subsidy Nation

Friday August 3rd, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 10:03am PDT   •   3 Comments

How much will the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) cost us? Craig Eyermann’s July 25th blog post lays out the various tax increases that are expected under the Act. Another way of looking at the Act and the taxes that will be needed is provided by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s subsidy calculator. The calculator provides estimates for the...
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Friday June 8th, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 10:15am PDT   •   1 Comment

The disease known as Eurosclerosis that has infected Europe for decades now has taken a turn for the worse. It appears that amputations are about the only viable treatment as countries with particularly advanced stages of the disease are likely to be cut from the euro-zone. This has prompted an old-fashioned run on the...
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Hail Emperor Reich

Tuesday May 15th, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 4:32pm PDT   •   4 Comments

Will Rogers claimed to have never met a man that he didn’t like. I’m consistent too. I never read anything by Robert Reich that I liked. Dr. Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton and currently a named professor at UC Berkeley, is at it again. In writing for the U.K.’s The Guardian,...
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Pay-As-You-Go Government: Inter-Generational Robbery

Monday April 30th, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 11:04am PDT   •   11 Comments

Social Security (SS) and Medicare have unfunded liabilities of approximately $40 trillion dollars. In other words, if we are to make good on Social Security and Medicare promises while keeping tax rates at their current levels, we now should have amassed a $40 trillion trust account. Since this did not occur, major tax rate...
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Immediosis and Government Folly

Sunday April 1st, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 4:51pm PDT   •   5 Comments

Ever wonder why we suffer from so many terrible public policies? A newly identified psychological disorder called “Immediosis” may hold the answer. Immediosis is an obsessive concern for immediate gratification with no regard for future consequences. Immediacs, individuals suffering from immediosis, are most prevalent among the following populations: politicians, Keynesian economists and children under...
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