June182013
“Broadening the tax base mainly means eliminating or reducing deductions. The most popular target is the home-mortgage interest deduction. It is an absurd deduction, based on the silly premise that owning a home generates positive externalities: improved maintenance of residential property and enhanced sense of commitment to the community. All residential ownership does is reduce job mobility by increasing relocation costs and delay. But it’s a sacred cow.” Richard Posner, Tax Reform.
June172013
“The corporate income tax is criticized as penalizing investment, because it taxes the income generated by corporate investment twice—first at the corporate level and second when corporate earnings are distributed to the corporation’s shareholders in the form of capital gains or dividends. And penalizing investment reduces economic growth, which depends on investment. But the corporate income tax is so riddled with exceptions and opportunities for avoidance that it accounts for only 8 percent of total federal tax revenues. If the tax were abolished, some other federal tax would have to be increased.” Richard Posner, Tax Reform.
April102013
July72012
“I’ve become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy.” Richard Posner, speaking to NPR.
June172012
“We add that the appellants’ brief is rambling, and would be more effective if compressed to 14,000 words.” Richard Posner.  Most of the time we like to talk about Judge Posner’s great legal work, his insightful economic commentary, or other academic work.  Sometimes, we just love his most awesome legal retorts.

(Source: abovethelaw.com)

June162012
“Say’s Law, rather confusingly paraphrased as supply creates its own demand, treats money as a medium of exchange and a standard of value, but nothing more. This is essentially a barter theory of the economy. But modern economies are not barter economists. In a modern economy, receiving money in exchange for some good or service doesn’t dictate that you exchange the money forthwith for some other good or service. You can save the money indefinitely. If you put it under your mattress, it makes no contribution to productive activity. Similarly, money can pile up in Federal Reserve Banks if people are disinclined to spend, without contributing to economic activity.” Richard Posner, The Federal Reserve and the World Economic Crisis
June152012
“If banks are reluctant to lend and consumers to borrow, increasing the supply of money will not lead to a big increase in borrowing. Instead the banks will use the money to buy Treasury securities, which are riskless assets. The money will go in a circle: the Treasury will buy securities from banks, and banks will use the money to buy securities from the Treasury. Or the Treasury will buy securities from nonbank owners of them, who will deposit the proceeds in banks, which will use the additional cash to buy Treasury securities or increase cash reserves. This is an exaggeration, but can help one to see why increasing the money supply need not increase productive activity.” Richard Posner, The Federal Reserve and the World Economic Crisis
March42012
“The Amazon business model, though revolutionary, is visibly in the line of descent from mail-order businesses such as Sears Roebuck. It is a system for the efficient distribution of existiing products. The e-book is a new product in one sense, though in another sense it is merely a new channel for distributing the content of books. It is not yet apparent what advantages e-books have over print books except for travelers, other than easier ordering and faster delivery even of printed books from Amazon.” Richard Posner, in this wonderful post about Bookstores, Libraries, and eBooks.  A friend of mine runs ‘The Kindle Monologues' which roughly espouses my own personal views on eBooks and how they are a good thing for readers and authors in general.  
February272012
“But naïve extrapolation with respect to national economies is treacherous, as Becker points out with the examples of Japan and the Soviet Union, though the examples are slightly different: Japan was growing rapidly, and then stopped; the Soviet Union had stopped growing rapidly when (in our 1960 presidential election, for example) we began fearing that it was growing more rapidly than the U.S. The Soviet Union was about to enter the era of stagnation associated with the Brezhnev years.”

Richard Posner, Will China Overtake Us? Another great quote is later in the article:

To some extent this adjustment will take place independently of Chinese monetary policy. As wages of Chinese workers in the export sector rise, exports by other nations become more competitive, reducing Chinese exports, beginning a painful transition to a consumer society. 

(Source: becker-posner-blog.com)

January142012
Once again, Judge Posner puts wonderful pictures in his opinions.

Once again, Judge Posner puts wonderful pictures in his opinions.

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