Saturday, October 29, 2011

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Tax

How does the 999 plan affect income?  Here is the Tax Policy Center's score of the plan with respect to the tax change by cash income percentile.

Does it look fair?  Can you even interpret it?

Four Policy Mistakes

Greg Mankiw, here, outlines four countries that we do NOT want to emulate.  More specifically, we want to avoid their policy mistakes.  Some might argue that France is lovely, and the people of Japan are noble, but that does not mean their governments do not make some silly decisions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Habit Audit

Keith McCullough, retweeting from Ancient Proverbs, said this on his twitter account:  "First, you make your habits.  Then your habits make you."  This quote isnpired me to examine the opportunity cost of my habits, i.e. how much I give up to engage in any particular habit. 

This isn't easy.  I don't have a readily available metric with which to measure opportunity cost.  Example: Option A: Workout for 1 hr.  Option B: Work 1 hr for $10/hr.  Opportunity cost is $10.00.  This dichotomy does not hold for most of us.  That is, your other option besides working out is probably not to go work for $10/hr somewhere.  So how do we measure opportunity cost?  You could try to guage the value of the next best thing you could do with your time.  So, if you wake up and watch an hour of Sportscenter, the opportunity cost of doing that is the most productive use of your time you can find (besides watching Sportscenter which you must feel is productive or valuable in some way).  For me, this probably involves studying or something similar that I'm not always motivated to do.

Now, the primary point here is that most of us engage in quite a few habitual activities without recognizing them as such.  This leads to an immense time and productivity drain if those habits are not productive, or not the best use of your time.

So, the Habit Audit is a way to get some control over where your resources are flowing.  How much time per day do you spend engaging in non-productive activities?  What habits could you replace with new habits, and what might be some measurable outcomes (example: an increase in your GPA)