Category Archives: United States

Corporate taxes stink, not Pfizer-Allergan deal

For pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the grass really is greener on the other side.

The American company recently announced plans to merge with Allergan, a smaller Irish company, a move that would allow it to relocate its corporate headquarters to Dublin. The $160 billion deal will allow Pfizer to avoid punitive American corporate taxes in favor of the much lower levies of the Emerald Isle.

The merger, structured as a much-derided “inversion,” has drawn criticism from proponents of high corporate taxes such as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She complained that companies like Pfizer “are leaving America to cut their taxes when they should be staying here and investing in the people and the opportunities that will build out economy.”

Read the rest on CapX here.

Why is Wisconsin banning natural pain relievers?

In recent years, many Americans have turned to alternative medicine after exhausting their options at the pharmacy. Herbal supplements, acupuncture, and chiropractic therapy have become nearly as popular as buying aspirin at the corner store. Unfortunately, these treatments often come under fire from state governments acting on a fear of the unknown rather than evaluations of the science.

One example here in the Badger State is the natural pain reliever kratom, which was recently banned by the Wisconsin Controlled Substance Board.

Despite its technical-sounding name, kratom is not some chemical cooked up in a laboratory. It is a plant that has been used as an herbal medicine in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years.

Read the rest on The Cap Times here.

Despite Studies, Minimum Wage Hikes Reduce Employment

Progressives who support raising the minimum wage often cite a 1994 study by Princeton economists David Card and Alan Krueger, who found that increases in the minimum wage do not lead to job losses. The study continues to receive attention, even today, and gets credit among liberal economists for challenging the previous consensus that minimum wage hikes lead to reduced employment. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman even claimed that the study set off an “intellectual revolution.”

However, the counterintuitive findings of one study do not mean traditional economic theory should be thrown out of the window. Rather than turning the theory behind the minimum wage a full one hundred eighty degrees, the Card-Krueger study actually helps us better understand how the minimum wage affects employment.

In 1992, New Jersey raised its minimum wage by 80 cents an hour, while neighboring Pennsylvania did not. Card and Krueger seized the opportunity to compare fast-food restaurants in the two states before and after the increase took effect—a framework economists call a “quasi-experiment.” The authors had phone interviews conducted with hundreds of restaurants in the two states, and even had their interviewer drive to nonresponding restaurants in order to conduct in-person interviews. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the authors found that the minimum wage hike in New Jersey did not reduce employment relative to Pennsylvania.

Read the full article at Economics21.