Archive for the ‘Featured Idea of the Month’ Category

Possible Breakthrough: Is Our Gehrig Jersey Odyssey No Longer Half Baked?

Saturday, March 19th, 2011 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Next to “plastics” the most famous line in The Graduate might have been where Benjamin announced to his father that he was going to marry Elaine Robinson. nike air max 90 soldes Mr. Braddock firsts proposes congratulating the Robinsons (who Benjamin says haven’t been told), then Elaine (ditto) and finally asks: “When [...]

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Pennies from Hell: How America is Being Crucified on a Cross of Zinc

Thursday, January 8th, 2009 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Pennies are a complete waste, a tax on consumers and retailers which raises nothing for the government. Yet the zinc lobby always defeats legislation to eliminate them. This post proposes a simple win-win change to current law which even the zinc lobby could not defeat: Allowing businesses which agree to “round down” to refuse to handle pennies. We are also proposing civil disobedience to get there. The civil disobedience would take the form of businesses doing exactly that until the law is changed.

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Saving Taxpayers Money by Replacing High-Interest Loans at Tax Time with Instant Refunds

Sunday, December 21st, 2008 by Al Lewis (alewis)

The biggest ripoff in consumer lending is the refund anticipation check. Tax preparers offer their clients +/- 90% of the value of the anticiated refund, on the spot, a very high implied APR. This posting shows how the government can replace this with loans at much better terms, get the money into people’s hands faster and — in conjunciton with the Stimulus Gift Card — even ofer MORE than the value of the refund in an immediate gift card. Economic stimulation AND profits for the government AND a windfall for consumers.

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That’s just like flat out lying to you

Monday, December 1st, 2008 by klewi

Many commentators have lamented the fact that people did not spend their stimulus checks in 2008, but saved them instead. Obviously, the “stimulus” only works if people spend it. Recent examples of those commentators would be Bruce Bartlett (New York Times 12/24/08), Ed Glaeser (Boston Globe 1/5/09), and Scott Lehigh (Boston Globe 1/9/09). No one has suggested the solution proposed below, which would hugely incentivize spending a tax cut or stimulus check, while at the same time providing a windfall to consumers at no additional cost to the government. So to those commentators and everyone else, we offer the following lesson in the new field of “stimulus economics.”

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former new england patriot hernandez charged with murder

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 by Al Lewis (alewis)

Almost every house sold includes a real estate commission of 5% or more. Eliminate that real estate commission – or vastly reduce it – and the value of every house theoretically rises 5% with no change in price. This would facilitate selling by the owner and/or create more equity in the owner’s house if they don’t sell. While 5% more equity will not solve the housing crisis, it would put a noticeable dent in it…and that 5% might otherwise have been taken out of the government bailout fund. This posting shows how to do exactly that

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