6-18-11 Hodgepodge

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Hidden Cost of Telecommuting the Welfare State

The Wall Street Journal reports that a Maryland company faces a New Jersey tax bill since a single employee telecommutes from there. (The company does not sell anything or solicit business in New Jersey.)

That's bad enough, but there's more bad news. Since "lots of states seem to be on the same page as New Jersey," and "[m]ost states don't offer companies clear guidance in this area," one way to avoid the problem would seem to be using such workers on a contractual basis.

Or not:

[T]he former employer would have to pay the former employee more to cover new expenses and lost benefits. And, although it would be a challenge, states could still make a case for taxing the former employer.
If the central "planners" haven't gotten around to regulating telecommuting to death, perhaps it's only because they don't have to.

Weekend Reading

"In accepting the pie metaphor, we concede a moral point that should not be conceded. Wealth does not arise from an amorphous social process; 'society' owns no pie." -- Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, in "When It Comes to Wealth Creation, There Is No Pie" at Forbes

"[C]onsider that this pathetic recovery was 'achieved' by a ridiculous increase of 54% in the U.S. public debt (from $9.3 trillion as the recession began in late-2007, to $14.3 trillion today) and of 211% in the Fed's monetary base (from $825 billion to $2.5 trillion), which serves as latent rocket fuel for rising inflation rates." -- Richard Salsman, in "How The Demand-Siders Ruined The U.S. Economy" at Forbes

"From a psychological point of view, nobody can advocate or condemn divorce across-the-board except in cases of outright abuse or neglect." -- Michael Hurd, in "Do Kids and Divorce Mix?" at DrHurd.com

"The public outrage has stemmed in my opinion not from Weiner's tweets, but his deception. " -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Weiner's Most Shameful Reveal" at SmartMoney

My Two Cents

I recommend reading the Hoenig column for a full appreciation of the double standard by which Anthony Weiner had been living his life. This same, small man had supported laws that imposed criminal penalties on financial CEOs for inaccurate documents -- despite the fact that there are strong, objective incentives for honesty in the financial sector.

A Silk Purse from a Sow's Ear

In the words of a man who once accomplished the above, supposedly impossible, transformation, "Things that everybody thinks he knows only because he has learned the words that say it, are poisons to progress."

-- CAV


: (1) Corrected title to first section. (2) Added missing link to Brook/Watkins article.

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