Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

An 80% tax surcharge on millionaires? Don't fall for it, voters

June 21, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

MASSACHUSETTS VOTERS have made some reckless choices over the years (two words: Barney Frank), but on the subject of income taxes their judgment has been consistently prudent and restrained.

In 2000, for example, the voters approved a ballot initiative reducing the income tax rate from 5.75 percent to 5 percent; but in 2002 and 2008 they defeated measures that would have wiped out the income tax altogether. In 1998, voters overwhelmingly said Yes to taxing dividends and interest at the same rate as ordinary income. During a recession in 1990, on the other hand, they firmly said No to a sharp rollback in state taxes and fees.

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When good things come from bad people

June 18, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

WHEN THE RENOWNED American industrialist Henry Clay Frick died in 1919, the obituaries didn't exactly overflow with tenderness.

"He was uncompromising," remarked the New York World, and "if at any time he took notice of the broadening tendencies of humanity . . . he gave no proof of it by word or deed." The Lexington (Ky.) Herald set Frick's record against that of his partner in steelmaking, Andrew Carnegie, and found him wanting: "Frick . . . lacked the more human qualities that made Carnegie so beloved." The New York Tribune observed that "the name of Frick was abhorrent to great numbers of his fellow citizens."

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Let's do air-traffic control the Canadian way

June 14, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

TODAY'S POLITICAL CLIMATE being what it is, anything a president proposes gets condemned out of hand by lawmakers from the other party. So of course President Trump's proposal last week for privatizing the US air-traffic control system was no sooner announced than a slew of top Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and his House counterpart, Nancy Pelosi, proclaimed their opposition.

But just this once, could we suspend the automatic partisan resistance? Devolving air-traffic control operations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to a self-funded nonprofit corporation really is a worthwhile idea, one lawmakers from both parties should get behind.

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Sorry, class warriors, unions aren't coming back

June 11, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

HERE IS A TALE of two socioeconomic trends and one seductive myth.

Trend No. 1: There was a time when the wealthiest households in America — the top 1 percent — earned about 11 percent of the nation's income, even as the great majority of income, more than two-thirds, went to the bottom 90 percent. That was in the mid-1940s, in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II. Income inequality in the United States was relatively low, and it stayed that way for the next three decades.

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The victory that astonished the world

June 7, 2017  •  The Boston Globe

WHAT IF ISRAEL had lost the Six-Day War?

What if the conflict that erupted 50 years ago this week between Israel and its largest Arab neighbors – Egypt, Syria, and Jordan—had gone the other way? What if there had been no Israeli conquest of Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, of the Golan Heights, or of eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank? What if Israel's prolonged rule over the Palestinians had never begun, and no Jewish settlements were ever built, and no Zionist impediment to Palestinian statehood ever existed?

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