Category Archives: professors and intellectuals

Fake News: Millionaires flee California because of high taxes

You may have seen reports of millionaires fleeing California because of tax increases on the wealthy. An example is an article by Steve Straub in The Federalist on July 6, 2018, in which Straub claims a direct cause-and-effect relationship between Prop. 30 and millionaires leaving the state:

According to new research released by Charles Varner, associate director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, California lost an estimated 138 high-income individuals following passage of the Proposition 30 income tax increase championed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and approved by Golden State voters in 2012….

Prop. 30 raised the state’s top income tax rate by 8%, increasing it one percentage point from 12.3% to 13.3%, which is now the highest state income tax rate in the nation. Prop. 30 also hiked the tax rate on income between $300,000 and $500,000 by two percentage points, and raised the rate on income in excess of $500,000 by three percentage points.

In 2016, California voters extended the Prop. 30 income tax increases, which were originally scheduled to expire in 2019, until 2030. There will be an effort to extend those income tax hikes yet again prior to their expiration in 2030; book it now.

Varner’s new research examined taxpayers who were and were not hit by the Prop. 30 rate hikes. He found that in the two years before the Prop. 30 tax hike was imposed (2011 and 2012), net in-migration for both groups “was positive and roughly constant.” Yet following 2012 and the passage of Prop. 30, net in-migration dropped for households that were facing an effective tax increase of 0.5 percent or more. The reduction was greatest for households facing the highest effective tax hike, according to Varner and his coauthors, who include Allen Prohofsky of the California Franchise Tax Board….

Who could have ever predicted that raising taxes on the wealthy, higher than any other state in the country, would drive them out of the state?

Notice that nowhere in his article does Straub provide a link to his source — that study by “Charles Varner, associate director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality” — which is always cause for suspicion.

Nor does The Federalist enable reader comments on Straub’s article, which means I can’t even notify The Federalist if Steve Straub is mistaken — which he turns out to be.

So I went looking on the web for the original source.

I could not find this study on the website of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, but I did find a news release by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (SCPI) which says just the opposite of what Straub claims. Not only is the much-touted “millionaire migration” from California “simply a myth,” migration in and out of California has nothing to do with taxes.

The research was conducted by these two individuals at the request of the California Board of Equalization, allowing them unique access to California Franchise Tax Board income data:

  • Cristobal Young, an assistant professor of sociology at Stanford.
  • Charles Varner, then a doctoral candidate in sociology at Princeton University.

The SCPI news release states:

Embroiled in the California debate over Proposition 30‘s progressive income tax proposals, some politicians have argued that raising taxes on the highest earners will drive them to states with lower tax rates, taking businesses and jobs with them.

But a study released by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality concludes that “millionaire migration” is simply a myth.

The reason the number of California millionaires varies from year to year has almost nothing to do with taxes, the researchers found. Instead, the numbers change as incomes fluctuate, most likely because investments are sensitive to market cycles.

Varner and Young looked at millionaire migration after California’s 2005 Mental Health Services Tax was enacted, as well as after state tax cuts in 1996.

They found that millionaires did not flee as a result of the tax increase (in fact, more millionaires moved into the state than out during that period), nor did millionaires from elsewhere move to California as a result of the tax cuts….

What could account for the fluctuations in California’s millionaire population? According to the study, it’s not due to tax changes or rich people leaving the state. Almost all of the fluctuation comes from income dynamics at the top, with taxpayers falling into and out of the millionaire income bracket as their income rises and falls across the million-dollar mark from year to year.

The temporary nature of such high earnings may help explain why the additional taxes in the study didn’t cause a noticeable flight of millionaires.

Personal connections seem to weigh more heavily than tax rates in deciding where to take up residence. “People are tied to states for different reasons,” Young said. “They don’t want to take their kids out of school, they want to stay connected with friends, with families … with business contacts.” People crowd together, from Silicon Valley to New York City, because of the returns associated with collaboration, he said….

Young added that looking at the tax flight issue only scratches the surface of state financial woes. “People need to think about the depth of California’s budget problems,” he said. “I think there’s much, much bigger things to worry about than this issue of tax flight because it’s really hard to find any evidence of it.”

Even more curious is the fact that the embedded links to the Young-Varner study in the SCPI news release don’t work. When you click the words “study” and “Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality” in the phrase “a study released by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality,” you get this message:

Object not found!

As Alice in Wonderland would say, “Curiouser and curiouser!”

I finally found a link to the elusive study by Young and Varner in a July 6, 2018 article by Patrick Gleason for Forbes, in which Gleason repeats The Federalist‘s claim that millionaires flee from California because of tax hikes:

According to new research released by Charles Varner, associate director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, California lost an estimated 138 high-income individuals following passage of the Proposition 30 income tax increase championed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and approved by Golden State voters in 2012.

The only problem is that is simply not what the authors of the study actually wrote.

From Charles Varner and Cristobal Young, Millionaire Migration in California: The Impact of Top Tax Rates, 2012, pp. 2-4:

California is one of eight states that have established a “millionaire tax” in recent years. The popular appeal of these taxes is that they raise revenue from those seen to have greater ability to pay a higher rate on the highest portion of their incomes. The concern, however, is that millionaire taxes may lead to millionaire migration, with potentially serious loss of revenues for the state.

This study addresses the following key question: Do changes in California’s top income tax rates lead to changes in the migration of top incomes? . . . .

The authors summarized their findings, denying that there is a “millionaire migration” from California or and that this non-existent migration is due to taxes:

1. Migration is a very small component of changes in the number of millionaires in California. While the millionaire population sees a typical year-to-year fluctuation of more than 10,000 people, net migration sees a typical year-to-year fluctuation of 50 to 120 people. At the most, migration accounts for 1.2 percent of the annual changes in the millionaire population. The remaining 98.8 percent of changes in the millionaire population is due to income dynamics at the top – California residents growing into the millionaire bracket, or falling out of it again.

2. Using difference-in-differences models, which compare migration trends of the group experiencing the tax increase to a group of high-income earners not facing a tax change, neither in-migration or out-migration show a tax flight effect from the introduction of the 2005 Mental Health Services Tax. In fact, out-migration has a “wrong-signed” estimate: out-migration declined among millionaires after the tax was passed (both in absolute terms and compared to the control group). In other words, the highest-income Californians were less likely to leave the state after the millionaire tax was passed . . . .

4. The 1996 tax cuts on high incomes likewise had no consistent effect on migration. There was a small effect for those experiencing the small (0.7%) tax cut, but no effect at all for those experiencing the large (1.7%) rate cut. While we are planning to analyze the 1996 tax cut in greater detail, the overall picture is one of no clear effect.

Instead, what the study found was that whatever “millionaire migration” there is is due to personal factors, specifically divorce:

There is a strong out-migration effect for high-income earners who become divorced. In the year of divorce, the migration rate more than doubles, and remains slightly elevated for two years after the event. This shows that there are circumstances that do generate millionaire migration. The tax policy changes examined in this report are very modest compared to the life-impact of martial dissolution.

The authors’ explanation for why California millionaires don’t flee because of the state’s high taxes is this:

Most people who earn $1 million or more are having an unusually good year. Most “millionaires” earned less in years past, and they are not likely to earn this much again. A representative “millionaire” will only have a handful of years in the $1 million + tax bracket. The somewhat ephemeral nature of very high income is one reason why the top-income taxes examined here generate no observable tax flight. It is difficult to migrate away from an unusually good year of income.

To conclude, the Stanford study cited by countless conservative bloggers and writers as showing millionaires fleeing California because of high taxes, actually says just the opposite — millionaires are not leaving California, nor are they fleeing because of the state’s punitively higher taxes on high-income earners.

In other words, what those articles in The Federalist, Forbes, NewsMax, and blogs such as Lucianne.com report is FAKE NEWS.

It really does not serve the cause or interests of conservatives to distort the truth.

~Eowyn

NYU instructor Sam Lavigne spreads personal information of 1,595 ICE agents

Outraged by the MSM’s misleading and malicious reports of President Trump’s “inhumane” border policy of “separating families,” Sam Lavigne, 36, an adjunct instructor at New York University (NYU)’s Tisch School of the Arts, doxxed hundreds of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees and publicized their personal information on social media.

Note: The above image is a screenshot from the Directory of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, identifying Lavigne as an “adjunct instructor” — not an “adjunct professor” as other websites, including Lavigne’s own, incorrectly call him. An “adjunct” faculty is not “ladder” faculty, but rather someone who is employed on a temporary (year-by-year or semester-by-semester) basis, which means the appointment can be terminated without review by simply not renewing the contract. An “instructor” is of a lower status than “professor”. The title of “professor” — whether “adjunct,” “assistant,” “associate” or “full” — usually requires a Ph.D. degree. Lavigne has a Master’s degree in Art.

It must be noted that what the jackals of the Mainstream Media call “separation of families” is actually the Trump administration enacting a measure that flowed from the Clinton-era Flores vs. Reno Supreme Court decision allowing unaccompanied illegal border-crossing minors to be held “in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs.” In fact, the Obama administration had exercised the same “inhumane” policy. From 2010 to 2016, the Obama administration prosecuted almost half a million illegal aliens in the U.S. and one fifth of the prosecutions resulted in separated families. (The Daily Caller)

Kyle Perisic reports for The Daily Caller that Lavigne created a database of 1,595 ICE employees using their LinkedIn profiles and shared it to his 3,600 followers on Twitter on June 19, 2018. The database has the ICE employees’ full names, what city they live in, and what their role is at ICE.

Lavigne wrote in a now-deleted Medium blog post:

I’ve downloaded and made available the profiles of (almost) everyone on LinkedIn who works for ICE, 1,595 people in total. While I don’t have a precise idea of what should be done with this data set, I leave it here with the hope that researchers, journalists, and activists will find it useful.

Lavigne’s database was quickly picked up by Antifa, identified by the Obama administration in April 2016 as domestic terrorists, and spread to their followers.

The database was also published on a Reddit subgroup that encourages doxxing — publicizing addresses and contact information — of people whom they consider “Nazis” or “alt-right,” among whom they include ICE and the NSA. As one Reddit user puts it: “Doxxing ICE agents is good and moral.”

See also:

Feminists get it wrong: Study finds that normalization of plus-size fuels obesity epidemic

chrissy metz

Chrissy Metz contributing to the “empowerment” of obesity.

Shocker, not.

I warned the feminists/SJWs that there is NOTHING healthy about obesity. See the following:

They didn’t listen to me.

From Inquisitr: A new study warns that the media “normalization” of plus-size body types may be fueling the obesity epidemic.

Research analysis of data gathered from 23,460 British people who are overweight or obese revealed that overweight individuals are increasingly underestimating their weight.

The study says people who think they’re thinner than they actually are 85 percent less likely to try to slim down compared to those who accurately estimate their true size.

The results, which were published in the medical journal Obesity, show that the number of overweight individuals who chronically underestimate their size has increased between 1997 and 2015: from 24.5 percent to 30.6 percent in women and 48.4 percent to 57.9 percent in men.

The study suggests that being bombarded with images of “plus-size” models may be leading people to assume that being overweight or obese is the new normal so they feel less incentive to lose weight.

The study was conducted by Dr. Raya Muttarak from the University of East Anglia and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Dr. Muttarak’s research also shows that minorities and the less-educated segments of the population are more likely to underestimate their weight.

The research sheds new light on alarming statistics indicating that 63 percent of adults in the U.K. are overweight or obese.

In the United States, an estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight (the total U.S. population is about 326 million). Nearly 75 percent of American men and more than 60 percent of women are obese or overweight, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Dr. Muttarak said retailers who are trying to cash in on the skyrocketing plus-size population are partly responsible for the “normalization” of obesity. “Seeing the huge potential of the fuller-sized fashion market, retailers may have contributed to the normalisation of being overweight and obese,” Dr. Muttarak wrote. “While this type of body positive movement helps reduce stigmatization of larger-sized bodies, it can potentially undermine the recognition of being overweight and its health consequences.”

Over the years, the fashion industry — which has long exulted super-skinny models — has been blamed for fueling body dysmorphia and the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Now it seems the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.

Dr. Raya Muttarak’s study does not condemn obesity or say overweight people shouldn’t be happy with themselves.

It’s more of a sobering wake-up call about the health consequences of excess weight, which increases the risks of diabetes, early mortality, heart disease, dementia, and cancer. “The continuing problem of people underestimating their weight reflects unsuccessful interventions of health professionals in tackling the overweight and obesity issue,” Muttarak wrote.

h/t Breitbart

DCG

Liberal Tolerance: Red Hen restaurant kicks out White House press secretary Sarah Sanders

This is a guest post by FOTM reader Grif!

The Red Hen restaurant, Lexington, VA

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary and daughter of former Arkansas governor Republican Mike Huckabee, was thrown out of a Virginia restaurant Friday night (June 23) in an incident that sparked a social media storm. The reason? Sanders works for President Donald Trump.

An Associated Press report, first picked up by the Christian Broadcasting Network, and subsequently by other media, said Sanders was ordered out of The Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, by the owner Stephanie Wilkinson, even as the chef was cooking Sanders’ dinner. Sanders said the event said far more about the owner of the restaurant than it did about her.

In a tweet from her official account, Sanders said, “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”  The tweet generated more than 22,000 replies in about an hour. The ensuing furor pitted both supporters and detractors of Sanders. Her father, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, even joined the conversation. “Bigotry.” He tweeted. “On the menu at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington VA. Or you can ask for the ‘Hate Plate.’ And appetizers are ‘small plates for small minds.”’

The incident mirrors an earlier incident in the week when Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen cut short a working dinner in a Mexican restaurant after protesters shouted, “Shame!” until she left.

In the ensuing social media dialogues, people from all across the country began to take sides. Some wanted to organize protests outside Red Hen restaurant, while others championed owner Wilkinson as a hero.

On Yelp, a Los Angeles-based restaurant reviewer chimed in, “Don’t eat here if you’re a Republican, wearing a MAGA hat, or are a patriot.”

Other Yelp commenters, however, supported the restaurant owner’s action. A responder from Commerce City, Colorado wrote, “Bonus: this place is run by management who stuck up for their beliefs and who are true Americans. THANK YOU!!!!”

Red Hen was trending toward the top of Twitter — 75,000 mentions within a couple hours of the first news stories.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Wilkinson explained her reasons for why she asked Sanders and her companions to leave.

“Several Red Hen employees were gay,” she said. “They knew Sanders had defended Trump’s desire to bar transgender people from the military. This month, they had all watched her evade questions and defend a Trump policy that caused migrant children to be separated from their parents.” Wilkinson said that the Sanders party already had been seated and their orders taken when she was informed by telephone who they were. It took her several minutes to drive from her home to the restaurant. She conferred with her employees.

“Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave,” Wilkinson told her staff. “They said yes.” Wilkerson then walked up to Sanders’ chair.

“I’m the owner,” she said. “I’d like you to come out to the patio with me for a word.”

She told Sanders about her feelings vis-sà-vis the president and recent events.

“I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation. I’d like to ask you to leave.”

She said that Sanders’ response was immediate: “That’s fine. I’ll go.”

As of Saturday afternoon, media personnel from broadcast stations and newspapers were camping out on the street next to the Red Hen. Wilkinson, however, remained steadfast in her belief that she was justified in throwing out the White House press secretary because she works for President Trump. She told the Washington Post, “Whatever happens, we will soldier on. Absolutely, yes, I would have done the same thing again.”

-Grif

It must be noted that what the jackals of the Mainstream Media call “separation of families” is actually the Trump administration enacting a measure that flowed from the  Clinton-era Flores vs. Reno Supreme Court decision allowing unaccompanied illegal border-crossing minors be held “in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs.”

Below is a pic of Red Hen owner Stephanie Wilkinson and her partner, Duncan Richter, wearing pink pussy hats (h/t FOTM‘s MCA).

Owners of Red Hen

According to TruthFinder, Wilkinson and Richter own and co-habit a home in Lexington, VA:

  • Stephanie Wilkinson, 55, has a Ph.D. in European and American Religious History from the University of Virginia. Her LinkedIn profile here.
  • Duncan Richter, 51, is a philosophy professor at Virginia Military Institute in Roanoke, VA. His LinkedIn profile here.

So much for higher education . . . .

Their lofty degrees evidently taught them nothing about classical or original liberalism — the political ideology that believes in the primacy of individual liberty; that while government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others, government itself can pose a threat to liberty; and that no one or group has a monopoly on truth, and so we must tolerate our differences of opinion in the market place of ideas.

In a tweet, Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA) said Wilkinson is a cousin of snake-tongue Meryl Streep:

On behalf of my hometown of Lexington, I want to apologize for the rudeness of one liberal New York transplant (who also happens to be Meryl Streep’s cousin). We hope you will come back and enjoy our area’s true southern hospitality.

You can write a review of The Red Hen Restaurant at Yelp, here.

See also “More Democrat psychopathy: Red Hen owner pursued Sanders in-laws to another restaurant; burnt decapitated animal on DHS employee’s front porch

~Eowyn

This is feminism: Boston professor says women have the right to hate men because “they’ve done us wrong”

suzanna danuta walters

Professor Walters: She must be a blast at parties…

This professor has a 1.8 rating on Ratemyprofessor.com. Some comments about her:

  • “Such a miserable class. You have to take her viewpoint to be viewed as correct.”
  • “Literally the worst class ever. She’s not funny and she thinks she is.”

From Fox News: A university in Boston is distancing itself from a feminist professor who wrote a controversial column earlier this month that some are calling “hate speech.”

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Suzanna Danuta Walters, sociology professor and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies program director at Northeastern University, said women have every right to “hate men.”

“You have done us wrong. #BecausePatriarchy,” she wrote.

The university in Boston immediately distanced itself from the oped, saying “hate has no place” at the university.

“The university has more than 1,000 faculty members whose viewpoints span the entire political spectrum,” university spokesperson Shannon Nargi told Fox News in a statement. “Consistent with our unwavering commitment to academic freedom, the opinions of an individual professor do not reflect the views of the university or its leadership. Northeastern is committed to fostering an environment in which controversial ideas can be discussed, debated and challenged.”

Walters wrote that men should just cede their power and responsibility to women.

“So men,” the feminist activist writes, “If you…would like us to not hate you…pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power.”

Walters admits even before President Trump, her edge had been crossed, and urges feminists, instead of taking the high road, “maybe it’s time for us to go all Thelma and Louise and Foxy Brown on their collective butts.”

In a response to Walters’ column, Conor Friedersdorf wrote in The Atlantic that her argument is a “perversion” of feminism, but he believes that even her “most bigoted ideological commitments don’t affect how she treats her students.”

“Group hate,” Friedersdorf writes, “tends to make those who harbor it less able to see clearly, less likely to acknowledge nuance, and less able to improve the world, even as their wrongheaded ideas risk leading others into destructive errors.”

This wasn’t the first time Walters has attacked a group of people based on their identity.

The College Fix pointed out that, while Walters demands people elect women for public office, she told the campus newspaper it shouldn’t endorse a Republican woman.

“Having a Carly Fiorina or a, heaven forbid, Sarah Palin in the White House would set all women back of course, because their agendas are firmly and unequivocally anti-feminist,” she said.

DCG

UConn professor requested students to praise Allah

Imagine the outcry if this had anything to do with Christianity.

Notice the FSLN flag hanging off the window sill at the 2:39 mark. I wonder if this professor shared an office with another. I am not surprised that flag is out in open at a university. The liberal professors have no need to mask their ideology any more.

From Fox News: A controversial Muslim professor at the University of Connecticut retired this past year after students complained that he required them to say an Arabic phrase and remove their shoes before entering his office.

Retired biology professor, Felix Coe, taped two signs outside his office requiring students to say “Bismillah,” an Arabic phrase meaning “in the name of Allah” before entering his officeCampusReform.org reported. Visitors were also required to remove their shoes.

“I’m a Muslim. You don’t come in my office with dirty shoes. That’s a curse,” Coe told a student, after telling her to “get the hell out” and “I don’t want to see you” for wearing shoes in his office in an undated audio clip recently released by Jihad Watch.

When asked by two individuals why he required students to say “Bismallah” and take their shoes off at a public university, he said, “Because I’m a Muslim.” He also complained he didn’t have a separate place for prayer in a video taken last December.

UConn spokesperson, Stephanie Reitz, told Fox News that Coe retired since the video was taken and the signs were quickly taken down from the satellite campus location in Hartford, Conn.

“Regarding this instance, the sign that had directed guests to precede their conversations with a specific Arabic phrase was immediately removed at the university’s direction,” Reitz said in a statement. “UConn promptly resolved the issue in a manner that respects the rights of all involved, and affirms the university’s values of civility and inclusivity.”

Reitz added that other rooms are provided, aside from the professor’s office space, at all their locations for faculty to meet with students and other guests.

DCG

California university’s website says its OK for children to engage in ‘sexual play,’ watch porn

serious

But don’t you dare hand them a toy gun!

From Fox News: A public university in California features a controversial website that encourages parents to react “positively” when 4-year-olds touch each other’s genitals and says young children should be allowed to watch porn.

The University of California, Santa Barbara hosts an online platform, within the sociology department, called “SexInfo Online,” which is maintained by students “who have studied advanced topics in human sexuality” that seek to answer a myriad of questions on sexuality, The College Fix reported.

“The majority of sexual play between children takes place between the ages of 4 and 7,” the website states in a section titled “Childhood Sexuality,” accompanied by a photo of two little girls that appear to be kissing on a beach. “Children might display affection to their friends by hugging and kissing, or touching each other’s genitals, which is perfectly normal. Parents should not react in a negative way because children are just exploring.

It adds that parents should intervene only “if the acts are non-consensual or hurtful.”

In a section titled “Talking To Your Children About Sexparents are encouraged to let their children watch pornography.

“It is important that children understand that viewing pornography is a normal habit, and that they do not need to be ashamed of it,” UCSB students wrote.

(It goes on: “However, parents should discuss with their child that pornography may create certain expectations about sex that are unrealistic, especially when it comes to the appearance, desires, and behavior of women. Emotional intimacy, although severely lacking in most x-rated productions, is a huge part of sex. Finally, parents should remind their child that although sexuality may be a new part of their life which worth exploring, they should resist getting carried away. Children should activities like excessive masturbation, and they should continue to cultivate other productive activities, such as sports, clubs, and friendships.)

The article tells parents how to have “the talk” with their kids.

“Children and teens do not want to be told what to do, especially when it comes to personal topics such as sex,” the website states. “It is important that parents do not lecture their children, but instead try to present information and have an open discussion about sex. Adolescents will make their own decisions regarding sex and it is up to the parent to give them the information and resources needed to make informed decisions.

The school’s department of sociology chair declined to comment and the university did not immediately respond to request for comment.

DCG