Why an Antimonopoly Movement Is the Kind of Populism That Chile Needs

President Piñera’s approval rating has reached a record low, not just for the Chilean democracy, but for all of South America. The rise of new populist forces seems inevitable, but a Bolsonaro-style leader or a Venezuela-type catastrophe are not the only possible outcomes. It is time to use competition to reduce the power of the elite that rules Chile not as a country, but as a “country club.”

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Biden, Buttigieg, Sanders, Warren: The Real Impact of Democratic Candidates’ Tax Plans

According to UC Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, all of the Democratic candidates’ plans increase tax rates on the rich but to very different degrees: Joe Biden is the most moderate; Sanders’s and Warren’s plans sharply increase progressivity. Overall, the Buttigieg plan raises 3.9 percent of national income extra in taxes, more than Warren (3.2 percent), Sanders (2.6 percent), and Biden (1.5 percent).

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Data-Driven Ideology: The Problem With Economists’ Takeover of Policymaking

According to New York Times journalist Binyamin Appelbaum’s recent book The Economists’ Hour, economics is not the unbiased science that it pretends to be, but a useful tool that politicians have used in class warfare for the last forty years on behalf of the elite. However, his entertaining narrative raises some questions. The Stigler Center will host an event with Appelbaum on January 28. 

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How Do Members of Congress React to the Potential of Lucrative Private Sector Employment?

Many fear that the potential for well-paid post-elective jobs can make legislators give rewards to their future employers. A new study finds that career prospects in the private sector do induce legislators to leave office and that US senators become more moderate before they voluntarily leave office through the revolving door. They also become more productive and more aligned with the priorities of special interest groups.   

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Emmanuel Saez: Saying Inequality Has Not Increased in the US “the Equivalent of Being a Climate Change Denier”

In an interview with ProMarket ahead of his upcoming Stigler Center visit this week, UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez discussed the impact of the 2017 Trump tax cuts, the disproportionate political power of the super-rich, and whether he agrees with Bernie Sanders that billionaires shouldn’t exist.  

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How to Change Section 230 and Make Digital Platforms More Accountable

If elected, former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden promised to “revoke immediately” the 1996 provision that gave tech companies like Facebook protection from civil liability for harmful or misleading content published on their platforms. The Stigler Center Committee on Digital Platforms has a proposal to fix the problem.   

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The Epstein Report: How a Convicted Criminal Could Use MIT to Whitewash His Reputation

The only reason why a pedophile’s donations did not violate any MIT policy is that MIT does not have any policy to prevent embarrassing donors damaging the institution’s reputation. An independent investigation proved that many MIT executives were aware of Epstein’s gifts but they pretend they never checked Google or Wikipedia to get some information on his past. Two senior professors who helped Epstein to connect with MIT received money on their personal accounts or ventures. 

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Should We Let Facebook Decide the Next President of the United States?

Facebook admitted that only a binding regulation on political ads could prevent private corporations from influencing the outcome of US presidential elections. Without such regulation, digital platforms can favor a candidate by altering (or maintaining) their policies on digital advertising. Trump’s campaign was much more effective than Clinton’s in using micro-targeting to shape voters’ preferences in 2016, a new study shows. Facebook decided to confirm the same policies for the 2020 election.  

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