Friday, May 29, 2015

New York Collects The Highest Income Tax Amount Per Person: Tennessee Collects The Lowest Amount

From The Tax Foundation, "State and Local Individual Income Tax Collections Per Capita (Fiscal Year 2012)" by Liz Malm:
State And Local Income Tax Per Capita
Source: The Tax Foundation

On average, state and local governments collect $983 per person from individual income taxes—but some states differ significantly from this trend. New York collects the highest, coming in at $2,431 per person. Connecticut follows, with $2,053 per person. Rounding out the top ten are Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Minnesota, California, Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Among that state that levy income taxes (excluding no-income tax states), Tennessee and New Hampshire collect the least per person ($28 and $62, respectively). This is because these states have narrow income tax bases, taxing only investment income. Among states with more broad-based income taxes on wage income, Arizona collects the least per person ($475), followed by Mississippi ($503), Louisiana ($539), and New Mexico ($553).

Employers With Automatic Enrollment 401(k) Plans Offer, On Average, 11 Percent Lower Match Rates

From Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, May 2015, "Automatic enrollment, employer match rates, and employee compensation in 401(k) plans":
Our results confirm previous findings that plans with automatic enrollment have, on average, higher participation rates. However, we find no evidence that total compensation costs statistically differ between firms with and without automatic enrollment. In addition, we find no evidence (1) that DC [defined contribution] costs of employers with opt-out 401(k) plans are any different from those of employers with opt-in 401(k) plans or (2) that automatic enrollment results in a crowding-out effect between DC costs and other forms of compensation. Finally, we do find that plans with automatic enrollment offer match rates that are, on average, 0.38 percentage point (or 11 percent) lower than the rates of plans without automatic enrollment, even when we control for other characteristics. Given the average wage, participation, and match rates of the plans in our sample, this translates into a savings of roughly 7 cents per labor hour, which offsets the additional costs of 6.5 cents resulting from higher participation in autoenrollment plans. [Emphasis added.]
The study raises issues on whether the general welfare of society is increased or decreased by employer mandated 401(k) enrollment. The employee who would self-enroll without an automatic provision is seeing a decline in the employer match amount without an offsetting increase in their total compensation since the savings are used to pay for the increased matching cost from the automatic enrollment of other employees who would not otherwise enroll. The employees who would not otherwise enroll are seeing a decrease in their take home pay due to the automatic deduction for their share of the 401(k) contributions, when their choice was for a higher take home pay instead of saving for retirement. Is the increase in the 401(k) savings for retirement of those employees who would not otherwise enroll, enough to offset their loss in general welfare from the decline in their take home pay and the decline in general welfare for the employees who would self-enroll with a lower matching rate?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

US Population Of Illegal Immigrants Decreased About 1 Million Since 2007: More Likely To Be Over 35 Years Old And Lived In The US Over 10 Years

From The Washington Post, "Fewer immigrants are entering the U.S. illegally, and that’s changed the border security debate" by Jerry Markon:
As the Department of Homeland Security continues to pour money into border security, evidence is emerging that illegal immigration flows have fallen to their lowest level in at least two decades. The nation’s population of illegal immigrants, which more than tripled, to 12.2 million, between 1990 and 2007, has dropped by about 1 million, according to demographers at the Pew Research Center.

A key — but largely overlooked — sign of these ebbing flows is the changing makeup of the undocumented population. Until recent years, illegal immigrants tended to be young men streaming across the Southern border in pursuit of work. But demographic data show that the typical illegal immigrant now is much more likely someone who is 35 or older and has lived in the United States for a decade or more.

Homeland security officials in the Obama and George W. Bush administrations — who have more than doubled the Border Patrol’s size and spent billions on drones, sensors and other technology at the border — say enhanced security is driving the new trends.

Friday, May 22, 2015

US Youth Sports Participation Is Declining As Performance Emphasized Over Causal Participation, Especially Baseball

From The Wall Street Journal, "Why Children Are Abandoning Baseball: Major League Baseball is strong, but the casual young player is vanishing, threatening the sport’s future" by Brian Costa:
US Youth Sports Participation Chart: 2000 - 2013
Source: The Wall Street Journal

This shift threatens to cost Major League Baseball millions of potential fans, raising concerns about the league’s future at a time when revenues are soaring and attendance is strong.

"The biggest predictor of fan avidity as an adult is whether you played the game," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. An MLB spokesman cited fan polling conducted by the league last year as proof. When asked to assess the factors that drove their interest in sports, fans between the ages of 12 and 17 cited participation as a major factor more often than watching or attending the sport. That was particularly true among male fans in that age group, 70% of which cited "playing the sport" as a big factor in building their interest.
Other popular sports, including soccer and basketball, have suffered as youth sports participation in general has declined and become more specialized. A pervasive emphasis on performance over mere fun and exercise has driven many children to focus exclusively on one sport from an early age, making it harder for all sports to attract casual participants. But the decline of baseball as a community sport has been especially precipitous. [Emphasis added.]

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fastest Growing Cities 2013-14

From BloombergBusiness, "Why Aren’t People Moving to America’s ‘Best’ Cities?: Let the federal government tell you where to live" by Patrick Clark:
... there’s a better list out today, the Census Bureau’s most recent city-level population estimates, based on a very straightforward methodology: These are the places where people are actually moving. That doesn’t mean you should move to these places, too. But if they’re good enough for others, you might want to give them a look.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

In case you were wondering, San Marcos—pop. 58,889, and the fastest-growing U.S. city for the third year in a row—and Georgetown are satellites of Austin, while Frisco and McKinney are part of the sprawling Dallas footprint. It's also worth noting that there's little overlap between cities growing at the fastest rates and those adding the most new residents. Irvine, Calif., was the only city to place in the top 15 for both categories. The popular cities already bursting at the seams have little room to get much bigger, and not everyone wants to follow the crowd. If another urbanite's trash is your idea of treasure, here are the five cities that lost the most total residents from 2013 to 2014.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Thursday, May 14, 2015

CBO Dynamic Scoring Slide Presentation

From Congressional Budget Office, May 14, 2015, Presentation to Conference of Business Economists, "Dynamic Scoring at CBO:"

Post Financial Crisis Regulation Led To Higher Bank Capital, Fewer New Banks And More Loan Rejections For Marginal Borrowers

From The Wall Street Journal, "Missing in Financial Rules Debate: Hard Numbers: Without studying the economics of new regulations, the rewards and risks remain an unknown" by Greg Ip:
The problem is no one knows the true costs or benefits of the blizzard of laws, rules and penalties imposed since the financial crisis.

Four years ago, J.P. Morgan Chase Chief Executive James Dimon asked Ben Bernanke, then the Federal Reserve chairman, whether anyone had tallied their cumulative impact on lending and growth. The answer, apparently, was no, and that seems still to be the case.

Unlike with rules governing pollution and automobile safety, the costs and benefits of big new financial rules are seldom rigorously quantified. That’s a problem, because a proper accounting of financial regulations could show there are more-effective and cheaper ways to protect consumers and prevent crises.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Decline In Bigger US Families Except Among Highly Educated Women

Source: Pew Research Center

But an increase in the 3+ children families among the highly educated.

Source: Pew Research Center

Above charts are from Pew Research Center, "Childlessness Falls, Family Size Grows Among Highly Educated Women" by Gretchen Livingston.

My Wall St Journal Comment On Lower Productivity and Lower Private Business Capital Investment

My posted comment to the Wall Street Journal article, "U.S. Productivity Falls 1.9% in First Quarter: Latest sign of sluggish economic growth at the start of the year" by Jeffrey Sparshott:
Private [business] capital investment is necessary for productivity gains. [Private business capital investment excludes residential real estate investment.] Net private [business] capital investment is the amount of private [business] capital invested after subtracting out depreciation. It is the amount of incremental private [business] capital invested after paying for the replacement and replenishment of the depreciation effect on existing capital. According to the St Louis Fed and the FRED data base [see link], net private, or incremental, [business] capital investment in the 2010-14 time was 15.5 percent of total private capital investment. The average for 1960-2014 time is 30.2 percent and has been declining for each decade since 1960, when it was 40 percent.

With private companies investing half as much new capital [in their businesses] in the 2010-14 period as from 1960 on, no one should be surprised that productivity is declining, and with incremental private [business] capital investment steadily declining since 1960, no one should be surprised that the US had its best years of productivity gains decades ago.
Also, see my April 23, 2015 blog post, "Disinvestment: Declining US Business Domestic Investment In Excess Of Depreciation."