1. The U.K. government is learning about the economic lesson that "if you tax something, you get less of it
." Following an increase in the top marginal income tax rate to 50%, tax revenues from high-income taxpayers are falling, and are not going up
, as the Treasury somehow expected by ignoring the economic lesson that "people respond to incentives
." A U.K. Treasury official explained the disappointing drop in tax revenues by saying it "was partly due to highly-paid individuals arranging their affairs to avoid paying the 50% rate." Duh.
"In the past five years, global competition has forced automakers to improve the quality and reliability of their vehicles — everything from inexpensive mini-cars to decked-out luxury SUVs. The newfound emphasis on quality means fewer problems for owners. It also means more options for buyers, who can buy a car from Detroit or South Korea and know it will hold up like a vehicle from Japan.
With few exceptions, cars are so close on reliability that it's getting harder for companies to charge a premium. So automakers are trying to set themselves apart with sleek, cutting-edge exterior designs and more features such as luxurious interiors, multiple air bags, dashboard computers and touch-screen controls."
"It's a great time to be a consumer," says Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends for the TrueCar.com
auto pricing website. "You can't really screw up too badly in terms of your vehicle choice."
Thanks to Morgan Frank and Dale Weaver.