Friday, June 08, 2007

The most important story of our generation (at least until tomorrow)

I admit it to my shame, while preparing lecture notes for summer teaching I have been checking in periodically on the Paris Hilton news. So far, it turns out that she was handcuffed and has been crying, and that 96% of those responding to a CNN poll are agin her. No word yet on what the judge is going to do. Give her credit for one thing, she is helping to bring us together.

About the summer teaching: I will be doing a course on Tax Policy in Singapore, at a newly established NYU @ National University of Singapore program there, starting in a couple of weeks. 3-plus hours a day, Monday through Thursday for two weeks, then two weeks' vacation with family in Vietnam and Cambodia, perhaps with a resort in Thailand thrown in as well. This may affect blogging, though I will have internet access most of the time.

The class will be an interesting challenge, given the packed-in intensity of doing it in so short a time period, plus the fact that I don't as yet know what to expect from the students. I want to spend the time discussing & explaining a bunch of things that I think are really interesting and important, but there isn't always suitable reading that covers what I'd like. The subjects for the 8 days are (1) public economics background, (2) horizontal equity, (3) progressivity, (4) income versus consumption tax, (5) corporate taxation, (6) corporate tax shelters, (7) international taxation, and (8) deficits / long-term budget measures and issues.

The complexities of trying to plan open-endedly for varying possibilities in class dynamics make it all the harder to resist checking periodically for new Paris updates.

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