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OL Codes Test Two

Linda Sugin, The Social Meaning of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 128 Yale L.J. 403 (2018).

REVISED3: I am on alert for tax law changes as I teach Federal Income Tax this semester for the first time since the passage of the 2017 tax act. They seem to appear out of nowhere, rather than as part of a predictable pattern. What can explain seemingly disconnected provisions, scattered throughout the Code and enacted without an explicit policy explanation?

Linda Sugin takes on this question in The Social Meaning of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, published in 2018 at the Yale Law Journal Forum. Her critical perspective makes an effort to divine the worldview embedded in the TCJA based on the content of the enacted law. Sugin’s engineering effort shows the following “American priorities and values revealed by the TCJA:

  1. The traditional family is best;
  2. Individuals have greater entitlement to their capital than to their labor;
  3. People are autonomous individuals;
  4. Charity is for the rich; and
  5. Physical things are important.” (P. 404.)

Sugin reviews dozens of provisions to support her arguments. A sampling follows to offer a sense of her argument.

The TCJA, argues Sugin, reveals its traditional family bias through a number of provisions, including rate bracket changes and the replacement of the dependent care credit (helpful for two-working-parent families) with an increase in the generally-available child tax credit. Another change imposes a $500 fine on a tax preparer who fails to diligence a taxpayer’s claim of head of household status—a filing position designed to help low—and middle-income single-parent families. This last provision prompts tax preparers to be skeptical when a client says she is a single parent. No such incentive is presented when two clients say that they are married.

The TCJA’s preference for capital income over labor income is revealed by a reduced corporate income tax, as well as by the Section 199A deduction for 20% of so-called “qualified business income” earned through certain passthrough entities and subject to income phaseouts. Sugin similarly objects to the TCJA’s apparent preference for investments in physical capital rather than human capital, such as the provision for immediate expensing. She writes, “All of these changes favor things over people.” (P. 430.) Sugin’s point here is about morality, not about the efficiency problems that others have pointed out. She objects to the TCJA’s message that taxpayers have an inferior claim to the income from their own labor, relative to the claim to their income from physical or financial capital.

Sugin says that the people idealized and favored by the TCJA are autonomous economic units, not social humans embedded in networks of interactions like employment or state and local communities. Provisions including the passthrough deduction and the repeal of miscellaneous itemized deductions favor independent contractors over employers. Limiting the annual state and local tax deduction to $10,000 communicates that these taxes are a form of private consumption, rather than a tithe to a common fund. Increasing the standard deduction exacerbates the result that only higher people will get any incremental benefit from charitable donations and “undervalues the types of institutions supported by the poor.” (P. 426.)

Sugin is surely right to say that “efficiency is a value” (P. 405) and to point out that law cloaked in the garb of efficiency or competitiveness nevertheless has social meaning. This legislation has winners and losers, even if rhetoric about efficiency obscures this fact. Perhaps legislators did not willfully intend to favor swashbuckling primary-earner investors with stay-at-home spouses, rather than risk-averse single-parent employees. Nevertheless, Sugin shows results that are there, enacted in the statute. As Sugin points out, the law itself communicates values and reveals over time its embedded social meaning.

Cite as: Very Fakeditor, OL Codes Test Two, JOTWELL (March 3, 2019) (reviewing Linda Sugin, The Social Meaning of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 128 Yale L.J. 403 (2018)), https://zetasec2.jotwell.com/title-test-two/.

Test Effect of OL tags

REVISED: I am on alert for tax law changes as I teach Federal Income Tax this semester for the first time since the passage of the 2017 tax act. They seem to appear out of nowhere, rather than as part of a predictable pattern. What can explain seemingly disconnected provisions, scattered throughout the Code and enacted without an explicit policy explanation?

Linda Sugin takes on this question in The Social Meaning of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, published in 2018 at the Yale Law Journal Forum. Her critical perspective makes an effort to divine the worldview embedded in the TCJA based on the content of the enacted law. Sugin’s engineering effort shows the following “American priorities and values revealed by the TCJA:

  1. The traditional family is best;
  2. Individuals have greater entitlement to their capital than to their labor;
  3. People are autonomous individuals;
  4. Charity is for the rich; and
  5. Physical things are important.” (P. 404.)

Sugin reviews dozens of provisions to support her arguments. A sampling follows to offer a sense of her argument.

The TCJA, argues Sugin, reveals its traditional family bias through a number of provisions, including rate bracket changes and the replacement of the dependent care credit (helpful for two-working-parent families) with an increase in the generally-available child tax credit. Another change imposes a $500 fine on a tax preparer who fails to diligence a taxpayer’s claim of head of household status—a filing position designed to help low—and middle-income single-parent families. This last provision prompts tax preparers to be skeptical when a client says she is a single parent. No such incentive is presented when two clients say that they are married.

The TCJA’s preference for capital income over labor income is revealed by a reduced corporate income tax, as well as by the Section 199A deduction for 20% of so-called “qualified business income” earned through certain passthrough entities and subject to income phaseouts. Sugin similarly objects to the TCJA’s apparent preference for investments in physical capital rather than human capital, such as the provision for immediate expensing. She writes, “All of these changes favor things over people.” (P. 430.) Sugin’s point here is about morality, not about the efficiency problems that others have pointed out. She objects to the TCJA’s message that taxpayers have an inferior claim to the income from their own labor, relative to the claim to their income from physical or financial capital.

Sugin says that the people idealized and favored by the TCJA are autonomous economic units, not social humans embedded in networks of interactions like employment or state and local communities. Provisions including the passthrough deduction and the repeal of miscellaneous itemized deductions favor independent contractors over employers. Limiting the annual state and local tax deduction to $10,000 communicates that these taxes are a form of private consumption, rather than a tithe to a common fund. Increasing the standard deduction exacerbates the result that only higher people will get any incremental benefit from charitable donations and “undervalues the types of institutions supported by the poor.” (P. 426.)

Sugin is surely right to say that “efficiency is a value” (P. 405) and to point out that law cloaked in the garb of efficiency or competitiveness nevertheless has social meaning. This legislation has winners and losers, even if rhetoric about efficiency obscures this fact. Perhaps legislators did not willfully intend to favor swashbuckling primary-earner investors with stay-at-home spouses, rather than risk-averse single-parent employees. Nevertheless, Sugin shows results that are there, enacted in the statute. As Sugin points out, the law itself communicates values and reveals over time its embedded social meaning.

Testing Transition to LiquidWeb

Anon, We Have to Have a Citation, 1 J. Not. 1 (2017).

This post is unique to the transitioned site.  It is not on the old Dreamhost platform.  If you are seeing this post, you either have pointed your browser to the staging area or the DNS cutover has been successful.  My plan for testing is to have the DNS cutover on this section first, then on the other zetas.  In that process I have to test:

  1. that legacy mail forwarding still works.
  2. that changes to mail forwarding work
  3. that I can access the new version on https as well a http
  4. that I can get into the dashboard
  5. that sftp access works
  6. that ssh access works

Perhaps I will note the results here, or in a subsequent post, or — better yet — as a way to test the comments pages.

UPDATE: regenerating post to see if that fixes comment problem.

Cite as: Michael Froomkin, Testing Transition to LiquidWeb, JOTWELL (August 5, 2017) (reviewing Anon, We Have to Have a Citation, 1 J. Not. 1 (2017)), https://zetasec2.jotwell.com/testing-transition-liquidweb/.

Plus Ça Change

A. Tester, Use of Foreign Characters in Blog Post Titles, #EA000 J Irreproducable Results 3549 (2016).

The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?

The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?

The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?

The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not? The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?The sole purpose of this post is to test whether at c with a cedilla will work in a post title. That, is, can the title be “Plus Ça Change” or not?

Cite as: Michael Froomkin, Plus Ça Change, JOTWELL (May 30, 2017) (reviewing A. Tester, Use of Foreign Characters in Blog Post Titles, #EA000 J Irreproducable Results 3549 (2016)), https://zetasec2.jotwell.com/plus-ca-change/.

Being Interconnected

Drucilla Cornell & Karin van Marle, Ubuntu Feminism: Tentative Reflections, 36 Verbum et Ecclesia (2015).

For a number of years, Drucilla Cornell has been studying and reflecting upon ubuntu, ((For instance, Drucilla Cornell, uBuntu, Pluralism and the Responsibility of Legal Academics to the New South Africa, 20 Law & Critique 43, 47 (2009).)) an African term expressing the idea that humans come into being through interconnectedness and that therefore they have a being, understanding, and set of obligations that emerge in their interconnections. The 2015 article authored by Cornell and South African scholar Karin van Marle summarises ubuntu, compares it with classical Western individualist notions of the self, and considers what it has to offer to Western feminism. The article not only serves as an introduction to a significant African concept, but also challenges Western legal feminism to reflect on its foundational concepts. Although this particular article is relatively short, it is very rich in detail and offers a number of intriguing directions for further reflection and action. In this brief review, I will summarise some key features of ubuntu as presented by Cornell and van Marle, and offer a few comments about its broader significance. My intention is to inspire readers to go to the original article: the ideas are new to me and my rendition of them is short and lacking in depth.

By contrast to Western philosophy, the idea of ubuntu does not permit questions such as “who am I?,” “what do I know?,” and “what ought I to do?” to be addressed separately in the abstract. We are not abstract beings, but become beings in a time and a place, and are always already surrounded by others. Who we are, what we know, and our ethical obligations are connected. As Cornell and van Marle explain,

Ubuntu is a philosophy on how human beings are intertwined in a world of ethical relations from the moment they are born. Fundamentally, this inscription is part of our finitude. We are born into a language, a kinship group, a tribe, a nation, and a family. We come into a world obligated to others, and those others are obligated to us. We are mutually obligated to support each other on our respective paths to becoming unique and singular persons.

(P. 2.)

As Cornell and van Marle further explain, ubuntu bypasses key Western distinctions between ethics, epistemology, and ontology. Ethical imperatives are embedded in our fundamental connectedness and in the dignity necessarily accorded to all people as a result of the “social bond.” (P. 3.) The emergence of the human in an intermingled, obligated life means that it is impossible to distinguish, as Western philosophers do, the question of being from that of knowing, and that of right action: “Ubuntu in this sense encapsulates how we know the world as well as how we are in it through the moral obligations as human beings who must live together.” (Id.)

Cite as: Not Real, Being Interconnected, JOTWELL (February 18, 2017) (reviewing Drucilla Cornell & Karin van Marle, Ubuntu Feminism: Tentative Reflections, 36 Verbum et Ecclesia (2015)), https://zetasec2.jotwell.com/being-interconnected/.

Table Test

These Australian developments, which Professor Fortney describes in the first two sections of Promoting Public Protection, provided the backdrop for her own empirical study that is described in detail in her longer article and that is summarized in her Promoting Public Protection article. Professor Fortney’s study explored the issue of why there had been such a dramatic reduction in client complaints among the Australian ILP firms that had used the self-assessment process. As Promoting Public Protection reports, Professor Fortney found that almost three quarters of the firms that conducted the self-assessment revised their law firm policies as a result of going through the self-assessment process. Her study also found that close to half of the respondents had adopted new systems, policies, and procedures as a result of the self-assessment procedure. She concluded that

“Quite simply, these findings point to the positive impact that the self-assessment process has in encouraging firms to examine and improve the firms’ management systems, training, and ethical infrastructure. Interestingly, with respect to most steps taken by the firms, there was no significant difference related to firm size and steps taken.”

Professor Fortney’s article included the table that is reproduced below that shows the impact of the self-assessment process:

Table 1

Steps Taken by Firms in Connection with the First Completion of the Self‐Assessment Process

Reviewed firm policies/procedures relating to the delivery of legal services84%
Revised firm systems, policies, or procedures71%
Adopted new systems, policies, or procedures47%
Strengthened firm management42%
Devoted more attention to ethics initiatives29%
Implemented more training for firm personnel27%
Sought guidance from the Legal Services Commissioner/another person/organization13%
Hired consultant to assist in developing policies and procedures06%

Testing the PDF Plugin ? and /

Apologies for bothering you again, but I think I’ve run into a small bug.

I am finding that some blog posts do not get pdfs generated for them.

Examples of the problem are:

http://conlaw.jotwell.com/why-exactly-are-jackson-pollocks-paintings-shielded-b$

Delinking Sex/Gender from Parenting

Patent Crisis?/Judicial Solution?

Structure and/or Culture

Sex/Power/Law

In each case, no pdf file was created, and going in and modifying the text (e.g. by adding a space at the end of the article), doesn’t cause a pdf to appear when I click on the pdf link. I suspect it is the / and or ? characters in the titles that are causing the issue since that is what these posts seem to have in common.

One work-around might be for me to use extended HTML codes in the title (assuming the plugin takes things like ? and / in titles), but that will cause some strain on other ways in which I use the titles — e.g. the “cite as” block at the end. This is not insurmountable as I can replace those by hand, but it would be nice to avoid if I could, so I thought I should ask if there’s an easy fix.

Other than this, it’s working great, and so I thank you again for creating and maintaining it.