Thinking about Income Taxes and Stuff

Yesterday, I read Why Americans Don’t Want to Soak the Rich by Neil Irwin for the New York Times. I also saw The Progressive Income Tax: A Tale of Three Brothers from the Prager University a few days ago. And I read Would You Let the I.R.S. Prepare Your Taxes?, written by Farhad Manjoo for the New York Times on April 15. These three pieces—and paying the tax bill on Wednesday—got me thinking about stuff. (Truth be told, Mark Rubin Writes is the product of my “thinking about stuff!”)

Mr. Irwin’s piece analyzes two studies which are designed to… Continue reading

Hillary Clinton 2016

I’m sure Hillary Clinton has gotten and will get many more prominent endorsements for her 2016 presidential run. However, by endorsing her Mark Rubin Writes makes her the first candidate it has ever endorsed for the presidency.

Truth be told, I have some issues with the notion of President Hillary Clinton. I wrote Hillary Clinton 2016? on April 19, 2014, just about a year ago. In the piece I noted the dynasty thing, the co-presidency (although eight more years of Bubba feels pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good), and her seeming inability to inspire and lead. Now, a year later,… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 4/15/15


The Wednesday Curator cannot let the passage of 150 years since Abraham Lincoln’s passing go unnoticed. Godspeed, Mr. Lincoln. You were more, far more, than we deserved, and I can think of no American whose life has had a bigger impact on more people.

In honor of Tax Day we’re leading with Kansas’s Failed Experiment (Russell Berman wrote the piece for The Atlantic on April 9) and Arthur Laffer has a never-ending supply of supply-side plans for GOP by Jim Tankersley of the Washington Post, also on April 9. Mr. Laffer drew the infamous curve that just might be the… Continue reading

Attorney Fees

We’re going to discuss attorney fees today, because I heard Big Bills: A Hidden Side Effect Of Cancer Treatment by Sarah Jane Tribble on NPR this morning. The story relates to cancer treatment and cost, and focuses in part on the lack of meaningful discussion between doctors and patients about cost.

So what does the doctor-patient conversation about fees have to do with attorney fees? It’s not “pick on doctors week” hear at MRW, although in too many instances I have not seen a meaningful appreciation for cost in the doctor-patient relationship. Instead, the story prompted me to think about… Continue reading

Working (Mark Rubin)

I’m Mark Rubin, and I blog here at Mark Rubin Writes. Months ago I wrote about two friends’ work day lives. I intended to do more interviews and posts but I’m too short on time right now. I can, however, write about my work life without spending time interviewing myself.

Most days, I’m at work by 7 a.m. There’s rarely a work-related reason for that; rather, I’m an early riser, I like to get out in front of situations, and I enjoy the solitude.

You rise early or you don’t, and you like a quiet setting or you don’t. (One… Continue reading

Senator Rand Paul for President

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced his candidacy for President of the United States on Wednesday, April 7, 2015. So far, it’s a safe bet that his campaign has seen its apex.

Senator Paul is a legacy candidate as the son of former Congressman and three-time presidential candidate. (2x as an R, and once as the Libertarian candidate.) He’s 52, and seems much younger. He’s an ophthalmologist. And he’s definitely challenged.

This version of the Paul presidential campaign got off to a bad start. Here’s Chris Cillizza on April 8 for the Washington Post with Rand Paul’s problem with female interviewers… Continue reading

Cake and Cosmology


Woody Woods, my friend and law professor back in the day, shared Cake and Cosmology earlier in the week. Rod Dreher, who wrote the piece for The American Conservative, has serious conservative credentials. Cake and Cosmology further developed my thinking about the obligation to do business with people with whom we disagree, and I’m betting it’ll have you thinking more about this issue, too.

Mr. Dreher posits a situation in which you’re a Christian baker, sharing a neighborly relationship with a gay couple. Should you: (a) bake a birthday cake for one of the neighbors; (b) bake a… Continue reading

The Wednesday Curator – 4/8/15

Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse than You Think was written by Nicholas Fitz for Scientific American, and published on March 31. Mr. Fitz identifies three separate studies, each of which helps explain why, collectively, we’re clueless about the divide between rich and poor. Short, easy to read, and important!

And for those who want to delve deeper, here’s Christopher Jencks’ review of Legacies of the War on Poverty, edited by Martha J. Bailey and Sheldon Danziger. The Jencks review was written for the New York Review of Books, and is titled: The War on Poverty: Was it Lost? The review is… Continue reading

The Practice of Law – It’s a No Whiner Zone

If you haven’t heard me whining about the practice of law it’s only because I don’t know you well enough to burden you. (You who are nodding? I know who you are!) Attorneys tend to see people in the most difficult settings, often after an opportunity to avoid a problem has passed. We’re expected to assume our clients’ side, good or bad, 24/7. We’re expensive; at the same time, however, economic forces have changed practice models, making it harder to make money. Blah, blah, blah!

Honestly, though, I can’t imagine—as in, I really can’t imagine—any other occupation for myself.* I… Continue reading

Extra: We Didn’t Start the Fire (annotated)

Here at MRW we don’t routinely cite to ourselves, and I’m pretty sure we’ve never re-posted. No rule is absolute, however, and when reason dictates that we deviate, we’ll do the right thing.

We Didn’t Start the Fire (annotated) was first posted on July 13, 2014, almost nine months ago. It’s a long piece—5000 plus words—and lots of effort went into putting it together. Billy Joel, a very intelligent, serious songwriter/singer, put the song together and chose the people and events which mattered over forty years. Without his knowledge or consent, we provided the background information and commentary.

Now,… Continue reading

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