How is it that our Democracy can be so easily hijacked by corporations?
The soda industry forced CA legislators to enact a law preventing any new taxes on sugary drinks for 12 years. They did so by pursuing a ballot initiative which would severely limit CA’s ability to change all sales taxes.
I won’t say our staff understands all the details, but it seems this threat could be used by any group at any time for any reason. How can this be?
Want to force the state legislature to write a favorable law? Just threaten a ballot initiative that would raise the threshold to pass a tax law from simple majority to 2/3 or higher. It seems legislators capitulated pretty quickly in this instance. How fast will they give in when the next corporate interest group makes a threat?
California, of All Places, Has Banned Soda Taxes. How a New Industry Strategy Is Succeeding. https://nyti.ms/2IyTudN
Conservatives will use any shield they can to keep the truth of their intentions hidden, except when they don’t need to anymore. The GOP is now nakedly grabbing more for the rich and willfully harming those less well off. The Republican party is the party of Me, Me, Me.
They act as though taxes and government are designed to deny them their due. Thankfully most people can see through this. Democracy was designed to shield against the rich exploiting the poor. Not the other way around.
In “Inequality and Democratization,” the political scientists Ben W. Ansell and David J. Samuels show that this demand for political inclusion generally isn’t driven by a desire to use the existing institutions to plunder the elites. It’s driven by a desire to keep the elites from continuing to plunder them.
It’s easy to say that everyone ought to have certain rights. Democracy is how we come to get and protect them. Far from endangering property rights by facilitating redistribution, inclusive democratic institutions limit the “organized banditry” of the elite-dominated state by bringing everyone inside the charmed circle of legally enforced rights.
Democracy is fundamentally about protecting the middle and lower classes from redistribution by establishing the equality of basic rights that makes it possible for everyone to be a capitalist. Democracy doesn’t strangle the golden goose of free enterprise through redistributive taxation; it fattens the goose by releasing the talent, ingenuity and effort of otherwise abused and exploited people.
Ultimately, it’s the integrity of democratic institutions and the rule of law that gives ordinary people the power to protect themselves against elite exploitation. But the Republican majority is bulldozing through basic democratic norms as though freedom has everything to do with the tax code and democracy just gets in the way.
The Tax Bill Shows the G.O.P.’s Contempt for Democracy https://nyti.ms/2DcZp72
Not the guy we usually go to for economic advice, but…
I’d love to see a tax code that rewarded investment and discouraged consumption. That would mean cutting taxes on earnings but raising revenue through a progressive consumption tax. I’d love to see a tax code that punished pollution but encouraged social cohesion. That would mean taxing carbon but increasing tax credits for working people and families with children.
The Clash of Social Visions https://nyti.ms/2hMQEr9
Former Senator and NBA star Bill Bradley on the value of bipartisan cooperation, fair taxes, and putting general interest before special interest.
The staff was mostly too young to remember the details of the 1986 tax reform, but Bill’s retelling certainly aligns with our worldview. That is that politicians can sometimes get it right, cooperation beats polarization any day, and that taxes which advantage one group over another ultimately harm us all.
When Congress Made Taxes Fairer https://nyti.ms/2qjfsK8
The Republicans might get this one right.
The United States system for taxing businesses is a mess.
The current corporate income tax manages the weird trick of both taxing companies at a higher statutory rate than other advanced countries while collecting less money, as a percentage of the overall economy, than most of them. It is infinitely complicated and it gives companies incentives to borrow too much money and move operations to countries with lower tax rates.
The Major Potential Impact of a Corporate Tax Overhaul http://nyti.ms/2jeVcVl
This article is really about wage theft, but no one likes to call it that.
The author commissioned a study to show how we could make up lost income gains by using earned income tax credits for the lowest paid workers.
This is a great idea which the staff generally applauds, but it misses the point of where the lost wages went. In seeking to fund this make-up pay the authors dance around the idea of making those responsible give it back.
economic growth has far outpaced income growth for decades. Gross domestic product for each person in the United States was 78 percent higher in 2015 than in 1979. But the average income for those households at the 20th percentile of the income distribution rose only 6.9 percent in that span.
No one wants to admit that corporations and the wealthy took the profit from productivity gains and GDP growth away from the workers. Now have to carefully beg for it back. This is not NobodyisFlyingthePlane. This is wage theft.
What Would It Take to Replace the Pay Working-Class Americans Have Lost? http://nyti.ms/2htjKcu
A good article about the lack of info on the effect of basic incomes.
Basic income, a living wage provided by the government to every citizen, is a fascinating idea, but we don’t have much info on how well it would work in real life.
Missing from the article is discussion of how to keep recipients from blowing it and still needing essential services, such as food, housing, and healthcare.