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22 November 2016


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Would a cut in the corporate income tax rate be a tax break for the wealthy?


The short answer is no. But this curt answer obscures the issue.

The federal corporate tax should be abolished. There’s no reason for it. The federal government does not need the money: it creates its own currency. Every corporation passes this tax along to its customers in higher prices.


The problem: “The corporate tax cannot be abolished until some method is found to keep the corporate form from being used as a refuge from the individual tax and as a means of accumulating unneeded, uninvested surpluses. Some way must be devised whereby corporate earnings, which inure to individual shareholders, are adequately taxed as income of these individuals.”
Taxes For Revenue are Obsolete, Beardsley Ruml, Chairman of the NY Federal Reserve,1946

Cutting the corporate tax rate can become a tax break for the wealthy…if…the increased profits go to the wealthy shareholders, and are not shared with labor, as was the case post-war and thru LBJ.

That’s why you need strong unions as existed in the Eisenhower era. (I’m not talking about the subsequent mafia-soaked unions that took advantage of the system, used them to launder money and run protection threats on company brass, or the tired, blanket Reagan anti-union message that was music to business ears when interest was 19%.) Unions can make sure that workers share fairly in the increased prosperity of the company—that’s their job—and when acting properly can ensure good working conditions, investment in plant and material, and proper R&D.

[Starting in 1980 with a change in tax laws, upper management’s bonuses were tied to the price of the stock. Fastest way to do that? Take your public company private. Stock share goes up. Big bucks to the big guys at the end of the year. No need to invest in new markets, why risk it? No R&D. Get same bang for the bonus buck by privatizing the company and scarfing up the profits for yourself. So upper management did just that while selling the hoi polloi on the ‘magic of privatization’. The latter fell for it, and have never realized since how their lives and futures were compromised, even though wages since 1980 reflect it.]

Those cuts in the corporate tax rate can go to higher worker wages, R&D, equity investing—and contribute to the ongoing economic growth of the country—or they can go to the shareholder (rentier) bank accounts of people (typically the 1%) who are not producing the product, pay only capital gains, and who hoard their unnecessary surpluses to the detriment of economic growth of the companies they have invested in, and the country.


Sorry, I typed in the wrong figures in one of my sentences above.

Here's the corrected version and the link to Pew:

"The US population is due to go from about 325,000,000 today to around 441,000,000 [not 465,000,000] by 2065."


Edward Amame

Col Lang

I was referring to personal income taxes. The Tax Policy Center found that almost half of Trump's tax cuts would go to households of the top 1%. Less than a quarter of the cuts would benefit the bottom 80%. It would also eliminate the federal estate tax entirely. Only the wealthiest taxpayers — less than 1% — now pay that tax.

As for his business tax cuts, they'd benefit big corporations, and perhaps, in theory anyway, the entire economy.

However, The Tax Policy Center says that his tax plans would reduce federal revenues by around $9 trillion over its first ten years and that "...most, if not all, of the macroeconomic benefits of his tax cuts would be washed away by higher interest rates."



The Tax Policy Center operates on gold standard rules. Their claim is ridiculous, as inaccurate as CBO declaring in 2000 that the tax surpluses were going to continue for 15 years, and rah-rah-rah, ain’t that great.


The value of your post, Origin, is that we had to re-educate you, and that conversation here is what is worthwhile.


Know what you mean, Tyler. The ‘White Privilege’ battlecry was created by a White female Princeton professor in 1988, and no less than dumb Black college-level students have adopted it as their latest slave mantra, not understanding that it is the epitome of saying 'Gee, I guess it is where we have always belonged: under a White man’s thumb’. How fucking dumb.

Not regular Black folk though. Just spent a delightful 20 minutes with an older Black gas store attendant from Cleveland here in my state who was crowing to me about Trump now dealing with Carrier. When I walked in, he was dancing by himself behind the counter to the news. He claims that two months ago, Trump got over 1,000 jobs saved (which included this guy’s friends and family) in Cleveland by calling whomever (some factory) was leaving town to go to Mexico and made them stay.

I said, “I didn’t hear about that in the press.” He said, “No, you didn’t, did you! But it’s true. My friends kept their jobs. People in our [Black community] knew about it.”

I said, “The press says that Blacks were firmly in the Clinton camp. You’re saying they were not?”

He said, “Hell no! And we don’t want that much. We just want jobs. We can take it from there.” I asked him how many in the Black community thought like he did. His answer: “A lot of us.”


Thanks, Pacifica Advocate. The US economy is here to serve the American people. No one else. But for 30 years, they don’t understand how the real economy works, and believe (excuse my vulgarity) the bullshit propagated by CNNCBSNABABACMNNABC know-nothing so-called experts about how it does.


Valissa:I have been quite surprised at the collective lack of ability to confront the "monsters of the id" within themselves and instead project it all onto Trump as a reasonable response to how horrible they think he is.


it's always a good thing to check to what extend you could be projecting. Absolutely no doubt.

But curious: I read your contributions on this tread as you-being-in-some-state-of-excitement over the victory of one party? I ask, since personally I found both choices on offer utterly absurd. Not sure, if I "project" in this case as an outsider, or what precisely; but basically interested in people. Meaning. It's moot for me to reflect on what I would have done. Or how I would have voted.

For longer now, I watch how basic memes and ideas can quite easily cross from one side of the basic 'political juxtaposition setup' to the other. .... not only in politics. I guess it always mattered on the level of: 'the games we play every day'.

Valissa:Please note, I think there are liberals that understand this, especially at this blog, and hopefully they will be the ones to rebuild their coalition into something that's more geared to all Americans and not centered on political correctness.

Personally I would assume that "liberals", they no doubt collectively may be mistaken in this, don't basically bother about 'political correctness' but really about shared basic human rights. Their basis for this may well be something like: "don't do unto others what you don't want to be done to yourself". Or whatever variant of the idea you like. "All men created equal"?

As a nitwit foreign observer of the US, one of my web/reality/media inquiries around an event in the US brought to my attention by Pat and the larger SST community (maybe more one special member) sent me out for a while on the larger American web. Call it an excursion from a basically fixed basis, if you like.

But this experience made me wonder from very early on, if Trump would/could make it for longer now by focusing among other things on challenging 'political correctness' (semi scare quote here) ...


OK consider this a slightly too long introduction from my more personal, babbling layers:

Valissa:REGULATION - For each new regulation, 2 old rules must be eliminated

Which two types of regulation would you personally want to be abolished for what type of new one in government?

Do you work in an industry that is or was challenged on its own interior rules in this context?



That they did. Our tax dollars at work.:

Some wag decided "His Majesty" would his. I wonder how many will be "Trump" or "MAGA" next semester?



Well it seems you have not understood what I have been trying to say in the many comments I have made this past week.

So let me repeat for (at least) 100th time... I am non-partisan, even anti-partisan, a realist, and observer of history. I purposefully attempt to stay as neutral as I can so that my analysis has a better chance of being accurate. I am an ex-liberal because IMO liberalism has gone in a direction that makes me somewhat nauseous. They used to care about the working class (somebody gave a link to an article about this somewhere on SST recently and I can repost if you can't find it), and they used to be antiwar. Now all they can do is scream about political correctness, despite the numerous articles earlier this year that liberals had WON the culture wars.

The best way to encourage tolerance in others does not involved chastising people constantly. My own theory is that television and movies have done more for cultural tolerance than any political activists. Changing people's attitudes about cultural issues is a long slow process, and should be done with respect and compassion for all. Liberals have become extremely intolerant in the US. They are the new "moral majority" (back in the '80s it was the conservative who were the finger waging shaming "moral majority").

What I am excited about is not the victory of one party. I don't care for the current form of the Republican party all that much. Below MRW and I both shared links showing that Trump is NOT a conservative and that he wants to remake the Republican party into a populist economic party and not a "conservative" party. Trump is a culturally liberal New Yorker, who has staged a corporate takeover of the Republican party and in some ways is dragging it to the "left." I don't know if he'll be able to pull it off completely, but I am glad that he is trying to change it. So that is part of the "excitement."

The other part is watching a historic moment unfold in from of my eyes. Because if Trump is able to change the Republican party then that forces some sort of change response from the Democratic party. Hurray! Both parties could use a swift kick in the ass as far as I'm concerned. I honor Trump for that. However, that does not mean I like or agree with his style or most of what he says. Many people who voted for him did not like his style of presentation either. But I look forward to him shaking things up. I expect him to make mistakes and that will shake things up even more. I keep hoping maybe eventually people will start paying attention to issues of governance rather than petty emotional gotcha points.

As to you last remark, I will attempt to explain to you what I already explained to Dr. Puck (perhaps you missed it in all the comments). Initially all I did was share a link and excerpted from it. So the quote you are attributing to me should either be attributed to the author of the post I linked to, or to Trump, who said it. I did not share my opinion of Trumps remarks.

The regulation quote made me laugh, and that's about as far as I thought about it because I am well aware of Trump's primary audience for that quote (hint, Republicans who bitch about regulations a lot - and they are not all wrong either IMO).

I think perhaps you suffer from the liberal disease of taking everything politicians say literally. Rhetoric is not reality. Over time, if one makes the effort, one can begin to separate out the reality that is buried within the rhetoric that politicians use.


Edward Amame

When I was "learned" basic economics as an undergraduate a premise was that the more wealthy people were the more likely they were to use larger and larger portions of their discretionary income for other than consumption, i.e., investment. You do not believe that? pl


David, what I love about Cologne, as city, are both its inhabitants and yes on my side of the river its many churches (they did a good job post WWII), not just the Cathedral. Under the Prussians they finally added the tower. ;)

That the Cathedral was hit by 14 bombs nevertheless while badly damaged "remained standing", was the most important sign for the people that maybe they would maybe survive too. ... There are "other miracles", like a Maria statue. ... Yes, there less prominent resistance here too.


True, generally people associate the Rhine with Wine are they much aware of the Southern parts, other rivers or regions?. ... True Bavaria is associated with beer, thanks to the successful marketing of the Oktober Fest.

There is this historical rivalry between Cologne and Düsseldorf. By now it mainly surfaces mainly in the way of jokes. Maybe too a bit in city marketing. One of the jokes is around beer brands. Kölsch versus Alt. One light the other dark. But pretty similar really, surprisingly. Kölsch is also the word for the Cologne dialect. I misspelled holy/heilige(German)/hillije(Kölsch), I realized too late.

Try to order the Düsseldorf brand of beer, the Alt (literally old), in one of the traditional Cologne breweries and watch carefully what happens. The waiters there are as rough as waiters in Vienna, especially concerning their beer. No "Schmäh". Simply don't try to do it.


The waiters still look like this, basically:

If you don't want another one, be careful to not finish it. Otherwise, without you ordering, the empty glass is substituted for the next full one.


Bravo, Valissa. Bravo. My sentiments exactly. It’s a new day, and Trump trumped the dead-end Republican party. The Dems are just waking up to the 2018 election: if they don’t change, the remainder of them will be voted out of office as relics who still cling to lobbyists and donors who are meaningless contributors unless the Dem gets re-elected. And it looks as if the lot of them won’t get re-elected unless they change and listen to the people who voted them in there.

The incessant news panelists on PBS, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, even now, don’t get it. They still talk about Trump with snide, New York Upper Westside derision and cutesy inside-baseball commentary they hope will cover not only their persistent ignorance, but their failure to have listened for 15 years. [Me! ME I?! Tuning into FOX these days? It’s a personal 180!] Non-New Yorker liberals don’t get it (neither do their progeny, the snowflakes they raised to go to college and who have become a disgrace to their generation, a mother****ing disgrace, altho’ their parents deserve a lot of the blame.).

"Trump is a culturally liberal New Yorker” is 100% fact. Anyone who has lived in Manhattan for a long period of time, as I did, can tell you that. But Trump spent his days with the construction guys from Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn (before it was fashionable like today), Bronx, and the laborers working in the hinterlands of the USA on his projects. They are not objects of derision to him. He relates to them. He likes them. It’s the rich in NYC (and what I would call loosely, the “college-educated”—even though I am more educated than they are and from Ivy League schools) who hold Trump in contempt for speaking in the voice of these workers because he thinks their voices and concerns matter.


Babak, re: 24 November 2016 at 05:06 PM

Great comment.



There is no fundamental reason that globalization cannot co-exist with nationalism, as it has for most of it's history.

Careful. The danger is creating a global currency under the claim that one is needed “to meet global concerns” or some such ridiculousness.

You can see a mini-version of that travesty in the EU. Greece and Spain [Portugal, Ireland, etc] would not have experienced the horror visited upon their nations after the adoption of the EURO if they had kept their own currencies. But these countries gave their respective currencies up, and adopted a foreign currency, the EURO. They forfeited their sovereignty, and impoverished their people and their youth by doing so.


Balint Somkuti, Phd,

You make it too complicated and intellectual. The listed items you cite are targets in a heated argument, hurled as such. The basic issue, however, is having a job, and being able to support your family without nightly worries or sacrificing something important to keep your job (like paying for gas to the worksite over paying for electricity or your kid’s medicine).


Well it seems you have not understood what I have been trying to say in the many comments I have made this past week.

Yes, Valissa, more likely then not. Communication is a complex matter.

As to you last remark, I will attempt to explain to you what I already explained to Dr. Puck (perhaps you missed it in all the comments). Initially all I did was share a link and excerpted from it. So the quote you are attributing to me should either be attributed to the author of the post I linked to, or to Trump, who said it. I did not share my opinion of Trumps remarks.

Sorry, you are correct. Excuse if this in any way hurt you.

I should have been more precise in that context. Maybe I misread/misinterpreted the passage that followed the statements of Trumps you copied from Zerohedge, which you also linked to. And wrongly, as you now tell me, interpreted it as support. I seem to recall having watched the video too:

I was impressed by the tone of the delivery of his speech and by how presidential he sounded. But I am old enough and have seen enough presidents make promises they couldn't deliver that I remain skeptical

David Habakkuk


I have mixed feelings about Babak’s ‘Diocletian Line’, because I think he is right that cultural patterns do persist over time, and also that the division between the Western and Eastern Roman Empires casts a long shadow. But I do not think there is a single ‘line’.

So, the original ‘Diocletian Line’ cuts right through the Hapsburg lands. And then, there is the enigma that is – or was – Prussia.

I found ‘schmäh’ interesting. In a much more provincial way, there is the same ambiguity about Irish Catholic Liverpool. (If you want an example of its worst side, look at Cherie Blair.)

As to churches. Back in the early ‘Eighties, I was wandering through Hamburg, and sat down in the ruins of a bombed out church – not so dissimilar from the one I used to walk past on my way home from work in Liverpool, or close to where I later worked near St. Pauls Cathedral (which somehow escaped essentially unscathed.)

Looking down, I saw a Latin inscription, to Giles Gilbert Scott – one of the great British neo-gothic architects. The ‘Nikolaikirche’ was an early work of his. The spire, which is still standing, made it the tallest building in the world from 1874 to 1876. It was used as a goal and orientation marked by the Allied air forces in their raids on Hamburg.

Later in the ‘Eighties, I spent some time visiting, and then filming in, German schools and ‘Berufschulen’, and factories. This was the result of coming across an economist called Sig Prais, born into an Orthodox Jewish family from Frankfurt, who had had the foresight to get out early.

He was unique among economists I came across in thinking that it was necessary to, as he put it ‘get one’s boots dirty’. So he had working for him a very tall English lady, and a rather short German lady, who went around visiting factories in Germany and Britain.

I ended up taking a rather dry academic paper they produced, and turning it into a film which made the history of the ‘fitted kitchen’ a microscosm of all kinds of developments, both in Germany and Britain.

From Sig Prais and his co-workers I learnt an appreciation of the immense technical – and moral – strengths of the German engineering tradition.

This started before I became seriously interested in issues to do with security policy.

What however struck me, on my visits to Germany, was the visceral dread of war among people I met. Later, when I was making programmes about security policy for BBC Radio, we interviewed Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann of the Allensbach Institute, who said this was general. It seemed rather obviously true.

It also taught a larger lesson. One cannot simply put the past behind one, but it is simply stupid to get lost in it. It is necessary to deal with the world as it is now, rather than being ‘spooked’ by the ghosts of yesteryear.


So, the original ‘Diocletian Line’ cuts right through the Hapsburg lands. And then, there is the enigma that is – or was – Prussia.

Prussia is no enigma, ask people in Poles/Polish. Prussia/Austria and Russia successfully cooperated in (all? it feels, yes, more or it feels, would need to look it up) the multiple divisions up to the disappearance of their country. ... giving up private mediation here.

Back in the early ‘Eighties, I was wandering through Hamburg, and sat down in the ruins of a bombed out church

I partly grew up next to one, at one point in my early life up to nine. Forbidden to enter the premises, but it was some type of adventure field, way back then.

You'll find them everywhere. Not only in Hamburg or e.g. Berlin. Forgot, we have one here in Cologne too. St. Albans. ... As rather early fan of Romanesque churches. There are also some churches in France I wish would still exist, just as some here they disappeared for a different reason.

I'll concentrate 'imagewise' (should I use a hyphen?) on Mataré's Mourning Parents.

I found a daylight image too. But why not take one from the Wikipedia.ge page?



Forgot another one. St. Kolumbe or Église Sainte-Colombe de Cologne, another somewhat mythical saint.

That's the church with the surviving Maria statute, it is integrated into a museum now.




There are many early saints in the Catholic calendar who are just legends, I.e., St Patrick, St. Michael, St. George, St. Christopher. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I always liked St. Catherine, who never was.

Richard Ong

The "general decency" of which you speak has engineered the destruction of Britain by the importation of arrogant Muslims who have no intention of assimilating. They have come to dominate and dispossess.

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