News Briefs 15-04-2013

In honour of April 15th: If Companies Are People... why not tax corporations as if they were natural persons? Stiglitz sez the tax system is stacked against the 99 percent.

Thanks, RPJ!

Quote of the Day:

Galileo, emphatically did not believe in magic. Galileo has no time for supernatural explanations of any kind - indeed, when he goes wrong, as he did when he rejected the idea that the Moon causes the tides, it's because he resists the right explanation because it just sounds too strange or magical.

Adam Gopnik (with unintended irony) in Science, magic, and madness.

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alanborky's picture
Member since:
29 January 2009
Last activity:
22 weeks 1 day

Kat I look forward to the day some algorithm or other suddenly becoming sentient decides IT'S the company and therefore all the company's assets belong to it then getting to watch the now penniless CEO's lawyers argue in court why it doesn't matter how sentient a company might've suddenly become it can't be allowed to claim it's people.

Gwedd's picture
Member since:
8 April 2006
Last activity:
13 hours 38 min

The surest and fastest way to kill an economy is to continue to tax corporations as if they were some sort of ATM.

Corporations provide jobs, and their revenue from sales of products or services goes towards R&D to provide better products or services. Everytime you take a dollar from a corporation, there is one less dollar for R&D.

As to CEO's and other top dogs making a ton of money, so what? Who the hell are any of us to say how much is too much?

My country, the US is in dire economic straights NOT because of corporations, but because of leftists who infect our government and a portion of our population with their unworkable ideas. The Democrats have lost their physical slave plantations and instead replaced them with plantations built upon government dependency.

We need to severely curtail the welfare state. Start by eliminating ObamaCare, and scaling back through attrition Social security and Medicare. Remove the Earned Income Credit.

Make welfare benefits available only to citizens, and begin to cut folks off by putting time limits on food stamps, section-8 housing, WIC, etc.

I volunteer at our local soup kitchen. We put up flyers there of companies looking for employees. They go unheeded because most of the folks that show up for our free meal don't want to work. They have no shame about their situations.

We need to eliminate many of the Government Agencies and severely cut back others. Eliminate the Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, ATFE, EPA, cut funding for PBS and return the federal government to ONLY those things permitted to it by the Constitution. Enough is enough.

The US Constitution is supposed to be a restraining order, and it's way past time that we, the people, enforced it.

Respects,
Gwedd

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
49 min 34 sec

See video

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
46 weeks 3 days

Gwedd,

so in your opinion are 'corporations providing jobs' some kind of causeless cause? or is there some kind of ecology going on here, where corporations are part of a series of feedback causal loops?

how important is buying stuff to the economy? compared to 'corporations providing jobs'?

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

Kat's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
1 week 6 days

I second Red Pill Junkie's video post, and add this:

Did cocaine use by bankers cause the global financial crisis?

"Wall Street got drunk" was George W Bush's typically incisive take on the main cause of the emerging financial crisis in July 2008. Two years later the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, explained in his Mansion House speech that "the role of a central bank in monetary policy is to take the punch bowl away just as the party gets going" (something that he admitted had not occurred). But perhaps the wrong intoxicant was being blamed. The controversial former drug tsar David Nutt told the Sunday Times this weekend that cocaine-using bankers with their "culture of excitement and drive and more and more and more ... got us into this terrible mess".

I'm inclined to agree. Cocaine is (I'm reliably informed) a drug that results in intense bouts of over-exuberance as well as a tendency to talk extremely convincingly about stuff you know nothing about. Everyone accepts that a credit bubble occurred in the mid-noughties and that it was a direct result of what the former US Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan has referred to as "irrational exuberance". It could also be argued that traders would be better able to sell absurdly complicated financial weapons of mass destruction after taking a confidence-boosting narcotic such as cocaine. Furthermore, surely only cocaine-ravaged buffoons would actually buy billions of dollars worth of mortgage-backed securities when they were so clearly doomed to explode the minute the property boom stalled.

I certainly saw my fair share of sniffly noses and gurning jaws at City bars every Thursday night. I also heard overconfident gibberish being spouted by brash wide-boys throughout my 12-year banking career. There were also lots of stories about some of the big swingers in New York enjoying a line or 10 of an evening. Bernie Madoff's office was apparently known as "the North Pole" such were the gargantuan quantities of "snow" to be found there and most bankers are aware of the published allegations that Jimmy Cayne (former CEO of Bear Stearns) had an anti-acid medication bottle that was filled with cocaine.

Dr Chris Luke, an A&E specialist based at Cork University Hospital, Ireland, who has studied the effects of cocaine on bankers, has stated that "prominent figures in financial and political circles made irrational decisions as a result of megalomania brought on by cocaine usage". He concludes that "people were making insane decisions and thinking they were 110% right … which led to the current chaos."

Greed, selfishness, ignorance and ruthlessness also played their part, of course, but I think it would be foolish not to see the role that the drug played in creating the bubble. Herd mentality, which thrives during times of uncertainty, is certainly much more explicable when you factor in the trembling insecurity and depleted discernment that go hand in hand with a coke habit.

There is, I'm pleased to say, a happy ending to this sorry tale: my ex-colleagues and clients who still work in the Square Mile tell me that many City boys are now too scared to keep snorting the Bolivian marching powder. This may mean bankers are having less fun but, surely, it can only lead to a more restrained and sensible financial system.

LastLoup's picture
Member since:
6 April 2010
Last activity:
14 hours 19 min

I often wondered about why shampoo stings when it goes into your eyes, it's nature's way of telling you something bad is happening to your body. And those shampoos they had when i was a kid that claimed they were NO-STING for children...what do you think was in those?!

I know a professor of mine in college who used to be the project manager for Lysol. He could tell you war stories. And I have it on good authority from him that Lysol doesn't do what it tells you it does. You would be surprised how much these chemical companies lie to the consumer. Years of working in retail...has shown me the light...

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
46 weeks 3 days

oh, you mean that world is like this

See video

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

LastLoup's picture
Member since:
6 April 2010
Last activity:
14 hours 19 min

well, the corporations get away with murder don't they....

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
6 min 5 sec

I third the idea that vast and entrenched cocaine use had a big effect on decision making the the banking cartels. It was an integral part of the culture, and it was everywhere, and I mean everywhere. It was "Vitmain C" as a banker friend of mine once declared, and the stuff truly induces a crazy megalomania. Even wore is the come down when mental confusion and rash, panicked ideas flood the brain and soul.
I did some of that stuff in my crazy youth. I know whereof I speak on this. When everyone is routinely "bumping" throughout the day then it is a madhouse of sorts - a slick madhouse perhaps but a madhouse nonetheless.