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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Warren’

Elizabeth Warren Has a Bad Plan for Everything – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 1, 2020

Rest assured someone has to pay for all this “Free Stuff”.

Even the Leftist UK party figured this out when they trounced Corbyn.

Independents and moderates will be highly unlikely to support Marxist nutcases.

Count the times you read “tax”.

As George Will is fond of saying-Corporations are tax collectors, not tax payers. Taxes like most government mandates (minimum wage) are costs of business that get passed on.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/mike-mish-shedlock/elizabeth-warren-has-a-bad-plan-for-everything/

By

Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis

Elizabeth Warren wants to steer the US to the Left, radical Left.

If you are looking for ideas, Elizabeth Warren has a ton of them. All of them are bad. Please consider Elizabeth Warren’s Plan.

  1. Wealth tax: Tax net worth over $50 million at 2% a year, and 6% above $1 billion. To prevent the rich from yachting off, add a 40% “exit tax” on assets over $50 million upon renouncing U.S. citizenship. Estimated revenue: $3.75 trillion over a decade from 75,000 households. Most economists, including many Democrats, call that number a fantasy. Courts might also find the tax unconstitutional.
  2. Medicare for All tax: Mandate government coverage for everyone, including for illegal immigrants, with no copays or deductibles. Phase out the private plans of 170 million Americans. She says this would cost $20.5 trillion over a decade, which most economists say is $10 trillion short of reality. Keep the growth of health spending below 4% a year with tools like “population-based budgets” and “automatic rate reductions.” Pay doctors at “Medicare rates” and hospitals at 110% of that. Charge companies with at least 50 workers an “Employer Medicare Contribution,” equal to 98% of their recent outlays on health care, while adjusting for inflation and changes in staff size. These varying fees “would be gradually shifted to converge at the average health care cost-per-employee nationally.”
  3. Global corporate tax: Raise the top business rate to 35%. Apply this as a world-wide minimum on overseas earnings by U.S. companies. Businesses would “pay the difference between the minimum tax and the rate in the countries where they book their profits.” Apply a similar minimum tax to foreign companies, prorated by the share of their sales made in the U.S. Estimated revenue: $1.65 trillion over a decade.
  4. Corporate surtax: Tax profit over $100 million at a new 7% rate, without exemptions. This would go atop the regular corporate rate. Estimated revenue: $1 trillion over a decade from 1,200 public companies.
  5. Slower expensing: “Our current tax system lets companies deduct the cost of certain investments they make in assets faster than those assets actually lose value.” Closing this “loophole,” she says, would raise $1.25 trillion over a decade.
  6. Higher capital gains taxes: Tax the investment gains of the wealthiest 1% as ordinary income, meaning rates near 40% instead of today’s 23.8%. Apply the tax annually on gains via a “mark to market” system, even if the asset hasn’t been sold. Estimated revenue: $2 trillion over a decade.
  7. Finance taxes: Tax the sale of bonds, stocks and so forth at 0.1%. Estimated revenue: $800 billion over a decade. Charge big banks a systemic risk fee, raising $100 billion more.
  8. Individual tax increases: There’s no detailed proposal, but Ms. Warren’s clean-energy plan is “paid for by reversing Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and giant corporations.” She’s budgeted $1 trillion.
  9. Social Security: Increase benefits by $2,400 a year across the board. Raise them further “for lower-income families, women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color” by changing “outdated” rules that Ms. Warren says disadvantage them.
  10. Lobbying tax: Tax “excessive lobbying” over $500,000 a year at rates up to 75%. Ms. Warren says this would have raised $10 billion over the past decade, although it probably runs headlong into the First Amendment’s right to petition the government. Use the revenue for “a surge of resources to Congress and federal agencies.”
  11. Green New Deal: Spend $3 trillion, including $1.5 trillion on industrial mobilization, $400 billion on research, and $100 billion on a Marshall Plan. By 2030 hit 100% carbon-neutral power and 100% zero-emission new cars. Retrofit “4% of houses and buildings every year.” For “environmental justice,” put a third of the funds into “the most vulnerable communities.”
  12. An end to fossil fuels: Ban fracking. Halt new drilling leases on federal land. “Prohibit future fossil fuel exports.” Kill the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. “Subject each new infrastructure project to a climate test.” Give “workers transitioning into new industries” a “guaranteed wage and benefit parity” and “promised pensions and early retirement benefits.”
  13. K-12 education: Add $450 billion to Title I, $200 billion for students with disabilities, $100 billion for “excellence grants,” and $50 billion for school upgrades. “End federal funding for the expansion of charter schools.”
  14. A “right” to child care: Build a federal network of local providers, subject to national standards. Give free care to the “millions of children” whose households are under 200% of poverty, or $51,500 for a family of four. For everyone else, cap child-care spending at 7% of income. Estimated cost: $700 billion.
  15. Free college: “Give every American the opportunity to attend a two-year or four-year public college without paying a dime in tuition or fees.” Add $100 billion to Pell Grants and $50 billion for historically black colleges, tribal schools and more. Estimated cost: $610 billion.
  16. Student-debt forgiveness: Write off $50,000 for households with incomes under $100,000. This would phase out as income rises toward $250,000. Estimated cost: $640 billion.
  17. Housing: Spend $500 billion “to build, preserve, and rehab” millions of affordable-housing units. Condition such funding “on repealing state laws that prohibit local rent control.” Paid for by lowering the death-tax exemption to $7 million from $22 million per couple. At the same time, “raise the tax rates above that threshold.”
  18. Unions: Overturn “so-called ‘right to work’ laws” in 27 states. Guarantee public employees an ability to “bargain collectively in every state.” Amend labor law to aid “sectoral bargaining.” Give the National Labor Relations Board “much stronger” powers, such as “to impose compensatory and punitive damages.”
  19. Corporate governance: Make companies with revenue over $1 billion obtain a new federal charter—separate from the current state charter system—that requires them to “consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders.” Give workers 40% of board seats, and put CEOs under “a new criminal negligence standard.”
  20. Industrial policy: Manage the dollar’s value “more actively” to “promote exports and domestic manufacturing.” Create a Department of Economic Development, and have it write a National Jobs Strategy. Expand the Export-Import Bank. Impose a “border carbon adjustment” fee—that is, new tariffs—on imports from countries that don’t align with U.S. climate policies.
  21. Antitrust: Break up AmazonFacebook and Google. “Unwind” their mergers with Whole Foods, Instagram, DoubleClick and more. Regulate as a “platform utility” any online marketplace with global revenue of $25 billion. Reverse agriculture consolidation, “including the recent Bayer-Monsanto merger,” and create a “supply management program” to “guarantee farmers a price at their cost of production.”
  22. Banking: Pass “a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act that breaks up the big banks.” Let the U.S. Postal Service “partner with local community banks” to provide “basic banking services like checking and savings accounts.”
  23. Gun control: Create a “federal licensing system for the purchase of any type of firearm or ammunition.” Raise taxes to 30% on guns and 50% on ammo. Ban sales of “assault weapons,” and make current owners “register them under the National Firearms Act.” Pass a law to let shooting victims “hold the manufacturer of the weapon that harmed them strictly liable.”
  24. Centralized elections: Use federal money to “replace every voting machine in the country.” For federal elections, mandate early voting and same-day registration. If state elections follow the same rules, they can be “fully funded by the federal government,” with “a bonus for achieving high voter turnout.” Estimated cost: $20 billion, paid by “closing loopholes” in the death tax.
  25. Miscellaneous: Spend $100 billion “to end the opioid crisis,” $85 billion “to massively expand broadband access,” $25 billion on “health professional shortage areas,” and $7 billion “to close the gap in startup capital for entrepreneurs of color.” Double the foreign service and the Peace Corps.

Warren’s Marxist Manifesto Read the rest of this entry »

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Hard Choices Ahead

Posted by M. C. on December 28, 2019

AOC

Occasional-Cortex

Faux

False Tongue

Bernie

Democratic Socialist – Short for Communist

che-guevara_00427261

Socialist hero that killed a lot of people – But wearing the tee shirt is cool.

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Understanding Elizabeth Warren’s “Radical” Wealth Tax | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 3, 2019

However, suppose the individual invests the wealth in fairly safe bonds that yield a return of 3%. At the end of the period, the individual will have the original $1,000 plus the $30 in gross interest income, for a new level of wealth of $1,030. If that wealth is then taxed at 3%, the individual owes the IRS ($1,030 x 3%) =  $31 (with rounding). Yikes! The income generated by that wealth was only $30 during the period, and so if the individual had the same liability from a income tax (applied to interest), then the “equivalent” tax rate would be 103%! 

Wealth is not all cash. It is buildings, machinery, stock (manufactured products)…things that get others employed. You are more likely to find a job with a “rich” person than one taxed to financial death.

https://mises.org/wire/understanding-elizabeth-warrens-radical-wealth-tax?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=938d32f1ce-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-938d32f1ce-228343965

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has had a long-standing call for a 2% wealth tax on any individuals with a net worth exceeding $50 million, and a 3% tax on wealth exceeding $1 billion. Yet when pressed on how to pay for her “Medicare for All” plan, Warren upped the ante to a 6% wealth tax for those fortunes exceeding $1 billion. (As I noted at the time of the announcement: If Warren doubles her wealth tax during the campaign, imagine how fast it will rise if she’s actually elected.)

Naturally, many conservative and libertarian analysts recoiled from such an economically destructive proposal. One of the ways critics used to illustrate the severity of Warren’s idea was to translate a wealth tax into an “equivalent” income tax on dividends, interest, and capital gains. But other economists pointed out problems with that line of attack, because after all, wealth and income are different things, and so taxes on them affect behavior differently. Wealth taxes are inefficient, no doubt about it, but not because “it’s the same thing as a huge income tax.” In the present piece I’ll try to referee the disputes and present the reader with an intuitive understanding of the issues involved.

How Wealth Taxes Can Correspond to Very High Income Taxes

In order to show that Warren’s seemingly modest 6% wealth tax was in fact quite radical, Richard Rubin at the Wall Street Journal warned that “Warren has unveiled sweeping tax proposals that would push federal tax rates on some billionaires and multimillionaires above 100%.” Likewise, Columbia University economist Wojciech Kopczuk—while commenting on the more academic proposal coming from economists Gabriel Zucman and Emmanual Saez—argued that, “If you consider a safe rate of return of, say, 3%, a 3% wealth tax is a 103% tax on the corresponding capital income and a 6% tax rate is a 206% tax.”

Before proceeding, let’s illustrate Kopczuk’s argument with a numerical example. (Note that in the rest of this article, in my examples I’m going to use small amounts of wealth, such as $1,000, to keep the math simple. Warren’s actual proposals of course only apply to wealth exceeding $50 million and $1 billion—at least so far!)

Now then, suppose someone starts with $1,000 in wealth. If he consumes it, then he faces no wealth tax nor income tax. (Kopczuk adopts the convention that any wealth taxes are assessed on wealth at the end of the period, while income taxes are based on income generated during the period.)

However, suppose the individual invests the wealth in fairly safe bonds that yield a return of 3%. At the end of the period, the individual will have the original $1,000 plus the $30 in gross interest income, for a new level of wealth of $1,030. If that wealth is then taxed at 3%, the individual owes the IRS ($1,030 x 3%) =  $31 (with rounding). Yikes! The income generated by that wealth was only $30 during the period, and so if the individual had the same liability from a income tax (applied to interest), then the “equivalent” tax rate would be 103%!

In General, a Wealth Tax Is Not Equivalent to an Income Tax

Although such calculations may be useful to wake up the average American to just how economically destructive even a “low” wealth tax may be, strictly speaking it is incorrect to argue that a wealth tax of x% is “equivalent to” or “the same thing as” a tax on capital income of y%. Over at EconLog, economists Scott Sumner and David R. Henderson both laid out some of the problems.

For our purposes, let me focus on Henderson’s commentary, where he showed the problem with Kopczuk’s analysis. Note, however, that in his actual example, Henderson ran the numbers for a 2% wealth tax. I’m going to change the calculations to make his same point, but using a 3% wealth tax, because I think that’s easier for the reader and also to be consistent with my commentary above:

The way to see what the marginal tax rate on capital income is[,] is to think on the margin: change the income from capital and see how much extra tax is paid.

So, for example, start with $1,000 at the start of the year that earns what Kopczuk calls the riskless rate of return, 3%. With a wealth tax, $1,030 at year’s end is taxed at [3%], leaving the owner with [97%] of $1,030, which is [$999.10].

Now raise the rate of return to 4%. With a wealth tax, $1,040 is taxed at [3%], leaving the owner with [97%] of $1,040, which is [$1,008.80].

How much more did the owner of capital net from the investment at 4% rather than at 3%? [$1,008.80] minus [$999.10], which is [$9.70]. In other words, for an extra income from capital of $10, the owner kept [$9.70]. The wealth tax amounted to a [3%] tax on the income from capital. [David R. Henderson, bold added, with bracketed numbers reflecting Murphy’s tweaking of the size of the wealth tax.]

As Henderson’s example shows, in general you can’t take a given wealth tax and then translate it into the “equivalent” income tax. In his example, if an investor has the choice between Investment A that is relatively safe and carries a return of 3%, and Investment B that is riskier but promises the higher expected return of 4%, then the wealth tax of 3% provides different incentives than a tax on capital income of 103%.

Specifically, under a 3% wealth tax, the investor who takes on the extra risk by switching to Investment B—trying to boost his gross rate of return from 3% to 4%, and hence his gross income on the investment from $30 to $40—will be able to keep 97% of that extra $10 in expected return on the investment.

In utter contrast, if the investor faces not a wealth tax, but instead a tax on capital income of 103%, then even if the riskier investment pays off as expected, the investor ends up worse off! Specifically, if he goes with Investment A our investor ends up with $1,030 gross on which he must pay ($30 x 103%) = $30.90 in income tax, leaving him with $999.10 after the dust settles. But if he goes with the riskier Investment B and even if it pays off as he’d hoped, the investor ends up with $1,040 gross on which he must pay ($40 x 103%) = $41.20 in income tax, leaving him with $998.80 when the dust settles.

In summary, David R. Henderson has come up with a specific example to show why it’s wrong to argue that a wealth tax of 3% is “equivalent to” a capital income tax of 103%. If we assume an investor has the option of putting his wealth into a riskier investment with a higher rate of return, then the 3% wealth tax only distorts the decision by 3% (loosely speaking). If the risker investment pays out, then the investor’s upside is only clipped by the modest 3% tax on the extra wealth he now holds. In contrast, under a 103% income tax, then it would be insane for the individual to even consider the riskier asset. Perversely, the more it pays out, the worse off the investor ends up, because the government assesses a tax that is proportional to, but bigger than, any gains.

At this point, we see that wealth and income taxes can have very different effects on investor behavior. Generally speaking, if we are considering long-term deployments of financial capital, and comparing it to a no-tax baseline, a modest wealth tax will lead investors to seek riskier assets earning higher (expected) rates of return, while a very high capital income tax will lead investors to tread water, putting their wealth into safe assets that earn very low rates of return. Both types of taxes distort financial decisions, but they do so in different ways. They aren’t “equivalent” in general.

Still Not the Full Story

My apologies dear reader, but we’re not done yet: Henderson’s analysis isn’t the full story, either. Strictly speaking, what he showed is that under a wealth tax of 3%, an investor who consumes all of his wealth at the end of the period only faces a marginal income tax rate of 3%. Yet in practice, most investors probably aren’t planning on consuming everything in one fell swoop, and so Henderson has led readers to understate the economic impact of a wealth tax.

Recall the example: An investor who switches his $1,000 in capital from an asset yielding 3% to one that yields 4% will see his gross income jump from $30 to $40. Henderson reasoned that under a wealth tax of 3%, the investor got to retain $9.70 of the extra $10 in gross income, and concluded that the marginal income tax rate was therefore only 3%.  (A reminder to avoid confusion: In order to keep the analysis comparable to the quotation from Kopczuk, I amended Henderson’s numbers to deal with a 3% wealth tax rather than a 2% version.)

Yet to repeat, this is only true if the investor consumes that $9.70. If instead the investor holds it another period, then it will trigger a second tax liability under the wealth tax, this time of ($9.70 x 3%) = 29 cents. And then if the investor carries the balance forward yet again, at the end of the third year he must pay another ($9.41 x 3%) = 28 cents in wealth tax. In contrast, under an income tax regime, if the investor just sits on his after-tax wealth after he earns it the first year, rather than deploying it to earn new income, then he owes no more additional tax on it.

In short, if our hypothetical investor had long-term plans for his wealth, then Henderson underestimated the burden of the wealth tax. In the limit, if the investor earned a one-shot return of $10 and then put it somewhere earning no return, it would asymptotically approach $0 over the years, as the government kept nibbling 3% annually at it. (For example, after 20 years of getting hit with the wealth tax, the original $10 in extra interest income earned that first year would have been whittled down to about $5.44.)

Let’s do one last example to illustrate the subtleties involved. Suppose our investor earned that extra $10 during this year (by moving his $1,000 into an asset that yielded 4% rather than 3%), and then wants to put the $10 under his mattress, where he intends to keep it for 50 years. How then would this extra $10 he earned this year, affect his long-term tax liability? Well, at the end of the first year he owes 30 cents. At the end of the second year he owes 29 cents on the remainder, and at the end of (say) the 25th year he owes 14 cents. However, when computing the burden from today’s perspective, those future tax payments need to be discounted. Since Kopczuk and Henderson both assumed a “safe” return of 3%, we can use that for a discount rate. (For example, the 14-cent wealth tax liability due in 25 years only has a present discounted value to our individual of 7 cents.)

Using this approach, the total wealth tax (in present-dollar terms) that the incremental $10 in wealth will cause our investor, over a 50-year time horizon, is some $4.89. In that sense, then, when our investor is considering whether to rearrange his portfolio in order to earn an extra $10, he faces a “marginal income tax rate” of about 49%.

Another way of showing the issue is to assume our investor wants to set aside a portion of his initial $10 in extra wealth, in order to cover all of the future wealth tax payments over the 50-year horizon. If he puts his earmarked “sinking tax fund” wealth into the relatively safe asset yielding 3%, then the investor must allocate $6.01 of his initial $10, just to cover the future wealth tax payments. Using this approach, the investor could understandably conclude that of his $10 in gross earnings—since he could only put $3.99 under the mattress “free and clear” for use in 50 years—he effectively paid the equivalent of a 60.1% marginal income tax rate.

Conclusion

Putting aside the moral problems with taxation—it’s theft, as a popular libertarian slogan reminds us—Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth taxes will have devastating consequences on capital formation, and will encourage investors to hold riskier assets than they otherwise would have. In order to illustrate the magnitudes involved, some analysts translated Warren’s proposals into “equivalent” income tax rates.

However, wealth and income are different concepts, and in general taxes on wealth and income will have different effects. For those investors with a short planning horizon, a modest wealth tax has a relatively modest impact on the decision to save for the future. However, for those with longer time horizons, even a seemingly modest wealth tax has an economic impact akin to a large income tax.

 

Be seeing you

Wealth tax - definition and meaning - Market Business News

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Does Hillary Clinton Want Fact-Checking… or Censorship?

Posted by M. C. on November 17, 2019

Imagine, for a moment, what might happen if various Democrat politicians came under attack by opponent ads. Let’s say Hillary Clinton runs for president again. Would she demand the media ban an ad that begins, “Hillary Clinton says she is a champion of women’s rights. Then why does she protect powerful men suspected of rape?”

Al Sharpton was one promoter of the infamous Tawana Brawley hoax. His history of accuracy is about as good as Alex Jones’, who initially claimed that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax. I don’t expect that Zuckerberg will sit down with Alex Jones to hear his demands soon.

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/does-hillary-clinton-want-fact-checking-or-censorship

 

Does Hillary Clinton Want Fact-Checking… or Censorship?

Recently Hillary Clinton blasted Facebook, Tweeting:

Facebook’s decision to allow false information in political advertisements is appalling.

Voters are being confronted by millions of pieces of misinformation.

A world where up is down and down is up is a world where democracy can’t thrive.

Other Democrats joined in. Virginia Senator Mark Warner said: “Facebook’s new ads policy allows politicians to run demonstrably false advertising on its platform. I don’t think that’s right.”

Both Clinton and Warner were referring to Facebook’s announced policy of exempting political ads from fact-checking. But in a world where Snopes fact checks the satirical Babylon Bee, we should all be skeptical of the fact-checking they have in mind.

It’s hard to imagine good intentions motivate these politicians. In any case, good intentions are not enough. Media fact-checking can easily be biased and result in censorship of views critical to various candidates.

Imagine, for a moment, what might happen if various Democrat politicians came under attack by opponent ads. Let’s say Hillary Clinton runs for president again. Would she demand the media ban an ad that begins, “Hillary Clinton says she is a champion of women’s rights. Then why does she protect powerful men suspected of rape?”

If Elizabeth Warren gets the Democratic nomination, would she ask for a ban on a hard-hitting ad that says something like:

Elizabeth Warren is a serial liar. Now she is lying again when she says the middle class won’t pay for her vast new spending programs. Economist Antony Davies says: ‘The 550 US billionaires together are worth $2.5 trillion. If we confiscated 100% of their wealth, we’d raise enough to run the federal government for less than 8 months. Perhaps our problem isn’t how much billionaires have but how much politicians spend.’ Senator Warren, your facts are wrong again.

If Bernie Sanders gets the nomination, he’d be outraged by an ad questioning why Sanders cozies up to communist dictators or one questioning his wife’s financial dealings.

How about a potential ad targeting Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar? “Minnesota has a proud history of tolerance. There is no room for an anti-Semitic hate monger in Congress.” Will a future fact-checker reject this ad because Omar and her supporters claim critics are “twisting her words”?

But let’s go beyond politicians. What about ads for public policies?

Should ads that argue for a ban on exposing young children to bewildering information on gender dysphoria be banned as “hateful”? Just over ten years ago, confusion over sexual identity was called gender identity disorder; no professional would have recommended that a seven-year-old boy begin transitioning to a girl at the urging of a parent.

Or imagine the outrage over a campaign ad calling for an overhaul of welfare programs saying the worst poverty “is not material poverty but poverty of soul.” Fact-checkers might say the ad blames innocent victims of poverty and is therefore false.

Since the official verdict is that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide, would a fact-checker reject an ad demanding an investigation into the coverup of his possible murder?

Recently Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg held a two hour “no-holds-barred” meeting with Al Sharpton and other “civil rights activists.” The meeting took place at Zuckerberg’s home; discussions centered on Sharpton’s objections to Facebook’s “decision not to fact-check ads and other content from politicians.”

Al Sharpton was one promoter of the infamous Tawana Brawley hoax. His history of accuracy is about as good as Alex Jones’, who initially claimed that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax. I don’t expect that Zuckerberg will sit down with Alex Jones to hear his demands soon.

Political commentary and political ads have long included elements short on facts. Vigorous campaigns are a strength of our political system, not a weakness. Unlike other countries where “slandering” the leader can lead to imprisonment or death, politicians in America are not above criticism.

In Nazi Germany, it was an official fact that Jews were Untermensch, subhuman mongrels. In pre-Civil War America, it was a fact that slaveowners could treat blacks as property. Freedom of speech allows individuals to challenge “facts.”

Collectivists, including democratic socialists, always aim to suppress speech. Because their plans never stand up to reality, they must stifle the resulting dissent. Is that why Hillary Clinton and others want to suppress alternative views?

“Whether you can observe a thing depends upon the theory which you use,” observed Einstein. Often what is being disputed in politics are not facts but interpretations of events. If you have the right politics, there are very few things the media will not overlook.

Suppression of speech – not “false information” – threatens our Republic

Be seeing you

bubba

 

 

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Saving Lives By Withholding Help

Posted by M. C. on November 12, 2019

Elizabeth Warren on mental health. Has the secret plan to care for our veterans that we won’t find out about until she is elected.

Warren, a front runner, one of the best we have to offer.

Putting the psycho in psychotherapy.

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The Incredible Shrinking Overton Window – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on November 5, 2019

They get people debating how internet censorship should take place and whom should be censored, rather than whether any internet censorship should occur.

They get people debating how and to what extent government surveillance should occur, not whether the government has any business spying on its citizens.

They get people debating how subservient and compliant someone needs to be in order to not get shot by a police officer, rather than whether a police officer should be shooting people for those reasons at all.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11/04/the-incredible-shrinking-overton-window/

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
~ Noam Chomsky

The plutocrat-owned narrative managers of the political/media class work constantly to shrink the Overton window, the spectrum of debate that is considered socially acceptable. They do this by framing more and more debates in terms of how the oligarchic empire should be sustained and supported, steering them away from debates about whether that empire should be permitted to exist at all.

They get people debating whether there should be some moderate changes made or no meaningful changes at all, rather than the massive, sweeping changes we all know need to be made to the entire system.

They get people debating whether they should elect a crook in a red hat or a crook in a blue hat, rather than whether or not they should be forced to elect crooks.

They get people debating violations of government secrecy laws, not whether the government has any business keeping those secrets from its citizenry in the first place.

They get people debating how internet censorship should take place and whom should be censored, rather than whether any internet censorship should occur.

They get people debating how and to what extent government surveillance should occur, not whether the government has any business spying on its citizens.

They get people debating how subservient and compliant someone needs to be in order to not get shot by a police officer, rather than whether a police officer should be shooting people for those reasons at all.

They get people debating whether or not a group of protesters are sufficiently polite, rather than debating the thing those protesters are demonstrating against.

They get people debating about whether this thing or that thing is a “conspiracy theory”, rather than discussing the known fact that powerful people conspire.

They get people debating whether Tulsi Gabbard is a dangerous lunatic, a Russian asset, a Republican asset gearing up for a third party run, or just a harmless Democratic Party crackpot, rather than discussing the fact that her foreign policy would have been considered perfectly normal prior to 9/11.

They get people debating whether Bernie Sanders is electable or too radical, rather than discussing what it says about the status quo that his extremely modest proposals which every other major country already implements are treated as something outlandish in the United States.

They get people debating whether Jeremy Corbyn has done enough to address the Labour antisemitism crisis, rather than whether that “crisis” ever existed at all outside of the imaginations of establishment smear merchants.

They get people debating whether Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren would win against Trump, rather than whether either of those establishment lackeys is a worthy nominee.

They get people debating whether politicians should have corporate sponsors, rather than whether corporations should be allowed to interfere in the electoral process at all.

They get people debating if the US should be pursuing regime change in Iran or Syria, rather than whether the US has any business overthrowing the governments of sovereign nations to begin with.

They get people debating how many US troops should be in Syria, rather than whether that illegal invasion and occupation was ever legitimate in the first place.

They get people debating whether to kill people slowly by sanctions or kill them quickly with bombs, rather than whether they should be killed at all.

They get people debating whether or not some other country’s leader is an evil dictator, rather than whether it’s any of your business.

They get people debating the extent to which Russia and Trump were involved in the Democratic Party’s 2016 email leaks, rather than the contents of those leaks.

They get people debating what the response should be to Russian interference in the election, rather than whether that interference took place at all, and whether it would really matter if it did.

They get people debating how much government support the poor should be allowed to have, rather than whether the rich should be allowed to keep what they’ve stolen from the poor.

They get people debating what kind of taxes billionaires should have to pay, rather than whether it makes sense for billionaires to exist at all.

They get people impotently debating the bad things other countries do, rather than the bad things their own country does which they can actually do something about.

They get people debating what should be done to prevent the rise of China, rather than whether a multipolar world might be beneficial.

They get people debating whether western cold war escalations against the Russian Federation are sufficient, rather than whether they want the horrors of the cold war to be resurrected in the first place.

They get people debating what extent cannabis should be decriminalized, rather than whether the government should be allowed to lock anyone up for deciding to put any substance whatsoever in their own body.

They get people debating whether or not US troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan, rather than whether or not there should be any US troops outside of the US.

They get people debating whether or not Julian Assange is “a real journalist”, rather than whether or not they should set legal precedents that necessarily criminalize acts of journalism.

They get people debating the subtle details of bail protocol, political asylum, embassy cat hygiene and leaking rather than whether it should ever be legal to imprison a publisher for exposing government war crimes.

They get people debating what the punishment should be for whistleblowers, not what the punishment should be for those they blow the whistle on.

They get people debating whether Fox or MSNBC is the real “fake news”, rather than whether the entirety of mainstream media is oligarchic propaganda.

They get people debating about how the things everyone is freaking out over Trump doing were previously done by Obama, rather than discussing why all US presidents do the same evil things regardless of their parties or campaign platforms.

They get people debating what should be done with money, not whether the concept of money itself is in need of a complete overhaul.

They get people debating what should be done with government, not whether the concept of government itself is in need of a complete overhaul.

They get people debating whether the status quo should be reinforced or revised, rather than whether it should be flushed down the toilet where it belongs.

They get people angrily debating things they can’t change, rather than constructively working on the things that they can.

They get people shoving against each other in opposite directions, while they swiftly build a cage around us all.

___________________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: Warren Admits Universal Medicare Would Result in Two Million Lost Jobs

Posted by M. C. on November 2, 2019

He has calculated that Medicare for All would result in job losses (mostly among administrators) “somewhere in the range of 2 million” — about half on the insurers’ side and half employed in hospitals and doctors’ offices to argue with the former.

Mostly?

That’s a real hard number! It suggests some layoffs will be among actual medical staff.

Truly amazing.  They are going to make healthcare free and actually think they will be able to get away with less medical staff.
Elizabeth Warren is quickly climbing the ladder to becoming the most dangerous woman in the world

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/11/warren-admits-universal-medicare-would.html#more

Elizabeth Warren has agreed with an assessment that a “medicare for all” plan would eliminate roughly two million jobs, reports National Review.

Warren was speaking during an interview at New Hampshire Public Radio.

“An economist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, told Kaiser Health News earlier this year that that could result in about 2 million jobs lost,” mostly within the healthcare industry, said NHPR reporter Casey McDermott.

“So I agree,” Warren replied. “I think this is part of the cost issue and should be part of a cost plan.”

The economist cited by McDermot is Robert Pollin of the extreme left Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts.

“Every proponent of Medicare for All — including myself — has to recognize that the biggest source of cost-saving is layoffs,” Pollin said. He has calculated that Medicare for All would result in job losses (mostly among administrators) “somewhere in the range of 2 million” — about half on the insurers’ side and half employed in hospitals and doctors’ offices to argue with the former.

Mostly?

That’s a real hard number! It suggests some layoffs will be among actual medical staff.

Truly amazing.  They are going to make healthcare free and actually think they will be able to get away with less medical staff.

These people actually think they can plan the entire healthcare sector with giveaways to all and get better healthcare!

And further, they appear to have no clue as to what their oppressive central planning would do to innovation in medical care.

These are extremely dangerous people with a dangerous desire to control. This type of extreme planning always gets very bad when it gets implemented. It would put healthcare on the Venezuela economic model.

Elizabeth Warren is quickly climbing the ladder to becoming the most dangerous woman in the world. I have her ranked just under Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who was just elected vice-president in Argentina, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who sure is able to rally the youth to her mad central planing deires.

RW

Be seeing you

Faux

Identity Politics

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: How Elizabeth Warren’s Social Security Plan Would Damage the Economy Immediately and Screw the Young When It Comes Time for Them to Receive Social Security Payouts

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/10/how-elizabeth-warrens-social-security.html?m=1

By Robert Wenzel

Elizabeth Warren recently released a Social Security plan that would exacerbate many of the program’s existing problems while also creating several new ones, writes Charles Blahous.

The key is to understand that Warren wants to increase payments to current recipients across the board.

Warren has outlined her increases:

  • Increases Social Security benefits immediately by $200 a month — $2,400 a year — for every current and future Social Security beneficiary in America.
  • Updates outdated rules to further increase benefits for lower-income families, women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color.
But where is she going to get the money to pay for these increases to: “women, people with disabilities, public-sector workers, and people of color,” never mind the $200 increase she wants to give to all retirees (presumably even straight white males)?
Hint: Increase taxes.
In other words, her scheme is a simple transfer of income.
Blahous reports:

The Warren proposal would increase national Social Security tax burdens by roughly 30% relative to current law. Even the Zandi memo issued in support of the proposal recognizes that these tax increases would reduce economic growth by having a “negative impact on the supply of labor.”

And Blahous also informs how it will screw current youth when they reach retirement:

 One of the biggest problems arising under current Social Security law is that it treats younger generations much worse than older ones. Because Social Security is not a savings program but rather an income transfer program, it is a zero-sum game at best: No one can gain net income through Social Security without someone else losing it. The largest such income transfers occur across generations. The trustees’ report shows that unless something is done to moderate the benefit growth rate for current participants, younger generations will lose income through Social Security equal to 3.4% of their career taxable earnings—net of all benefits they receive. The program cannot reasonably provide social insurance for young workers if it is making them more than 3% poorer over the course of their lives. By increasing benefits for today’s participants (including the wealthiest) well beyond what their own future taxes can finance, the Warren plan would substantially worsen the aggregate net income losses of younger generations.

The Warren plan is an economic train wreck. It will slow current economic growth and sets up a scenario where current youth will receive less when they are eligible for payments than what they have been forced to pay in.

Warren is an economy wrecker.

RW

 

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EconomicPolicyJournal.com: EXPOSED: Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Hate

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/10/exposed-elizabeth-warrens-wealth-hate.html?m=1

EXPOSED: Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Hate

RW

17 Best images about Moving. Powerful. Important. on ...

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“Corporate Social Responsibility” Only Strengthens Corporate Power over the Public | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 3, 2019

Proponents of CSR typically want to use the state’s power to grant or deny corporate charters—that old privilege-granting authority of 17th century British monarchs—to force corporations to dilute their owners’ property rights. The idea is to require a federal (not just a state-level) charter, and to make its issuance subject to further political demands.

A corporate charter is a license, a permission to engage in commerce in commercial form. To revert this from its current form as a rubber-stamped registration back to a privilege granted by the state to favored parties is a perilous act.

https://mises.org/wire/corporate-social-responsibility-only-strengthens-corporate-power-over-public

“Business Roundtable Redefines the Purpose of a Corporation to Promote ‘An Economy That Serves All Americans’ ” was the headline of a recent statement put out by this “association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies.” The statement went on to say:

Since 1978, Business Roundtable has periodically issued Principles of Corporate Governance. Each version of the document issued since 1997 has endorsed principles of shareholder primacy – that corporations exist principally to serve shareholders. With today’s announcement, the new Statement supersedes previous statements and outlines a modern standard for corporate responsibility.

Putting aside the fact that neither in logic, nor in law, nor in morals does an individual CEO, let alone the lobbying arm for CEOs, have the ability to “redefine the purpose of a corporation,” it does prompt the question of what the purpose and responsibilities of a corporation actually are, and who decides this.

From Monopolies to Free Corporations

Historically, corporations were creatures of state-granted monopoly privileges. For example, in 1600 Elizabeth I chartered the British East India Company with a monopoly in trade to the East Indies, and at the same time specified in great detail what the Company could and could not do. Other charters, issued over the years, granted monopolies in dealing in various commodities, settlement rights, etc.

Early settlements in colonial America were products of this corporate monopoly system, for example the Massachusetts Bay Company. But as American society democratized and monarchial power waned, the nature of the corporation changed, although the form remained similar. By the early 1800s, a corporation was no longer a monopoly. And although it still required a charter from the government, this was typically a formality.

In the United States, corporate charters are today issued at the state level, via a process that in many cases amounts to a mere rubber stamping. In some states you can even file to create a corporation online.

In this relatively liberal regime, the explicit purpose of the corporation is determined by its owners. They are the ones who voluntarily come together to engage in some enterprise. They are the ones who put their money behind some new risky venture. And they are the ones who draft the articles of incorporation and corporate bylaws. So long as certain formalities are met, the issuance of a state charter is automatic.

However, the temptation to revert to the older monopoly privilege nature of the corporation is ever present, and this remind sus why we should not conflate industrialists with free-market capitalists. Being pro-business is not the same as being pro-free markets. Competing in a free market is one of the hardest things a businessman can do. Cozying up to the state — i.e., rent-seeking — is often much easier. Many a businessman would prefer a state-granted monopoly, and many a politician desires the power to grant and withhold such privileges.

A Return to State Monopolies under Fascism

A case study in this reversion can be seen in Germany under National Socialism.

In a 1933 memorandum, “Nazi-Socialism,”Reprinted in the Appendix to The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents, The Definitive Edition . Friedrich Hayek observed that the rising new German order was far from reactionary, and in spite of their persecution of the communists, National Socialism” was “a genuine socialist movement.”

Hayek went on to discuss the curious mutual embrace of German industry and the new regime (with my emphasis):

One of the main reasons why the socialist character of National Socialism has been quite generally unrecognized, is, no doubt, its alliance with the nationalist groups which represent the great industries and the great landowners. But this merely proves that these groups too—as they have since learnt to their bitter disappointment—have, at least partly, been mistaken as to the nature of the movement. But only partly because—and this is the most characteristic feature of modern Germany— many capitalists are themselves strongly influenced by socialistic ideas, and have not sufficient belief in capitalism to defend it with a clear conscience.

In other words, the relationship between the Nazi state and industry was not evidence that the Nazis had capitalist leanings, but that the German businessmen had socialist leanings.

However, with the rapid transition to a war-time command economy, the German industrialists went from supporters of the state, to instruments of the state:

The new pattern of power was implicit in the sociolegal framework of the economy. Eliminated were the four essential freedoms of private capitalism, namely, the freedoms of trade, contract, association, and markets. Freedom of trade was replaced by an economic obligation (Wirtschaftspflicht) to the party-state…

Rights to economic activities were regarded as a privilege conferred upon individuals by the government. The rule was: No job or shop without governmental approval. Everyone had to register; laborers needed their labor-book, firms their charters. For no one could enter, terminate, or maintain a business without satisfying an increasing set of personal and material prerequisites.1

Note the mention there of the corporate charter, now pressed to the service of the state.

But why would the businessman go along with such impositions? What is the advantage for them? In The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism, Günther Reimann quotes a German newspaper explaining some of the ramifications of the 1937 German Corporations Law:

The chairman of a corporation is the organ of business leadership. . . . Up to now the chairman was subject to far-reaching control by the Supervisory Board [elected by the stockholders]. This has been changed. The Supervisory Board now only has the right to appoint and recall the chairman. Under the new law the management of the corporation becomes the sole responsibility of the managing director. He is now therefore independent of the chairman of the Supervisory Board, and is not subject to the latter’s instructions. (Reimann, p. 188)

In other words, the managing director (akin to the CEO) of the corporation gains power by being freed from responsibility to the board and to shareholders. In exchange he is increasingly beholden to the state and to political forces. He replaces market entrepreneurship with political entrepreneurship.

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement has, since the 1970s, pushed a narrative that corporations ought to serve more than their shareholders (their owners). They ought to (and even be required to) serve a wider range of “stakeholders,” including employees, customers, the community, etc.

Proponents of CSR typically want to use the state’s power to grant or deny corporate charters—that old privilege-granting authority of 17th century British monarchs—to force corporations to dilute their owners’ property rights. The idea is to require a federal (not just a state-level) charter, and to make its issuance subject to further political demands.

For example, in 1996 then U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) led Democrats proposing legislation that would have enabled a federal corporate charter for a new kind of corporation, an “R-Corporation.” (R for “Responsible.”) Requirements for such corporation would include limits on CEO pay, minimum spending levels for retirement and education benefits for employees, offering of a standard health insurance plan, profit sharing with a minimum participation rate, spending at least 1/2 of its R&D in the United States, etc.2 Corporations so-chartered would be given preferential treatment by the government, and would be rewarded with special tax breaks and regulatory relief.

Fortunately, Bingaman’s R-Corporation proposal went nowhere.

However, 23 years later we see his ideological heir in Elizabeth Warren and her proposed “Accountable Capitalism Act,” which takes Bingaman’s voluntary federal charter, and makes it mandatory for corporations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Among a long list of requirements, Warren would require that 40% of board of director seats to be chosen by the workers, not the board of directors.

It is in this context that we read the Business Roundtable’s rhetorical capitulation to a longstanding demand of the collectivist left.

A Fundamental Misunderstanding

Note that the word “responsibility” in CSR bears little resemblance to how that term has been understood by moral philosophers over the past 2,500 years. Only an individual can be responsible, and only so with respect to his own property. Collective responsibility is a barbarous concept, something associated with the greatest depravities in history. And if I one day set out (without your permission) to “be socially responsible” with your bank account, I’d justly be charged with theft and sent to prison.

So, how can it be any less wrong if a CEO, the agent of the shareholder principals, aims to “be socially responsible” with assets not owned by him?

This is not to say that a corporation does not have an impact on society. It does. However, the profit-seeking motive of the shareholders, far from being a negative for society, is a boon. As Mises pointed out in his essay “Profit and Loss” (reprinted in Planning for Freedom and Twelve Other Essays and Addresses):

Now one of the main functions of profits is to shift the control of capital to those who know how to employ it in the best possible way for the satisfaction of the public. The more profits a man earns, the greater his wealth consequently becomes, the more influential does he become in the conduct of business affairs. Profit and loss are the instruments by means of which the consumers pass the direction of production activities into the hands of those who are best fit to serve them. Whatever is undertaken to curtail or to confiscate profits, impairs this function. The result of such measures is to loosen the grip the consumers hold over the course of production. The economic machine becomes, from the point of view of the people, less efficient and less responsive.

The businessman ought to be unapologetic of the profits he seeks and the profits he makes, knowing the critical role which profits play in the economy:

In a free economy, in which wages, costs and prices are left to the free play of the competitive market, the prospect of profits decides what articles will be made, and in what quantities—and what articles will not be made at all. If there is no profit in making an article, it is a sign that the labor and capital devoted to its production are misdirected: the value of the resources that must be used up in making the article is greater than the value of the article itself.3

The Irresponsibility of CSR

Imagine a construction worker, concerned about society at large, deciding to use less concrete in his project, with the intent of repurposing the savings to wage increases for the workers. Or a pharmacist, dispensing lower-dosage pills than prescribed, and using the money saved to benefit other “stakeholders.” We would consider these both to be crimes.

Profit, like concrete and medicine, serves a critical purpose, and to dilute it does real harm, like diluting concrete or medicine.

Or imagine a charitable institution, a non-profit, like a university, with an endowment invested in stocks, with any dividends and gains dedicated to the organization’s charitable mission. The CSR movement implicitly endorses the idea that corporate CEOs, whose expertise is in making and selling widgets, ought to also be dilettantes in figuring out how to improve their communities, and in the process earn lower profits to pass on to charity-shareholders, whose own expertise is precisely in how to do good for the community. This is a fundamental breakdown of the division of labor.

A corporate charter is a license, a permission to engage in commerce in commercial form. To revert this from its current form as a rubber-stamped registration back to a privilege granted by the state to favored parties is a perilous act. Remember, newspapers, churches, charities, think tanks, even labor unions have corporate forms. Once charter-granting is politicized, it may not end the way its promoters think it will. As Mises famously wrote in Human Action:

No socialist author ever gave a thought to the possibility that the abstract entity which he wants to vest with unlimited power — whether it is called humanity, society, nation, state, or government — could act in a way of which he himself disapproves. A socialist advocates socialism because he is fully convinced that the supreme dictator of the socialist commonwealth will be reasonable from his — the individual socialist’s — point of view, that he will aim at those ends of which he — the individual socialist — fully approves, and that he will try to attain these ends by choosing means which he — the individual socialist — would also choose.

Be  seeing you

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