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Old 4th December 2017, 03:02 PM   #121
kellyb
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I noticed the numerous schools of thought (and the peculiar trend of their proponents clustering around certain political ideologies) immediately back when I first looked into economics right after the crash.
I was initially on the hunt for economists who saw the crash coming. I didn't know there were any, and was about to write the entirety of the profession off as absolute pseudoscience.

Then I discovered a series of articles by an economist named Dean Baker (someone we can now identify as a saltwater phd), where he made a whole series of hysterical-sounding articles starting in 2003, with easy-to-read charts comparing housing prices to every other major asset, good, etc traditionally tracked, and would follow it with "DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE THE 5-8 TRILLION DOLLAR HOUSING BUBBLE HERE?", then quote something stupid Greenspan has said the week before to write it off as a happy blessing from the perfect market, etc. ...and I realised there were *some* clear-thinking economists out there.

Then I discovered Krugman (a friend of Baker), who was still only writing comparatively "wonky" stuff back then, but was clearly also not a pseudo-scientist preaching the gospel of the infallible rationality of markets and the self-regulating nature of finance like the Greenspan crowd.

Then I discovered Michael Husdon (now my favorite economist of them all) who wrote this in 2006: https://harpers.org/archive/2006/05/...ad-to-serfdom/

I also ran across the Austrians, who did indeed see the housing bubble, but I'd completely dismissed them by 2011 or so as quacks based on their hysteria over QE and hyperinflation. They're as quacktacular as the Greenspan crowd in general, just in a different way. The Austrians and the Greenspanians also seems to share a political agenda I consider diabolical, with an obsessive promotion of everything "supply side" using various forms of demonstrably bad "science".
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Old 6th December 2017, 03:09 PM   #122
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I'm an idiot when it comes to economics, so explain like I'm five:

Isn't universal basic income kinda like having trickle-down economics but without the middle man? I've seen people be really dismissive of the idea of universal basic income not based on any specific criticism (I'm sure there are some valid ones out there) but on the grounds that it just broadly wouldn't help for people to have that money. But then they turn around and support trickle-down economics while saying it would have a similar end result so... it seems odd.

I know you can't pick apart the specific comments since I don't have the detailed version handy to post here, but just in general - am I missing something? If the goal is to stimulate the economy and you're willing to do that by putting a lot of money with big corporations under the theory that it will end up in the average person's pocket, why would they not trust that putting money in the average person's pocket would stimulate the economy directly? People would still spend that money, right? If anything, they'd spend it more than the corporations do from what I've seen.

But like I said, I am totally uneducated on economics.
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Old 6th December 2017, 03:57 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
I'm an idiot when it comes to economics, so explain like I'm five:

Isn't universal basic income kinda like having trickle-down economics but without the middle man? I've seen people be really dismissive of the idea of universal basic income not based on any specific criticism (I'm sure there are some valid ones out there) but on the grounds that it just broadly wouldn't help for people to have that money. But then they turn around and support trickle-down economics while saying it would have a similar end result so... it seems odd.

I know you can't pick apart the specific comments since I don't have the detailed version handy to post here, but just in general - am I missing something? If the goal is to stimulate the economy and you're willing to do that by putting a lot of money with big corporations under the theory that it will end up in the average person's pocket, why would they not trust that putting money in the average person's pocket would stimulate the economy directly? People would still spend that money, right? If anything, they'd spend it more than the corporations do from what I've seen.

But like I said, I am totally uneducated on economics.
"Trickle down" is mostly a euphemism for what's known as "supply side economics". The funny thing is, nobody with an economic degree has ever actually believed giving rich people tax breaks makes the poor richer. They were always lying with that whole "a rising tide lifts all boats" stuff.

When you're talking about taxing corporations, there actually can be an element of truth there, but things get fantastically complicated when you're working out the when's, hows, and whys.

UBI is kind of a separate thing alltogether, but there's also what's called "demand-side economics" (making the average person have more money to spend, thus stimulating and growing the whole economy.) UBI is very much a "demand side economics" solution.
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Old 6th December 2017, 06:43 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
I'm an idiot when it comes to economics, so explain like I'm five:

Isn't universal basic income kinda like having trickle-down economics but without the middle man? I've seen people be really dismissive of the idea of universal basic income not based on any specific criticism (I'm sure there are some valid ones out there) but on the grounds that it just broadly wouldn't help for people to have that money. But then they turn around and support trickle-down economics while saying it would have a similar end result so... it seems odd.

I know you can't pick apart the specific comments since I don't have the detailed version handy to post here, but just in general - am I missing something? If the goal is to stimulate the economy and you're willing to do that by putting a lot of money with big corporations under the theory that it will end up in the average person's pocket, why would they not trust that putting money in the average person's pocket would stimulate the economy directly? People would still spend that money, right? If anything, they'd spend it more than the corporations do from what I've seen.

But like I said, I am totally uneducated on economics.
Corporations are absolutely going to do something with any money they receive from a tax cut. They will either put it into a new project or send it to their shareholders in the form of a dividend. They never leave money just sitting around (other than working capital).

Tax cuts for the average person certainly do help to stimulate the economy. But as you note, the average person is more likely to spend the money, and that's not always desirable. In the late 1970s and early 1980s the US had a couple of nasty back-to-back recessions, despite very high inflation. The high inflation indicates that there was not a lack of demand; lowered demand would lead to lowered prices.

The problem was that the tax rate on investments for wealthy individuals had become so expensive that there was almost no sense in investing in anything that wasn't rock solid. As a result the investors were less willing to take risks; if they took a risk and were successful the government took 70% of their return; if they took a risk and loss the government said better luck next time.

But risky investments turn out better than risk-free investments over time for the economy (and for individuals as far as that goes). So the idea is that by reducing the tax rates, individuals are more willing to take risks, which results in more growth in the economy, which is better for everybody.

So by reducing the tax rate on investments for the wealthy, the government encouraged people to take more risks, and by and large the economy of the 1980s-today has been better than the economy of the 1970s.

Now, that's not to say that there's anything magical about the current top marginal tax rates (iirc around 38%), which are the effective rates that most investors pay. I can't say whether they are too high or too low.
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Old 6th December 2017, 11:03 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Corporations are absolutely going to do something with any money they receive from a tax cut. They will either put it into a new project or send it to their shareholders in the form of a dividend. They never leave money just sitting around (other than working capital).
Not necessarily, they can do what many corporations are currently doing, sitting on huge cash reserves, unwilling to invest and not prepared to return it all to the shareholders.
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Old 7th December 2017, 06:05 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
They never leave money just sitting around (other than working capital).
Yeah, they kind of do.
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Old 14th December 2017, 12:38 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
I'm an idiot when it comes to economics, so explain like I'm five:
You are clearly not the only one in this thread with a shallow understanding, however you are the only one w/ the courage to admit it, rather than creating straw-men & dismissal-ism of things you do not understand. Well done.


Quote:
Isn't universal basic income kinda like having trickle-down economics but without the middle man?
No, that primarily addresses a different issue.

First a few definitions,

'Goods' are categorized as either capital goods (aka intermediate goods, durable goods) or else consumer goods (aka final goods). Capital goods are classically 'PP&E' (property, plant equipment) in the manufacturing era, and is perhaps more likely to include IT servers or IoT embedded controllers today. The tablet that the FedEx driver carries, or that the furnace repair guy I had over yesterday had, are capital goods. These are goods purchased to hold, and use for production, of other goods & services.

Definition
Quote:
capital the equipment and structures
used to produce goods and services
Quote:
A consumer good is any good purchased
for consumption and not later used for the production
of another consumer good.
So the fuel you buy to take a day-trip is a consumer good, but the fuel from the same pump used by a delivery van is a capital good.

The intended purpose of capital expenditure is to reduce the cost of producing some final good or service. You might dig a hole with the variable capital expenditure on a teaspoon, a shovel or a backhoe. Clearly the capital good used impacts the total cost. Government can confiscate money to build a bridge that saves commuters hundreds of thousands of hours per year and similarly saves fuel, or else can build a bridge to nowhere. Just spending on capital goods is not enough, the goods must produce final (consumer) goods more efficiently - enough to offset the cost.

Even on a naive consideration there is some optimal level of capital spending. A farmer with 1000 hectares of corn, in the recent era, can certainly justify the expense of one tractor. He might be able to justify the expense of two or three (I don't know), but certainly cannot justify the cost or utility of 1000 tractors.

The decision to buy a(nother) tractor or build a bridge requires a consideration of the marginal change in the production cost of the final good. The farmer is clearly producing corn with measurable output and efficient market value. The product of the bridge is a service saving fuel, and some labor time, but ... it's rather difficult to fully quantify the economic value unless it's made as a toll-bridge.

--
Regulation - includes both very good, and truly awful rules that are imposed on production. In either case these increase costs of production, and reduce GDP. We might all agree to be a bit poorer in exchange for a cleaner environment. I'm less convinced that we collectively benefit from regulations that mandate the use of fuel-ethanol, or that underwrite the costs of electric vehicle production.

The regulatory mechanism itself suffers from the general problem of centrally planned systems (requires oversight, policing, adjudication, punishment = lotsa overhead and corresponding costs). There are some excellent arguments that regulation should be replaced w/ market incentives - but that's for another thread.

--

Growth -
GDP incorporates all economic production, either directly or indirectly, efficiently or inefficiently. We collectively benefit from higher GDP (aka economic growth). It ultimately means we produce 'more stuff per capita', which is related to the actual goal of HAVING more stuff per capita. It does not say anything about the distribution of 'stuff' among a populace, nor about the disposition of the 'stuff' (for example giving stuff away or destroying it in war or in 'cash for clunkers' destructive lunacy).


The Solow-Swan growth model ....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solow%E2%80%93Swan_model
Quote:
Y(t)=K(t)^alpha * (A(t)L(t))^(1-alpha)
where t denotes time, {0<alpha <1} is the elasticity of output with respect to capital, and Y(t) represents total production. A refers to labor-augmenting technology or “knowledge”, thus AL represents effective labor.
Solow-Swan is not the only growth model, but described a common feature that economic output 'Y' is dependent on effectively spent capital 'K^alpha' wher K is capital, and alpha measures the effectiveness of that capital on producing goods.

======

To the main point.

Quote:
Supply-side economics is a macroeconomic theory that argues economic growth can be most effectively created by lowering taxes and decreasing regulation.
My understanding of the current tax bill (see the committee reports, or selective comments by Ryan and others) it that a primary aim is to reduce taxes on business, encourage capital spending in the US, and reduce certain regulation. This is not purely 'supply-side' in the sense that the goal is not a general tax cut, but a selective one, that is (for political reasons) coupled with some sugar-coated nuggets for the masses who can't accept a serious economic argument, but will accept any manner of foolish demagoguery. So cutting the biz tax rates, and allowing immediate capital expending could plausibly improve capital spending.

The goal, by the Solow model (which I am not especially advocating) would be a 0.9% sustained increase in K^alpha resulting in a corresponding increase in Y. IN any case, increasing GDP growth by 0.9% annually would be enough, over a 10yr window to fully offset the $1.5Trl (over 10 years) lost to the lower taxes collected by static analysis.

Any relief from regulatory burden reduces operating costs, makes product more competitive internationally, and make local (US) investment more attractive - creating additional financial capital by saving & investment.

Any relief from the (very foolish IMO) repatriated profits tax, would encourage US companies to use overseas profits for US capital spending.

--

I have serious concerns that the recently proposed tax revision plans will not result in sufficient growth to offset tax reduction. Too much of the sugar-coated nuggets & payola, and not enough actual encouragement toward capital expenditure, I think. The best solution would be to drop corporate taxes & cap.gains rates further, and not personal rates (aside from pass-thru's); this is not politically feasible I think.


Quote:
I've seen people be really dismissive of the idea of universal basic income not based on any specific criticism (I'm sure there are some valid ones out there) but on the grounds that it just broadly wouldn't help for people to have that money. But then they turn around and support trickle-down economics while saying it would have a similar end result so... it seems odd
I am not dismissive of a guaranteed income scheme. It's actually a very good idea *IF PROPERLY IMPLEMENTED*, but the details are infested with devils.

Anyone using the term 'trickle down' is being dismissive as well. The 'supply-side' notion is clearly centered on economic growth primarily by tax and regulatory reduction, and the general idea makes good sense, whether any specific plan/claim does is another matter.

No matter - 'supply-side' is about economic growth, guaranteed-income is about redistribution - two very different matters. Shall we make more pies, or resolve to divide the existing pies more evenly ? The issues are almost orthogonal/independent.

Quote:
I know you can't pick apart the specific comments since I don't have the detailed version handy to post here, but just in general - am I missing something? If the goal is to stimulate the economy and you're willing to do that by putting a lot of money with big corporations under the theory that it will end up in the average person's pocket, why would they not trust that putting money in the average person's pocket would stimulate the economy directly? People would still spend that money, right? If anything, they'd spend it more than the corporations do from what I've seen.

But like I said, I am totally uneducated on economics.
I think you need to consider this from a larger perspective. The big challenge is both to create more goods & services per-capita AND to see that the distribution of those goods & services is reasonable. That last bit is fraught with difficult problems.

We certainly can't have a high standard of living if we can't produce things for local use and trade. Virtually every economic analysis shows that saving rates (a means of financial capital formation) in the US are very low, meaning we don't create enough financial capital to fund capital expenditures, so we operate with less capital, less efficiently than we should. So although programs that redistribute, like a guaranteed income notion are plausible, we certainly don't want to fund these by taxing/reducing financial capital, but instead by taxing/reducing consumption.

I have serious doubts that it's politically feasible to create such a consumption tax to fund redistribution anytime soon. It *seems* like a great idea to many when it involves "other people" and particularly the reviled wealthy paying for it. It will seem a lot less palatable when the average worker is paying for it as a high consumption tax. Another issue is that such redistribution removes a clear need for personal savings, and thus could make financial capital more scarce. Why have a savings account, ira, mutual fund when you can fall-back onto a government cushion ? It needs to be studied for such secondary effects at least.

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Old 14th December 2017, 01:52 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Not necessarily, they can do what many corporations are currently doing, sitting on huge cash reserves, unwilling to invest and not prepared to return it all to the shareholders.
I'm not convinced "many" applies. According to Moody's 70% of this are overseas profits where the US HQ is trying to avoid the penalizing and peculiar US double-taxation system. Current US tax policy encourages Apple and other US-HQ multinationals to expand operations outside the US - how dumb is that ? It's actually better for some US companies to expand in the US by borrowing here rather than repatriating foreign profits!

Apple & Google account for ~40% of the total corporate cash holding (Moody's) , and I expect that if you added in half a dozen big-pharma and similar multinationals you'd explain 80%. Most of this cash-on-hnd is held by relatively few very large companies.

Google/Alphabet cash holding are a bit of a mystery to me. Hard to explain as an investor, tho' they have high M&A costs.

A lot of corporations have a need to raise cash for expansion, investment, to arbitrage against supplier prices & currency & such. But generally we expect that most companies will either expand, return a dividend, use cash as part of a merger/acquisition, or else buy back stock (concentrate ownership). Companies that just leave cash on hand have higher P/E ratios, lower ROE and become less attractive investments as well as take-over targets.

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Old 14th December 2017, 01:57 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by stevea View Post
Definition
Quote:
capital the equipment and structures
used to produce goods and services
Quote:
A consumer good is any good purchased
for consumption and not later used for the production
of another consumer good.
So the fuel you buy to take a day-trip is a consumer good, but the fuel from the same pump used by a delivery van is a capital good.
Methinks you misread your own dictionary. A delivery van might a capital good but the fuel used to run it is a business expense. The two things are treated differently by the tax man.

The full cost of items such as electricity, wages, petrol, telephone etc can be claimed as a tax deduction when they are purchased (or the business gets a bill for them).

However, you can not claim the cost of capital goods as an expense because when you purchase capital goods, you gain an asset. A business may however claim depreciation on its assets as an expense.

I may read more of your post later but if have more unique definitions for commonly used terms then it will probably be heavy going.
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Old 14th December 2017, 02:07 PM   #130
stevea
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
"Trickle down" is mostly a euphemism for what's known as "supply side economics". The funny thing is, nobody with an economic degree has ever actually believed giving rich people tax breaks makes the poor richer. They were always lying with that whole "a rising tide lifts all boats" stuff.
Generally increased economic activity means more jobs, and higher wages as employment rates rise. Your imputation of motive is part of a cycle of fallacy.

Quote:
When you're talking about taxing corporations, there actually can be an element of truth there, but things get fantastically complicated when you're working out the when's, hows, and whys.
Not really. We should prefer a much cleaner & clearer policy to promote only capital spending (biz expansion & efficiency improvement) than "across the board tax cuts" but I think that's politically impossible whilst ppl like you are calling others "liar" and ignoring economic basics.


Quote:
UBI is kind of a separate thing alltogether, but there's also what's called "demand-side economics" (making the average person have more money to spend, thus stimulating and growing the whole economy.) UBI is very much a "demand side economics" solution.
And again - economists quite broadly agree that US consumption (demand) is too high compared to capital expenditure(savings).

You can't stimulate THIS economy by adding more to consumption (and therefore reducing capital spending), any more than you can make a 'flooded' engine run better by adding more fuel.

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Old 15th December 2017, 03:20 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Methinks you misread your own dictionary. A delivery van might a capital good but the fuel used to run it is a business expense. The two things are treated differently by the tax man.
No misreading. The fuel is a capital expenditure for a delivery service, and remains capital in the tank. I was recently reading American Airlines quarterly numbers where they list fuel stores prominently among current assets. Yes its in big storage tanks, and up to ~$200k on a filled (usually leased) aircraft, but that's just a matter of scale, not category.

Quote:
The full cost of items such as electricity, wages, petrol, telephone etc can be claimed as a tax deduction when they are purchased (or the business gets a bill for them).

However, you can not claim the cost of capital goods as an expense because when you purchase capital goods, you gain an asset. A business may however claim depreciation on its assets as an expense.
How various tax authorities treat matters is irrelevant to economic definitions. Fuel is not labor, and is not an ingredient in the product. It is a tangible thing, and means to produce the product, therefore capital.

Land is capital too, but there is no depreciation schedule (except for mining/drilling). In all cases I'm aware of, the biz ultimately takes (cost minus salvage value) as a business expense, true for land, heavy equipment as well as small sundry items. Depreciation schedules are useful for valuing business assets, not for assessing income. That government income tax policy restricts the immediate write-off of some expenses and not others is just a peculiarity of tax policy. When assessing a biz asset we may not get to the fine level of seeing how full the small-vehicle fuel tanks are, or how much tread is left on tires, but this, just like AA's fuel in tanks is a business asset.

Quote:
I may read more of your post later but ....
So you plan is to snipe at minutiae while ignoring the main point ?!? Sad.

There have been many definitions of 'capital', and the confusing use of 'financial capital' (monies used for capital expenses). For Marx 'das kapital' was the means of production exclusive of labor. For Keynes it was roughly any tangible THING used to advance production, not a component of the product; which agrees w/ my usage. Some sources include product raw materials as capital (trees in an orchard are capital- are the apples in the bins at a juice processor ?). Modern usage often includes less tangible notions like 'intellectual capital', 'knowledge capital', even 'human capital'. Yes the classic manufacturing era PP&E (plant, property, [heavy] equipment) was meaningful then, but it won't greatly help you assess the value of google, amazon or even AMD.

A mining business may spend considerable money on grinder/drilling/crusher parts that have a useful lifespan of days or a few weeks. The tax authority may not require delayed depreciation of these any more than they allocate depreciation rates on fuel in tanks, but these are still capital expenses.


--
Main point - we should prefer government policy that encourages increased effective capital spending (more K at higher alpha) - spending on items that promote the efficient production of the good or service. This spending will create higher GDP. Higher GDP is not directly related to aggregate wages nor total employment, but is quite clearly indirectly related is a fairly strong way. It should also indirectly create comparative advantages which would allow for advantageous trade.

It's easy to see in some smaller nations with cohesive uniform cultures where centrally planned/supported capital spending programs have resulted the Japanese & S.Korean positions in automotive and semiconductor markets, ship-building - robotics is in the queue for J&S.K. It's very hard to argue that this increased GDP and created trade advantage didn't "trickle down" to the average Japanese or S.Korean citizen, even tho' the connection is indirect. Expecting this to occur in a few quarters is unrealistic.

We should also noted that many national industrial programs have been unsuccessful, and in some cases horrific disasters (China's 'great leap' cost tens of millions to resulting starvation). That's why I'd advocate for a more diverse and decentralized approach of encouraging rather than directing capital expenditures.

We shouldn't have any great concern that private biz will choose only to spend money on likely effective means of production. Those that fail to, whether by bad decision making or bad luck, are creatively destroyed - like Blockbuster, Kodak et al. Government OTOH has neither competition nor profit motive and can waste financial capital on cost-ineffective things with little fear of failure/destruction.
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Old 15th December 2017, 08:42 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by kellyb
I noticed the numerous schools of thought (and the peculiar trend of their proponents clustering around certain political ideologies) immediately back when I first looked into economics right after the crash.
I was initially on the hunt for economists who saw the crash coming. I didn't know there were any, and was about to write the entirety of the profession off as absolute pseudoscience.

. . .
Besides Hudson there were also economists like Wynne Godley, Anwar Shaikh and Steve Keen who warned about the coming crash.

Needless to say none of them work within the (bankrupt) paradigm of neoclassical school of economic thought.
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Old 16th December 2017, 05:23 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by stevea View Post

--
Main point - we should prefer government policy that encourages increased effective capital spending (more K at higher alpha) - spending on items that promote the efficient production of the good or service. This spending will create higher GDP. Higher GDP is not directly related to aggregate wages nor total employment, but is quite clearly indirectly related is a fairly strong way. It should also indirectly create comparative advantages which would allow for advantageous trade.
Nope. The government shouldn't prefer anything or anyone when it comes to tax policy, because tax fairness as a principle should be paramount. Capital already gets a huge break by being taxed at 15% long term, which is ridiculously unfair to begin with. What if your average wage slave decides he wants to open up a hot dog stand? Why should some corporation who already gets unlimited credit from the Fed, and tax breaks from the government (General Electric, for instance) get beneficial rates? They shouldn't. Trickle down economics is bunk, and immoral.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 04:31 AM   #134
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Mrs Thatcher was a great believer in the trickle down theoretical economics of Hayek, and Milton Friedman monetarism, and it has led to an increase in food banks and cut backs and refusing of social security, and even the Health Service. I suppose holders of equity did benefit, and others from house price inflation, but I don't think it's intelligent, or equitably administered, administration.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 04:11 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Mrs Thatcher was a great believer in the trickle down theoretical economics of Hayek, and Milton Friedman monetarism,
I think you'll need to provide some evidence to support the assertion that Thatcher was a great believer in trickle-down. There is plenty of evidence that she believed strongly in reduced regulations, privatisation, breaking the unions, reducing public expenditure and a host of other things that had a profound effect on the UK economy, and indeed UK society but I don't recall her being a proponent of trickle-down.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
and it has led to an increase in food banks and cut backs and refusing of social security, and even the Health Service.
Even I don't think it's fair to blame Thatcher for the current state of the UK economy, NHS, welfare and the rest of the public sector.

The current squeeze on all public expenditure is down to the current government's (IMO ill-advised and poorly executed) "austerity" programme in response to the post-crash deficits.

"Austerity" has nothing to do with trickle-down either.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I suppose holders of equity did benefit, and others from house price inflation, but I don't think it's intelligent, or equitably administered, administration.
Whether this is true or not (remember well over 50% of people are home owners, so the majority may benefit in due course), none of this has anything to do with trickle-down as AFAIK no UK government in my lifetime has bought into trickle-down.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 05:38 AM   #136
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Well, according to Reitan (2002) Thatcher lowered the top income tax from 83 to 60 percent (and the base rate from 33 to 30) with the hope that it "would benefit the economy by encouraging entrepreneurship and investment."

If we also look at the overall policy scheme, where tax incidences were shifted from direct to indirect taxation together with deliberate weakening of labor unions – which practically means a reduction of the labor share in national net output – and increasing the burden regarding National Insurance contributions for low and middle income people . . . it's pretty clear a great deal was about supply-side reformation.

However, I think she was more skeptical towards trickle-down as a theory than, for example, Reagan. The idea/ideology seems to have been to lower taxes for high income earners followed by a reduction in government spending and its share in the economy (and not that lower taxes would pay for themselves; they would only pay for a smaller government).
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Old 3rd January 2018, 06:55 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Tippit View Post
Nope. The government shouldn't prefer anything or anyone when it comes to tax policy.
I believe this is incorrect:
Every tax except for an inheritance tax always creates a shift in incentives: to avoid this via taxing socially positive and socially negative actions equally is to reliquish one of the state's most powerful tools for social and economic stability.
Progressive taxes are clearly not "fair" in a strict sense, and neither are taxes on alcohol, tobacco etc.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 10:01 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I believe this is incorrect:
Every tax except for an inheritance tax always creates a shift in incentives: to avoid this via taxing socially positive and socially negative actions equally is to reliquish one of the state's most powerful tools for social and economic stability.
Progressive taxes are clearly not "fair" in a strict sense, and neither are taxes on alcohol, tobacco etc.
And seniors' exemptions.

My main interest in tax complexity is to understand whether a tax rule is implemented for a common benefit; or is it a conflict of interest for the sponsoring legislator, or kickback for lobbying/donations.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 11:09 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I believe this is incorrect:
Every tax except for an inheritance tax always creates a shift in incentives: to avoid this via taxing socially positive and socially negative actions equally is to reliquish one of the state's most powerful tools for social and economic stability.
Progressive taxes are clearly not "fair" in a strict sense, and neither are taxes on alcohol, tobacco etc.
I don't want the state to use tax policy as a carrot or stick as it sees fit. I want it to fund a constitutionally limited government with tax revenues, and that's it. While I agree that it's difficult to enact a truly neutral tax policy, I don't think it's rocket science to get somewhere close, and I think we should err on the side of progressive taxation rather than regressive taxation.
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Old 19th January 2018, 03:30 AM   #140
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This needs to be taken into consideration with regard to trickle down and trickle up theoretical economics:

Quote:
Definition. Money is a title to goods already produced directly or indirectly by the receiver of the money. Any other money is, broadly speaking, illegitimate money.
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Old 19th January 2018, 10:47 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
This needs to be taken into consideration with regard to trickle down and trickle up theoretical economics:
Got a source for that ? The idea of illegitimate money sounds like nonsense to me
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Old 19th January 2018, 11:09 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
The idea of illegitimate money sounds like nonsense to me
The idea of money as a "title" doesn't sound much better.

Typically, when ownership of a good/service is transferred, the title is also transferred (it follows the good/service).

When something is sold for money, the opposite happens. The good/service goes one way and the money goes the opposite way. In effect, money acts as an 'anti-title'. It is evidence that you don't own the good/service any more.
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Old 20th January 2018, 04:22 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Got a source for that ? The idea of illegitimate money sounds like nonsense to me
That was a quote from a book called Modern Money and Unemployment by Isidore Ostrer published in 1964. He was a chairman of Gaumont British film company before the war, and Illingworth Morris carpets, and some financial investment company in London.

There is a bit on You Tube about all this theoretical economics business on You Tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzPJSuAQnbE
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Old 23rd January 2018, 01:54 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
That was a quote from a book called Modern Money and Unemployment by Isidore Ostrer published in 1964. He was a chairman of Gaumont British film company before the war, and Illingworth Morris carpets, and some financial investment company in London.

There is a bit on You Tube about all this theoretical economics business on You Tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzPJSuAQnbE
You do realise that a bunch of books have been written in the lat 50 years don't you ?

That's not to say that they invalidate things written before but, as with most things, there have been a large number of refinements over the that period.
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Old 10th February 2018, 08:58 AM   #145
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None of it trickled down to me, even though Jeremy Paxman's friends never had any difficulty finding a job, and they were able to benefit from house price inflation.
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Old 12th February 2018, 04:42 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
None of it trickled down to me,
Most people posting in this thread are of the opinion that trickle down doesn't work.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
even though Jeremy Paxman's friends never had any difficulty finding a job, and they were able to benefit from house price inflation.
I have no idea about whether or not any of Jeremy Paxman's friends have had problems finding jobs or whether they have personally benefited from house price inflation.

Why are you so bothered about Jeremy Paxman's friends and their financial situation ?
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Old 24th February 2018, 05:43 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Most people posting in this thread are of the opinion that trickle down doesn't work.
Trickle down's working fine - if you're Warren Buffet.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made $29 billion off the Republican tax cuts
Quote:
“A large portion of our gain did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire,” Buffett, 87, wrote. Of the $65 billion the company made last year, $36 billion was from its operations. The rest was thanks to the GOP tax cut, passed in December, which dropped the corporate income tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

For reference, that’s nearly half of the conglomerate’s entire net gain last year.
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Old 24th February 2018, 05:48 PM   #148
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I’m confused.

The corporate tax cuts were not in effect last year.

Right?
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Old 12th March 2018, 03:12 AM   #149
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There is a widespread ignorance of the principles of international finance which prevails. It's beyond the comprehension of economists, and politicians, and Max Keiser, and central bankers. Governments are tempted to issue further paper which can cause inflation.
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Old 12th March 2018, 01:49 PM   #150
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Keep an ear out, you'll hear the framing repeated especially on Fox and other business news sources: Wage increases are bad because they will trigger inflation. Got that? The rich are getting richer and the rich/poor wealth gap is increasing, but you getting a raise is a bad thing. It's evil, inflation is evil, raising wages is evil.


How do you think that meme got started? Think it came purposefully from certain people (Heritage Group, ALEC— that kind of people) or do you think it naturally evolved and was adopted?
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Old 12th March 2018, 08:32 PM   #151
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Saw a headline today. It seems that this month's budget deficit was the highest since 2012, now that the tax cuts are kicking in. Go figure. Who could have seen it coming?


Oh, but don't you worry. They'll kick the economy into high gear Real Soon Now, and the federal coffers will be overflowing. Right....I mean.....that always happens, doesn't it?
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Old 16th March 2018, 09:17 AM   #152
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All this trickle down economics came from Milton Friedman, and the Chicago school of economics, and Thatcher and Reagan. I don't think it's academically satisfactory or works in practice.
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Old 16th March 2018, 09:43 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
All this trickle down economics came from Milton Friedman, and the Chicago school of economics, and Thatcher and Reagan. I don't think it's academically satisfactory or works in practice.
I think it’s best to concede it does “work”, but that it’s probably/possibly not the best way to stimulate the economy.

Money pumped in at the top does trickle down. People at or near the top who have more discretionary funds will tend to spend or invest those funds. Even a new yacht, or a second or third plane, or a fourth home will provide jobs and income and business opportunities downstream.

Argue why it’s not the best way to go - not that it doesn’t work at all.
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Old 17th March 2018, 04:57 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Argue why it’s not the best way to go - not that it doesn’t work at all.
Evidence that it must work?

Do Capital Income Tax Cuts Trickle Down?
Quote:
Reductions in the capital income tax rate generally stimulate investment and raise the marginal product of labor and the wage rate. Hence, it is often argued that cutting capital income taxes benefits capital owners and all workers. This result, however, depends on how government manages debt to maintain budget solvency. This paper analyzes the distributional effects of capital tax cuts, where endogenous adjustments in other tax rates are precluded. When productive public investment or transfers to liquidity-constrained workers are reduced, it finds that the trickle-down effect may not hold.
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Old 23rd March 2018, 02:49 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Evidence that it must work?

Do Capital Income Tax Cuts Trickle Down?
Every day on the TV in the UK there is some kind of spokesperson complaining of serious underfunding in the police and armed forces and councils and prisons and the Health Service and schools and so on. Meanwhile others are living in luxury, and not paying taxes, and screwing small and medium enterprises. It needs to be equitably administered, not trickle down economics. The roads are now full of potholes.
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Old 29th March 2018, 02:43 AM   #156
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These hedge fund manager commercial marauders are now attempting to asset strip GKN in the UK with their empty promises. They did the same thing with Cadburys, promising not to close factories. In the end they moved the manufacture to Poland. It's foolish in its economics. Nobody seems to have the brains to seize the situation like a man. The world is run by lunatics.
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Old 29th March 2018, 04:10 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
These hedge fund manager commercial marauders are now attempting to asset strip GKN in the UK with their empty promises. They did the same thing with Cadburys, promising not to close factories. In the end they moved the manufacture to Poland. It's foolish in its economics. Nobody seems to have the brains to seize the situation like a man. The world is run by lunatics.
Here's a BBC piece on the GKN story for those of you, like me, who aren't fully conversant with the facts:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43569399

As for the rest of Henri McPhee's post........

Hedge fund managers didn't asset strip Cadburys. Even if you think that Cadburys was asset-stripped (something that I think you need to provide evidence for), then it was done through acquisition by a publicly listed company.

Regarding the movement of Cadbury manufacture to Poland, I think you need to provide evidence why this was economically foolish. Costs in Poland are lower and AFAIK there was no specific downside in the move for Kraft Foods (now Mondelēz International). For sure UK-based employees were disadvantaged but there was no obligation on the part of Kraft Foods to be concerned for their welfare. Seems like a sensible economic decision to me.

How any of this relates to trickle-down economics is anyone's guess...
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Old 30th March 2018, 02:52 AM   #158
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The point is that it's not sound economics for it to trickle down to commercial marauders. GKN was an important company. It could be unfair on Britishers affected. A few years ago the tank production factory suddenly closed down at York. It was never discussed in the House of Commons, or corporate media, except with a 'who cares' attitude. The problem is that this is going to lead to a 'with what' approach to defence capability. It's like having no fire assurance, or insurance, because there have been no serious fires recently.
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Old 5th April 2018, 06:52 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
I’m confused.

The corporate tax cuts were not in effect last year.

Right?
Stock markets incorporate information about future earnings as soon as it’s available. Berkshire Hathaway’s future earnings went up as soon as the tax cuts were passed, and the company’s value is tied to expectations of its future earnings. If you double the future earnings right now you double the value of the company right now, regardless of whether it makes more money this your or not.
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Old 5th April 2018, 07:06 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
All this trickle down economics came from Milton Friedman, and the Chicago school of economics, and Thatcher and Reagan. I don't think it's academically satisfactory or works in practice.
No. “Trickle down” is essentially fiscal stimulus applied to the supply (investment) side of the equation. Per Freidman argued that any type of fiscal stimulus is pointless, wasteful and undesirable because monetary policy is far more important than fiscal policy. He was against any type of fiscal stimulus, trickle down included.

While he would certainly have supported cutting both programs and the taxes that paid for them in the belief that the private sector would then provide that same service more efficiently (possible in some cases unlikely in others) he certainly would not have supported targeting specific groups for fiscal stimulus ala trickle down.
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