How the government coerced Yahoo

It has come out how the government forced Yahoo to turn over online data to the NSA surveillance program known as PRISM.   A “civil contempt” ruling would have fined the company $250,000 a day.  Every week Yahoo refused to comply the fine would double.  Doing the math, that would come to $25 million after a month, $400 million the second month, $7.2 billion the third month, $9.5 trillion the fifth month, $117 trillion the sixth month, more than the total value of everything on earth the eighth or ninth month, and $7.9 sextillion by the end of the year. [Read more...]

Why corporations move

We blogged about “inversions,” when a corporation moves its official headquarters to another country.  George Will offers an explanation from the corporation’s point of view, going on to criticize liberals for waxing indignant over the consequences of policies they themselves promoted. [Read more...]

Would you trade the income tax for a value added tax?

A former Treasury official in the George H. W.  Bush administration has put forward a new tax reform proposal.  It would eliminate the income tax for households that earn less than $100,000, cutting the rates for those above that threshold to 16% or 25.5%.  Instead, everyone would pay a Value Added Tax (basically a national sales tax) of 12.9%.  Charles Lane explains the proposal after the jump.

What would you think of this? [Read more...]

Globalist economics don’t give us world peace

Another utopian project bites the dust.  It turns out, economics isn’t everything.  Global prosperity–based on free trade, interdependency, and globalism–does NOT, as expected, give us world peace. [Read more...]

Corporations changing their citizenship

The corporate tax rate in the United States is 35%, the highest of all developed nations.  So more and more companies are practicing “inversion,” a transaction on paper that relocates their corporate home (while leaving most operations and employees where they are) to another country, such as Ireland, where the corporate rates are 12.5%.

Even President Obama wants to lower corporate rates–to 28%–and Republicans would like it much lower, but tax reform has been going nowhere, so lots of companies are making their move.  Do you blame them?  Are they un-patriotic or just doing what they have to do? [Read more...]

Russia’s economic & political clout

Anne Applebaum points out that Russia has a smaller population than Nigeria or Pakistan, with an economy about the size of Italy’s.  But it has a lot of economic and political clout–possibly enough to thwart the recently-imposed sanctions for what Vladimir Putin is doing to the Ukraine and other of his neighbors–thanks to an intentional strategy of investing in politically-connected corporations. [Read more...]


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