The empire of beer

Right at a year ago, we posted Megabrewery–no, Gigabrewery about a proposed merger between the multinational company that makes Budweiser and the multinational company that makes Miller.

There were lots of regulatory, anti-trust, and stockholder obstacles to that deal, but they have been overcome.  Anheuser-Busch InBev will take over SABMiller in a $100 billlion transaction that will create the world’s largest brewing company, accounting for one-third of the world’s beer.

But, if it’s any consolation, American anti-trust regulators required the company to spin off the operation that brews Miller products in this country.  So MillerCoors will be sold to Molson Coors, making the largest American brewery.

(This may be just of interest to Milwaukee and St. Louis Lutherans.)

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Religion’s economic impact

A study of the economic impact of religious institutions has found that congregations, charities, religious hospitals, and other faith-based organizations contribute some $378 billion directly to the economy.  That/s more than Apple, Google, and Facebook.  Combined.  The indirect impact, as that money works its way through the economy is over $1 trillion.

Read a report on the study and watch a video about it after the jump. [Read more…]

Slow economy due to not enough government action?

A report from the Harvard business school argues that the reason the economy is growing so slowly is because of government inaction.  The government has been in a state of gridlock, so that the government can’t do what it needs to in order to make the economy grow.

Read the reasoning, after the jump.  This would be the Democratic diagnosis, as opposed to the usual Republican diagnosis that the government is holding the economy back.  Here, “regulation” is listed as one of the good things government does for the economy.  Whereas free marketers believe government regulation prevents economic growth.

Who makes the best case? [Read more…]

Be the tax shelter

Ireland has a corporate tax rate of 12.5%   The rate in other European states is twice that.  The rate in the United States is the highest in the world at 39%.

Though their rate is already low, the Irish are willing to cut them still lower in individual arrangements to bring industries to their country.  As a result, high-tech companies, including Apple, have opened countless operations in Ireland, and the Irish economy is booming.

The European Union believes Apple’s tax deal with Ireland is unfair.  The supra-national bureaucracy is mandating that Apple pay back taxes to Ireland, money that Ireland denies that it owes.

The United States is supporting the EU against both Apple and Ireland, claiming that Apple is parking its profits in an off-shore tax shelter that is Ireland, and that our government is entitled to its 39% cut.

Kevin Williamson tells the tale and proposes a startling solution:  Why doesn’t the United States cut its exorbitant tax rate so that companies no longer have the incentive to move elsewhere?  Why don’t we cut them below that of the Irish to attract global companies to relocate here, thus bringing in all of that investment and employment?  The United States, he says, should “be the tax shelter.”

Do you see anything wrong with that?
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Where is our Calvin Coolidge?

We don’t need a president riding in on a white horse to solve our problems.  We don’t need a charismatic figure like John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan.  OK, I’d settle for a Reagan.  But what we really need is someone like Calvin Coolidge.

Our newspaper, the Daily Oklahoman, printed part of a Labor Day speech that Coolidge gave in 1924.  “Silent Cal,” by slashing taxes and cutting federal spending, presided over one of the largest economic expansions in American history.

What strikes me, though, in his speech, are his insights about work (or, as he calls it, “toil”), the dangers of dependency on the government, and how the main problem in America is always the character of its citizens.

Read the excerpts after the jump.  (I bolded the passages  that I thought particularly striking.) [Read more…]