Recent comments

  • Uh

    I'm sorry I don't think so and NAFTA Is the symbol for overall bad trade agreements, i.e. the China PNTR and the WTO.

    So, ok, this is an open blog but I need you to prove your claim by the math. Let's see, trade deficit about ~6% of total GDP...wage ratios anywhere from 3:1 to 60:1 in labor cost savings by global labor arbitrage alone (moving to a foreign nation US industries). ok, so US corporations by keeping their profits offshore, pay no US tax now...but explain precisely how this not only brings in that capital back into the US and explain further how that encourages US multinationals to invest those profits back into the United States with this plan, esp. I'll assume this sales tax will affect their cash outlays on investment within the US itself since it is a tax on all goods within the US. Corporations are shoppers (consumers) too.

    If you want to suggest a VAT I can live with that one but something as regressive sounding as a national sales tax, doing away with the IRS, i.e. Hucklebee's plan, you better crank some numbers over here to justify this blog.

    i.e. explain how this is not regressive when right now private equity managers are making a killing with a 15% tax rate in effect and explain how the super rich pay more in taxes with this plan. Explain how wealth redistribution will occur under this plan and not enable the robber barons of the 21st century further.

    Can't? Well, then how about looking at VAT for this will accomplish what you claim without the introduction of a massive regressive tax. I understand the desire to abolish the IRS and taxing that 1 trillion dollar underground economy. But here you penalize US production equally with foreign imports and that does not help at all in terms of boosting domestic production. This is in effect a hidden VAT but on US producers! So beyond capturing the 1 trillion underground economy, and doing away with the IRS which sounds good to us all, this is a very regressive tax and I'm not talking about the poor, I'm talking about the super rich versus the US middle class and that's where it is astoundingly regressive.

    Reply to: NAFTA is Not the Main Problem   14 years 11 months ago
  • Does it make any sense at all to tax American workers for working, American investors for investing and not tax imports?

    NAFTA is Not the Main Problem
    Early in our nations history, states were not allowed to place tariffs on goods produced in another state. This was done because it was believed that free trade would benefit the entire country.

    Most states then wisely instituted sales taxes and derived income from all things purchased in their state. This way the state gained income from all businesses selling things on their turf. It is somewhat like, if a neighbors cows are going to graze (sell things) on our farm, we should share in in the profits.

    It is obvious that all of our income taxes and Social Security taxes paid by workers, investors and corporations have to be embedded in the prices charged for American goods and services making us less competitive. Prices of imported items and out-sourced jobs do not include these taxes. Foreign corporations are doing business and earning money in our country and are contributing little or nothing for the privilege. In a global economy, this is insanity!

    Replacing our present national income tax and Social Security taxes with a progressive national sales tax would have many benefits. It would:

    Only tax things over the poverty level
    Tax imports too, instead of only American labor and investment
    Also tax things made with outsourced labor
    Lower the cost of hiring American workers
    Improve our balance of payments
    Get more income from industries that hire few workers
    (i.e. Athletics, Rock Stars, Movies, CD’s. TV, drugs, etc.)
    Ones that earn huge profits & Pay outlandish salaries
    Save Social Security & Medicare
    Maybe fund healthcare
    Eliminate the IRS - audits, loopholes, forms, time & expenses
    Make US a partner of every business selling things in the USA
    Get taxes off of the top, not after questionable deductions.

    All industries (foreign and domestic) would then start contributing their share of the costs of our infrastructure, from which they benefit when doing business here.


    It is complicated. Supply and Demand determines the price of things.
    The cost (price plus tax) of things would stay about the same. On our products the tax would be added at the end instead of being embedded in the price. Importers would have to adjust their prices because customers are apt to buy fewer items when the tax is added. Consumers will think of the total cost when deciding upon a purchase.

    Ralph R. Layman Sr.

    Reply to: The Horizon Project   14 years 11 months ago
  • I'm just reading and certainly agree that most people have not even lived with 1981 to remember.

    Ya know we need more people on here who can understand what you are saying. I think that's why you are getting readers but not to many comments.

    (to all of you chickens out there, stop lurking and post a comment, do you believe inflation will peak or will continue to increase?)

    That would make a nice poll actually.

    Reply to: 1946! Interest rates, inflation, and war   14 years 11 months ago
  • Debt industry regulation is an important step, but others are needed. The biggest underlying source of consumer debt is rising income inequity. The second biggest is the economic damage caused by the war on Iraq.

    People have less money so they are borrowing just to try to keep up with their past living standards. Our nation will have to abandon corporate controlled trade and make the rich pay their fair share in taxes. The war will have to be put to an end too.

    By the way, you will get more comments with a gentler Captcha.

    Reply to: Households Spend More Than Income   14 years 11 months ago
  • After two years of research and reading a thousand or so pages of government documents and Congressional testimony, it appears that SSA is doing all that it can, and the DOJ and IRS are doing almost nothing, especially in ID theft by illegals.

    IT almost appears that DOJ and IRS have orders to do nothing, but perhaps I am just cynical.

    Reply to: Seven Year Old Owes Back Taxes For $60K Earnings   14 years 11 months ago
  • I think that's the link you're referring to. He does a great job explaining the Kondratieff "seasons" but I don't subscribe to anybody else's political gloss on them.

    I still believe we are very close to the highest inflation rate we will see this year, which will decrease during and after the recession we are in. But I foresee the economy having a respite towards the end of this year, and at some point after that inflation will resume.

    Alternatively, it's certainly possible that we already had the biggest inflationary burst by way of the housing bubble, as suggested by this graph from Tim Iacono of The Mess That Greenspan Made:

    This diary can best be described as me thinking aloud, taking into account the odd confluence of low interest rates and high inflation that occurred exactly at the trough of the last K-wave, and considering the significant possibility that in our imminent past or future the situation will recur (but this time without the post WW2 wage pressures).

    Reply to: 1946! Interest rates, inflation, and war   14 years 11 months ago
  • Good God, this reminds me of Chauncey, Peter Sellers character in Being There.
    With the falling dollar, our twin deficits and this idea of just increasing credit, money supply by the Federal Reserve, I see inflation coming. (But does this indicate you've changed your mind from your previous post?)

    But your link claiming economic depressions and simply "self-healing" I think to myself, hey, I of course do not remember the great depression personally, but I do study history and love documentaries, especially on the great depression and I cannot describe such a period as self-healing and think it better to drastically alter policy on a variety of fronts to avoid such an event versus look at it all as Chauncey's Garden

    Kondratieff being executed for simply doing economic research is quite a horrific story in and of itself!

    Reply to: 1946! Interest rates, inflation, and war   14 years 11 months ago
  • VAT

    A european commenter on another site explained some issues about VAT to me, and it sure sounds a lot like a tariff. It may be the quickest, "second-best" way to deal with trade imbalances at this point.

    Reply to: What's Wrong with Tariffs?   14 years 11 months ago
  • International Trade law blog has it in a paragraph or two.

    This says VAT is legal whereas tariffs can be challenged (which makes me wonder how come the US isn't challenging China's tariff schedule and their manipulation of).

    and it appears the US is the only stupid one without a VAT policy.

    This sure sounds like something we need to dig into further as a possible policy reform for it sounds like it would be easy to get through congress and also not be challenged via the WTO after the fact.

    If anyone has some more detailed papers, references to this (I guess it's a complex series of rules and per country)
    I'd like to read them.

    Note on this blog post I link to they mention Peru has a VAT
    (we just signed this) so maybe the claim that is being made on the Peru trade deal that Peru is going to lower it's tariffs for more US exports is bunk as well?

    Reply to: What's Wrong with Tariffs?   14 years 11 months ago
  • Interesting idea, and welcome to the forum.

    My recollection is that the WTO has indicated that a VAT passes muster.

    Is this correct?

    Reply to: What's Wrong with Tariffs?   14 years 11 months ago
  • I think the answer is a huge depends but overall I think the WTO being able to supercede US domestic law, especially via GATS is a disaster and that one must address many issues "locally" because it is in the best interest of that locality (i.e. nation-state) to do so.

    I'm more of the mind set of using strategic trade, whereas clauses that are working are kept and tariffs, conditions that are clearly damaging the US national interest and absolutely US workers, middle class interests are modified.

    I'd say myself, I'm in the Horizon Project camp pretty firmly in terms of policy modifications, but toying with this VAT tax idea.

    I do understand the MTBE was put in there, but not by "Americans", by multinational corporations that happen to be incorporated in America, lobbying American representatives (cough, cough).

    Reply to: What's Wrong with Tariffs?   14 years 11 months ago
  • I'm not sure what you mean by "Right now our trade agreements are written so biased against America we are guaranteed to "lose" in the trade war."

    Do you mean that trade is bad for the average American or do you mean that the country suffers as a whole?

    Most critics of US policy think just the opposite that the trade laws favor US multinationals. When the WTO agreements have stalled the US has switched to bilateral agreements with weak states. There is no way that a treaty between, say, Nigeria and the US is going to favor Nigeria.

    If you are complaining about the ability of the WTO to supersede local law (the cases of Canadian softwoods and MBTE) then you have to understand that these provisions were put in by the US in the first place. As the softwood issue shows the US is perfectly capable of ignoring the rulings of the WTO anyway...

    Reply to: What's Wrong with Tariffs?   14 years 11 months ago
  • VAT

    There are a lot of economists out there proposiing a VAT and since Europe already has it and it works, I think it sounds like the way to go.

    The tariffs in my view should be used by only when needing drastic measures.

    Right now our trade agreements are written so biased against America we are guaranteed to "lose" in the trade war.

    Propserous America proposes such a policy change.

    Reply to: What's Wrong with Tariffs?   14 years 11 months ago
  • You can now choose how the site looks.

    Go to myaccount, click on the edit tab and then you can change the way the site looks.

    I just added this so I would appreciate any feedback or bugs that you find.

    I'd also appreciate any feedback on which theme you prefer.

    Reply to: Do you like this site? Try it? Post Bugs, Problems, Site issues in comments.   14 years 11 months ago
  • I don't know where to begin because these statistics from everything I have read are pure fiction. There is only so much spin one can put on median income and statistics and I think even with not adjusting for inflation this has to be pure fiction.

    ok, they include "benefits" in claiming wages have risen, I guess that is because the nation is getting gouged with health insurance premiums, including corporations.

    Full employment ignores the underemployed and those who as fallen off the rolls so that's not too valid either.

    define "dislocated" instead of working at Walmart now.

    22% surely includes the super rich, who now have the money versus median average increase....

    Jez, those Cato guys aren't very good at spinning the truth, but I guess the truth is so ugly it's getting harder to do.

    Reply to: Taking on some Redstate BS   14 years 11 months ago
  • Very well done article, however, I think it misses a major trend. The insourcing of foriegn labor, to replace older workers (and younger as well), has thrown millions of America workers out of good paying jobs. The subsequent jobs are paying as little as 25 to 50 percent of those that were lost: especially if you consider loss of benefits and other entitlements (e.g., matching 401-K's etc.).

    At the same time the government has purposely masked the destruction of the US dollar by playing with the basket of goods in the CPI (consumer Price Index). The price of both milk and gas have increased over 200% in the last 6 years for goodness sake!

    What is really needed is massive debt relief to Legal American workers. I think any American that has paid 1.5 times the principle, in monthly payments, should simply have thier mortages closed and forgiven. Perhaps giving every Legal America worker -- who was actually born in this country to legal Americans -- a $100,000 might be another approach.

    But the bottom line is that the economic blood bath has just begun. Furthermore, it is absolutely required, for the preservation of the social fabric, that families have homes to live in. And after all it IS the fault of the elite that our jobs and factories have been moved abroad. In my mind these futhermuckers need to pay a price.

    Massive debt forgiveness -- such as I have merely hinted here -- would preserve the wealth and equity of Legal American Citizens. It would also throw a wrench into what is really happening in America today: colonization by foriegn elites.

    For more information on the "New Agenda for America" please check out the following link:

    No More Immigration: Legal or Illegal
    Just part of the "New Agenda for America (NAA)"
    Let's Influence the 2008 Presidential Election
    Support the "New Agenda for America (NAA)"

    Reply to: 2 housing crisis proposals Democrats should support   14 years 11 months ago
  • The bill title is The Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 and the bill number is S.2636.

    Very timely they are doing this since Jan . Foreclosures up 57%.

    Reply to: 2 housing crisis proposals Democrats should support   14 years 11 months ago
  • FWIW, Stirling Newberry thinks "foreclosure in place" is a good idea too.

    Reply to: 2 housing crisis proposals Democrats should support   14 years 11 months ago
  • Was one of the biggest anti-worker, anti-middle class bills of all time. I agree, with your diary that these two pieces of legsilation should be supported. I hope all reading this consider writing their Senators in support.

    Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008.

    This is the first I've heard of the second.

    Reply to: 2 housing crisis proposals Democrats should support   14 years 11 months ago
  • Oh ye dare mention reality in this debate? Don't you know that guy needed that social security number in order to work in the US? That somehow he deserves that over the 2nd grader and back taxes be damned?

    Reply to: Seven Year Old Owes Back Taxes For $60K Earnings   14 years 11 months ago