Recent comments

  • Robert,

    I'm won't pretend to understand every detail of shared's tax proposal.

    However, I'm not going to apologize for that, given there isn't 1 person out of a thousand who could follow it completely.

    I made a very simple macroeconomic point, which I think is hard to contest. If you eliminate all current Corporate taxes, which average 23% (based on the BEA's annualized Corporate profit total of $1,612 billion, and the Treasury Dept's $370 billion fiscal 2007 Corporate tax total), you've reduced the after-tax cost of all production costs by $370 billion.

    How do you think that compares with the aggregate labor cost savings of replacing 5 million American workers with 5 million Chinese workers, plus the wage suppression caused on 146 million American workers, plus the additional suppression from legal visa workers, and the employment loss and wage suppression 7 million employed illegal immigrants?

    I don't know the answer to that, myself. But my guess is that eliminating Corporate taxes would have a much smaller effect than job loss and wage suppression would have. Professor George Borjas puts the wage suppression from immigration alone at about 4% annually, which works out to over $200 billion annually.

    And that doesn't count the effect losing of $370 billion in Federal revenue, which necessitates increased Federal borrowing--increasing inflation and decreasing the buying power and production demand created by the expenditure of American labor income.

    When someone's primary suggestion is a tax cut, and back-handed support of illegal immigration (by not emphasizing employer sanctions) he's missing the forest for the trees. And by default, it implies that he supports current Free Trade agreements, open borders, and amnesty.

    And if the discussion of policy focuses on actions with relatively small effects (if any), it distracts from discussion and consideration of policies having larger effects.

    When I've already spent 5-6 hours sorting through a self-serving and largely imcomprehensible "proposal", (since it was already posted on my own forum), I have every right and obligation to make some non-profane derogatory comments about its author.

    And, Robert, I don't appreciate having to defend YOUR support of "sharedeconomicgrowth's" views on my OWN forum, since I've highly recommended your site on my forum, while adamantly (and publicly) opposing the views of sharedeconomicgrowth.

    Members of my forum have noted my recommendation of of your site, and visited it as a result. But then they've questioned my support of your site--based on your support of sharedeconomicgrowth's views. Initially, I defended your initial response to shared's proposal, as simply tolerance of sharedeconomicgrowth's views. Apparently, however, you were not just "tolerating" them. You were supporting them. As such, I can no longer recommend your site. I'm now forced to withdraw my previous recommendation.

    I readily tolerate opposing views, and even personal criticism on my own forum. In fact, I thrive on opposing views. But I cannot recommend another site to my forum members when I'm in fundamental disagreement with its administrator--especially on something as critical as the Corporate cheap labor lobby. And especially when such disagreement is actually brought to my attention by my own forum members.


    Reply to: Two Simple Proposals for Restoring Middle Class Market Power   15 years 1 month ago
  • This is amazing, maybe some other economists should consider charting the data before they write.

    Here's the NYTimes headline Productivity Growth Slows and the Costs of Labor Rise

    Your graphs clearly show the costs of labor are not rising.

    Reply to: Hours Worked Declined Sharply and Wages Fell   15 years 1 month ago
  • Today a major bug happened which disabled your ability to post. There is a contact form on the site upper right hand corner, in the header. Please email us if it crashes like that. Post any additional problems you might have using the site. It's new, it's Drupal based and that means bug city.

    Reply to: Do you like this site? Try it? Post Bugs, Problems, Site issues in comments.   15 years 1 month ago
  • Paul Krugman ("Left" economist, whatever that means these days), wrote an op-ed on Obama's health care plan.

    If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance — nobody knows how big — that we’ll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won’t happen

    The piece does a pretty good explanation of the plan details, anlaysis and to why he reaches this conclusion.

    More via the Huffington Post op-ed.

    Reply to: Obama and Subprime   15 years 1 month ago
  • This would be useful if it adjusted for cost of living (or some other measure of purchasing power).

    Reply to: Manufacturing Jobs - US Wages Dramatic Decline   15 years 1 month ago
  • That's absurd it's our savings rate. it's called the China PNTR, which is so biased against the United States and our national economic interest I like to call it the would you like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge too trade agreement.

    Seriously, there are Chinese tariffs, requirements to partner with state owned Chinese corporations, hand over manufacturing expertise, educate their people....list goes on and on...

    so it's now wonder since 1996 when this disaster was started, by 1998 we're in a teetering economic apocalypse.

    Reply to: Lou Dobbs 2/4/08 "America being sold to foreign governments"   15 years 1 month ago
  • LOC

    Least objectionable candidate.

    Reply to: Economists Rethink Free Trade   15 years 1 month ago
  • Come on, take the morality out of it and just look at this as a spreadsheet equation.

    ok, he's talking about forcing a prevailing wage in so many words on a guest worker Visa program for future immigration.

    That's not only good, it's precisely what S.1035 is about to reform the H-1B guest worker Visa. It stops labor arbitrage by flooding the labor supply with cheap workers (legal or illegal).

    He's not talking about amnesty o enforcement only for those already here, it's future influxes, future immigration and it's referring to how Bush, many Politicians (Hillary, Obama included) are going to approve massive guest worker Visas. Professional workers are the ones they are really gunning for to labor arbitrage.


    He's talking about dividends which are corporate dividends, which are currently taxed as part of profits and he's saying to let the corporations write them off as an expense.

    then on capital gains he's going from a 15% to 22% (it was 20% before Bush) which should assist with the hedge funds, private equity corporate raiders and then he's saying to add an additional 7% tax on anyone with total earnings over 500K a year.

    If I'm understanding this, that would be beyond a tax holiday but a massive write off, account as expenses, i.e. zero taxes, to repatriate all of these corporations offshore holdings which exist to plain avoid paying any tax. That is the issue with capital protection I was referring to and I can't see a counter to his argument that this would indeed not cause a massive capital infusion into the US if this occurred.

    I think I'm understanding this right and frankly, getting US corporations to pull back into the US all of that offshore cash this way sure sounds better than getting a bail out from a Saudi Prince.

    Also, let's not turn this site into a with the name calling, please. Argue the merits the points, let's stick with the math when in doubt.

    Reply to: Two Simple Proposals for Restoring Middle Class Market Power   15 years 1 month ago
  • 1stly, please do not call anyone scum. Yes he is posting from the corporate agenda, no doubt about it and announces so. That said, there are many hidden reasons why corporations offshore outsource and capital protection is a huge reason.

    Alot of what he's talking about, I went and researched and he has a real case. Now I have a lot of questions but we need to consider these effects, by the math itself.

    Underneath that analysis something he is saying I know is true, corporations operate from a pure short term profit margin in most of what they do. I think that's stupid, they should think 10 years out but that's the reality. They are not moral or are they even bounded by a national interest as entities (although they should consider that frankly and that's another issue). But, he's telling you how they operate and that's a perspective and discussion we need to have.
    They generate jobs, bear that in mind.

    When you add up a lot of the variables and look at it holistically, they are going to go for maximum profits but the US tax code does greatly affect that and yes our US tax code is messed up.

    Tariffs are just not the only answer and are a very brute force here. One can change a series of policy areas to make it not profitable to labor arbitrage and the corporate tax code is one.

    I think you should read this:
    has a policy that is based on a consumption tax and VAT.

    VAT allows all tax to be rebated on exports and imposed on imports.

    There is no doubt about it via trade agreements the US and keeping manufacturing, jobs in the US, the tax code is biased to move these industries out of the US.

    But, there is more than one way to skin a cat than just tariffs here.

    Now China and the possibility of tariffs, they are so brutal, clearly manipulating their own tariff schedule, that might be more appropriate but for service oriented industries or just generally, it's not so clear.

    So, I think we need to consider all of these proposals and basically use our very smart lay people's brains here which I know we can do and evaluate them, find out the real cause and effect.

    Nobody, let's face it have you ever seen a call to action on the damn tax code beyond the radical right individual tax code? The entire left and us who analyze per issue never even mention it.

    Reply to: Two Simple Proposals for Restoring Middle Class Market Power   15 years 1 month ago
  • Maybe we could take up a collection and buy Obama an Economics textbook, since he's obviously never seen one, much less read one.

    EPC forum

    Reply to: Clinton Obama immigration debate   15 years 1 month ago
  • Here's a paragraph from that article, which gives a hint as to the difference between Clinton and Obama on free trade:

    "The rumble of academic debate is already having an effect on the Presidential campaign. In an interview with the Financial Times late last year, *Hillary Clinton* agreed with economist Paul A. Samuelson's argument that traditional notions of comparative advantage may no longer apply. "The question of whether spreading globalization and information technology are strengthening or hollowing out our middle class may be the most paramount economic issue of our time," her chief economic adviser, Gene Sperling, recently wrote."

    The Obama camp, however, has a different view:

    *Barack Obama's* adviser, the University of Chicago's Austan D. Goolsbee, is NOT convinced free trade is the culprit behind the squeeze on incomes. "

    Obama is now worse on both trade AND illegal immigration than Clinton.

    Add to that the fact that Obama has no idea what he's talking about on medicine and health care reform, and Clinton becomes a better choice. By a lot.


    Reply to: Economists Rethink Free Trade   15 years 1 month ago
  • This is the best thing I've heard yet about Hillary Clinton. I'd pretty much resigned myself to voting for for Ron Paul, or a 3rd party candidate. If Clinton follows up on this notion, I might have to reconsider.

    Now, if she'd only stop pandering to the illegal immigrant lobby.


    Reply to: Economists Rethink Free Trade   15 years 1 month ago
  • Below is my January 21, 2008, regarding "SharedEconomicGrowth's" Corporate tax cut proposal:

    There are too many bad ideas in this proposal to contest in just 1 post.

    I'll start with your last point about immigration. You've proposed a complicated, completely unnecessary plan for dealing with illegal immigration. It's technically a very simple problem to fix, with a very simple solution. We need to spend every ¢ of our money and effort on prosecuting EMPLOYERS for hiring illegal immigrants. There is a system in place now, that's already up and running, that makes it impossible for employers to use the "I-didn't-know" story. This system, called E-verify, makes it very easy for an employer to verify legal status, and very difficult to concoct an excuse for hiring an illegal worker.

    If we aggressively prosecute employers for illegal hiring, there'll be little need for any other policy. We won't need to do something like "pay them 3 times the minimum wage," or any of these other complicated and unworkable plans (like the Comprehensive Immigration-Amnesty Bill).

    As for your Corporate Tax giveaway proposal—there is nothing simple or easy to understand about it. And it is full of potential loopholes. And as you are well aware, there is a much, MUCH simpler solution to job losses from outsourcing—Tariffs. Withdrawing from all of our "Free" trade agreements, as both Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich have proposed, is exactly what we need to do.

    If we levy high tariffs on foreign imports, especially on goods and services from American-owned foreign companies, it could easily offset any alleged tax disadvantage that American-located, American companies experience. Tariffs would make it more expensive to move production overseas—by adding the cost of tariffs to the retail price--offsetting tax advantages gained by moving production overseas.

    What you've suggested sounds like another Corporate-tax avoidance scam—whose real motivation is to help already rich stockholders and investors, under the guise of "protecting American jobs."

    The real solutions to outsourcing and illegal immigration are extremely simple. Put tariffs on all foreign imports, and higher tariffs when there is American ownership of the foreign-located facility. Prosecute employers for hiring illegal immigrants—either with heavy fines, imprisonment, or both.

    Except in isolated cases, such as with the production of Lipitor in Ireland, the motivation to outsource has little to do with taxes. It's almost entirely due to the cheaper labor available in foreign countries.

    No tax plan will make it more profitable to produce goods in the United States using $140/day labor, than in China using $4/day labor. And China is responsible for roughly $230 billion of our trade deficit. So that's $230 billion that would be completely unaffected by any Corporate tax-cut proposal. Mexico and other Asian countries are responsible for another large part of our trade deficit. No Corporate tax giveaway will offset the advantage of using North Korean slave labor from the Gaesong Industrial Park, who are paid less than 25¢ per hour. Again, the major reason for outsourcing of American jobs is to cut labor costs—due to the availability of cheap semi-slave labor in foreign countries.

    None of this country's problems can be fixed, or even reduced, by eliminating Corporate taxes. Though the Corporate tax rate is 35%, few Corporations pay that amount. Many pay absolutely $0. And Corporations don't pay any taxes if they pay out all their money in costs and salaries.

    This "proposal" you're pushing is just another way to reduce taxes on those who can best afford to pay them, while offering absolutely 0 benefit to the economy, to American workers, or to anyone but the very richest.

    If you really wanted to change the tax structure, and reduce outsourcing, you'd start by eliminating the foreign tax exclusions that [u]currently[/u] exist, instead of pushing for tax elimination on the already exorbitant profits of Corporate America.

    The rich need to pay more taxes. Investors need to pay higher taxes. Dividends need to be taxed more. Corporate America is still doing extremely well, unlike the majority of the American people. Corporate America has abundant capital available for investment, which they demonstrate by pushing stock prices higher on news of a Fed rate cut.

    Corporations don't need any tax breaks. Their only disincentive for investment is the inability to sell production and services to the American people, whose backs they made their exorbitant profits off of.

    If anyone needs tax cuts, it's working and middle class Americans, not rich investors or the Corporate elite.

    Reply to: Two Simple Proposals for Restoring Middle Class Market Power   15 years 1 month ago
  • Robert,

    This guy already posted his thinly veiled Corporate tax-cut scam on my own forum. It makes no more sense now, than it did the first time I read it.

    His assertion that Corporations are moving offshore because of high Corporate taxes is B.S.

    They're moving offshore to access cheap labor. No amount of Corporate Welfare, in the form of tax giveaways, is going to offset the labor cost savings of replacing $140/day American workers with $4/day Chinese workers.

    I've previously read his concoction in detail. His commentary sounds good to start with, and then he reveals his true, and only motivation--to eliminate taxes on rich Corporations.

    There is a simple solution to the outsourcing problem that could be implemented tomorrow if we had the political will-- TARIFFS. If Corporate America thinks American labor is too expensive for them to keep producing in the US , then we need to make it even MORE expensive to produce goods for the American markets overseas. Tariffs could easily accomplish that.

    Every other country in recorded history, including the US, has used tariffs to protect its industries at one time or another.

    As it stands now, many American Corporations pay no taxes whatsoever. The average tax rate actually paid, according to the combined information from the Treasury Dept and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, is roughly 20% (before all the phony deductions.)

    We don't need to reduce Corporate taxes any whatsoever. We need to INCREASE taxes on Benedict Arnold American Corporations that have moved overseas, and then want to sell their slave-labor-produced goods in the US market.

    Reply to: Two Simple Proposals for Restoring Middle Class Market Power   15 years 1 month ago
  • I know many tapped out their home equity to pay their bills and if the home evaluations go down they will not be able to recover those additional debts.

    But beyond that, I have to agree with you and no one, almost no one seems to mention that nobody can afford the damn house payments on your typical US salary and that these prices are too damn ridiculous.

    I think this is the first time in the blogs and most assuredly not in the MSM I've seen anyone mention this.

    Reply to: Economic Stimulus   15 years 1 month ago
  • One aspect of this package, that receives little attention from the media, is the Housing-Financial Industry Bail-out.

    I received a letter from Senator Barbara Boxer, regarding her advocacy of this part of the bail-out--which consists of raising the conforming loan limits on mortgages that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy, from the current $417K to an astronomical $795K.

    My take on Boxer's sellout to the Financial Industry is this:

    Boxer has an undergraduate degree in Economics, and she knows exactly what will happen if conforming loan limits are raised, on loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (and raised tremendously—from the current $417K to ~ $800K) This will provide more loan money to maintain current home prices. It will help keep California home prices unaffordable. It will prevent them from falling to a true market level, consistent with historical levels dictated by Californians' income.

    And it will put taxpayers on the hook for the inevitable bail-out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Worse still, it will make the size of the taxpayer-funded bailout even larger.

    This is an unabashed bail-out of banks, mortgage brokers, MBS purchasers, and housing speculators. Not only does it bail out the same financial "geniuses" and con-artists who created this mess, it actually rewards them. And it does so at the expense of most Californians, especially those Boxer claims she's trying to help.

    If there are 10 million Californians who are poor enough to be on Medi-Cal, they must also be eligible for Welfare (TANF). This means there are at least 10 million Californians that will be hurt by keeping home prices high by raising conforming loan limits.

    But this 10 million number grossly understates the number actually affected. Most recent survey's put California home affordability at 10-12%. Which means that 88-90% of Californians can not
    afford homes. The proposed increase in conforming loan limits hurts all of that 88-90%, ensuring that homes will remain unaffordable.

    Once again, our government has concocted a "stimulus" package that offers only crumbs to most Americans--hoping to disguise its true intent—that of bailing out their rich campaign contributors and cronies in the Financial Industry.

    The goal is to save the richest Americans from the consequences of their greed-motivated actions. The goal is to ensure that those at the top can continue privatizing profits, while socializing their losses.

    The goal is to maintain our Corporate Welfare state, making sure the wealthy don't become less wealthy—by allowing them to dump their losses on non-wealthy taxpayers. This is just another reverse Robin Hood scam--ensuring that wealth continues to be transferred upwards.

    It's no surprise that the Financial Industry bailout aspect is rarely mentioned by the news media. They're hoping no one will find out about it. They're hoping to fill air time by discussing the other aspects, and divert attention away from the Corporate Welfare aspect.

    The Financial Industry is getting plenty of help already, Senator Boxer. How about worrying more about ALL of your constituents, instead of just the rich ones? How about worrying about the voters, instead of your big campaign contributors only.

    There may be some good proposals in the suggested package. But they're more than nullified by the Housing/Financial Industry bail-out. If the Corporate bailout aspect becomes part of the package, most Americans will be worse off, not better.

    Reply to: Economic Stimulus   15 years 1 month ago
  • "Obama is more than informed, his letters back to constituents on labor arbitrage through guest worker Visas claims that they, the constituent is just "blaming the immigrant""

    Amen. That's exactly what I've heard Obama regurgitate in his demogogue-like speeches. He whines that we "shouldn't demonize immigrants," and regurgitates the "don't scapegoat immigrants" soundbite as well.

    7 million of our 146 million jobs are filled by illegal immigrants. If Obama is too moronic not to understand that this suppresses wages, he has no business even being a Senator, much less President.

    His commentary on how to reduce medical costs was equally idiotic, though not quite as obvious to most people.

    It's obvious now why Obama refuses to take a position on any issue. He doens't know anything about any issue. All he knows is the "audacity of hope," the "audacity of audacity," and the "audaciousnes of audacity". He is audaciously uninformed, and the only "hope" he sparks is the "hope" that he won't be elected.

    Reply to: Clinton Obama immigration debate   15 years 1 month ago
  • Please encourage the Chrysler workers who were laid off while a foreign H-1b workers retained jobs that the Americans were qualified for to post their stories here, so that media can find and contact them:

    You can see the post of other impacted Americans here:

    Industry is lobbying for MORE H-1b workers. This site finally give the media a means to tell our side of the story.

    Mr. Kim Berry

    Reply to: Chrysler fires Union, keep H-1b guest workers   15 years 1 month ago
  • When I heard the debate, Obama said something to the effect that he didn't accept the concept that illegal immigration suppresses wages. Needless to say, Obama was as clear as mud on what he said, as usual. But he twice implied that illegal immigration does not suppress wages.

    At least Clinton did not try to make the same nonsensical claim. As a result, Clinton sounded slightly better than Obama on immigration.

    Reply to: Clinton Obama immigration debate   15 years 1 month ago
  • For insourcing, high skilled jobs there is S.1035 trying to disallow the constant labor arbitrage of H-1B Visas.
    It has a prevailing wage law, much to your 3x minimum wage principle as well as a market test that no American could be found (which does not exist currently).

    Another thing proposed is to stop the guest worker Visas lottery award (first come first served, pick at random) and approve H-1B applications "top down" possibly based on salary award or maybe a vector of criteria (say critical to a particular research area in the US for future R&D development).

    I'm shocked a corporate guy would even acknowledge trying to fix the race to the bottom from any perspective...but what bothers me most about corporate mentality is not the long term, 10 year plan, about what is going to happen to them with this kind of national economic path. As you point out, the US goes down, it's bringing the whole world with it.
    (and where is this mythical 1.3B Chinese consumer market I might add?)

    i.e. We have a 40% drop in people studying STEM because they know the career is ripe for age discrimination, labor arbitrage yet it years of education and training (You don't mention training on your CPA and tax people! by using foreigners the US has offshore outsourced training, education investment costs). So, here is all of this raw talent sitting around the US wondering where to focus in order to survive economically. and raw talent sure isn't skilled talent. As it is there are more graduates in STEM than there are entry career openings.

    So, long term, what is this global labor arbitrage agenda going to do to the US economy? These high skills arenas are the innovators, the future startup CTOs, the patent holders the new industry break trhough generators.

    Reply to: Two Simple Proposals for Restoring Middle Class Market Power   15 years 1 month ago