The weekend has arrived and time to look at the rest of the news to find stuff that is unusual and fun…….
I know you have gotten those “retirement” village flyers telling you that you can retire and find your a little piece of heaven here on earth…….but this guy can actually sell you a little of heaven…..
(Newser) – Calling it the biggest loophole in the world doesn’t quite capture its reach: Dennis Hope claims that he owns the moon—and our solar system’s planets—due to what the Outer Space Treaty doesn’t say. Mashable reports the treaty has been the guiding document on space law since 1967, and while it bars any country on Earth from laying claim to a heavenly body, it makes no mention of private companies or individuals doing just that. So Hope formed Lunar Embassy Corp, snatched up the property rights to the moon and more, and has been selling off one-acre lots since.
Though Yahoo shines a light on Hope’s offerings (your own piece of the moon will cost just $19.99 an acre; Mars will run you slightly more at $22.49), it’s far from the first time he’s been in the news. He was featured in the documentary Lunarcy!, out last month on Epix, notes the Hollywood Reporter, and he’s talked to media before. As National Geographic previously reported, Hope thinks he has solid ground to stand on: He registered his moon claim with the UN in 1980, and got no answer, which he thinks means it’s a go. And while there’s still plenty of real estate to be had, Hope has sold more than a nominal amount of each: 600 million moon acres (about 7.5% of it) and 325 million Mars acres. He says two former US presidents are landowners as well as 250 “very well known celebrities,” as are two US hotel chains. But Hope does draw the line somewhere: The Apollo landing sites are off-limits.
Hey I got a bridge or two that I need to sell maybe I will contact this guy……
It is bad enough that they own industries that pollute the crap out of the planet……it is bad enough that they own a portion of the GOP……it is bad enough that they have enough cash to buy many politicians……but now they are out to control as much of the media as they possibly can……who are these masked men of which I speak?
(Newser) – Brothers Charles and David Koch, the billionaire businessmen behind Koch Industries and noted supporters of libertarian causes, are looking to buy into the newspaper business. They’re exploring a deal to acquire the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun, the New York Times reports. Some sources say it’s an investment opportunity only, but others believe the papers could serve as a valuable platform for spreading their conservative ideas.
An attendee of multiple Koch Industries seminars said the brothers often say that “they see the conservative voice as not being well represented” in the media. A former Koch Industries adviser says their interest in the Tribune papers is purely financial, and separate from their libertarian agenda. But as the Times notes, the papers have a collective value of around $623 million, which is pocket change for these oil tycoons. “A running joke among conservatives as we watched the GOP establishment spend $500 million on ineffectual TV ads is ‘Why don’t you just buy NBC?’” said a libertarian campaigner. “It’s good the Kochs are talking about fighting fire with a little fire.”
Thanx to Citizen’s United these guys get to buy an election…..but to make it a easier path to total control they need the media to help male their case…..slowly but slowly these guys are gaining total control of the message…..my question is where will they go with this.? Will there be a stopping point?
Please inject your thoughts on this.
Soon we will be in the middle of the “loophole” debate….what to close and what not to close……read and let me know your thoughts…..
I am helping my readers understand what is going on with politics……..now that the “cliff” drama is finished and the “debt” drama begins again….there will be media all over the GOP and their desire to lower corporate tax rates….and the argument will be lower rates will create jobs…..yes, that magical subject that get people elected…..you know that issue that all politicians talk about and then do NOTHING to create them? After all this is an issue that they love to taunt at every economic get together……..
Let’s be honest about the rates….yes they are high in the US….but once corporations use all their tax incentives it is quite low…..let’s look at a few things…….
- The federal corporate income tax rates were the highest in US history when the unemployment rates were the lowest in US history. From 1951, when the top marginal corporate income tax rate rose from 42% to 50.75%, to 1969, when rates peaked at 52.8%, the unemployment rate moved from 3.3% to 3.5%. From 1986 to 2011, when the top marginal corporate income tax rate declined from 46% to 35%, the unemployment rate increased from 7% to 8.9%.
- A “tax holiday” in 2004, which temporarily lowered the corporate income tax rate for companies that brought back cash stored overseas, resulted in companies cutting jobs. In 2004, Congress passed a repatriation tax holiday that allowed companies to bring back profits earned abroad at a 5% income tax rate instead of the top 35% rate. Fifteen of the companies that benefited the most from the tax holiday subsequently cut more than 20,000 net jobs.
- Companies hire employees because they need workers, not because of corporate income tax rates. According to a Nov. 15, 2011 blog post from billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, “you hire people because you need them. You don’t hire them because your taxes are lower.” In a July 2011 survey of 53 prominent American economists, 65% said that lack of demand was the main reason why employers were not hiring new employees as compared to 27% who said that uncertainty about corporate taxation was the main reason.
- Complaints about high federal corporate income tax rates causing high employment are unfounded because loopholes and deductions enable many companies to pay less than the statutory rate. Of the 500 large cap companies (a market capitalization value of more than $10 billion) in the Standard & Poor (S&P) stock index, 115 paid a total corporate tax rate – federal and state combined – of less than 20% from 2006-2011, and 39 of those companies paid a rate of less than 10%. General Electric, a multi-national corporation with net income of $14.16 billion, paid an effective tax rate of 7% in 2010. A 2011 study comparing the effective tax rates of the 100 largest US multinationals to the 100 largest European Union [EU] multinationals during the period of 2001-2010 found that EU multinationals have a higher average effective tax rate despite having to pay a lower statutory rate.
- Corporate profits in the United States are the highest they have been in 61 years, yet the federal unemployment rate is higher than most of the rest of the developed world. In 2011, corporate profits made up 10% of US GDP, the highest percentage since 1950. In 2011, the US unemployment rate was 8.9% compared to the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) average of 8.2%. Despite the highest corporate income tax in the world, corporate income tax revenue only brought the US federal government the equivalent of 1.2% of GDP in 2011 (the lowest percentage in recorded history), compared to the OECD average of 2.9% in 2010.
- Lowering the corporate tax rate raises the deficit, which hurts job creation. Lowering the federal corporate tax rate reduces the amount of money the US government receives in tax revenue, thus reducing federal government programs, investments, and job-creating opportunities. When the Tax Reform Act of 1986 reduced the top marginal rate from 46% to 34%, the federal deficit increased from $149.7 billion to $255 billion from 1987-1993.
- Complaints about high federal corporate income tax rates causing high unemployment are unfounded because corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash. As of Oct. 23, 2012, large companies listed in the S&P 500 are holding onto $1.5 trillion in cash (14% of their total value), the highest amount in American history. This cash could, but is not, be used to hire more employees and lower the unemployment rate. President Obama, in a July 22, 2009 press conference, stated “there have been reports just over the last couple of days of… companies making record profits, right now. At a time when everybody’s getting hammered, they’re making record profits.”
- The US economy added 15 million jobs in the five years immediately following a large federal corporate income tax increase in 1993. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 added three new corporate tax brackets and increased the income tax rates for corporations making income over $10 million. The US economy added more than 15 million jobs and grew at an average annual rate of 3.8% in the five years after the legislation was passed.
There are other considerations that should be pointed out before this pack of crap is packaged and sold to the public…..
– Corporate profits are at record highs, while corporate taxes are at record lows. While the U.S. has a 35 percent corporate tax rate on paper, few corporations actually pay that, due to a proliferation of loopholes, deductions, and the widespread use of tax havens. In 2011, the last year for which data is available, the effective corporate tax rate fell to 12.1 percent, a forty-year low. The corporate tax used to track resonably well with corporate profits, but the two have become decoupled in recent years, with profits shooting up while corporate taxes as a share of the economy plummeted.
– Many of the biggest corporations pay no corporate income tax at all. As Citizens for Tax Justice has found, many of the biggest corporations have effective tax rates near zero. 26 major corporations paid no corporate income tax between 2008 and 2011, while making a collective $205 billion in profits.
– The GOP’s favorite corporate tax idea helps outsource jobs. Republicans love to promote a “territorial” corporate tax system, under which offshore profits made by U.S. companies are never taxed. (Currently, those profits are taxed when they are brought back to the U.S.) The Congressional Budget Office recently reported that such a plan results in “increasing incentives to shift business operations and reported income to countries with lower tax rates.”
– Corporate tax reform should raise revenue. Corporate taxes used to make up about one-third of federal revenue; now it makes up less than 9 percent. The U.S. used to raise about 5 percent of GDP in corporate tax revenue; now it raises below 2 percent. As former White House economist Jared Bernstein noted, “locking in these historically low revenue levels, either as a share of GDP, total receipts, or profits, would be yet another self-inflected wound.”
We will see lots of media coverage when this becomes a priority and depending on the news cycle…….this is one of those issues that will be obfuscated to the point that NO one knows what the truth is or should be……these that I offer may not be the absolute truth but some points that I found and wanted to pass on to you….hopefully it will ease the headaches that will be born trying to follow the antics coming from media and politicians……good luck……
The weekend and sciencey stuff runs rampant……..as we deplete our natural resources what will we do?
(Newser) – Asteroid mining is just a few years away, according to a US company, but there won’t be any jobs for pickaxe-wielding spacemen just yet: The first probes will only be the size of laptops. Deep Space Industries plans to send the probes on prospecting trips to some of the 1,700 near-Earth asteroids in 2015, the CBC reports. Larger spacecraft will follow to extract valuable metals and gases from the asteroids, says the company, which aims to sell the resources to Mars missions and to the builders of orbiting space platforms.
Asteroids “can be like the Iron Range of Minnesota was for the Detroit car industry last century—a key resource located near where it was needed,” the company’s CEO says. “In this case, metals and fuel from asteroids can expand the in-space industries of this century.” Director James Cameron has announced a similar venture, but experts aren’t sure if asteroid mining is ready to get off the ground, the Guardian notes. “Is the prospect of using asteroid resources crazy? No, it’s not. Is it difficult? Yes, it is,” says the editor of NasaWatch.com. “Can you make a business case for it? People are trying, and making progress.”
But now the question is……AT WHAT PRICE? Sorry but I do not trust corporations to do the right thing…..I understand the need for profit……….but once again…..At What Price?
College of Political Knowledge
Subject: Economics/Political Theory
The beast I speak of this that beast that rears it’s ugly head during and just after any election…….(pause here for thought)……..Free Markets! A cute slogan that is hammered into the mind of potential voters…..hour after hour….and yet few have any idea what is meant…..
I realize that this is economics and everyone’s eyes will glaze over…….it is so much easier just to go about throwing one slogan after another without ever knowing what the f*ck you are talking about…….oh so much easier. Back in the day my grandfather gave me great advice and when it comes to economics it is the best advice…..”Never write a novel when a paragraph will do”………K.I.S.S.
One point I would like to make is………government CANNOT be run like a business! It is a Government NOT a business. Got that? And please stop using states as how the federal government should be run…..it cannot be run in the same manner…..it is a country not a state…another point you need to grasp whenever possible……
Back to the mythical beast……….
What does free markets refer to in these times? In today’s world this is not the idea of laissez faire of the Adam Smith strain……okay……Smith believed that selfish and unrestrained pursuit of self-interest will improve the general welfare….other words greed good…..and he foresaw that there is a natural order in which government has a minimal role……..
But in today’s world……the slogan “free markets” has been moved to the forefront by good old Milton Friedman……that would be the Chicago School of Economics……good old Milty was an economic adviser to Thatcher and Reagan (go figure)…….and he became famous for his free market ideology…….say that again, professor……his free market ideology.
And his ideology consisted of opposition to taxes, dislike for “big” government. Regulations, according to Uncle Milty, were an insufficient imposition on markets….he saw government only needed for defense, justice and basic legislation. He also wanted the allocation of resources left up to business and not the government……does any of this sound the least bit familiar?
These are the basic planks of every GOP presidential platform in the last 25+ years…..free markets are a slogan for a political ideology……it is not about the economy so much as about the running of the country….slogans aside…it is a political ideology and should be treated as such and not some magic pill for the reviving of the economy.