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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Morning News: War in Europe, Awards in Los Angeles, Ebola in America?

Posted by on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 8:56 AM

OOPS: Putin says that Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine entered that country by mistake—they were looking to invade Finland and got lost. Putin and Ukraine's president meet in Belarus today for talks two days after pro-Russian Ukrainian militants (and some pro-Russian Russian militants) paraded Ukrainian prisoners of war through the streets of rebel-held, Ukraine-shelled Donetsk, a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Burger King Now Welfare Queen: An American hamburger chain buys a Canadian donut chain so it can move its corporate headquarters to Canada in order to avoid paying US corporate taxes. So, hey, maybe we should raise the minimum wage at Burger King outlets to $25 an hour—they can afford it, right? Or maybe we should tax their outlets for the use of the sidewalks that their customers use to get in their lousy restaurants? And maybe a diabetes surcharge?

Ebola: Forty percent of Americans believe there will be a large outbreak of Ebola in the United States, and a quarter of all Americans believe that someone in their immediate families will contract the deadly disease. One hundred percent of health officials believe that 40 percent and 25 percent of Americans are being ridiculous drama queens.

The Morning's Worst News:

A third American hostage held by ISIS has been identified as a 26-year-old American woman who was kidnapped a year ago while doing humanitarian relief work in Syria. The terror group is demanding $6.6 million and the release of U.S. prisoners for the life of the young woman, who the family requested not be identified.

The Emmys: Here, here, here, and here. All you need to know: Sarah Silverman brought pot to the Emmys (and did a little show-and-tell on the red carpet), Cary Joji Fukunaga became a sex symbol, and Emmy voters only gave Emmys to people and shows that they had given Emmys to before.

Screw as I Say, Not as I Screw: The GOP's conservative "family values" voters have already sent a jet-setting adulterer back to Congress and an adulterer who admitted to patronizing prostitutes (and is suspected of wearing diapers while doing so) back to the Senate—so why wouldn't they hand the GOP nomination to a conservative, "pro-life" doctor who pressured his wife to have two abortions and slept with his patients?

The Libertarian Tipping Point? Yeah, no. You would actually need some libertarians for that. And there aren't many of them out there. "Libertarian" is just something embarrassed conservatives call themselves—kinda like when liberals started calling themselves "progressives."

NRA MIA in WA: The National Rifle Association isn't making much noise while rich Washington residents throw money at supporters of Initiative 594, which would close the "gun show loophole." Goldy is nearly ready to call it for supporters of sane gun control.

Nothing to See Here: Police claim black man shot himself in the back while sitting in a police car with his hands cuffed behind his back. Nope, says the coroner, that black guy shot himself in the chest while sitting in a police car with his hands cuffed behind his back. It gets worse: The police searched Victor White twice. They found some pot on him the first time, and a "small amount of cocaine" the second time. But they somehow missed the gun the police claim White had on him and used to commit suicide. In the backseat of a police car. With his hands cuffed behind his back.

The Headline That Made Getting Up Super Early to Do the "Morning News" Totally Worthwhile: "Kid Rock Subpoenaed to Produce Glass Dildo as Evidence in Insane Clown Posse Lawsuit."


Comments (72) RSS

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Catalina Vel-DuRay 1
The other morning KING did an absolutely ridiculous story about how someone in Sacramento totally probably might have Ebola, complete with soundbytes from morons that they stopped as they pulled into the moron parking lot at the moron center.

This could be a "teachable moment" about public health, but no one wants to go there, and too many people are too stupid to understand it anyway.

The public makes me grumpy.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on August 26, 2014 at 9:24 AM · Report this
Comedy Gold: Slog assailing libertarianism as irrelevant, while headlining a decision by yet another company (BK) to pack-up and leave, taking abroad the jobs (and profits). It is easy to make fun of a fast food restaurant? Sure: "Let 'em go make fries in Canada, right?" (Expect for all the high-wage, high-tech companies like Medtronic et al).

The funny thing is the liberals who think – somehow – that they can "stop" or "punish" the outflow of capital. In fact, its the State mindset to stop (regulation) and punish (uncompetitive taxation) that is causing them to leave in the first place.

Funny, no mention in Slog today of yesterday's collapse of the French socialist government.…

Their economy falls into recession (again), reported unemployment that is over 11% (still), and a bureaucracy that is seized by poor choices, beholden to foreign interests due to decades of reckless spending. Their answer was to raise taxes on the wealthiest, who are fleeing with their companies (and jobs for others) in droves.

Instead of seeing BK's shift to Canada as a problem, perhaps you should see it as a symptom of a problem – Global Economic Competitiveness – as seek to address it as such.
Posted by Zok on August 26, 2014 at 9:25 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 3
I find Sarah Silverman attractive.
Posted by Max Solomon on August 26, 2014 at 9:56 AM · Report this
JonnoN 4
@2 please continue informing us how clueless you are about everything.
Posted by JonnoN on August 26, 2014 at 9:58 AM · Report this
If corporate tax rates in an advanced social welfare state like Canada are really so much lower that it makes a lot of sense to leave the country, maybe our tax rates are the problem and not Burger King.
Posted by Reader01 on August 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Gus 6
"Libertarians" are usually just Republicans who either want to smoke pot or want to distinguish themselves from the Christian Conservative wing of the Republican Party.

If they actually smoked pot, or didn't support the same policies as the Conservative Christians, they wouldn't be so terrible.
Posted by Gus on August 26, 2014 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Gus 7
Have there been any comparative studies between the black men who shoot themselves while handcuffed, compared to the white men who do so?

Or is this just a black thing, like loud rap music?
Posted by Gus on August 26, 2014 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 8
Thanks for the comedy gold, Zok. Now, aside from the fact that our bought-and-paid-for Congress won't simply pass a law making all corporations who do, say, $1B in business in the USA pay corporate tax on the income the generate on our shores, tell us exactly how such a law will make all those corporations stop doing business in the world's largest economy. I need more laughs and libertarian economic theory is always a reliable source for them.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM · Report this
If you had said that the police murdered this young black man while in LOUISIANA, Dan, none of us who've lived there would be surprised.

Louisiana cops are some of the most violent, deadly and corrupt SOBs ever to wear a badge anywhere on Earth.

If you're a racist killer, serial killer, or just a run-of-the-mill murderous redneck bastard whose victims made the front page news while you walked away free from reprisal, you're probably a cop in Louisiana...or Ferguson...or most any major city in America.

Allowing murderers to hide behind badges destroys the character and reputation of those who have served with honor and given that badge its meaning. The only thing needed to let that badge become the symbol of corruption and injustice is for good cops to sit silently and do nothing to rid their ranks of these criminals.

I no longer trust that badge to be a symbol of justice, and I am not alone.
Posted by The police cannot be trusted to police themselves on August 26, 2014 at 10:14 AM · Report this
The CIA and Privatization

This morning on CNN Carol Costello was interviewing some clueless former CIA covert dude, who used to be involved with those illegal and wrongful extreme renditions in Europe, picking up any innocent Arab while staying at all those five-star hotels!

He kept emphasizing that the Turkish military should be pushed to go after ISIS, or the Islamic State, completely oblivious to the fact that present-day Turkey is more inclined towards ISIS.

With Erdogan dismantling the Parallel State, the secular military structure which their first president of Turkey, the great leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (nationally known simply as Atatürk), put in place to bring Turkey forward into the present and future, while insuring that the military would step in to curb any veering towards religious extremism.

Erdogan, in one fell swoop, replaced the general command of the Turkish military with religious extremists of his own hue.

Atatürk either took advantage of a historic scholar-soldier tradition of the military, or was the one who had established it, to create that secular parallel state.

With Erdogan in power in Turkey, little hope exists for the return to the structure originally established by Atatürk.

Prior to privatization, the CIA couldn't find their own vaginas.

Since privatization, they appear clueless as to what a vagina is!

The privatization of the American intelligence establishment (CIA/NSA/DIA/FBI) appeared completely clueless as to what the Islamic State is, and their origins.

The only activity the privatized American intelligence establishment appears capable of is surveilling American citizens, hence 9/11, hence the Boston Marathon bombing, hence ignorance of the Islamic State.……

Posted by sgt_doom on August 26, 2014 at 10:28 AM · Report this
From now on, I will address all my sentences to Bono.

Such as:
Stock prices are up today, Bono.

Looks like the movie "Lucy" is doing well internationally, Bono.

Bono, today the weather here is sunny with little chance of rain.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 26, 2014 at 10:30 AM · Report this

How far down the rabbit's hole have you gone that you keep spitting out such shitty, little nuggets of complete and utter clueless nonsense?

Do you ever leave the mirrored echo chamber of chattering bobble heads?
Posted by Plagued by Goddamned Fools, Deafened by White Noise on August 26, 2014 at 10:30 AM · Report this
Thanks for that Sarah Silverman clip, greatly appreciate her cleavage.
Posted by sgt_doom on August 26, 2014 at 10:30 AM · Report this
Ophian 14
What's with all the Libertarian hate here? While I'm not personally a "small-government" kind of guy, I can at least respect that they are self-consistent.

Here in Austin there is a pretty good crop of individuals who's feelings might oppose pot or marriage-equality or abortion, but would fight along with the rest of us to preserve the individual liberty to make those decisions for ourselves.

It is the militaristic, Christian-nation, invade-your-bedroom, "conservatives" that are blatantly ridiculous, and should be called out on it at every opportunity.
Posted by Ophian on August 26, 2014 at 10:37 AM · Report this


What's so fantastic about your criticism of libertarianism is the stream of evidence that the tide is running against Statist economics.

Our bought-and-paid-for federal government (granted) is a function of your desire to encourage and empower the State to do more. Do you think they'll be less corruptible if we simply send them more revenue and give them more responsibility? And yet you foolishly keep asking them to nationalize your education system, federalize your marriage, own the means of healthcare delivery, etc.

In fact I WILL tell you why Congress can't tax under your hypothetical $1 Billion in domestic revenue scheme:

People invest in companies because their investment is RELATIVELY better off in one investment than another. If you tax US corporations punitively, they become less profitable, and so marginally less attractive. And in order to become more attractive they will:

1) Reduce costs (cut people/wages)
2) Pay more for capital (loans, etc,)
3) Take bigger risks (diversification abroad)
4) Find new/better uses for capital (overseas growth)

And, if you make corporations less profitable, the backbone of the public employee and union pension schemes falls apart. Yes, all of those bloated union pensions (CALPERS, etc.) rely on massive (and accelerating) returns from public companies and investment banking interests. You know who wants BK to make a shit-ton of money? Teachers and municipal employees. Because the party is over when they can't find a place to invest that provides sufficient returns to prop-up the unsustainable pension promise.

For some reason the Left believes that you can take action against someone (We're going to tax you on $1 billion) without there being a reaction. (We're leaving.)

Yes, you might for a short period of time find companies who – in the interests of servicing the US economy – stay and pay.

But with China growing at a slow 7% GDP, the capital that would otherwise be spent to grow a business domestically (with all of the construction, services and technology jobs that come with it), will simply go into foreign markets. (Look at Japan and its lost two decades.)

You're a complete stooge if you think large, central government can and will control things in your long-term interests. It has never happened in the history of government, and yet you believe.

And in the very face of basic economic principles (EU is economically bust; Detroit; people moving their businesses abroad), you don't see the limits of your ability to "control" things.
Posted by Zok on August 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 16

Is it acceptable if we stick to calling out these people on blogs?I'm not a fan of personal confrontation.
Posted by dnt trust me on August 26, 2014 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 17
@ 14, they are self-consistent

Sorry, no. That's the problem with libertarians in a nutshell: Scratch the surface and their political views are incoherent, illogical, self-contradictory, and delusional. They're grown man/babies that want all of the benefits of living in a developed country, but are too greedy and narcissistic to contribute their fair share towards paying for it. Like US "conservatism" in general, it's a personality disorder, not a policy platform.
Posted by Original Andrew on August 26, 2014 at 10:46 AM · Report this
rob! 18
Holy crap Bill Gates is aging fast. It's great that he can throw money at gun control, I just hope he's not depriving himself of sunscreen.
Posted by rob! on August 26, 2014 at 10:47 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 19
1. Ayn Rand and Objectivism.
2. Libertarians of the Ron/Rand Paul ilk don't actually support individual freedom when it comes to an issue like Reproductive Choice. They are not self-consistent.
Posted by Max Solomon on August 26, 2014 at 10:49 AM · Report this
"Kid Rock Subpoenaed to Produce Glass Dildo ..."

Where is he supposed to have been, um, concealing it?
Posted by RonK, Seattle on August 26, 2014 at 10:58 AM · Report this
Posted by sgt_doom on August 26, 2014 at 11:03 AM · Report this


You'll find that the growth of government spending (as a percentage of GDP, from 8% in 1900 to near 40% today) and the growth of regulation correlates strongly with the lack of opportunity and hope most Lefties feel.…
Posted by Zok on August 26, 2014 at 11:11 AM · Report this

Every meeting of libertarians that I've attended has been a room full of white men, mostly over 40 and straight and noticeably without their wives or girlfriends.

Most of their "policy" objectives are about ending government programs from which white men have already received the full benefit. In others words, now that they've got theirs its okay to pull up the ladder for anyone else that might be using it to climb up too.

Consistently and with very rare exception, libertarians vote Republican in any race where voting for an independent or third-party candidate would likely result in the Democrat winning. In other words, when push comes to shove libertarians quickly retreat to the familiar politics of their parents' Republican tent.

Libertarians are the pot smoking, porn watching, liquor drinking teenagers hanging out in the treehouse making up their boys club rules in the backyards of their right wing, fundamentalist christian Republican parents' houses.

You all retreat to the comfort and security of your parents' political party when you can't win on your own.

Posted by Libertarian Battle Cry = Retreat! Retreat! on August 26, 2014 at 11:36 AM · Report this
@Zok: Wut. "(BK) to pack-up and leave, taking abroad the jobs (and profits)"
BK is purchasing another company, not closing stores in the US. I mean really, could you be more clueless? This has nothing to do with closing down and moving abroad, and everything to do with a shitty tax code. There won't be fewer BKs or BK jobs in the US as a result of this deal, just fewer taxes paid.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on August 26, 2014 at 11:47 AM · Report this

Or, you could simply address yourself as that is your audience.
Posted by Circular Arguments on August 26, 2014 at 11:48 AM · Report this
IndicaDogwalk 26
@23 - I couldn't have said it better myself. Bravo!
Posted by IndicaDogwalk on August 26, 2014 at 12:18 PM · Report this

The ideology of your ego has eclipsed your view of reality.

All of this stupidity is about feeding the insatiable greed of the investor class.

Businesses the size of Burger King have stolen ever penny, nickel and dime they can steal from the farmers, workers, customers, cities and taxpayers. The quality of their food can't take another cut; it tastes like shit as it is. The workers cannot afford to live on what Burger King pays them now, and the customers cannot afford to pay BK even more for less. The city has no more tax revenues to give. But, the investor class are still demanding more, more, more.

The "conservative" Canadian government appears to be copying its "conservative" mum, Britain, in offering tax shelters to American billionaires to grow their deposits and investors instead of growing their own businesses and markets. Why incubate your own chicks when you can steal your neighbor's hens.

These "conservatives" don't know how to grow markets; so, they use big government and mountains of debt to buy them from other nations. It's a short-term fix for the pretense of economic growth, but when the books are reconciled and other nations learn the same trick you're fucked.

Ask America, she's done it over and over and over again as the debt mounts, but gets moved to next quarter, next year, next decade, next generation.

Apparently, "conservatives" the world over share one brain, one set of tired, worn out and worthless ideas.

Other Canadian businesses that don't get these tax breaks should be as equally outraged as Americans who have subsidized fast food restaurants through tax subsidies for agricultural products that comprise their menu, for health and welfare programs for their underpaid workers, and for infrastructure that makes their car-based, city-dependent businesses possible.

These whining businesses don't even pay taxes sufficient to cover the benefits they receive now; those benefits are being paid for them by hard working, tax paying Americans and by borrowed debt heaped upon future generations of American workers yet born.

If Burger King wants to defect, fine, but the traitors should get the tax bill for all of the socialism that makes their corporate profits possible and their investors' wallets so fat.

It's time they paid their bill to the American taxpayers.
Posted by Fuck Burger King on August 26, 2014 at 12:37 PM · Report this
disintegrator 28
@2: Are you kidding me? Did you read the fucking article? The cabinet was dissolved for opposing the austerity measures

Tell me again how this is a condemnation of progressive social policies?
Posted by disintegrator on August 26, 2014 at 1:18 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 29
@ 15, ha ha ha ha ha. Our bought and paid for government is the result of corporations and the wealthy using their leverage to get what they want. Both parties (the GOP far more than the Dems these days, but the Dems are still guilty) throw their bases some red meat to get their votes, but there was no preexisting government policy that created this situation.

See, the corruption doesn't come from tax revenue. It comes from CAMPAIGN FINANCE. In our current system, where donations are now legally regarded as speech (leading to the Orwellian reality that some citizens - those with all the money - are now more equal than others), politicians are beholden to those who donate the most to their campaigns.

Anyway, your argument is questionable because you describe taxation as "punitive." Your entire case hinges upon this: Please demonstrate what makes corporate income tax punitive. If I'm not convinced, logic dictates that I reject your whole argument as baseless.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 26, 2014 at 1:20 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 30

We have a high official tax rate, but most corporations pay a near zero effective rate.
Posted by keshmeshi on August 26, 2014 at 1:27 PM · Report this
blip 31
@28, Nice catch. I rarely read comments and/or links from wall-of-text rage trolls (sgt_doom being the main offender) so that was refreshing.
Posted by blip on August 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM · Report this


The cabinet was dissolved for opposing austerity measures that – in the end - it has no leverage to oppose. They aren't managing the economy, they're posturing for the next election and you've fallen for it.

The French have been willing to sacrifice sovereignty to the EU cause, (in order to prop-up their crippled national banking system). And, with a rapidly aging population, the emigration of 2,000,000 French economic refugees in the past 10 years (70% of them under 40), massive public pension obligation and a maxed-out tax structure, – France's austerity is the only way to attract and retain growth-causing business. You think the Chinese are going to buy bonds if the governments don't get their spending under control?

Let's see if you see any parallels between the US and France. The underlying conditions are:

- An orientation to centralized State government.
- Unsustainable (but popular) public welfare schemes.
- High debt ratios to GDP
- A monetary and fiscal policy desperate to save banks.
- Increasing political leverage from foreign bondholders.
- Limited ability to raise taxes without business flight.

Because that's what much if Europe has been up to! And instead of choosing a different path, we keep voting for a "French Solution." That's the funny part, you think it will work.

Lower your spending.
Lower your debt.
Lower your regulation.
Lower your exposure.

Posted by Zok on August 26, 2014 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 33
@ Zok, just in case you missed it, I replied to you @29.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 26, 2014 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 34
@23 should register - that was a great comment.

And lol @ Zok. Simply repeating the batshit things you read on the internet doesn't make them true.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on August 26, 2014 at 2:33 PM · Report this


Punitive: "relating to or causing punishment or great difficulty"

Now, and this is key: IT DOES NOT MATTER whether you think corporate taxation is excessive or creates great difficulty. The players in the market – free to come and go - will decide whether their interests are better served somewhere else. You can raise taxes as HIGH as you'd like, but they don't have to stay. So what you think (like the French cabinet) really doesn't matter if individuals and their incorporations think they can get a better deal elsewhere. (What are you going to do, nationalize and / or imprison them? Oh wait, that's what regimes ultimately do!)

Wanna' know why Holder and Obama STILL haven't prosecuted any "Wall Street Bankers." Because the entire industry would pack-up and move, leaving the East Coast an economic wasteland. (And let's be clear, government is wholly complicit in causing the financial crisis. The crisis wasn't simply a manifestation of 'evil business.'

You can tax and regulate all you want. No matter what you think is "fair." But punitive only matters in the mind of the asset-holder.

My question for you is:

Why – despite all evidence to the contrary – believe that having a big, involved government will lead to long-term peace and prosperity?*

Without referencing a geographically isolated, culturally homogenous, natural-resource dependent post-war economy – do you have some good models that are far better than free market capitalism (which ours is not)?
Posted by Zok on August 26, 2014 at 2:43 PM · Report this


I bet you're fun at parties.
Posted by Zok on August 26, 2014 at 2:44 PM · Report this
"We have a high official tax rate, but most corporations pay a near zero effective rate."

Then why are they bothering? Surely Canada doesn't have even more loopholes than we do.
Posted by Reader01 on August 26, 2014 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Fnarf 38
@35, you seriously believe that Canada is a haven of small government? Canada, with its national health care? It's GST?

Canada's overall tax burden is much higher than the US's.Their CORPORATE tax rate is lower, but that's mostly a fiction, because very few corporations pay the full nick in either country (or any other).

That, BTW, is the biggest driver of Canadian business success -- the ability to hire employees without also having to pay for ludicrously overpriced private health plans for them. It's seriously like a 30% savings on wages. It won't help Burger King much, aside from the HQ employees, because their workers will mostly still be in the US (and they mostly don't have employer health insurance either).

Government health care is, of course, vastly more efficient than the US's private system, which is mostly a BILLING system, not a health care one.

If you were arguing in favor of nationalized health, improved banking regulation, and other features of the Canadian economy that make it attractive economically, that would be one thing, but you're not. You're making a fundamentally stupid and uninformed argument about the size of government. You're wrong.
Posted by Fnarf on August 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
@ 35, who says I believe in that? Please address my stated positions, not those of the stereotypes you think you're debating.

If your position is that income tax is punitive just because you feel it, without citing any evidence of punitive effect or intent, then you're arguing illogically. Furthermore, if you think businesses will all stop DOING BUSINESS here because of that, you're fantasizing. Where will BK make up all that lost revenue? China?
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 26, 2014 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Philophile 40
Dan would make a sexy newscaster.
Posted by Philophile on August 26, 2014 at 3:19 PM · Report this

Fnarf makes a funny when he looks at the high cost of the "private" healthcare system in the U.S. (Private, except for excessive bureaucratic burdens, regulatory constraints, trade barriers (like interstate insurance), procedural mandates, Medicaid & Medicare price controls which result in cost-shifting, etc.

We're so fucking far from a "market" healthcare system it would make your head spin. The reason HSA's were so limited – and then so targeted for elimination – is because they actually worked to lower costs and improve health, thereby lessening the hand of government.

Little about the new "efficient" system of Obamacare addresses cost and utilization. Its about payment and pricing. The costs won't go up as fast – but prepare for the quality and service to start to suuuuuuuuuuck. (Why would the standard be any different from the NHS?)


Punitive = punishing and/or difficult.

Is BK feels that the tax regime here makes it too difficult to realize the full expectations of shareholders, then they will look elsewhere. See - its their company. They have choices, and they get to decide. If they perceive it is too difficult, to the point of acting against it, then it is NECESSARILY too difficult.

If they WEREN'T acting to move, then they would be whining and complaining perhaps, but we hadn't yet hit the benchmark for "punitive."

The EVIDENCE that the taxes make things too difficult (relative to other options) is that they company chose to change its behavior in response to the negative stimulus of taxation.

You either think these companies are:

1) Selfish: In which case please tell us how you plan to compel them to keep their assets here.

2) Wrong: In which case you'll need to tell us how you're so much smarter than all of these companies related to their financial profile.
Posted by Zok on August 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM · Report this
See, like all good libertarians, zok rejoices that corporations have captured our government to avoid taxation, and regulations.
Posted by anon1256 on August 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM · Report this
@41: If they're selfish, they'll keep their assets here if they don't have a choice other than abandoning our market. And if they do abandon the market, other companies will take their place. Some money > no money, so if they're making money, they'll either stay, or they'll leave, and someone else will make that money.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on August 26, 2014 at 6:59 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 44
@36 - Really fun!

Call me a sheeple next!
Posted by Pridge Wessea on August 26, 2014 at 7:31 PM · Report this
Knat 45
@3: As well you should, because she very much is. Just ask Matt Damon.
Posted by Knat on August 26, 2014 at 9:03 PM · Report this
There's certainly a place for reasonable taxation and sensible regulation. Like all good libertarians, I'm skeptical of the motivations of taxation and regulation that seek to constrict the rights and take the property of one group of people, to serve the alleged needs of another group of people. At some point taxation becomes organized state-sanctioned theft.

Please note: The appeal of government to corporate interests is based on the resources and ability for government to influence the market. Take power away from government, and you'll find it becomes much less attractive to lobby, and so more reflective of individual citizens interests. Empower the government with vast resources and regulatory power, and you'll find businesses keen to bend its influence to their needs.
Posted by Zok on August 26, 2014 at 9:07 PM · Report this
Dear Zok,
I really don't understand your argument. Canada has MORE regulation than the U.S. If your thesis were to make sense, Canadian firms would be trying to come over here to take advantage of the lower tax rates that apply in the U.S. compared to that of Socialist Canada, with its socialized healthcare and socialized railroads and government-mandated 4-week vacations and....
Come to think of it, the world's financial traders seem to believe that Socialist Europe is doing just fine compared to the U.S., too, judging by the Euro trading at $1.35.
I don't see how you conclude that the sum total of regulations here is what's dooming the U.S. We've tried having fewer regulations, both in the 1920's and in the 2000's. The results weren't pretty.
Do you really want to have fewer regulations on food quality, air quality, automobile safety, insured deposits in banks? Do you want be forced into a 60-70-hour workweek (you certainly wouldn't have time to Slog then)? If so, move to China, but be prepared for a shorter lifespan thanks to lung cancer.
Posted by Biologist in the stix on August 26, 2014 at 9:21 PM · Report this

@47 Your characterization (or indeed, understanding) of what "regulation" means is so sophomoric its almost not worth commenting. As is your understanding of monetary policy.

The dollar has tanked because of dilution (Fed floats in the bond market), lack of demand as a reserve currency (Congress + Obama) and the flight of foreign investors from US assets. (There were record foreign outflows from bonds and equities in July, dragging down the dollar even further.

The low currency is, in fact, further evidence of a lack of confidence in the economy. The "health" of the stock market is all Fed-induced fluff (as the President likes to talk about economic inequality, while he makes the rich even wealthier).

You seem astounded that companies and individuals flee to (allegedly) high-tax and high-regulation Canada and Europe, as if there's a mass hysteria.

If the combination and tax burdens of Canada and Europe are actually lower, please let us know how? Because your wisdom and insight would be really helpful in helping these companies stay. C'mon genius. Let us know how they've been so misguided by their thousands of tax, finance an legal experts.

Posted by Zok on August 26, 2014 at 10:44 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 49
Zok @ 41, repeating a definition without demonstrating how it applies proves nothing. So let the record show that you have made no case that taxation is punitive.

Further, you fail to take up my proposed hypothetical closing if the loophole allowing "foreign" businesses to pay no tac on revenue generated in the United States. If Congress did that, it would make no difference if their HQ is in the USA, Bermuda, Cyprus or Antarctica.

So that leaves one avenue of "protest": don't do business in America, and walk away from the world's largest economy. THAT is what I've been talking about all along.

BK, by the way, is not leaving because they think taxes are too high (a real laugh, given all the ways corporation can legally pay less income tax than many individuals). They're leaving because it boosts profits. There is no evidence that their tax burden is too much.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 27, 2014 at 7:44 AM · Report this
(I think someone missed that Philosophy elective in "reasoning" at the JUCO).

Yes. There is "evidence that their tax burden is too much."

They are fucking leaving. There, simply, is the evidence.

You keep repeating "world's largest economy" like that's a manifest good. As if "world's largest pizza company" means Dominos has the best pizza. Size is often correlated with, but not the same as opportunity. You should worry that companies and individuals believe that there isn't as much relative opportunity here. That's a bad sign, with implications on the revenue stream to fund all the grand visions you'd have.

You, like the Left, are so busy pointing out what's wrong with people who are exploring other options (wealthy, corporations, sharing economy technologies, etc.) in a global economy, that it never occurs to you that our nation of immigrants is (de facto) also a nation of EMIGRANTS.

We were founded by, populated by, and are increasingly defined by people who don't have any particular reservations about packing up and finding something better when things turn shitty. (And the US government knows it, which is why the U.S. remains the world's ONLY industrialized nation that taxes citizens who live overseas, even if their income is generated in a foreign country.)

Not gonna happen, you say?

You'll meet a stunning number of American ex-pats working internationally now. Smart people increasingly comfortable with living elsewhere, as new markets develop and technology allows travel and communications to close the gap.

Obama wanted to create a post-racial America. He's creating a stunted post-national one.
Posted by Zok on August 27, 2014 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 51
@ 50, nope. You have to demonstrate why my counter thesis is incorrect, not simply assert yours is.

Further, you have to demonstrate why it's reasonable for us to see that as evidence of its punitive nature. My daughter mught feel that it's punitive to have her practice piano for half an hour, but reasonable people know that if anything that's quite lenient. By your standard, hers is the only viewpoint that matters.

You're still intentionally misunderstanding me. Individuals pursuing career paths have nothing to do with corporations refusing to sell their goods in the biggest market in the world.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 27, 2014 at 8:45 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 52
* crickets *

Yet another libertarian scared off by logic.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 27, 2014 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Zok thinks corporatism is great, which isn't too surprising given that he is a laissez faire zealot.
Posted by anon1256 on August 27, 2014 at 10:50 AM · Report this


The term was developed in 1881: "A system of social organization that has at its base the grouping of people according to the community of their natural interests and social functions, and as true and proper organs of the state they direct and coordinate labor and capital in matters of common interest"

Sorry -- what was your problem with this principle? Sounds just a little like freedom of association and individual liberty.

Posted by Zok on August 27, 2014 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Well, corporatism existed with the guilds so it's a lot older than 1880 but the relevant modern definition is the following:

corporatism (plural corporatisms)

1 . Political/economic system in which power is exercised through large organizations (businesses, trade unions, their associated lobbying efforts, etc.) working in concert or conflict with each other; usually with the goal of influencing or subsuming the direction of the state and generally only to benefit their own socioeconomic agendas at the expense of the will of the people, and to the detriment of the common good.
2 . The influence of large business corporations in politics.…

Posted by anon1256 on August 27, 2014 at 12:22 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 56
Zok's silence is his admission of defeat, and I will remind him he lost if he ever argues this position in the future.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM · Report this
Wait, Matt hears crickets?
Posted by Matt in 1st Grade on August 27, 2014 at 3:10 PM · Report this

I would no subscribe to that second definition of corporatism. But always be suspicious of movements that bend the meaning of language. Like the term "Progressive" -- which means "repeating failed socio-economic policies over and over for 100 years expecting a different result."

Interesting that the revised definition of corporatism suggests that loss of power by the state exposes society to evil forces, as if the state isn't capable of evil without the counterbalance of empowered corporatized individuals. All hail The State.

(Still waiting on those examples where your plans have worked.)
Posted by Zok on August 27, 2014 at 3:53 PM · Report this

I'll take Matts silence on this matter as his acceptance of his fealty to the nanny state.
Posted by Zok on August 27, 2014 at 4:56 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 60
@ 59, facts, as always, are not in evidence to support your assertions. Keep venting your spleen but it has no effect on the actual nature of government, taxation, business, or economics.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 27, 2014 at 9:49 PM · Report this
Has no effect on the nature ... off business or economics."

Except for the flow of capital and revenue from shifting people and corporations abroad.

Again -- examples please.
Posted by Zok on August 27, 2014 at 10:15 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 62
@ 61, given that you've jumped to the conclusion about the meaning of BK's desertion with no supporting evidence (how much actual tax did they pay? You don't know), and also without addressing why alternate theories such as simple profit maximization are less valid in your view, the ball is stil clearly in your court. SHOW me the actual numbers. ONLY NUMBERS demonstrate whether their tax burden was too high.

Until then, you have lost.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2014 at 7:04 AM · Report this
Yes, profit maximization is their motivation.

High Revenue
- (Lower Expenses) (Namely, Taxes)
= Simple Profit Maximization

What you're missing is the key point: "Only numbers demonstrate whether their tax burden was "too high."

The difference between a 'liberal" (Democrat) and a "classsical liberal (Libertarian) is substantially based on that last part -- "...too high"

Lefties think they get to decide what is too much wealth, too much tax, too much regulation – as if they are the arbiter of sense and reason governing OTHER people's lives and property. So, perhaps the taxes weren't 'too high' according to you.

Libertarians would believe that companies and individuals, as free agents in a voluntary association, will make the best choices that serve their interests, balancing both long and short-term concerns, and rational and moral choices. Whether taxes are "too high" for them is a decision THEY get to make. The fact that they are leaving, citing the burden of government, is in fact the proof that the taxes are "too high" for them to want to stay.

You'd want someone to crack open the finances and show that X% tax rate in Y income, with charges of Z against a write-down of ABC -- mean that they pay less taxes than a corporation "SHOULD."

Should -- according to your leftist inclination to take property away from people, as you know (uniquely) how to make the world "better" through government.

When you put the people paying the tax (not the people wanting the taxes) at the center of your attention -- the fact that they bailed is all the evidence you need that the taxes are "too high" (for them).

Socialism is fun until you run out of other peoples' money.
Posted by Zok on August 28, 2014 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 64
@ 63, that's absurd. Standards must apply. If two people experience exactly the same tax burden, but only one feels that it's too much, one is being fair and the other is not. We are a country based upon the notion that taxation is fair as long as it comes with representation, after all.

Without numbers, all you have is feelings. And feelings have no place in logic. They are not facts.

You lose.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2014 at 10:45 AM · Report this

You're an idiot.

The cornerstone of the democracy includes "liberty" (freedom) and the "pursuit of happiness." You are free to vote for people that represent your interests. And when they don't represent your interests, you can opt-out of that voluntary association.

And those people will largely be elected based on the perception (feeling) that the taxes are worthwhile (not necessarily that they are "even").

If I hit you in the stomach (tax), would it be fair – provided you hit everyone else in the stomach (same tax)? No, you'd say "WTF!"

America is an idea that founded on the principles of limited government, the primacy of individual liberty and the right to free association. So, in fact - leaving is in many respects a very, very "American" thing.

And staying, to coerce and subject people to higher taxation, with limited effective representation, based on the primacy of the State in commerce, regulation and associations, is the very thing we fought a Revolution over.

You thing America is a "place" and a "government" -- because by putting-up barriers and imposing structures you can herd people and their resources together. For what purpose? Oh, I see, to do what YOU think is best or fair.

I think, at the end of the day, that you've become so expectant of the state, and so conditioned to the encroachment of taxation - that you've lost sense of your freedom and autonomy.

So, in every respect: You've lost.
Posted by Zok on August 28, 2014 at 1:28 PM · Report this
E bola has this in common with. E ugenics:
They both sneak up and kill the vicyim.…
Posted by gsosbee on August 28, 2014 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 67
Poor Zok. STILL don't have any facts for comparison. STILL fallaciously arguing that someone's emotional perspective is all that justifies their actions, whether it can be demostrated to others or not. Basically, you're arguing for your faith (libertarianism) by insisting thing mean what your faith says it means, like a Christian who thinks Jesus is appearing to them in patterns on toast.

You lose.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2014 at 4:14 PM · Report this

Matt -- Let's say there were "facts" about what is "fair" or "too much" tax. To whom would those facts be presented -- and how would they decide?

If BK is being taxed, then they are BKs taxes. And so whatever mechanism -- reason or emotion -- they want to use determines whether the taxes are (real or perceived) "too high" is their decision. They can pay and stay. Or leave. You would only leave if you knew and/or felt they were too high. And they left.

The entire stock market objectively trades on subjective emotional sentiment. I suppose you're ready to tell us what the Dow should be.

If the matter was only to be decided by reason -- whose reason would serve as arbiter? Government gets to decide what is reasonable for the government to take? How is that different than state-sanctioned stealing?

Face it: BK is leaving. Other individuals are opting-out. Other companies are fleeing. Foreign asset transfers skyrocketed last month. And you're still waiting for some other evidence?
Posted by Zok on August 28, 2014 at 7:46 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 69
Zok, that's like saying that criminals fleeing justice are evidence that prison sentences are too harsh. (At least we'd ve speaking of something that is objectively punitive, however.)

Who gets to decide what tax burden is fair and what is not? We, the people. Synthesis is arrived at by including everyone's judgment. This is why you cannot conclude if BK is being reasonable - you don't know how much they paid. If it was 40% of their profits, I think that's too high. If it was 5%, I think that's too low. And I have an interest in seeing that they pay a fair share into the tax coffers because they benefit from government protection like any citizen.

This is why, so long as you argue without tangible facts and figures, you aren't making any impact. It's well documented that American corporations pay very little in taxes compared to middle and working class Americans. So if one insists on figuring motivation and judging actions without known facts like how much BK paid, or even presenting any testimony on the matter (board meeting minutes, investor meetings, or even self-serving press releases, to name some possible examples), then one must at least base assumptions on what we do know - such as (again) that American corporations generally enjoy a low tax burden already. Therefore it's more logical to figure simple greed is behins it, not the unjust persecution of high taxes.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 29, 2014 at 8:17 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 70
* behind not behins
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 29, 2014 at 8:18 AM · Report this

Yes, we the people get to decide.

And, consequently, some of we the people (at BK) have decided that we the people are going to get we the fuck out of here.

Yes, profit is their motive. Nothing wrong with making a buck. What's interesting is that you regard their choice as "greed" (your word). In fact, isn't in the union and municipal pensions that are being greedy, compelling public companies and private equity firms they invest in to be so profitable, so that their members can retire on 80% pay at the age of 55, with full benefits? (It's not economically sustainable, but I don't see them giving it up. Is that greed too? Or just the profit motive.)

It's myth perpetuated by the Left the corporations "pay very little taxes compared to middle class Americans." Because they conveniently ignore state taxes, local taxes, excise taxes, user fees, environmental taxes etc. And accelerated depreciation (Obama) simply masks what is ultimately paid in deferred tax expense. And, as many companies pay tax on net income, they seek to make further investments in markets and infrastructure which comes back in the form of jobs. (So where are the jobs? Millions of them require technical and educational skills that the federalized State education system still can't deliver, despite having by far the highest per capita expenditure rate in the developed world.)

As for the correlated myth: "The wealthy don't pay their fair share of taxes."

According the Congressional Budget Office:

- The top 20% incomes pay 69.3% of all federal taxes.
- The bottom 60% of all incomes pay only 19.2% of all federal taxes.
- The Top 1% pay 29.4% of all federal taxes.
- Collectively, the bottom 80% pay NO share of Individual Income taxes. The effective tax rate for the bottom quintile is –9.2%, second quintile is -2.3%, third is 1.6% and 4th is 5.0%

It's astonishing that the Left thinks the notion of "Atlas Shrugging" is impossible, while companies and individuals keep walking out the door over the imposition of tax and regulation (which drive cost and therefore lower profit.)

I suppose you think rent control keeps prices down, and gun control reduces gun crime.

And yet we ask the question that goes unanswered:

Has there ever been a citizen rebellion against a free market economy? Over the long-term, has there ever NOT been a collapse by a "State?"

Keep being a sucker.…
Posted by Zok on August 29, 2014 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 72
Too long; your first paragraph shows you're not interested in facts, even if they might support your view, because once you admit facts you risk coming across facts which run counter to your faith. And that's all your theory is: FAITH. So I won't bother with anything you say.

No objective facts means you lose.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 29, 2014 at 8:05 PM · Report this

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