Politics

LioninVa
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Re: Politics

Postby LioninVa » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:18 pm

Regarding the oil thing, I auditioned for the Navy Music Program a doy or two before the Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990. I went to boot cam during the coalition buildup. Suffice it to say there was a large amount of machismo from the instructors. At some point we were told that we were going to war to protect our US oil reserves. We have plenty here, we were told, but we would rather use theirs.

As for the socialist moniker, most developed nations use some aspect of it. Imagine having to build you own individual roads or schools for your family. Some aspects of providing for the common good make sense, some do not.

Blue&White
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Re: Politics

Postby Blue&White » Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:24 pm

Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018

I can absolutely see the reasonableness of handing them another 3 billion dollars in tax and saves incentives. I mean, they are barely squeaking bye! They have no idea where their next meal is coming from. So, yes, AOC was WAY off base here.

Ok, kidding aside, they did screw up. Because, as we all know, Amazon is going to use all those massive profits for the betterment of all of us and it will trickle down to ordinary employees and every one will be the better for it. Why, here is a Wall Street Journal article explaining how well that all worked out.

Btw, this article is not from the New York Times or The Washington Post. It's the Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal. And, they are pointing out that all those promises made about how wages were going to rise and we were all going to be better off did not happen. There were a series of one time small bonuses, but that did not continue. And, one of the companies that paid those one time bonuses, as noted in that WSJ article, was AT&T. You know what that article didn't note? That right after they paid those bonuses AT&T laid off a few thousands people. And, it was announced last month they were laying more people off, up to like 10,000. This is after they said the tax cuts was going to lead them to hire 7,000 more people - which did not happen.

The federal and state governments use tax, regulatory and other policies to pick winners and losers all the time. And, usually the winners are large money interests who can afford to pay for lobbyists. They write their own legislation, they get their people in high regulatory jobs, and they ensure that various criminal acts that hurt real people are never prosecuted. Our current situation is absolutely not the result of free market capitalism. It is the result of a 3rd party - the government - picking winners and losers. Now you have a few people in Congress saying maybe ordinary tax payers should be the winners for a change, and everyone acts like they are putting babies in ovens or something. People, like you Lama and like you Crowbar, who have been routinely fucked by money in politics while the courts hold that - hey, corporations are people too! - are outraged at the idea that someone wants to push some of that power back towards you and maybe make the other side of the equation worse off for a change. And, you're outraged by it and call it radical.

I'll be honest - I don't understand that.
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Blue&White
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Re: Politics

Postby Blue&White » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:56 pm

Blue&White wrote:Oh, that list may change again as I don't see Acosta surviving. In case you missed it, it has recently become an issue that when he was the USAG in Miami he worked out a secret plea deal for a wealthy sexual predator named Jeff Epstein. The allegations are incredible and the recent expose by the Miami Herald are probably going to force him out sometime in the next few weeks.


Well, my timing was certainly off, but the issue with Acosta and his handling of Eptstein may still lead to his demise.

White House looking into Acosta role in sex abuse plea deal
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sameoldlama
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Re: Politics

Postby sameoldlama » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:04 am

Blue&White wrote:Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018

I'll be honest - I don't understand that.


I'll agree you don't understand. First of all Amazon does pay taxes in every area it does business - it pays taxes on purchases, pays state and local taxes, pays import duties and fees, pays employee payroll related taxes (SSI, unemployment) - all which lower their federal tax liability. This is no different than when Mitt Romney said half the country pays no income tax when the fact was they paid no federal income tax but still paid local, state, payroll, sales taxes.

And that $3 billion NY was ponying up $0.5 billion was cash out of pocket $2.5 billion were tax breaks. The actuarial studies estimated the return on investment for NY would be between 9-10% over 25 years. That seems like a nice return while providing 25,000 direct jobs and the additional job activity that would occur as a result of their presence.

Did you cheat of AOC's paper in macroeconomics class?
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Blue&White
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Re: Politics

Postby Blue&White » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:41 am

First of all Amazon does pay taxes in every area it does business - it pays taxes on purchases, pays state and local taxes, pays import duties and fees, pays employee payroll related taxes (SSI, unemployment) - all which lower their federal tax liability.

Amazon's business is selling, not buying. So, all the things they ship out the burden of the tax on the purchase is not on them. And, to the point they pay sales tax on things they do buy (office supplies, etc.), that's a pittance. Secondly, I'm not sure what Amazon imports but duties and fees are generally passed on to customers. My wife has ordered stuff from Amazon that came in from the UK and we've paid the shipping and the duty on that. So, the idea that they are paying that doesn't hold up.

Finally, I pay sales tax. I pay state and local taxes. I pay social security taxes and various employment taxes and fees. I pay property taxes. I even pay an "occupation tax" (one of the unexpected nuances I was unaware of when I moved to PA). And, despite all of that, I still pay income taxes. And, I don't make anywhere near 11 billion dollars. And everyone on this board is in the exact same situation, including you. In fact, everyone on this board and everyone this board knows and everyone all those people know all pay all those taxes and still pay income taxes. But, Amazon doesn't pay income taxes on $11B in profit? That's not revenue. That's not cost of goods sold. That's profit. And their tax liability is $0? I think that's ridiculous. If corporations are people and are going to have the rights that people have - like the right to pay off politicians with numbers that no individual can compete with - they should be paying income taxes too. The idea that they pay other taxes absolves them of an obligation to pay federal income taxes when it doesn't protect the rest of us is ridiculous.

As for the NYC scenario. I said from the outset that AOC looked foolish acting like they were handing Amazon cash as that clearly was not accurate. I never said or implied that this was a handover of money. I said outright it was not. My point was that New York had low unemployment in general and very low unemployment for the kind of white collar jobs this was bringing in, it didn't make sense that they had to basically buy business this way, there were costs to the city that could not possibly have been accurately accounted for in terms of increasing the accessibility to Long Island City (and I base that on the long history of cost overruns when it comes to any public works contract in New York) and this was not going to do anything to help lower income New Yorkers no matter what was promised. What it was going to do was further gentrify certain neighborhoods and price the people living there out. Basically, yet another give away to the "haves" at the expense of the "have nots". So, yes, I get why some local politicians were not overly happy with this deal.

The money that NYC get from this over time was not going to help people in AOCs district. It probably wasn't really going to help the people currently living in Long Island City. It would help landlords and white collar job holders who were looking to either move to NYC or maybe look for another job as it creates a few more opportunities in certain areas. The expectation was more people were going to move into the city. And, the rich would get richer.

You may be ok with that outcome, and that's fine. You are free to look at that probable result and view it as an overall good thing. But, there is nothing libertarian or free-market about any of it. It's all due to government picking winners and losers, something you continue to say you are against.
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Crowbar
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Re: Politics

Postby Crowbar » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:46 pm

Blue&White wrote:Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018

I can absolutely see the reasonableness of handing them another 3 billion dollars in tax and saves incentives. I mean, they are barely squeaking bye! They have no idea where their next meal is coming from. So, yes, AOC was WAY off base here.


Trust me, I don't like this either.

My thing is she chased away jobs from her geographic area.

Protest them not paying taxes and make them pay up. AOC is a Congresswoman now. She has the power to make them pay. Or at least try.

Don't protest job creation. That makes zero sense to me. She made herself and fellow Dumborats look foolish here.
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Blue&White
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Re: Politics

Postby Blue&White » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:13 pm

Sure, 25,000 jobs leaving isn't great. Especially for people like me. I was assuming that Amazon would put more upward pressure on wages and make it easier for me to find something that pays significantly better than what I'm currently earning. This was a policy choice that picked winners and losers and I was looking to maybe be on the winners side. What really would have made me a winner is if Amazon had decided to move to Bensalem, PA. They were on the list of places being considered and I was really rooting for them. There was no way I can commute to Long Island City every day but Bensalem is closer than my current commute. They never had a chance, though. New York City offered them billions in tax incentives. All Bensalem really had was rye whiskey from Dad's Hat distillery. Not as good an offer, I guess.

Oh well.

Also, here's what I don't get - why isn't Amazon getting any shit over this? AOC, or any other politician, didn't stop Amazon from taking this deal and building their new HQ. All she did was raise some issues and concerns. New York never rescinded any part of their offer to Amazon. Nothing changed at all. The same people who didn't like the offer NYC made prior to Amazon accepting it are the same people who didn't like it after. None of that was news. But, Amazon changes their mind and it's the local politicians fault? And, the weight of the blame falls on someone who isn't even a local politician?

I'm not sure I buy it. Maybe that's why Amazon changed their minds. Maybe it isn't. But, I'm a little dubious is was just because people didn't like them. And, the fact that they have said they have no intention of building or setting up this 2nd HQ anywhere else makes me really doubt the official narrative.
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Crowbar
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Re: Politics

Postby Crowbar » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:41 pm

My guess is people (consumers) really like Amazon, especially considering the number of shopping malls going under in large part due to the Amazon phenomenon. Much easier to blame politicians, especially when they go and brag about it.

On the flip side, I know several people who have worked for Amazon and I have never heard a single good thing about working for them. If their stories are to be believed, I can see how that place can drive someone to the brink of madness- and it has in some instances.

I must confess though. If I were the governor of New York, I would have offered them the same tax breaks, etc, the current administration offered them. Sure, after the fact I would have had to take a really, really long shower to clean the disgust off me.

Amazon may be ruthless, even unethical in some ways, but the economic impact would have been too good to pass up.
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PSUgrower
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Re: Politics

Postby PSUgrower » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:59 pm

I can't wait to get home and watch some of this Cohen debacle!! This is going to get good!!

PittGradPSUMad
Posts: 511
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Re: Politics

Postby PittGradPSUMad » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:22 pm

PSUgrower wrote:I can't wait to get home and watch some of this Cohen debacle!! This is going to get good!!


Perhaps, assuming you can stomach watching hypocritical, lying a-holes call Cohen a lying a-hole in their hapless defense of a lying a-hole. I'd rather plunge sharpened sticks into my eyeballs than watch a second of that shit show.
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