22 Apr

Good News on Good Friday

By Walter

Here are some excerpts from this morning’s New York Times:

“The chip maker Advance Micro Devices topped earnings expectations for the quarter.”

“GE posts earnings that exceed forecasts.”

“McDonald’s profit is up.”

“DuPont tops forecasts; profit up 27%.”

“Blackrock earnings increase 34%.”

“Real estate helps profit increase 58% at Blackstone.”

“Xerox reports rise in profit and revenue.”

And the NY stock market hit a 33-month high!

What does all this good news mean?

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19 Apr

The Scandalous Tax Code

By Walter

Well, the taxman made his annual visit to collect his due, and while we made it through another year, we’re also another couple of trillion dollars deeper in debt. As we are forever reminded, there are but two remedies for excessive debt: cut spending or raise taxes, one or the other, or a combination of both. Managing the national budget, therefore, is a matter of establishing a sustainable balance between those two efforts. Unfortunately, looking at the “raising taxes” part, the outlook is not promising. Even if the Tea Party/Republican anti-tax debt hawks come to understand the need for increased taxes, the system by which those taxes will be collected does not instill confidence that the taxman will be fair and equitable. The abuses and inequities are well known, underscored by the recent revelation that giant General Electric paid no taxes while realizing $14 billion in profits. Clive Crook, writing in the Financial Times, cited the tax code’s “lunatic complexity” as evidence of “legislative incompetence.” “It is something,” he wrote, “that you cannot gaze into too long without falling into despair.”

When Congressman Paul Ryan issued his controversial Roadmap for America’s Future,

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25 Mar

Meet GE, Corporate Citizen

By Walter

Allow me to introduce you to General Electric, labeled by the NY Times this morning as “the nation’s largest corporation.” On second thought, let’s let GE introduce itself. Here, on its website, is how it describes its role as a corporate citizen:

“GE’s approach to corporate citizenship and to business are[sic] driven by a common understanding of the role we can play in helping to solve the world’s toughest problems. Our goals are to make money (strong, sustained economic performance), make it ethically (rigorous compliance with financial and legal rules), and make a difference (ethical actions, beyond formal requirements, to advance GE’s reputation and long-term health).”

Journalist David Kocieniewski presents quite a different picture, beginning with the fact that GE made a profit of more than $5 billion in the US last year (and a total of $14.2 billion worldwide), and paid not one cent in taxes.

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February 2018
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