Corporate Taxes and Productivity, Chinese Crackdown, American Divide, Living Forever, Bank Freeze, Easter, Debating Canada

While standing on a jammed 9th tee on Friday afternoon with another foursome the conversation went from Adrian Dix to Jack Layton and settled on corporate tax cuts.

Articles about the race to the bottom of the global corporate tax table – smart and dumb, a disturbing acceleration in China’s crackdown of just about everybody, what the rise of Donald Trump may be telling Americans about America, the cost of trying to live forever, America’s loan shy banks, trying to square science and morality, and a two hour debate about Canadian politics.

A good friend, a real gentleman, a regular reader of Smart Picks, made rich through hard work, and someone who votes Conservative, was stunned to read the article below in the Globe and Mail that maybe, just maybe cutting corporate taxes to the bottom of the global tax table is not the key to a prosperous and successful country. It was a little like finding out the 72 virgins actually aren’t waiting for you.

The key to a prosperous country is productivity; it is not the tax level that is as important as the economic and social context within which the market operates including the size of the state and the regional competitive environment.

Globe and Mail -- Corporate taxes: to cut or not to cut?
If the world’s rich countries are engaged in a “tax arms race,” it’s a competition Canada seems determined to win.


Quote worth quoting.

“For Canada, the key isn’t competing in a race to the bottom. It’s about designing a tax system that encourages saving, investment and, ultimately, economic growth.”


Pdf below – OECD:  Does Corporate Taxes Reduce Productivity?


Globe and Mail -- Cut taxes, create jobs? Not quite
The Silver denim jeans sold at Bootlegger and Pantorama stores across Canada are no longer made at a factory in Winnipeg.


Globe and Mail -- A Canada-U.S. tax gap means a Canada-U.S. tax transfer
Given Canada’s already substantially lower corporate tax rates compared to the United States, it’s important to analyze a range of important issues before starting on further rate cuts, to ensure such cuts would benefit Canada.

Quote worth quoting.

“Finally, despite the U.S. corporate tax rate’s being double that of Canada, we are nowhere in sight of U.S. productivity growth. And it’s productivity that anchors living standards. So it’s essential to focus on the reasons for this weakness in productivity to strengthen Canada’s long-term economic performance”

Room to increase.

Progressive Economics – OECD Corporate Tax Rates – Does Size Matter?
Advocates of corporate tax cuts like comparing Canada to an un-weighted average of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development members.

Quote worth quoting.

“In comparing Canada with the entire OECD, let’s recognize that the United States is a more important competitor than Iceland. If opportunities for business investment are roughly proportional to economic size, then countries should be weighted by Gross Domestic Product. Doing so indicates an OECD average corporate tax rate of 33% in 2010.”

Jack Mintz replies.

Pdf below -- Why Taxes Tax Productivity

Adrian’s plan.

Adrian Dix – Dix Proposes Cancelling Corporate Tax Cuts
The BC government should cancel corporate tax cuts implemented on July 1, 2008, January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2011 and shift the focus back to British Columbians’ priorities.


Pdf below -- KPMG Competitiveness Study

Tax increases don’t pay. (ed’s note: NDP party is redundant because the ‘P’ in ND’P’ means party).

The Province -- Guest column: Tax hikes unlikely to fund Dix's spending
Almost everybody, except perhaps Mike Farnworth supporters, probably cheered Adrian Dix’s win of the leadership of the B.C. NDP party.

China takes aim at Christians.

Wall Street Journal – Caesar in Beijing
As Easter approached this year, Beijing's crackdown on all forms of dissent expanded to include a renewed assault on the right of Christians to worship freely.


And truck drivers.

Financial Times -- Shanghai fuel protests unnerve Beijing
Chinese authorities were locked in negotiations on Friday with striking truckers who have besieged the country’s largest port, in a bid to prevent the unrest from spreading to other cities.


And an artist, Ai Weiwei. Accused of 'economic crimes'. 'Rule by law' not 'rule of law'.

New Yorker -- Why Ai Weiwei Matters
Nine days after Ai Weiwei went into police custody—he is being investigated for suspected “economic crimes”—one of the underlying questions posed to many of us here is whether the world is paying undue attention to his case, in light of the fact, the argument goes, that the vast majority of the Chinese public has never heard of him.

And websites.

Asia Sentinel -- Complains China Shut it Down
Online petition gatherer says cyber-attackers seek to stop a petition for artist Ai Weiwei.

Splits in the Communist Party leadership.

China Digital Times -- Is Wen Jiabao Pushing the Envelope Again?
Wen and his associates cannot help but be concerned about what could turn out to be a lasting turn to the truncheon-wielders in Chinese politics.


What Donald Trump’s lies may be telling us about America.

Guardian -- The United States faces a crisis not seen since the Depression
Maybe it's because Boston is different, a semi-detached city in one of the US's most liberal states.

Quote worth quoting.

“It may take disaster again to disabuse the American majority of the idea that the motley crew – Palin, Trump, Murdoch and Fox News, Paul Ryan, US bankers and shock jocks – are not on the side of reason. Until then, beware.”

It ain’t free. Thanks to David of London for sending this in.

National Post -- Free” health care will see me and my friends bankrupt Canada
Geriatric medicine has been trying to accomplish something that goes against our blueprint.

America’s banking system still recovering from the 2007-2008 shellacking and the structural adjustment in housing/consumption are the reasons banks aren’t lending.

Fortune -- Stingy megabanks swimming in cash
The biggest U.S. banks tell us they have spent the past quarter writing loans, renewing credit lines and generally being upstanding economic citizens.


Trying to square science and morality.

New York Review of Books -- The Science of Right and Wrong
Once upon a time popular science was the attempt to explain the achievements of scientists to a broad audience.

The irony of Christ’s execution was that it became the central event in the religion’s central myth.

Canada Free Press – The Six Trials of Jesus and Easter
One of the most dramatic and far-reaching events in world history is the execution of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. While Easter is the Christian holiday celebrating the resurrected Messiah, there would be no Easter without a crucifixion; and no crucifixion without trials that setup Jesus for execution.

Discussing Canada.

CPAC -- Election 2011: What Does Canada Want Now?
CPAC and Maclean’s present their first election-themed town hall during this two-hour debate, titled  “Election 2011: What Does Canada Want Now?” moderated by CPAC’s Peter Van Dusen, and features Maclean’s columnist Andrew Coyne and the following federal party representatives: Jason Kenney (Conservative), David McGuinty (Liberal), Peggy Nash (NDP) , and Rebecca Harrison (Green Party).

Fichier attachéTaille
OECD Does Corporate Taxes Reduce Productivity.pdf624.79 Ko
Why Taxes Tax Productivity.pdf1.01 Mo
KPMG Competitiveness Study.pdf453.01 Ko
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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.