Is it any wonder about the wisdom of dropping my graduate work in political science while returning to manufacturing and technology?
Try these pieces of obfuscation this week from Washington.
The big tax cut and simplification bill turns out not to simplify anything. Manufacturing organizations sending information to me believe it offers financial rewards to companies who keep workers offshore. Many of us will see little or no tax cut. Do you ever wish like I do that people would mean what they say and say what they mean?
This from FACT. A letter to Congress persons.
On behalf of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition (FACT) Coalition, we write to urge you to oppose H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This bill would create significant new tax incentives to move U.S. jobs, profits, and operations overseas, while exploding the deficit. The bill’s complicated structure also creates multiple new loopholes to allow for expanded tax avoidance by large, multinational companies at the expense of small businesses and wholly domestic companies.
The FACT Coalition is a non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations working toward a fair tax system that addresses the challenges of a global economy and promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.
The final conference bill would move the country to a territorial tax system. The primary goal of a territorial system is to permit offshore corporate profits to escape U.S. tax. Taxpayers already lose an estimated $100 billion every year to aggressive tax avoidance by multinational companies. These changes would further incentivize corporate profit shifting abroad — leaving regular taxpayers to pick up the tab.
This is an item from Sara Fischer writing in the Axios Media Trends Newsletter.
Why it matters: Multi-billion-dollar deals — along with regulatory changes such as the repeal of net neutrality rules — are often justified as ways to spur innovation and increase consumer choice, but consumer advocates argue the actions could actually make access to some popular content more expensive. The real question: Is choice at the expense of price really giving consumers what they want?
Those of us who have been around the block a few times know a couple of things. 1) Big companies don’t really innovate—they acquire smaller innovative companies to develop their portfolios. 2) Industry consolidation (mergers) occur during a period when innovation runs out of energy and companies are beginning to fail. What we’re waiting for is the new innovation area.
Climate, Environment, Business
As politicians debate political theory—most likely with an eye toward electoral votes—regarding environmental policy, businesses have long ago discovered that a sound environmental policy reduces costs and improves operations. Try this item from Axios Generate’s Ben Geman.
Coal and climate tussle: Mining giant BHP said Tuesday that it plans to abandon the World Coal Association, and may also leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over differences on climate policy, including the Chamber’s opposition to pricing carbon and its attacks on the Paris climate deal. BHP’s newly published review of its membership in trade associations is here. Quick take, via the Financial Times: “The move reflects the growing importance of environmental, social and governance standards within multinationals, which want to protect their brands and insulate themselves from threats posed by activists and consumer boycotts.”
Just for fun.
Here’s one Fun Thing gleaned from the latest Axios newsletter.
Listening to Mozart is said to raise your IQ. Does playing his music make you a better employee? AP’s David McHugh answers from Frankfurt:
- “Definitely so, say many global companies and their workers, above all in Germany and Asia, where accountants, engineers, sales reps and computer specialists bring violins, cellos, oboes and trombones and gather in their spare time to rehearse and perform lengthy, complex pieces of classical music.”
- “A conspicuous number of big German corporate names — along with a handful in Japan and Korea — have their own company-linked symphony orchestra.”
- Why it matters: “The orchestras serve as public relations tools, playing charity concerts and livening up corporate events. … [And] a symphony orchestra is an excellent model for the creative teamwork companies need to compete.”
Well, we have the people from Emerson Automation playing rock and roll at every Exchange these days. Time to pick up that guitar again.