Increase the special forces, send 10,000 no make it 50,000 or is it 100,000 troops to rid the world of ISIS or is it ISIL. Carpet bomb ’em till the desert glows. Our leaders seem to begun a bidding contest over who can commit the most our resources to obliterating this Islamist group. Others ask what exactly are our obligations in the Middle East and what action makes any sense. Over a year ago, we noted that our real obligations were limited to supporting our friends, the Israelis and the Kurds, helping minorities such as the Christians and Yazidis threatened with genocide and keeping trade routes open. To accomplish these we proposed a major Airbase or bases in Kurdistan from which could train, arm and protect those we were obligated to help. On the other hand, it isn’t our obligation to take in the refugees that the wider Muslim World has refused to do for decades. Arabs especially should’ve been pressured to take in their own. We have absolutely no obligation to aid the Baghdad government. They kicked us out and laid the groundwork for ISIL with their heavy boot on the Sunni. The same mistreatment of the Kurds makes any rapprochement there a mirage. No explanation of our actions is due Russia or China after their actions in Syria and the South China Sea. Kurdistan is the strategic high ground in the Middle East and is where we need to be.
Three innovations came to pass in the 15th century that forever changed the world and we are still coming to terms with what they wrought. It isn’t that we hadn’t used ships for trade, read books or loaned or borrowed money before, what changed was the volume. Before this century we could trade only a small fraction of what was possible by its end. Books were rare but after 1500 it was possible for families to own their own bibles. Commercial ventures could be financed with a worldwide outlook.
While people might agree that “Dave’s Plan” to replace Obama care would cost no more than per capita while actually giving the best incentives to obtain the lowest costs in the future, the one criticism we keep hearing is that the plan raises corporate taxes. Well, this is partially right. For those corporations that provide health insurance, it could easily increase their payments to the IRS. How does this work? Let’s say a potential employee is deemed to be worth a cost of $60,000 to the corporation, a large established corporation could offer a package of a $50,00 Salary plus healthcare worth $10,000. By separating out healthcare saves the corporation $620 in payroll taxes they would have to pay than if the $10,000 was just added to salary. Further payroll taxes have to be paid whether the company makes money or not. Administration costs spread over a large number of employees are minimal, while size gives them a strong bargaining position to get the best deal on health insurance or even self insure.
A small business is in the opposite position. The cost of insurance and administration are higher. In some cases much higher. Because of this they might not offer to cover employees, choosing instead to pay higher salaries instead. But to compete to for the same employee they would have to pay more to give that employee the same value while paying more in payroll taxes. In effect this gives big business a government subsidized competitive advantage in the race for the best employees. No wonder they like the present system. However, do we really want to keep the generators of most of our future progress and jobs at a disadvantage?
“Dave’s Plan” would level the playing by getting rid of this crony capitalism leftover from World War II. A good trade-off for the change would be to lower all corporate taxes to a level competitive with Ireland and Canada which help all corporations and the economy. (For people new to Detour the series on “Dave’s Plan” begins under Policy in October of ’14)
From the time 10 thousand years ago mankind developed agrarian settled societies, a general form of organization came into being. A pyramid with a relatively small ruling class at the top and the masses at the bottom. Royalty, military and religious leaders backed by their staffs and bureaucracies directed the lives of those below. Needed Artisans often had a special rung. The wild card were the merchants who facilitated the exchange of goods within the society and with others. Altogether they constituted a relativity small minority, supported by a base of the multitudes that provided the basic substance of life. Whatever we gained “more” through trade, increased labor or innovation the “more” mostly went to to those toward the top of the pyramid. The upper classes gained in better food & drink, shelter, clothing and adornment and maybe most important time. From 10,000BC to 1,500 AD, the masses across the world lived relatively short lives with the barest of necessities while providing the basics for mankind. Continue reading