LBO News from Doug Henwood

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June 10, 2021 Matt Kierkegaard, coordinator of the Progressive International’s delegation to observe the Peruvian election, on the apparent very narrow victory of the socialist, Pedro Castillo • Ross Barkan, author of The Prince, on the dark, evil Andrew Cuomo

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June 3, 2021 Alex Hochuli, author of this article, on what “Brazilianization” means • Neda Bolourchi on the upcoming Iranian presidential election

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May 27, 2021 Khaled Hroub on the history, structure, and politics of Hamas • Pablo Abufom, author of this article, on the Chilean elections, a victory for the left

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May 20, 2021 Joel Schalit and Orly Noy (separately) on the politics of Israel: what are the internal dynamics that make it so bellicose and repressive?

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May 13, 2021 Forrest Hylton on protest and crackdown in Colombia • Jules Gill-Peterson on the reactionary theocratic politics behind the anti-trans bills (Jewish Currents article here)

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May 6, 2021 Adam Hilton, author of True Blueson the history and structure (or rather lack of structure) of the Democratic party

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April 29, 2021 Donna Murch on why this is a fruitful moment for labor organizing (Guardian article here) • Ben Burgis, author of Canceling Comedian While the World Burns, on why cancel culture is bad

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April 15, 2021 Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht, authors of Bigger than Berniejust out in paperback, on the legacy of the Sanders campaigns • Jane McAlevey, author and organizer, on why the union lost to Amazon in Alabama (Nation article here)

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April 8, 2021 Jennifer Berkshire, co-author of A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door, on teachers’ unions and school reopenings • Helen Yaffe on Cuba’s handling of COVID-19 and their impressive vaccine development (Counterpunch article here)

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April 1, 2021 Laleh Khalili, author of Sinews of War and Trade, on the murky side of the shipping business that got lost in the Ever Given coverage • LaDonna Pivetti on subsidizing employment

Ignore corporate whining

Joe Biden is proposing to finance his badly needed infrastructure program by raising corporate taxes. Business mostly likes the infrastructure program—everything works better when the basics aren’t falling apart—but it doesn’t want to pay for it. Nobody likes paying taxes (well, maybe some oddballs do, but to each their own), but over the last few years, Corporate America has been enjoying the lightest tax burden in history. That needs to change.

Graphed below is the effective tax rate—the share of income that’s paid in tax, not the rate that’s on the books, which nobody pays—for nonfinancial corporations, the motor of the economy, based on data from the national income accounts. In 2020, firms paid 16.8% of their profits in taxes, about the same as 2019 and up slightly from 2018’s 15.0%. That rate, as the dotted trendline shows, has been declining steadily for decades, though the Trump tax cuts took it to fresh lows. As recently as 2005–2007, firms were paying almost 30%. In the 1970s, the average tax rate was over 40%; in the 1950s, almost 50%.

Translating those percentages into dollar terms produces some big numbers. If business were paying taxes at 2007 rates, another $162 billion a year would be flowing into the Treasury, enough to cover the $2 trillion pricetag on the infrastructure bill in 12 years. Take corporate taxes back to 1950s rates—not exactly a time when the capitalist class was suffering—and you could pay the entire infrastructure tab in five years.

And these profit figures are based on what companies report to the IRS, adjusted by the Bureau of Economic analysis to compensate for the more egregious tax breaks. It doesn’t account for all the trillions stashed in offshore tax havens.

They’ve got the money. They just don’t want to share.

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March 25, 2021 Güney Isikara on why Turkish president Recep Erdogan is getting even more authoritarian • Keenan Korth on how the left took over the Nevada Democratic party.

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March 18, 2021 Sochie Nnaemeka, director of the New York Working Families Party, on the awfulness of Andrew Cuomo • Susie Bright, the original sexpert, on what the pandemic is doing to our libidos

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March 11, 2021 Brianna Rennix on the condition of migrants at the US–Mexico border • Gianpaolo Biocchi on creating a social housing authority in the US (paper here, NYT article here)

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March 4, 2021 Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains and of a chapter cut from that book now published here, on the right’s reaction to Obama and what it portends for Biden • Tom Athanasiou on what the US return to the Paris climate agreement means, and what Biden means for the climate (Nation article here)

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