Monday, October 27, 2014

States, Cities, Want to deplete your tax base?

Want to deplete your tax base? Give 'job creators' what they want - LA Times: "....Virtually all of the published research on the subject shows that most economic development incentives are a senseless waste of taxpayer money. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, for example, studied the issue and found that “instead of creating new jobs or spurring employment, the main effect of incentives is simply to deplete a community's tax base.” Poorer, less advantaged communities often take the biggest hit, being more likely to gamble public funds on the hope of new factory jobs. My own analysis found no connection between incentive dollars spent per capita and such measures of economic success as wages, incomes, human capital levels or unemployment. It's time to put an end to incentive madness once and for all."--Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, a global research professor at New York University and senior editor at the Atlantic, where he co-founded CityLab.


Monday, October 20, 2014

John Oliver, Civil Asset Forfeiture (video)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Civil Forfeiture (HBO) - YouTube: "

Did you know police can just take your stuff if they suspect it's involved in a crime? They can!
It’s a shady process called “civil asset forfeiture,” and it would make for a weird episode of Law and Order. Published on Oct 5, 2014


Monday, October 13, 2014

Crony Capitalism, Deep Roots

Crony Capitalism Has Deep Roots | The Weekly Standard: "... House Republicans last week acceded to an extension of the Export-Import Bank for at least the next nine months. The Export-Import Bank is far from the worst example of government-business cronyism. I just completed a history of American political corruption and actually had to leave Ex-Im on the cutting room floor. Its cronies are pikers compared with the corporate moguls that take advantage of tax preferences like the G.E. and Apple loopholes. They also cannot hold a candle to the American Medical Association, which is basically free to write the reimbursement rates for Medicare Part B. And nothing compares to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 1991-2008. The two mortgage giants kept the entire D.C. political class bent over a barrel for almost 20 years as its top executives reaped enormous bonuses while putting the broader economy at risk...."

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fixing Local Government, The Fed, New Rules

[T]he Federal Reserve, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, just changed the liquidity requirements for the nation’s largest banks. Municipal bonds, long considered safe liquid investments, have been eliminated from the list of high-quality liquid collateral. assets (HQLA). That means banks that are the largest holders of munis are liable to start dumping them in favor of the Treasuries and corporate bonds that do satisfy the requirement. (source infra)

Local Government and The Fed’s New Rules Washington's Blog:

"In the US, there is already a trend to force state and municipal governments into austerity measures, if not outright bankruptcy, in order to eliminate labor unions, pension obligations and social services. Bankruptcies can be involuntary, forced by the creditors who caused them. Detroit is the US model. Michigan’s Constitution protects pensions, so the emergency manager appointed by the governor could not unilaterally cut those funds. But in a municipal bankruptcy, a judge would decide the fate of city workers’ pensions, making it an attractive option for banking interests."

The era of theft of the public treasury and politicians' promises they can't pay? It may be over for Hogs at the Trough.