The Talking Dog

June 24, 2011, Capitalism in action

To paraphrase the late great Mahatma Gandhi, my view on free market capitalism in the United States is that I think it would be an excellent idea (instead of the rigged and crony "capitalims" we "enjoy" now.) Case in point: CNBC reports that the 500 largest U.S. corporations are sitting on a record $800 billion in cash and cash equivalents and they just won't hire, even as they literally earn zero or negative real returns on their cash. Some groups of shareholders are pressing for increased dividends so that they at least can make use of the cash, if corporate American managers fear for their very bonuses.

Of course, I have an idea... but this is crazy talk, of course. That, boys and girls, is to create a tax incentive for these businesses (we can make clear that "small business," to wit, corporations not in the S&P 500, for example, is exempt). Such an incentive might impose an excise tax of, say, 100% on cash or cash equivalents in corporations with such cash on hand (above some enumerated level, say, above 2/3 of the median of cash on hand amongst the S&P 500) that have laid off American workers or outsourced American jobs, with 100% credit against that excise tax for new American jobs created. Of course, I would also impose an additional tax penalty, say, 100%, on corporations that chose to retain their cash, not hire American workers, but pay their senior management bonuses out of that cash. Politically, of course, these would have to be called something other than "taxes"... say, "cash user fees?"

Because we know that, even at the cost of the very continued fiscal viability of this nation, we JUST. CAN'T. RAISE. TAXES. (Especially on our beloved rich). Because buying key members of the legislature... is "capitalism in action." Which as we know, is better than that awful socialism. When we read that "socialist" countries' stock markets have outperformed the USA (since the sainted Ronald Reagan unleashed thievery capitalism once and for all, back in the 1980's), being Americans, we say "facts? FACTS? We don't NEED no stinkin' FACTS!" (spit!)
America, f&^% yeah!

This has been... "Capitalism in action."