Game devs react angrily to ESA’s support of government tax proposal

Last week, the Entertainment Software Association, the video game trade association you probably know best from its stewardship of E3, released a contentious statement praising the tax reform proposal currently before congress, claiming the bill will “energize tech sector innovation and economic opportunity. For the $30.4 billion US video game industry, which employs more than 220,000 people all across the United States, the pro-growth policies introduced will incentivize greater US investment and more high-quality American jobs.”

And while the large gaming publishers repped by the ESA might be comfy with that position, it didn’t go over well with actual game developers, including some MMO devs, who reacted loudly on twitter (twice) in rejecting the ESA’s position as being representative of or beneficial to workers.

“20 year game industry veteran here,” Riot’s Greg Street wrote (you’ll remember him from his tenure at Blizzard). “You don’t represent my views. Like at all.”

“14 years in the industry, 13 shipped games, and I’ve never given this joke of a company the right to speak for me,” posted Riot’s Jo Graylock. “Total garbage.”

Indeed, some argued it’s bad for gamers too. “While I believe @theESA wants to be a force for good, plan hurts future devs + Real growth comes from players’ ability to afford games,” Trion Worlds’ Scott Hartsman tweeted. “Not to mention that it’s also not current-dev friendly. Appears very anti-everyone-but-big-corp-owners. More than a bit mystified.”

As Gamasutra summarizes, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, if passed, would significantly reduce the corporate tax rate while also reducing or eliminating a multitude of tax breaks for future home owners, veterans, the chronically ill, and students. The publication also notes that corporations like game publishers would be under under no compulsion to spend their newfound savings improving wages and the working conditions of actual developers, generating industry stability, or creating new jobs. The proposal currently has just 35% popular support across the US.

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78 Comments on "Game devs react angrily to ESA’s support of government tax proposal"

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Jeff

/reads article….looks at comments thread….goes back to playing cuphead.

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Herro Mongorian

Good to know that affording a car, house, family, and a balanced lifestyle will soon be impossible for me. I’m sure life will be easy with those decisions already determined for me.

dixa
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dixa

lolwut? when in the history of this country has tax breaks for corporations led to them investing in more jobs and wage growth?

so many companies are reporting record profits right now! none are increasing wages. c’mon. it just doesn’t work that way. it will go to the shareholders and the board.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

Indeed. So-called “Trickle-down economics” have never worked, historically. As is their nature, profit-minded corporations keep the excess, and say “Ooh, look! Even more profit! Yay!”

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Squadron

So let me get this straight, Game Devs who rely on my disposable income to make their living are angry that I am getting a tax break. Money I could spend on their game because they are butt hurt that Corporations are getting a tax break also.
A corporation is in business to make money for its shareholders. If they can give a job to someone that’s a plus. They are under no requirement to hire anyone. If you don’t want to work for a Corp, go independent. Christ, what a group of self entitled whiny snots.
Jesus, I just teach economics and I know this.

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rogbarz

Why is Trion responding to this? They ruined gaming for plenty of people a few years ago with Archeage.

miol
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miol

;P

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Reader
Loyal Patron
Byórðæįr

So a veteran and business owner I can sum up the new tax act one sentence.

more money to be spent by everyone.

To break that down you to understand share holders often say you to set aside some part of the revenues aside. say the company makes a million dollars a year. Middle of the road company.

Their cost right now is likely 40%

so that million is cut into 10 equal sections of 100K.

four of those sections currently go to taxes to be spent how ever willynilly.

one of those section is held as reserves.

one of those as profit to be spent.

that leaves four sections or 400,000 dollars. that is their next years operating expenses.

now if the max is 25% they have 2.5 more sections to work with or 650,000.

Remember they made a million dollars in profit under the 40% they have less than half to work with.

So say they work in steel, and they budget 2 sections for buying steel. Say they made more profit than they expect and last year they bought four sections worth. this year with the cost of powdered steel costing roughly a hundred times as much 96 dollars for one foot by one foot by four inch thick piece of steel last year and 7500 dollars for the same metal plate this year. Demand went up and 300 dollars in tariffs on a pound of nails that have vanadium in them drove the cost skyward. So the company or corp that set aside twice as much steel at last year’s prices, this year was able to continue to do biz at last years costs. at four sections as tax they might simply had too many costs. so say they only bought two sections last year as they did not have that extra 1.5 that went to tax dollars and this year they have to fire people to buy the steel and they they have to train someone less skilled in the job because the person who was skilled was fired instead of reduced in paid since if they asked that person to take a cut in pay they will look for a job elsewhere screaming it is not fair that they had to take a pay cut. Smart biz has details up where the employees can see the projected numbers on a shared drive so if people worried they can quietly ask what is going on.

The tax document which is public. https://waysandmeans.house.gov/taxreform/
shows that instead of targeting special interest groups they are trying to lower everyone tax obligation.

So how does that really help? First when the company above which employes say a thousand people in an area instead of laying off those people and forcing them to compete for say that micky’ds job, they are maybe paying them more since they bought the steel last year because it was planning for having it on hand while they had the money and this year instead of selling their product at four hundred dollar a widget they slightly increase the cost knowing that people will figure out that in you pull it junk yards there is steel that can be sold to metal working companies that is cheaper than the Korean nails this year. Sure you have to clean and metal it to slag then to bar stock, but it is still cheaper. So that company now is paying slightly more for steel from someone melting down rusty cars then trading to a powdered metal company to get a discount on the cost of the powdered metal, so when it is all done and said their workers keep their jobs and are spending a bit more on food, clothing, maybe they put a down payment down on a new home, because their income is finally high enough the bank thinks that they are less of risk for that ten year arm.

End result smart people are going to have a lot more money, normal people who don’t do research are getting a higher standard deduction. Now the senate still has to have a go at it, and they may change the whole thing. Who knows but removing the loop holes is going to make more spent by the people earning and less by committees on congress.

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John Kiser

It is only a short term benefit and will lose the US trillions over the next 10 – 20 years. If you are only thinking short term it might be beneficial, but any economist is screaming their heads off at the long term ramifications of the current tax bill in place. It along with the healthcare bill to attempt to repeal Obama Care are both going to have long term negative consequences and will end up putting the US further into debt and that’s even with taking projected economic growth into account.

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emu_john

So he provides links and the math and your response is, i disagree and your source is “any economist.” I think any economist with an actual degree would agree with Byórðæįr. If you’re going to respond to a well written and thought out post then put in the same amount of effort to actually disprove him that he put in gathering evidence to support his point.

Tl:dr what you said essentially amounts to “I disagree some unnamed source says differently”

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

don’t mind him he’s proven madman. thre’s not much more to it than that.

borghive
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borghive

Trickle down economics has been proven not to work.

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Byórðæįr

trickle down does not work. snicker what they are trying starts with remembering that income is only taxed once per person but every time it is spent it is taxed again. If you give a huge break only to one group, then every other group trying to take advantage of the boom is is worse shape. Where as if you give everyone a break on the taxes at the same time you get a dot com style bubble.

Now to prevent the bubble, people have to actually think at the larger income levels, how do I leverage this best, not oh go out and buy one expensive thing and park it in shed to collect rust. People at the lower income levels simply have to either work hard to take advantage of the more customers or hire more people.

In a bubble what usually happens is the first year everyone goes out buys something they have been wanting for a while, which drive up demand for those lux items. Now if they do nothing to replace the savings they are gaining as they spend the money you get a bubble bursting crash. Basically when the tax cuts go in you want to figure out what buying today will cost more in two years. You want to buy some of next years raw materials and the year after that are going to be more expensive, while you have the extra money. You want to buy that random thing before it gets expensive or wait five years. Smart people are trying to pay off every ouch of credit they have right now to be able to leverage the most just prior to the boom, so they can buy two of what they want and re-sell the second as the prices go up. Ideally they would invest in their biz instead by hiring on more people so that as the local areas biz increase they can take advantage of that and plan to expand based on profit margins getting bigger but it is longer term strategy and does not have the appeal factor of buying shiny toys. People have to make the choices they think are correct but some people from all walks of life if they plan correctly are going to make a lot of money in the short term and if everyone pays their taxes the it spins the hamster wheels faster and cuts likely can continue over the next twenty to twenty five year, potentially as low as ten percent flat tax. But if people all take short cuts it is like turkey day sales, everyone reaching for the 10 cent toy that is now 10 cents off blocks people from buy the 10 thousand dollar tv that is five thousand dollar cheaper.

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Utakata

“’20 year game industry veteran here,’ Riot’s Greg Street wrote (you’ll remember him from his tenure at Blizzard). ‘You don’t represent my views. Like at all.”’

Or tl,dr: Nerf it to the ground! <3

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CMDR Crow

It doesn’t really matter. The bill, like everything else, has no chance of passing. We’re really just all ticking down the days until resignation, legislature included.

That said, I had 10 apples and I gave 10 of them away to one person! Why are nine people mad to me? They all have an average of one apple! I was so generous giving away all ten apples!

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Ssiard

Actually it has a good chance of passing after setting the high tax bracket back to 2017 levels.

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Arktouros

The real trick is convincing 5 of those people that the other 4 who point out no one got any apples but one person are their enemy so they’ll support your decision to give all the apples to the 1 person.

Divide and Conquer.

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Ket Viliano

Bad Apples.

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Ssiard

*rolls eyes* cutting and simplifying taxes isn’t enough! You have to solve all the worlds problems with one bill! For the love.

The tax bill isn’t perfect but getting rid of all the loop hole laden deductions is a step in the right direction of ridding washing of back patting. Wish we could get rid of the property tax deduction too (even though it would screw me over). Stop the subsidizing of New York and California.

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Frank White

The Tax Policy Center – a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington D.C. – estimates that the top 1% will enjoy 80% of the benefits from Trump’s plan — while a third of middle-class taxpayers will be paying more in taxes by 2027.

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Ssiard

Your info is dated. The top tax bracket remains the same at 39.6% but less deductions.

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John Kiser

Not to mention that it will put the US further in the hole in the next 10 – 20 years debt wise. While it may spur some short term economic growth the amount it’ll hurt shit is staggering at the same time. If they want to fix tax loop holes just fix tax loop holes instead of giving a giant tax cut to the 1%

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Frank White

This is interesting too, if you have the patience to read through it all:

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-28/the-trump-tax-reform-s-pass-through-boondoggle

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Randy Ward

All I know is that the proposed tax bill will save me an additional 2k+ on my tax return and our family would be in the lowest tax bracket of that bill. This bill does do a lot for mid low and mid range households.

I am bummed about the over 10% medical bills deduction removal as I think that is a mistake and hopefully it will be addressed in the senate version.

As far as the student loan tax deduction, I think most students don’t even end up paying much in taxes if anything and I think it ends up being an incentive for them to pay off their loans after they graduate and enter the workforce.

The percent of mortgages that are considered ‘jumbo loans’ and over 500k are less than 5% of all mortgages on the market. So this really doesn’t hit as many as those who automatically hate anything from the other side of the aisle would have you believe. And lets face it, if someone can afford to have a jumbo loan, then that probably puts them in a wage range where they should be able to afford it. After all, isn’t this what most liberals want? For the richer to pay more? So why are they complaining?

The truth is that there will never be something that will be liked by everyone. Just gotta do the best they can.

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Rumm

I think it was something like the average family will save $1,200 in taxes over the course of a year. A family. That means 2 working adults each getting a bump $600.00 on the year.
A paltry $50 per month raise, so that corporations don’t have to pay as much. Trickle down indeed. A billionaire could literally trickle directly on my face and I’d be able to charge more than this plan will net me.

The people who always hee-haw about the deficit and debt are about to throw us off the fiscal cliff. Personally, I like being able to drive on roads and bridges, being able to walk through clean parks, and being able to call the police and fire department. Taxes pay for a functioning society.

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Ssiard

State taxes mostly pays for roads, bridges, etc. Federal taxes are just wasted on entitled individuals who don’t work and wasted on bribing failure countries.

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Rumm

Federal taxes pay for: Defense, Embassies around the world, social security, NASA, NOAA, medicaid, medicare, VA, infrastructure, education, the interstate…the list really does go on.

My lazy, entitled parents who worked their entire lives now get healthcare after retirement because of federal taxes.

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Ssiard

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are what 50% 60% of where the money goes? Entitled is entitled. Sinking ship more like it.

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John Kiser

It isn’t entitlement when these systems are paid into separately a lot of the time for healthcare + social security so that they can live. We can’t work people until they just keel over dead. You are saying people 65+ years old are entitled after they worked for 40+ years and put money into a system to be able to get it out later in life so they’d have a cushion for when they can’t work due to age? There is a reason retirement exists and there is a reason all these systems exist.

Where most of the problem stems from is government spending bloat where things that have normal price ranges are marked up heavily so someone can pocket money.

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Stropp

So you’d prefer poor people died of preventable and treatable diseases rather than have government programs to give them a chance?

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Ket Viliano

I qualify for government health care, applied twice.

Both times they threw away my paperwork right in front of my face, and told me to start over.

At this point, with the programs I used to support being denied to me by fiat, not through any actual correct process, I would just as soon be rid of all the programs, and cut the bureaucrats loose to fend for themselves.

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John Kiser

Short term it will help you. Problem is long term they are going to need to pump up your taxes hardcore when someone has to come and actually fix this tax bill. Economists have predicted that it will end up costing the US trillions and put us further into debt as a nation even with economic growth taken into account.

Yes you may see a benefit now, but are you prepared for when that backfires and we need to rebuild the country and you need far higher taxes than now to do so?

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Randy Ward

Everything will put us further into debt, until they actually do the fiscally right thing, which is to CUT SPENDING. But more economic growth for our country means less ‘increase’ in debt than not having that growth.

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John Kiser

That economic growth has to outpace any potential amount of revenue lost by cutting taxes for it to make any sort of difference one way or another. You need economic growth with a good enough tax rate that you aren’t just hemorrhaging money. The likelihood that we’ll actually see a nominal growth enough to offset taxes is probably pretty low.

We need to cut some spending yes, but we can’t cut all spending. What we need to do is smart spending on things that are actually a benefit to our citizens and not for a lot of stuff like a war machine, over spending for things the “government” does which they add massive bloat to the costs for whatever reason. It’s getting to the point that the gov buying a pack of bandaids would probably be like 500 dollars.

Fiscally right will potentially get us out of debt, but we’ll have a shit ton of homeless people and people dying as well as that is a situation created by cutting spending outright or on the things the republicans tend to want to cut.

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Armsbend

My family in the top 3% of earners and will rake in 10s of 1000s on this plan. However, I know it will decimate the middle class long term – this time for good – so I am vehemently opposed to anything that will destroy the nation. This powder keg cannot take the middle class getting kicked around again.

2K is shit when our entire system is falling apart at the seams. Rome is burning and we are out collecting kindling.

borghive
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borghive

What do people expect when they live under an oligarchy?

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Randy Ward

2k is not shit for many many families in the bottom tax bracket. You tell me what your solution is for our tax problem. I want to hear it, then we will talk about Rome burning.

Siphaed
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Siphaed

But 2K is not what the bottom bracket will obtain. The bottom bracket will get somewhere between $175 and $500…estimated to not even see that annual return until 2020. In the mean time school programs are getting butchered, the CHiP program has ended, and many other essential programs that US citizens use are being cut off.

This thinking that a giant tax cut -mostly to the rich and corporations- is going to trickle down to create jobs is absurd. The only way that the government can actually “create new American jobs” would be to cut US military spending by the $billions in order to instead invest in vastly crumbling infrastructure of the country. For every 1 third-party mercenary hired by the US military in foreign operations, they can easily create 4 Middle class construction/infrastructure jobs. And that’s just the tip of the over spending in the military industrial complex that has ballooned out of control in our country. For a tax cutting plan to work, it MUST see a cut of the annual military spending by at least 1/3rd. Period. But that won’t get approved due to many of the contracts being held by lobbiests for Senators as well as even some of the Senator’s own relatives/close friends.

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Randy Ward

Simply not true. I’ve run the numbers. I’m bottom tax bracket and I will get just over 2k more. We may be at the top of the bottom bracket, but we are in that bottom bracket none the less.

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Bruno Brito

You do realize that when the populace’s buying power increases, so the prices rise too, right?

So, whatever money you get more, won’t matter much because everything will be as expensive, and now, you have a government with a excuse to “we cut taxes, so don’t complain about the country’s state.”

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Armsbend

It. Is. Shit.

If you are getting no real wage increases, while everything around you increases in price (healthcare and home prices in desirable locations), while crime increases due to the fact we have created a ruling class with no relief, etc etc forever. I could seriously type out dire consequences all night long. For your 2K. That after year 3 likely wont buy anything except that Christmas 37 inch.

My solution? Easy. The infrastructure plan that was spoken about, by both parties, the entire election but then unceremoniously dropped one the GOP had the promise of getting rid of the estate tax in front of them. Real jobs, for real people putting real wealth into their pockets. THEN – once a regular family can send their kid to school without both parents working a job (maybe 2) we can talk about taxes.

You say tax problem. What tax problem? We have a middle class not making any money problem. We have a no increase in wages in 30 years problem. The US does not have a tax problem.

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Randy Ward

Not everyone is as rich as you Armsbend and that 2k means a lot more to those of us who struggle to make ends meet.

37 inch for christmas? LOL, my kids are getting bunk beds and that’s it. My wife and I don’t even get each other presents because we don’t have the extra disposable income.

Your answer is an infrastructure stimulus bill? Like the one Bush did at the end of his term and like Obama did during his term? Those bills that wasted money on supposed ‘shovel ready jobs’. HAHAAH what a crock of crap that was. All that did was put money the pockets of those that use tax payers as a slush fund. And the result was a historical record setting national debt that even our grandchildren will be struggling to pay off. Govt doesn’t create wealth. It dilutes it and creates debt. Those aren’t real jobs, they are temporary and wasteful.

How do you propose the middle class get jobs and an increase in wealth? Again stimulus packages are temporary, wasteful, and only add to the over all burden of debt to the entire population making everything more expensive. The private sector creates permanent jobs. The tax and regulation burden on small to medium businesses is bat shit crazy right now. So many go out of business because of it. If you want jobs and wealth for those workers, you have to be able to promulgate a healthy business inducing environment that has a desire to keep the money here in America.

You don’t just tax people, wave a magic wand, and then dispense that money to workers. That’s redistribution and creates no more wealth. Eventually you run out of tax dollars or they end up being spent on something else. Changing the proportions of the pie isn’t going to do it. You need a bigger pie. For that you need private sector success.

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Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

More evidence that ESA solely serves the AAA publishers that fund it.

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Ket Viliano

The only thing that will drive up domestic wages is to kill off all the immigrant labor; including illegal immigrant laborers, H1b’s, H1c’s, etc. etc; combined with a nice big tariff to keep out foreign slave labor from the low end manufacturing sector and to put a price squeeze on the supply of goods from the high end sector.

The tax bill has not a thing to do with labor supply.

dixa
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dixa

fact is giving corporations more money does not mean they will use any of it. many corporations are enjoying record profits right now – today – and are not raising average wages.

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John Kiser

No it won’t drive up domestic wages in the least. Illegal immigrants for ones do field work heavily and most of the time are doing jobs we don’t want to do. H1B’s are already paid quite well as are any system that brings people here legally. Don’t even go down the tariff route or do you forget history so much so that the last time we started that kind of shit it lead to part of the reason for the great depression and global economic collapse for awhile (Hoovervilles existed during this time)

Tariffs only lead to a tariff war and the US doesn’t produce enough goods here to survive it. Not to mention the fact that the US is not the only large market in the world. If we tariff other’s goods our own will be tariffed in most of these other countries that have a large marketplace and further cause issues.

You types that just seem to hate on foreign workers take very little into actual account when talking about anything. Honestly if you thought it through if there weren’t the foreign workers why exactly do you think wages are magically just going to go up? They could pull wages down to the levels of foreign workers for everyone.

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Ket Viliano

The migrant farm workers, the ones here legally, I am fine with. If they work here and obey the laws, they should be able to get citizenship eventually.

I have and do work in IT, in “The Valley”, and know for a fact that H1b’s are indentured servants, are paid less, and often face abuse and cruelty. I have worked with them, spoken with them, and know what is going on. Please pay attention to the fact that H1b visas are granted to the *company*, not the laborer. This is a very important factor in power and negotiation.

Tariffs did not do squat to effect the Great Depression, the long term credit cycle and irrational exuberance did. I pay a lot of attention to long term, 100 year plus stock and interest rate charts, the history is pretty clear.

We don’t need foreign goods, we can, and do, manufacture most everything here, just not nearly as much as we did prior to “free trade” and China MFN. The collapse in union membership is directly tied to the loss of industrial manufacturing jobs.

Adam Smith was wrong, and the USA industrial dominance was built under a system where tariffs served to protect domestic industry and to fund the government.

To answer your question, given an exclusion of foreign labor, primarily in manufacturing and tech, and given a solid well planned tariff to protect the domestic economy, the basic laws of supply and demand would cause wages to rise. Smith got that much right.

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Armsbend

Since this is a political article I’m going to put this here. My spouse and I started discussing emigrating away from the United States in earnest over the past two months. Something I couldn’t have ever imagined doing before this year. It is a disgusting feeling.

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Stropp

I was sent to work in the US between 2003 and 2005 by my employer. While I was there I considered applying to become a permanent resident and do the whole greencard thing. Ultimately, I decided against it and came home to Australia mid 2005.

I’m glad I did. Not just because of the current political situation, but it just looks like everything is falling apart over there. Just the mass shootings happening, what? Every week now? That’s deeply disturbing.

BTW. If you’re looking into emigrating. Consider The Land Down Under. Lots to do and see, and a pretty decent lifestyle in many places.

dixa
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dixa

300 mass shootings in the US this year alone.

I’d take your giant spiders and alligators over this.

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Stropp

No alligators here, except in zoos. We have crocodiles. Big salty ones!

But it’s the Drop Bears you have to watch out for.

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deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

look into canada, i’d love to summer with you once in a while.

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emu_john

Its to bad immigrants to Canada are actually screened and dont get any benefits from the system for years.

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Armsbend

I don’t need benefits right away. We are talking about Canada. We need to move to a place that is relatively safe and we can work. We can’t move to some tourist paradise because we aren’t looking to serve drinks for a living (not that there’s anything wrong with that)!

Considering Hawaii or New Zealand/Australia as well. The latter would be tough – so far away.

This probably won’t happen until our parents are dead. A few years away still. Or we get murdered.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

it’s not a bad thing. but it is something i wish some friends could benefit from despite my political beliefs.

CapnLan
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CapnLan

Whew. Toxicity talk AND tax talk on the same day? Y’all be gluttons for punishment heh. Best of luck with your moderating…and your sodium levels. I salute you, MOP staff.

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deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i also support the tax reform platform. i say the poor need more taxes, and in general we need to privatize more of our social welfare programs.

we need to start charging fees for roads, grade school, fire and police protection, utilityies grids access, internet grids access and more.

enough free rides for the entitled poor. they need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and should be grateful for the jobs created by the wealthy.

(hmm why do i think this would’ve made a great dead kennedy’s song on fresh fruit for rotting vegetals album?)

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

As Uta says below, I don’t think all your upvoters caught that you were being sarcastic, deekay. :-)

On the upside, this post might get you into Breitbart rallies — oops, no, I mean parties, don’t I? Or do I? — for free. :-)

Satire is wasted on idealogues, because so many of them sacrifice self-reflection and human empathy on the altar of doctrine. Typically, human empathy is the first to have its throat cut …

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

no i am decidedaly to the left of that ideologoly. just a dead keneedys style parody of the horrors of the right as displayed in this article.

not my thing to to the right wing things. i will hold the left oto the utmost regargard in the mean time i am what i am. a shit disturber on the center left fucking up everyone’s shit.

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Utakata

Well…you won’t get any argument from me on that. <3

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Utakata

Poe’s law an the act of sarcasm directed over our heads and pigtails. It’s disturbing though…I wonder if the folks /upvoting this caught on? o.O

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Wolfyseyes

The problem with trickle-down economics is that large companies are suddenly amazingly good at fixing the dripping plumbing when it comes to their personal bottom line.

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blah blazh

Trickle-down has never worked. It’s a pie in the sky that lawmakers want. If you want to see what happens when tax reform like this is implemented, look at Kansas.

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Ket Viliano

Yet nothing in this bill is driven by “trickle-down”. That was the Reagan-Bush-Clinton era, over 20-40 years ago.

The current tax bill is a hodge podge attempt to see what can and cannot be done in the current Congress, and nothing more.

There is no ideology behind any of it.

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Terren Bruce

Yes there is. Very much so. And it certainly is trickle-down. Almost everything in it is dedicated to giving tax breaks to corporations and the rich and the only excuse given is that it will lead to greater investment and more jobs. Of course that is a lie, history shows us that it leads to more money being put in tax heavens overseas (and thus taken out of the economy) and for acquiring other companies with “redundant” staff being laid off which leads to a decrease in employment.

The tax plan is an utter disaster. Sure sometimes you can stimulate growth with a tax cut, but we’ve done tax cut after tax cut since 1980. You can only cut so much before you can’t squeeze anymore out of the middle class.

Most of the people who this is aimed at are already raking in record profits. This is just to boost that up more. This is what happens when we allow our politicians to be legally bribed with campaign donations.

The ideology is simple. “My donors paid me to get them tax cuts, and I’m going to vote for tax cuts.” That’s all there is to it. That’s all there has ever been to it.

Reader
Noel

Taxes inhibit growth. Its mechanism is ancient and well known, and government knows it. When the State wants you to consume less nicotine, sugar, plastics, or fossil fuels, they know just how to do it-fees, subsidies, rebates; i.e., taxes, in one form or another, directed at you or others.

Whether or not lifting taxes stimulate growth is besides the point. Social utility has only ever been a rationalization of taxation. The salient issue is theft. If it’s wrong for me to rob you and give the money to your poorer neighbors, it’s wrong for the government to do it. The less there is of taxes the better. What people do with their money returned is no one else’s business. My productiveness, or the extent of my financial success, is not a valid measure of the extent to which it is morally acceptable for government to treat me as revenue chattel.

This is what happens when we allow our politicians to be legally bribed with campaign donations.

No, this is what happens when we raise children to be apathetic to philosophy and integrity, and then they grow up and get elected as politicians. There’s nothing wrong with providing financial support to politicians that share one’s principles. The problem is that rotten principles finance rotten politicians. To equate all campaign donations as “bribes” belies the base cynicism that misinforms virtually all conventional conversations about taxation today: if you’re rich, you must be dishonest, and taxes are a way for you to pay for that indulgence.

The ideology is simple. “My donors paid me to get them tax cuts, and I’m going to vote for tax cuts.” That’s all there is to it. That’s all there has ever been to it.

That is not an ideology. That is pragmatism, which holds that the principles and standards are impossible; that truth is whatever works, for any given situation or moment (e.g., bribery is practical sometimes, and sometimes not.) Pragmatism is anti-ideology.

Reader
Ket Viliano

The “tax cuts lead to stimulus” rhetoric is empty. They don’t really mean it. It’s just noise to cover for the giant nothing burger that is really taking place.

What the Republicans, as a whole, are doing is looking to reassert their own priorities in a party riven with discord between the Populists, the Faux Libertarians, and the Old Establishment. No one really agrees with anyone, and they are just trying to see what they *can* actually do, given how far apart they are with regard to principles and ideology.

Movement Conservatism is dead, that was Bush, open borders, free trade style Libertarianism is dead, they got no votes at all, other than two from the Koch brothers, the only thing left is Populism, which is not an ideology, it’s just a lot of very angry people who do not always agree on what to do.

For the record, I am not advocating anything beyond perspective; I am just calling it like I see it.

Reader
John Kiser

It will short term long term will have repercussions though

Reader
Armsbend

Not true. It’s intent is to create an Aristocracy. A clear ideology.

Reader
Utakata

And poor fiscal management! /sigh

Reader
Ket Viliano

There already *IS* an aristocracy in America, there always has been.

The country was founded by them.

Take another look at the rhetoric behind the tax bill, there is no ideology there.

It may be worth pointing out that the old Republican Establishment, the party of Bush, is dead.

You are dealing with populist rabble now, the pitchfork and torch crowd, angry people who don’t like a damn thing about what has been going on in Washington D.C.

Please, do not make the mistake of responding to washed up, recycled political propaganda *that no one is really using anymore*.

Reader
Armsbend

More of one then. Like old school powdered wigs, golden carriages and 100 man servants boosting up a non-existent economy based on nobility and the peasant class.

Reader
Ket Viliano

Sure, yet this has been going on since Reagan, and in full speed “Neo-Liberal” mode since Clinton. Both party establishments are corrupt.

That, and the non-existent economy is based on ultra low interest rates from a corrupt federal reserve, an absence of tariffs, a flood of low buck foreign labor, and cheap foreign slave labor, mostly from Asia. Oh, and “shitty deals” from the major banks that are so bad, even finance industry guys are complaining.

The underlying issue in the Tax Bill is that the Republican Party is undergoing a once-in-a-generation sea change, and that the old interests are in conflict with the new, and who is going to wind up in charge is not really settled just yet.

I just want more people to be more aware of the details of what is going on, and why.

Reader
Armsbend

I personally just think the timing of this is so very poor. People genuinely hate each other now, more than ever in my lifetime – over political parties and economic power of all things. I sincerely feel the worst possible course of action is to give the top a huge tax break. I don’t even care about the deficit (no one seems to anyway) – it is the look and the fact US leaders are clearly showing they have disdain for the people of the nation.

They tout a few thousand dollars in front of the middle class like a carrot. And as you read above – they are eating it up. Two thousand dollars! As their nation falls apart! What a goddamned fucking joke! And they love it!

Reader
Ket Viliano

Yeah, I mean, things are a real mess right now. Getting steamed up about it does basically no good, and does nothing for me in my day to day life.

I am gunna focus on my patio garden, sorting out the wall of boxes that multiple moves have left piled up in my bedroom, working out my personal finances, and playing video games.

There is just much of nothing I can do to save everyone, so I am gunna do what I can to save myself, and then see what I can do for others.

Peace man, I gotta step out and do chores for a bit, and I hope everything is well for you and yours.

Reader
Stropp

The only thing you can do is to get out and vote for the next guy who you think will make things better.

Reader
Armsbend

Same. Your plan is really the best one.

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