Laissez Faire Links: Nationalization of Google and Amazon, Tax ‘Inversion’, Government Waste…This is the Idiocracy of Bureaucracy

Laissez Faire Links: The Idiocracy of Bureaucracy

government-waste

Today’s set of links focus on government intrusion and waste.  Whether trying to snuff out global corporations altogether via nationalization, wasting tax-payer money on grandiose renovations of bureaucratic headquarters, or political punditry calling corporations unpatriotic because they won’t pay for the renovations of bureaucratic headquarters, these links demonstrate the idiocracy of bureaucracy.

  • As if government has not become intrusive enough, Richard Eskow at Salon actually called for the nationalization of Google and Amazon.  In the “You didn’t build that” egalitarian logic fashioned by Obama, Eskow states: “Big Tech was created with publicly developed technology.  No matter how they spin it, these corporations were not created in garages or by inventive entrepreneurs. The core technology behind them is the Internet, a publicly funded platform for which they pay no users’ fee. In fact, they do everything they can to avoid paying their taxes.”  Yes folks, you read that right.  A policy analyst from the Campaign for America’s Future (more irony in that title) openly called for the government takeover of two of the largest global companies.  As if the government could run Amazon.com better than healthcare.gov.
  • As for corporate “tax-dodging,” here is another piece over at Reason worthy of mention regarding what the Left is calling “Inversion,” whereby corporations relocate for lower tax rates.  The Left calls this unpatriotic, and Sloan saddles the corporation with the task of lifting inefficient government out of the trench when he states,

And I define ‘fiduciary duty’ as the obligation to produce the best long-term results for shareholders, not ‘get the stock price up today’. Undermining the finances of the federal government by inverting helps undermine our economy. And that’s a bad thing, in the long run, for companies that do business in America.”

Since when should the vitality of federal coffers be of concern to corporate executives.  When the federal government has such a heavy hand in the economy that its fiscal concerns bleed into those of private corporations, the free market becomes shackled with all the inefficiencies of government.  And this is what smart business recognizes and seeks to remedy when moving overseas.

  • Inefficiencies abound, Daniel Mitchell over at Cato shares another example of government waste, although this one has a particular tinge of irony that one cannot fail to acknowledge.  According to the Daily Signal, costs of renovating rented office space for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (ushered into law by Dodd-Frank) is about $590/sq. ft., more than either the Bellagio Hotel and Casino or the Trump World Tower.  This renovation alone will cost tax payers $215 million.  So much for protecting consumers!  Parasitic public sector waste will quickly eat any costs saved by consumers from any apparent predatory behavior.

Waste and bureaucratic inefficiencies are exactly what healthy and rational corporations seek to avoid, not to mention the prospect of nationalization.  Why is it surprising that U.S. companies seek lower tax rates overseas when ours are nearly 35%?  This is the rational choice, a practice on which successful corporations build, thereby securing growth and a brighter future for everyone.  Idiotic calls for nationalization and government waste discourage business creation and sap vitality from the markets because they threaten freedom of contract and property rights while saddling corporations with external costs and the mounting inefficiencies of growing bureaucracy.

 

 

 

 

Laissez Faire Links: Minimum Wage, Rational Patriotism, Equality, and Obamacare

Government rights-violating policies take on many forms these days.  Below are a few issues circulating throughout Washington, the press, and the blogosphere.

The first piece is a wonderfully impassioned lashing against the Left and their refusal to acknowledge the economic reality that a minimum wage imposes on unskilled workers.  Yaron Brook, Director of the Ayn Rand Institute attacks the false logic behind a minimum wage raise, and it has nothing to do with economics.  Rather, it is coated with a thick malaise of altruistic do-goodedness.  He hits the nail on the head:

“The economic case against the minimum wage is easy to grasp. When the government artificially raises the price of something, the demand for it goes down. Raising the minimum wage decreases the demand for unskilled labor (usually the young).

Raising the minimum wage feels good because it appeals to the prevailing altruism in the culture.

Many people understand that the minimum wage defies economic reality. What we need are more people to understand that the morality of altruism defies reality. Human life and happiness require freedom, including the freedom to compete on the labor market with lower wages — yet this is the very reality the altruists want us to ignore in the name of the “poor.” That’s why it’s impractical — and any policy based on it will be destructive.

To move toward freedom — to defeat the senseless and immoral absurdity that the minimum wage represents — it is altruism that must be defeated.”

Full Article here: The Minimum Wage vs. Reality

 

Michael A. Laferrara, writing for The Objective Standard Blog uses government taxation of American corporations overseas to define patriotism in terms of what is rational for a better America, not a more intrusive American government.  “Rational patriotism does not mean throttling productive citizens for the sake of politicians and bureaucrats. Rational patriotism in America means loyalty to what America stands for: the inalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Citizens for Tax Justice versus Rational Patriotism

 

Next is a rebuttal of Thomas Picketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century.  Picketty argues that income inequality has increased because investments grow faster than wages.  His solution?  Legislate an 80 percent wealth tax on the rich.  John Stossel at Reason counters that despite the Left’s concern over income inequality, income mobility in America is still very much alive.  More importantly, economic mobility is a result of the free market, and thus, logically, cannot be legislated.  It continues in spite of a natural inequality in living standards. The issue is then one of liberty rather than equality.

Debunking Popular Nonsense About Income Mobility in America

For a strictly Objectivist take on Picketty’s argument in Capital, see Yaron Brook’s response here.

 

Just as the government would like to legislate economic equality, the urge to legislate a nation’s collective living standard is akin to Obama legislating better healthcare.  Don Boudreaux, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, brings this flaw of logic to light.  Legislating universal access to a scarce item certainly does not guarantee any degree of quality.  In fact, basic economics tells you that mandating a minimal quantity of any commodity will lower the quality of that item due to the basic law of scarcity.

Dear Mr. Krugman

 

Let us summarize these four issues and the government’s position on them.  Let us mandate that employers pay wages higher than they would normally pay for a given skill set, forcefully redistributing wealth to less productive avenues.  Let us tax successful corporations for being successful, forcefully taking and redistributing capital to less productive avenues such as the welfare state.  Let us ignore income mobility, the manifestation of which is hope, focussing only on income inequality and turning what is a natural occurrence of diversity and freedom into a scapegoat for more taxation, spending programs, and laws.  So we have forced redistribution of wealth, forced redistribution of capital, and a blatant denial of natural facts for smoke-and-mirror rationalization.  Oh and let us not forget the Obama administration’s false equation of quantity of healthcare received to quality of healthcare produced.

Does this sound like a rights-respecting or rights-violating government?