Social and Economic Policy

Trump in America and the world

Submitted by Matthew on 10 January, 2018 - 11:55 Author: Ira Berkovic
Trump

On 22 December, US President Donald Trump passed the most significant piece of domestic legislation of his term thus far, the so-called “Tax Cuts and Job Act”.

This tax reform, one of the most sweeping in decades, will cut corporate tax by 15%. The package also includes measures such as lowering taxes on overseas profits.

How big business makes the laws

Submitted by Matthew on 10 January, 2018 - 10:51 Author: Rhodri Evans

In December the US Congress has passed the regressive tax-cuts scheme pushed by Donald Trump and long desired by Republicans.

The truly instructive story is about one detail. As part of his populist pitch pre-election, Donald Trump had sworn to sugar the changes at least in a small way by closing a particular tax loophole advantageous to hedge fund and private equity managers, "carried interest".

The loophole has survived. Gary Cohn, director of Trump’s National Economic Council, and a plutocrat himself, was startlingly candid about it.

Obamacare undermined

Submitted by Matthew on 13 December, 2017 - 10:49 Author: Rhodri Evans

As well as legislating for a big redistribution of income from workers to the rich, the US Republicans' "tax reform", now (mid-December) being pummelled into final shape to unite versions from the two houses of Congress, undermines "Obamacare".

Socialist Worker (US) reports that the "reform" promises "a further crisis of the health care system caused by the repeal of the Obamacare mandate requiring individuals to buy insurance.

Reverse the inequality spiral!

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 12:57 Author: Colin Foster
Reverse the inequality spiral

The share prices of big companies (the FTSE 100) continue to rise. Top bosses' pay dropped a bit between 2015 and 2016, but is on a long-term trend to rise faster than workers' wages, and stood at £3.45 million in 2016 (median pay for FTSE 100 CEOs). The average profit rate of UK firms (outside finance and outside the North Sea oilfields) recovered entirely a long time ago from its dip in 2008-9, and is now around 13%, compared to 8% in 2001.

Catalonia: rights and unity

Submitted by Matthew on 15 November, 2017 - 11:00
Catalonia protest

Editorial from Solidarity 454

On Saturday 11 November, 750,000 people (on the city police’s count) demonstrated in Barcelona to demand the release of Catalan government ministers and pro-independence association activists jailed by the Madrid regime to await trial on charges such as sedition. A general strike called by a pro-independence union confederation, Intersindical-CSC, under the slogan “Defend Our Rights”, on Wednesday 8 November, also had impact.

Seize their wealth!

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 8:58 Author: Cathy Nugent
Seize their wealth

Another day, another revelation. The super-rich avoid paying tax.

The leak of 13.4 million data files (the “Paradise Papers”) to the Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany, shared with media around the world, has shone a light on the pathologically anti-social behaviour of the rich pile up their wealth and refusing to contribute to the financing of hospitals, schools and the care of the old, sick and disabled.

Trump’s trade turn is regressive

Submitted by Matthew on 25 October, 2017 - 10:35 Author: Editorial
NAFTA

“Anyone who thinks [Donald Trump] has dropped his vow to rip up the global trading system has not been paying attention”, wrote Edward Luce in the Financial Times (18 October), after the fourth round of US-Mexican-Canadian talks on Nafta, the North American Free Trade Agreement, closed on 17 October.

How to get the Tories out Matthew Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:06

After May’s woeful Party conference speech, the Tories are more divided than ever. But their conference has also left them in an impasse. They can’t easily sack Theresa May because she was the unity candidate for Leader and the Tories who supported her don’t yet have a plan B. There is no sign of an acceptable alternative to May.

Labour and the 3.6% swing

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 11:07

The Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore describes the Tory conference: “May visibly flinching at a direct question, in her babble of repetitive phrases that mean nothing. It is as if she is not really there. There is a vacancy at the top”.

Bookmakers now make Jeremy Corbyn the favourite to be next prime minister. Their second-most-rated, at about 6/1 against, are Boris Johnson, David Davis, and Philip Hammond.

Tories: clueless and callous

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 10:47 Author: Editorial

In an interview with the BBC shortly before Tory Party Conference opened, Theresa May told Andrew Marr: “As Conservatives, the arguments that we thought we’d had and won during the 1980s about the importance of free market economies — I think we thought there was a general consensus on that. And we now see that there wasn’t.”