1 May 2017   Leave a comment

For much of the world, 1 May is the day to celebrate Labor, and is known as International Workers’ Day.  The Second International (an organization uniting 20 socialist and communist parties in Europe) selected the day to honor those workers killed in the Haymarket Massacre which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886.  The initial goal of a work stoppage on the first of May was to support an 8-hour working day.  The day was institutionalized because there were a host of other issues of great importance to labor that needed to be resolved.  The US celebrates Labor Day in September in order to avoid being associated with a holiday espoused by socialists and communists.

South Korean newspapers are articulating great concern over US policy toward North Korea.  Trump initially said that South Korea should pay for the anti-missile system (the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense [THAAD]) deployed to protect it from North Korean missiles, only to be later overruled by his National Security Adviser, General McMaster.  Several newspapers have accused Mr. Trump of “confusing and contradictory messages” and that “We hope that Trump will be more careful with his words”.  South Korea has been an ally of the US since the end of World War II and it is rare for allies to use such negative language about a defense relationship.  For its part, North Korea remains intransigent.  According to a Reuters  report which quotes from a press release by the North Korean Press Agency:

“‘Now that the U.S. is kicking up the overall racket for sanctions and pressure against the DPRK, pursuant to its new DPRK policy called ‘maximum pressure and engagement’, the DPRK will speed up at the maximum pace the measure for bolstering its nuclear deterrence,'” a spokesman for North Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement carried by its official KCNA news agency.

“‘North Korea’s “measures for bolstering the nuclear force to the maximum will be taken in a consecutive and successive way at any moment and any place decided by its supreme leadership,'” the spokesman said.”

As an additional worry, the Japanese have sent the Izumo Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier to join the US Carl Vinson carrier group.  The arsenal being sent to East Asia is huge.  We should hope that all this rhetoric and maneuvering is simply bluster.

Japanese Izumo Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier

 

The US Congress will be debating tax reform during its current session and President Trump has made lowering the corporate income tax one of his highest priorities.  The corporate tax rate is 35% which is high among the advanced industrialized countries.  But very few companies actually pay that rate because there are so many loopholes and deductions.

It is difficult to determine how corporations as a whole fare under the current tax system since the loopholes and deductions are very idiosyncratic.  But there is a widening discrepancy between corporate profits and the overall revenues from the corporate tax which suggests that the tax burden on corporations is not very significant:

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Posted May 1, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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