Amazon Terminates NY HQ2 Plan

Just today it was announced that Amazon has ended all plans to continue with developing its second headquarters (HQ2) campus in New York. After facing weeks of complaints and aggressive questioning from locals online, in public, and in-person the Mega-Corporation has decided the $3 billion in subsidies and access to New York’s rising tech industry are simply not worth the harassment. This is only the latest in the long saga that is the creation of Amazon’s HQ2 that began in late 2017 with the promise of 50,000 (wow!) new jobs and plans to spend $5 billion dollars on local construction Continue reading Amazon Terminates NY HQ2 Plan

Should We Be Taxing Robots?

Here’s a question that no one even thought to consider until now- should we be taxing robots? *Before I go much further, I want to make it clear that although the topic of a robotic workforce is a hot topic, I won’t be arguing the morals of the idea but rather the logistics assuming the transition is inevitable. Bill Gates stirred up quite a frenzy when he stated in an interview that robots who take human jobs should pay taxes. If robots begin taking human jobs, the government will begin to lose the tax generated revenue needed to fund their Continue reading Should We Be Taxing Robots?

USAFacts: An Injection of Facts

Have you ever wondered where the US tax revenue exactly comes from and where it goes? To most US citizens the thought of traversing a mountain of US government financial data could seem like a nightmare. But this nightmare is no more, thanks to our friendly neighborhood (former) Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. With the help of economists, writers, researchers from the academic communities, Ballmer was able to compile government financial data into a user-friendly format. USAFacts is this “portrait” of the US tax system. USAFacts is described by Ballmer a “nonpartisan, data-driven” website that provides reports on the US population Continue reading USAFacts: An Injection of Facts

Presidential Candidates: What’s Their Economics?

Welcome to part one of a three part series on our presidential candidates’ stances on economic issues. There are so many candidates, I frankly don’t have room to give them all equal representation. So, NOT included in the series will be candidates with very little vote (consistently under 5%), similar stances as other candidates, and/or very little information on their tax plans. That’s Chris Christie, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, and Martin O’Malley. Sorry to disappoint those supporters. This week, the issue is taxation! No presidential candidate can get by without addressing this contentious issue and how Continue reading Presidential Candidates: What’s Their Economics?

Marijuana Money

This article is a part one. Look for the second half next week! I remember proudly voting for the legalization of weed. July 8, 2014, marked the opening of legal vendors in Washington State, and lines of Americans stretched for miles outside the few stores that qualified. Sadly, I wasn’t 21 so I didn’t partake in that historic occasion, but plenty sure did. In the first month, Washington sold $3.8 million in pot from just eighteen stores. If that sounds impressive, one year later, a combined 160 stores were selling more than $1.4 million each day. I’m certain that even Continue reading Marijuana Money

Washington is Actually the most Unfair Tax State

Over the summer I worked as a cashier at a tourist shop in Seattle. That means hardly any customers were from Washington, and that means hardly anyone expected our whopping sales tax. “Oh yes, taxes,” an elder German would sigh, not used to having it left out of the price tag. A Coloradan would demand to know why it was so high – Denver has a sales tax of 3.65% compared to Seattle’s 9.5%. A Montanan would laugh and flash their ID. Any resident from the five states without sales tax – Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon – Continue reading Washington is Actually the most Unfair Tax State

The Real Job Creators

Job Creators. It’s a term that’s been thrown around a lot in the media in recent years. It’s most commonly used as a term of endearment for wealthy business owners, usually in an attempt to defend them from new taxes or regulations that would hurt their bottom line, and by the media’s logic, hurt the labor market. In this view, the wealthy are like benevolent dictators, creating jobs only when taxes and regulations are to their liking. But this simply isn’t the case. As venture capitalist Nick Hanauer points out, businesses do not just generate jobs out of the goodness Continue reading The Real Job Creators

Poverty, Equitable Taxation, and the Earned Income Tax Credit

Along with his proposal to raise the minimum wage, President Obama is trying to tackle poverty with a broad expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC program essentially gives those earning around and below the federal poverty line ($12,566 a year) a tax credit when they file their taxes. In 2012, it helped lift 6.5 million Americans, including 3.3 million children, out of poverty. President Obama is currently proposing a $60 Billion expansion of the tax credit’s benefits over 10 years. The program’s expansion will in part help to provide greater benefits to childless workers. Currently, the Continue reading Poverty, Equitable Taxation, and the Earned Income Tax Credit

Are Local Tax Incentives for Businesses Worth Their Cost?

For my senior thesis, I examined how cities react to economic decline. An all too common reaction by local governments is to offer more and more tax rebates and monetary incentives to try to attract large businesses. These incentives can range from sales, corporate, and property tax reductions, to guaranteed loans, and in some cases straight up cash. In total, local governments in the US spend $80 billion a year on business incentives. An article in the New York Times from 2012 paints a good picture of the problem. Now you may say, “Well isn’t it worth it in some cases for Continue reading Are Local Tax Incentives for Businesses Worth Their Cost?