Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Archive for 9. März 2018

Sozialausgaben sind der größte Brocken bei Staatskosten

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2018

Grafik Österreich liegt bei den Staatsausgaben gemessen als Anteil am Bruttoinlandsprodukt innerhalb der EU im Spitzenfeld. Die heimischen Sozialausgaben machen mehr als 21 Prozent vom BIP aus.

Bei den Gesamtausgaben des Staates gemessen am BIP lag Österreich 2016 mit über 50 Prozent am BIP an fünfter Stelle. Den ersten Platz belegt weiterhin Frankreich. Österreich konnte gegenüber 2015 seine Staatsausgaben von 51,6 auf nunmehr 50,7 Prozent reduzieren. Die geringsten Staatsausgaben wies neuerlich Irland mit 27,1 Prozent aus. Der EU-Durchschnitt betrug 46,3 Prozent – 2015 waren es noch 47,2 Prozent.

Österreichs Sozialausgaben lagen mit einem Anteil von 21,6 Prozent am BIP an vierthöchster Stelle in der EU. Spitzenreiter war laut Eurostat-Daten vom Freitag Finnland vor Frankreich und Dänemark. Schlusslicht ist Irland mit weniger als zehn Prozent BIP-Anteil im Sozialbereich. Der EU-Durchschnitt betrug 19,1 Prozent.

Staatsausgaben nach Aufgabenbereich – (c) Eurostat Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Karl Brenke – Germany: Unconditional Basic Income: unnecessary, barely affordable, and politically dangerous

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2018

Thanks to M.R.

We have posted a number of articles concerning Universal Basic Income – pro and contra. In this posting Karl Brenke, using Germany as an example, comes to the conclusion that UBI is not economically feasible and would result in  social conflicts.

Karl Brenke is an Economist at the the German Institute for Economics (Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaft DIW) in Berlin.

For Karl Marx, there was no question that the “Kingdom of Freedom” would be achieved in a not-too-distant future. Like “dialectic”, he had adopted this term from the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Gottfried Hegel. Hegel was an advocate of idealism, which for him meant the development of the objective mind. Marx was an advocate of materialism and understood it as the development of productive forces. Technological progress would increasingly replace human labour – resulting in increasing unemployment and working-class misery. As a result of this, inevitable revolution would sweep away the capitalist means of production and technological progress could be used to enable everyone to live according to their needs. People would be free from the need to do work because machines would do it. As we know today, this was a false prognosis.

Arguments for basic income are out of touch with reality Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The threat to world trade: The rules-based system is in grave danger

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2018

Date: 08-03-2018
Source: The Economist

Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium would be just the start

DONALD TRUMP is hardly the first American president to slap unilateral tariffs on imports. Every inhabitant of the Oval Office since Jimmy Carter has imposed some kind of protectionist curbs on trade, often on steel. Nor will Mr Trump’s vow to put 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminium by themselves wreck the economy: they account for 2% of last year’s $2.4trn of goods imports, or 0.2% of GDP. If this were the extent of Mr Trump’s protectionism, it would simply be an act of senseless self-harm. In fact, it is a potential disaster—both for America and for the world economy.

As yet it is unclear exactly what Mr Trump will do. But the omens are bad. Unlike his predecessors, Mr Trump is a long-standing sceptic of free trade. He has sneered at the multilateral trading system, which he sees as a bad deal for America. His administration is chaotic, and Gary Cohn’s ominous decision on March 6th to resign as the president’s chief economic adviser deprives the White House of a rare free-trader, signalling that it has fallen into protectionist hands. Not since its inception at the end of the second world war has the global trading system faced such danger.

This danger has several dimensions. One is the risk of tit-for-tat escalation. After the EU said it would retaliate with sanctions on American goods, including bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorbikes, Mr Trump threatened exports of European cars. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Godfathers of Chinese Tech Get an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2018

Date: 08-03-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tech tycoons may like government talk about innovation but they don’t love more state control

Jack Ma, executive chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., characterizes his relationship with the Chinese government as “fall in love but don’t marry.”

That’s generally the view of China’s tech leaders, nearly all of whom hail from modest backgrounds and, like most Chinese, would prefer to avoid government attention, favorable or otherwise.

This week’s annual sessions of the national legislature and an affiliated advisory body look like a celebratory union between the government and big tech.

With the notable exception of Alibaba’s Mr. Ma, all China’s tech leaders are in attendance: social media and game giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s Pony Ma, e-commerce company JD.com Inc.’s Richard Liu, smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp.’s Lei Jun, search engine Baidu Inc.’s Robin Li and Sequoia Capital’s China head Neil Shen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Richard Murphy – Modern Monetary Theory and tax havens

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2018

We at BRAVE NEW EUROPE have been highlighting Modern Monetary Theory. Here is another excellent article by Richard Murphy, this time in conjunction with tax avoidance

Richard Murphy is Professor of Practice in International Political Economy, City University of London. He campaigns on issues of tax avoidance and tax evasion, as well as blogging at Tax Research UK

Cross posted from Tax Research UK

A few days ago a commentator asked on the blog:

I am not an economist so hopefully my ignorance can be forgiven. I find myself confused by your oft repeated view that governments spend before taxing, and tax merely removes inflationary pressures from the economy, and your criticism of secrecy regimes for preventing governments from collecting tax due. If governments don’t need the tax in order to spend, and companies and individuals are removing the tax which should be due from the economy, doesn’t this have the same anti-inflationary effect as if they were paying tax? Am I just being to simple or is there a bit in the argument I’m missing?

Clearly there is a moral argument (with which I completely agree) against secrecy regimes and the inappropriateness of comparing government finances with a private households also makes complete sense, but there seems, from my imperfect understanding, to be a paradox here?

It’s  a good question and one that has been worth waiting to answer. I apologise to the commentator in question for the time it has taken me to do so.

If we look at MMT  What it says is that there is no reason for a government to raise tax to pay for its spending. In fact, that spending must  come before tax can be paid, because if that spending had not taken place the currency in which the tax was due would not have been created to let that tax payment happen. Tax, then, in MMT  has two  obvious and immediate functions out of the six reasons to tax which I have identified.  These are:

  1. Reclaiming the money the government has spent into the economy. As already noted, it may appear that tax revenue is being used to pay for government services supplied but that is not true: government spending always comes out of funds the government borrows from its central bank. Tax, in that case, reclaims the money spent to prevent excessive inflation. The amount reclaimed is that which is considered sufficient to leave the desired rate of inflation in the economy.
  2. Ratifying the value of money. Because a government requires that tax be paid using the currency that it creates (simply because that’s the currency it bills in) that currency has for all practical purposes to be used in the economy for which it is responsible, assuming that tax forms a significant part of people’s total liabilities. The payment of tax does, therefore, give a currency its value in exchange and as a result passes control of an economy to the government that charges that tax. This makes tax an absolutely fundamental component in macroeconomic policy.

But these are not the only reasons to tax. One of my criticisms of MMT,  and over time I have had them, just as Steve Keen has had,  is that the other four reasons to tax are, too often, ignored by those who promote MMT. Those other four reasons are: Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Pope Francis‘ Silence on Central Europe’s Migration Crackdown

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2018

Date: 08-03-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Victor Gaetan

Why He’s Unlikely to Intervene

Ever since the European migrant crisis began in 2015, Pope Francis has urged Europe’s Catholics to welcome “refugees who flee death from war and hunger.” Yet the governments of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia—central European countries with traditionally Catholic identities—have proved remarkably hostile to this counsel, showing continued resistance to EU resettlement quotas and voicing continued opposition to taking in Middle Eastern migrants. In the face of this reaction, it is worth asking: Why has the pope not been more critical of these governments and their refugee policies? In spite of Francis’ global profile and penchant for envelope-pushing pronouncements, when it comes to specific national policies he is often reticent. More than previous popes, he defers to the views of national bishops and favors decentralized decision-making in the Church, an approach that can be read in the Catholic social principle of subsidiarity.

BEHIND THE POPE’S SILENCE Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Better Way to Fight Corporate Tax Avoidance

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2018

José Antonio Ocampo is a board member of Banco de la República, Colombia’s central bank, professor at Columbia University, and Chair of the UN Economic and Social Council’s Committee for Development Policy. He was Minister of Finance of Colombia and United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.  He is the co-author (with Luis Bértola) of The Economic Development of Latin America since Independence.

The recent corporate-tax cuts in the United States have intensified an ongoing global race to the bottom, in which countries compete for investment at the expense of the revenues needed to fund public programs. With past efforts to reform the current global system having come up short, it is time for a new approach.

NEW YORK – Over the past few years, leaks of documents such as the “Panama Papers” and the “Paradise Papers” have exposed the dark underbelly of globalization, and provoked indignant denunciations of tax avoidance from people around the world. Ordinary workers have no choice but to pay their taxes. But, apparently, multinational corporations and wealthy individuals can get away with paying hardly anything.

The most shocking feature of today’s corporate-tax-avoidance schemes is that they are legal. When multinationals create subsidiaries, those entities are considered to be legally independent firms. A parent company can then set the prices of transactions between its subsidiaries to register its profits in low-tax countries, rather than where the original economic activity actually occurred. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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