Friday, February 3, 2012

How To Invigorate American Capitalism And Create Jobs While Enjoying Bipartisan Support

Extractive Industries Produce Relatively Few Jobs. 
They Also Lend Themselves To Easy Automation.


The interplay between American Capitalism -- and Uncle Sam's need to tax-and-regulate -- begs scrutiny of three significant issues.

The Issues:

1.) Markets are spooked by uncertainty.

2.) Capitalists invest more heavily when taxes are low.

3.) American jobs are being shipped overseas.


We know that tax policy can be used to leverage desirable outcomes. Case in point: In Ireland, the imposition of a hefty tax on plastic bags achieved the desired socio-political goal within weeks.

The Plan:

Devise legislation that guarantees (in perpetuity) a maximum capital gains tax of 15% on any investment in growth companies whose employee base is more than 75% American. (I'm open to rates. 10%? 7.5%? 5%?)

Such legislation 1.) eliminates uncertainty, 2.) keeps the core "Capitalist Tax" permanently/predictably low, and 3.) fosters the growth of American jobs.

When a "growth company" loses its "listing" as a "growth company" -- or, when a growth company deviates from the "American Job Minimum" -- investors will no longer benefit from the 15% (or lower) capital gains guarantee.

Investors can, of course, re-invest in newly-designated "growth companies" (assuming these companies also meet the American Job stipulation), or, they can retain their existing investment knowing that the capital gains rate may change.

What's not to like?

Odds and Sods:

1.) Naysayers will argue that the definition of "growth company" cannot be accurately ascertained. Clearly, matters of "definition" are problematic. Nevertheless, Wall Street constantly defines "growth companies" as evidenced by "Growth Stock Mutual Funds." It is, in fact, an inescapable responsibility that humans make "judgement calls." To make them in the context of proposed legislation, there will be a standing committee comprised of "5" Wall Street bigwigs and "5" Treasury/Commerce officials who will determine, by simple majority vote, which companies comply with previously agreed-upon "growth" criteria. This committee will meet -- and rule -- annually.

2.) Automation, robotization and ongoing software-based "productivity enhancement" will continue to eliminate jobs - at least jobs as traditionally defined. A fringe benefit of "investing in growth companies" is that  nascent enterprise requires more workers than mature industry since automation, robotization and software-based productivity develop over time.


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