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Who is really gaining from the corporate tax cuts ushered in by Donald Trump’s administration? In this week’s column, Rana Foroohar writes that US workers are feeling few positive effects, while companies increasingly investing in intangibles have benefited from what has turned into a capital expenditure boom.
“What business is investing in has changed quite a lot in recent history — and that alters everything,” she writes, explaining that the current investments in things like intellectual property and technology do not tend to improve the general prosperity of the population at large. “New factories and machinery tend to create jobs. Investments in data processing equipment or software upgrades, which make up a big chunk of this year’s tech related spending, tend to be job killing, at least in the short term.”
Her solution? Put a value on data, tax it, and prevent companies from shifting revenue offshore to avoid it.
What you’ve been saying
In response to “The BBC is having the wrong conversation about future funding”, Christopher Joubert says:
I agree that the BBC should not have given into George Osborne’s bullying but, as a 74-year-old, I have no objection to continuing paying the licence fee, should I live to do so. The BBC should simply abolish the concession and throw the blame back on the government.
‘Manufacturing’ is counter-intuitive: letter from Wilfried Lütkenhorst, Vienna, Austria
In her column “ The real meaning of Big Data”, Gillian Tett provides intriguing examples of technical terms betraying their origins. My own favourite example has always been “manufacturing”. Isn’t it weird that this word (referring to manus, the Latin word for hand) came into widespread use when artisanal production started to get replaced by machines? But mind you, the term robot itself goes back to a Czech word meaning forced labour.
In response to “Why good forecasters become better people”, Pieceofthejigsaw says:
A history teacher of mine at school used to make us hold fortnightly debates in which we were required to argue the opposite position to the one we held — it taught me a valuable lesson that only by articulating the opposite viewpoint do you become aware of how poorly you understand it.
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The Big Read
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