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One iteration of the Republican party’s tax bill is currently passing through the US House of Representatives. According to independent analysis, about 45 per cent of the reductions in 2027 would go to households with incomes above $500,000 and 38 per cent to households with incomes over $1m. In the Senate’s version, households with incomes below $75,000 would be worse off.
This is, argues Martin Wolf in his column, tax reform for plutocrats. Supporters of the Republicans’ proposed reforms say that cutting corporation tax, for example, will encourage businesses to invest. But the evidence for such claims is paltry in Martin’s view. Since 2008, for example, Britain has cut its corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 19 per cent, with no discernible growth in investment.
The severely regressive effects of this plan will have serious political consequences, Martin writes, aggravating tensions that are already profound. Latin American levels of inequality will lead, he concludes, to Latin American-style politics.
Technology can challenge inequality — Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind Technologies, argues that artificial intelligence can contribute to the common good.
True investing is not the same as gambling — Spread-betting companies are latching on to the cryptocurrency craze, says Izabella Kaminska, blurring the distinction between gambling and investing in the process.
Where next for the #MeToo movement? — Accusations of sexual harassment and abuse are multiplying, but, argues Courtney Weaver, activists must decide which demand action and which merely merit censure.
Best of the rest
For the sake of secularism, France and “Charlie”, I will never be silent — former French prime minister Manuel Valls argues that France’s secular model is the best protection against religious fundamentalism.
How evil is tech? — David Brooks in the New York Times suggests that a bit of humility on the part of the big tech companies would go a long way.
We can’t leave new trade deals to buccaneers like Liam Fox — Barry Gardiner, the UK’s shadow international trade secretary, calls for every post-Brexit trade deal to be scrutinised by parliament.
Anti-Trump fervour can’t fully explain what happened this month — Katrina vanden Heuvel that recent Democratic victories in mayoral and gubernatorial races show that progressive policies and grassroots activism is a winning combination.
What you’ve been saying
We have no choice but to follow our customers — letter from Patrick Seely
“For those of us who have built a financial services business based in London but operating freely throughout the EU this means we will have to move part or all of our operations out of London. No ifs, no buts. We will follow our customers.”
Comment by Paul A Meyers on Gideon Rachman’s opinion piece, A wobbly Merkel means a weaker Europe
“Until Germany moves towards and leads a European-wide consensus on migration and immigration, there is little chance of augmenting EU unity. This undoubtedly requires a new German chancellor. If a ‘liberal’ and ‘internationalist’ order is defined to mean something akin to open borders and refugee rights, then that conception of what it means to be liberal will fail in popular elections across Europe. Immigration from outside the EU should aim to strengthen the EU, not weaken it.”
Indians have to live within their country’s constraints — letter from Ashok Kumar Mohapatra in Patia, India
“India occupies 2.4 per cent of the world’s total land area but supports 16.7 per cent of the world’s population. We have to live with these constraints. Anyone who knows of an immediate solution to the problem is kindly invited to intimate their knowledge to the government and the public. Change in agricultural practice involving millions of farmers will take time.”
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