THAT'S NEWS TO ME is a listing of news stories and other stuff that caught my attention this past week.
The Tax Plan: Social and Environmental Impact
First, let me just say I have not read it.
Second, let me also say: I am not sure anyone has!
The last tax overhaul took nearly a year and this has taken a number of weeks. What might the outcomes be for people, planet and profits?
People: most nonpartisan analysis suggests that the wealthiest benefit the most while the poor, middle class and elderly may see near-term tax relief with a bill coming due later. (Forbes, 2017)
Planet: the tax plan reduces government support for clean energy, opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and puts speed bumps in front of electric cars. (Mother Jones, 2017). It is possible that companies will use their increased profits (see below) to fund smart sustainability initiatives that both further drive profitability and improve their social and environmental performance.
Profits: a reduced corporate tax rate increases profitability but what companies do with that depends on many factors and it doesn't necessarily bring jobs, factories or wages back. Plus Amazon hired 17,000 robots last year so more money doesn't necessarily mean more jobs. The best thing I have read on this is from Brightcove CEO David Mendels on LinkedIn (from Business Insider, 2017):
"A tax cut for corporations will increase their profitability. Why we should believe that this increase in profitability will lead to wage increases when we have already seen that increases in profitability over the last 10 years did not, but rather went to stock buybacks and dividend increases that benefitted the investors?
As a CEO and member of the Board of Directors at a public company, I can tell you that if we had an increase in profitability, we would have been delighted, but it would not lead in and of itself to more hiring or an increase in wages. Again, we would h