Category Archives: In the News

Private equity in the new tax world

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Back in February I wrote a three-part series of posts about the abuses perpetrated by private equity (PE) takeovers of American businesses and their manipulation of the U.S. tax code for bad ends. A recent article in the Boston Globe by Evan Horowitz [1] describes how the shine is coming off PE investments, a welcome event, but Mr. Horowitz missed… Read more »

Nuns, Gina Haspel and forgiving ourselves

On September 12, 2001, the day after the horrific act of terror in New York and Washington, the collective morality of the United States changed in regard to torture. Nearly seventeen years later, some people know this was a bad thing to do. And some people don’t. I’ve been experiencing severe déjà vu watching the confirmation hearings of Gina Haspel for CIA… Read more »

Primal morality and torture

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The morality of torture is back in the news with the confirmation hearings for Gina Haspel as director of the CIA, a woman with ties to post-9/11 secret rendition sites. In short, on September 12, 2001, the general moral consensus of the United States reverted to what I call “primal morality,” throwing out a couple of thousand years of rule-based,… Read more »

Are rules and duties sufficient?

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Deontology, which is the view that ethics and morality should be based on rules and duties, is the viewpoint that dominates a lot of conservative Christian and political thought, and it has been the focus of the last several posts in this series. [1] In its many forms and interpretations, deontology has long held a central role in ethical theory…. Read more »

Doing stupid stuff with the economy

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President Obama’s foreign policy doctrine was famously characterized as “Don’t do stupid s— (stuff).” I won’t weigh in here on the current president’s foreign policy, but I can assert that his economic policy has clearly veered into “stupid stuff” territory. I spent the better part of twenty years in the academic publishing business attending far too many meetings of professors… Read more »

“God language,” fundamentalism and Trump

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My take on the link between Christian fundamentalism and Donald Trump is different from both many of his most avid supporters as well his strongest opponents. In short, just like I think we do in discussing Islamic-attributed terror, we give too much credit to “religion” and not enough to “God language” itself, apart from religion. Humans need to communicate. Our… Read more »

Seeing past Vern Buchanan’s nose

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My Florida congressman, Vern Buchanan, sends out these inane email surveys almost every week, which always ask one question in a way that screams, “Answer this way!” A recent one, for instance, was designed to get constituents to say that congressional salaries are too high. Which is really rich, because Vern Buchanan is, uh, really rich. As one of the… Read more »

How SHOULD you tax a corporation?

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In two recent posts [1] I have criticized the methods by which the state and federal governments tax corporations and how they treat the state-granted limited liability privileges. In this post I will make some proposals as to how best to tax corporations and limited liability companies given their ubiquity in the economy and international nature. While I disagree with… Read more »