Monday, November 29, 2010

economic tax plans and the road seldom taken

There have been a number of economic plans making the news recently. Some even bi-partisan and even though these plans are being hailed for taking ideals of both sides to make sure we don't face a deficate. But I notice that I have really seen anyone talk about raising taxes on the richest Americans. Yes they talk about ending tax cuts but the bushes tax cuts where set to end anyway. I'm talking about actually raising taxes on the richest americans well above what they paid before Bush (hell more then they payed before Reagon) in a move to raise revunue for America.

As I stated before taxes are currently at one of the the lowest rates they have ever been for the rich.

I know it's a third rail issue and politicans are afiard to touch it, not because it's a bad ideal but because no one really wants to pay taxes (though we like the benifits we get from paying taxes) and if you are going to aim a new tax hike on the rich you are taxing the people with loads of money. They are either the people that give the politicans the money they need to run or those with the power to raise a ruckus and mount a campiagn against the ideal.

But even though it's easy to see why a politican would back away from pushing the issue of higher taxes. It still stands that it is one of the most logical ways to make sure the United States is well founded.

Not only are you making sure we increase tax revune, if the tax is high enough it can act as an economic stimulus as people who currently are setting on large sums of money are forced to either use it (in things like highering people, giving to charities etc) or losing it in taxes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Are taxes really too high?

Often we see politicians talking about lowering taxes. Often they say that it will spur economic growth or they say we are paying high taxes. They say that as if right now we are paying some historically high tax rate.

But if you look at the history of the American tax rate it is clear that this is not true, if you look at the top tax rate. There have only been a few periods where taxes have been below where they are at right now (35%) on the top income earners. Those times where 1988-92, 1925-31 and 1916 to 1916.

Truth be told taxes have often been much higher. In fact if you look at America after WW II (a period of great economic expansion for this country) the richest Americans paid at least nearly twice what they do now. Normally taxes for people in the top income bracket was in the 70's to 80's percent but reached as high as 92% in 1952.

So while we have politicians pushing to make sure the rich keep tax cuts, there isn't much historic proof that keep taxes as low as they are now on the rich is actually a good thing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Economic improvement For sale or lease

Driving around town (and surrounding areas) I've notice that a lot of retail buildings are up for sale or up to be leased.

It's similar to how I used to (ok still see) so many homes for sale and both are due to the down turn of the economy. But it seems like the housing market has already hit the bottom and is claiming up it seems like I am seeing more retail space up for sale.

Like the years before the crash of the housing market there was a boom of houses either being build or solid well over market value the same is true for retail commercial zoning. At least there was a lot of building of new retail buildings. For years I've notice new shopping centers pop up and tons of suburban/urban sprawl.

It seemed like a good thing at the time but I wonder did we see a little to much growth? Clearly some of these business have gone out of business because the economy is down but how many places are out of business because they where effected by the sprawl that may have over estimated the economy's growth in the first place.

An example I notice is that over the past few years a few new malls have opened up which has lead to the closing of the mall that has been in the area for decades. Since the new malls been built the old mall slowly started to die off until last year they closed down with sears being the only store in that mall opened.

I wonder how many of the buildings I see with a for sale sign are like that business are closed not just because of the bad economy but because business has been shifted to somewhere else or maybe we have one to many similar stores nearby and so business has been split between them but none of the stores got big enough of the pie to stay in business.

But even though it's economically troubling to see so many business out of business, I also have hope. The fact that there is so much commercial space out for sale means that business can buy propriety at low prices this is good for people looking to start their own business. The ground is ripe for new business to start up.

Also while I see so many for sale or lease signs up it seems a store in my neighborhood that's been closed since the late 80's/early 90's and before that it was closed since the 60's, has been bought and someone is working on that building. I assume that it was bought because the price was rock bottom low.

Of course people are going to have to be smart if they want success for both themselves and the economy. People are going to have to look at what is around them and build something different instead of going for the same types of stores. Maybe some of those buildings will have to be rezoned and turned to something else instead of retail space. Ie as we try to regrow are economy we will need to be smarter about the growth then we where before not fall into some of the same problems we are facing now.

But the space for economic development is for sale or lease all we have to do is buy it and build something.