March 1, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 10:49 AM


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Turkey shoots down two Syrian planes over Idlib amid newly-launched 'Operation Spring Shield' (New Arab, 1 March, 2020)

Syrian state media on Sunday said Turkish forces had shot down two regime planes over Idlib, in the latest escalation between the neighbours.Tags:Syria, Turkey, Idlib,
Turkish forces "targeted" two Syrian regime planes over the embattled rebel bastion of Idlib in northwest Syria on Sunday, Syrian state media said on Sunday, just moments after Turkey announced Operation Spring Shield.

The Sukhoi jets fell in regime-held territory, likely after being targeted by Turkish F-16 planes, according to a rebel group and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Turkey's Erdogan Asks Russia to Step Aside in Syria (Reuters, Mar 01, 2020)

Turkey, which has poured forces into Idlib, also hit back, killing 26 pro-Damascus troops around Idlib and the Aleppo countryside, the Syrian Observatory said, and Turkey-backed rebels said they had re-taken six towns and villages in southern Idlib.

With diplomacy sponsored by Ankara and Moscow to ease tensions in tatters, Turkey has come closer than ever to confrontation with Russia on the battlefield in Syria.

Speaking in Istanbul, Erdogan said he had told Putin in a phone call to stand aside and let Turkey "do what is necessary" with the Syrian government. He said Turkey did not intend to leave Syria right now.

We should provide any help they need against two of our enemies.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


25-year study: Most corporate tax incentives do more harm than good (ARIANNE COHEN, 2/29/20, Inc.)

Rolling out the red carpet for corporations with tax incentives often comes at a steep cost to cities and states, according to a comprehensive new study that tracks 25 years of such incentives. "We found that in almost all instances, these corporate tax incentives cost states millions of dollars, if not more, and the returns were minimal," says co-author Bruce McDonald, an associate professor of public administration at North Carolina State. The agreements "ultimately left states in worse financial condition than they were in to begin with."

...why are we taxing them in the first place?

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty review - down the rabbit hole of bright abstractions (Paul Mason, 1 Mar 2020, The Guardian)

In this book, Piketty outlines his solution: a "participatory socialism" in which capitalism is gradually abolished via a progressive income tax and a tax on inherited wealth, which are used to finance both a basic income and a "capital endowment" for every citizen.

In a single table, Piketty demonstrates that, in the abstract, it would be possible to finance a radically egalitarian economy if both income tax and inheritance tax for the rich were set around 60-70%. The outcome would be to "make ownership of capital temporary". Meanwhile, by legislating to enforce power-sharing within firms, between workers and bosses, you could achieve the "true social ownership of capital".

At the End of History one hardly expects coherence from the critics of capitalism.  But the idea that using capital transfers to create universal individual capital endowments is anything but capitalism on steroids is pretty demented.  Meanwhile, having recognized the need to make everyone wealthy the idea that we should tax that wealth is conflicted on a Harvey Dent level.