Business and the rich view taxes as a cost. Taxes are not a cost, they are an investment. An investment in the commons or infrastructure, investments business will not consider. Businesses exploit the commons to earn profits and pay taxes for new and improved commons.

Cut taxes, and the result is the absence of new and improved commons.

How to take control of the dialog:

Conservative: Taxes are bad! They cut my profits! Cut taxes!

Progressive: So you don’t have a car and don’t drive (roads)? Don’t fly (airports)? Don’t buy Louis Vutton for you Mistress (harbors)? What do you believe paid for all those (taxes)? Taxes are bad correct?
Conservative: Well some taxes are ……
Progressive: How do you tell bad taxes from good taxes when we’re talking about the future? The Internet was a poor investment in the ’70s; and now?


Back to MY assertions! It’s a taxation vs profit or commons vs private property discussion. It’s a discussion that’s not being aired.

One example, the roads, especially interstates, are not private property nor privately developed. Does any Conservative believe the interstate highways would have been build by private enterprise? Got any examples (And before it’s brought up, The Dallas Tollroad is an example of enabling rent seeking in the face of Government antithetical to investment in the commons)?

A current example, Conservatives expect private enterprise to build a better high speed for all communication networks.  Private enterprise build a new part of the commons?  How? And why should they – there’s not enough profit there!

The profit from these networks is in value added services (Roads: Movement of Goods and People; Communication Networks: Applications, Movies, Data, Google, Facebook, etc). Asking the carriers to build a commodity, is asking the carriers to spend their money for a commodity transport system. The business case for the carriers is poor to non-existent, absent guaranteed profits (aka: Regulated Monopolies).

Business is about internalizing profits and externalizing costs. Government is about internalizing costs and externalizing profits with the expectation of future taxes.

Government investment come first. Then come profits and then taxes.

This order is something the “lower taxes” mantra Conservatives do not want to understand. Government investment in the commons come with an expectation of future taxes.

Harbors made shipping more efficient than beaches, aqueducts more efficient than women carrying pots of water, paved roads more efficient than muddy tracks, mail more efficient than messengers, telephones more efficient than carrier pidgins (the US’ telephone companies profit heavily regulated in return for licensed monopolies), airports more efficient than grass landing strips and so on.

In nearly all these cases, the government made the investment. Not private enterprise.

In the US the system is slightly different. The Government does not carry out the work, it guarantees the venture’s profits, with the expectation of future taxes. The US Government gave the railway companies huge land grants in return for building the railways, and effective paid for the US transcontinental rail expansion because of this grant of capital. An arrangement was made to Guarantee the profits for the US phone companies, Regulated Monopolies.

Now with this regime where its wants the Government starved of taxes, the quicker the decline, because of the fall in research, investment, building and maintaining  the commons.

The “lower taxes” people are cutting off their noses to spite all our faces.What’s the proper role of Government? Research and Investing in the future. The role of businesses? Using what’s built to generate taxes for the next future.

What’s China doing? Arguing about lower taxes, or investing in their future (the Chinese commons)?