I’m wondering if the Amazon HQ2 deals show how to implement a planned economy without having to acknowledge that one’s country has transitioned away from the market.
Planned Economy v1.0: It is illegal for anyone to operate a business without approval from a government ministry. Government experts decide which companies can operate, from which locations, and engaging in which businesses.
Planned Economy v2.0: Set up tax rates that are, by global standards, punishingly high. It is therefore impractical to do business if a company must pay the headline rates. Government experts decide that certain companies, in certain locations, and engaging in certain activities, can operate with tax rates that are closer to global norms.
We’re not quite to this point, but with a few upward tweaks of the tax rates I think that we could be.
- “A $2 Billion Question: Did New York and Virginia Overpay for Amazon?” (nytimes): “An additional $7.5 billion in subsidies wasn’t enough to get Amazon to move across the river,” said Michael Farren, an economist at the Mercatus Center, a libertarian think tank, referring to the difference between Maryland’s offer of $8.5 billion and Virginia’s of less than $1 billion. “That just says that subsidies were never what mattered in the first place.” (the Maryland location would have been awesome for family court plaintiffs suing Amazon employees! See Real World Divorce for what is obtainable.)
- “Helipads and everything else Amazon is getting out of its deals with New York and Virginia” (CNN). This has been a good month for Airbus (Eurocopter)!