Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Peter Martin reports on the Australia Institute's recent study showing that corporate tax levels have little to do with foreign investment:
New research ridicules the Prime Minister's claim that cutting the company tax rate will boost foreign investment, pointing out that almost all of Australia's foreign investment applications already come from countries with much lower tax rates.

The analysis by the Australia Institute finds that 97 per cent of the applications to Australia's foreign investment review board come from countries with lower company tax rates. By value, 71 per cent of applications come from countries with lower rates.

"All of this raises the question – if Australia is already successful at attracting foreign investment why would we give tax cuts to foreigners?" said the report's author David Richardson, a senior research fellow at the self-described progressive think tank.

"History shows that when Australia's company tax rates were adjusted in the past, foreign investment did not go the way expected. When the rate climbed to 49 per cent in the 1980s there was a rise, not a drop in investment."
- Dennis Gruending challenges Chrystia Freeland's unquestioning devotion to free trade agreements which haven't benefited anybody other than the wealthy few in practice. Patrick McDonnell writes about the effects of NAFTA and its possible repeal on Mexico - featuring the observation that the pattern of workers seeing little benefit from a corporate-driven trade deal applies just as much to the country which started with the lowest wages. And the ITF highlights how a trade deal with China may lock in ongoing abuses against workers.

- Rank and File provides a handy mythbusting guide to the effects of a more fair minimum wage.

- Finally, Jordon Cooper offers a reminder that more strict rules against panhandling don't do anything to change the social factors which drive it.

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