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Billionaire Hanauer Hammers Stock Buybacks


Billionaire Hanauer Hammers Stock Buybacks

Ralph Nader

Self-made billionaire (meaning he didn’t inherit it), Nick Hanauer is not one to mince words, especially when they are backed by facts and principles of fairness. The Seattle entrepreneur, author and venture capitalist (he was the first non-family investor in Amazon), is known for vocally championing Seattle’s staggered increase of its minimum wage to $15 an hour as good for workers and the economy. Any contrary corporatist to debate him on this subject would lose big.


Between 2003 and 2012, stock buybacks amounted to an astounding 54% of corporate profits which could have gone to “higher wages or increased investments in plants and equipment or in public investment,” such as infrastructure, all of which would have increased consumer demand, the engine of economic growth, he notes.

Put simply, we are seeing the Wall Street version of the fable “The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs.”



Noting the correlation between the cost to taxpayers of $6.2B for Wallmart, the economic model begs being hauled out of its siloes. To wit:


Virtually no large US corporation pays taxes at that rate of 35%. Many pay no taxes at all.

The buybacks are done so that the corporations can keep more of the dividends that they pay out.

Taxes are not punishment.



I thought the Koch Brothers gave its paid chumps Sundays off?


If humanity and much of the living earth is to survive one of the primary commandments will be to make corporate entities illegal!


History has proven that under taxing the uber wealthy and corporations gives them the ability to not only own some politicians, but to own nearly all politicians who then create endless corporate welfare programs paid by for by the middle class. In 1970 corporations paid nearly 30% of US income taxes, in 2007 they paid less than 7% and the only reason they are now paying 9% (instead of 5%) is because so many middle class folks have fallen out of the middle class and don’t have enough income to pay taxes.

Agreed that corporations do pass cost of taxation on to those who purchase their goods and services, a result that is much better for the 99% than the current system where I as a middle class (barely) taxpayer support a respective corporation’s corporate welfare irrespective of whether I purchase any good or service from it.


Yes, a link to Forbes, a source of economic “wisdom” that is not in the least biased toward corporate interests.



This place actually understands corporations better than you or Forbes do.

But you’ll cling to your ideology, even as we spiral together into the abyss.

Money cycles through the economy, through various sectors. At any point, money could be extracted via taxes. There could be various forms of consumption tax, production tax, profit tax, income tax, sales tax, transactions tax. Any form of taxation can be construed as “really” another form of tax. Just as you assert that a tax on corporate income or profit “really” amounts to a sales tax. i could assert that a tax on wages is “really” a tax on corporations since it reduces consumer purchasing power and therefore reduces sales of corporate products. Or that since the tax effectively lowers wages, it requires the employer to pay higher wages, to retain workers, or even to enable them to earn a living.

Simple test: Do corporations resist government imposition of a sales tax or tax on wages? Or do corporations resist government imposition of a tax on corporate income or profit? Do corporations set up complex schemes whereby sales taxes or personal income taxes are avoided? Or do corporations set up complex schemes whereby taxes on corporate profit or income are avoided? Do corporate fronts like ALEC spend years and decades and millions of dollars crafting laws and lobbying legislatures to eliminate sales taxes or taxes on wages, or do corporate fronts like ALEC spend years and decades and millions of dollars crafting laws and lobbying legislatures to eliminate taxes on corporate income and profits?

Your assertion is blatantly belied by empirical corporate behavior. A tax on corporations is a tax on corporations.

Oh, another question: Do corporate think-tanks spend years and decades and millions of dollars coming up with “plausible” arguments that they feed via their sophisticated media and public relations outlets to get common working people to believe in corporate ideology?


I don’t agree with your premise (abolish corporate taxes) for a variety of reasons, but I’m happy that you’re writing your comments here. You’ll need thick skin as your defence of corporate capitalism is quickly dissected by a barrage of well read, educated and wise bloggers, but don’t take it personally. The debate is long overdue and most of us relish the chance to debate with anyone who has a legitimate argument regardless of their political affiliations.


Bogus claptrap. The “successful” as you claim, became criminally wealthy while the majority of the worlds population starves or worse because of their usury of those who actually WORK for a living.

Let those who work keep the results of their creativity and eliminate the parasites (like you apparently from your own ludicrous statements above in support of the criminals that afflict the entire planet…temporarily), who are the enemy of all living things precisely for their own ridiculous material gorge.

We will finish the criminals once and for all, and it will be global, and you know it as well as I do.

The sociopath criminals can run all they like to absolutely no avail because as you know as well as I, they have no place to hide from the coming retribution for their known and ongoing crimes against the planet and all of humanity.

Try harder next time, won´t you?

Some real competition would be nice for a change…