Obama Signs Executive Order Requiring President of United States to Be Taxpayer | The New Yorker


Calling his action “long overdue,” President Barack Obama on Friday signed an executive order requiring that the President of the United States be a federal taxpayer.

The order, which makes a non-taxpayer ineligible to serve as President, goes into effect immediately.

“Since the President has such a large say in how federal taxes are spent, it only makes sense that he or she contribute to those taxes, too,” he said, noting that everyone who has served as President has been a taxpayer.

Source: Obama Signs Executive Order Requiring President of United States to Be Taxpayer – The New Yorker

Donald Trump Is a Lone Wolf Coming Into the White House | US News


“He doesn’t have anybody that he can trust totally on political issues as well as policy issues. He certainly is willing to reach out and think of different kinds of people for his cabinet, but you have to wonder, who can he sit down and talk to?” ponders American University government professor James Thurber, founder of the school’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies.

“He doesn’t have a relationship with Congress. He doesn’t know, probably, how Congress works. He has the core of family he trusts, who are close to him. But beyond that, he doesn’t have a wider group of people who have been with him a long time and whom he can trust,” Thurber adds. “It’s going to be hard for him.”

Source: Donald Trump Is a Lone Wolf Coming Into the White House | The Report | US News

Relate>

A Look at the Big Trucks of Tomorrow | Design News


According to Scott Perry, chief technology & procurement officer for Ryder, a leading trucking and logistics company located in Miami, perhaps the biggest technological difference between cars and big trucks, beyond the obvious, is the question of automatic transmissions.

The effort required to create an autonomous version of the tractor-trailer that would be constrained to work with a manual transmission, would be an order of magnitude greater than the already formidable challenge of autonomous passenger cars.

The need to anticipate acceleration and deceleration while navigating, steering, maintaining position in traffic, all while traveling up and down hills, would, given the additional response time and inertia involved, is a computational juggernaut. Add to that the cultural question of how truckers would feel about trading in their stick shifts for automatics and you have a real challenge.

Source: A Look at the Big Trucks of Tomorrow | Design News

McDonald’s is Brexiting


Luxembourg is not likely to feel the dent in its public finances since McDonald’s has paid no corporation tax since 2009. But, it will miss the jobs.

It is unclear whether this arrangement has boosted public revenue in the U.K. Under a 2012 law, overseas subsidiaries of companies registered in the U.K do not pay corporate tax in the U.K., even if these profits are untaxed Reuters reports. Since, a number of companies have been “recycling” their profits, sending them to their subsidiaries before repatriating them, which can be legal.

Source: McDonald’s is Brexiting

New EU backlash against cheap Chinese steel


The EU has imposed duties on a wide range of steel grades after investigations over the past few years to counter what EU steel producers say is a flood of steel sold at a loss due to Chinese overcapacity.

Some 5,000 jobs have been axed in the British steel industry in the last year, as it struggles to compete with cheap Chinese imports and high energy costs.

Source: New EU backlash against cheap Chinese steel

Americans Are Paying Apple Millions to Shelter Overseas Profits


From the government’s standpoint, “it’s as if you are paying someone to borrow a bike that’s actually yours to begin with,” said Reuven Avi-Yonah, a professor who specializes in corporate and international taxation at the University of Michigan Law School.

“The whole thing is full of uneasy compromises in order to dance around the reality that most of the money isn’t actually offshore—it’s really here.”

The maneuver is perfectly legal and no one is suggesting that it’s a big money maker for Apple or anyone else at today’s low interest rates. If the companies sold the bonds, the cash would still be considered foreign earnings and subject to eventual taxation. What’s more, the interest they earn from buying U.S. debt—which helps finance government spending—is taxable.

But if nothing else, the purchases reflect how the distinction between what’s foreign and what’s not for multinationals often exists only in the world of accounting.

Source: Americans Are Paying Apple Millions to Shelter Overseas Profits

Why a majority of Germans fear the EU


Undertaken by Demos, Britain’s leading cross-party think tank, the findings suggest that most Germans are concerned about losing social security (53%), increasing payments to the EU (52%), job losses (45%) and the loss of German culture and national identity (42%).

Source: Why a majority of Germans fear the EU

The new war on identity politics is actually a very old way repressing marginalized Americans | Quartz


Under this formulation, Hadley Freeman writes, “white straight voters don’t have an identity — they are just people.”

The critique of identity politics then, which is really just a call for people of color, queer people, trans people to be quiet, further normalizes the subject position of white, heterosexual, men as objective.

Source: The new war on identity politics is actually a very old way repressing marginalized Americans — Quartz

Go Wet, Young Man | Bloomberg View


Following the election of Donald Trump, some Americans are asking whether they should move to Canada.

Yet a more radical idea is re-emerging as a vehicle for political liberty, namely seasteading. That’s the founding of new and separate governance units on previously unoccupied territory, possibly on the open seas.

Imagine, for instance, autonomously governed sea platforms, with a limited number of citizens selling health and financial services to the rest of the world. Advances in robotics and artificial intelligence might make the construction and settlement of such institutions more practical than it seemed 15 years ago.

Source: Go Wet, Young Man – Bloomberg View

Greeks strike against austerity before budget vote, bailout review | Reuters


Passenger ships remained docked at ports, city transport was disrupted and local administration offices shut down as workers joined the 24-hour nationwide walkout called by the country’s largest private and public sector unions, GSEE and ADEDY.

“The burden we carry is already unbearable,” said GSEE in a statement, calling lenders’ demands “irrational.”

“The downturn must finally end,” its rally poster read.

Source: Greeks strike against austerity before budget vote, bailout review | Reuters