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Bad economy investing

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It remains to be seen which of those will prevail. A sales tax or value added taxes tax consumption by the residents of the country which imposes it, but not the residents of other countries. So disallowing the cost of imports for tax purposes would violate World Trade Organization rules as well as most other free trade agreements signed by the United States.

In theory, there could be a very positive outcome from the awful Boarder Adjustment tax proposal. A value added tax can give a country's exporters a boost. There is also a case to be made that taxing consumption rather than income promotes efficiency. The obvious way to alleviate the problem Navarro perceives as "those countries keep treating us unfairly with respect to that VAT tax system," would be to enact our own VAT tax system.

One problem is that state and local sales taxes already have essentially the same impact on imports and exports as a VAT already. A health care system that costs half as much as a percent of GDP and covers everyone, or even something worse from those evil foreigners. A major objection to VAT and sales taxes in general is that they are regressive. Certainly the rich typically spend a lower proportion of their income than do others.

However, to label a VAT regressive it must be compared to alternatives. Presently, wages are taxed much more heavily than capital income such as dividends and corporate profits. They also most likely will increase the tax advantage of capital income over wages. Compared to that, a VAT could be considered progressive. In any case, any regressive aspect of the VAT could be entirely offset via income and estate tax changes.

Another substantial argument against a VAT is the fear that it will simply add to the tax burden. That is why a VAT in the USA only makes sense if it is accompanied by a very significant reductions in both personal and corporate income taxes. If that could be accomplished the wishes of the tax reform advocates and the concerns that the VATs of other countries are adversely impacting our trade balances would both be addressed.

Trump might even be able to say that the VAT paid on goods imported from Mexico was paying for the wall. Trump and the Republicans have painted themselves into an even bigger corner regarding Obamacare. Every day it becomes increasingly clearer that the immutable laws of economics mean that unless the Republicans want to allow medical underwriting, that is where insurance companies can reject applicants with preexisting conditions, something very close to Obamacare must be retained.

Demand for medical care is inelastic. Controlling prices charged by doctors and hospitals via the use of monopsony like the rest of the developed world does is an anathema to Republicans. Monopsony, meaning "single buyer" is the flip side of monopoly. A monopsonist sets prices below free market equilibrium. It does not matter if there is an actual single payer or many buyers or payers whose prices are set by the government or by insurance companies in collusion with each other.

As it is dawning on the Republicans any system that does not explicitly control prices must have mandates and subsidies similar to those in Obamacare. Otherwise, most individual insurance policies would be far beyond the reach of middle class Americans since without medical underwriting insurance companies would have to price their policies based on the assumption that the applicant has a costly preexisting condition.

Possibly to make up for, or divert attention from the Republicans humiliation that essentially only tinkering on the edges of Obamacare will entail, they might want to go bold on tax reforms. The trade bluster and promise to make Mexico pay for the wall, might just be the crisis that enables the USA to replace much or all of the income tax with a VAT. That would be the ultimate turning lemons into lemonade. The alternatives of protectionism and possible worse scenarios are horrendous.

The only investors who could possibly benefit from protectionism would be those in companies who temporarily gain at the expense of the rest of the economy. The other broad categories of new risks and uncertainties are those that would have been the consequences of control of both legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government had any Republican become president. As with the unique risks and uncertainties posed by the election of a populist president, for investors at least there are possible positives among the likely bad outcomes.

It is quite likely that the Republican controlled congress will enact and President Trump will sign changes in the tax law that favor the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. Although as with many of potential policy issues during the campaign Trump did say things indicating the opposite. The wealthy clearly have lower marginal propensities to consume.

Shifting income to the rich by taxing dividends, capital gains, inheritances and corporate profits much less than the tax rates on wages also tends to make more funds available for investment since when the investment is taxed relatively less, more funds are made available for the investment. That would also put downward pressure on interest rates.

B , who said , "Through the tax code, there has been class warfare waged, and my class has won," to Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz at a luncheon in honor of the company's 50th anniversary. It is the compounding effect of shift away from taxes on capital income such as dividends, capital gains and inheritances each year as the rich get proverbially richer which is the prime generator of inequality.

This cumulative shift of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy has profound impacts on the economy and securities markets. It creates a cycle where initially the wealthy pour significant amounts into investments they perceive to be safe. This can first cause an increase in economic activity. Since the rich save a greater proportion of their income the extra savings will likely increase the savings glut on balance.

This should put initially upward pressure on the prices of financial assets. As the supply of loan-able funds increases faster than the demand from borrowers, interest rates will be pushed down. While many would consider increases in wealth and income to be a bad economic outcome, bond investors could benefit from lower interest rates. The equity market will also initially benefit from lower interest rates as the growing pool of savings seeks securities to invest in.

In a longer run, the excess of savings could enable new businesses to start that otherwise might not have been able to obtain financing. These new businesses could create additional competition for existing companies which could eventually reduce profit margins and stock prices.

To the extent that small business and potential entrepreneurs are now stifled by over-regulation and red tape, a Trump administration that reduces those impediments to new start-ups could also eventually curtail profits for existing firms via enabling more competitors. The bigger risk from a massive shift in the tax burden away from the rich and onto the middle class stems from the fundamental characteristics of free-market capitalism.

In free-market capitalism, capital generates income for the owners of the capital which in turn is used to create additional capital. This is very good. Sometimes, it can be actually too good. As capital continues to accumulate, its owners find it more and more difficult to deploy it efficiently. The business sector generally must interact with the household sector by selling goods and services or lending to them.

When capital accumulates too rapidly, the productive capacity of the business sector can outpace the ability of the household sector to absorb the increasing production. The capitalists, or if you prefer, job creators use their increasing wealth and income to reinvest, thus increasing the productive capacity of the business they own. They also lend their accumulated wealth to other business as well as other entities after they have exhausted opportunities within business they own.

As they seek to deploy ever more capital, excess factories, housing and shopping centers are built and more and more dubious loans are made. This is overinvestment. As one banker described the events leading up to - First the banks lent all they could to those who could pay them back and then they started to lend to those could not pay them back. As cash poured into banks in ever increasing amounts, caution was thrown to the wind.

For a while consumers can use credit to buy more goods and services than their incomes can sustain. Ultimately, the overinvestment results in a financial crisis that causes unemployment, reductions in factory utilization and bankruptcies all of which reduce the value of investments. If the economy was suffering from accumulated chronic underinvestment, shifting income from the non-rich to the rich would make sense. It might not seem fair, but the quickest way to build up capital is to take income away from the middle class who have a high propensity to consume and give to the rich who have a propensity to save and invest.

Except for periods in the s and s and possibly the 's when tax rates on the rich just happened to be high enough to prevent overinvestment, the economy has generally suffered from periodic overinvestment cycles. It is not just a coincidence that tax cuts for the rich have preceded both the and depressions.

The Revenue acts of and worked exactly as the Republican Congresses that pushed them through promised. The dramatic reductions in taxes on the upper income brackets and estates of the wealthy did indeed result in increases in savings and investment.

However, overinvestment by there were over automobile manufacturing companies in the USA caused the depression that made the rich, and most everyone else, ultimately much poorer. Eventually, the overinvestment problem caused by the reduction in taxes on the wealthy is exacerbated by the increased tax burden on the middle class. Real Clear Markets. Jeff Miller. Charles Kirk. Jonathan Hoenig. Doug Kass. Hard Assets Investor.

Free Newsletters. TheStreet Smarts. Receive full access to our market insights, commentary, newsletters, breaking news alerts, and more. I agree to TheMaven's Terms and Policy. So why have erratic price swings persisted into June? The fact that the Dow went 21 consecutive Tuesdays with a gain, or the fact that the Scroll to Continue.

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Startups often make things cheaper, so in that respect they're better positioned to prosper in a recession than big companies. Investors are more of a problem. Startups generally need to raise some amount of external funding, and investors tend to be less willing to invest in bad times. They shouldn't be. Everyone knows you're supposed to buy when times are bad and sell when times are good.

But of course what makes investing so counterintuitive is that in equity markets, good times are defined as everyone thinking it's time to buy. You have to be a contrarian to be correct, and by definition only a minority of investors can be. So just as investors in were tripping over one another trying to buy into lousy startups, investors in will presumably be reluctant to invest even in good ones. You'll have to adapt to this.

But that's nothing new: startups always have to adapt to the whims of investors. Ask any founder in any economy if they'd describe investors as fickle, and watch the face they make. Last year you had to be prepared to explain how your startup was viral. Next year you'll have to explain how it's recession-proof. Those are both good things to be. The mistake investors make is not the criteria they use but that they always tend to focus on one to the exclusion of the rest. Fortunately the way to make a startup recession-proof is to do exactly what you should do anyway: run it as cheaply as possible.

For years I've been telling founders that the surest route to success is to be the cockroaches of the corporate world. The immediate cause of death in a startup is always running out of money. So the cheaper your company is to operate, the harder it is to kill.

And fortunately it has gotten very cheap to run a startup. A recession will if anything make it cheaper still. If nuclear winter really is here, it may be safer to be a cockroach even than to keep your job. Customers may drop off individually if they can no longer afford you, but you're not going to lose them all at once; markets don't "reduce headcount.

That could be a problem if you work in sales or marketing. In those fields it can take months to find a new job in a bad economy. But hackers seem to be more liquid. Good hackers can always get some kind of job. It might not be your dream job, but you're not going to starve. Another advantage of bad times is that there's less competition. Technology trains leave the station at regular intervals. If everyone else is cowering in a corner, you may have a whole car to yourself.

You're an investor too. As a founder, you're buying stock with work: the reason Larry and Sergey are so rich is not so much that they've done work worth tens of billions of dollars, but that they were the first investors in Google. And like any investor you should buy when times are bad. Were you nodding in agreement, thinking "stupid investors" a few paragraphs ago when I was talking about how investors are reluctant to put money into startups in bad markets, even though that's the time they should rationally be most willing to buy?

Well, founders aren't much better. When times get bad, hackers go to grad school. A value added tax can give a country's exporters a boost. There is also a case to be made that taxing consumption rather than income promotes efficiency. The obvious way to alleviate the problem Navarro perceives as "those countries keep treating us unfairly with respect to that VAT tax system," would be to enact our own VAT tax system.

One problem is that state and local sales taxes already have essentially the same impact on imports and exports as a VAT already. A health care system that costs half as much as a percent of GDP and covers everyone, or even something worse from those evil foreigners.

A major objection to VAT and sales taxes in general is that they are regressive. Certainly the rich typically spend a lower proportion of their income than do others. However, to label a VAT regressive it must be compared to alternatives. Presently, wages are taxed much more heavily than capital income such as dividends and corporate profits. They also most likely will increase the tax advantage of capital income over wages.

Compared to that, a VAT could be considered progressive. In any case, any regressive aspect of the VAT could be entirely offset via income and estate tax changes. Another substantial argument against a VAT is the fear that it will simply add to the tax burden.

That is why a VAT in the USA only makes sense if it is accompanied by a very significant reductions in both personal and corporate income taxes. If that could be accomplished the wishes of the tax reform advocates and the concerns that the VATs of other countries are adversely impacting our trade balances would both be addressed. Trump might even be able to say that the VAT paid on goods imported from Mexico was paying for the wall.

Trump and the Republicans have painted themselves into an even bigger corner regarding Obamacare. Every day it becomes increasingly clearer that the immutable laws of economics mean that unless the Republicans want to allow medical underwriting, that is where insurance companies can reject applicants with preexisting conditions, something very close to Obamacare must be retained. Demand for medical care is inelastic. Controlling prices charged by doctors and hospitals via the use of monopsony like the rest of the developed world does is an anathema to Republicans.

Monopsony, meaning "single buyer" is the flip side of monopoly. A monopsonist sets prices below free market equilibrium. It does not matter if there is an actual single payer or many buyers or payers whose prices are set by the government or by insurance companies in collusion with each other. As it is dawning on the Republicans any system that does not explicitly control prices must have mandates and subsidies similar to those in Obamacare.

Otherwise, most individual insurance policies would be far beyond the reach of middle class Americans since without medical underwriting insurance companies would have to price their policies based on the assumption that the applicant has a costly preexisting condition.

Possibly to make up for, or divert attention from the Republicans humiliation that essentially only tinkering on the edges of Obamacare will entail, they might want to go bold on tax reforms. The trade bluster and promise to make Mexico pay for the wall, might just be the crisis that enables the USA to replace much or all of the income tax with a VAT. That would be the ultimate turning lemons into lemonade.

The alternatives of protectionism and possible worse scenarios are horrendous. The only investors who could possibly benefit from protectionism would be those in companies who temporarily gain at the expense of the rest of the economy. The other broad categories of new risks and uncertainties are those that would have been the consequences of control of both legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government had any Republican become president.

As with the unique risks and uncertainties posed by the election of a populist president, for investors at least there are possible positives among the likely bad outcomes. It is quite likely that the Republican controlled congress will enact and President Trump will sign changes in the tax law that favor the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. Although as with many of potential policy issues during the campaign Trump did say things indicating the opposite.

The wealthy clearly have lower marginal propensities to consume. Shifting income to the rich by taxing dividends, capital gains, inheritances and corporate profits much less than the tax rates on wages also tends to make more funds available for investment since when the investment is taxed relatively less, more funds are made available for the investment. That would also put downward pressure on interest rates.

B , who said , "Through the tax code, there has been class warfare waged, and my class has won," to Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz at a luncheon in honor of the company's 50th anniversary. It is the compounding effect of shift away from taxes on capital income such as dividends, capital gains and inheritances each year as the rich get proverbially richer which is the prime generator of inequality. This cumulative shift of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy has profound impacts on the economy and securities markets.

It creates a cycle where initially the wealthy pour significant amounts into investments they perceive to be safe. This can first cause an increase in economic activity. Since the rich save a greater proportion of their income the extra savings will likely increase the savings glut on balance. This should put initially upward pressure on the prices of financial assets. As the supply of loan-able funds increases faster than the demand from borrowers, interest rates will be pushed down.

While many would consider increases in wealth and income to be a bad economic outcome, bond investors could benefit from lower interest rates. The equity market will also initially benefit from lower interest rates as the growing pool of savings seeks securities to invest in. In a longer run, the excess of savings could enable new businesses to start that otherwise might not have been able to obtain financing. These new businesses could create additional competition for existing companies which could eventually reduce profit margins and stock prices.

To the extent that small business and potential entrepreneurs are now stifled by over-regulation and red tape, a Trump administration that reduces those impediments to new start-ups could also eventually curtail profits for existing firms via enabling more competitors. The bigger risk from a massive shift in the tax burden away from the rich and onto the middle class stems from the fundamental characteristics of free-market capitalism. In free-market capitalism, capital generates income for the owners of the capital which in turn is used to create additional capital.

This is very good. Sometimes, it can be actually too good. As capital continues to accumulate, its owners find it more and more difficult to deploy it efficiently. The business sector generally must interact with the household sector by selling goods and services or lending to them.

When capital accumulates too rapidly, the productive capacity of the business sector can outpace the ability of the household sector to absorb the increasing production. The capitalists, or if you prefer, job creators use their increasing wealth and income to reinvest, thus increasing the productive capacity of the business they own.

They also lend their accumulated wealth to other business as well as other entities after they have exhausted opportunities within business they own. As they seek to deploy ever more capital, excess factories, housing and shopping centers are built and more and more dubious loans are made.

This is overinvestment. As one banker described the events leading up to - First the banks lent all they could to those who could pay them back and then they started to lend to those could not pay them back. As cash poured into banks in ever increasing amounts, caution was thrown to the wind.

For a while consumers can use credit to buy more goods and services than their incomes can sustain. Ultimately, the overinvestment results in a financial crisis that causes unemployment, reductions in factory utilization and bankruptcies all of which reduce the value of investments. If the economy was suffering from accumulated chronic underinvestment, shifting income from the non-rich to the rich would make sense. It might not seem fair, but the quickest way to build up capital is to take income away from the middle class who have a high propensity to consume and give to the rich who have a propensity to save and invest.

Except for periods in the s and s and possibly the 's when tax rates on the rich just happened to be high enough to prevent overinvestment, the economy has generally suffered from periodic overinvestment cycles. It is not just a coincidence that tax cuts for the rich have preceded both the and depressions. The Revenue acts of and worked exactly as the Republican Congresses that pushed them through promised. The dramatic reductions in taxes on the upper income brackets and estates of the wealthy did indeed result in increases in savings and investment.

However, overinvestment by there were over automobile manufacturing companies in the USA caused the depression that made the rich, and most everyone else, ultimately much poorer. Eventually, the overinvestment problem caused by the reduction in taxes on the wealthy is exacerbated by the increased tax burden on the middle class. While overinvestment creates more factories, housing and shopping centers; higher payroll taxes reduces the purchasing power of middle-class consumers.

The result is some type of financial crisis. Many investor suffer in a financial crisis. However, risk-off investments like treasury bonds and agency fixed-income securities can do very well.

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A good investment strategy during a recession is to look for companies that are maintaining strong balance sheets or steady business models despite the economic. An economic or financial crisis can send asset prices reeling, coupled with recession and high unemployment. While falling prices may hurt your investment. You're not going to obsessively check your portfolio. When the economy is in bad shape and there's lots of stock market movement, you may be.