Taxing Your Periods
Let’s be honest: The left has never seen a tax it didn’t want to introduce or hike. Well, except for the so-called tampon tax, a sales levy applied to tampons and other feminine hygiene products. According to left-leaning feminists, this tax is wrong and unjust and is another blow dealt by the patriarchy. And, you know what? They’re right – except for the patriarchy part.
In 35 states, menstrual items are subjected to a sales tax. As part of efforts to appear woke in this social justice crusade, many of these jurisdictions are considering abandoning the penalty. Even if progressives are only promoting the end to this tax because they want to fight the patriarchy or something, the right and libertarians should join them, though without the pink hats.
Of course, there is no doubt that some of the explanations over a tampon tax are rather silly. Some feminists believe old white men in government are purposely targeting tampons to stick it to women. This is nonsense because the most likely explanation is that they are subjected to the enormous tax code like anything else. Believe it or not, men pay the tampon tax, too, if they take care of their wives and teenage daughters, so why would they want to pay more? It just does not make sense.
All taxation is theft, whether it is wealth confiscation or a sin tax on your sweets. So, to be intellectually consistent, it is necessary to oppose the tampon tax, even if that means aligning with crazy pink-haired women who think eating their yeast infection is a great way to protest President Donald Trump. Yes, it might be tempting to troll leftists by supporting a menstrual punishment, but what long-term good would that do? It does not advance the cause of liberty in any way.
Like legendary economist Milton Friedman said, “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.” Sorry, conservatives and libertarians, this includes agreeing with the feminists for once.
Will WeWork for $9 Billion
The We Company, the owner of office-sharing startup WeWork, has ditched its initial public offering (IPO) as investors were not enthusiastic over its immense losses and troubling business model. Not to mention the potential internal upheaval over the ousting of founder Adam Neumann as CEO. Is it on the brink of collapse? Not quite.
Softbank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company that invests heavily in the US economy, has already poured $9 billion into WeWork. But it might rescue its investment by offering another $9.5 billion, which would involve buying $3 billion of existing shares, extending $1.5 billion of promised equity, and taking on $5 billion of new debt
This is one of those things where Softbank would be better off cutting its losses now. WeWork has many problems, from lavish spending to inept management. The main issue for the company is its business model. As Liberty Nation wrote in May 2019: “WeWork’s core business model consists of signing long-term leases and then subleasing these properties on a short-term basis, which can be a dangerous revenue generator because office rents plunge in a recession.”
Suffice it to say, if the subtenants are not profitable in the boom phase of the business cycle and with newly printed Federal Reserve notes, then how could the company survive a steep economic downturn? WeWork will certainly be stuck in quite the quagmire: a loss of subtenants and chained to long-term leases.
But there is one other interesting development in this area: Investors are getting dismayed by yet another unprofitable company going public. It’s the dot-com era all over again. Traders are waking up and smelling the red ink.
Never Count Out the Billionaires
It was a tale of two billionaires in the stock market this week. It was the best of times for Elon Musk. It was the worst of times for Jeff Bezos.
First, let’s get to Musk. A year ago, he warned everybody to “burn the shorts,” alluding to investors who were shorting Tesla. Analysts were skeptical, but Musk, who is not exactly a fan of the media, proved them wrong. It turns out he was right as the electric vehicle company had quite the third-quarter earnings report: a surprising $342 million profit, solar installations were up 42% from the second quarter, Model Y output is ahead of schedule, positive cash flow, and its gigafactory in Shanghai is ready for production. These results were good enough to send the stock soaring 20%, meaning the shorters lost $1 billion.
Second, Bezos confirmed that he is human after all, losing $7 billion in a single trading session. Why? Amazon fell short of Wall Street expectations in its Q3 earnings with slower revenue growth and greater investment spending. Plus, the company issued a dire warning for the lucrative October-to-December quarter. In after-hours trading, shares plunged by as much as $120, or 6.75%, to $1,660.50.
What do these two stories have in common? Never count out the billionaires.
Musk made the talking heads look like fools, using his stellar skills and business brilliance to deliver an impressive quarter. You can expect Bezos to do the same thing and cure the hiccups. What he does remains to be seen, but many people anticipate the billionaires to flop after a couple of gigantic mistakes. That does not happen. Musk showed that, and Bezos did not become the world’s richest man by pure luck. These men are billionaires for a reason – and Bezos will inevitably recoup that $7 billion.
Surprisingly, these three newsworthy events have something in common: consistency. For the right and libertarians, being opposed to taxes – new and old – should be universal, even if it means siding with a third-wave feminist. A company proven to continually lose billions is still getting funding, leading to one question: Who is insane, WeWork or SoftBank? Finally, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have excellent track records, so why doubt their abilities? When Musk said to “burn the shorts,” we should have listened!