The same is true for the "promise to build out a fiber optic network." AT&T never "promised" to do that. The arguments at the time were that deregulation would lead to higher investment into things like broadband. What nobody anticipated at the time was that the mobile revolution would happen, and all that new capital would be redirected to building wireless networks instead. That doesn't make the original claim a misrepresentation. And from a practical standpoint, it's better that all this money got invested in mobile instead of building FTTH.
The reason people are upset is the same reason no one likes talking to lawyer, and why no one wants to deal with corporate or political leaders who need to be talked to like a genie to make sure your wish doesn't get twisted around.
If the response to this event and to the fiber optic debacle is "wElL tEcHniCalLy We DiDnT pRoMiSe" then why should any tax breaks be considered in the future for any company? What is the reason to believe any statement about the benefits that will come through if we could just release these poor corporate giants from their terrible tax burden, if experience shows that they never come through?
Unemployment in the USA after the tax cuts is at historically low levels that haven’t been seen in more than four decades. The economy is booming.
Taxes on corporations are mainly good to encourage corporate behavior, revenue can be obtained by taxing the wealthy directly as well. Increasing taxes such as the capital gains tax while keeping corporate taxes at their reformed, globally competitive levels seems the way to go to me...
> economists attribute to changes including more flexible working practices, lower wages and rock-bottom interest rates.
Unemployment rate is useful in the short term, but it’s not comparable across longer time periods as they kick people off the lists very quickly.
If you just want to include people “kicked” off the lists, U-6 may be what you’re looking for. https://unemploymentdata.com/current-u6-unemployment-rate/
It’s as low as it’s been in almost two decades. Not quite as record breaking as the U-3 but still pretty good...
I recently listened to a NYT podcast where they discussed this theory briefly, but I’ve also been seeing it from some economists I follow on Twitter. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-argument/id1438024...
Of course as with any economics prediction it’s hard to prove what the alternate history would have been, but the idea is that the economy would have slowed down and U-3 unemployment wouldn’t have dropped to historic lows without the additional cash injection thanks to recent economic policies.
Edit: in general I think jobs numbers are very relevant to this whole thread since the article is attempting to sell the premise that the tax cuts didn’t help job growth (by using the specific example of AT&T jobs - even though this tax cut was for every company not just AT&T) despite the overall economy doing well, jobs increasing, and unemployment decreasing.
> Worker paychecks are showing their biggest gains since the recovery began a decade ago, and are more than keeping up with inflation.
Not sure why tech wages are excluded from your comment. Tech jobs are jobs too...
Ok, but they didn't really grow at all for a decade.
Total compensation 9% over 14 years. 0.64% per year.
I guess technically I'm wrong.
As for what you can credit the tax cuts with, well, here you go:
The tl;dr: share buybacks and corporate profits are the biggest consequence of the TCJA, not employment.
Would you argue the economy has never boomed before? 1 in 8 Americans below the federal poverty line seems to be pretty decent when seen historically according to https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Number_in_Poverty_...
Numbers for 2018 don’t seem to be available yet but I’d assume they continue to trend down.
This isn't organic economic growth, it is the lowest form of political populism that doesn't even pretend to be an actual economic policy intended to make the US economy strong.
That's a simplification of the quote. Add in the next part, "These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year."
and try to tell me with a straight face that "AT&T never said or implied that they'd be creating new jobs".
But no, he called out a specific job, specific responsibilities and specific pay.
I don't know about comments on Cambridge Analytica or Facebook, but Googlers appear to disclose their employer quite frequently when it's relevant to their comments on HN:
Thats an unusual take when the direct quote is him not only specifying a number of jobs, but the quality and pay for them. People dont usually assume that when I say "This would add 7000 jobs" that me removing 23000 jobs net is the end result as long as the jobs were added somewhere
Look at it this way. Suppose he had said: "We will build a new HQ building, which will create jobs for 7,000 workers." Would you still assume that precludes the possibility of a merger that results in job losses elsewhere (or, as mentioned above, not replacing union employees that retire)?
>Suppose he had said: "We will build a new HQ building, which will create jobs for 7,000 workers." Would you still assume that precludes the possibility of a merger that results in job losses elsewhere (or, as mentioned above, not replacing union employees that retire)?
If the person saying it is asking for a tax break that they say will fund this increase in jobs, then yes I would assume it precludes cutting jobs elsewhere. The whole point was it would be additive to society rather them shifting resources around but still pocketing the money.
You seem to believe that there is no implications to their words or actions beyond the explicit meanings of the words. If that's how they want to act, while also making sure to say things in a way that the average person will assume an implication, they should never get a deal again.
They were not making statements in good faith if we go by your interpretation of their statements
I don’t think that assumption is at all sound. AT&T has 2.7x as many employees as Alphabet, but just 21% more revenue. It has a huge, unionized workforce that is in a long term process of being trimmed down over time due to market changes and automation. (It had 310,000 employees in 2007, and is down to 260,000.) A commitment to invest money that will create some jobs cannot be interpreted as a commitment to reverse that long term process altogether.
In the former, the tax burden is reduced in exchange for specific actions by the taxpayer. For example you give AT&T the option to file for a reduction in their taxes in proportion to their investment in new fiber, or in proportion to the number of "hard hat" jobs they create. In the latter, you simply cut their taxes and take their word for it that the result will achieve your policy goals because they said it might.
The over arching message, that cutting taxes as a way of putting more money into the working man's hands, is false on its face remains true. Even the folks who invented trickle down economics say that.
But the article that is linked, and which we are commenting on, was specifically calling out AT&T which lobbied strongly for the 2018 Trump "tax cuts" which cut corporate taxes specifically. AT&T argued in favor suggesting that the money they saved in taxes they would invest in building out their fiber and creating "hard hat jobs". The union argues this never happened.
I doubt anyone here was surprised that corporations, receiving a large chunk of cash to the bottom line with a reduced tax burden, did not turn around and dole that out into either infrastructure development nor worker salaries. Rather, it has largely been used to pay one time bonuses to executives or returned through dividend to investors, or just sat upon as these companies are all too willing to do.
I was pointing out that giving someone money and suggesting uses for it that you would like, is less successful than holding on to the money and giving it to them after they show they have done something you would like and then "rewarding" them for that.
For example, adding a corporate tax that would add 1% to the corporations general obligation for each multiple of 100 difference in pay between the executive staff and the non-executive staff, would "reward" them for more equal pay and penalize them for less equal pay.
The second step was then removing the restrictions on the public networks after they'd been privatized - national telcom policy being redeclared such that "competition" between incumbent phone and incumbent cable was good enough. The CLECs all but disappeared.
Twenty years ago, basic phone service from Verizon was $15/mo. Now it's $75. The only success is for the investors that successfully looted the public networks.
Competition with Comcast only came to town when the municipal electric company decided to build out fiber. When the only source of competition is the local de jure government, one is hard pressed to claim that is a functional market.
Pre-deregulation, local telephone service was artificially cheap because carriers were required to cross-subsidize it from long-distance charges. So the price of phone service 20 years ago was never really something that was economically feasible standing alone. Moreover, as copper subscribers are dwindling, the per-subscriber cost of maintaining the whole network is rapidly increasing.
Standalone copper phone service, makes no economic sense. When a storm knocks down a telephone line, the truck roll costs the same whether you're delivering $15/month phone service or $150/month triple play. (And these aren't gig-economy workers doing that repair--the average Verizon union employee receives $130,000 in wages and benefits: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/business/verizon-workers-...) The cost of the truck roll, moreover, is now amortized over far fewer paying subscribers in the neighborhood, versus back when everyone subscribed to copper landline service.
Verizon will sell you 100/100 FiOS for $40/month ($55/month after the 12-month promotional period ends). Combine that with VoIP and Netflix/Hulu, and you're paying a lot less than you used to back in the day for local phone + long distance + cable TV.
> Verizon will sell you 100/100 FiOS for $40/month
No, no they won't. That only happens in areas with functioning competition. You seem to be sorely missing this.
In order for FIOS to be built out in most areas, Verizon would require public money. Why should that infrastructure then belong to privately-owned Verizon rather than staying with the public entities that paid for it?
FWIW I live in an apartment building and get 100/100 fios for $44.99 a month. I think it’s supposed to be 39.99 but for some reason my autopay discount isn’t registering and I haven’t bothered contacting customer support to see if I can fix it.
There is zero competition here, the apartment is only wired for FiOS so the only other options I would have would be congested 4G and maybe a satellite dish.
I’m not really sure why fios offers such a low price when they are a monopoly...
That $75/month now included unlimited calling as well as texts and probably has some data as well.
The $15/mo was metered service for even local calls, which I would happily go back to. Cell ($10/mo) and VOIP (effectively free) manage the bulk of calling just fine.
Obviously the plan is to move off the copper, to stop getting robbed. But that isn't a justification of the robbers.
I'll note that the involvement here is mainly due to my older father, which is the demographic really meant to be squeezed by this rent extraction.
None of the things that have happened, post deregulation, were impossible to do before, but there was no incentive to do them. A copper line, using either ADSL or SDSL signaling can do anything a wireless signal can, text, data, voice, all at the same time.
What deregulation did was two fold, first it forced the legacy phone company (Bell Telephone, and then the broken up "baby" Bells) to provide access on demand to the copper line, and it allowed private companies to then provide services over that line. New companies were created like Copper Mountain which, under the new options of deregulation, converted "POTS" lines into DSL lines with additional features. The "baby" bells, had to upgrade their networks in order to compete. As part of that upgrade, they needed much more network capacity between their central offices (one copper pair could now host 3 or 4 voice calls, be sending video for example) and much of the late 90's saw miles and miles of new fiber optic networks laid in across the country.
Deregulation also gave phone companies the option of raising their rates without the strict controls of the regulatory infrastructure of "pubic" monopolies, and they sought to recoup their investments in creating new infrastructure by raising rates.
 "Plain Old Telephone Service" - aka a switched, voice only network with one channel per line.
I'll admit their absolute lowest price isn't $75/mo, but $40/mo for "local only". Which I would actually accept, but for caller ID (a modern necessity) being $20/mo on top of that. The whole setup wreaks of gouging a captive market, which effectively describes why I am in this position.
I do fondly remember DSL from Speakeasy/Covad. My point is most CLECs have effectively gone out of business, seemingly due to unbundling going out of fashion and never being applied to coax networks. Although I will say MegaPath remains a great resource for enumerating all services available at an address, the prices will just be at the business level.
> In the former, the tax burden is reduced in exchange for specific actions by the taxpayer.
Then you would just have people misrepresent the "loopholes" as "breaks", like they did in the Amazon NYC fiasco.
-23,000 seems to suggest no