Because they are private we often can't see the books, and the bits of the books that get out are not entirely reflective of the entire picture (if you know what I mean, nudge nudge great runner sir!)
However, my guess is that most of these companies are not actually profitable, and that most of them have business plans that require significant investments to make them profitable in the future. I think that most of them have a strategy that aims to "win" in the short term by dominating their categories and then to build out a business that capitalizes on their success, reaping profit in the future.
If so they are in trouble in that they are going to need lots more cash before they deliver profits. New providers of cash hold all the cards because if the current shareholders don't get that cash into the business then their stake is worth nothing. If the new providers of cash are the current investors then they need to squeeze hard to justify doubling down on the risk (most of them simply won't do this, but some of the funds with very deep pockets have histories of doing this with some assets)
And therein lies the rub. Apple can mount a better defense than the US prosecution can, by dint of their bottomless legal fund. Apple can also put forward a united front, whereas you would need to summon an unprecedented level of political will and bridge-building to simply prevent Congress from derailing the DOJ prosecution through infighting.
Tax changes that are retroactive are extremely rare, mostly because they are seen as unfair - changing the rules after the game. And if you tax the offshore cash generated starting now, then corps will change their behavior to minimize tax paid.
> A modern "new deal" for elder care would also do the trick..
Oh please no! Boomers have already pillaged and mortgaged the futures of the youth enough already. The last thing we need is for them to stick it one more time with a new set of unpaid indefinite obligations.
For a simpler approach, just give everybody $X (00 or 000?) either one off or repeatedly. It's as progressive as it gets and at least some youth will benefit.
I'm pretty sure elder care isn't indefinite. Maybe we end it after this current generation of old people (our parents/grandparents) are no longer around.
One of the biggest social problems we'll face in the next 10 years is millions of people with dementia who can't take care of themselves just... existing. What do we do?
One fun story I've heard is a doctor gave an old woman with full blown dementia an operation to keep her alive, then she lived another 15 years just completely out of touch with the world. The family had to sell all her belongings (eating through their inheritance too), then pay even more to keep her in full time care. It makes no sense, but that's the standard set of rules. Little known fact: before medicare will pay out for extend services, they force your relatives to sell all your belongings (property, land, investments, etc) to pay for medical services before any other payments kick in.
Kind of like with executive power, however, once you start giving out benefits like social security, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.
Once you reach 65 and are eligible to start receiving payments, are you going to be okay when they say "nope, well's dry?" You would if you didn't realize they had been garnishing your salary for thirty years. But anyone with any sense of responsibility would be furious if they decided to just stop paying benefits after one generation.
Besides, how do you decide when a generation ends to stop paying?!
What kind of reforms would be possible? My concern is the impact on SMEs and also competitiveness, but looking at what goes on in the USA vs. Europe it's clear that there is gigantic room for manoeuvre
I can't see why it would. I am sure some people would argue that any GMO food is somehow evil and deadly, but I think that thinking of that sort can be discarded. However some GMO foods achieve pest and disease resistance by causing the plant to secrete toxins - pesticides, and these are what some experiments have shown troubling results for. On the other hand farmers spray these toxins on crops in any case.
Personally I grow my own and eat organic when I can, but that's fine if you can afford it and live in the country.
> these are what some experiments have shown troubling results for
If you're referring to Roundup, the study everyone likes to quote is so hilariously flawed it actually indicates that males who drink a pint of Roundup a day show health benefits.
The problem with GMO studies is that the ones biased against GMO tend to be unsound and the ones biased in favour of it tend to be paid for by GMO companies. Even the WHO doesn't bother actually reading the studies and goes around toting dodgy abstracts.
Second that, Baidu(perhaps) and Tencent(certainly), and maybe Alibaba holdings as well. These companies are operating in a country where massive investments are being thrown around, and a product might go from 0 to 90% market penetration in half a year, mobile payments work, and massive fulfilment infrastructure. Wouldn't be surprised if they weren't already eyeing the American market, and suddenly decide to go on a massive acquisition spree. Only that many more C2C startups in China they can buy up or invest into.