Curiouser And Curiouser

The October 27, 2015 online Newark Advocate staff headlines “Park National reports income jumps nearly 10 percent”. “Park National Corp. announced net income for the third quarter was more than $20 million, an increase of nearly 10 percent compared to the same period in 2014.” Yadda, yadda, yadda. “The corporation’s net income for the year, through Sept. 30, was $60.1 million, compared to $59.7 million for the first nine months of last year.” More yadda. “The Park National Bank loan portfolio expanded during the third quarter. Loans outstanding on Sept. 30, were $4.96 billion, compared to $4.86 billion on June 30, an increase of $100 million, or an annualized 8.19 percent. Loan growth during the quarter increased across all loan categories, including mortgage loan growth of $10 million, commercial loan growth of $70 million and consumer loan growth of $20 million.” Readers cognizant of previous posts will be mindful to note that for a bank, outstanding loans are considered as assets (sources of income). The Advocate staff writes: “Total assets for Park National Bank were $7.2 billion on Sept. 30, an increase from $6.9 billion the previous year.” Analysis wrote all that in order to consider what the Christian Science Monitor came out with on the same day in an article by Husna Haq entitled “Bill Gates just endorsed socialism, sort of: A boost for Bernie Sanders?”. Though the bulk of the article is about America’s relation to socialism (both as policy and as linguistic term) broken down into demographics and history, Haq does more than use Bill Gates as a teaser: “In an interview with Atlantic that made headlines across the Internet, the former Microsoft CEO-turned philanthropist argued that “the private sector is in general inept” as a tool to manage climate change because “there’s no fortune to be made,” and that the only solution lies with government. Governments, he said, must dramatically increase spending on research and development to combat climate change. Private companies should play a supporting role by paying the costs of rolling out those technologies. “Yes, the government will be somewhat inept,” Mr. Gates said. “But the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them.”” Analysis finds this curious. The ONLY proposal for revenue enhancement embraced by the two candidates for mayor of Newark is some kind of income tax. But of course, this is not an income tax on the income of the newly created “persons” of corporations (see SCOTUS Citizens United ruling). It would be an income tax on the income of the other “persons” of Newark. Linguistically they appear identical, but somehow, policy-wise, they differ. ‘Nuff said. It is, however, very curious that for something that affects (and effects) us all, Mr. Gates places his trust in government and not private enterprise. The incumbent candidate for mayor of Newark prefers to rely on the private sector when it comes to something that affects (and effects) the residents of his city (like paving the streets). That is, until it comes to generating income, which is a horse of a different color (it would be politically incorrect to say “person of a different color” though it would imply that the income of one “person” can be taxed while that of another “person” cannot).

“O, what a tangled web we weave,

When first we practice to deceive!”

Sir Walter Scott, Marmion (1808), Canto VI, st. 17


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