Last week, Deutsche Bank’s strategists sparked widespread outrage and mockery following the German bank’s “modest proposal” to slap those working from home with a 5% tax, as if it was somehow their fault i) they can’t work from an office when their local authorities order them to stay under house arrest, and ii) they worked long and hard to accumulate the education and develop the skillset allowing them to avoid such menial, braindead and unskilled jobs as waiters, bartenders or Wall Street strategist. Effectively, Deutsche Bank’s proposal was nothing short of cristalized socialism, in which highly qualified workers would fund the comfortable existence of those who for one reason or another decided they don’t want to be competitive in today’s labor force.
What was even more bizarre is that this proposal came at a time when the entire world has effectively adopted helicopter money, which not only allows central banks to fund the entire budget deficit by purchasing virtually all the sovereign debt for sale, but has rendered taxation meaningless, which coming ahead of the Fed’s imminent launch of direct transfers of digital dollars to US households, is precisely the “big plan” to reflate the global economy and wipe the slate clean by inflating away the $258 trillion in global debt.
In line with this thinking, we were far less surprised this morning when the billionaire chairman, co-founder and CEO of Blackstone, Stephen Schwarzman – who as a reminder is also the world’s largest landlord – said that teachers should be the only group of workers in the US who are exempt from paying income tax.
“It will mark them apart from other types of employment as a valued class” he said.
Focusing on the very education that all those who don’t work from home need in order to be able to work from home, Schwarzman said that the US must bolster its education system, noting that only 5% of children in public schools are learning computer science, and adding that the business community needs to help provide apprenticeships for schools.
To be sure, Blackstone has lots of experience mitigating its income tax payments: the world’s largest manager of alternative assets with $584.4 billion, has benefited from Trump’s tax cuts, with the 2017 tax cuts encouraging Blackstone to convert its publicly traded partnership to a corporation, which pays far less tax per Trump’s signature law. Shares of the firm have climbed 45% since it announced the move in April 2019.
“We have an income insufficiency problem and we need to solve that with a different type of minimum wage,” Schwarzman said.
“We need a Marshall plan for the middle class. We need to make sure there’s enough income for people.”
We wonder if that’s just so they middle class can afford to pay rent on Blackstone’s massive portfolio of rental units (and not mobile homes) across the country.
Wait until he hears that in just a year or two, the Fed will be able to conjure any amount of money out of thin air and instantly deposit it to anyone the Fed deems worthy, not just bank CEOs but also members of the middle class and even “the poors”, in the process sparking the final inflationary conflagration.
Of course, one thing Blackstone – which is the largest corporate landlord in America – could do to ensure the US middle class has “enough income”, is to stop charging rent across its portfolio of tens of thousands of rental units. However, we somehow doubt ole’ Steve cares enough about the middle class enough to actually see his own income adversely impacted by literally putting his money where his mouth is.