Barclay to SUAA: To Bolster Pensions, Tax LaSalle St.

In an October 1st address to the UIC chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA), CPEG’s Bill Barclay explained the potential benefits of a small LaSalle Street Tax (also known as a Financial Transactions Tax), on Chicago’s two large trading markets. Barclay suggested that some of the estimated $10-12 Billion in revenues that could be generated by the tax could be used to make up for the decades-long failure of the Illinois legislature to keep their pension funding promises.

The SUAA, with over 1,600 members, exists to promote the individual and collective interests and welfare of its members and of all UIC retirees. You can download Barclay’s presentation here (powerpoint), or view the full presentation on Youtube.

CPEG Presentation: A LaSalle Street Tax to Save Budgets and Clean Up Exchanges

At a July 19th Community Forum entitled The Illinois Budget Crisis, Workers’ Rights and Revenue, CPEG’s Ron Baiman gave a presentation on how a LaSalle Street Tax (also known as a Financial Transaction Tax), could save the Chicago and Illinois budgets and clean up exchanges such as the Chicago Mercantile.

In addition to the potential for billions in revenue for ailing budgets, Baiman noted that, in direct contradiction to frequent fears cited by opponents of the tax, “There are Financial Transactions Taxes on various financial markets in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Brazil, France, Singapore and other countries; in most cases the tax is at a higher rate than proposed under [current legislation]. These are all large markets that have not been hurt by the tax and exchanges have not moved away.”

Download the full presentation (.pptx)

CPEG Report: We don’t need another Casino, We need to Tax the One We Have!

Chicago already has one of the biggest “rich person” casinos in the world but it is hardly taxed at all. A new CPEG report explores the massive gap between taxation of largely lower and middle-class riverboat gamblers, and the upper-class who do their gambling in the heart of Chicago’s financial district.

In fact, assuming that both rich and poor person casinos in Illinois pass tax costs on to their customers, “traders” at Illinois’ rich-person casinos: Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) owned by the CME, and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) pay state taxes that are at most equal to 0.000014% of the nominal value traded, more than 200,000 times lower than the 3.2% state tax per dollar wagered by “gamblers” at Illinois’ 10 poor-person riverboat casinos.

Read the full CPEG report (PDF)

Summer 2015 Quarterly CPEG Notes

Click below to read CPEG Notes, a series of quarterly analyses of current economic reality by the Chicago Political Economy Group. In this edition: Prof. Joseph Persky gets things started with his take on the U.S.’ less-than-robust first quarter performance, Ron Baiman then delivers a sharp analysis of the worsening employment scene while making sense of the deteriorating employment/population ratio, Bill Barclay looks at how two Midwestern states have fared under contrasting economic policy regimes, Mel Rothenberg’s International Note examines the current challenges facing Greece and its Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, and finally CPEG explores the Chicago mayoral election.

New CPEG Working Paper – ‘Greece and the Economic/Financial Crises in the EU’

The crises that unfolded between the new Greek government and the German dominated Euro-zone at the beginning of February is blowing hot and cold. It cooled with the acceptance on February 28 of the Greek negotiating offer by the German Parliament. It seems to have reheated in the middle of March with the Euro spokesmen accusing Syriza of foot dragging in implementing the neo-liberal restructuring of the Greek economy the EU demands.

This paper explores the context, current developments, and potential impact of an international mass democratic anti-neoliberal, anti-austerity movement in the United States.

Read the Working Paper (PDF)