During a FinTech meeting held in Chicago on March 18th, Mayor Ralph Emmanuel made it very clear that he wants his “Windy City” to pioneer the ongoing worldwide crypto revolution.
Indri Schaelicke | United States
In January of 2016, speaking at a New Hampshire campaign event, Republican Presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio reaffirmed his pro-gun right stance. “I believe that every single American has a Constitution—and therefore God-given right—to defend themselves and their families,” Rubio said. The statements he made at this rally were clearly politically motivated- he was attempting to build a base of voters in a state with a strong commitment to gun rights, especially among Republicans. And it sort of worked- he received 10% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary and came away with 2 delegate votes.
othman Mekhloufi | United States
The Amusement Tax
The City of Chicago is now levying taxes on amusement, entertainment, or anything remotely fun-oriented.
The City of Chicago’s Department of Finance, rather than the City Council, issued a new tax ruling called an “amusement tax”. This tax would subjugate any residence within the official city limits of Chicago to pay a 9% tax, in addition to sales tax, on anything which is remotely related to amusement; whether it be streaming movies on Netflix, playing video games, or going to a football game, such a tax would apply.
Here is the following list of all the assortments to be taxed according to the ruling itself.
“Any exhibition, performance, presentation or show for entertainment purposes, including, but not limited to, theatrical, dramatic, musical or spectacular performance, promotional show, motion picture show, flower, poultry or animal show, animal act, circus, rodeo, athletic contest, sport, game or similar exhibition such as boxing, wrestling, skating, dancing, swimming, racing, or riding on animals or vehicles, baseball, basketball, softball, football, tennis, golf, hockey, track and field games, bowling or billiard or pool games; any entertainment or recreational activity offered for public participation are on a membership or other basis including, but not limited to, carnivals, amusement park rides and games, bowling, billiards and pool games, dancing, tennis, racquetball, swimming, weightlifting, bodybuilding or similar activities; or (3) any paid television programming, whether transmitted by wire, cable, fiber optics, laser, microwave, radio, satellite or similar means.”
With this ruling, there are also some exceptions. All venues held in auditoriums or theaters with a maximum capacity of not more than 1500 people are exempt from the 9% amusement tax. However, these venues must be in person live performances to be exempt from the tax. This exemption does not apply to movies or sporting events.
Currently, Chicago’s sales tax, with all jurisdictions considered, is the highest in the entire nation at 10.25%. With this amusement tax being set at 9%, it is also compiled onto Chicago’s default sales tax of 10.25%; meaning that the population of Chicago is not only stuck paying an astronomically high 10.25% sales tax, but they are also required to pay an additional 9% tax on any assortments in relation to the amusements previously listed.
The Impact on the Wallet
The economic repercussions of such a new tax would be quite negative for the City of Chicago. Said economic repercussions would revolve around the primary negative effect of margin loss. The government is now levying more taxes from the people via two separate sales taxes, one at 10.25%, and one at 9%. Because of this, less money will be the pocket of the populace. When the populace has less money in their pockets, they will have less money to spend. Because the populace will have less money to spend, businesses will lose out on customers, as well as profit. When it occurs that businesses lose out on customers, and income, one primary negative effect on the economy would take place; that being, margin loss.
This margin loss will always have two sets of negative economic sub-repercussions. The first set of sub-repercussions are unemployment, cutting of wages, as well as the cutting of work hours which fits into the internal-labor subsection. The second set of sub-repercussions are and the hiking of prices which fits into the consumer subsection. Meaning, that with such a tax, prices would in fact increase, and jobs, work hours, as well as wages, would all be cut.
The Impact on Employment
Let’s take a look at the first set of sub-repercussions; unemployment, the cutting of wages, and the cutting of work hours. Due to the fact that businesses will be losing margin due to fewer customers, they will always want to mediate that margin loss. To mediate this margin loss, businesses have two choices; either begin to raise their prices, or cut spending somewhere within the company. Usually, when spending is being cut, it is centered around wages and not other essentials of the company. This is due to the fact that if companies were to cut spending for such essentials, the product, and or service being provided would degrade in terms of quality. In turn, this would only result in furthermore margin loss due to the general premise that no consumer populace wants to purchase an inferior product with poor quality.
With this, we can determine that a margin loss, for whatever reason it may be, will indeed result in a spending cut. Said spending cut will be focused on wages. More specifically, when implementing this, hours will be cut, some individuals within the company may be laid off, and many wages will be reduced all to minimize for the loss in margin caused by economic government intervention.
Don’t Forget About Prices
Considering the second set of sub-repercussions, the hiking of prices, this also comes with its own extended economic repercussions. Other than the fact that cheaper goods mean best for everyone on both sides of the transaction, the hiking of prices comes with its own furthermore economic disparities. When prices are hiked to mediate a loss in margin, an even higher amount of margin loss will occur. This is due to the following reasons; when a company raises its prices for whatever reason it may be, and in our case, margin loss, the populace will be less incentivized to purchase said product, and or service.
Because of this, sales will go down even more, and the company suffers even more margin losses. For instance, a 2014 study conducted by YouGov found that nearly 1 in 5 of Netflix subscribers polled would cancel their subscription if the price went up by $1 a month. Nearly half of those polled would cancel their subscription if the price went up by $2 a month. If these increases in subscription prices would happen due to a loss in margin, Netflix would experience even more margin loss as it loses even more customers due to price hikes.
As we can now see that not only do price hikes burden the consumer populace as everyone enjoys cheap goods, but they also cause margin loss in companies which, if it were to be on such a large scale, would cause unemployment, cuts in wages, as well as cuts in work hours as previously explained.
Many may claim that the amusement tax rate may only be 9%, and at such a small rate, it would not cause any actual negative economic repercussions as previously mentioned. However, this amusement tax is estimated to levy $189 million in the year 2018. Not only this, but the amusement tax’s levy margin has been trending upwards since 2017 when it took in a measly $168.7 million compared to the $189 million of 2018. With the amusement tax raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and with it only trending upwards, we can truly determine that such a large amount of money being taken out of the economy will indeed cause the economic hardships previously mentioned.
Although these economic repercussions have not been extremely severe in Chicago due to the fact that the amusement tax is only centered within one jurisdiction; if the western world continues this trend of large government economics, and a similar policy begins to be implemented on the federal level, the economic repercussions previously listed would scale to a very large extent affected millions across the board.
In reality, with such a tax, we would only cause economic hardships; unemployment, cuts in wages and work hours, as well as hikes in prices across the jurisdiction in which it was applied.
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Justin Tucker, Chair of the Chicago Libertarian Party, is running for Illinois State Representatives in District Four.
71R: With thousands of career options, what inspired you to seek a career in politics?
Tucker: I have been interested in politics since I was a teenager. I have been a libertarian since I learned about Harry Browne, the Libertarian Party nominee in 2000. It was only in 2015 that I jumped into activism and joined my local LP chapter. What inspired me to join was the gross misconduct of the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago amusement tax imposed applying to Netflix. I felt enough was enough. I could no longer be willfully apathetic or believe I couldn’t make a difference.
I am currently the Chair of the Libertarian Party of Chicago, serving since 2016. I also worked on the Gary Johnson’s 2016 campaign as Volunteer Coordinator in Illinois. This year, I collected over 1600 signatures for our statewide candidates to be on the ballot this November.
I choose to run for Illinois House of Representatives in District 4 with the purpose of telling my neighbors about our candidates and maybe getting a few signatures for myself. My energy, however, was better spent circulating petitions for the statewide slate than circulating my own. Also, as a Libertarian, I didn’t want to deal with all the government paperwork to get on the ballot. I will instead be running a write-in campaign to have a platform to talk about why our candidates are the best choices for Illinois and to share our ideas with the electorate.
71R: Many people when they think of government they think of Congress or the presidency. Why is politics at the state level, and in the state House of Representatives, so important and motivated you to get involved?
Tucker: It is often said that all politics is local. Politics at the state and local level are so important because they are closest to the people, and thus easier to make an impact on policy. That’s why I chose to involve myself in a run for a State House seat and also why I support statehood for Cook County.
I’m a fan of local control. It’s easier to hold the crooks accountable when they’re in your neighborhood as opposed to far away legislature.
71R: For over 150 years the United States has been locked in the two-party duopoly. What attracted you to the Libertarian Party?
Tucker: I was attracted to the Libertarian Party because it’s the only party that is for small government and means actually means it. One of the biggest issues for me is getting the government out of the way of my LGBT friends. Republicans claimed to be for smaller government but fought against the right of gender and sexual minorities to marry. When I discovered the Libertarian Party, I saw they were consistently for small government across all areas of life. I’ve been a fan ever since. My only regret is that I didn’t get involved with activism sooner.
71R: Illinois is often brought to the political forefront and were put into the national spotlight during the gun control debates, a debate that still exists today, due to Chicago’s crime. Where do you stand on this critical issue?
Tucker: As a Libertarian, I believe in the right to protect yourself. Chicago residents like Otis McDonald stood up to the city’s infringement on the right to self-defense and ended up changing the course of history. The fight, however, is not over. In Illinois, we need to abolish the Firearm Owner’s Identification card, conceal carry licensing and waiting periods. The Second Amendment is the only permit anyone needs.
Drastically reducing gang violence in Chicago is more of a complicated task. We can start by ending drug prohibition, cutting taxes and regulations to attract economic development, and reforming education.
71R: Our Founding Fathers even disagreed on how to interpret the Constitution, shown in the Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist debates. What is your interpretation of the Constitution, and how does that influence your view on government?
Tucker: The Constitution has, without a doubt, contributed to the development of liberal thought. It was a document designed to limit the power of the federal government and protect the rights of the people. I have a tremendous amount of respect for it. The problem, however, is that it hasn’t prevented the federal government from overstepping its authority.
If our federal government followed the Constitution literally as it is currently written, the size and scope of government would be drastically reduced. I certainly wish that’s how it operates today.
Ideally, the feds are allowed to do only a handful of things. They get out of the way for the rest of the stuff and let the communities in the several states do their things. That’s how I interpret the Constitution. Local control is key and the Constitution influenced me in that regard.
71R: Libertarians tend to believe less government is better government. What is one area of government, however, you would like to see operating?
Tucker: I believe that the purpose of government is to protect the rights of the people. That would include courts, peace officers, and a defensive military.
On a municipal level, I think there’s a little more flexibility in what the government can do if its available to all people. Chicago has gorgeous parks, stocked libraries, and an extensive mass transit system, all of which I use.
Ideally, all these things should be paid for by the most voluntarily or least coercively means possible. In the case of the parks, the libraries and the transit system, these could be fully or partially privatized.
71R: Branching off of the last question, what is one area you think there should be cutbacks or even elimination in the state of Illinois?
Tucker: It’s hard to pick just one, but in Illinois, it would be taxes. We should cut or eliminate as many taxes as we can. Property taxes, incomes taxes, sales taxes, taxes on vices, taxes on bags. Let’s take a chainsaw to as many taxes as we can.
71R: What can the people of District Four expect should you be elected?
Tucker: If enough of the people of District Four write me in, they can expect me to work many things that would help to reduce the size and scope of government. My major initiatives include establishing 401(k) plans for all new state government employees, slashing spending, cutting taxes and or abolishing as many taxes and regulations as possible, legalizing cannabis and psychedelic mushrooms and reforming the criminal justice system. I would also make the case for Cook County statehood any chance I could.
71R: If someone was interested in getting involved or donating, how can they reach out to your campaign?
Tucker: Folks can reach out to me through my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/JustinTuckerforIL) if they want to get involved. Since I don’t want to deal with government authorities, I am not accepting donations; however, I highly recommend donating to Kash Jackson’s campaign for Illinois governor (www.kash2018.com/donate) or to the Libertarian Party of Illinois (www.lpillinois.org/donate).
71R: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?
Tucker: The Libertarian Party is not possible without our candidates, our volunteers and our donors. Please consider volunteering a few hours a week to a Libertarian candidate. Be an activist in your local chapter, or if there aren’t any available, get a few friends together and form a LP chapter yourselves. If you want to share the LP with your neighbors, consider running for office or becoming a precinct committeeman. If you can’t donate your time, please donate your money. Every volunteer hour and every dollar helps us fuel the fires of liberty. Thank you!
I would like to thank Justin Tucker for his time. Be sure to visit his website for more information.
To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.
Ian Brzeski | United States
Illinois is a complete mess, there is no other way to put it. Illinois’ economic growth has only increased by 4% within the last 10 years. To put that into perspective, throughout the Great Depression, the United States’ GDP grew by 10%. Illinois is doing worse now than the entirety of the United States was doing throughout the Great Depression. Illinois continues to elect the same kinds of corrupt politicians over and over again, taxes keep going up at a tremendous rate, citizen’s liberties are constantly being stripped away, people keep moving out of the state at an astronomical rate, and Illinois just keeps spiraling out of control. Kash Jackson is the man for the task.
Who is Kash Jackson?
Born Benjamin Adam Winderweedle, Kash Jackson is the Libertarian candidate for governor of Illinois. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, a town close to the Texas border, with a population of around 200,000. He served in the U.S. Navy for about 20 years until he officially retired in 2016. After his retirement, he settled in a small suburb of Chicago with his three children. He is committed to completely rearranging the Illinois government so it is properly suited for the people of Illinois and his children.
“I will focus on stabilizing the state budget, fighting corruption, and restoring power to individuals and their communities.” -Kash Jackson
Kash will fight for all of your liberties all the time. He believes in Constitutional rights and will do anything in his power to fight any rights violations that he sees going on. Many politicians will make the same claims as Kash does. However, the difference between many politicians and Kash is that Kash takes action. He stood with the Veterans for Standing Rock in North Dakota due to the injustices against the Constitutional rights of Native Americans. Kash does more than just make promises, he goes out and fulfills them.
Why Republicans/Conservatives should vote for Kash
People in Illinois want a change from the hypocritical and corrupt politicians that they have dealt with for so long. Republicans in the state are fed up with Bruce Rauner as he has failed routinely on delivering on his promises. During his time as governor, income tax rates rose, there was a two-year budget deadlock, a massive bailout of the Chicago public school system, and he signed an abortion bill that pushed abortion to remain legal even if Roe v Wade was overturned during the Trump presidency. The bill allowed for state employees and lower class women to obtain free abortions for any reason whatsoever. Obviously, when it says “free”, it really means at the expense of the taxpayer.
Conservatives knew when electing Rauner that he did lean pro-choice, but he did promise the people that he was not going to make the abortion issue a social agenda. What’s worse is that he promised the people that he would veto that bill. Many conservatives and pro-lifers have lost trust that Rauner can keep his promises. On top of that, he had a 44-point agenda which included a property tax freeze and term limits. He was not able to fulfill any of his major goals from that agenda.
Kash is a true advocate for small government. Under Rauner and practically every other preceding governor, the government got bigger, taxes and gun control have increased, and with that, crime as well. Kash wants lower taxes and fewer regulations on businesses so business owners could open up their businesses much more efficiently and quickly. He also wants to put a freeze on property taxes and allow for tax increases to be put up to a vote via a referendum.
Some of my friends were worried that by voting for Kash then you are basically giving Pritzker a free path to victory, and that is far from the truth. A Capitol Fax poll has figured out that 26% of people would vote for a 3rd party candidate and about 11% of people are undecided. Pritzker currently sits at 36% and Rauner at 27%. Kash is leading the 3rd party candidates, is right on the tail of Rauner, and is not far at all from Pritzker. Just recently, Kash has been invited to join the NBC5/Telemundo debate on September 20th. This is the first time ever that the Libertarian candidate for governor in Illinois is able to debate with the Republican and Democrat nominees. This is a huge win for the liberty movement and will greatly increase the chances for Kash to become the next governor of Illinois.
Why Democrats/Liberals should vote for Kash
There is a reason to even believe that Democrats would vote for Kash or at least another 3rd party candidate. Some Democrats are concerned with the fact that JB Pritzker basically bought his primary spot. Pritzker is a billionaire who essentially just spent way more than the rest of the Democrats running. He spent a record amount, around $70 million, in the primary, and who knows how much more he will spend throughout the rest of the election process.
From an economic standpoint, I understand that Democrats probably will not agree with Kash on most issues. However, Kash is truly a man for the people. An issue that Democrats may agree on with Kash is the reformation of the criminal justice system due to many injustices set about by our court system. He demands the release of all prisoners who were wrongly imprisoned for victimless crimes. He also feels that neither a single person nor family should ever be forced into poverty while going through our court system.
JB Pritzker wants to raise your taxes, but then evades paying $230,000 worth of taxes by removing all of the toilets in one of his mansions. Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn were the previous Democrat governors who heavily contributed to the downfall of Illinois, and it looks like JB Pritzker is not going to be any different. Kash Jackson, like I said before, stood with the veterans at Standing Rock. Pritzker is a massive investor in Energy Transfer Partners LP which is the company who constructed and is also a part owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline. He is heavily invested in the same company that has committed horrendous atrocities against protestors at Standing Rock and has violated the rights of the Native Americans living there. Is this really the man who Democrats want in the gubernatorial office?
To either learn more about Kash Jackson, donate to his campaign, or volunteer for his campaign, click here.
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