Taxation Law

Saks president on artificial intelligence: 'We don't need A.I. in our stores. We have I'


Saks Fifth Avenue isn't intimidated by the emergence of artificial intelligence and consumer preferences shifting to online retail, the luxury department store's president told CNBC on Friday. "When you think about the online versus the offline experience, we don't need AI in our stores. We have'I,'" said Marc Metrick, president of Saks. "We have living, breathing, 4,500 style advisors in our stores." "The focus for Saks in the luxury space is really kind of convergence between tech and this living, breathing, selling associate," Metrick said in an interview on "Squawk Box." Metrick spoke as e-commerce giant Amazon has been aggressive in expanding its retail muscle, including through partnerships and acquisitions.

Clustering the Top 1%: Asset Analysis in R – freeCodeCamp


The recent tax reform bill passed in the US has raised a lot of questions about wealth distribution in the country. While there's been a lot of focus on how the tax plan will impact income, there's been less attention focused on how this plan impacts the assets of wealthy households. The goal of this post is to show how the R programming language can be used to data mine publicly available sources to better understand the net worth of affluent households in the US. To answer these questions, we present descriptive statistics of this survey data and perform cluster analysis on affluent households, which we identify as households with a net worth of more than $1,000,000 USD. Based on the survey data, our analysis shows that the net worth of the top 1% of households in the US is $10.4M and the net worth of the top 0.1% of households is $43.2M.

Science Fiction by ABBA


On this week's If Then, Slate's April Glaser and Will Oremus talk about a key detail in the new tax plan that could have a huge effect on gig workers in the tech sector--and maybe even robots. They also discuss Apple's "batterygate" iPhone situation: What happened, and what can we take from their unusual apology? The hosts are also joined by Slate's Future Tense editor Torie Bosch to talk about the anthology she co-edited What Future: The Year's Best Ideas to Reclaim, Reanimate & Reinvent Our Future.

The 50 big ideas for 2018


If 2017 left you breathless, exhausted by unexpected headlines, then brace yourself. The coming year may bring even more turbulent change, according to the CEOs, academics, economists and other bold thinkers we consulted for our annual peek at the year ahead. Get ready to hide your phone and immerse in a few tech-free hours (or days). "We're at an inflection point," says Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global, adding that tech's addictive grip on our lives will move from the fringes to the center of conversation. Bosses will start banning devices from meetings, as will restaurants during meals, predicts GE Vice Chair Beth Comstock.

Sorry, Congress: Your Tax Bill Won't Create the Jobs of the Future


Republicans argue that the lower taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals promised in the tax bill currently before Congress will result in new investment in businesses and more jobs. But in the age of artificial intelligence and automation, trickle-down economics won't create employment. What corporations and the US economy at large need most in this emerging era is not more free cash, but a new approach to machine-assisted human productivity and purpose. Olaf J. Groth (@olafgrothsf) is a professor of global strategy, innovation, and digital futures at Hult International Business School, as well as CEO of With Mark Nitzberg he is the co-author of Solomon's Code: Humanity in a World of Thinking Machines, due in 2018.

Japan looking to fuel 'productivity revolution' by doubling labor output to 2%

The Japan Times

The government will aim to double the country's labor productivity to 2 percent in the three years through 2020 from 0.9 percent, the average in the five years through 2015, informed sources said. The government is set to include the target in a package of policy measures it plans to adopt on Friday to help realize a "productivity revolution," an initiative designed to ensure sustainable wage growth and overcome deflation, the sources said. The policy package is also expected to call for increasing corporate capital spending by 10 percent in fiscal 2020 from the fiscal 2016 level and achieving wage growth of at least 3 percent every year during the three-year intensive reform period through 2020. The government is set to pledge that it will utilize all policy measures to improve productivity, including the greater use of big data and artificial intelligence technology. Also in the package, the government plans to reduce corporate tax burdens to internationally competitive levels for companies actively boosting their wages and capital expenditures.

Corporations will use their tax savings to hire robots, not people

Los Angeles Times

To the editor: The Times' article on whether cutting corporate taxes will boost the wages of American workers fails to address critical circumstances that are likely to lead to a devastating economic crash. We are being tickled a little now with things like hamburger kiosks and self-driving cars, but all of this is just the beginning. If corporations spend to increase production, they most likely will spend it to automate at the expense of workers. This will mean fewer people will be able to afford their products, leading to lower corporate profits and stock sales by wealthy investors. The likely result will be a severe economic crash much like, if not worse than, what our country experienced in 1929, 1987 and 2008.

The UK Autumn Budget gets tough on tech companies and tax


During yesterday's Autumn statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond outlined positive measures to push the adoption of autonomous and electric cars, develop new 5G networks, treble the number of computer science teachers and further research into AI and robotics. But tucked away in the 88-page document were small changes that show the UK government plans to get a lot tougher on technology companies that aren't willing to give back as much as they should. The most important notice came during Hammond's budget speech. As he pledged £400 million for a UK-wide EV charging network and a £100 million subsidy for electric car buyers, the finance minister also outlined steps to claw back money from tech giants like Google, Amazon and Apple, which use legal loopholes to avoid paying tax in the UK. "Multinational digital businesses pay billions of pounds in royalties to jurisdictions where they are not taxed – and some of these royalties relate to UK sales," said Hammond in his speech.

The wealthy get the biggest benefit from House Republican tax plan, analysis finds

Los Angeles Times

Trump opens Asia trip with Japan's Abe against backdrop of tensions with North Korea Just one in three Americans trust Trump to handle North Korean tensions well Japan's Abe treats Trump to a day of personal diplomacy, including golf and trucker hats Brazile says Democratic primaries weren't'rigged' though some see evidence in her new book Trump is silent on Saudi king's purge though he and Salman spoke by phone Japan's Abe treats Trump to a day of personal diplomacy, including golf and trucker hats Brazile says Democratic primaries weren't'rigged' though some see evidence in her new book Trump is silent on Saudi king's purge though he and Salman spoke by phone The greatest benefit from the House Republican tax bill would go to upper-income households, according to an analysis released Monday by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Middle-income taxpayers -- those earning between $48,600 and $86,100 annually -- would receive an average tax cut of $700 next year, or about 1% of their after-tax income, the analysis said. The top 20% of the nation's earners -- those making more than $149,400 a year -- would receive an average tax cut of $4,850, or about 1.4% of after-tax income. Those top earners would also receive 60% of the total tax benefits under the plan. Of that, the top 1% of earners, defined as those making more than $730,000 a year, receive about 22% of the total amount of tax cuts in 2018, the Tax Policy Center said.

Google denies Korean tax evasion allegation


Google has denied allegations from Lee Hae-jin, founder of Naver, South Korea's largest search engine, that it doesn't pay proper taxes in the country. Google, in a rare statement, strongly denied the allegation made by Lee at a National Assembly inspection meeting earlier this week, saying it is paying taxes properly in Korea and is "abiding by local tax laws and treaties". Lee -- who was defending Naver over user criticism for manipulating its news feed -- also alleged that Google hired little compared to the money they made in the country, and that it was skirting taxes by having servers abroad when traffic was comparatively high. Lee also said there is discrimination against local companies towards foreign companies that have not been formerly inspected. Google looked "relatively clean" on news abuse because it has a low web search share in Korea, Lee added.