DC Circuit Court of Appeals tosses organic farmers' lawsuit against Monsanto -- but also makes Monsanto promise not to sue farmers whose seed has been inadvertently contaminated with Monsanto Frankenseed for "intellectual property theft." That's not a great victory for us -- how a corporation escapes punishment for "inadvertently" contaminating the world with its Frankenseed and then suing small farmers for "benefiting" from having that seed blow onto their crops is beyond me. Also left unsolved: organic farmers still won't be able to earn a USDA organic certification if Monsanto Frankenseed contaminates their crop -- and Monsanto could still battle each-and-every farmer whose seed they've contaminated in an attempt to "discover" if the contamination was "inadvertent," which litigation would still wreck small farmers while hurting Monsanto's bottom line rather little. Republicans who hate "frivolous lawsuits" might want to turn their attention to what's happening here, maybe? Soon Monsanto takes on the rest of the world, which opposes genetically-modified food and is starting to turn back American wheat at the border. I hope we don't have to learn a painful lesson about who's more powerful then.
Meanwhile, Citizens for Tax Justice reminds us why we need a corporate income tax. Apparently some folks have been saying that, since corporate profits eventually go to shareholders, we should just abolish the corporate income tax and adjust personal income tax rates accordingly. Sounds appetizing, doesn't it? But behold: corporations don't eventually pass on all their profits to individuals -- most of their profits go into tax-exempt entities like pensions and university endowments -- and corporations can also hold onto their profits for years before disbursing them. So, yeah, when you've argued from a completely inaccurate premise, the whole thing pretty much falls apart. Furthermore, most dividends go to high-income individuals anyway, so the corporate tax winds up doing at least some of the work a progressive income tax code should be doing. Of course, dividend taxes shouldn't be lower than income taxes in the first place; even Ronald Reagan said so. But hopefully we've nipped this whole argument in the bud -- though you can't underestimate the "liberal" media's ability to ignore good arguments, since they were still peddling rubbish about the Bush tax cuts and small businesses as late as last December.