Seattle Is Taxing Amazon to Help Solve Its Homeless Problem Bad Move

first_img Image credit: Radiokafka | Shutterstock.com Seattle Is Taxing Amazon to Help Solve Its Homeless Problem: Bad Move. 4 min read Next Article Guest Writer Jake Rheude Apply Now » Amazon paid zero federal income tax on a 2017 profit of $5.6 billion. It received a $784 million rebate from the new federal tax law. Seattle’s ‘head tax’ will cost it $12.4 million yearly for five years. Add to Queue –shares Hundreds of cities have bent over backwards to court Amazon for a new HQ2, offering enticements such as massive tax breaks: New Jersey has offered as much as $7 billion in tax breaks to land the company, hoping it might give Newark an edge over its 19 competitors on the shortlist.They’re doing this for good reason — whatever city wins the Amazon bid stands to see explosive growth, as the company brings billions of dollars in construction and infrastructure improvement to the area, and will hire as many as 50,000 jobs over the next decade — with average salaries over $100,000.Related: How Amazon and Entrepreneurs Can Pay Zero Federal Income Tax, and Do So LegallyThis isn’t just hyperbole: Seattle serves as Amazon’s shining case study of what the tech giant can do for a community. According to the company’s figures, Amazon has invested more than $38 billion in Seattle’s economy between 2010 and 2016, and takes credit for not just its own 40,000 workers, but the creation of an additional 53,000 jobs elsewhere in the city as a result of its direct investments, such as local retail and restaurants around the Amazon campus. It’s also helped turn the area into a tech powerhouse: While only seven Fortune 500 companies had R&D centers in Seattle in 2010, that’s since grown to 31 in 2017.The company makes it clear: Where Amazon goes, progress follows.Related: 4 Obvious Pros and 4 Disconcerting Cons for Whatever City Wins Amazon’s HQ2So, that’s why it seems bizarre to me that the city of Seattle is now directly targeting Amazon, and just a handful of other large employers, with an additional tax on payrolled workers.The “head tax” applies only to companies grossing at least $20 million a year, and would cost an average of around $275 extra per employee each year. The city anticipates raising close to $50 million extra each year through the tax, which would go to building subsidized housing for the urban poor.But Amazon doesn’t want to get on board, and since the tax has passed, it has thrown its plans for an additional 7,000 jobs in Seattle into question. While there’s no denying that homelessness is a serious problem in Seattle, the problem isn’t Amazon’s to solve — it’s the city’s.Related: Amazon HQ2 Search Exposes Gaps in America’s Tech WorkforceIs the “head tax” a bad idea?A tax that directly targets the biggest, most successful businesses in an area is a sign that they’re not welcome — and that they should consider taking their jobs elsewhere, though a number of methods.Relocating employees: While it’s unlikely that Amazon will leave Seattle, once they’ve chosen a new headquarters, they’re likely to do the math to consider how many positions they want to keep in an environment that taxes them highly. If an alternative region offers better calculations, they’ll most likely relocate some of their existing teams.Increased use of automation: Many job functions are being lost to automation as it is — but a tax that targets human capital is likely to lead the business to increase the speed of automation even faster to eliminate as many unnecessary positions as possible. That’s what McDonald’s has done in response to rising minimum wages, and while many Amazon jobs are more complex than flipping burgers, we can expect to see the company prioritize investing in technology over people.Call on contractors: Finally, the tax only applies to employees—not contract labor. When companies are called on to contribute additional payroll taxes for employees, they often make the move towards more of a contract-based labor force. This shift eliminates access to stable benefits such as employer-sponsored health insurance, sick leave, paid time off, and retirement plans — in turn, putting more of a burden on the government to support these workers.More than 100 fellow business leaders in Seattle have also spoken out against the tax in an open letter on Medium. “We oppose this approach, because of the message it sends to every business: if you are investing in growth, if you create too many jobs in Seattle, you will be punished,” they write.The solution to Seattle’s homelessness problem is not an easy fix — it will rely on urban planners, city government and local agencies to come together to build sustainable models. But calling on Amazon and its fellow big businesses to pay for solutions is simply biting the hand that feeds them — do they really want the food to go away? Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Director of Business Development & Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment May 25, 2018 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Opinion The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue.last_img read more

Evonik introduces new radiopaque PEEK material for medical implants

first_imgThe specialty chemical company has developed a new radiopaque plastic material of implant quality on the basis of polyether ether ketone.Evonik is offering the radiolucent PEEK in implant quality with barium sulfate. This product type facilitates radiographic contrast without the disadvantage of artifact formation, as can be the case with other popular materials for implant technology. In addition, implants made of the new VESTAKEEP® i-Grade PEEK from Evonik do not get warm during magnetic resonance tomography. Mar 13 2019Evonik is expanding its product range of biocompatible high-performance polymers of its VESTAKEEP® PEEK brand for medical technology. Source:https://corporate.evonik.com/en/media/press_releases/pages/article.aspx?articleId=109405center_img New Paths in the Development of Non-Metallic ImplantsVESTAKEEP® i-Grade PEEK is a high-performance material from Evonik that has proven itself in medical devices for years. The product, which exhibits impressive biocompatibility and biostability is easy to process and has been established for years as a high-performance material in medical technology applications such as spinal implants, sports medicine, cardiovascular devices, maxillofacial surgery, and other applications.Evonik delivers the i-Grade PEEK material in the form of granulate, or semi-finished products, such as plastic plates or rods. VESTAKEEP® i-Grade PEEK with Barium Sulfate has different compound fill rates for different applications needs.Evonik has more than 50 years of experience in the development and manufacturing of high-performance plastics. The extensive product range includes solutions for nearly all industrial applications.last_img read more

Worm uploaded to a computer and trained to balance a pole

Explore further Credit: TU Wien “This reflexive response of such a neural circuit, is very similar to the reaction of a control agent balancing a pole,” says Ramin Hasani (Institute of Computer Engineering, TU Wien). This is a typical control problem that can be solved quite well by standard controllers. A pole is fixed on its lower end on a moving object, and it is supposed to stay in a vertical position. Whenever it starts tilting, the lower end has to move slightly to keep the pole from tipping over. Much like the worm has to change its direction whenever it is stimulated by a touch, the pole must be moved whenever it tilts.Mathias Lechner, Radu Grosu and Ramin Hasani wanted to find out whether the neural system of C. elegans, uploaded to a computer, could solve this problem – without adding any nerve cells, just by tuning the strength of the synaptic connections. This basic idea (tuning the connections between nerve cells) is also the characteristic feature of any natural learning process. It is not much to look at: the nematode C. elegans is about one millimetre in length and is a very simple organism. But for science, it is extremely interesting. C. elegans is the only living being whose neural system has been analysed completely. It can be drawn as a circuit diagram or reproduced by computer software, so that the neural activity of the worm is simulated by a computer program. Such an artificial C. elegans has now been trained at TU Wien (Vienna) to perform a remarkable trick: The computer worm has learned to balance a pole at the tip of its tail. C. elegans has to get by with only 300 neurons. But they are enough to make sure that the worm can find its way, eat bacteria and react to certain external stimuli. It can, for example, react to a touch on its body. A reflexive response is triggered and the worm squirms away. This behaviour is determined by the worm’s nerve cells and the strength of the connections between them. When this simple reflex network is recreated on a computer, the simulated worm reacts in exactly the same way to a virtual stimulation – not because anybody programmed it to do so, but because this kind of behaviour is hard-wired in its neural network. Provided by Vienna University of Technology The analogue, natural version of C.elegans. Credit: TU Wien Citation: Worm uploaded to a computer and trained to balance a pole (2018, February 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-worm-uploaded-pole.html Is it a computer program or a living being? At TU Wien (Vienna), the boundaries have become blurred. The neural system of a nematode was translated into computer code – and then the virtual worm was taught amazing tricks. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A brain chemical blamed for mental decline in old age could hold key to its reversal A Program without a Programmer”With the help of reinforcement learning, a method also known as ‘learning based on experiment and reward,’ the artificial reflex network was trained and optimized on the computer,” Mathias Lechner explains. The team succeeded in teaching the virtual nerve system to balance a pole. “The result is a controller, which can solve a standard technology problem – stabilizing a pole, balanced on its tip. But no human being has written even one line of code for this controller, it just emerged by training a biological nerve system,” says Radu Grosu.The team is going to explore the capabilities of such control circuits further. The project raises the question whether there is a fundamental difference between living nerve systems and computer code. Is machine learning and the activity of our brain the same on a fundamental level? At least we can be pretty sure that the simple nematode C. elegans does not care whether it lives as a worm in the ground or as a virtual worm on a computer hard drive. In real life, the worm reacts to touch—and the same neural curcuits can perform tasks in the computer. Credit: TU Wien More information: Worm-level Control through Search-based Reinforcement Learning: docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid … Q3YjZhZTZiYWJiNDI5NA read more

Irish drugmaker Shire facing potential 60bn bidding war

Takeda, led by Frenchman Christophe Weber, has been actively looking overseas © 2018 AFP Citation: Irish drugmaker Shire facing potential $60bn bidding war (2018, April 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-japan-takeda-unsuccessful-60bn-drugmaker.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Shire, which is based in Dublin but listed in London, said in a statement that it had rejected three takeover approaches from Takeda because they all “significantly undervalued the company, its growth prospects and pipeline”.Takeda’s latest cash-and-shares offer valued Shire at £42 billion ($60 billion, 48 billion euros) and was pitched at the equivalent of £46.50 per share.The deal would represent Takeda’s biggest-ever takeover, according to Japanese media.”Takeda … confirms that on April 12 it made a revised proposal to the board of Shire to acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Shire,” the Osaka-based Japanese group said in a statement.”Takeda was subsequently notified that the board of Shire had rejected its proposal. Discussions between the parties regarding a potential offer are ongoing.”Shire added that its advisers have entered a dialogue with Takeda to discuss “whether a further, more attractive, proposal may be forthcoming”.Allergan considers tiltShortly afterwards, fellow Dublin-based pharma giant Allergan announced that it was also mulling a takeover tilt at Shire. “Allergan confirms that it is in the early stages of considering a possible offer for Shire,” it said in its statement.”No offer has been made. There can be no certainty an offer will be made nor as to the terms on which any such offer would be made.The news sent Shire’s share price racing as high as £42 on London’s rising FTSE 100 index.However, it pared gains in late afternoon deals to finish at £39.75, up 5.89 percent from Wednesday’s closing level. That was significantly below Takeda’s latest offer.”We might see a bidding war on our hands as Allergan are allegedly interested in bidding for Shire,” noted CMC Markets analyst David Madden.”This comes at a time when Shire rejected a bid from Takeda. The pharmaceutical sector is prone to these sort of play—where takeovers are an effective expansion method, epically when patents are running out.”He added: “Allergan is relatively light in cash and heavily indebted, so there are no guarantees (that its offer) will transpire.”Shire shares had also soared in early morning trade on the London Stock Exchange as rumours of the deal began to emerge.Allergan shares were down more than 5 percent in midday trading in New York.The news comes after Shire announced on Monday the sale of its cancer division to French peer Servier for $2.4 billion as it unloads non-core assets.M&A flurryThursday’s news comes amid a flurry of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the pharmaceutical industry, at a time when traditional players are seeing profits eroded by competition from generic medicine.Japanese drugmakers in particular are facing pressure in the home market as the government tries to cut prices of many branded medicines and put greater focus on cheaper generics to rein in health spending as the population ages rapidly.Takeda, led by Frenchman Christophe Weber, has been actively looking overseas for acquisitions.In 2011 it took over Swiss rival Nycomed for 9.6 billion euros (then $13.6 billion).However, some analysts are concerned that a takeover bid of this magnitude could put too much pressure on Takeda’s own finances.Shire added Thursday that Takeda had first approached it on March 29 with an initial offer, which was subsequently revised twice earlier this month. Ireland’s Shire Pharmaceuticals on Thursday faced the prospect of a bidding war after rejecting a $60-billion takeover from Japan’s Takeda, as Botox-maker Allergan revealed it was mulling an offer. Japan’s Takeda eyes takeover of Shire read more

German league launches eSports tournament for Bundesliga clubs

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The DFL say top 36 clubs in Germany’s first and second Bundesliga divisions have the chance to play off to be the German club champion in eFootball Citation: German league launches eSports tournament for Bundesliga clubs (2018, September 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-german-league-esports-tournament-bundesliga.html Bundesliga teams will battle it out on-line this season with the German Football League (DFL) announcing plans for an eSports competition for the clubs in Germany’s top two leagues. © 2018 AFPcenter_img The DFL say top 36 clubs in Germany’s first and second Bundesliga divisions have the chance to play off to be the German club champion in eFootball.The initiative is in collaboration with Electronic Arts, who publish the highly successful FIFA game series.”ESport a not only highly popular among young people, it is almost part of everyday culture – in Germany and far beyond,” said Christian Seifert, the managing director of the DFL.”It is a matter of shaping the future and responding to changes in media consumption and leisure time in the digital age.” Explore further Barca eSport team set to face other major clubslast_img read more

Cricket World Cup win a great start for England before the Ashes

first_img“We know the Ashes is around the corner and, in the back of your mind, it’s always been there. But the World Cup has never been done before and this was the one thing we all wanted.”Hopefully we can get even more support than we’ve ever had in the Ashes at home, which will spur us on.”That momentum, that drive, I’m sure Rooty will take a lot from this as well. It’s going to be an amazing series.” Cricket World Cup final match-winner Jos Buttler hopes England’s triumph will provide a major boost before the Test team’s Ashes series. The wicketkeeper then ran out Martin Guptill following Jason Roy’s throw to dramatically seal victory at Lord’s, sparking incredible celebrations.MORE: Two Aussies named in World Cup team of the tournamentAnd as the festivities continued on Monday, Buttler conceded there had been little time to consider the Ashes against Australia – starting on August 1 – but hoped to build on the World Cup win.”It’s fantastic. It sounds ridiculous, but I don’t think many people have been thinking about the Ashes yet,” he told Sky Sports.”I think we’ll enjoy some time to let this sink in. But as summers go, this is a great start we can take into the Ashes and enjoy the momentum.”Together. We did it! #CWC19 #WeAreEngland #ExpressYourself #Champions pic.twitter.com/DeAoGl3hOD- England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 15, 2019Moeen Ali also believes the trophy can act as a motivating factor, hoping Test skipper Joe Root will have been given a lift.”I’ve loved every second of it, so I’m going to take it all in,” Moeen added.center_img Buttler was central to the hosts’ World Cup success, putting on a fifth-wicket stand of 110 with Ben Stokes as they chased New Zealand’s total, before starring again alongside the same man in the Super Over.last_img read more

Haryana bans 10yearold autorickshaws in Gurugram

first_img Next Indo-Asian News Service ChandigarhJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 21:58 IST Manohar Lal Khattar said secretary Regional Transport Authority and Gurugram Traffic Police would jointly prepare policy | File photo from REUTERSHIGHLIGHTSManohar Lal Khattar said if any 10-year-old auto-rickshaw found on road it will be impoundedOrders were issued by Manohar Lal Khattar while presiding over district grievance committee meetingThis policy would be prepared by Gurugram Police Commissioner Muhammad AkilHaryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday announced that more than 10-year-old auto-rickshaws would not be allowed on roads in Gurugram, Haryana.”If such an auto-rickshaw is found plying on the roads it will be impounded,” Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said.The orders were issued by Manohar Lal Khattar while presiding over the district grievance committee meeting in Gurugram.Manohar Lal Khattar said the Secretary Regional Transport Authority and the Gurugram Traffic Police would jointly prepare a policy for auto-rickshaws plying illegally without registration and carrying passengers more than the specified limit.This policy would be prepared by Gurugram Police Commissioner Muhammad Akil.Also Read | Man masturbates on woman inside Gurugram metro station, cops apologise for delay in actionAlso Read | Journalist sexually harasses domestic help in Gurugram, bookedAlso Watch | Gurugram man drags traffic cop on car’s bonnetFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byMohak Gupta Tags :Follow GurugramFollow GurgaonFollow HaryanaFollow TransportFollow Manohar Lal Khattar Haryana bans 10-year-old auto-rickshaws in GurugramThe orders were issued by Manohar Lal Khattar while presiding over the district grievance committee meeting in Gurugram.advertisementlast_img read more

Do the most exciting investment soup Kung Fu joined

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