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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29416 times)
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1245 on: October 10, 2007, 01:05:38 AM »

Good morning, Bob.  Good to be logged again.  Cheap labor was the backbone of America as it is China and India today.  I suppose it is only a matter of time before Chinese and Indian labor demands more for its efforts, but in the meantime a great number of industries and companies cash in.  Next on the horizon is Africa.  I suppose at that point, we will have come full circle.

Cassat apparently saw that the railroads could no longer take advantage of labor, and pushed for better wages, working conditions, health and pension plans to create loyalty within the company.  Curious how many other industrialists were doing the same?  Of course, you have guys like Pullman and Ford who set up "model" company towns in an effort to bypass unions but as we read in Death in the Haymarket, the unions eventually caught up to Pullman as well.
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1246 on: October 10, 2007, 08:54:03 AM »

I thought the base case on the matter of tax avoidance was US v Isham 17 Wall 496,506?


1873 - yes, it was probably the case whose reasoning was used later on by the court in the Helvering case though it was not cited therein. Perhaps it is because there was no income tax in that earlier case while Gregory did involve income taxes.
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1247 on: October 10, 2007, 09:11:55 AM »

Based on the technology of that time and the great success of the elevated line in NYC, one would have thought that a bridge spanning upper Manhattan the ideal infrastructural advancement of that time. Indeed, there was considerable discussion of a North River Bridge (the Hudson River was called ''North River" in those days). Evidently, however, Cassatt had not read Carnegie's book on friendship and influencing people.  His integrity got in the way of things as he insisted on clearing up the matter of rebates and this infuriated Carnegie and others hellbent on securing their government handouts. Despite all efforts to secure that proposed bridge, the plans were quashed as the other railroad lines refused to accede to any agreement that would make it the exclusive access to Manhattan.   This ''severe disappointment''  left Cassatt with no other alternative with which to implement his vision for the PRR's expansion.


pp 38-54
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johnr60
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« Reply #1248 on: October 10, 2007, 11:05:36 AM »

Quote
I believe the case you are looking for is Gregory vs Helvering:

Thanks, thanatopsy, you're probably right. I have a very old and probably faulty memory of a Marshall decision which generally says that a citizen has the right to arrange his life to avoid taxation.

(but now I see Bob's got another one)
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Bob
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« Reply #1249 on: October 10, 2007, 01:56:10 PM »

No different really than thanatopsy's as the case he cited cites Isham--mine is just earlier in time.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1250 on: October 10, 2007, 03:08:07 PM »

Here are some drawings for the bridge Lindenthal proposed,

http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/hudson-river-bridge/

seems he went through a number of variations.  I think Cassatt and PRR would have preferred the bridge but they weren't going to foot the bill and not have exclusive rights to the bridge.  AT $37 mil it would have been much cheaper than the tunnels.  I think this was one case where Cassatt's ego got the best of him, as you say thanatopsy.
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1251 on: October 10, 2007, 04:58:02 PM »

No different really than thanatopsy's as the case he cited cites Isham--mine is just earlier in time.

johnr,



You're welcome!

One further note: while Bob's cite is a little earlier, I believe the reason why it is not cited is because it was technically overruled in the Pollock case of 1894 which ruled that income taxes were unconstitutional.  Since the tax law was invalid, it stands to reason that any sanctions imposed for noncompliance were invalid as well.  When the 16th Amendment was pass in 1913, any sanctions that were imposed became subject to legal testing.  And the Gregory case tested those sanctions which were subsequently upheld and remain in the books to this day. That is probably the reason why the case is cited by the courts rather than the earlier one.
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« Reply #1252 on: October 10, 2007, 05:25:59 PM »

``not have exclusive rights to the bridge``

Interestingly, according to your site,   it was the Federal government that initially approved the project [I don't believe Jonnes made that point].  So why not complete it?  After all, Lindenthal had well established successes in Pittsburgh and the Brooklyn Bridge was a phenomenal success. By contrast,  the railroads were steam powered which were clearly hazardous in tunnels, and the terrain was a total nightmare because of seepage, hard rock formations, or internal mud slides.  Somehow, it apears as if the Federal govt should have financed the project in part and subsequently appointed an authority to administer the completed bridge so that there could have been a fair allocation of revenues. Perhaps there was some corporate politics that has not been indicated in the site or in Jonnes.

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Bob
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« Reply #1253 on: October 10, 2007, 07:21:31 PM »

Cassat may have thought he would have more independence building his own tunnel rather than having government oversight and criticism from public officials on a federal level. Who knows, but I thought it was  wise decision to opt for something he could completely control rather than go for a project which might allow for access by his competitors. I'm not at all sure  I'm right here, but it just some thoughts I had on the matter.Jonnes mentions the federal charter on page 20.
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Bob
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« Reply #1254 on: October 10, 2007, 07:28:02 PM »

thanatopsy:

If I'm not mistaken Isham had to do with stamp tax on financial paper of a given sort or type...I agree, though, it's dated and the case you cite--which cited Isham--is probably the more proper cite. I was looking for the earliest precedent regarding tax avoidance and I think Isham fits the bill in that respect.
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johnr60
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« Reply #1255 on: October 10, 2007, 08:25:57 PM »

Here's the quote I was looking for guys:

Judge Learned Hand wrote:
"Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands."

Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934)

Now can anyone tell me why its not in the findlaw link or any other Gregory case I looked at?

I thought it was older because I thought Learned Hand was older.
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Bob
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« Reply #1256 on: October 10, 2007, 08:48:28 PM »

Great quote from Judge Hand....he is, after all legendary... but getting to your question, two things pop right up. The case cited had not to do with tax evasion or avoidance, but with another doctrine concerning taxation (see the final USSCt decision). Then, again, I was looking, as you  sort of suggested, for a USSCt decision---the decision you cited comes out of the Second Circuit (New York) where Judge Hand presided for many a year. As to why it was not found in FINDLAW---I think there's a way o look up Circuit Court decisions, but I never tried it--maybe they don't have them?

Lastly, Hand's remarks are probably dicta (but of thefinest kind, of course--he was so good at being a judge).

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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1257 on: October 10, 2007, 11:41:03 PM »

``Jonnes mentions the federal charter on page 20``


Ah, yes indeed.  She gave it so little attention that it was easy to miss. That certainly is one issue that she needed to develop further.



As for researching Federal cases, I cannot remember how I did it in law school --- that was an awfully long time ago.  I remember Sheperdizing cases once you knew the initial case but you had to know its name in order to use it as a cite.  Still, I'm glad to have helped johnr at least a little bit! Smiley

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Dzimas
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« Reply #1258 on: October 11, 2007, 12:03:58 AM »

The reason was quite simple, as a federal project, Cassat would have had to let other trains use the bridge, not just his own.  He was hoping Vanderbilt and the other owners would pay their fair share, which they originally agreed to, but pulled out, so Cassat pulled out as well.  Given how much the tunnels ended up costing PRR, the bridge probably still would have been a better deal even if PRR paid for it in full.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1259 on: October 11, 2007, 03:42:11 AM »

Looking at the dark side of the Gilded Age,



http://www.amazon.com/Age-Betrayal-Triumph-America-1865-1900/dp/1400040280/ref=pd_ys_home_pop_title/105-5791205-4542015?%5Fencoding=UTF8&coliid=IAWQVUT3T6D03&colid=WBCMGOHZBAT9&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=top-3&pf_rd_r=157QP7QM4WJY3A4XMSE1&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_p=258371701&pf_rd_i=home
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