Archive for June 2014

Corporate tax dodging another capitalist innovation   Leave a comment

Systemic Disorder

Competition takes many forms in capitalism. Financial engineering by corporations to avoid paying taxes is one aspect of this competition — under the rigors of market competition, evading responsibility is an innovation to be emulated.

The magnitude of tax evasion on the part of multi-national corporations through one channel — the shifting of profits to countries and territories with low or nonexistent taxes — was quantified earlier this month by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and Citizens for Tax Justice. Their study, “Offshore Shell Games 2014,” reports that the 500 largest U.S.-based multi-national corporations have squirreled away almost US$2 trillion in profits that lie untouched.

An estimated $90 billion a year in federal income taxes are not paid through the creative use of subsidiaries set up in offshore tax havens.

The Cayman Islands and Bermuda are favored locations, although other tax havens such as Hong Kong…

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Posted June 30, 2014 by Gaia Will Prevail in Uncategorized

High court rules that financiers are more sovereign than Argentina   Leave a comment

Systemic Disorder

The victory handed to speculators by the United States Supreme Court over one of the world’s larger countries provides a lesson in where power actually lies. It is not in a government building.

Two June 16 decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court elevates the “right” of hedge-fund speculators to massive windfall profits above all other human considerations. That ruling is consistent with rulings handed down by the secret tribunals used to arbitrate disputes between corporations and national governments that arise under “free trade” agreements that elevate “investors’ rights” above environmental and labor laws.

Between these Supreme Court decisions, most of the attention has focused on the ruling that federal courts in the U.S. can order sovereign countries to hand over information on their assets to speculators. In other words, the U.S. legal system has formally declared it has jurisdiction over other countries. Arrogant as that ruling is, the more dramatic…

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Posted June 24, 2014 by Gaia Will Prevail in Uncategorized

Global Corporatocracy: Privatized Profits and Socialized Losses   Leave a comment

Collapse of Industrial Civilization

David Cay Johnston is, as he states, not a socialist, but a capitalist who believes in fair and competitive markets and integrity. My blog concentrates quite a bit on environmental issues and David only passingly mentions the deregulation and rolling back of environmental laws in the interview below, but he has been writing about inequality since the 1960’s and does a great job of describing the “governmental capture” by multinational corporations. An overwhelming proportion of environmental destruction is being caused by these mammoth corporations that are literally a state within a state, so it’s important to make the connection between inequality/political disenfranchisement and the destruction of the environment driven by a “business aristocracy” which has usurped the institutions of society. There can be no social, environmental, and climate justice if there is no government to serve the people. Of particular interest is the interview with Steve Coll and the power that ExxonMobile wields. Three notable examples of government acting…

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Posted June 10, 2014 by Gaia Will Prevail in Uncategorized

Who lives, Who Dies in a Never-Ending Energy Crisis   Leave a comment

Collapse of Industrial Civilization

Empires take what they want, first through diplomatic and economic pressure, then through the use of jackals and mercenaries, and finally with the shock and awe of military might dressed up with the appropriate propagandistic slogans of rescuing a resource-cursed country from its now out-of-favor dictator. ‘Regime change’ has become an acceptable TV euphemism for overthrowing governments. However, when those foreign oil taps start to run dry, important environmental regulations in the homeland get reinterpreted and scaled back in order to open up resources that once were thought of as undesirable. The elite systematically cannibalize their own societies while at the same time extracting massive profits by shredding the social safety net, criminalizing poverty and dissent, stripping away environmental protection, and gutting scientific research. In order to protect their ability to loot the commons, the elite circle believe it is more advantageous to keep the masses ignorant about the true extent of the planetary crisis their policies have created. If science gets…

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Posted June 7, 2014 by Gaia Will Prevail in Uncategorized