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The Driving Force of Global Inequality: Tax Avoidance

The Driving Force of Global Inequality: Tax Avoidance
by Gabriel Zucman, Harald Schumann and Fabio De Masi, November 2017


Behind closed doors, a powerful industry has developed worldwide since the 1980s. Business groups assign profits to different subsidiary firms as though they were independent entities.

The six European tax havens (Luxemburg, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Malta, and Cyprus) skim off 350 billion euros every year. Avoiding corporate taxes enriches a small group of persons. Taxes that are avoided must be compensated by higher taxation of households with lower incomes. A new loophole is always found.

Closing tax havens and ending tax competition is vital for a fairer tax system.

Posted in Financial Market Capitalism, Neoliberalism, Political Theory, Thomas Piketty | Leave a comment

Bob Dylan’s Nov 14 concert 1 hr 40 min

Enjoy! Imagine a world with true populists, not only a world with Trump Overload!

Sen Merkley described the GOP tax bill as a “tax heist” Bob Dylan’s Nov 14, 2017 concert in Washington DC, 1 hr 40 min

and the 52-min “Getting to Dylan” (1986) from the BBC


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Republicans against the Poor and the Sick

Republicans the Poor and the Sick
by Detlef Umbach and Constanz Weinberg, Oct 24, 2017


The US is experiencing a dramatic deterioration of its public health. President Trump is trying to make the ACA “implode” through decrees. The insured are reacting to the Trump decrees and to their higher premiums. A series of states have filed actions against the decrees.

Trump wants to lower the taxes and give new contracts to the arms industry – even though the indebtedness of the US at $3 trillion reached the highest level of all time. To take the edge off, Trump plays the advocate of the victims of the neoliberal madness and promises jobs and safe housing.

The GOP, the party of social coldness, declares cruelty as its main virtue.

Our institutions will not save us
by Baynard Woods,
The Eugene Weekly, Nov 9, 2017

and Nouriel Roubini:
“The Plot Against America’s 99%”

Our institutions will not save us
by Baynard Woods, Nov 9, 2017, Eugene Weekly


“The Plot Against America’s 99%”
by Nouriel Roubini, Nov 6, 2017, Project Syndicate


The problem is that eliminating the state and local tax deduction would provide just $1.3 trillion in revenue over the next decade. And because this change would hurt middle-income families, many Republicans in high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey, and California will oppose it. If congressional Republicans and the Trump administration end up keeping the state and local tax deduction, their tax cuts will add $3.8 trillion to the public debt over the next decade…

If this far-fetched projection sounds like voodoo economics all over again, that’s because it is. Voodoo economics came into parlance in the 1980 presidential election, when George H. W. Bush criticized Ronald Reagan for claiming that his planned tax cuts would pay for themselves. Bush was vindicated just a few years later, when the Reagan administration’s tax cuts blew a huge hole in US public finances.

And yet Republican administrations have persisted in pursuing unsustainable and undesirable tax cuts benefiting primarily the rich, leading to ever-larger deficits and trillions of dollars of additional public debt. The Republicans’ eagerness to pass reckless tax cuts once in power gives the lie to their claims of fiscal rectitude.

Making matters worse, America’s pluto-populist president is peddling a tax plan that will further increase economic inequality at a time when income and wealth gaps are already widening, owing to the effects of globalization, trade, migration, new labor-saving technologies, and market consolidation in many sectors.

Given that the rich tend to save more than middle- and working-class people, who must spend a larger proportion of their incomes on basic necessities, the Trump tax plan will do little for economic growth; it may even decrease it. And it will add far more to the US’s excessively high public-debt burden. It is fake reform, brought to us by an alt-fact administration and a party that has lost its economic bearings.

Posted in Political Theory, Reducing Inequality/ Redistribution | Leave a comment

“The Public Trust Doctrine,” Wealth Inequality, and Iraq

“The Public Trust Doctrine,” Gabriel Zucman, and Sebastian Plappert

“The Public Trust Doctrine”
by Mary Wood, 14 pp


Why did the USA invade Iraq?
by Sabastian Plappert


Wealth Inequality in the US since 1913
by Gabriel Zucman, May 2016, 60 pp


Posted in Anti-militarism, Environmental Economics, Political Theory, Reducing Inequality/ Redistribution | Leave a comment

Slavery as a Human Right


Book Review by Rainer Roth, July 1, 2016

Slavery lives in modern forms like debt slavery. Capitalist society stands in opposition to human rights and does not only realize human rights. Capitalism cannot realize essential demands from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, above all the right to work, the right to education, the right to a living standard, health and well-being “including food, clothing, housing, medical care and necessary social services and the right to security in case of invalidity and old age.”

(Translator’s note: www.grin.com offers reading samples for its 191K eBooks and dissertations. A universe of knowledge and enlightenment opens up. If you search for “social state,” you are given 21K dissertations. If you search for “economic theory,” you are given 3300 texts. www.linguee.com is an incomparable translation site that usually gives 20 to 30 possible translations for each word. Enjoy the feast! Become a researcher – while the government can’t seem to see beyond tax havens and blackjack tables!).

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US and China: International Policy as a Zero-Sum Game

US and China: International Policy as a Zero-Sum Game
by Ilka A., August 2017


After a half-year in office, a coherent foreign policy strategy under Donald Trump is not in sight. The US and China have very different ideas about creating prosperity and security. Approximately 600 million Chinese gained relative prosperity in the last 40 years. China is an attractive model for many states of the global South.

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In Praise of Taxes by Nicola Liebert


Our tax system promotes private wealth and impoverishes the community. Even if no one pays them gladly, most are aware taxes int he interest of the community are sensible. “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes, the former Supreme Court justice. The principle of progressive taxation is normally in force for financing state expenditures. Whoever is wealthy should pay more.

Posted in Political Theory, Reducing Inequality/ Redistribution | Leave a comment

Survival instead of Profit: On the Necessity of an Eco-Socialist Ethic


Capital is a powerful machine of commodification. Since the Great Transformation, since the capitalist market economy became autonomous and “separated” from society, capital has only functioned according to its own laws, the impersonal laws of profit and accumulation.

The deepest shadow that hangs over us is neither terror, environmental collapse nor global recession. It is the internalized fatalism that holds there is no possible alternative.

Michael Lowy is a French-Brazilian Marxist sociologist and philosopher. He was born in 1938 in Sao Paulo, Brazil and lectures at the Ecole.

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The Welfare State in Crisis by Philipp Kramp

The Welfare State in Crisis by Philipp Kramp, Grin.com, 2012


Since 2008, the world has held its breath through the financial crisis, the economic crisis, and the euro crisis. The crisis was the defining political theme. “No one should be fooled about the majority will of the population regarding taming wild finance capitalism. The spine of the world economic system could only be bailed out from collapse with taxpayer guarantees. Citizens had to blame themselves for the system failure” (Habermas).

To cushion their high indebtedness, many governments concocted austerity packages and cut social services and tax subsidies. The social state id redefined by the higher state indebtedness.

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Changing Consciousness: New Paradigms Needed!

Unlike a chair, an idea can be shared by a whole people!

How exciting to be living in a time crying for alternative economics, reduced working hours, shriveling the financial sector, expanding the public sector, becoming cloud- workers, translators, editors, and writers!

Free is a new business model that could make everyone an excited researcher and discoverer. Reverso.net is a translation service unlike any other. Openculture.com gives us 1150 free movies, 750 free eBooks and 450 free audio books. How can you be “hard-nosed” with 1150 free movies (including “Alice in Wonderland,” a nine-minute video with captions from 1913)? Grin.com gives a reading sample for all its 190K eBooks and dissertations. A universe of knowledge and enlightenment opens up! Searching for “social state” brings 21K dissertations. My website freembtranslations.net offers 800 free translated articles. Enjoy the feast!
Marc from Portland OR

Welcome to the Orwellian land of revolving doors and reversible cups, where weaker countries are called “rogue states” and stronger countries are led by criminals, chronic liars, and casino “working class heros”! Democracy is only possible with a free and critical press, said Thomas Jefferson. After the media was complicit in allowing Trump to create his “Big Life,” can we return to shared values? Can we champion the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

“Philosophical Reflections on the Economic Crisis” ($3.99) is a 54-page eBook with nine essays and three poems. This eBook is sure to reawaken interest in philosophy and critical thinking.
Education is the “great transformer,” said economist John Kenneth Galbraith. Words can break the frozen soul, said Franz Kafka.


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