Monday, July 23, 2012

You're being robbed

I don't know how to improve upon this headline and sub-head...
Wealth doesn't trickle down – it just floods offshore, new research reveals

A far-reaching new study suggests a staggering $21tn in assets has been lost to global tax havens. If taxed, that could have been enough to put parts of Africa back on its feet – and even solve the euro crisis
Go here for the rest. Samples:
The world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.
And yet most of the Republican candidates during primary season went around the country proclaiming that we need to raise taxes on the poor.
"These estimates reveal a staggering failure," says John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. "Inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people.

"This new data shows the exact opposite has happened: for three decades extraordinary wealth has been cascading into the offshore accounts of a tiny number of super-rich."

In total, 10 million individuals around the world hold assets offshore, according to Henry's analysis; but almost half of the minimum estimate of $21tn – $9.8tn – is owned by just 92,000 people. And that does not include the non-financial assets – art, yachts, mansions in Kensington – that many of the world's movers and shakers like to use as homes for their immense riches.
In fact, some experts believe the amount of assets being held offshore is so large that accounting for it fully would radically alter the balance of financial power between countries.
Libertarians will argue that the wealthy won't create jobs unless they can hide their trillions. As always, their argument depends upon an ignorance of history. This country worked better when companies were run by people who received less money and paid full taxes on what they earned.

To illustrate the point, consider the life of Mitt Romney's father, George Romney. When he ran American Motors -- and produced the Rambler, the car that went beep beep beep -- he earned $200,000 a year, the equivalent of $1.5 million in today's money. He paid at least a third of that amount in taxes. The rest of the money circulated within our borders, increasing general prosperity.

That was in the '50s and the early 1960s. We made good cars. We made good everything. Everyone had good jobs. We built highways. We had an amazing power grid. We had the most powerful military ever seen. Things were great.

I have seen the past, and it works.


Anonymous said...

Forget it - game over already. People have been persuaded up is down. Now all thats left is just to wait till the plane crashes.


prowlerzee said...

I'm wondering if you have seen the rambling reports on the Bachmann assertion that both Grover Norquist and Weiner's wife Huma Abedin have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. To make it even more confusing, Abedin is now under police protection after threats from a Muslim man.

I thought Grover Norquist was the Ultimate rightwing hero...why would he be accused? I also thought the Muslim Brotherhood were the strict Islamic faction...would that make the Muslim man threatening Abedin a ...moderate? Or an even stricter faction?

Your tax comments triggered this is no-tax Norquist tangled up in this muddled witch-hunt?

Sorry to sidetrack from this post, but I wondered if this story was also on your radar and you had a grasp on why all the usual players were crisscrossed.

prowlerzee said...

Harry...maybe Holmes was right...everyone can be persuaded internally, and the past can be changed!

Joseph Cannon said...

zee: Norquist married a Palestinian. That fact alone has caused some Islamophobes to categorize him as "the enemy within."

While I'm hardly a proponent of religious bigotry, I must admit that there is some schadenfreude in watching the righties become so suffused with paranoia that they start tearing into each other.

Don't be surprised to see more of that kind of thing.

My April 1 experiments have had interesting results. I can tell you that fear stories which target Democrats are MUCH less popular than are fear stories which target Republicans.

Moreover -- what I'm about to say sounds counterintuitive, but the stats tell an unmistakable story -- the websites which spread fear-stories about Republicans are on the right.

It's true. Nearly every day, the most popular Cannonfire webpages are me April 1 exposes about the Crowley/Bush connection, Ann Coulter's penis, and the subliminals in Romney's videos. All -- and I mean ALL -- of the links bringing in this traffic come from right wing sources.

None of those sites cared about the April 1 stories targeting Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. The righties didn't even like the one about Ben Bernanke practicing witchcraft. I was sure they were gonna LOVE that one, but stats is stats.

Bottom line: People who live in paranoia-land love to tell each other: "You know that person you always thought was your friend? He's really one of THEM."

Non-paranoids may be able to profit from this tendency.

Anonymous said...


I think its already happened. Everyone has been persuaded that Anerica has been in the grip of complete communist control for the last 30 years - which has destroyed the once proud banking system. The only way to deal with the red menace is to vote for mormons or psychopaths or both. The government will then be able to make sacrifices to the gods, and the "economy" will be appeased.

Only then will we have prosperity again.

Burn the witches!


prowlerzee said...

INNNN-teresting, thanks, Joseph!