Posts Tagged ‘Tax Avoidance’

US Plutocrats: Delaware, Not Panama

April 8, 2016

I long said that the USA was the world’s number one tax haven, followed by Great Britain. And this is exactly why these two countries are the seat of global plutocracy. (London boasts that it is the world’s number one financial place, ahead of New York.) The New York Times in “Need to Hide Some Income? You Don’t Have to Go to Panama”, April 8, 2016:

“For wealthy Americans looking to veil their assets and shield some of their income from taxation, there is no need to go to Panama or any other offshore tax haven. It’s easy to establish a shell corporation right here at home.

“In Wyoming, Nevada and Delaware, it’s possible to create these shell corporations with virtually no questions asked,” said Matthew Gardner, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonprofit research organization in Washington.

In some places, it can be more difficult to get a fishing license than to register a shell company. And it doesn’t cost much more.”

Delaware Is The World’s Pluto Center. 285,000 Companies Are Registered In That Delaware Building Alone.

Delaware Is The World’s Pluto Center. 285,000 Companies Are Registered In That Delaware Building Alone.

Delaware allows companies to shift the seat of their business and their profits to Delaware, where, conveniently, there is no tax.

Speaking of the Panama Papers, “This is just one firm [Panamanian Mossack Fonseca law firm] in one place,” said Gabriel Zucman, an economist and the author of “The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens,” “So it cannot be representative of what’s happening as a whole in the world.”

“But Mr. Zucman, who estimates that about 8 percent of the world’s financial wealth — more than $7.6 trillion — is hidden in offshore accounts, said another reason was that it is so simple to create anonymous shell companies within the United States.

Wealthy individuals and businesses that want to mask their ownership can conveniently do so in the United States, and then stash those assets abroad.

Yet while the United States demands that financial institutions in other countries share information about Americans with accounts overseas, its reciprocation efforts fall short, critics say.

“You see a ton of wealth in tax havens in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands that is owned by shell companies that are incorporated in Panama or in Delaware,” he said. “The bulk of this wealth does not seem to be duly declared on tax returns.”

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in “Delaware: An Onshore Tax Haven” observed that the state’s obscurity, combining with a loophole in its tax code “makes it a magnet for people looking to create anonymous shell companies, which individuals and corporations can use to evade an inestimable amount in federal and foreign taxes.”

***

Not to think the New York Times is going against the branch on which it sits, plutocracy. The preceding extracts were hidden away from the electronic front page. What we found on the front page was Krugman going all-out against Bernie Sanders in Sanders Over The Edge.

A good way to say bad things is to sound reasonable’ Krugman excels at that:

“…most liberal policy wonks were skeptical about Bernie Sanders. On many major issues — including the signature issues of his campaign, especially financial reform — he seemed to go for easy slogans over hard thinking. And his political theory of change, his waving away of limits, seemed utterly unrealistic.

Some Sanders supporters responded angrily when these concerns were raised, immediately accusing anyone expressing doubts about their hero of being corrupt if not actually criminal. But intolerance and cultishness from some of a candidate’s supporters are one thing; what about the candidate himself?

Unfortunately, in the past few days the answer has become all too clear: Mr. Sanders is starting to sound like his worst followers. Bernie is becoming a Bernie Bro.

Let me illustrate the point about issues by talking about bank reform.

The easy slogan here is “Break up the big banks.” It’s obvious why this slogan is appealing from a political point of view: Wall Street supplies an excellent cast of villains. But were big banks really at the heart of the financial crisis, and would breaking them up protect us from future crises?”

Actually Krugman is a specialist of trade, not banks. Bank specialists like Simon Johnson, have called for the break-up of the 21 biggest banks (which are recognized as special by the present US government).

Krugman detests Sanders saying Hillary has no clothes:

“It’s one thing for the Sanders campaign to point to Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street connections, which are real, although the question should be whether they have distorted her positions… But recent attacks on Mrs. Clinton as a tool of the fossil fuel industry are just plain dishonest, and speak of a campaign that has lost its ethical moorings.

And then there was Wednesday’s rant about how Mrs. Clinton is not “qualified” to be president.

What probably set that off was a recent interview of Mr. Sanders by The Daily News, in which he repeatedly seemed unable to respond when pressed to go beyond his usual slogans. Mrs. Clinton, asked about that interview, was careful in her choice of words, suggesting that “he hadn’t done his homework.”

But Mr. Sanders wasn’t careful at all, declaring that what he considers Mrs. Clinton’s past sins, including her support for trade agreements and her vote to authorize the Iraq war — for which she has apologized — make her totally unfit for office.”

Speaking of exhibiting extremely deep, vicious dishonesty, I sent the following comment, it was censored:

It was obvious, during the ramp-up to the Iraq war that the top leaders of the USA had lost their mental balance. The United Nations did not believe their lies and refused to give them an authorization to attack Iraq. Bush attacked, without a UN Security Council authorization, because he was supported by New York Senator Clinton. The invasion of Iraq by the US caused millions of people to die or being wounded. It brought the Islamist State.

Those who engineered this debacle should have been prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Suggesting they are decent, because they apologize, is to deny civilization has merit. Proposing to be led by them again is proposing to learn nothing from the past.

Specialists of banks long suggested to break big banks and big shadow banks (Simon Johnson, 2009). This is not a revolutionary proposition. Teddy Roosevelt broke big oil. When President Franklin Roosevelt came to power, he closed all the banks. That was much more revolutionary.

Global trade treaties enabled giant corporations to extend their monopolies to the entire world. This way, they escape local legislation. An example is the “Double Irish” Apple Inc. and many other corporations use. The CEO of Apple admitted that two-third of the profits of Apple were not taxed.

End of my comment. Krugman never mentions subjects such as the preceding with the angle I use. In his world, big banks, big trade, big bucks, etc. are absolute big goods.

Hillary is his “sis”, with a bit of luck, she will be grateful, and make him big something, some more. Heathens such as me, with their strident Clintonophobia, have no doubt “not done our homework” because, like Sanders, we are just reprobate school children of no intellectual merit.

Try not paying taxes, as big fishes do, if you are a little guy. You will be sent to jail, anywhere in the West. Plutocracy central? You bet!

Another, completely innocuous comment of mine to Krugman later in the day was also censored. Krugman’s post was entitled “Why Cruz is worse than Trump“. Exactly what I have been saying for five months. I guess the dear professor noble Nobel whatever, is not too keen to expose where he gets (some of) his inspiration from. These are sad, nervous days, for those who love plutocracy, the old fashion way.

Nine 5 Star Hotels In Bariloche, Argentina, & Golf Courses To Receive Obama & His Secret Service, In Style, Next Year

Nine 5 Star Hotels In Bariloche, Argentina, & Golf Courses To Receive Obama & His Secret Service, In Style, Next Year

In “USA Financial Extortion“, the essay linked to at the beginning of this essay, I pointed out the connivance between New York “Justice” and financial “Vulture Funds”. Meanwhile, the son and scion of one of the richest persons in Argentina was duly elected president, and Obama rushed to celebrate him, after 15 years of cruel, demented, anti-Krugman, anti-financial plutocracy rule in Argentina. That new Argentinian plutocrat and president is called Macri. He is a dancer. It turns out he was the name on shell companies in several places of the Anglo-Saxon plutocratic empire (such as the Bahamas). That was just revealed in the Panama Papers. Never mind.

Macri, as president, reduced the arrogant financial demands of the lower classes in Argentina: he needs all the money in the world, to pay his Vulture Fund friends in New York, whom Obama serves so well. So brand new president Macri threw more than one million people in poverty, by gutting their allowances: more than 2.5% of the total population of Argentina. Such is the way of the admirers of Reagan: make the rich richer, and the economy will reward you (thus, when Obama came to power, he saw the economy and its big banks were sick: so he gave all the money in the world to the big banks, and reduced the tax rates of the hyper rich by 20%, and now you can see the economy is right).

In any case, throwing more than a million to the poor house is glorious: not bad in a few weeks of assuredly very presidential work. Maybe Macri’s dad can propose newly retired super star noble Nobel Obama some 5 star stay in Bariloche, next year? Just an idea. What are friends for, among the world’s rulers, if not grateful?

Patrice Ayme’

Plutocracy Rising Through Tax Avoidance

December 30, 2015

The New York Times discovers the obvious:

For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions: The very richest are able to quietly shape tax policy that will allow them to shield billions in income.”

Incoming tax policies will save the “very richest” billion more in taxes. But they have already saved hundreds of billions in taxes, if not trillions. In the USA alone. And we have to thank, in particular, the great so-called democratic leaders for that (some of the most prominent ones, like the adored Nancy Pelosi, hero of Obamacare, made hundreds of millions of dollars, while in politics: a successful political career is the safest way to make a fortune.

Bill: “Hey, Donald, We Gave You Everything, It’s Our Turn To Lead the Low Lives Again!” Donald: "You Mean the Idiots?" Hillary: "Oh Donald, Don't Speak Like That!" [Then She Hilariously Bleats Like A Goat.] Donald, Less Amused: "Can You Believe These People? They Are So Greeeedy!"

Bill: “Hey, Donald, We Gave You Everything, It’s Our Turn To Lead the Low Lives Again!” Donald: “You Mean the Idiots?” Hillary: “Oh Donald, Don’t Speak Like That!” [Then She Hilariously Bleats Like A Goat.] Donald, Less Amused: “Can You Believe These People? They Are So Greeeedy!”

So it is all over the so-called democratic West. The situation in France does not differ from that in the USA, it is actually in some ways, much worse. Two-thirds of France’s largest companies (CAC 40) by market capitalization are held by families (the equivalent consideration with the USA’s 500 largest market cap companies shows “only” 20% owned and controlled by families).

How is this all possible? Both the French and U.S. tax codes exclude the wealthiest from much, if not all, taxation. The French tax code does it glaringly (but the ). The tax code of the USA does it both glaringly, and obscurely.

In either case, the plutocratically owned Main Stream Media (MSM) never reports it . Or then they report it the way the New York Times did: by omitting a lot, if not most.

But let the New York Times’ Patricia Cohen and Noam Scheiber tell it their way:

“WASHINGTON — The hedge fund magnates Daniel S. Loeb, Louis Moore Bacon and Steven A. Cohen have much in common. They have managed billions of dollars in capital, earning vast fortunes. They have invested large sums in art — and millions more in political candidates.

Moreover, each has exploited an esoteric tax loophole that saved them millions in taxes. The trick? Route the money to Bermuda and back.

With inequality at its highest levels in nearly a century and public debate rising over whether the government should respond to it through higher taxes on the wealthy, the very richest Americans have financed a sophisticated and astonishingly effective apparatus for shielding their fortunes. Some call it the “income defense industry,” consisting of a high-priced phalanx of lawyers, estate planners, lobbyists and anti-tax activists who exploit and defend a dizzying array of tax maneuvers, virtually none of them available to taxpayers of more modest means

In recent years, this apparatus has become one of the most powerful avenues of influence for wealthy Americans of all political stripes, including Mr. Loeb and Mr. Cohen, who give heavily to Republicans, and the liberal billionaire George Soros, who has called for higher levies on the rich while at the same time using tax loopholes to bolster his own fortune.”

Something the New York Times does not mention at all: it is talking here only about the money wealth, and income that one can see. However, MOST OF THE WORLD’S WEALTH IS HIDDEN IN DARK POOLS.

And there is worse: money is power. Money gives power. The interest of money is that it enable the owner to have others do what she or he, wants.

But Bill and Melinda Gates don’t need to spend any money to have Obama giving them the power of molding the educational system as they see fit: they just show up, and make suggestions. Obama and his court immediately give Bill and Melinda the reins, because they want a job in 13 months, when they dismal tenure expires.

And so it is all over: when Bill and Melinda take the reins of tens of countries health care systems, and, still hiding behind their “love of man” decide that healthy policies will favor Monsanto (with which their “charities” and investments are entangled), and its wonderful Genetically Engineered wellness. But back to the New York Times’ more prosaic considerations:

“All are among a small group providing much of the early cash for the 2016 presidential campaign.

Operating largely out of public view — in tax court, through arcane legislative provisions and in private negotiations with the Internal Revenue Service — the wealthy have used their influence to steadily whittle away at the government’s ability to tax them. The effect has been to create a kind of private tax system, catering to only several thousand Americans.

The impact on their own fortunes has been stark. Two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was elected president, the 400 highest-earning taxpayers in America paid nearly 27 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to I.R.S. data. By 2012, when President Obama was re-elected, that figure had fallen to less than 17 percent, which is just slightly more than the typical family making $100,000 annually, when payroll taxes are included for both groups.

The Greatest Drop Of Tax Rate For the Wealthiest Was Under Bill Clinton

The Greatest Drop Of Tax Rate For the Wealthiest Was Under Bill Clinton

The ultra-wealthy “literally pay millions of dollars for these services,” said Jeffrey A. Winters, a political scientist at Northwestern University who studies economic elites, “and save in the tens or hundreds of millions in taxes.””

A year. For each concerned.

A characteristic of the truly wealthy is that they give to politicians of all stripes. Left unsaid, in their “negotiations” with the IRS, is that tax inspectors know that, be they good boys and girls, they may end up with way more cushy jobs. Actually, the negotiators they speak to often happened to have climbed that ladder. The new York Times still believe, though, that plutocrats have political inclinations aside from their true calling, hell itself:

“Some of the biggest current tax battles are being waged by some of the most generous supporters of 2016 candidates. They include the families of the hedge fund investors Robert Mercer, who gives to Republicans, and James Simons, who gives to Democrats; as well as the options trader Jeffrey Yass, a libertarian-leaning donor to Republicans.

Mr. Yass’s firm is litigating what the agency deemed to be tens of millions of dollars in underpaid taxes. Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund Mr. Simons founded and which Mr. Mercer helps run, is currently under review by the I.R.S. over a loophole that saved their fund an estimated $6.8 billion in taxes over roughly a decade, according to a Senate investigation. Some of these same families have also contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to conservative groups that have attacked virtually any effort to raises taxes on the wealthy.”

The Wealthiest Have Captured Tax Legislation To Make Themselves Untaxable

The Wealthiest Have Captured Tax Legislation To Make Themselves Untaxable

The google guys, when outside of their personal jumbo jets once fueled by the government (at NASA’s Moffet Field, personal observation), like many other Silicon types, claim to be “progressives”, “liberal”, etc. But actually they finance the far right too. Just they do it secretively. PPP Notice Tax Rates Of the Wealthiest 400 Taxpayers Went Down Dramatically Under “Democrat” Clinton. Also Notice Dip Under Obama.

Of course the topmost wealthy don’t even pay tax, while they contemplate stolen, world famous art in their redoubts. Under Obama, there was a tiny crack-down on the expansion of the wealth of the wealthiest:

“In the heat of the presidential race, the influence of wealthy donors is being tested. At stake is the Obama administration’s 2013 tax increase on high earners — the first substantial increase in two decades — and an I.R.S. initiative to ensure that, in effect, the higher rates stick by cracking down on tax avoidance by the wealthy.

While Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have pledged to raise taxes on these voters, virtually every Republican has advanced policies that would vastly reduce their tax bills, sometimes to as little as 10 percent of their income… “There’s this notion that the wealthy use their money to buy politicians; more accurately, it’s that they can buy policy, and specifically, tax policy,” said Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities who served as chief economic adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “That’s why these egregious loopholes exist, and why it’s so hard to close them.”

Not really. The truth is that most people don’t care, because all they obsess about sport scores, same as the Romans of 19 centuries ago. So only a few “leaders” care, and those are easily bought, being few in numbers. A revolutionary mob can be misled, but it’s hard to buy. Meanwhile, tax avoidance of the hyper rich has become an industry:

The Family Office

Each of the top 400 earners took home, on average, about $336 million in 2012, the latest year for which data is available. If the bulk of that money had been paid out as salary or wages, as it is for the typical American, the tax obligations of those wealthy taxpayers could have more than doubled.

Instead, much of their income came from convoluted partnerships and high-end investment funds. Other earnings accrued in opaque family trusts and foreign shell corporations, beyond the reach of the tax authorities.

The well-paid technicians who devise these arrangements toil away at white-shoe law firms and elite investment banks, as well as a variety of obscure boutiques. But at the fulcrum of the strategizing over how to minimize taxes are so-called family offices, the customized wealth management departments of Americans with hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in assets.

Family offices have existed since the late 19th century, when the Rockefellers pioneered the institution, and gained popularity in the 1980s. But they have proliferated rapidly over the last decade, as the ranks of the super-rich, and the size of their fortunes, swelled to record proportions.

“We have so much wealth being created, significant wealth, that it creates a need for the family office structure now,” said Sree Arimilli, an industry recruiting consultant.

Family offices, many of which are dedicated to managing and protecting the wealth of a single family, oversee everything from investment strategy to philanthropy.”

Real philanthropy would consist into paying taxes, of course. What plutocrats call “philanthropy” is just tax avoidance combined with influence multiplier.

…”tax planning is a core function. While the specific techniques these advisers employ to minimize taxes can be mind-numbingly complex, they generally follow a few simple principles, like converting one type of income into another type that’s taxed at a lower rate.

Mr. Loeb, for example, has invested in a Bermuda-based reinsurer — an insurer to insurance companies — that turns around and invests the money in his hedge fund. That maneuver transforms his profits from short-term bets in the market, which the government taxes at roughly 40 percent, into long-term profits, known as capital gains, which are taxed at roughly half that rate. It has had the added advantage of letting Mr. Loeb defer taxes on this income indefinitely, allowing his wealth to compound and grow more quickly.”

Partnerships obscure who owns what, and make it impossible to collect taxes:

“Organizing one’s business as a partnership can be lucrative in its own right. Some of the partnerships from which the wealthy derive their income are allowed to sell shares to the public, making it easy to cash out a chunk of the business while retaining control. But unlike publicly traded corporations, they pay no corporate income tax; the partners pay taxes as individuals. And the income taxes are often reduced by large deductions, such as for depreciation.

For large private partnerships, meanwhile, the I.R.S. often struggles “to determine whether a tax shelter exists, an abusive tax transaction is being used,” according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office. The agency is not allowed to collect underpaid taxes directly from these partnerships, even those with several hundred partners. Instead, it must collect from each individual partner, requiring the agency to commit significant time and manpower.”

Meanwhile, charities are most giving, most giving to the richest of the wealthiest (and then the rabble thank the great Lords of tax avoidance, for their generosity):

“The wealthy can also avail themselves of a range of esoteric and customized tax deductions that go far beyond writing off a home office or dinner with a client. One aggressive strategy is to place income in a type of charitable trust, generating a deduction that offsets the income tax. The trust then purchases what’s known as a private placement life insurance policy, which invests the money on a tax-free basis, frequently in a number of hedge funds.”

Taxes cannot be collected, because the IRS officially does not have the brain power (in truth, top employees of the IRS may be unwilling to think too hard; the NYT will not say that.)

“Many of these maneuvers are well established, and wealthy taxpayers say they are well within their rights to exploit them. Others exist in a legal gray area, its boundaries defined by the willingness of taxpayers to defend their strategies against the I.R.S. Almost all are outside the price range of the average taxpayer.

Among tax lawyers and accountants, “the best and brightest get a high from figuring out how to do tricky little deals,” said Karen L. Hawkins, who until recently headed the I.R.S. office that oversees tax practitioners. “Frankly, it is almost beyond the intellectual and resource capacity of the Internal Revenue Service to catch.”

The combination of cost and complexity has had a profound effect, tax experts said. Whatever tax rates Congress sets, the actual rates paid by the ultra-wealthy tend to fall over time as they exploit their numerous advantages.”

Where Even The New York Times Discovers That Obama Is A Plutophile:

Obama is a great democrat, revered for Obamacare, first of all a trick to direct more money to the health care plutocracy (although it did a few good things to sugar-coat it). However, under Obama, the richest of the rich got taxed less, and this is even the New York Times which now admits it. And the problem is not the famed 1%, but the really nasty ones, the .1%, the only ones Obama cares about:  

“From Mr. Obama’s inauguration through the end of 2012, federal income tax rates on individuals did not change (excluding payroll taxes). But the highest-earning one-thousandth of Americans went from paying an average of 20.9 percent to 17.6 percent. By contrast, the top 1 percent, excluding the very wealthy, went from paying just under 24 percent on average to just over that level.”

Actually, the .1% hide behind the 1%. As I have explain before, and will explain again in the future, the main interest of taxation is to prevent the richest to gather ever more riches, at an ever faster rate, just because they are the richest.

This is what is precisely failing in the West right now. Thus the most important function of taxation, progressive taxation, what differentiated the West from the rest, is failing:

“We do have two different tax systems, one for normal wage-earners and another for those who can afford sophisticated tax advice,” said Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of San Diego who studies the intersection of tax policy and inequality. “At the very top of the income distribution, the effective rate of tax goes down, contrary to the principles of a progressive income tax system.”

This, as have argued many times, is how the West, and not just the West, has fallen many times. New York Times:

…”the Managed Funds Association, an industry group that represents prominent hedge funds like D. E. Shaw, Renaissance Technologies, Tiger Management and Third Point, began meeting with members of Congress to discuss a wish list of adjustments. The founders of these funds have all donated at least $500,000 to 2016 presidential candidates. During the Obama presidency, the association itself has risen to become one of the most powerful trade groups in Washington, spending over $4 million a year on lobbying.

And while the lobbying clout of the wealthy is most often deployed through industry trade associations and lawyers, some rich families have locked arms to advance their interests more directly.”

“Some of the most profound victories are barely known outside the insular world of the wealthy and their financial managers.

In 2009, Congress set out to require that investment partnerships like hedge funds register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, partly so that regulators would have a better grasp on the risks they posed to the financial system.

The early legislative language would have required single-family offices to register as well, exposing the highly secretive institutions to scrutiny that their clients were eager to avoid. Some of the I.R.S.’s cases against the wealthy originate with tips from the S.E.C., which is often better positioned to spot tax evasion.

By the summer of 2009, several family office executives had formed a lobbying group called the Private Investor Coalition to push back against the proposal. The coalition won an exemption in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, then spent much of the next year persuading the S.E.C. to largely adopt its preferred definition of “family office.”

So expansive was the resulting loophole that Mr. Soros’s $24.5 billion hedge fund took advantage of it, converting to a family office after returning capital to its remaining outside investors. The hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller, a former business partner of Mr. Soros, took the same step.”

Then the New York Times explains that the part of the IRS after taxpayer earning more than ten million dollars of income a year has been decimated, gutted, with reduction of personnel in some cases going down to zero.

“Several former I.R.S. officials, including Marcus Owens, who once headed the agency’s Exempt Organizations division, said the controversy badly damaged the agency’s willingness to investigate other taxpayers, even outside the exempt division.

“I.R.S. enforcement is either absent or diminished” in certain areas, he said. Mr. Owens added that his former department — which provides some oversight of money used by charities and nonprofits — has been decimated.”

[The Wall Street Journal, owned by the global plutocratic family Murdoch, has a greater distribution than the New York Times. It immediately ran a lead article to counter any damage to the top 400 which the NYT may have visited on their aura: “Tax Rates For Top 400 US Taxpayers Climbed in 2013“.]

Sometimes, in history, a revolution is needed. In Europe, a revolution was needed as early as 1089 CE. But it took seven centuries to come.

However, England was more  lucky. Notice that, when the Duke of Normandy and his Frankish barons invaded England, in 1066 CE, he was able to consolidate power because he organized a Revolution, top down. The Duke, now King, outlawed slavery (standard Frankish law; 20% of the population was enslaved). The new King also made the relationship between King and People direct, and established Parliament.

In mainland France, the Revolution came in only in 1789 CE (although there was an important attempt in the middle of the 17 C, just when two Revolutions, and an invasion in quick succession, modernized England; Revolution is contagious: the English “Glorious Revolution was imported from the Netherlands, itself a rogue part freed from Spain, mostly by French military intervention).

After 1789 CE, French plutocracy regrew quickly. In the USA, plutocracy was present in miniature all along, thanks to the existence of slavery. It started to blossom only after Carnegie (who himself was a scathing, and sincere critique of it!). It went on haltingly, as plutocrat Teddy Roosevelt (another enlightened Pluto!) cut down, as president, the most outrageous monopolies.

American plutocracy then focused on Europe, from Franco to Stalin, without forgetting Mussolini and Hitler. The Second World War itself could be fought only with huge manpower, and those more than ten million soldiers, all them trained killers, had to be pleased after 1945, lest they revolt. A time of increased equality ensued, all over the West .

But now here we are: plutocracy is completely out of control. The New York Times article focused only on what can be seen, thus, potentially, taxed. However, most of the money escapes detection outright.

That the New York Times does not seem anxious to focus on. Nor does Hillary Clinton, or even Bernie Sanders. And in Europe, don’t worry, none of the political parties, not even France’s National Front, or the Communist Party, or the New Left, has called on changing the tax structures which exempt the .1%.

However, I claim they are draining the socio-economies. Not just through sheer tax avoidance, but also through the atrocious mental influence they exert. It’s not just the “austerity” insanity, but also the sport score insanities, and other mind numbing and civilization destroying strategies and love fests (complete with adoring Islamism, something which has recently backfired).

If you want humanity, you will have to deprive of power Pluto and its emulators, admirers and other imitators. If you don’t want humanity, you will lose the biosphere, to start with. Shortly before the return of cannibalism, and other discomforts.

Patrice Ayme’  

Google & Other Free Riders: Civilization Pays For Them

October 25, 2014

Julian Assange just updated on October 24, 2014, a long essay from 2011: “Google Is Not What It Seems”. In this long expose’, Assange explains that he was taken for a ride by Google, which turned out to be, to his great surprise, little more than an arm of the government of the USA, and the “bipartisan” oligarchy behind it.

Assange’s report is full of amusing details, such as the CEO of Google giving to Hatch, Senior Republican Senator of Nevada, plots of lands. An ex-wife of Google CEO also joined in gifting plots of land to Hatch. (Sen. Errin Hatch is worth personally only 4 million dollars, much less than the average Senator’s worth: 13 million; no doubt Google felt his pain.)

Google’s ocean of equally apportioned gifts to politicians of both sides, goes well beyond any common decency: as I have explained in the past, Google’s billionaires also gave millions of climate deniers, probably to be able to keep on distracting the public with stupidities, just so… While at the same time posing, loud, clear, and splendid, as great protectors of the climate (between two flights in private jumbo jets, between various exclusive ski resorts and paradisiac tax havens).

In the end Assange’s interesting mountain of facts on Google gives birth to a protesting mouse. Here his Assange’s conclusion, in extenso:

“But part of the resilient image of Google as “more than just a company” comes from the perception that it does not act like a big, bad corporation. Its penchant for luring people into its services trap with gigabytes of “free storage” produces the perception that Google is giving it away for free, acting directly contrary to the corporate profit motive.

Google is perceived as an essentially philanthropic enterprise—a magical engine presided over by otherworldly visionaries—for creating a utopian future. The company has at times appeared anxious to cultivate this image, pouring funding into “corporate responsibility” initiatives to produce “social change”—exemplified by Google Ideas.

But as Google Ideas shows, the company’s “philanthropic” efforts, too, bring it uncomfortably close to the imperial side of U.S. influence. If Blackwater/Xe Services/Academi was running a program like Google Ideas, it would draw intense critical scrutiny. But somehow Google gets a free pass.

Whether it is being just a company or “more than just a company,” Google’s geopolitical aspirations are firmly enmeshed within the foreign-policy agenda of the world’s largest superpower. As Google’s search and Internet service monopoly grows, and as it enlarges its industrial surveillance cone to cover the majority of the world’s population, rapidly dominating the mobile phone market and racing to extend Internet access in the global south, Google is steadily becoming the Internet for many people. Its influence on the choices and behavior of the totality of individual human beings translates to real power to influence the course of history.

If the future of the Internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world—in Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union and even in Europe—for whom the Internet embodies the promise of an alternative to U.S. cultural, economic, and strategic hegemony.

A “don’t be evil” empire is still an empire.”

Tellingly, Assange focuses on the way Google manipulates data and public opinion. He forgets the core of the problem: where does Google’s immense power comes from?

Well, Google pays very little taxes… And has corrupted politicians, worldwide, to make it so. That does not mean money was always exchanged. But certainly clout and promises were.

An organization which profits from the state, worldwide, as Google does, and then pays nearly no taxes, as the top corporations of the USA, including Google do, is a criminal organization.

(Normal people and small businesses do pay taxes, and, if they do not, they are treated like criminals, and go to jail.)

“Don’t be evil”, Google’s order is just a way to make people impotent: “Don’t be evil, we will do it for you!”

The owners of Google own personal jumbo jets. One can argue that they are leeches on civilization, as all of other owners and CEOs also are, per the nature of the tax-free money they make, and allow their giant corporations to make, and their influence on political leaders, whom they induce to perpetuate the system which makes them fat, well fed leeches.

Leeches are brainless, because they don’t need a brain. And those brainless creatures are fatally weakening civilization.

It’s because of the fact those people use the state, for example the fundamental scientific research financed by the state, but are not contributing to it proportionally to the profits they make from it, that the fundamental research budgets are falling everywhere (and especially in the USA and the EU).

This is not just a matter of lost opportunity, injustice, and the masses increasingly walloping in lack of education, lack of health, employment, and gathering misery. It’s also a matter of refusing to finance research on many lethal infectious diseases: Ebola is a prominent example now. But many diseases, which would be perfectly curable if the research was financed, are perking up. Not just tuberculosis. Research on general antibiotic resistance, worldwide, would be flushed with money, if just one billionaire paid taxes as much as they used to in the 1950s… In the USA. (I’m serious, I checked the numbers, and the science; thousands of antibiotics in the wild could be developed for a few tens of millions of dollars.)

A lot of the “austerity” drive is entirely synonymous with little people paying Google’s, and other enormous corporations’ taxes. And not just with their pocket books, but also with their lives.

Patrice Ayme’

Obama: Un-American Corporations

July 25, 2014

Bait, Switch, Bait, Oops: Obama Discovers His Sponsors Are Scofflaws.

After baiting us, Obama could have done a lot when he became president. He did not. Instead he switched to the will of those mentoring and monitoring him. As early as 2007 Obama was surrounded by plutocrats, and had been told to keep his real friends away… by said plutocrats (some of whom already mentored Bill Clinton that way).

It was all the easier to do, as Obama, just like Clinton, did not know much, beyond his hunger for domination, and how to navigate by pleasing everybody. If the only people who know much around you are plutocrats, plutophiles and their servants, that’s all your universe is. Just like the world the Cathars depicted, it’s dominated by the Devil, and its name is the Good Lord.

In the first three months of his rule, Obama could have done much. Such control of government (Congress, Senate, Presidency) is rare.

Although it’s true that the banks needed trillions to keep going, Obama could have financed them with the Treasury, instead of TARP and Quantitative Easing, and thus acquire control of them (as Reagan and Bush Senior, two eminent Marxists did, in an earlier, similar crisis). But of course, when one is a child with his toys, with senior plutocrats in attendance, baby-sitting, it’s a ridiculous perspective.

Even a series B actor like Reagan knew more. Now the Marmot-In-Chief, realizing the hour is late, has woken up.

President Obama called for Congress to end a tax loophole that allows big corporations to designate a foreign country as their official address, avoiding American taxes while maintaining their presence in the United States. (Individuals trying this without using anonymous companies go to jail, or risk destitution. Plutocrats, though, just set-up perfectly legal companies off-shore.)

Same said companies also avoid big taxes from other big countries (Germany, France, UK, etc.), and accept them from tax havens (Ireland, Luxembourg, British Virgin Islands, etc.) So it’s not just the USA that is at fault.

The president indulged in unusually harsh language to describe companies using the relocation practice, known as “inversion”. Obama claimed they were renouncing their American citizenship by “cherry-picking” the nation’s laws at the expense of ordinary taxpayers.

“These companies are cherry-picking the rules, and it damages the country’s finances,” he said. “It adds to the deficit. It sticks you with the tab to make up for what they are stashing offshore… I don’t care if it’s legal — it’s wrong…You shouldn’t get to call yourself an American company only when you want a handout from the American taxpayers,”. The audience booed the companies.

Mr. Obama called on Congress to close the loophole, as he poses for what White House officials call a “new economic patriotism”. The president is pressing that argument as elections approach in the fall.

Republicans refused to consider the president’s tax proposals. And the question is… why did Obama not impose all this on day one, in 2009? When he had control.

Because he never intended it to pass. Or maybe he did not want to be shot.

Now that he is sure that it won’t pass, he is trying to pose as a great progressive.

History will see through these games.

Yet, it’s good Obama talk about this. By ignoring such subjects, We the People has been an accomplice to its own demise.

Patrice Ayme’