US Treasury Dept wants to know which offshore crimelords are buying all those NYC and Miami penthouses

9069359_b10168b971_o

It's an open secret that the world's luxury property boom is being driven by crooked rich people in the former Soviet Union, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa who have looted their homelands and want to stash the money out of reach of any new dictators who might come along and change which oligarchs are favored and which are not. Read the rest

Why Americans can't stop working: the poor can't afford to, and the rich are enjoying themselves

c4JrOJqVLG2rYS8.wJJf1g_b

Ever since Keynes's seminal 1930 paper Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren predicted that technological progress would virtually eliminate work by making labor much more productive, economists have puzzled over why Americans' working hours have gotten longer and longer, until they are some of the longest in the world. Read the rest

Red-baiting water speculator plans to drain the Mojave of its ancient water

if7IiH

Scott Slater, a former water lawyer, is the CEO of Cadiz, Inc, a hedge-fund-backed company that's purchased the water rights for 45,000 acres of the Mojave on Route 66, 75 miles northeast of Palm Springs. He wants to pump 814 million gallons of ancient water out of the desert and send it to drought-stricken southern California, where he can soak the thirsty millions for $2.4 billion. Read the rest

An org for left-wing US municipal politicians is transforming American politics

Stop-Foreclosures-ACCE

Local Progress is a national coordinating organization for left-wing US city councillors that supports initiatives like higher minimum wages, bans on fracking and deportation detention centers, multilingual information for voters, guaranteed sick leave, predictable working hours for part-timers, restricting foreclosures, and improving access to voting. Read the rest

Thomas Piketty on Thomas Piketty

Piketty_in_Cambridge

Crooked Timber's fascinating seminar on Thomas Piketty ran all through December, presenting arguments from economists, social scientists and political theorists from around the world on Piketty's seminal Capital in the 21st Century. Read the rest

WATCH: stirring call for networked, global resistance to catastrophe and corruption

animation

Zikzak sends us, "a beautiful, six-minute vid calling for networked global resistance in the face of the many catastrophes overwhelming the world. By the Woodbine collective, a DIY media project in NYC." Read the rest

Tax havens hold $7.6 trillion; 8% of world's total wealth

Gil24

Cass Sunstein reviews The Hidden Wealth of Nations, a new book by UC Berkeley's Gabriel Zucman; and a new documentary, The Price We Pay, both of which map out the scale of international tax-havens, which are used by criminals and corrupt one percenters to hide money from their governments; and by corrupt governments to hide money from their citizens -- the havens are a critical part of the secret, parallel US tax system that lets the rich pay less of their income in tax than the poor. Read the rest

There's a secret, separate US tax system that rich people use to save billions

maxresdefault.jpg.662x0_q70_crop-scale

The richest people in America funnel billions into the creation and maintenance of a secret and shadowy tax-system that uses a combination of lobbying by front groups, high-priced tax lawyers, and offshore money laundries to reduce the rate at which they're taxed, often below the rates imposed on middle-income earners. Read the rest

Neoconservative's analysis: Donald Trump, elites, and the GOP's future

Romney-Corporations-are-People-My-Friend-624x416

Archconservative David Frum delivers a brutal, unflinching look at the contradictions between the Republican party's elites and kingmakers -- who favor redistributive policies that suck money out of the middle class and deposit it in their own offshore tax-free accounts -- and the rank-and-file voters, who want social programs and high wages, but not for brown people. Read the rest

UK's unaccountable crowdsourced blacklist to be crosslinked to facial recognition system

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x912

Facewatch is a private-public system that shopkeepers and the police use to keep track of "persons of interest," a list that includes anyone a shopkeeper doesn't like and registers with the system. Read the rest

America's permanent, ubiquitous tent-cities

Herring-Tent-Cities-16-1020x680

Homelessness in America dwindled away after WWII, when the GI Bill and generous social programs seemed to finally get on top of a problem that had been with the country since its inception; but starting with Reagan's mass de-institutionalizations and cuts to social services, homelessness has only grown, a phenomenon America answered by criminalizing being alive, and pretending not to notice homeless people in encampments at the edge of more and more US cities. Read the rest

Saudi millionaire acquitted of raping teen in London, says he tripped and accidentally penetrated her

law-311363_960_720

Ehsan Abdulaziz, a married, 46 year old, rich Saudi property developer, says he invited an 18 year old woman to sleep on his couch, and later tripped and fell on her as she lay asleep, accidentally penetrating her vagina with his penis. Read the rest

Billionaire GOP superdonors aren't getting what they paid for

animation

The billionaires who bankrolled Mitt Romney and other Republican establishment candidates are becoming disillusioned with the political classes, who give them the mushroom treatment: keep 'em in the dark and shovel shit all over them. Read the rest

The Red Cross brought in an AT&T exec as CEO and now it's a national disaster

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x905

In 2008, the Red Cross was a dysfunctional mess, so it hired on Gail McGovern, an AT&T exec and Harvard Business School prof, who parachuted in a group of other AT&T alums to oversee a program of rigid, centralized control; mass layoffs;secrecy and funny accounting, an emphasis on "branding"; and a collapse in volunteer morale and public reputation for one of America's most respected charities. Read the rest

American rents reach record levels of unaffordability

animation

A new report from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies finds that America's cities are unaffordable even for renters with incomes of $45,000, making 2014 the record-breaking year for "cost-burdened renters." Read the rest

America: shrinking middle class, growing poverty, the rich are getting richer

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x900

A new Pew report analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors finds that America's middle class has shrunk to the smallest share of the US population for the first time in four decades; while the share of national wealth owned by the middle class has dwindled and the share of wealth controlled by the rich has grown. The number of poor Americans has also grown, as middle class families slip into poverty. Read the rest

Thomas Piketty seminar on Crooked Timber

Piketty_in_Cambridge

The Crooked Timber folks have assembled a distinguished panel to discuss Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the 21st Century, a must-read economics book (don't be scared by its brick-like appearance!). Read the rest

More posts