NZ Prime Minister John Key ejected from Parliament over Panama Papers rant

animation (1)

John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, was ejected from the country's parliamentary debating chamber yesterday when he repeated ignored the Speaker of the House's calls to yield the floor, continuing to rant even after his microphone had been cut off. Read the rest

Billionaire Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel will be a California Trump delegate

13887509897_db92293aa0_b

The Facebook board member will be a Trump delegate to this summer's Republican National Convention, representing California's 12th district. Read the rest

300 prominent economists call on world governments to end tax haven secrecy

777px-Guillotine_(PSF).png

Oxfam has published an open letter signed by hundreds of respected economists, including Thomas Piketty, which describes tax havens as "serving no useful economic purpose." Read the rest

McClatchy newspapers' CEO pleased to announce that he's shipping IT jobs overseas

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1056

Between 120 and 150 IT workers will be fired from the McClatchy newspaper syndicate (Scramento Bee, Miami Herald, etc), after they have trained IT contractors from India's Wipro to do their jobs. Read the rest

America's prisons are replacing vital in-person visits with expensive, nonfunctional video calling

animation

A new documentary, "(In)Securus Technologies: An Assault on Prisoner Rights", tracks the rise of for-profit video "visitation" programs, which are being rolled out across America's unimaginably huge prison system, replacing the in-person visits that have been shown to be vital for prisoners' successful rehabilitation and reintegration into society. Read the rest

Data-driven look at America's brutal, racist debt-collection machine

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1056

In 1996, New Jersey's courts heard 500 debt-collection cases; in 2008, they heard 140,000 cases, almost all against black people, almost all of whom were not represented by lawyers. The cases were filed by vulture capitalists who bought the debt for pennies on the dollar and employed "attorneys" who filed up to 1,000 cases a day, "reviewing" each one for about four seconds. Read the rest

Amid education funding emergency, Washington State gives Boeing, Microsoft $1B in tax breaks

microsoft-boeing-tax-breaks

Jeff writes, "Combined, Washington State is providing Microsoft and Boeing $1 billion annually in tax breaks. Cumulatively, Microsoft's state tax has saved its shareholders $8.6 billion in costs. While the company quietly surpassed $1 trillion in all time revenue, its home state faces emergencies in education funding, homelessness, heroin addiction and escalating crime." Read the rest

Burning Man for rich spectators

11336898_715345341921138_3047151217406612230_o

Further Future is a desert festival created by wealthy Burning Man attendees who want to get rid of the festival's DIY/participatory ethic and replace it with a pampered weekend where poor people wait on them while they strut around the desert, "networking." Read the rest

Norway's titanic sovereign wealth fund takes a stand against executive pay

Norges_Bank_Kirkegata

When Norway -- historically one of the poorest countries in Europe -- struck oil in the North Sea, the country put the proceeds into a "sovereign wealth" fund that invested it in other industries and used the returns to pay for an extensive welfare state that has given Norwegians one of the highest standards of living in the world. Read the rest

TSA lines grow to 3 hours, snake outside the terminals, with no end in sight

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1036

The TSA gambled on millions of wealthy Americans opting out of its pornoscanner-and-shoe-removal process and signing up for its Precheck policy, which allows travellers to pay for the "privilege" of walking through a metal-detector with their shoes on, while their laptops stay in their bags. Read the rest

Forget the one percent, it's the 0.1% who run the show

Thurston_Howell_III

The wealthiest one out of 1,000 US families -- the 0.1 percent -- comprise about 115,000 households whose net worth starts at $20M, and goes up and up from there, accounting for at least as much wealth as the poorest 90 percent of US households. Read the rest

America's wealth gap has created an ever-increasing longevity gap

4350074_f4f17e6f

In The Association Between Income and Life Expectancy in the United States, 2001-2014, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, economists from Stanford, MIT and Harvard analyzed 1.4 million US tax records to see how income correlated with lifespan. Read the rest

Before 1988 Olympics, South Korea sent 'vagrants' to camps where rape and murder were routine

460x

In the runup to the 1988 Olympics, the South Korean government ordered Seoul's "vagrants" to be cleared from the street. Thousands of people, many of them small children, were sent to a "welfare facility" called "Brothers Home," where they were subject to vicious, often fatal beatings and routine rape. The order to round up the vagrants came from then-President Park Chung-hee (father of current President Park Geun-hye) whose successor, President Chun Doo-hwan, suppressed any investigation into the atrocities. Read the rest

Podcast explains the corrosive effects of tax havens

City_of_London_skyline

Nicholas Shaxon, author of Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens (previously) appeared on The Foreign Desk podcast (MP3) this week to discuss the nature of tax havens, how they hollow out both their host countries and the countries whence their hidden riches comes. Read the rest

No, tax-havens aren't good for society (duh)

Goldkey_logo_removed

As the Panama Papers story unfolds and we learn more about the systematic world-scale corruption of offshore tax-havens, the usual suspects have mounted a charm-offensive top defend anonymous offshore bank accounts as critical to democracy and a check against the rise of fascism (no, really). Read the rest

Heads of UK's tax havens to Her Majesty's Government: go fuck yourself

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1036

When the premiers of the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands (British Overseas Territories that are notorious tax-havens) visited the UK last year, Tory government ministers sent formal letters asking for meetings with them to discuss tax evasion. The premiers never answered the letters. Read the rest

George Clooney's neighbor threw a $27/plate Sanders fundraiser to counter Clooney's $33K/head Hillary event

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1035

99 Cents Only store magnate Howard Gold lives next to George Clooney. On Saturday night, both of them threw political fundraisers for would-be 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. Read the rest

More posts