Tax

Tax Avoidance is currently at 80 Billion € per year via Ireland/City of London Banks/Luxembourg and other tax havens.

Historian Bregman: “the Rich are not paying their fair share”

“how to prevent a broad social backlash – the answer is simple – stop talking about philanthropy and start talking about taxes avoidance – taxes – taxes – all the rest is bullshit” (for the top 10%)

“The main reason for the particularly high Irish GDP growth rates lies in the fact that in recent years,

attracted in large part by low corporation tax rates,

a number of large multinational corporations have relocated their economic activities,

and more specifically their underlying intellectual property, to Ireland.”

https://www.oecd.org/sdd/na/Irish-GDP-up-in-2015-OECD.pdf

two possibilities: a race to the tax-bottom (in Germany companies pay 40% income tax consumers pay 19% tax on almost all products… where does it end?)

or

social unrest – we all shall become “criminals” claim land and pay no taxes with reference to Ireland and especially Luxembourg – how well this works for them.

Sorry – this is the EU and if this is happening inside the EU and the EU is not doing anything about it – it is corruption – cancer to democracy – people need to build a wall (or block all streets) to/from Brussels and Berlin and Dublin in order to contain the corruption. (anyone inside may chose to leave or starve)

Historian Mr Bregman: “the rich are not paying their fair share”

  • “find it quiet a bewildering experience – 1500 private jets flown in here (to Davos) to speak about how we are wrecking the planet”
  • “i hear people talking the language of participation – justice – equality – transparency – almost no one raises the real issue – tax avoidance and of the rich just not paying their fair share”
  • “i feel like a fire fighter conference and no one is allowed to speak about water
  • “something needs to change here”
  • “10 years ago the World Economic Forum asked the question ‘what must industry do to prevent a broad social backlash‘ – the answer is very simple – stop talking about philanthropy and start talking about taxes – taxes – taxes”
  • billionaire Michael Dell: “name me one country where a top marginal tax rate of 70% has actually worked?”
    • “i am an historian – the answer is: The USA in the 1950s – during Republican President Eisenhower the the top marginal tax rate was 91% for people like Michael Dell – the top estate tax was more than 70% for people like Michael Dell”
    • this is not rocket science – we can talk a long time about all this stupid philanthropy themes – we can invite Bono once more – we got to be talking about taxes – taxes – taxes – all the rest is bullshit

Was Brexit about Tax Avoidance?

(City of London wants to avoid taxes like hell) “the Conservatives (Theresa May Leader of the Conservative Party from 2016 to 2019) were vehemently opposed to Tax Evasion regulations that were being proposed by the EU.

Back in 2015, Britain rejected plans announced by Brussels to combat “industrial-scale tax avoidance by the world’s biggest multinationals”. Britain had built a corporate tax haven for multinationals that included slashing corporation tax from 28% to 20%, new favorable tax regimes for multinationals with offshore financing subsidiaries, and tax breaks for patent-owning companies. As a result, Britain saw a number of large corporations like Aon, Fiat Industrial, and Starbucks’s European operations, set up headquarters in the UK with a small number of staff in order to take advantage of these tax laws.”

https://medium.com/the-jist/was-eu-tax-evasion-regulation-the-reason-for-the-brexit-referendum-980ba88a8077

The Financial Secrecy Index: or where finance transparency is worst

https://fsi.taxjustice.net/en/introduction/fsi-results

2020 Secrecy Ranking
See full index here
1. Cayman Islands*
2. USA
3. Switzerland
4. Hong Kong
5. Singapore
6. Luxembourg
7. Japan
8. Netherlands
9. British Virgin Islands*
10. United Arab Emirates
11. Guernsey*
12. United Kingdom*
13. Taiwan
14. Germany
15. Panama

After 1989: Berlin builds fences and trenches – right in front of the Bundestag?

2019-07: “Security delusion without meaning and understanding: a deep trench is to be pulled in front of the Bundestag.

It will alienate politics and the population even further.

Castle-defense-ditch, walls, fences: the Bundestag digs itself in.

For the ditch and the 2.5-Meter-high wall, which is hard to hide, send a fatal Signal: the parliament is sealing itself off.

Politicians are scared.” (source)

“The Reichstag building in Berlin is to be better protected according to federal plans. For this purpose, a two-and-a-half-Meter deep and ten-Meter wide trench is to be erected across the square of the Republic. In addition, a security fence is supposed to shield the site around the West Portal of the Bundestag building, reported the Berliner Zeitung.” (source)

Right now it is like this:

https://www.bundestag.de/parlament/plenum/sitzverteilung_19wp
https://www.bundestag.de/parlament/plenum/sitzverteilung_19wp

One has to know:

  • what  now is Germany – was at in beginning many small countries with their own laws, governments, borders, money and so on – and still is – some laws are still decided (education) on the local government level.
  • Same for the EU – there might be decisions that make sense to be taken on the grander level – but this should be the exception – not the rule – because fascism simply means concentration of power and concentration of power should neither be Berlin nor Brussels about – if it is – it shall be abolished.
  • CDU/CSU (Merkel, Seehoofer and Co) = conservative center-right party has – with the inability to find a good response for the refugee crisis – once more shown – how incompetent the German government operates on behalf of it’s people – piling up problems, creating more and more new taxes, solving almost no problems.
    • former finanical minister long serving member of CDU/CSU parliament Scheuble says Germany has never been independent since 1949 – thus it is ridiculous to think of Germany as being independent and any “governance” is ridiculous
      • if we consider this a truth – who is controlling Germany?
        • is it the US-intelligence?
        • is it big companies with their thousands of lobbyists with a free pass to the government building?
        • who or what is it – that keeps the Berlin government from making good decisions? (constantly eroding the trust in the Berlin government)
    • CDU/CSU lost the majority of seats and had to form a coalition – the question was: with whom?
  • SPD (center-left)
    • used to be the second largest party
    • would have had the option to do a coalition with Green (ecological party) and “Die Linke” (left party) (red-red-green)
    • but decided to join forces/do a “coalition of corruption” with the  CDU/CSU
    • basically the message to the people was:
      • power is more important to us than our principles (giving in to lies and corruption, giving up on their own values, the will to fight for the “small people”, for example the coalition contract included a cut for educational spending, wtf seriously?)
        • this has led to a massive erosion inside the SPD and also the voting and member base has eroded massively
  • “Piraten Partei” / Pirate Party: (center-left)
    • people got so frustrated with their current government’s inability to solve problems, they voted for whoever alternative is there.
    • unfortunately for all the elder people “Pirate Party” is not a sexy name – it sounds like a threat
    • the Pirate Party was to obsessed with “free WIFI” that people did not believe they could solve any other problem but “free WIFI” (they would have surely solved that problem in no time, but again, older people care about their pension funds, not “free WIFI”).
    • at the beginning the Pirate Party did not know if they wanted to absorb the right-wing frustration of people, they decided not to.
  • AfD (right-wing) “Alternative für Deutschland”
    • the astonishing success of an “alternative party” like the “Pirate Party” inspired Dr Bernd Lucke to create a new party named “Alternative for Germany”
    • same problem: right-wingers knocked on the door of the AfD and asked if they are welcome with all their hate, and Bernd Lucke – decided to say no – and was kicked out of his own party: see this:  “Break with the right-wing extremists in the AfD!”:
      • ‘In an open letter to “the extreme right-wing members” of the AfD, he wrote: “The AfD had written once, ‘courage for truth’ on the flags. It has now become the silence of cowardice. You Break Your Silence! You break with right-wing extremists in the AfD! Exclude them and ask them to leave your party.”‘
      • Lucke created a new Party “ALPHA” but failed to secure any public support.
    • the AfD is – similar to Trump – “the return of the phenomenon demoagogery
    • the AfD still has to proof – to have any solutions to the problems people have – we all hope – the solution are not similar to those solutions Hitler offered.
    • USA (ranks #19 in the world by spending % of GDP for education and more cuts to come:
    • Germany (ranks #35 in the world by spending % of GDP for education and CDU+SPD also plan to cut it even more… because it is easier to rule over idiots, than to actually solve problems)

resume:

  • everyone want to live in peace
  • everyone wants to stay healthy
  • everyone wants a affordable housing (a roof over their head)
  • everyone wants affordable clean water, affordable healthy food, affordable renewable energy and travels
  • everyone wants quality of life
  • everyone wants friends
  • everyone wants a family, children
  • nobody wants to stay stupid – be exploited – be cheated – be lied to – get cancer and so on
  • if a government (and this can scientifically be measured) fails to solve problems – it shall be abandoned.
  • destroying the status quo is the goal of left and right wing, but after the destruction – of course – they both want to be in power
  • the rich – always in fear of their companies, Porsche and real estate being confiscated by left-wing parties – probably will always give funding to whoever is against this – in 1933 this was Hitler, as Thyssen – a German steel magnat that fled to Argentina and wrote this book:

latest news:

  • public radio reports – that because of the “friday for future demonstrations” the German Parliament decides to put tax on CO2 – thus raising the costs of gas (fuel, oil and coal?) by 3 Cents…
  • … well is this a clever response? NO! look at France! Macron wanted to do EXACTLY the same – what was the result? The streets of Paris were burning for weeks.
  • what would have been an intelligent response?
    • actually solve the problem – without raising taxes even further (SMUs pay 40% taxes on their income, employees (without children) also 40% … every Euro spend is double and triple taxed)
    • build infrastructure so people can actually use the bicycle (you might be laughing, but it is common problem, that people living on the country side can not go to the city by bike – because of bad roads – because nobody planted for them)
    • give people incentives to produce, store and consume (!) their own energy
      • electricity (solar + batteries)
      • heating (solar geothermic, geothermic or heat-pump)
  • NOT FUCKING RAISE TAXES ON FUEL THAT IS ALREADY TAXED 70%!

nobody wants demagoguery and populism to succeed and cause even more problems

for this to avoid – the “established” parties or even the system would need to be reform.

the “established” parties will be replaced – by replaced by what?

the current system will be replaced – by replaced by what?

A democratic system is like software – you can not think of it as “finished” – it needs to be constantly be improved, changed, experimented.

Look at Iceland and Switzerland – there democracy is way more dynamic and alive.

  • governments need to be less corrupt and give funding to independent research groups to create new forms of democracy.
  • the big chance of the EU is: that governments learn from each other – who is doing what good and copy it.
    • (educational system of Finland = way better than of the rest of EU and the world… why not copy it?)

comment: what would be EVEN better: UBI + investment into one’s own independence!

will have biggest impact on well being of people and the well being of the habitat earth – if UBI is combined with education and possibilities for people to invest  (10-20-30% of their income) into their own independence from monopolies and finite resources (oil, coal, gas)

  • public bank giving loans (long running low interest) for:
    • food independence (easy, reliable crops, labor extensive, high quality growing food/gardening/land)
    • energy independence (high quality – well tested – low maintenance – off-grid energy systems for heating and electricity (wind and solar systems (no battery 30% independence with battery 60% independence + x) plan with $1000 repair budget for 5 years))
    • mobility independence (electric mobility?)
    • imho people should even own their own internet lines (to their next neighbour) (no fees no more for the last mile – but a little  maintenance 🙂 make sure the mice are not eating the cables)

Universal Basic Income Is Easier Than It Looks

Posted on by Ellen Brown

“Calls for a Universal Basic Income have been increasing, most recently as part of the Green New Deal introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and supported in the last month by at least 40 members of Congress. A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a monthly payment to all adults with no strings attached, similar to Social Security. Critics say the Green New Deal asks too much of the rich and upper-middle-class taxpayers who will have to pay for it, but taxing the rich is not what the resolution proposes. It says funding would primarily come from the federal government, “using a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks,” and other vehicles.

The Federal Reserve alone could do the job. It could buy “Green” federal bonds with money created on its balance sheet, just as the Fed funded the purchase of $3.7 trillion in bonds in its “quantitative easing” program to save the banks. The Treasury could also do it. The Treasury has the constitutional power to issue coins in any denomination, even trillion dollar coins. What prevents legislators from pursuing those options is the fear of hyperinflation from excess “demand” (spendable income) driving prices up. But in fact the consumer economy is chronically short of spendable income, due to the way money enters the consumer economy. We actually need regular injections of money to avoid a “balance sheet recession” and allow for growth, and a UBI is one way to do it.

The pros and cons of a UBI are hotly debated and have been discussed elsewhere. The point here is to show that it could actually be funded year after year without driving up taxes or prices. New money is continually being added to the money supply, but it is added as debt created privately by banks. (How banks rather than the government create most of the money supply today is explained on the Bank of England website here.

A UBI would replace money-created-as-debt with debt-free money – a “debt jubilee” for consumers – while leaving the money supply for the most part unchanged; and to the extent that new money was added, it could help create the demand needed to fill the gap between actual and potential productivity.

The Debt Overhang Crippling Economies

The “bank money” composing most of the money in circulation is created only when someone borrows, and today businesses and consumers are burdened with debts that are higher than ever before. In 2018, credit card debt alone exceeded $1 trillion, student debt exceeded $1.5 trillion, auto loan debt exceeded $1.1 trillion, and non-financial corporate debt hit $5.7 trillion. When businesses and individuals pay down old loans rather than taking out new loans, the money supply shrinks, causing a “balance sheet recession.” In that situation, the central bank, rather than removing money from the economy (as the Fed is doing now), needs to add money to fill the gap between debt and the spendable income available to repay it.

Debt always grows faster than the money available to repay it. One problem is the interest, which is not created along with the principal, so more money is always owed back than was created in the original loan. Beyond that, some of the money created as debt is held off the consumer market by “savers” and investors who place it elsewhere, making it unavailable to companies selling their wares and the wage-earners they employ. The result is a debt bubble that continues to grow until it is not sustainable and the system collapses, in the familiar death spiral euphemistically called the “business cycle.” As economist Michael Hudson shows in his 2018 book And Forgive Them Their Debts, this inevitable debt overhang was corrected historically with periodic “debt jubilees” – debt forgiveness – something he argues we need to do again today.

For governments, a debt jubilee could be effected by allowing the central bank to buy government securities and hold them on its books. For individuals, one way to do it fairly across the board would be with a UBI.

Why a UBI Need Not Be Inflationary

In a 2018 book called The Road to Debt Bondage: How Banks Create Unpayable Debt, political economist Derryl Hermanutz proposes a central-bank-issued UBI of one thousand dollars per month, credited directly to people’s bank accounts. Assuming this payment went to all US residents over 18, or about 241 million people, the outlay would be close to $3 trillion annually. For people with overdue debt, Hermanutz proposes that it automatically go to pay down those debts. Since money is created as loans and extinguished when they are repaid, that portion of a UBI disbursement would be extinguished along with the debt.

People who were current on their debts could choose whether or not to pay them down, but many would also no doubt go for that option. Hermanutz estimates that roughly half of a UBI payout could be extinguished in this way through mandatory and voluntary loan repayments. That money would not increase the money supply or demand. It would just allow debtors to spend on necessities with debt-free money rather than hocking their futures with unrepayable debt.

He estimates that another third of a UBI disbursement would go to “savers” who did not need the money for expenditures. This money, too, would not be likely to drive up consumer prices, since it would go into investment and savings vehicles rather than circulating in the consumer economy. That leaves only about one-sixth of payouts, or $500 billion, that would actually be competing for goods and services; and that sum could easily be absorbed by the “output gap” between actual and forecasted productivity.

According to a July 2017 paper from the Roosevelt Institute called “What Recovery? The Case for Continued Expansionary Policy at the Fed”:

GDP remains well below both the long-run trend and the level predicted by forecasters a decade ago. In 2016, real per capita GDP was 10% below the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) 2006 forecast, and shows no signs of returning to the predicted level.

The report showed that the most likely explanation for this lackluster growth was inadequate demand. Wages have remained stagnant; and before producers will produce, they need customers knocking on their doors.

In 2017, the US Gross Domestic Product was $19.4 trillion. If the economy is running at 10% below full capacity, $2 trillion could be injected into the economy every year without creating price inflation. It would just generate the demand needed to stimulate an additional $2 trillion in GDP. In fact a UBI might pay for itself, just as the G.I. Bill produced a sevenfold return from increased productivity after World War II.

The Evidence of China

That new money can be injected year after year without triggering price inflation is evident from a look at China. In the last 20 years, its M2 money supply has grown from just over 10 trillion yuan to 80 trillion yuan ($11.6T), a nearly 800% increase. Yet the inflation rate of its Consumer Price Index (CPI) remains a modest 2.2%.

Why has all that excess money not driven prices up? The answer is that China’s Gross Domestic Product has grown at the same fast clip as its money supply. When supply (GDP) and demand (money) increase together, prices remain stable.

Whether or not the Chinese government would approve of a UBI, it does recognize that to stimulate productivity, the money must get out there first; and since the government owns 80% of China’s banks, it is in a position to borrow money into existence as needed. For “self-funding” loans – those that generate income (fees for rail travel and electricity, rents for real estate) – repayment extinguishes the debt along with the money it created, leaving the net money supply unchanged. When loans are not repaid, the money they created is not extinguished; but if it goes to consumers and businesses that then buy goods and services with it, demand will still stimulate the production of supply, so that supply and demand rise together and prices remain stable.

Without demand, producers will not produce and workers will not get hired, leaving them without the funds to generate supply, in a vicious cycle that leads to recession and depression. And that cycle is what our own central bank is triggering now.

The Fed Tightens the Screws

Rather than stimulating the economy with new demand, the Fed has been engaging in “quantitative tightening.” On December 19, 2018, it raised the fed funds rate for the ninth time in 3 years, despite a “brutal” stock market in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average had already lost 3,000 points in 2-½ months. The Fed is still struggling to reach even its modest 2% inflation target, and GDP growth is trending down, with estimates at only 2-2.7% for 2019. So why did it again raise rates, over the protests of commentators including the president himself?

For its barometer, the Fed looks at whether the economy has hit “full employment,” which it considers to be 4.7% unemployment, taking into account the “natural rate of unemployment” of people between jobs or voluntarily out of work. At full employment, workers are expected to demand more wages, causing prices to rise. But unemployment is now officially at 3.7% – beyond technical full employment – and neither wages nor consumer prices have shot up. There is obviously something wrong with the theory, as is evident from a look at Japan, where prices have long refused to rise despite a serious lack of workers.

The official unemployment figures are actually misleading. Including short-term discouraged workers, the rate of US unemployed or underemployed workers as of May 2018 was 7.6%, double the widely reported rate. When long-term discouraged workers are included, the real unemployment figure was 21.5%. Beyond that large untapped pool of workers, there is the seemingly endless supply of cheap labor from abroad and the expanding labor potential of robots, computers and machines. In fact the economy’s ability to generate supply in response to demand is far from reaching full capacity today.

Our central bank is driving us into another recession based on bad economic theory. Adding money to the economy for productive, non-speculative purposes will not drive up prices so long as materials and workers (human or mechanical) are available to create the supply necessary to meet demand; and they are available now. There will always be price increases in particular markets when there are shortages, bottlenecks, monopolies or patents limiting competition, but these increases are not due to an economy awash with money. Housing, healthcare, education and gas have all gone up, but it is not because people have too much money to spend. In fact it is those necessary expenses that are driving people into unrepayable debt, and it is this massive debt overhang that is preventing economic growth.

Without some form of debt jubilee, the debt bubble will continue to grow until it can again no longer be sustained. A UBI can help correct that problem without fear of “overheating” the economy, so long as the new money is limited to filling the gap between real and potential productivity and goes into generating jobs, building infrastructure and providing for the needs of the people, rather than being diverted into the speculative, parasitic economy that feeds off them.

___________________

This article was first published on Truthdig.com. Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including Web of Debt and The Public Bank Solution. A 13th book titled Banking on the People: Democratizing Finance in the Digital Age is due out early next year. She also co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called “It’s Our Money.” Her 300+ blog articles are posted at EllenBrown.com.

(Source: https://ellenbrown.com/2018/12/28/universal-basic-income-is-easier-than-it-looks/)