Showing posts from March 28, 2016

Do billionaires fleeing Canadian taxes deserve public subsidies for their Alberta franchises?

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[Tarsands tycoon N. Murray Edwards runs away to England searching for lower than the already-low Alberta taxes, but still wants Alberta taxpayers to foot the bill for a new stadium for his hockey team. *RON*]
By David J. Climenhaga,, 27 March 2016

Twitter commentator Dave Beninger raised an interesting point yesterday: If tarsands tycoon N. Murray Edwards is going to bug off to England because he finds the taxes in low-tax Alberta 3 per cent too high, should his fellow Alberta taxpayers be asked to pony up for a new arena for his Calgary Flames professional hockey team?

This was a question a Postmedia scribe reporting on the revelation Edwards has apparently decamped from Wild Rose Country for England's green and pleasant land didn't ask anyone -- least of all Edwards, who is evidently not the sort of billionaire who responds to calls and emails from the grubby press.

Republicans Want Guns In Schools But Not At Their National Convention

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["Are you kidding?" says conventioneer, "We're insane! It would be a bloodbath!" *RON*]

By Judd LeGum, Think Progress, 27 March 2016
In response to an epidemic of gun violence in America, Republicans reject any effort to control gun use. The solution, instead, is more guns.

“The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” the expression goes. It’s available as a t-shirt from the NRA.

Wolf Richter: World Trade Collapses in Dollars, Languishes in Volume

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[Nearly eight years now of quantitative easing and even negative interest rates - and it's obviously not working as world trade continues in doldrums that are worse than 2008: "world trade dropped 3.8% in January from December and is down 12.1% from January a year ago." *RON*]
By Wolf Richter, Wolf Street, posted on Naked Capitalism by Yves Smith, 27 March 2016

The Merchandise World Trade Monitor by the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, a division of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, tracks global imports and exports in two measures: by volume and by unit price in US dollars. And the just released data for January was a doozie beneath the lackluster surface.

The World Trade Monitor for January, as measured in seasonally adjusted volume, declined 0.4% from December and was up a measly 1.1% from January a year ago. While the sub-index for import volumes rose 3% from a year ago, export volumes fell 0.7%. This sort o…

Leadnow launches campaign to push Premier Christy Clark to replace Fazil Mihlar

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[Christy Clark appoints a right-wing climate change denier to be our new deputy minister overseeing climate change. *RON*]

by Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight, 24 March 2016

This week, Premier Christy Clark surprised many observers by appointing Fazil Mihlar as the new deputy minister overseeing climate leadership.

Mihlar is best known as a long-time Vancouver Sun opinion page editor, editorial writer, and associate editor.

But what has rankled the citizens' group Leadnow is that in the 1990s, Mihlar was employed by a Vancouver-based free-market think tank, the Fraser Institute. It has downplayed the seriousness of human-induced climate change.

Leadnow has even launched an online letter-writing campaign calling upon the premier to remove Mihlar from office and "make BC a climate leader again".

"A former director of a climate-change denying, Koch-funded think tank is in charge of drafting BC's climate plan," Leadnow charges …

Why Either Trump’s and Cruz’s Tax Plans Would Be the Largest Redistributions to the Rich in American History

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["Trump and Cruz pretend to be opposed to the Republican establishment, but when it comes to taxes they’re seeking exactly what that Republican establishment wants." *RON*]

Robert Reich, / Salon, 24 March 2016

This originally appeared on Robert Reich's blog.

The tax cuts for the rich proposed by the two leading Republican candidates for the presidency – Donald Trump and Ted Cruz – are larger, as a proportion of the government budget and the total economy, than any tax cuts ever before proposed in history.

Trump and Cruz pretend to be opposed to the Republican establishment, but when it comes to taxes they’re seeking exactly what that Republican establishment wants.

Here are 5 things you need to know about their tax plans:

Japan’s elderly turn to life of crime to ease cost of living

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[They're committing petty crimes, hoping to be jailed for free food, housing and health care: "Even the theft of a Y200 sandwich can earn a two-year prison sentence, say academics, at an Y8.4m cost to the state.". *RON*]
Leo Lewis, Financial Times / CNBC News, 27 March 2016

Japan's prison system is being driven to budgetary crisis by demographics, a welfare shortfall and a new, pernicious breed of villain: the recidivist retiree. And the silver-haired crooks, say academics, are desperate to be behind bars.

Crime figures show that about 35 per cent of shoplifting offences are committed by people over 60. Within that age bracket, 40 per cent of repeat offenders have committed the same crime more than six times.

There is good reason, concludes a report, to suspect that the shoplifting crime wave in particular represents an attempt by those convicted to end up in prison — an institution that offers free food, accommodation and health…