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Showing posts from April 28, 2016

There will be a huge new 'Panama Papers' data dump

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[This is a democratic step forward, at least. It doesn't say whether this will include all the data, and it doesn't say what level of aggregation is being released, but they are acting before governments get the chance to pull a veil of secrecy around this information that seriously undermines neoliberal austerity policies. *RON*]
Lianna Brinded, Business Insider, 27 April 2016

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is about to unleash a huge data dump about how some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful people hide their cash.

The group has already released a host of information regarding how major figures in politics and business store their wealth in tax havens.

On Wednesday the ICIJ said in an email that on May 9 it would "publish what will likely be the largest-ever release of information about secret offshore companies and the people behind them, based on data from the Panama Papers investigation.

Navigating like a Norwegian: How Norway Dispels the Private vs Public Sector Myth

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[Balancing free markets and strong government. The Scandinavian nations are by no mean perfect. They only have to deal with small, culturally homogeneous populations. In trying to do otherwise, they've experienced right-wing refugee backlash and they haven't been able to sustain pure democratic socialist policies in the face of the global recession. But they still do many things better than we do, and there is plenty we can learn from them. The Economist article they mention below is also good. *RON*]

By David Sloan Wilson and Sigrun Aasland, Evonomics, 26 April 2016

It’s no secret that the Scandinavian nations are doing something right. They consistently lead the world in measures of happiness and quality of life. Political guru Francis Fukuyama called the search for the good society “getting to Denmark”. Even The Economist magazine featured a goofy looking Viking on its cover with the headline “The Next Supermodel”.

How the Nordic countr…

Studies Show Austerity Policies Exacerbate US Suicide Epidemic

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[Victims of the class wars. While plutocrats squirrel their money away in offshore accounts, "When right-wing austerity policies began to ravage Greece in 2010, the suicide rate jumped almost 18 percent. In Athens alone, it soared by 25 percent." Government quislings declaim, "By gosh, we'll look into this one day! (Go back to sleep now.)" Meanwhile, see also: Eurozone Government Debt Falls, Raising Questions Over Continued Austerity. *RON*]

By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program, Truthout, 25 April 2016

According to a new study from the National Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate in the United States has risen dramatically over the past decade-and-a-half.

Adjusting for age, it jumped 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, with the biggest increases coming after 2006. Thirteen out of every 100,000 people now kill themselves, making suicide one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the entire country.

Corporate Canada's cash in offshore tax havens skyrockets to $270 billion

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[Tax evasion, austerity and the 1%. Here again, Canada Revenue Agency says it will look into this one fine day, while the press has already dug up the numbers, no problemo. How many big political donors would need to be prosecuted if CRA actually did their job? How much austerity would we need if these plutocrats paid their taxes like you and I? *RON*]
Press Progress, 26 April 2016

Canada Revenue Agency, we have a problem.

Despite enjoying one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world, Corporate Canada's stash of offshore cash in the world's top 10 tax havens skyrocketed by $40 billion over the span of one year.

In total, Corporate Canada's cash in those tax haven countries has reached a new all-time high of $270 billion.


Evidence of overvalued home prices grows in a number of markets: CMHC

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[BC Election 2017. Market failure serves the plutocrats: yet the word "speculation" does not appear once in this article. See also how well Christy Clark has fixed the corrupt Vancouver housing market as she promised: Real estate loophole lets wealthy buyers save millions in taxes. *RON*]
Alex Posadzki, Vancouver Observer, 27 April 2016

There is mounting evidence that house prices in a number of Canadian cities — including Vancouver, Saskatoon and Hamilton — are out of whack with incomes and other economic fundamentals, according to the latest report from the federal housing agency.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says it has found evidence of overvaluation in nine of the 15 real estate markets included in its quarterly report released Wednesday.

Overbuilding was identified as a problem in seven of the markets tracked by the report.

"Overvaluation and overbuilding remain the most prevalent problematic conditions observed across the …

A big money BC Liberal donor is mad about topping up Christy Clark's salary

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[BC Election 2017. Venal career politicians are becoming a real curse on our landscape. I wonder if she could be charged with living off the avails of prostitution? *RON*]

Press Progress, 27 April 2016

The head of a firm that has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the BC Liberals isn't too impressed his money has ended up in BC Premier Christy Clark's pocket.

The Globe and Mail reported Wednesday that the BC Liberal Party pays Clark $30,000 to $50,000 per year for work that includes attending BC Liberal fundraising events.

That extra cash is in addition to Clark's nearly $200,000 Premier's salary and taxpayer-funded expenses, which has controversially included private jet flights and a $3,000 dinner at a Victoria oyster bar.

The amount of the stipend – totalling over $300,000 from the BC Liberals since 2011 – was previously undisclosed and in a 2012 interview with The Tyee, Clark first claimed she did not know how much she w…