Monday, July 23, 2012

Too Long For Twitter... Foreign Stuff


Everyone is wondering what Mitt Romney is trying to hide in the only foreign policy he's ever been involved with other than the time when he lived in a Parisian palace for several years working to persuade French people to convert to Mormonism. It's not all that complicated though. $3 million dollars in a Swiss bank account? That's just chump change for Romney. $30 million in the Caymans is scarier and something voters have to think about more seriously. Over the weekend, the BBC's Business Section reminded everyone that Romney is part of a "global super-rich elite had at least $21 trillion hidden in secret tax havens by the end of 2010" and that the size of their dubious stash "is equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined!"
The Price of Offshore Revisited was written by James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, for the Tax Justice Network.

...Mr Henry said that the super-rich move money around the globe through an "industrious bevy of professional enablers in private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries.

"The lost tax revenues implied by our estimates is huge. It is large enough to make a significant difference to the finances of many countries.

"From another angle, this study is really good news. The world has just located a huge pile of financial wealth that might be called upon to contribute to the solution of our most pressing global problems," he said.

The report highlights the impact on the balance sheets of 139 developing countries of money held in tax havens that is put beyond the reach of local tax authorities.

Mr Henry estimates that since the 1970s, the richest citizens of these 139 countries had amassed $7.3tn to $9.3tn of "unrecorded offshore wealth" by 2010.

Private wealth held offshore represents "a huge black hole in the world economy," Mr Henry said.

So what should we do? Confiscate the whole lot of it... or elect one of the crooks president of the United States?

Global warming and climate change may have "winners and losers," as the political right likes phrasing it when people are impacted by their policies anchored in short-term greed and selfishness. In England, for example, vintners are already benefiting-- even to the point of competing with classic French winemakers-- and winning! It's not just because southern England (West Sussex, Kent and Cornwall in particular) share almost identical geology with the Champagne region of France. Global warming in England has resulted in lower annual rainfall and the kinds of milder winters wine grapes love. Next time you're in London, try a bottle of locally produced Nyetimber Classic Cuvee or the Camel Valley Brut.

Joseph Stiglitz: "The consequences of Austerity will depress our economy"... depress like in Depression. But that's not slowing Mitt Romney or his supporters down. They are hell-bent on another Great Depression. A sensible Stimulus program, he says, "will create jobs now and it will promote growth in the future."

A few weeks ago the whole nation watched in disgust as opportunistic teabagger Joe Walsh tried demonizing his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth, not despite her military service (in which she lost both legs) but because of it. Long ago, when it became public that Walsh was a deadbeat dad, living high on the hog while refusing to pay any child support for his children, most Americans had learned that the loudmouthed lout was one of the most repulsive members of Congress.

When he first ran for Congress in 1996 he "positioned himself as a socially liberal Republican who favored abortion rights and gun control measures-- sharp contrasts to the staunchly conservative stances he now holds. "I think I'm the kind of Republican who can win because I'm open and tolerant," Walsh told the Tribune at the time. "I'm not some right-wing conservative." In 2010 he won because he ran against a hated corporate Democrat and Chamber of Commerce shill, Melissa Bean, a victim of that years' Great Blue Dog Apocalypse." Having taken expensive acting lessons at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in both NYC and L.A., he decided to play the role of teabagger next. It fit him well and now he's using the fate of Israel as a prop in his latest-- and hopefully last-- vile election campaign.

And the last thing's not foreign. Blue America supporters voted and decided that the Republican we should target in our campaign against those who have been trying to kick 18-26 year olds off their parents' health insurance policies is none other than... Paul Ryan. Seems fair to me. Ryan got 60 votes and second place was a tie (at 50 votes each) between Nick Ruiz (D-FL) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH). There have been nearly 4 million Facebook impressions already-- in just one week that these ads have been running. The ads will continue running in Racine, Janesville, Kenosha, the southern Milwaukee suburbs and the rest of Wisconsin's first congressional district where progressive Ron Zerban is challenging Ryan. If you'd like to help us pay for the ads, or help Zerban fight back against the millions Wall Street is pouring into Ryan's coffers, here's where you can do both.

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At 5:18 PM, Blogger John Campbell said...

It would be interesting to know how much of all that wealth is invested in growth of job-producing industry rather than just more fanatical skulduggery.

At 5:20 PM, Blogger John Campbell said...

Financial skulduggery. I didn't mean fanatical, although that's not bad either.


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