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Connexions Other Voices - Tax Evasion
May 21, 2016The May 21, 2016 issue of Other Voices, the Connexions newsletter, is now out. The theme of this issue is Tax Evasion.
The essence of the capitalist economic system is the drive to accumulate as much as possible, by any means possible. It is almost inevitable, therefore, that those individuals or corporations -- whose existence revolves around accumulating capital will seek to avoid paying taxes.
The best way to avoid paying taxes, when youre rich and powerful, is to shape and write the tax laws. And indeed tax laws are almost invariably written to favour those whose wealth derives from profits and investment, at the expense of those who work for a living. For example, capital gains income from investments -- are either taxed at a much lower rate than wages, or not taxed at all.
Even so, this isnt enough for the superrich. Employing a network of accountants, tax lawyers, corporate shells, tax havens, secret bank accounts, and other methods, the 1% have become extremely adept at evading even the low rates of taxation they are subjected to.
Tax evasion has recently hit the news with the leak of the Panama Papers, a huge collection of documents detailing the activities of just one law firm specializing in setting up offshore shell companies which serve to hide assets from the tax authorities. The Panama Papers reveal the existence of more than 200,000 such offshore entities linked to wealthy individuals from more than 200 countries. This nonetheless represents only the tip of the iceberg: there are other companies involved in this dirty business, and more than 20 jurisdictions which cater to it, including the American states of Delaware and Wyoming, as well as the Bahamas, Belize, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. It is estimated that about $330 billion is lost to tax evasion and tax avoidance every single year, and that perhaps 7% of the worlds total financial wealth is hidden in secretive tax havens.
In this issue, we focus on tax evasion, with a selection of articles, books, and films.
We also look at the myth of precision that is used to justify reckless experiments in gene manipulation, and we feature Vivek Chibbers article Why the Working Class? which analyzes the unique power of the working class in challenging the power of capitalism.
Other Voices is sent out every two weeks by email. You can subscribe by using the contact form on the Connexions website.
Other Voices is also available on the Connexions website at http://www.connexions.org/Media/CXNL-2016-05-21.htm
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