The global inequality crisis is reaching new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest. A global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled.
The gap between rich and poor is reaching new extremes. Credit Suisse recently revealed that the richest 1% have now accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world put together. This occurred a year earlier than Oxfam’s much publicized prediction ahead of last year’s World Economic Forum. Meanwhile, the wealth owned by the bottom half of humanity has fallen by a trillion dollars in the past five years. This is just the latest evidence that today we live in a world with levels of inequality we may not have seen for over a century.
‘An Economy for the 1%’ looks at how this has happened, and why, as well as setting out shocking new evidence of an inequality crisis that is out of control.
Download the report at Oxfam
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Walgreens is trying to merge with Swiss corporation Alliance Boots, for one big reason: It can then change its headquarters address to Switzerland – a known tax haven – and get out of paying as much as $4 billion in U.S. taxes over the next five years.
Walgreens is not actually going anywhere. Its corporate leaders will still be here in America. It will still depend on our roads and bridges, our educated workforce, our legal system and many other things that its taxes are supposed to help pay for. It will still get one-quarter of its sales dollars from Medicare and Medicaid. And it will still need us to shop at our local Walgreens in order to make a profit.
If Walgreens doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes, the rest of us will have to make up the difference.
Let Walgreens know that if it deserts America, you’ll desert it, too.
By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News, 09 February 13
When the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street drove this country into the deepest recession since the 1930s, the largest financial institutions in the United States took every advantage of being American. They just loved their country – and the willingness of the American people to provide them with the largest bailout in world history. In 2008, Congress approved a $700 billion gift to Wall Street. Another $16 trillion in virtually zero interest loans and other financial assistance came from the Federal Reserve. America. What a great country.
But just two years later, as soon as these giant financial institutions started making record-breaking profits again, they suddenly lost their love for their native country. At a time when the nation was suffering from a huge deficit, largely created by the recession that Wall Street caused, the major financial institutions did everything they could to avoid paying American taxes by establishing shell corporations in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens. In 2010, Bank of America set up more than 200 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands (which has a corporate tax rate of 0.0 percent) to avoid paying U.S. taxes. It worked. Not only did Bank of America pay nothing in federal income taxes, but it received a rebate from the IRS worth $1.9 billion that year. They are not alone.
In 2010, JP Morgan Chase operated 83 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens to avoid paying some $4.9 billion in U.S. taxes. That same year Goldman Sachs operated 39 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to avoid an estimated $3.3 billion in U.S. taxes. Citigroup has paid no federal income taxes for the last four years after receiving a total of $2.5 trillion in financial assistance from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis.
On and on it goes. Wall Street banks and large companies love America when they need corporate welfare. But when it comes to paying American taxes or American wages, they want nothing to do with this country. That has got to change….
continue reading at Reader Supported News
Paul Bucheit, Truthout, 4/23/11
PayUpNow.org is an online effort to “uncut” the cutbacks by promoting boycotts of corporations who pay little or no federal income tax.
According to a US Senate subcommittee report, eliminating tax havens could save $100 billion a year. That’s a conservative estimate. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calculated that companies and individuals are holding up to $5 trillion in foreign tax havens.
Some of the worst offenders include General Electric (GE), which had $10 billion in profits and received a tax rebate; Bank of America, whose financial statements, according to a Bloomberg report, were “so delusional that they invite laughter”; oil giant Exxon, which paid no US taxes; and Citigroup, with an astounding 427 foreign tax havens.
The list goes on and on. In scanning the Government Accountability Office’s list of tax abusers, one is struck by the absence of companies WITHOUT tax havens, euphemistically referred to as “financial privacy jurisdictions.” Indeed, only 17 of the 100 largest US companies were listed as tax-haven-free.
The $100 billion per year lost to the taxpayers would cover most of the $140 billion budget deficit faced by the 50 states.
Several of the tax evaders are featured at PayUpNow.org, with brief summaries of their recent tax escapades, products to avoid and links to online forms or email addresses to corporate management….
continue reading at Truthout