The Paradise Papers - the immorality of the wealthy. Are we being robbed?

 

The effects of globalisation and automation are already being felt. The wealthy people owning the businesses are taking their factories to the Third World or bringing in automation in order to create more profit. People are being thrown out of high paying jobs into low-paying jobs or chucked on the scrapheap.

These same greedy people, already on huge incomes, are busy squirrelling away their ill-gotten gains in Off-shore tax havens in order to avoid paying tax. Some of these mega-earners are paying less tax than ordinary hardworking people. It is simply wrong.

Trillions of dollars have been taken off to avoid proper taxation. It is immoral and obscene.

These individuals and major organisations are robbing everybody of the money that should be going to pay for our roads, infrastructure, schools, hospitals and care homes.

I say:

  1. Shut down these tax havens and close the loopholes.
  2. Have a fair progressive tax system to create less inequality and so these people contribute to society
  3. Retrain the displaced workers for other roles - nursing, teaching, caring for the elderly, plumbing, electrical work, IT, child care, environmental work - things that make a difference
  4. Give everyone a guaranteed income
  5. Reduce the working week to three days
  6. Provide leisure, sport and fitness facilities so that people can enjoy a healthy lifestyle and families can flourish

What do you think?

Comments

opher goodwin Added Nov 18, 2017 - 5:06pm
I'm sure we are being robbed.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Nov 18, 2017 - 5:56pm
Each one of us could be wealthy. The question is only which one of us could withstand the wealth and egoism and choose a life which focuses on empathy and fairness and partage that wealth.
 
It's easy to blame the rich when you're poor. But it's not certain that you'd be different once you have the chance to get rich....;-)
opher goodwin Added Nov 18, 2017 - 6:25pm
Stone - I believe in fairness and justice. I want a better world.
George N Romey Added Nov 18, 2017 - 6:29pm
I think it’s head chopping time. Nothing will change without revolution. The Mall in DC would be a great place to set up the chopping block.
Michael B. Added Nov 18, 2017 - 6:32pm
From my experiences, whenever downtrodden people get empowered in any way, shape, or form, they usually don't waste any time in thoroughly and comprehensively abusing it. George Orwell laid it out very good in Animal Farm.
Thomas Napers Added Nov 19, 2017 - 3:46am
I agree with nothing that you wrote.  The following are a few tidbits as to why:
 
When you factor in benefits, such as the cost of providing very expensive government approved healthcare ala Obamacare, people are making more money than ever before.
 
I see nothing wrong with people from Third World countries finding gainful employment. 
 
I see nothing wrong with free trade.
 
Automation is only used when the cost of labor exceeds the cost of the machine.  Thanks to Obamacare, minimum wage and others labor killing measures, it’s our government that’s encouraged companies to automate. 
 
The wealthy are no more or less greedy than you.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 3:52am
George - if this continues and the gross inequality is not checked then I do believe you will have your revolution. There will be a spark. Something will happen and all of that fury will just flow out.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 3:55am
Michael - that may well be true but it doesn't stop uprisings. If the people at the top abuse their power and do not adequately look after those at the bottom there is usually an uprising eventually. History demonstrates that. Enough is enough. If people at the bottom feel such a sense of injustice, that they are being exploited and arrogantly manipulated and lied to, they snap.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 3:58am
Thomas - speak for yourself. I am not greedy. I am quite happy to pay my taxes and would even be willing to contribute more if what we got in return was excellent services and a fair society. What pisses me off is when people earning a thousand times what I bring in find ways (legal and illegal) to pay less tax than I do. That is quite simply stealing.
Thomas Napers Added Nov 19, 2017 - 4:04am
I’m not interested in explaining the tax code to you.  I commented to you because of the content of your article.  Does anyone consider himself or herself to be greedy?
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 4:08am
Thomas - the NHS in my country provides free healthcare for everyone and costs a fraction of the American system.  Those at the bottom in America are left with little or no healthcare and you think that is good?
I do not see anything wrong with Third World people gaining gainful employment. But there is a fine line between being exploited by first world companies for extremely low wages, long hours and poor conditions so that bosses can extract more profit for themselves. That is tantamount to slavery.
Free trade and free movement of people are fine with me as long as there is no exploitation. Doesn't work that way though does it?
Automation is coming in because machines are always cheaper, more efficient and can work 24/7.
For the first time in history we do not require a huge reservoir of  cheap manpower. Even the military is more efficient with drones than men on the ground. What do we do with the huge number of displaced people? Let them starve?
America is suffering from the effects of globalisation, automation and the death of old redundant industries. The workforce is no longer required.
Time to face the music and solve it. Progressive taxation, changes to working practice, leisure and a guaranteed income are now essential.
Thomas Napers Added Nov 19, 2017 - 4:24am
I don’t think it’s good that people don’t have healthcare insurance.  You made the statement that wages are down and I pointed out why that assumption is false. 
 
You’re too funny when a business owner uses a machine to do work they’re accused of being greedy and when he employs someone he’s accused of exploitation. The truth of the matter is that you believe the wealthy are “immoral” and “robbing” us and no amount of reason or logic will change that opinion.  
 
Our tax code is more progressive than ever before.  
 
That's all the time I have for today.
Leroy Added Nov 19, 2017 - 7:03am
1. If people weren't paying the legally required taxes, they would be arrested en masse.  It just isn't happening.
 
2. "Fair progressive" is an oxymoron.  There is nothing fair about making the wealthy paid progressively higher taxes.  Up to a point, with a gun to their head, they might pay it; otherwise, they find a better place to live.  The millionaire taxes in France caused the wealthy to leave in droves.  I suppose we should take away their passports.
 
3. Yes, let's retrained the people and force them to work where they are needed.  Let's do away with this nonsense of people doing what they love, once and for all.  The Chinese called them re-education camps.  Engineers were forced to become pig farmers to get their mind right.  We need people like you to decide where people should work.
 
4. Let's give them all the comforts of life: a good income, free medical, a house, a nanny to take care of their children, a garden behind the house and someone to tend it, free vacations, free leisure, free everything.  Let's make sure no one has to struggle.  Let's ensure that the survival of the fittest is completely invalidated.
 
5.  Oh, hell.  Why stop at three days.  Let's just make work voluntary.  Then, all the dogooders like yourself can work for the benefit of all.
 
6. See #4.
 
Making us more dependent on the government doesn't solve anything.  As it has been said many times and many ways, a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.
Dino Manalis Added Nov 19, 2017 - 8:48am
That's why taxes should be kept low to attract trillions from abroad and stem tax evasion.  We can do it!
George N Romey Added Nov 19, 2017 - 9:30am
History has shown the richer get richer while everyone else poorer then the revolution begins. Some plain old head chopping.
 
We in the US haven’t had this experience yet. During the 19th century we were a frontier state. We started coming close in the 30s but FDR was able to quell the masses. Then we had the post War great middle class. When that’s just about gone we will have our first honest to God Revolution. 
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 10:20am
Thomas - You’re too funny when a business owner uses a machine to do work they’re accused of being greedy and when he employs someone he’s accused of exploitation. The truth of the matter is that you believe the wealthy are “immoral” and “robbing” us and no amount of reason or logic will change that opinion.  
That is right and wrong. I do not think all employers are immoral or robbing us. Most employers are there to make money for themselves. Many are greedy. Those are the ones who are immoral. They either exploit the labour of their workforce to cream off money for themselves or uses automation to create his profits.
What I want is for a boss to have fair wages for his/her staff and fair profits for himself/herself. I want all wages properly taxed to provide facilities and services for everyone.
I believe it is totally immoral to use tax loopholes to evade paying fair taxes. That is robbing everyone. As we can see from the Paradise Papers as well as previous leaks, too many of our superrich are actively robbing the people by avoiding paying their fair share. They need locking up. Tax evasion is theft.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 10:32am
Leroy - I agree with point one - lock 'em up. They are thieves.
I don't agree with point 2. Nobody earns $10 Million. They get inflated salaries and bonuses by scamming people. They need taxing on their ill-gotten gains. Tax the fucking bankers!! A progressive tax system would take a bigger chunk of Zuckerman's money and put it into schools and hospitals where it belongs.
Point 3 - I'm not talking about compulsory retraining. But if someone has lost their job they need some help getting another one. Many of the old industries are going. I'm all for giving help. I think you are confusing what I say or deliberately obfuscating.
Point 4 - I don't think we need to go that far. But in a supposedly civilised country nobody should starve and everyone should have access to good health care and education.
Point 5 - when there are far less jobs to go round there is not enough work for everyone. Again - I think you miss the point. Automation will remove the need for mass labour. People will not have work. You either have a number working their guts out and a good percentage with no work at all. Or you create a better system.
Point 6 - ???
We elect governments to provide for the citizens, to create a pleasant, fair society. They are the ones who provide the services we all need and do the forward planning.
It seems to me that a good portion of America is actively fighting the people they elect to work for them.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 10:34am
Dino - that sounds stupid to me. What we need is a global approach to taxation so that these multibillionaires can't carry on exploiting and robbing with impunity. This gross inequality will result in a very unpleasant society - it already is. Tax evasion should result in prison.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 10:34am
George - when the angry and displaced get angry enough.
Ian Thorpe Added Nov 19, 2017 - 11:08am
Opher, I would not have thought it possible for anyone to get so close to the bulls eye and yet still miss the target completely. You are right in saying that globalisation is one of the major causes of our multiple crises. And yet you frequently tell us you are a socialist.
One of the reasons I despise socialism is their love of globalisation. "Free movement of labour," they chant, open borders, redistribution, fairness equality.
Eyewash I say. It's true that open borders allows the import of cheap labour to rich counties, which helps big business. It also allows, and in fact facilitates the free movement of money from high tax jurisdictions to places where there is virtually no regulation of business, which helps big business and the rich investors who divvy up the profits.
We can't shut down the tax havens, they are sovereign nations, do cut off their international trade would be an act of war.
Just look at the worst tax evaders of recent years; Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft ... All have directors who pontificate on morality, all have a record of supporting 'liberal' or 'progressive' causes that supposedly help the poor, but in fact help transfer wealth out of ordinary people's wallets into the coffers of corrupt global corporations.
The tax loopholes exploited by these corporations and wealthy individuals are created by politicians. One of the most common underhand ways of creating these loopholes is in the small print of 'free trade deals' (which are usually about the opposite of free trade, but are also beloved of socialists.) So you get pages of regs. on safety standards for mechanical and electrical equipment, pages of regs. on how bent bananas must be and how cucumbers must be alsolutely straight and then, tucked away in Section 115, Clause 97 paragraph 215 you get "There will be no restriction on the trade in management and financial services."
And there you go, set up a company in a tax haven and send your company in Britain a monthly invoice for management services (i.e. sending a monthly invoice).
There's an old saying, if voting changed anything they'd abolish it. The same could be said of socialism. But so long as it continues to serve the rich and keep the poor from taking up their pitchforks and cudgels and marching on the seat of power by throwing them a few crumbs, socialism will continue to be the politics of double standards.
Bill H. Added Nov 19, 2017 - 11:21am
You will soon see a ton of jobs being replaced by automation, here's a few:
1. Supermarket Checkout people
2. Bank Tellers
3. Taxi Drivers
4. Truck Drivers
5. Farmers
6. Movie Stars
7. Inventory Managers And Stockers
8. Construction Workers
9. Doctors
10. Fast Food Workers
11. Musicians
12. Bartenders
13. Accountants/Tax Preparers
To make matters even worse, the source of most of the hardware and software used to replace these jobs will come from offshore, as will most of the programming and support to keep the technology operational.
I support the creation of regulations that would insure not only that this technology come only from US sources, but that training efforts to produce, operate, and maintain this equipment be implemented immediately. If we do not, we will again loose out as we did with many of the opportunities in the field of alternative energy related to manufacturing jobs initially. Being that this would require both high initial investments and reasonable wage levels from the players, I suspect it will be ignored and resisted as usual by those who could stand to gain over the long term. The big benefit would be to save our country in the end.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 12:47pm
Ian - You see we just have different views of globalisation and inequality. I take a truly global view. I think we need to look at the world holistically and raise everybody's standard of living. I'm not in favour of nations.
I think the way that globalisation is working at the moment is scandalous. The multinationals and wealthy are scamming everybody because there are no laws or regulations out there. That is why I want a global body with regulations to prevent tax evasion or exploitation.
One world - one people - no room for corruption or for the wealthy to hide away their grotesque profits.
We need a breed of politicians who are going to deal with this.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 12:52pm
Bill - being in the UK I'm not in favour of this protectionism that you suggest. I want a truly global approach to this with proper regulation of multinationals and the wealthy.
My view is that there is more than enough wealth to deal with all the world's problems. It is just that it is concentrated into too few hands. I want to end inequality and raise standards all over the planet, plug the tax loopholes and make a fairer planet. It is not just protecting the quality of life of one nation; it's about everybody.
My worry is that with a population of 7.6 Billion and growing we will have billions chasing fewer and fewer jobs while that same uncaring elite cream off even more for themselves.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 19, 2017 - 1:31pm
Geo Romey "the revolutionary" who believes revolution comes from a chair cushion sez: History has shown the richer get richer while everyone else poorer then the revolution begins. Some plain old head chopping.-So Madame Lafarge, can anyone get you some more yarn? 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Nov 19, 2017 - 1:57pm

Thomas Napers
 
"I agree with nothing that you wrote.  The following are a few tidbits as to why:

 I see nothing wrong with people from Third World countries finding gainful employment"
 
I agree with you Thomas. This is some kind of irrational screed aimed directly at many of those who provide the jobs and also pay some %70 of the taxes, while many in the bottom half pay zero or ever get an 'earned income credit' even if they did not work. This is a leftist negative income tax used to troll for votes.
Ever get a job from a poor person?
 
I haven.t
Leroy Added Nov 19, 2017 - 2:47pm
"We elect governments to provide for the citizens, to create a pleasant, fair society. They are the ones who provide the services we all need and do the forward planning."
 
Opher, this is where we fundamentally disagree.  The sole reason for government, IMHO, is protection.  Other than that, I would prefer government stay out of my business.  If I start a business and I want to do it without hiring people, I should be able to do so.  If I completely automate and make gazillions of dollars, what concern is it of yours.  Why should I have to pay workers not to work?  The only way I can stay in business is if I provide something useful. 
 
No matter what anyone does, society will never be fair in everyone's mind.
Bill H. Added Nov 19, 2017 - 3:23pm
Opher - A good thought in practice, but in reality these companies will simply go to China to buy the cheapest equipment possible and most likely outsource any design, engineering, and support jobs to China, also. When it comes to hiring people on this end to do physical maintenance and upgrades, they would most likely also be imported using the present H1-B visa program that allows companies to source ultra-cheap labor from offshore.
Wouldn't it be nice if both the US and UK could work together on this and eliminate China from the picture? The problem is that there are no regulations or incentives for these companies to prevent them from going to China for virtually everything. In fact, present rules permit these companies to perform virtually all of there operations (design, engineering, sales, distribution, support) overseas and not have to pay a penny in tax if they keep and invest the money overseas. Several tech companies I have dealt with in the past (Motorola, BigBand Systems) are prime examples of this. Trump is under pressure from his corporate supporters to not mess with the China loopholes, so I don't suspect anything will change for the better in this area.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 3:24pm
Jeff - I don't know about revolution but I reckon there will be a lot of social unrest.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 3:29pm
rycK - only in America could anyone believe that the rich deserve all their loot. Money's the god eh?
Fairness - who gives a hoot. The poor deserve to be poor. They are lazy, feckless and undeserving. Besides, we've got guns.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 3:33pm
Leroy - back before regulations and health and safety people died, got maimed and were exploited. They worked long hours for little reward. Kids worked in factories and mines. Education was kept for the rich and healthcare was non-existent. Without welfare people starved. The bullies ruled and life was miserable.
Society is about all the people. The system should work for everyone.
The rich get their money by exploiting others. It stinks.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Nov 19, 2017 - 3:56pm
Opher
 
"rycK - only in America could anyone believe that the rich deserve all their loot. Money's the god eh?"
 
An error: the rich do not have or deserve 'all the loot.'
 
"The system should work for everyone"
 
We saw wonderful and successful examples of equality and all that with Leninism, Marxism, Fascism and partly Socialism. 
 
"The rich get their money by exploiting others. It stinks."
 
Reads besser as: The politicians get their money by exploiting others. It stinks.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 4:03pm
rycK - they certainly seem to have far more than their fair share.
Bill H. Added Nov 19, 2017 - 5:34pm
Yep - The system worked great at one time when we had a balance between profits and wages. Everyone benefited and corporations in most cases had satisfied employees and reaped the benefits from them. Now that they choose to be ultra-greedy, the workers (what's left of them), the cities and states they operate in, along with the entire country is suffering.
Dave Volek Added Nov 19, 2017 - 6:50pm
Ian
I thought I was the only here seeing the "management fee" trick. BTW, it is only a coincidence that the management fee from the offshore company eats all the profit from the home company. 
 
I say if the rich don't like paying progressive taxes, encourage them to leave. When they vacate their local economy, other entrepreneurs will pick up where they left off.
 
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 8:07pm
Bill - that is it. They got too greedy. Instead of sharing they exploited.
opher goodwin Added Nov 19, 2017 - 8:08pm
Dave - I agree with you Dave. Their greed means they don't contribute. We're better off without them.
Leroy Added Nov 19, 2017 - 9:01pm
"Leroy - back before regulations and health and safety people died, got maimed and were exploited. They worked long hours for little reward."
 
Are you suggesting that doesn't happen today?  I've worked long hours with no rewards.  I've worked in excess of 24 hours straight.  I was maimed on the job due to company negligence.  People still die despite the regulations.
 
"Kids worked in factories and mines."
 
I started working at eleven.
 
"Education was kept for the rich and healthcare was non-existent."
 
We were more literate in the US before public education became mandatory.
 
"Without welfare people starved."
 
People depended on family and community.  Today, we don't have to depend on anyone.  The government is there to help us.  It has done more to undermine families than anything else that I can think of.  As an old roommate said, "I pay taxes for someone else to worry about these things."  We have become a very cold and sterile society.
 
"The bullies ruled and life was miserable."
 
They still do and life is still unfair and bullies still suck.

"Society is about all the people. The system should work for everyone."
 
Life will never be fair to everyone.  The best we can hope for is minimum government interference to live our lives the way we choose.  We can force people to make the right life choices.  We shouldn't penalize those that do.

"The rich get their money by exploiting others. It stinks."
 
How so?  If they didn't provide something we wanted, we wouldn't fork over our money. 
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 3:44am
Leroy - The H&S stats speak for themselves. The workplace is greatly safer and child labour is banned. Obviously things have got much better in your own lifetime.
The literacy levels in the USA are affected by many things, including the burgeoning drug culture, gang culture and increasing poverty. I doubt very much that they were better in the past.
Society has very much changed. Communities have broken down for a variety of reasons - increased numbers, dispersion of children, city culture, commuting, less stability etc. Government has a responsibility to create a fair, just and fulfilling society. That is why we elect politicians at any level.
Life will never be fair but it does not have to be so unfair.
I have nothing against people making money by producing things that people need just as long as they pay their fair share of taxes, don't exploit their workforce or become too greedy.
Leroy Added Nov 20, 2017 - 7:30am
Opher, it sounds like the more government involvement in our lives, the worse our lives have become.  Why would you believe that even more government would make things better?
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 7:43am
Leroy - because I don't believe that. I do not believe that all governments have made our lives worse. I think that life has generally steadily improved. Our standard of life and life possibilities are far far better than that of my parents. We have far better education, health-care, policing, standards of living, attitudes, opportunities and ability to travel. We are far more affluent. I can do things my parents couldn't even dream of. I have a house and range of labour saving devices and leisure facilities that my parents could only dream of.
When Labour got into power they brought in great things like the NHS and Comprehensive Education. They started making conditions better for working people with fair wages and conditions.
Why do you think that all governments are bad? We elect them to make things better. Some do. Not all politicians are selfish and greedy and serve the establishment.
Simply Jews Added Nov 20, 2017 - 9:50am
Opher,
 
As Ian already hinted, there is a serious logical bug in the Left bashing globalization. When the criticism of globalisation comes from the right, worried about loss of jobs in their country, at least they are saying it consistently and it is straightforward. 
 
But how does a left wing person justify his rejection of globalization that brings a bowl of rice to the table of a previously hungry Vietnamese of Chinese child? I hope you see that inherent fault in your logic...
Leroy Added Nov 20, 2017 - 10:20am
Opher, life expectancy is on the decline in the US.  Some blame it on opioids, both legal and illegal.  Whether it is due to these drugs I don't know, but we have a serious opioid problem in the US.  Our resident doctor has talked about the pressures to put people on medications.  Some say that it is government policies that have caused doctors to push this highly addictive medications on people. 
 
Sure.  We have better technology today.  I am grateful for it.  I thank Al Gore everyday for creating the internet.  What did the government have to do with it?  I'd argue that if companies in the US weren't so heavily taxed, we would see greater innovation as well as greater employment.  Federal minimum wage laws are not helpful.  It hurts employment and employability in some markets.  The decision is better left to the states.
 
Housing and rents are reaching unaffordability levels in the US and around the world as QE is causing dramatic rise in housing.  It is true in the US, China, and Sweden, and I expect in other parts of the world.  QE is government policy.  It kicks the can down the road for our children and grandchildren to deal with.  I would rather face the day of reckoning now than to pass it on.
 
Medical technology is much better today.  The medical care system sucks and it is directly due to government policy.  The affordability was much better before the government got involved.
 
The higher education system in the US is still pretty good thanks to the high tuitions foreigners are willing to pay.  Most people will tell you that the lower education system is not that good.  The more the federal government gets involved, the worst it gets.
Michael Cikraji Added Nov 20, 2017 - 11:04am
Opher,
As always, you're spot-on. You are completely correct in concepts, but when you write:
 
 Shut down these tax havens and close the loopholes.
 
It doesn't take into account that some ENTIRE COUNTRIES are giant tax havens where the wealthy hide their money. Although you're correct, I don't know if it would be feasible to invade or somehow otherwise force places like Liechtenstein, Monaco, The Isle of Man, etc. for this purpose...
 
 
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 11:49am
Simply Jews - I think you misunderstand me and stereotype my responses. I don't fit your pigeon holes. I have no problem with globalisation apart from the complete lack of regulation that enables multinationals and the wealthy to abuse the system with impunity. They are trashing the world, destroying habitats, chopping down rainforest, polluting and tax evading.
I think we have enough technology to provide a quality lifestyle for everybody. Unfortunately the selfish and greedy want far too much for themselves and use globalisation as a means to achieve their aims - to amass vast fortunes at the expense of everyone else.
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 11:55am
Leroy - I think we will always differ on this. I see the function of government as being to find the balance between enabling innovation and investment and providing public facilities and institutions that provide a good quality of life for its people. That is its purpose.
America is a runaway capitalist system which seems to have lost its moral compass. It has become callous and does not seem to care about the fate of the poorer people. It seems to condone the immoral quest for cash above all else. Quality of life does not seem to come into it except for the elite.
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 12:00pm
Michael - Thanks for that.
I think it would be possible for the world to exert pressure on these principalities if they really wanted to. The fact that they do not seem to want to seems to sum it up to me. The political classes are in cahoots with the wealthy elites and multinationals. That doesn't surprise me. It seems to me that there is a corruption along with a prevailing ethos that is at the heart of our present political institutions. Is it greed and snouts in the trough or is it fear of the wealthy pulling the plug and creating problems for the economy? Probably a bit of both.
Leroy Added Nov 20, 2017 - 12:15pm
"That is its purpose.  America is a runaway capitalist system which seems to have lost its moral compass. It has become callous and does not seem to care about the fate of the poorer people. It seems to condone the immoral quest for cash above all else. Quality of life does not seem to come into it except for the elite."
 
Keep in mind that the US is moving further and further away from capitalism and running more amuck into socialism.  I do not blame capitalism.  Quite the contrary; I blame government interference.  No one can deny the interference of government in our lives has increased.  That is the opposite of capitalism.
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 12:22pm
Leroy - that's where we differ. I blame capitalism. The inequality, environmental destruction and broken lives capitalism leaves in its wake is grotesque.
Simply Jews Added Nov 20, 2017 - 12:23pm
Opher,
 
"I think you misunderstand me and stereotype my responses."
 
That remark about the negative mention of globalisation was by no means an attempt to stereotype or to pigeonhole. Sorry if it was understood this way. Maybe in a way the fault is mine, since I am used to the presentation of globalisation as a satanic invention etc. by too many people.
 
By the way, you are correct re tax heavens. Either make them available to everyone or close them down for everyone be my approach.
 
"I think we have enough technology to provide a quality lifestyle for everybody."
 
Now that is too optimistic for this moment in time. We may have the technology, but the means to produce and to implement it in required quantities are not here yet, if you consider the whole 8bn population of this globe (or disk, if you are inclined that way).
Michael Cikraji Added Nov 20, 2017 - 12:29pm
Opher,
This line of yours: I see the function of government as being to find the balance between enabling innovation and investment and providing public facilities and institutions that provide a good quality of life for its people. That is its purpose.
Is simply a work of genius.
 
Leroy,
When you write: I blame government interference. I think you should turn back and read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. If anyone really runs amuck in unbridled capitalism it is big business. Your "government interference" may not be ideal, but left unchecked, big business has shown itself to be pure evil...
George N Romey Added Nov 20, 2017 - 12:41pm
We are headed into corporate socialism or more commonly known as fascism. Big government with big business.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Nov 20, 2017 - 1:42pm
Opher
 
"rycK - they certainly seem to have far more than their fair share."
 
So do liberal Democrats. Check out their wealth levels.
 
How can politicos become millionaires with they start with very little in wealth and stay in office for many terms? Bribery is one way . Corruption is another.
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 2:57pm
Simply Jews - I am an idealist. I dream the impossible. But if we do not have dreams of new visions we have nothing to work towards.
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 2:58pm
George - I don't think that is socialism at all.
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 2:59pm
Michael - Thank you - that is how I see it. I'm glad you see what I mean.
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 3:01pm
Leroy - I agree with Michael - unregulated big business is the greatest source of immorality and creator of misery, exploitation and inequality. It needs government to hold it in check.
opher goodwin Added Nov 20, 2017 - 3:04pm
rycK - I agree with you. There are many policos who are corrupt. They either get their snouts in the trough or sanction those who do. Some are afraid of the threats from the wealthy that they will simply withdraw their finance and the economy will crash.
We need people of integrity and strength to stand up to the wealthy establishment and call their bluff. We need a global, universal approach to prevent this minority holding us all to ransom.