Saturday, April 30, 2016
But old T mobile dumb-phone does well.
Maybe cute Carnegie library has free wifi.
House on 6 acres was horse ranch.
Looks like I move next week.
Closer to 2 universities but need to write more than go to schools.
Need space and quiet. ASAP
Hopefully will have book done by fall and give seminars. Computer security that works.
Raise own organic food.
On Apr 29, 2016, at 4:10 PM, Ron wrote:
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Tornado Thunderstorm season but not a drop so far today. Huge oxygen blast from the green forest
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
SECRETARY OF THE FUTURE
A model for higher education where all learning counts
By Amy Scott
April 19, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Listen to this story
Digital currencies could alter the pathway to education.
This election year, Marketplace is casting its eyes toward the future, asking how the country can address long-term opportunities and threats — the ones that don't fit into a single federal budget or election cycle. We'll imagine and ask you, if the next president were to appoint a Cabinet member to worry about future generations, what would be job one? Got an idea? Tell us here.
Imagine it's 2026, and you're one of a billion people using a new digital platform called the Ledger.
So begins a new video from the Institute for the Future and ACT Foundation, envisioning a future system that would reward any kind of learning – from taking a course, to reading a book, to completing a project at work.
"Your Ledger account tracks everything you've ever learned in units called Edublocks," the video's narrator explains. "Each Edublock represents one hour of learning in a particular subject. Anyone can grant Edublocks to anyone else."
The Ledger would use the same technology that powers bitcoin, the virtual currency, to create a verifiable record of every learning transaction, said Jane McGonigal, director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future, a think tank in Palo Alto, California.
A new education currency could supplement, or offer an alternative to, the four-year college degree, she said, one that's suited to a rapidly changing economy.
"It's very expensive to get degrees," McGonigal said. "By the time you fi
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH SHEEP
By Ulf Kintzel
Let's assume you have a parcel of land. You would like to get started but you don't know how. Here is an outline.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Chains of enslavement....credit cards, smart phones etc.
Chinese have used for 3000 years.
Radio peoples pharmacy npr.org
Monday will be downloadable podcast.
Last week smart jew MD avoids bagels. Prefers German black rye bread hard enough to stand on without crushing.
Use meat cutter to slice it.
Like I got in San Francisco. Bakery.
Debunks lo fat diet.
Grow your own bees rye organic clean safe ripe fresh no fossil fuels.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
ranks, separates, sifts, and otherwise categorizes individuals and also predicts their potential future actions.
Consumer scores abound today.
Credit scores based on credit files receive much public attention, but many more types of consumer scores exist.
They are used widely to predict behaviors like, spending, health, fraud, profitability, and much more.
These scores rely on petabytes of information coming from newly available data streams.
The information can be derived from many data sources and can contain financial, demographic, ethnic, racial, health, social, and other data.
The Consumer Profitability Score, Individual Health Risk Score, Summarized Credit Statistics that score a neighborhood for financial risk, fraud scores, and many others seek to predict how consumers will behave based on their past behavior and characteristics.
Predictive scores bring varying benefits and drawbacks.
Scores can be correct, or they can be wrong or misleading.
Consumer scores – created by either the government or the private sector – threaten privacy, fairness, and due process because scores, particularly opaque scores with unknown ingredients or factors, can too easily evade the rules established to protect consumers.
The most salient feature of modern consumer scores is the scores are typically secret in some way.
The existence of the score itself, its uses, the underlying factors, data sources, or even the score range may be hidden.
Consumer scores with secret factors, secret sources, and secret algorithms can be obnoxious, unaccountable, untrustworthy, and unauditable.
Secret scores can be wrong, but no one may be able to find out that they are wrong or what the truth is.
Secret scores can hide discrimination, unfairness, and bias.
Trade secrets have a place, but secrecy that hides racism, denies due process, undermines privacy rights, or prevents justice does not belong in a democracy.
Monday, April 11, 2016
> Treeseeds.com was the most reasonable I found, let me know if you found better; variety is a little scarce;
Sheffields Seeds has perhaps a nearly complete vast assortment , but high prices.
I am interested in little known tree food sources, like from China, they grow good here also; I know of some types to establish; example :
Carpathian English Walnut,
I don't know if you need worry about grains, unless they reseed themselves to feed milk sheep, poultry, ect.
You might raise animals that are rare and sell easy and high price;
I would just rely on lambs to mow around the house close, with a "sheep dog", since if left unguarded most likely will eventually perish along with poultry unless you keep a guard dog near them along with a secure cage like fencing; you only need a few egglayers, probably best for you to buy from neighbors,
I only keep poultry to control weeds and weed sprouts , and for fun , convenience food that is free.
Also You could just rent out the pasture to local cattle breeders,ect for a small fee, and let them take care of the fencing.
> I can move myself easily. I have to do it to get ton of books stacked right.
> My problem is to decide what animals to get and grow food for them and fix fences defend from big cats and coyotes.
> Lots of grass needs eating right now.
> I want state flower sunflower for sunflower seeds. For me.
> And black walnuts. Etc.
> Sounds good, glad you found a good home; probably your neighbors will have a place for shelter; I have noticed that country neighbors see there neighbors as assets : security guards, friends, helpers, night watchmen, ect.
> I thought one could just dig out a place under a concrete slab to take cover in... I can help move some big stuff if you like; I was kinda wanting maybe to go to some Passover event on April 22 in Arkansas, maybe Dad could haul me down there then and load up the heavy items, not sure if it's OK to take anything over to the new place then.
> There is a pond on the back section. I can sell the hay for about $500 per year. Milk $2 per gallon next farm down the road fresh raw!
Chicks and eggs the next farm the other direction. 6 acres is huge maybe too much to physically plant in next 30 days.
Mostly flowers and honey bees and food for me.
> Really good weather today cool sunny 60s tail wind 2 hour drive home.
> She said great hip replacement clinic in Galena set up because Joplin is not so good. Serves restaurant food not hospital junk. Guarantee out in 2 days.
> I will keep Cox health in Springfield and use VA in Parsons KS or Branson or Mt Vernon whichever is best. Avoid doctors!
> Nice small Mercy hospital dental 3 optometrists in Columbus. All county services and K-12 schools still can walk everywhere in 10 minutes.
> Ford dealer half mile from my house hiway intersection North end of town
> Tornado shelter dug underground will cost $2000 they say.
>> Well good, now you can have some fun raising animals and food...you just need to plant seeds for trees,ect. I think it may be a drought this year, but don't let that stop you, there are a lot of species that can take it. If you like hedges, Buford Holly outperforms a lot. Just keep farm animals like pets, and a lap dog raised with chicks works well to keep the varmints away. Have fun ! Welcome to the Land of Ahs! Just in time for Tornado season. There may be oil or natural gas there, hope it comes with mineral rights
1930 obscure university of Chicago paper document.
Still needed. But who reads the relevant literature?
Would not need FDIC or Federal Reserve! Or so much debt.
My classmate in Monetary Economics bringing back common sense.
Or learn to cook and garden.
Run. Walk. Bike. Swim. Ski. Tennis.
In Kansas I saw big fat slobs shop at $ store. Huge display of soda pop drinks. Cost more than 2$ gallon of milk from poor local farmers and free eggs from own hens and free water. Grow your own vegs for exercise. Fresh. Raw.
Kansas seems a little heathier than Missouri but many of the same problems. Especially Ozarks hillbillies moonshine whiskey culture. The rich families who kept big family farms are doing fine.
A new study from the Brookings Institute shows that the disparity in the life expectancy of the rich and the poor is widening.
Life expectancy gap for rich and poor is widening
Not only are the poor getting poorer but they're also living shorter lives than the rich.
A new study by the Brookings Institute shows a surprising trend -- the gap in life expectancy is widening based on income level.
That the rich outlive the poor isn't surprising since they've historically enjoyed better access to medicine, resources, education and food.
But the gap has been getting worse -- much worse.
On average, a rich man born in the U.S. in 1920 could expect to live about six years longer than a poor man born in the same year.
By 1940, this gap had more than doubled. Among rich and poor men born in 1940, the difference in life expectancy was 12 years.
This same trend was also seen with women's life expectancies.
The gap between rich and poor women widened from 3.7 years for women born in 1920 to 10.1 years for those born in 1940.
The researchers examined variables such as smoking, obesity, education, nutrition and exercise, but were unable to find a definitive cause for the growing disparity.
Related: Is $250,000 middle class? Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders think so
Gary Burtless, one of the study's researchers, said the findings have big implications for Social Security.
As people live longer, concerns that Social Security benefits will run out have prompted some officials to consider trimming benefits.
However, Burtless says blindly cutting benefits would disproportionately hurt the poor.
Lower-income workers tend to claim their pensions at a younger age than higher-income workers. Because working longer and waiting to claim benefits entitles workers to higher payouts, tapping into Social Security earlier is a disadvantage. Since they work less time over all, these lower-income workers receive lower monthly payments.
Add to this a shorter life span and lower-income workers end up getting less of the Social Security pot. That's why Burtless says making cuts across the board would end up hurting those who need these benefits the most
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Fwd: Senior DARPA Scientist Warns of Widespread LETHAL ATTACKS Upon the Public Coming From Microwave Towers - Dave Hodges - The Common Sense Show
Senior DARPA Scientist Warns of Widespread LETHAL ATTACKS Upon the Public Coming From Microwave Towers
Fwd: Obama Reassures Hollywood: ‘Mr. Trump Is Not Succeeding Me’ » Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
OBAMA REASSURES HOLLYWOOD: 'MR. TRUMP IS NOT SUCCEEDING ME'
"I recognize that there is a deep obsession right now about Mr. Trump"
Re: ONLY little people PAY TAXES - Thousands of protesters storm Downing Street calling on David Cameron to quit amid Panama Papers row
On Apr 9, 2016, at 11:38 PM, Lothar
Date: April 9, 2016 at 21:34:42 PDT
Subject: ONLY little people PAY TAXES - Thousands of protesters storm Downing Street calling on David Cameron to quit amid Panama Papers row
ONLY 'LITTLE PEOPLE' PAY TAXES
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Through ALEC, Global Corporations Are Scheming to Rewrite YOUR Rights and Boost THEIR Revenue
Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights.
These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.
In ALEC's own words, corporations have "a VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU?
Numerous resources to help us expose ALEC are provided below. We have also created links to detailed discussions of key issues, which are available on the left
Lisa Graves is CMD's Executive Director and the Editor-in-Chief of PRWatch; she led CMD in launching its award-winningALECexposed.org investigation.
She previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice and as Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
She also worked as the Deputy Chief for the U.S. Court system in the division for lifetime-appointed judges, as an adjunct law professor, as the Senior Legislative Strategist for the ACLU on national security issues, and in other posts.
She was Managing Editor of the Cornell Law Review
On Apr 7, 2016, at 11:22 AM, Jeffrey
Did You Know That Possums Eat Almost All Your Yard Ticks?
At night, when you catch sight of an opossum in your car headlights, you are allowed to think, "That is one ugly little animal."
But what opossums lack in looks, they make up in originality.
They're America's only babies-in-the pouch marsupial.
They're a southern species -- proper name Virginia opossum -- that's adapted to New England winters.
They're one of the oldest species of mammal around, having waddled past dinosaurs.
They eat grubs and insects and even mice, working over the environment like little vacuum cleaners.
"They really eat whatever they find," said Laura Simon, wildlife ecologist with the U.S. Humane Society.
And they're an animal whose first line of defense includes drooling and a wicked hissing snarl -- a bluff -- followed by fainting dead away and "playing possum."
"They are just interesting critters," said Mark Clavette, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
And now ecologists have learned something else about opossums. They're a sort of magnet when it comes to riding the world of black-legged ticks, which spread Lyme disease.
"Don't hit opossums if they've playing dead in the road," said Richard Ostfeld, of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y.
Ostfeld is forest ecologist and an expert on the environmental elements of infectious diseases like Lyme disease.
Several years ago, scientists decided to learn about the part different mammals play in the spread of the ticks and the disease.
They tested six species -- white-footed mice, chipmunks, squirrels, opossums and veerys and catbirds -- by capturing and caging them, and then exposing each test subject to 100 ticks.
What they found, is that of the six, the opossums were remarkably good at getting rid of the ticks -- much more so that any of the others.
"I had no suspicion they'd be such efficient tick-killing animals," Ostfeld said.
Indeed, among other opossum traits, there is this: They groom themselves fastidiously, like cats. If they find a tick, they lick it off and swallow it. (The research team on the project went through droppings to find this out. All praise to those who study possum poop.)
Extrapolating from their findings, Ostfeld said, the team estimated that in one season, an opossum can kill about 5,000 ticks.
What ecologists are learning is how complex the interaction of ticks and mammals can be.
For example, foxes probably serve as a host for ticks seeking a blood meal. But foxes are great at killing white-footed mice -- the species in the environment credited with being the chief reservoir of the Lyme bacteria.
Likewise, Ostfeld said, opossums, waddling around at night, pick up lots of ticks. Some ticks end up getting their blood meal from the possum. But more than 90 percent of them ended up being groomed away and swallowed.
"They're net destroyers of ticks," Ostfeld said.
For Simon, of the U.S. Humane Society, the Cary Institute research is a welcome justification to just leave opossums be.
"People are so hard on them," she said.
That's in part because people think oppossums might be rabid when they drool and hiss and carry on when threatened. In fact, opossums are resistant to rabies.
Meanwhile, they are not particularly pretty. People who "ooh" and "aah" over fawns and bluebirds may not extend the same love to pokey animals with triangular heads, white faces and naked tails.
"I tell people 'We can't all be beautiful,' " Simon said.
story elements via: Cary Institute
Sponsored by Revcontent
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Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Two sales taxes pass with overwhelming support in Springfield
Photos disappear from computer.
Not my fault!
But I will use deflation to set up 10 or 20 more websites last blast using PayPal. Politics and vanity. Easy.
Bible belt people nice but strange. Mostly interested in sex music religion cars boats sugar fast food. Some go on to drugs alcohol tobacco and die young
Controversial preacher faced off with topless protesters, Satanist at MSUniversity
Fwd: France - THOUGHT-CRIME ~$33K Fine, again - Jean Marie Le Pen muss wegen Holocaust-Leugnung 30.000 Euro zahlen - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Monday, April 4, 2016
Nevada's tax structure is also a large benefit to incorporation in Nevada.
Nevada has no franchise tax.
It also has no corporate income tax or personal income tax.
While Nevada likes to promote that there are "no corporation taxes" in the state, there is an annual $200 "Business License Fee" which is paid to the Secretary of State's Office at the time of formation or renewal of the corporation.
Nevada additionally applies a 1.17% tax on gross wages to most businesses with a payroll over $62,500.
Nevada and Texas are the only two states that do not have information sharing agreements with the Internal Revenue Service.
In addition there are,
• No state corporate income tax, franchise tax, personal income tax, or taxes on corporate shares
• No IRS information-sharing agreement (although other states' incorporation laws often supersede Nevada law in certain cases)
• Low annual fees and minimal reporting/disclosure requirements
• Stockholders, directors, and officers are not public record, not required to reside or hold meetings in Nevada, and are not required to be US citizens
• Directors not required to hold stock
• Officers/directors are protected from personal liability for lawful acts of the corporation
• Corporations may purchase, hold, sell, or transfer shares of its own stock
• Corporations may issue stock for capital, services, personal property, or real estate, including leases and options
• Directors may determine the value of any transactions; their decision is final once determined
I have always been interested but not found the data good enough.
We are well aware of the rise of the 1% as the rapid growth of economic inequality has put the majority of the world's wealth in the pockets of fewer and fewer. One much-discussed solution to this imbalance is to significantly increase the rate at which we tax the wealthy. But with an enormous amount of the world's wealth hidden in tax havens—in countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Cayman Islands—this wealth cannot be fully accounted for and taxed fairly. No one, from economists to bankers to politicians, has been able to quantify exactly how much of the world's assets are currently hidden—until now. Gabriel Zucman is the first economist to offer reliable insight into the actual extent of the world's money held in tax havens. And it's staggering.
In The Hidden Wealth of Nations, Zucman offers an inventive and sophisticated approach to quantifying how big the problem is, how tax havens work and are organized, and how we can begin to approach a solution. His research reveals that tax havens are a quickly growing danger to the world economy. In the past five years, the amount of wealth in tax havens has increased over 25%—there has never been as much money held offshore as there is today. This hidden wealth accounts for at least $7.6 trillion, equivalent to 8% of the global financial assets of households. Fighting the notion that any attempts to vanquish tax havens are futile, since some countries will always offer more advantageous tax rates than others, as well the counter-argument that since the financial crisis tax havens have disappeared, Zucman shows how both sides are actually very wrong. In The Hidden Wealth of Nations he offers an ambitious agenda for reform, focused on ways in which countries can change the incentives of tax havens. Only by first understanding the enormity of the secret wealth can we begin to estimate the kind of actions that would force tax havens to give up their practices.
Zucman's work has quickly become the gold standard for quantifying the amount of the world's assets held in havens. In this concise book, he lays out in approachable language how the international banking system works and the dangerous extent to which the large-scale evasion of taxes is undermining the global market as a whole. If we are to find a way to solve the problem of increasing inequality, The Hidden Wealth of Nations is essential reading.
"Zucman's work on tax havens is the first serious economic research in this area. His evaluation of the share of global household wealth that is located in tax havens has become the standard in the profession. Most importantly, this is the first work offering credible estimates of the kind of economic sanctions that would make tax havens give up the financial opacity that allows them to prosper. The conclusions are powerful."
(Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
"Zucman seems to have little ambivalence about how to interpret the data, as his book is subtitled The Scourge of Tax Havens. He acknowledges that some view tax havens as perfectly legal and legitimate. But whatever the politics, for anyone who cares about understanding the economy, it's clear a dramatic shift is under way."
(Wall Street Journal)
"With his book, The Hidden Wealth of Nations, Zucman is positioning himself as this year's Piketty, whose opus renewed a debate about inequality last year. . . . There has never been as much wealth sitting in tax havens as there is today, Zucman says, whether it's Apple Inc. funneling billions in profits through a tiny Irish unit or a French cabinet minister using secret accounts to cheat on his taxes. . . . What is to be done? Zucman said there needs to be a central global register of the owners of the world's wealth, similar to various registries for real estate holdings. Such a database doesn't have to be public, but it must be available to regulators."
(Bloomberg Business News)
"Zucman has built his career remarkably quickly, and in the process has made a place for himself among the most influential economists working today. . . . Stitching together data sets that chronicle roughly a century of offshore banking, Zucman shows how wealth in tax havens has grown to account for roughly 8% of total global household financial wealth, or roughly $7.6 trillion in 2014. . . . Armed with those figures, he makes the case that tax avoidance and evasion are at the core of the issues such as inequality and financial stability."
"A short and lively investigation into the global effects of tax avoidance. . . . As Zucman argues, 'Financial secrecy—like greenhouse gas emissions—has a costly impact on the entire world, which tax havens choose to ignore."
"A provocative new book. . . . In Piketty's forward, he urges all those interested in inequality, global justice and the future of democracy to read the book. The wealthy among them might want to take particular note. Attacking tax havens is a crucial first step to ratcheting up taxation on the rich. The more information there is about offshore assets, the harder they will be to defend."
"Tax havens are by design secretive and opaque. The entire point of their existence is to conceal the wealth hidden within them. And a new book by Zucman, The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens, reveals, as never before, the extent of their role in the global economy. . . . If we are ever to combat inequality effectively, truly progressive taxation will have to be a part of the policy mix. But unless we eliminate tax havens now, we are likely to find that we lack the ability to implement it."
"Zucman writes crisply and is forthright in his scorn for tax fraud. He also briefly addresses solutions to corporate tax manipulation, whereby multinationals shift income to tax havens. . . . Zucman's eye-opening study will be of interest to all readers concerned about growing wealth disparity and is a fitting supplement to Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty."
(Library Journal, starred review)
"Zucman is a sometime co-author with Thomas Piketty and his new book The Hidden Wealth of Nations is set to do for tax havens what his colleague's did for wealth inequality: define and popularize the problem."
"One of the most thorough books on the topic."
"A small book worth ten volumes on financial globalization. . . . Zucman dares to suggest to the leaders of democratic states 'a concrete and realistic plan of action' to fight against the fiscal hemorrhaging that is bleeding their public coffers and economies dry."
"In this small, yet brilliant and tightly argued book, Zucman unravels the mechanisms of tax secrecy and evasion during the past century, an always lucrative activity but probably never as lucrative as it is today. The amounts involved are staggering: one out of every ten dollars of financial assets is hidden in tax havens. Zucman proposes a whole gamut of measures to put an end to this scourge, and indeed those who benefit from financial secrecy must feel uncomfortable to have to face such a formidable opponent."
(Branko Milanovic, City University of New York)
"Offshore tax evasion is an outrage. Preventing it should be a major objective of international cooperation. This important book documents the problem and addresses what can be done. It is actionable economics at its finest."
(Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard University)
"Drawing on his recent pathbreaking research, Zucman offers a short, lively, and non-technical discussion of tax heavens. He presents the most rigorous measurement to date of the wealth hidden in tax heavens and proposes a clear and feasible set of recommendations to fight evasion through tax heavens and restore the ability of our democratic societies to tax their wealthiest residents in this globalized world. His recommendations are already having a significant policy impact."
(Emmanuel Saez, University of California, Berkeley)
"The book's argument—that the rich steal from the rest of us by secreting their money away in tax havens—will please Bernie Sanders fans."
(Wall Street Journal)
"It is because Zucman takes the courageous step of moving beyond academia to being an activist committed to promoting a new and radical solution that he has unambiguously (even if cautiously) identified, that I welcome this book. Far too few academics are willing to take on the role of the public intellectual who steps up and demands action to address a problem that they have identified. Zucman deserves full marks for doing so."
(Times Higher Education)
"Zucman's main achievement in this slim volume is to have quantified these thefts: $200 billion in state revenues lost through private individuals' use of tax havens, plus another $130 billion in losses created by U.S. firms booking their profits offshore. . . . Zucman showcases this remarkable feat in unusually lucid and elegant prose—particularly for an economist—complemented by an admirable grasp of history. His review of the ways that efforts to combat tax evasion have stalled for the past century makes the book a worthwhile read in and of itself. But perhaps the most ambitious aspect of Zucman's work is his claim that, despite the immense scale of the problem, there are ways to solve it and thereby put a stop to the recurrent economic and political crises triggered by the use of offshore finance. . . . Zucman is still at the beginning of what promises to be a brilliant career."
"Zucman, a young French economist now at the London School of Economics and the University of California at Berkeley, has written a masterful survey of the origins, importance, and dangers of tax havens. The Hidden Wealth of Nations is a tremendously important contribution to the current discussion of how to adjust the world's income-tax systems, which are over a century old, to the realities of the 21st century."
"Zucman has produced an important book, above all because of his effort to calculate the magnitude of the world's hidden wealth. . . . A strong virtue of Zucman's book is that it puts a bright spotlight on an area in which significant reforms might appeal to people who otherwise disagree on a great deal. You might believe that the tax system should be made more progressive, or you might believe that it should be made less so. But whatever you think, you are unlikely to support a situation in which trillions of dollars are hardly taxed at all."
Ever been burdened by IRS foreign reporting forms? This little book will give you the global picture needed to understand why. Oct. 30 2015
Zucman's book is very short. It's under 200 pages double-spaced and so only takes about a half-hour to read. It is easy to understand -- no complex concepts even though written by a UC Berkeley economist who himself was taught by the famous French economist Thomas Piketty. (Piketty in 2014 wrote a 700-page tome on capital in the twenty-first century, which I have not read.)
Zucman's book is organized into 4 general sections:
(1) How much wealth is being hidden in tax-havens by the wealthiest families and how much it is costing their countries (and, by extension, the rest of us, who have to make up for the difference by paying more taxes or suffer fewer services in education, medicine, infrastructure, etc.). I had thought that the vast majority of hidden family wealth consisted of non-US and non-European foreigners who are forced to hid their financial assets because they reside in countries beset by government corruption, kidnappings, dictatorships, etc. However, Zucman shows that this is not generally the case.
(2) The history of how these tax havens arose and their current growth trends. It is quite eye-opening to learn, not only about the incredible cheating that Swiss banks have been engaged in over the years (recently fined billions of dollars by the U.S. government), but also to discover how Luxembourg (another major tax haven) blocks most attempts at tax reform by other European nations.
(3) What to do about the problem. Zucman first covers earlier attempts -- that have failed -- before proposing his solutions (which include a general registry of financial wealth to be maintained by multiple nations). Zucman's solutions become more reasonable after first seeing how (and why) earlier attempts at curtailing these massive tax-cheating havens have failed.
(4) Tax havens and loop-holes being used by corporations (such as Apple and Google) and what it is costing the rest of us, along with what can be done to eliminate the problem.
As I read this book I became more and more incensed at the arrogance of the ultra-wealthy and also at high-tech companies and how they have gotten away without paying taxes, while the rest of us end up with a higher tax burden.
As to the title of my review: I happen to know someone whose family is split between the US and a foreign country and they have been aghast at the many IRS foreign reporting forms they have had to fill out (costing thousands in CPA fees because these forms are both complex and nearly incomprehensible). This acquaintance also knows expats whose foreign bank accounts were closed on them because their foreign bank did not want to have to comply with what it considered onerous reporting requirements set by the US government under what is called FATCA.
Well, Zucman's book refers to FATCA and why it came about. Zucman applauds the US government's attempts at using FATCA as a first step in reining in wealthy tax cheaters. In fact, if Zucman's main solution is put into effect -- a multi-national registry of who actually owns what, after all those shell companies, foreign trusts and fake foundations have been stripped away -- then hopefully, in the near future US citizens with foreign assets will never again need to fill in those onerous foreign reporting forms because that information will be automatically collected and used in creating a world in which persons and corporations pay their fair share of taxes to their affiliated countries.
In just under 200 pages Zucman gives us the basics we need to understand to tax dodging, whether legal or illegal. It's clearly written and argued. So much so in fact that one almost wishes the book was longer! It's a mandatory read for anybody who is concerned with the way tax havens work to erode our modern democratic societies.
Tax havens represent one of the ugly by-products of capitalism. They are places where the super-rich (individuals and corporations) keep their money. They are kept in secret accounts so that they cannot be accounted for as part of the taxable income of the individual or corporation. The consequence is that the super-rich pay less taxes than others, and the burden of public expenditure falls on those others. The rich call it tax planning, but Zucman attempts to persuade the reader that keeping money in tax havens is unfair to those who do not have the money to do so. Recently, the International New York Times (23 October 2015) reported that the European Commission ordered Starbucks to pau up 30 million euros in back taxes to the Dutch government. Starbucks had channelled large amounts of profits from payments for its coffee roasting recipes. The payments were not made to Starbucks but to an entity known as Alki LLP, a 'mysterious and opaque box' that was not required to file financial statements and which has since shut, but 'Alki was folded into a new company, Starbucks EMEA Holdings' which has yet to file any financial statements, according to the INYT.
In this book, Zucman shows how tax havens come about, where they are (Virgin Islands, Luxembourg, Switzerland among the main ones), who goes to them, and the inequality between the super-rich and the rest that results from placing money in tax havens. Zucman says that 55% of $650 billion 'foreign profits' of corporations is made in six countries with low or no taxes and where little or no production or sale is done to generate that money in those countries. He named the countries as 'Netherlands, Bermuda, Luxembourg, Ireland, Singapore, and Switzerland'. He proposes three major actions to rectify this. First, he thinks that there should be an open register of financial wealth of every wealth-owning entity. Secondly, he calls for adequate sanctions against tax havens, and thirdly, he thinks that tax structures should be revamped. For example, not allowing profits to be accounted separately in different countries. Only when the world can see the true global profit and loss accounts of any given company, can the taxation be fair and equitable.
A great deal has been packed into this slim 113-page book that is extremely thought provoking. It also calls into debate the age old issue of not penalising entrepreneurs so that their motivation to create greater wealth will be maintained. Is capitalism taking another knock?
HASH(0x9c30b798) out of 5 stars Zucman is a very accomplished economist that has creatively and ... Nov. 6 2015
Zucman is a very accomplished economist that has creatively and persistently created a giant and rare data base on financial flows among nations. His creative accounting of portfolio investment solves many problems that have eluded the plodding efforts of governments and international financial institutions. His data and analysis is probably the closest we will ever come to a snapshot of offshore money.
USA money in Luxembourg is a huge finding. The fact that caribbeans are just a conduit and not a tax shelter or a secret cache is another finding.
A must read for investigators wondering where this money is resident. Don't look to Bermuda - look at Europe.
Canvases a wide range of issues relevant to offshore tax avoidance, providing a good summary. However, the book does not go into much dept and provides only a brief explanation of recommendations. Worth reading as a introduction to the area.
Assistant professor, UC Berkeley
Department of Economics
530 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720
WEBSITE: World Wealth and Income Database (with Facundo Alvarado, Tony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty, and Emmanuel Saez).
BOOK: The Hidden Wealth of Nations, University of Chicago Press, September 2015.
FINAL: Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data (with Emmanuel Saez), October 2015, forthcoming Quarterly Journal of Economics. [Appendix & data webpage].
Taxing Across Borders: Tracking Personal Wealth and Corporate Profits, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2014, 28(4): 121-148. [Appendix]. [Data].
Wealth and Inheritance in the Long Run (with Thomas Piketty), Handbook of Income Distribution, vol. 2, 2015. [Data].
Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries, 1700-2010 (with Thomas Piketty), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2014, 129(3): 1255-1310. [Appendix & data webpage].
The End of Bank Secrecy? An Evaluation of the G20 Tax Haven Crackdown (with Niels Johannesen), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2014, 6(1): 65-91. [Appendix]. [Data].
The Missing Wealth of Nations, Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors?, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2013, 128(3): 1321-1364