…not if some intrepid defenders of their belief in western democracy have their say?…
The late Leonard Bernstein in his performance on that New Year’s Day would include the pomp and circumstance of an overly optimistic ‘Ode to Freedom’ in that Beethoven 8th Symphony. Since that time ‘Freedom’ has fared not so well. The ‘working class’ of the West has seen its fortunes and hopes dashed, as the ruling class continued to soar upward with unstinting support from corporate governments of the day. We have two intriguing situations. One deals with legislation enacted to facilitate tax avoidance by multinational corporations (MNCs); and the other, the legal system’s studious avoidance of implementing existing law against even the most egregious of corporate malefactors.
The small state of Luxembourg has shown its commitment to the continued health and wealth of corporations by the generous dispensations accorded. Thanks to a leak to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), we see it pays to have contacts. As John Queally of common dreams reports,US Corporations Top List of Those Living in ‘Magical Fairyland’ of Tax-Dodging. A quick introduction,
More than 300 global corporations and financial institutions—including well-known names like Pepsi Co., FedEx, JP Morgan Chase, and Amazon—have created complex tax avoidance schemes using the small European nation of Luxembourg to funnel billions of dollars of profits away from the countries where they actually do business, according to leaked documents obtained and analyzed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The Guardian would provide a more in-depth analysis of the post-Berlin-Wall world, Luxembourg tax files: how tiny state rubber-stamped tax avoidance on an industrial scale. Couple teasers,
An unprecedented international investigation into tax deals struck with Luxembourg has uncovered the multi-billion dollar tax secrets of some of the world’s largest multinational corporations.
A cache of almost 28,000 pages of leaked tax agreements, returns and other sensitive papers relating to over 1,000 businesses paints a damning picture of an EU state which is quietly rubber-stamping tax avoidance on an industrial scale.
And over at Yves Smith’s naked capitalism, she offers her own lead-in to Prof William K Black’s analysis of the economic disaster to citizens and democracy. Bill Black: The “Magical Fairyland” of Corporate Tax Scams. Black gives his insights into the scams as have occurred in Ireland as well as Luxembourg. More analysis that invites the question, ‘Is the Corporate Coup a Fait Accompli?’
And for those bothered at the lack of prosecutions related to causes of the collapse of the US economy, a collapse that would have costly global repercussions, especially as pertains to Europe, Matt Taibbi and Whistleblower Alayne Fleishmann would be interviewed by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now, Matt Taibbi and Bank Whistleblower on How JPMorgan Chase Helped Wreck the Economy, Avoid Prosecution. In that TV interview, Taibbi and Fleishmann proffer solid evidence that has been adeptly avoided by the legislative branch of the US government.
Recent elections in the US, the most expensive ‘mid-term’ elections in history, would confirm that the word democracy is devoid of meaning, as the two corporate parties no longer deem it necessary to pay even lip service to the notion, as they sing their triumphant ‘Ode to Joy’ at their prosperity. ‘Hot button’ issues, ‘culture wars’, ‘newer and even more dangerous enemies’, the stuff sufficient to distract a majority of US voters, again and again.
…recent elections in some countries of latin america provide stark contrast in what democracy and elections are all about, an awkward problem for up ‘north’ and its perpetual proseltysing…