Apr 16

Flashback:

Aaron Russo’s America: ‘Freedom To Fascism’ (Directors Cut)

Reflections & Warnings – An Interview With Aaron Russo (Full Video, 02:38:29)


Former IRS Agent Admits: “Personal Income Tax is Actually Illegal”:

It is tax day again.

Chances are, you’re done with the dirty business this year, or laying low in hopes that you aren’t audited or flat out persecuted. If not, the clock is quickly ticking.

But it is worth pointing out once again the many ways in which the federal tax scheme in the United States is illegal. Continue reading »

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Apr 14

web-coca-cola-offshore-beach

Fifty biggest US companies stashing $1.3trn offshore:

The 50 biggest US companies have more money stashed offshore than the entire GDP of Spain, Mexico or Australia, collectively keeping about $1.3trn (£0.91trn) in territories where the money does not count towards US tax, according to a new report by Oxfam.

The revelations come after the European Commission announced plans to make big companies more transparent about where they pay tax. Continue reading »

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Apr 12

Taxes

Hate Taxes? You Certainly Are Not Alone…:

At this time of the year, millions of Americans are rushing to file their taxes at the last minute, and we are once again reminded just how nightmarish our system of taxation has become.  I studied tax law when I was in law school, and it is one of the most mind-numbing areas of study that you could possibly imagine.  At this point, the U.S. tax code is somewhere around 4 million words long, which is more than four times longer than all of William Shakespeare’s works put together.  And even if you could somehow read the entire tax code, it is constantly changing, and so those that prepare taxes for a living are constantly relearning the rules.  It has been said that Americans spend more than 6 billion hours preparing their taxes each year, and Politifact has rated this claim as true.  We have a system that is as ridiculous as it is absurd, and the truth is that we don’t even need it.  In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in all of U.S. history was when there was no income tax at all.  Why anyone would want to perpetuate this tortuous system is beyond me, and yet we keep sending politicians to Washington D.C. that just keep making this system even more complicated and even more burdensome. Continue reading »

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Apr 11

Solar tax to delay solar a desperate money making move:

Solar tax to delay solar a desperate money making move, says solarcity CEO

Auckland, 6 April 2016 – New Zealand’s leading solar energy services provider, solarcity, has condemned Trustpower’s support of a residential solar tax as a “desperate move to squeeze every last dollar out of a dying business model”.

Last week Hawke’s Bay electricity lines operator, Unison Networks, announced it was introducing a tax of up to 26% on solar power and batteries. (1) Yesterday Trustpower community services manager Graeme Purches came out in support of the tax saying it was “completely understandable”. Continue reading »

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Apr 11

Proof Americans will spend more on taxes this year than housing, food and clothing together:

(INTELLIHUB) — According to statistical data researched and compiled by TaxFoundation.org, Americans will spend more in 2016 on taxes than they will on housing, food and clothing combined.

Americans will pay “$3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes for a total of $4.9 trillion,” according to the chart.

TFD_charts_2016
TaxFoundation.org

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Feb 05

Obama Proposes $10/Barrell Oil Tax To Fund Government Transportation Spending

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Jan 29

“Peddling Fiction” – US Economy Grew A Paltry 0.69% In The Fourth Quarter, Missing Expectations


And The Biggest Contributor To U.S. Growth in 2015 Was…:

By now, not even CNBC’s cheerleading permabulls can deny that the US is in a manufacturing recession: in fact, it is so bad that even the staunchest defenders of Keynesian dogma admit what we said in late 2014, namely that crashing oil is bad for the economy.

And yet, the “services” part of the US economy continues to hum right along, leading to such surprising outcomes as a stronger than expected print in Personal Consumption Expenditures. How can this be?

Simple: one look at the chart below should explain not only how the “services” half of the US economy continues to grow, but just which tax, because that is how the Supreme Court defined Obamacare, is responsible for healthcare “spending” amounting to a quarter of the growth in US personal consumption expenditures, almost 100% higher than the second highest spending category which was… Recreational goods and vehicles?

obamacare healthcare 2015

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you convert a tax into a source of economic progress.

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Jan 19

Schaeuble-Schäuble-CFRschauble-hand-sign-2

‘Tax petrol more to pay for migrant crisis’:

“If national budgets or the EU budget are insufficient, let’s agree to set up, for instance, a tax of a certain amount on each litre of petrol,” Schaeuble said. Continue reading »

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Jan 03

Ready For Oligarchy

The Oligarch Tax Bracket – How the Tax Rate for the Wealthiest 400 Americans Plunged from 27% to 17%:

I never liked the saying: “We are the 99%.” While admittedly catchy and effective as a slogan, I think it is ultimately divisive and counterproductive. The reason I say this is because the statement itself alienates much needed allies for no good reason.

In a country with a population of 320 million, the 1% represents 3.2 million people, which is a pretty big number. While the 1% certainly have far superior material lives compared to the 99%, that doesn’t mean a particularly large percentage of them are thieves, cronies or oligarchs. In fact, it behooves people interested in transitioning to another paradigm to court as many of them as possible to the cause. It is very useful to have well meaning people with resources and connections on your side. To blithely assume there aren’t plenty of potential allies from a pool of 3.2 million is committing strategic suicide.

– From the post: Charting the American Oligarchy – How 0.01% of the Population Contributes 42% of All Campaign Cash

Much of my focus throughout 2015 was on the pernicious influence of the 0.01%, i.e., the American oligarchy. Indeed, nothing would please oligarchs more than to define a struggle as the 99% vs. the 1% in order to shift attention away from the real root of the problem, themselves. Continue reading »

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Dec 14

Prominent Tennessee Senator Fails To Disclose Millions In Hedge Fund, Real Estate Investments:

Earlier this year, quite a few members of the American electorate were distressed to learn that the Clinton Foundation had apparently suffered what we called a “Geithner Moment.”

For those who might have missed the story, when a Reuters investigation revealed discrepancies, the charity decided to refile five years worth of tax returns and review filings dating back as far as fifteen years. At issue were disclosures around contributions from US and foreign governments which Reuters claimed totaled “tens of millions” of dollars in a typical year but which mysteriously disappeared altogether from the organization’s 990s starting in 2010. As we noted at the time, the Foundation was quick to point out that when it comes to charities, it is exemplary in terms of being forthright, but the missing disclosures will likely serve to fan the flames for Republicans who claim Clinton’s ties to the charities could make her susceptible to the influence of outside interests.  Continue reading »

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Dec 06

A Beleaguered Wal-Mart Sues A Broke Puerto Rico For “Astonishing” Tax Hike:

“The new levy raised the estimated cumulative income tax on Wal-Mart Puerto Rico Inc. to an astonishing and unsustainable 91.5% of its net income!

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Nov 20

US-passport

Congress wants to seize your passport for unpaid taxes starting January 1st:

Sometimes you just have to stand in awe at the level of corruption and incompetence in government.

Case in point, the new highway bill in the Land of the Free. And, trust me, you’ll love this.

The latest version of the highway bill is called the “Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act.” Continue reading »

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Nov 13

The town centre of Crickhowell, located within the Brecon Beacons

Crickhowell: Welsh town moves ‘offshore’ to avoid tax on local business:

The Powys tax rebellion, led by traders including the town’s salmon smokery, local coffee shop, book shop, optician and bakery, could spread nationwide

When independent traders in a small Welsh town discovered the loopholes used by multinational giants to avoid paying UK tax, they didn’t just get mad.

Now local businesses in Crickhowell are turning the tables on the likes of Google and Starbucks by employing the same accountancy practices used by the world’s biggest companies, to move their entire town “offshore”. Continue reading »

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Sep 15

H/t reader M.G.:

“See what happens when foreign greedy guts down grade your bonds to junk? They get austerity measures passed, even by a relatively humane leadership……
They did keep transaction taxes passed, such as we ought to have in the US….”


Brazil announces $17bn in taxes and spending cuts to combat recession

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Jun 04

Tax Rebellion in Denmark? (Martin Armstrong, June 4, 2015):

Denmark-6-4-2015

In Fredensborg, Denmark, ten official cars from the Tax Administration Office were set on fire and destroyed overnight in a protest. Police received notification Wednesday night at 3:09 a.m. that the Tax Administration offices on Kratvej were on fire. So far, there are no suspects. The police will undoubtedly hunt for someone retaliating against the Tax Man. Continue reading »

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May 29

IRS Admits Refunding Billions On Fake Tax Returns (ZeroHedge, May 29, 2015):

Just hours after being force to admit that they were hacked (by Russians apparently), an inspector general’s report shows that The IRS has rather remarkably continued to pay refunds on hundreds of thousands of fraudulent tax returns in recent years, and sent dozens of checks to the same addresses, including in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. While some progress has been made, $2.3 billion of real US taxpayer’s money was wrongfully refunded to fake US taxpayers… but with this new cyber-attack, we suspect that number will soar.

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May 04

Abbott-Tony

–  Australia First to Introduce a Compulsory Tax on Money Itself (Armstrong Economics, April 4, 2015):

The reason I moved the Solution Conference forward was due to the fact that all my sources behind the curtain were screaming from the four corners of the world that the new age of Economic Totalitarianism is upon us all. Australia will be the first to introduce a compulsory tax on savings. This is the ultimate Marxist state for now anyone with spare cash is the enemy of the Conservative Tony Abbott government. What I laid out at the Solution Conference is the ONLY way out of this nightmare. It is time for people to start spreading the word and get behind changing the game plan while we still have a game in play. We have to stop this confiscation of all wealth and the continual borrowing and taxation. This will lead to the total destruction of Western culture for we are plagued by power hungry insane politicians who cannot see past their nose.

The new compulsory control is already provided for in the 2015 Australian budget. So that everyone who has any savings must pay taxes on on their savings. The measure is expected to serve as a global test balloon for Europe and North America will watch the outcome in Australia. If there will be no massive resistance of Australian savers, the rest of the world should expect this outright confiscation very rapidly. Continue reading »

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Apr 30

George Soros As The Fighting Uruk-hai With Jacob Rothschild As Saruman

Billionaire Hypocrisy: George Soros May Owe $7 Billion In Taxes (ZeroHedge, April 30, 2015):

“You support President Obama’s proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy?” That was the question put to George Soros on CNN some three years ago. Here was his answer:

“Yes, very much… the super bubble really resulted in creating a great increase in inequality, and now we have the after effect where you have slow growth, but if you could have better distribution of income, then the average American would actually be better off.”

There’s no question that “everyday Americans” (as a reminder, those are the people Hillary Clinton wants to help by running for president… well, those people and perhaps a few foreign governments and any investment bank who is willing to pay her husband six figures for a speech) would be better off if they got a larger piece of the pie, but as we’ve seen over the past several months, that’s not likely to happen as wage growth declines for the 80% of American workers classified by the BLS as “non-supervisory” even as the country’s supervisors see their pay increase, and as Fed policy continues to inflate the assets most likely to be concentrated in the hands of the wealthy. As this sad reality continues to play itself out destroying the American Middle Class in the process, we wondered if Soros was doing his best to ameliorate the situation by redistributing more of his vast wealth to the very same “average Americans” about which he expressed so much concern in 2012. The short answer: no.

Via Bloomberg:

Continue reading »

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Mar 29

bank cash


Australia To Start Taxing Bank Deposits (ZeroHedge, March 29, 2015):

Up until now, the world’s descent into the NIRPy twilight of fiat currency was a function of failing monetary policy around the globe as central bank after desperate central bank implemented negative and even more negative (in the case of Denmark some four times rapid succession) rates, hoping to make saving so prohibitive consumers would have no choice but to spend the fruits of their labor, or better yet, take out massive loans which they would never be able to repay. However, nobody said it was only central banks who could be the executioners of the world’s saver class: governments are perfectly capable too.  Such as Australia’s.

According to Australia’s ABC News, the “Federal Government looks set to introduce a tax on bank deposits in the May budget.” Continue reading »

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Mar 21

shadow

In Italy, They’re Now Taxing Shadows (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2015):

As Greece struggles to convince the world it’s serious about adopting a series of reforms designed to bolster its economy including cracking down on rampant tax evasion, the Syriza government may want to look to Italy for creative ideas on how to boost government revenue. As Italian newspaper Leggo reports, store owners in Conegliano are now faced with the unfortunate (albeit comically absurd) proposition of paying taxes on shadows. 

The rationale appears to go something like this: an awning casts a shadow on public property and therefore you must pay to use that property. Here’s more:  Continue reading »

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Mar 06

I would highly recommend you NOT to visit Japan (for at least the next 250,000 years).

Japan is doomed … on all levels.


Japan projects to spend 43% of tax revenue just to pay interest on the debt (Sovereign Man, March 5, 2015):

It’s entirely possible that we may see interstellar space travel in our lifetime. And what a dream that would be.

But in the meantime, for anyone that’s losing patience with space technology, I would recommend you visit Japan. Because for anybody that has been here, this place is as close as it gets to being on another planet.

Japan is a land of irony and dichotomy. It is one of the most conservative cultures in the world, while simultaneously being one of the most perverted. Continue reading »

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Feb 12

Sheriff stands up to US Marshalls – Eddy County NM – Russia Today (Veterans Today, Feb 10, 2015):

A sheriff in New Mexico physically stopped US Marshals from enforcing Internal Revenue Service orders at a residential property

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Dec 11

wealth-confiscation

Iceland Unleashes Confiscatory “Exit Tax” On Wealth Deposits (ZeroHedge, Dec 10, 2014):

While on the one hand, Iceland’s decision to inch towards lifting its capital controls is a positive step, it appears what they give with one hand they are taking with another. Just as we predicted three years ago, the muddle-through has failed and there are only hard choices left and sure enough BCG’s envisioned ‘wealth tax’ appears to be rearing its ugly head once more. As Morgunbladid reports, Iceland plans to impose an exit tax as part of removing capital controls, anticipating all bank assets will be subject to the levy, regardless of whether assets are held in local (ISK) or foreign exchange.

As Bloomberg reports,

Iceland’s plan to impose an exit tax as part of removing capital controls anticipates all bank assets will be subject to levy, regardless of whether assets are held in ISK or FX, Morgunbladid reports without saying how it obtained the information.

Part of program may also include forcing foreign holders of ISK assets to swap ISK at discount to a 30-yr FX bond; bond to carry interest rate less than 3%: Morgunbladid Continue reading »

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Nov 21

Chinese Kids Driving Supercars: Inside the Secret Southern California Meet-up

Nov 18, 2014

Description:

China’s ultra-rich are growing in number and in wealth – and are sending billions of dollars out of the country. Much of it is landing up in the U.S. where many children of the wealthy elite are sent to get an American college education — and they’re living large. Vocativ found a sub-culture of these Chinese students in California. They drive luxury cars like Maseratis and Ferraris and flaunt their wealth at discreet private parties and in online groups, like “Super Cars in America”.

tony-blair-jimmy-saville

‘Diabolical & absurd’: Outrage as Save the Children gives Tony Blair Global Legacy Award:

A decision by UK charity Save the Children to give Tony Blair its annual Global Legacy Award has unleashed a torrent of criticism highlighting the former PM’s role in Britain’s 2003 Iraq war and his controversial business dealings in the Middle East.

The former Labour leader, who is currently a key focus of a public inquiry into Britain’s invasion of Iraq, received the honor on Wednesday night at a star-studded gala hosted by the charity in New York.

Save the Children’s decision to offer Blair the award has provoked outrage across the UK, with critics insisting the move utterly discredits the charity.

tony-blair-war-criminal

Flashback:

DEPLETED URANIUM: ‘THE GREATEST CRIME OF HISTORIC TIME’

Dramatic Drone’s-Eye View Of The Record Upstate New York Snowfall:

With half the nation covered in snow, according to ABC, nowhere appears to have had it worse (or more suddenly) than upstate New York. As images pour in from lake-effect snow, to The Buffalo Bills stadium, and from scenes caught in a snow storm to pandas playing, we thought the following stunning drone’s-eye-view over Erie County was both incredible in its beauty and cruel in its GDP-destroying reality.

A Drone’s eye view of the beauty (and GDP cruelty) of a snow-buried upstate New York

141-year-old cold record shattered in Jacksonville:

For the second morning in a row, Jacksonville, Florida, dropped to a new record low.

Climatologist: 30-Year Cold Spell Strikes Earth:

With nasty cold fronts thrusting an icy and early winter across the continental U.S. — along with last winter described by USA Today as “one of the snowiest, coldest, most miserable on record” — climatologist John L. Casey thinks the weather pattern is here to stay for decades to come.

In fact, Casey, a former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant, is out with the  provocative book “Dark Winter: How the Sun Is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell,” which warns that a radical shift in global climate is underway, and that Al Gore and other environmentalists have it completely wrong.

The earth, he says, is cooling, and cooling fast.

And yes, you read that one right:

The Wrath of Draghi: Biggest German Banks Impose “Negative Interest Rates”:

Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank, a toppling marvel of ingenuity during the Financial Crisis that was bailed out by ever dutiful if unenthusiastic taxpayers, will now reward these very folks with what Germans have come to look forward to: the Wrath of Draghi.

It started with Deutsche Skatbank, a division of VR-Bank Altenburger Land. The small bank was the trial balloon in imposing the Wrath of Draghi on savers and businesses. Effective November 1, those with over €500,000 on deposit earn a “negative interest rate” of 0.25%. In less euphemistic terms, they get to pay 0.25% per year on those deposits for the privilege of giving their money to the bank.

“Punishment interest” is what Germans call this with Teutonic precision.

Amazon robots prepare for Christmas:

The squat, wheeled machines move stocked shelves to workers

In its latest bid to boost productivity and speed delivery, Amazon.com Inc. is deploying a robot army.

The Seattle online retailer has outfitted several U.S. warehouses with squat, orange, wheeled robots that move stocked shelves to workers, instead of having employees seek items amid long aisles of merchandise, according to people familiar with the matter. At a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse in Tracy, Calif., about 60 miles east of San Francisco, Amazon this summer replaced four floors of fixed shelving with the robots, the people said.

Now, “pickers” at the facility stand in one place and wait for robots to bring four-foot-by-six-foot shelving units to them, sparing them what amounted to as much as 20 miles a day of walking through the warehouse. Employees at some robot-equipped warehouses are expected to pick and scan at least 300 items an hour, compared with 100 under the old system, current and former workers said.

The robots are the fruits of Amazon’s 2012 purchase of Kiva Systems Inc. for $775 million. In May, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos told investors at Amazon’s annual meeting that he planned to deploy 10,000 Kiva robots by year-end, up from 1,400 at the time.

A Quick Look At Goldman’s Takeover Of The US Judicial System: NY Fed Edition:

One really just can’t make this up. Perhaps the Fed inspector general, when he is done “fixing” the corruption at the NY Fed will be so kind to take a look at the Goldman takeover of the US judicial system next.

And the saddest thing: it cost the banks (and their lawyer lackeys) under a million to buy America’s judicial system off: American justice is not only for sale, it goes at firesale prices!

The NY Fed’s Attempt To Explain That It Is Not A Subsidiary Of Goldman Sachs:

The most shocking, if already completely buried, news of the day was that – in yet another confirmation that Goldman Sachs is in charge of the New York Fed – a NY Fed staffer was colluding and leaking confidential, material information to a 29-year-old Goldman vice president, himself a former Federal Reserve employee. This only happened because on the day Carmen Segarra disclosed her 47 hours of “secret Goldman tapes” on This American Life, Goldman executives asked the former Fed staffer where he had gotten what appeared to be confidential information from. To nobody’s surprise the answer was: The New York Fed. So as the latter, also known as the biggest hedge fund of the western world with $2.7 trillion in AUM, is scrambling to once again prove it is shocked, shocked, that it has become merely the latest subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, Inc., it released the following statement explaining what “really” happened.

change-we-can-believe-in

“Some Folks Lied” – How The Administration Fabricated Obamacare Enrollment Numbers:

Two months ago, to much fanfare by the progressive community, HHS, if not Dr. Jonathan Gruber, were delighted to report that as of August 15, Obamacare enrollment had hit 7.3 million sign ups, well above the 7.0 million goal. Then a week ago we learned that “projection mistakes were made” after the “Obama administration revised its estimate for Obamacare enrollment, now saying – with the bruising midterms safely in the rearview mirror – that it expects some 9.9 million people to have coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges in 2015, millions fewer than outside experts predicted.” Fast forward to today when moments ago Bloomberg reported, that “the Obama administration included as many as 400,000 dental plans in a number it reported for enrollments under the Affordable Care Act, an unpublicized detail that helped surpass a goal for 7 million sign-ups.

Dutch government refuses to reveal ‘secret deal’ into MH17 crash probe:

The Dutch government has refused to reveal details of a secret pact between members of the Joint Investigation Team examining the downed Flight MH17. If the participants, including Ukraine, don’t want information to be released, it will be kept secret.

– Neo-Feudalism Has Officially Arrived – Congressman Suggests Building A Moat Around White House:

While the general population is aware something is seriously wrong, people remain extremely confused about the root of the problem. This is because what’s happening all around us isn’t socialism and it isn’t free market capitalism. It is actually a return to something much more ancient and much more oppressive. It is a return to serfdom, neo-fedualism and oligarchy.”

Giant sinkhole swallows up old mine in Russia’s Urals (PHOTOS):

A sinkhole 20 by 30 meters (65 by 98 feet) in size has been found near a Uralkali mine in Russia’s Perm region. While the company says the development is of no further threat, locals fear the whole nearby town could go underground.

Putin-Gold

As The “Sanctions War” Heats Up, Will Putin Play His ‘Gold Card’?:

The topic of ‘currency war’ has been bantered about in financial circles since at least the term was first used by Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega in September 2010. Recently, the currency war has escalated, and a ‘sanctions war’ against Russia has broken out. History suggests that financial assets are highly unlikely to preserve investors’ real purchasing power in this inhospitable international environment, due in part to the associated currency crises, which will catalyse at least a partial international remonetisation of gold. Vladimir Putin, under pressure from economic sanctions, may calculate that now is the time to play his ‘gold card’.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CURRENCY WAR

RUSSIA, NATO AND THE ‘SANCTIONS WAR’

SO, WILL PUTIN PLAY THE ‘GOLD CARD’?

gold_vault

Missing Gold – Precious Metals in WTC 4 Vault: Only a Fraction Recovered?:

Why is there this huge discrepancy between the value of gold and silver reported recovered, and the value reported to have been stored in the vaults? There are a number of possible explanations, from outright theft using the attack as cover, to insurance fraud. Until there is a genuine investigation that probes all the relevant facts and circumstances surrounding the attack, we can only speculate.

Retail Rapture: UK Grocery Sales Drop 1st Time In 20 Years, Dollar General To Shut 4000 Stores:

For the first time since it began collecting data in 1994, Kantar Worldpanel, the market researcher, reported a decline in UK grocery sales by value, as The FT reports the biggest UK grocers were “losing market share hand over fist,” as analysts warn “there are phoney price wars, and there are real price wars. This is a real price war.” This comes on the heels of Goldman report claiming 20% of British grocers are surplus to requirements. But it’s not just Britain… in the the cleanest dirty shirt world-economic-growth supporting decoupled economy of the USA, Reuters reports Dollar General may need to divest more than 4,000 stores to win approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for its acquisition of Family Dollar.

robots-security-robocops-knightscope

5-foot-tall ‘Robocops’ start patrolling Silicon Valley:

Autonomous “Robocop”-style robots, equipped with microphones, speakers, cameras, laser scanners and sensors, have started to guard Silicon Valley.

The security robots, called Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machines, were designed by a robotics company, Knightscope, located in Mountain View, California.

The robots are programmed to notice unusual behavior and alert controllers. It also has odor and heat detectors, and can monitor pollution in carpets as well. Last but not least: with cameras, the Robocops can remember up to 300 number plates a minute, monitoring traffic.

The New World Order: Does It All Just Boil Down To A Battle For Your Soul?:

This problem extends into the oligarchy of globalists, who adore the theories expressed in Plato’s “The Republic,” in which an elite cadre of “philosopher kings,” men who have achieved a heightened level of academic knowledge, are exalted as the most qualified leaders. However, leadership requires more than knowledge, even if that knowledge is profound. Leadership also requires compassion and informed consent, two things for which the elites have no regard.

American-born London mayor refuses to pay US taxes, threatens to renounce citizenship:

The Internal Revenue Service reportedly wants London Mayor Boris Johnson to write a check for taxes he owes to the United States government, but the UK politician says he isn’t paying.

Those ‘brilliant’ Japanese ‘visionaries’ never heard of Fukushima:

underwater-city-plan-japan

Living under the sea: Japanese visionaries unveil underwater city plan:

Will people ever live in underwater cities? Japanese construction firm says it is possible by 2030. The visionaries revealed a $25 billion deep-sea eco-city plan called Ocean Spiral for 5,000 people that will produce energy from sea resources.

Many have pondered the idea of living under the sea while sci-fi film directors such as George Lucas tempted our imagination with stunning images of underwater cities. Such was the Gungan city consisting of a mass of hydrostatic bubbles shown in the first part of the “Star wars” epic space film series.

Now a Japanese construction firm Shimizu Corp. says that building an underwater residential area is not a fantasy and aims to build one by 2030 – in just 15 years.

China and others can cripple US power grid, NSA admits for the first time:

The head of the National Security Agency warned Congress on Thursday that China and “one or two” other nations currently possess the capability of crippling the American power grid through cyberattacks.

6 Months Before The Fed Is Said To Hike Rates, It Still Has No Idea How It Will Do That:

It has become quite clear that the Fed neither has the intention, nor the market mechanism to do any of that, and certainly not in a 3-6 month timeframe. Which may explain the Fed’s hawkish words on any potential surge in market vol. After all, if the nearly $3 trillion in excess reserves remain on bank balance sheets for another year, then the only reason why vol could surge is if the Fed lose the faith of the markets terminally. At that point the last worry anyone will have is whether and how the Fed will tighten monetary policy.

Initial Jobless Claims Hit 2-Month Highs, Continuing Claims Tumble To 14-Year Lows:

It is still far too early to call a turn in the long-term trend of initial jobless claims but this is the 5th week that new lows have not been made, 4th miss in a row, and (despite last week’s upward revision) claims sit at 2-month highs. Initial claims printed 291k (against 284k expectations) down very slightly from an upwardly revised 293k last week. However, continuing claims continue to tumble to fresh cycle lows at 2.33 million (below expectations and well down from last week’s jump).

Another Triple-Fat-Finger VIX Day Saves Stocks:

Ugly data in Asia, Europe, and US PMI meant US equities opened gap-down… that was unacceptable to ‘someone’ and so the “most shorted” names were squeezed. However, after 10 minutes the ramp started to fade… and so the big boys ‘fat-fingered’ VIX and that rescued the dip. That would be fine… but it happened again at 958ET when stocks started to fade again and suddenly VIX was lit up and zoom… stock momentum was ignited and all was well in the world… Broken record? Yes! But clearly someone has to take note of this rigging…

Ice on the Mississippi River in Iowa:

“I’ve seen ice like this or even worse, but it’s usually not until the middle of December,” says lockmaster.

Game 9 – 2014 World Chess Championship – Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand

WTF: A Night With Japan’s Highest Paid Male Gigolo

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Nov 06

Why Tax Just Soda? Why Not Tax Sugar? (Of Two Minds, Nov 4, 2014):

A recent revenue-enhancement fad in local government is to levy a tax on soft drinks. The tax is marketed to voters as a means of reducing soda consumption, which is presumed to be a contributor to the explosive rise in Type II diabetes, and more broadly, metabolic syndrome or diabesity.

While the intake of sugar/high fructose and sweetened beverages is certainly detrimental to health (see links below), it seems taxing sodas is more a topical excuse for skimming a new revenue stream than a meaningful way to reduce obesity/diabesity.

I have covered America’s declining health and fitness and the dramatic impact of high-sugar diets for many years:

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Nov 02

water_dublin

‘Unprecedented mobilization’: Hundred-thousand rise against Irish water tax (Common Dreams, Nov 1, 2014):

Over 100 demonstrations held across Ireland protesting austerity scheme to tax, privatize water supply

Update 2:20 EST:

Protest organizers Right 2 Water estimate that over 150,000 people came out to protest the water charge scheme. In a statement released Saturday afternoon, they wrote: “Despite torrential rain, our expectations have been massively exceeded, with well over 150,000 people coming out in every neighbourhood, town and village to send a clear message to the Government: water is a human right, and we demand the abolition of domestic water charges.”

Earlier: Continue reading »

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Oct 30

The Many Ways the State Taxes the Poor

The Many Ways the State Taxes the Poor (Ludwig Mises Institute, Oct 27, 2014):

Most defenders of the state assume that government services help the poor. And, sometimes, some poor people do benefit financially from government programs. But there’s a hidden cost: taxation and mandatory programs (Social Security, for instance) that hurt the needy by restricting their choices. Government taxes away income that low-income households could invest in improving their lives. At the same time, state-sponsored benefits create incentives that keep the poor trapped in poverty.

Many assume that government barely taxes the poor, but the reality is otherwise. The poorest fifth of Americans pay 16 percent of their incomes in taxes (including federal, state, and local). One in six dollars they earn goes straight to the government. For a family living at the margin, those taxes can be the difference between food on the table and hungry children. Continue reading »

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Sep 18

Eritrea-US-IRS

An Appalling Practice Used In Only Two Nations, Of Which The US Is One (Doug Casey’s International Man):

It’s sort of an obscure story, but it’s also incredibly instructive.

That’s the story of how Eritrea—a tiny, mostly unheard-of country in East Africa—taxes its citizens who live abroad.

Eritrea is one of only two countries in the entire world that taxes its nonresident citizens on their global income. Specifically, Eritrea levies a flat 2% tax on the income of its citizens who reside abroad.

Nearly every other country in the world bases its tax system on residency rather than citizenship. Continue reading »

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Sep 03

Recommended.



Mar 25, 2013

“Where do multinationals pay taxes and how much?” Gaining insight from international tax experts, Backlight director Marije Meerman (‘Quants’ & ‘Money & Speed’), takes a look at tax havens, the people who live there and the routes along which tax is avoided globally.

Those routes go by resounding names like ‘Cayman Special’, ‘Double Irish’, and ‘Dutch Sandwich’. A financial world operates in the shadows surrounded by a high level of secrecy. A place where sizeable capital streams travel the world at the speed of light and avoid paying tax. The Tax Free Tour is an economic thriller mapping the systemic risk for governments and citizens alike. Is this the price we have to pay for globalised capitalism?

At the same time, the free online game “Taxodus” by Femke Herregraven is launched. In the game, the player can select the profile of a multinational and look for the global route to pay as little tax as possible.

research: William de Bruijn
camera: Jean Counet
montage: Bart van den Broek
geluid: Tim van Peppen, Benny Jansen, Joris van Ballegoijen
productie: Marie Schutgens
animaties: Bitcaves & Motoko

International Sales for this documentary are handled by NPO Sales: http://www.nposales.com/?s=backlight

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Sep 01
Corporate Income Tax

Corporations Join Droves Renouncing US Citizenship (Casey Research, Aug 29, 2014):

Don’t be surprised to lose if you don’t make an effort at being competitive.

And if you go out of your way to make yourself less competitive, expect to lose.

If that sounds like simple common sense, that’s because it is.

But it’s also exactly what the US has been doing for years—enacting tax policies that sabotage its global economic competitiveness. Continue reading »

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