Tag Archives: Plutocracy

Trump’s radical new foreign policy portends much worse to come


As Fareed Zakaria has pointed out this week in the Washington Post and on CNN GPS, we now have a Trump foreign policy doctrine, and it is not reassuring for the World. Obviously heavily influenced by Bannon, who many had thought had been relegated to backseat status by McMaster, we have been fooled again. As Trump demonstrates his RealPolitik admiration for authoritarians like Putin, Xi Jinping, Erdogan, and Duterte, more sinister scenarios begin to crystallize.  Trump’s speech justifying the withdrawal of the United States from the COP21 Paris Climate Change Agreement is a frightening exposition of this new Trump Doctrine. It is Trump thumbing his nose at the World. It is the United States against the World, led by a coterie of plutocrats and their money.  The reality is that the evidence points to an ongoing seizure of executive power by Trump that destroys our Constitution in the name of our national security.  The question is what we can do about it. 

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Bayer’s Proposed $56 Billion Monsanto Acquisition No Done Deal


The global agribusiness industry has recently seen a feeding frenzy of merger and acquisition activity. The announcement this week of Bayer’s proposed purchase of Monsanto after months of difficult negotiation is only one among other such industry consolidation deals. Dow Chemical and DuPont agreed last year to merge their crop science businesses, a deal currently under Justice Department review. Canadian fertilizer companies Potash Corp. and Agrium also agreed to merge this week. Finally, Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta AG agreed to a $43 billion takeover by China National Chemical Corp., a state-owned conglomerate that already sells generic agricultural chemicals. The bigger picture suggests severely reduced competition, higher prices for farmers and consumers, and increased global corporate control of crop seeds, particularly GMO’s. So what is going on here?

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The Panama Papers and Thomas Piketty


I am sharing this because of its particular relevance to the ongoing revelations about connections between global tax evasion shell companies and real estate markets: London, Miami, New York City, San Francisco and Vancouver.

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Four KPMG Senior Execs Arrested on Tax Evasion Charges


Four senior executives from the Belfast office of international accountancy firm KPMG have been arrested on tax evasion charges. KPMG acknowledged in a press release that four of its top executives in Northern Ireland were arrested Wednesday.

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Pfizer’s Corporate Tax “Inversion” To Ireland: Masqueraded Tax Evasion


Pfizer’s announcement this week of its intricate $160 Billion merger/acquisition with Irish pharmaceutical company Allergan, revealed that Pfizer will be moving the new corporate headquarters to Dublin. Essentially, Pfizer, the much larger company, is providing a bridging loan to Allergan to purchase Pfizer so that it may move to Ireland. This enables Pfizer to avoid paying U.S. taxes, even after receiving massive support for R&D from U.S. government programs.

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Uber’s Distortion of the Sharing Economy


I found this important editorial opinion piece in The Guardian, the UK journal. The point of this is, IMHO, a critically important moral issue. Many of these new corporate entities, Uber in particular, when viewed without their sheep’s clothing, are doing nothing more than joining the global corporate drive to eliminate the middle class, local […]

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Super Rich Guy to Billionaires: Get with the 99% Or Prepare for Revolution


Some people seem to be having a problem with Nick Hanauer. He seems to have pissed off a lot of people, but at the same time, he seems to be talking sense and to have achieved significant traction. This often seems to happen in times of turmoil and change. A multi-millionaire in his own right, but also someone with a profound liberal arts and humanities grounding, Mr. Hanauer has called “foul,” with the behavior of the 1%. I am personally fascinated with people like this, because I sense that Hanauer is somewhat like me. I worked with Ivy League MBA’s at Intel who said to me that they wished that they had my humanities education, while I told them that I wished I had their management education. I now teach management in a prestigious university and can comment intelligently.

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Are We Facing a Future of Invisible Workers?


At The New Yorker, George Packer considers one significant way in which this Gilded Age differs from the last one. Amazon, Apple and Google are not Standard Oil, Ford or General Motors, but there are parallels. We are facing monumental economic and social issues that we need to be prepared to address.

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Tom Perkins of KPCB, Another Silicon Valley Jerk. Where Have We Gone So Wrong?


This weekend, the media and blogosphere have been ignited with reaction to the open letter to the Wall Street Journal by venture capitalist Tom Perkins, founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and the blowback from Atlantic Magazine writer Jordan Weissmann. The overwhelming reaction has been disbelief and outrage at Perkins comments. I am so angry and sad to see this article and interview of legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Tom Perkins. It is further evidence to my earlier post on the “Silicon Valley Jerk Conundrum.”

Ironically, if Perkins had kept his thoughts to himself and his mouth shut, he could have avoided what is now a firestorm likely to engulf him and insure further scrutiny of income inequality.

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Plutocrat Koch Brothers, Corporate Money and U.S. Government Paralysis


The U.S. government shutdown crisis is driven by an entirely new and dangerous dynamic in American politics. It is not easy to discern, but it is there. A number of different U.S. news media have begun reporting on this phenomenon and have editorialized on it. Last night before the shutdown actually occurred, one political commentator abandoned all of the tedious “talking points,” promoted by both sides, and spoke the truth. He said simply that the political paralysis problem in the United States was precipitated by the growing plutocracy (government by the extremely rich), and corporate political money empowered by the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Its focus, goal and strategy is exclusively to discredit The President of the United States personally. It has little or nothing to do with opposing policy issues. It is personal and racist.

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