Saturday, April 9, 2016

Euro Spring

It looks like a lot of people are pissed off. I don't blame them. Americans are mad as hell too, they
just don't understand where to direct their anger, or if you do, you get pepper sprayed. When the game is rigged and everything is stacked against you, it tends to make people feel helpless. Americans have swallowed the lie that if you "play by the rules" and you get that college degree (no matter how much debt you accrue)  if you "work really hard" you'll get ahead. Just pick yourself up by your bootstraps and you will be lifted up into a world of reward, right?
Along comes the Panama Papers, it's gaining traction, thousands are marching in the UK on Downing Street, calling for David Cameron's resignation, #resigncameron. But he's not going to go quietly, as if he had any shame. The Panama Papers tell us he inherited money from his dad's offshore tax haven. They are protesting in Paris too, against tax evasion, inequality, the state of emergency and labor laws.
Since it's an election year, most people are focused on going to Trump or Bernie Sanders rallies. They both have spoken about offshore Treasure Islands, it's not real clear how much money Donald Trump has offshored or Hillary Clinton or Bernie Saunders. It seems that there may have been very few Americans that used Panama to offshore their profits, that may be the reason why this company was singled out. There has to be way more tax havens out there. While there are a few hundred Americans involved in the Panama Papers, there hasn't been any mention of any high level government officials. Like President Obama says, it's all perfectly legal. In my country, I haven't seen much scrutiny in this data dump, In The Washington Post, I read an article about what we could do with all the tax money that people aren't paying. Gosh what a nice dream. Just think, if people would just stop all their tax avoidance, things could be so much better! It also says something even more interesting; "The Washington Post has not reviewed the Panama Papers or verified their authenticity" this is the newspaper that broke the Watergate scandal, I am old enough to remember that and the hearings and the eventual resignation of Nixon. "The mind reels", as Lewis Black would say. Paid journalists writing about tax evasion can't be bothered investigating The Panama Papers.
How very odd.
While Icelanders, the UK and Parisiens take to the streets, protesting inequality and offshoring tax money, all you get here in the USA are crickets.
Unless you know where to look and are willing to spend a great deal of time digging, you aren't going to be able to find answers easily and most people are too busy or don't have access or just don't care, I guess journalists feel the same way, then again who knows how much money The Washington Posts owners are offshoring? Well what do you know, Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, bought the Washington Post a couple of years ago.Jeff Bezos funnels all his money through Luxemborg. It's no wonder no one is reviewing The Panama Papers at the Washington Post. That's just one news outlet, just one owner. No telling how many more are up to the same shady nonsense.
Wikimedia Commons
I guess the jokes on us and that's why Bezos' is laughing. Meanwhile in Europe there are a lot of people who don't think it's very funny, they are taking their anger to the streets, they don't have an offshore option.
FYI, I haven't seen anything in The Washington Post or The New York Times about the protests in London or Paris. Maybe they are reporting it on TV, but I don't watch that anymore, let me know if you see any American reporting on it.

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