German Taxpayers Willingly Subsidise Bankers

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NY Times, August 11, 2011 A debate between five economists on "Why Aren't Germans Protesting?" Rightly Disgusted at the Banks A bailout, like any other government expenditure, is a tax. Someone must pay all this money. And it is unfair to tax the broad population to pay for a special interest. Instead of being a progressive tax policy, bailouts enable bad behavior by the financial elite, sticking taxpayers with the cost. Bailouts are unpopular among Europeans who see them as a tax being paid by the population as a whole to financiers at the top of the pyramid. These bankers have lived in the short run, taking large risks of capital for short-term gains to outperform their rivals. It is a game that ...

Russia: Reversing Economic Polarization and Poverty

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To avoid this fiscal cause of poverty, we must ask what kind of taxes steer wealth into the most productive lines, by lowering the economy’s cost of doing business, and preventing “negative-sum” predatory economic activities that impoverish the population? More specifically, is a tax shift onto land rent and monopoly rent (as Dmitri Lvov at Russia’s Academy of Sciences advocated in the 1990s) preferable to sales and income taxes?

Debt Deal – Economy Sacrificed for Military Bias

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Democracy Now, August 2, 2011 After Months of Partisan Wrangling, Wall Street & Pentagon Emerge Victorious on Debt Deal AMY GOODMAN: After months of a bitterly partisan stalemate, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted in favor of raising the federal borrowing limit and avoiding a default on the national debt. The final count showed 174 Republican ayes and 66 Republican nays, with Democrats split evenly, 95 on each side. The vote came just hours before a Treasury deadline that potentially would have seen the U.S. run out of cash and default for the first time in its history. The bill is expected to be approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama today. The deal includes no new ...

Russia’s Economic Interests (Part 1)

After the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, most of its members followed the neoliberal advice of the IMF and World Bank – and the Harvard Boys – and simply turned over the most lucrative resources in the public domain (minerals and fuels, real estate, public utilities, hotels, transport systems, etc.) to well-connected individuals and those working through banks. U.S. and other Western interests then helped these individuals move their money out to the West, while selling post-Soviet enterprises and real estate.