Under Oath, Apple Lies to the World About Paying Taxes

On May 21, 2013, Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, appeared before a United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, investigative subcommittee, which had completed an inquiry into how Apple avoided tens of billions of dollars in taxes by shifting profits into Irish subsidiaries that the subcommittee’s chairman called “ghost companies.” At the hearing, Cook …

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HSBC, the US Justice Department, and the War on Drugs

December 11, 2012: HSBC Bank agreed to pay $1.256 billion and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for HSBC’s violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA). According to court documents, HSBC Bank USA violated the BSA …

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Citigroup’s Plutonomy Memo: “There are rich consumers, and there are the rest”

In October 16, 2005, Citigroup came out with a brochure for investors called “Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances” urging investors to put money into a “Plutonomy Basket" Here are my favorite excerpts: The World is dividing into two blocs - the Plutonomy and the rest. The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies - economies …

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Plato on the Evils of a “Government Resting on a Valuation of Property”

Hi. Here is a very interesting and timely exchange between Socrates and Glaucon in Plato's The Republic, ~360 BCE, Book 8:   GLAUCON: And what manner of government do you term oligarchy? SOCRATES: A government resting on a valuation of property, in which the rich have power and the poor man is deprived of it. GLAUCON: …

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The Economic Theory Based Entirely on Sentimental Hope – Smith vs. Ricardo

Is it strange that classical English economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo based a lot of their economic theory on sentimental hope? That the capitalists of their time would make economic decisions based on their sense of patriotism? Adam Smith considered the possibility that the merchants and manufacturers in England might decide to do their …

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Leisure vs. “Total Work”

It's time we take leisure seriously. Today, in our culture of productivity-fetishism, we have succumbed to the tyrannical notion of “work/life balance” and have come to see the very idea of “leisure” not as essential to the human spirit but as self-indulgent luxury reserved for the privileged or deplorable idleness reserved for the lazy The Greeks …

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How America Disapproved of MLK

The overwhelming approval with which Martin Luther King, Jr is remembered today stands in ironic contrast to the way he was perceived by white Americans while he was alive. We may love Dr. King today, but that is a fairly recent phenomenon. We have Gallup poll data from May 1963 which show that 46% of Americans held …

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