Sunday Reading

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, July 29th, 2012 - 1 comment
Categories: capitalism, International, interweb, Keynes, science, tax - Tags: , , ,

My regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring).  This week: hiding tax, growing up neo-liberal and Syria.

In the news this week was the report that $US21-32 trillion is being held in tax havens by the wealthy – with $9.8 trillion of that by fewer than 100,000 individuals – as they avoid hundreds of billions of tax.  Enough to solve 3rd world debt, or even the euro crisis.  Even before the vast extent was revealed Britain was estimating that they could knock at least 2 pence off the basic rate of tax if the wealthy paid their share.

So this week the BBC were looking at the lengths people go to avoid tax, and Kim Hill had the author of the report on yesterday morning.  An interesting factoid was the thousands per congressman per day banks spend lobbying in Washington that helps keep our banking system and tax havens in place.  It’s hard to compete.

As a UK government report criticised bankers and traders short-termism for getting us into our current mess, the BBC also asked how Keynes would have responded to the current economic crisis, in a Keynesian way, or?

If you’re interested in how growing up neo-liberal is affecting children, Dr Bronwyn Hayward’s new book Children, Citizenship and Environment is likely to be an important text.  She had a great interview on Nine to Noon this week, looking at the pressures our current generation of children are facing.  Massively increased social inequality, and an surrounding ideology that says it’s all up to you to solve any problems – from your family’s poverty to any domestic violence / alcoholism there may be – even before you get onto your career.  She commented on the amazing job our schools are doing, and the importance of mental and physical space our children get (libraries & parks). Also vastly important was the that space being in school too – with it not being all about tests, but a place to grow and contribute.

Finally, for a harrowing account of the bloody stalemate of a war Syria is, the Guardian had an excellent article.  It remains a popular revolution, but neither side currently has enough support / fighters / weapons to win.  So a bloodbath looks likely to continue.

It’ll be a while yet before the Pentagon fully understands what causes violence, even if it does have a set pattern.

I’m shortly off overseas for work for a bit, so there’ll no Sunday Reading for a couple of weeks…


One comment on “Sunday Reading”

  1. prism 1

    A good collection of info. And on the trillions in tax haven there is a very large sum of money paid by the Pentagon annually on their PR effort. Enough to solve many of the world’s problems fuelling the insurgents, freedom fighters, disease, despair etc that they set out to use or worsen for their purposes.

    And this morning on a talk from Estonian developer of Skype was a lot of information about artificial intelligence and our likelihood of letting machines overtake us in intelligence and speed so they can re-program themselves and then we are under their control.
    Feature Guest – Jaan Tallinn
    Artificial intelligence: what are the risks? We get an explanation from computer programmer and Skype co-creator Jaan Tallinn, who is one of the world’s leading experts on peer-to-peer technologies. (28′18″)
    Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed Monday 30/7//12

    The Pentagon now uses unmanned drones to take terror and death to distant places driven by elite game players. They plan apparently to replace other pilots by mid century. Science-fact not fiction would be hard to experience. I resent the frig shrilling about having its door open. Couldn’t stand having machines watch and control.

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