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Wealth & Economics > BEPS as a precursor for bringing taxation to cope with globalization?

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message 1: by Nik (last edited Jun 08, 2017 02:05AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments Ok, so things actually start to happen. I hear reports that about 60 countries signed yesterday this convention that's supposed to prevent 'disappearing' of corporate profits conservatively estimated at 100-240 Billion dollars annually: http://www.oecd.org/tax/beps/ground-b...
Maybe a little late, but do we see the beginning of a change that would eventually prevent siphoning off of untaxed profits, or as sometimes happen - corporations will find their way to circumvent it and the likes as a minor nuisance?


message 2: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments I suspect it depends on details. In principle it should solve the problem, but there is always the problem of transfer pricing through countries that are not signatories. A particular problem will one the tax havens. Unless Britain forces places like the Cayman Islands to comply it will not even rank as a nuisance. Of course the countries could force goods to have their last port of origin noted, which would stop transfer pricing unless the Caymans suddenly become a major shipping centre.


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments In many countries the internal legislation follows the agreed line. That it caused multiple complications of otherwise simple procedures and lots of additional paperwork for lawyers, consultants, banks and others with "know your client" questionnaires and similar stuff is certain, whether it actually resulted in a desired economic effect remains to be seen, as the industry to circumvent the regulations develops on the parallel course. I hear some structures now choose Delaware for shelter instead of Caymans, Mauritius and other exotic destinations


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments The legislation is designed by lawyers for the benefit of lawyers :-)


message 5: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan For me, this is clear evidence of the ongoing war between those who would have the state predominant and those who would have the corporation predominant.

My current assessment is that the proponents of neo-fascist corporate statism are in the lead, but it looks to be a close run race as the proponents of neo-marxist state corporatism launch this latest initiative...


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Sorry, Graeme, but the evidence now is fairly clear that we live in a tolerably well-disguised plutocracy/ It is the very rich that get hugely richer, no matter what happens because they are too important to fail. The individuals are too weak to succeed and can be consigned to the trash heap.


message 7: by Graeme (last edited Jul 25, 2020 08:04PM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Ian wrote: "Sorry, Graeme, but the evidence now is fairly clear that we live in a tolerably well-disguised plutocracy/ It is the very rich that get hugely richer, no matter what happens because they are too im..."

Indeed. It's billionaires all round.

The CCP (neo-marxist state corporatism) is run by billionaires who hold the top positions of the state (Russia is another example), while in the West (neo-fascist corporate statism), our rulers own the massive corporations and co-opt the legislative and regulatory machinery of the state to ensure that their profitability is locked in (or bailed out) while all business risk is socialized to the masses (GFC/TARP = Exhibit #1).

It's a tails we lose, heads they win system that guarantees that the harvesting of economic value from the many by the few can continue without disruption.

The 'establishment, status quo,' is always and without fail a hierarchical system of massive social inequality where real dominion and wealth are concentrated in to the hands of the members of privileged class/clan/family etc that ensure their positions are passed onto nominated successors in each generation, and the rest of society do not get a chance to compete with them for primacy.

The concentration of wealth and power at the top of society has been a feature of humanity since the invention of agriculture (at least...). Occasionally we invent systems that peripheralize, or 'empower the edge,' and ameliorate the general situation.

In any event, the last two hundred years has greatly lifted the welfare of much of humanity as the average person living in the first world today has more real wealth and power to impact their life than a wealthy man living in the 17th century.


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments Ian wrote: "The legislation is designed by lawyers for the benefit of lawyers :-)"

Yes, usually, but acting in somebody's interest :)


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments Graeme wrote: "...ensure their positions are passed onto nominated successors in each generation, and the rest of society do not get a chance to compete with them for primacy..."

Yes, anti-money laundering, BEPS and other stuff perhaps can be viewed as designed to block considerable wealth from neo-capitalist countries like China or Russia from purchasing assets or entering into a "traditional" Western market..


message 10: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Nik wrote: "Yes, anti-money laundering, BEPS and other stuff perhaps can be viewed as designed to block considerable wealth from neo-capitalist countries like China or Russia from purchasing assets or entering into a "traditional" Western market...."

The $Billionaires compete with each other for primacy, the tools are states and corporations. Whomever wins always faces threats from the next generation of upstarts.


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Nik wrote: "Ian wrote: "The legislation is designed by lawyers for the benefit of lawyers :-)"

Yes, usually, but acting in somebody's interest :)"


Yes, but in part, theirs. The complexity guarantees billable hours :-)


message 12: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5351 comments Again, something no one wants to hear, but we need campaign finance reform. I don't know about other countries, but politicians are bought in this country, making it a plutocracy. I'd say that this disenfranchises the voters. The Supreme Court put their stamp of approval on unlimited campaign contributions. The SC is supposed to be incorruptible, but how could this have happened if that's so? They said money equals free speech, so money rules. How is that in line with the ideals of our republic?


message 13: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Scout wrote: "Again, something no one wants to hear, but we need campaign finance reform. I don't know about other countries, but politicians are bought in this country, making it a plutocracy. I'd say that this..."

The treatment of companies in the US still baffles me and leads directly to the lobbying problem. Simple reform to no more than a donation of x per year by an individual or party would stop much of the rot. Then politicians would have to limit their spend. No company contributions allowed. No gifts of holidays or other entertainment


message 14: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Philip wrote: "Scout wrote: "Again, something no one wants to hear, but we need campaign finance reform. I don't know about other countries, but politicians are bought in this country, making it a plutocracy. I'd..."

I am dreaming of course...


message 15: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments Scout wrote: "Again, something no one wants to hear, but we need campaign finance reform. I don't know about other countries, but politicians are bought in this country, making it a plutocracy. I'd say that this..."

I hear and share your vision. All you need is just bring another case to the Supreme Court and convince them to reverse the precedent :) Or legislation.
Ah, almost forgot, the candidates may waive the support, as Wikipedia mentions here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politic... : "In 2019, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren self-imposed fundraising restrictions, including "swearing off PAC money."[38][39] While they do not accept direct financial contributions from either connected or non-connected PACs, both Sanders[40] and Warren[41] are supported by at least one Super PAC. " Sometimes even swearing off doesn't help :)


message 16: by G.R. (new)

G.R. Paskoff (grpaskoff) | 248 comments Scout wrote: "Again, something no one wants to hear, but we need campaign finance reform..."

You're wrong, Scout. A lot of people want to hear it. A lot of people are fed up with the system as it is. But the establishment will fight tooth and nail to prevent any meaningful change. Why fix a broken system if it works for them?


message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments If the fox is guarding the chickens, and then the fox is put in charge of chicken protection, you do not expect something different to emerge.


message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim Vuksic | 63 comments Candidates for a high-level management position within a major corporation must possess a detailed history of past successful performance and then display above average competence in several areas: Exceptional communication skills (Verbal & Written) - Reading comprehension - problem solving - strong work ethic.

Candidates for high-level government positions must only have access to major financial backing and clever propaganda outlets.


message 19: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments The problem with democracy is the ones who take power are the ones that are good at getting elected. There is no other required criterion. The advantage of democracy is that if he who takes power turns out to be useless, you can get rid of him in so many years.


message 20: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) One can hope then we have constitutional reform as per Putin...
One can hope and then we have new laws passed preventing dissent - Honk Kong

Both passed in votes albeit China's law passed by what passes as a legislative body in China but Putin's is by popular vote.


message 21: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5351 comments Politicians who (legally per the Supreme Court) accept massive donations from businesses (pharmaceutical and insurance companies, etc.) are indebted to them once they're elected and feel less allegiance to the ordinary citizens who voted for them. The definition of a plutocracy. I appreciated your smiley face, Nik, when you said all we have to do is convince the Supreme Court to reverse their precedent. It's very frustrating to me, the inordinate power the wealthy have been given in our country where all should have an equal say.


message 22: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Scout, the problem in part is you don't have a politician who is prepared to fight against plutocracy, and any such fight would be extremely difficult to succeed.


message 23: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5351 comments The Supreme Court is the apex of the judicial branch of the government, answerable to no politician or governing body. To change the law, a case would have to come before them and force a vote to change the law. Not likely. The court put their stamp of approval on a plutocracy, and all I can think is that, well, you don't want to hear my conspiracy theories. They said money equals free speech, not a defensible argument in my opinion, yet it stands.


message 24: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Intriguing that they are answerable to no politician, BUT they are appointed politically, not independently.


message 25: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments The funny (not very) thing is that election financing, at least if to judge by wikipedia is super regulated in the States with limits, responsibilities and all: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaig...
..... until effectively circumvented..
And this is probably just one example.
A lot of other stuff is likely circumvented in a "perfectly legal" ways, be it taxation, consumer protection or ecology. The states, supposedly representing people's interest, are usually a step or two steps behind the big biz, either intentionally hindered by groups of interests or otherwise bureaucratically slow to react to "innovations".


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments The laws are apparently designed to be circumvented by the rich.


message 27: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Ian wrote: "The laws are apparently designed to be circumvented by the rich."

We could start with Magna Carta Libertatum - it has not got any better since 1215


message 28: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Not sure about that, Philip. The King can no longer order "Off with his head!"


message 29: by Nik (last edited Jul 07, 2020 12:07PM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments Ian wrote: "The King can no longer order "Off with his head!""

Don't underestimate his highness Mr. Putin, my friend :)


message 30: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments True, Nik. I was responding to that application of the Great Charter. Mr Putin is not bound by it, I believe.


message 31: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments Ian wrote: "True, Nik. I was responding to that application of the Great Charter. Mr Putin is not bound by it, I believe."

Only by a brand new, freshly-baked Constitution, and that to a degree :)


message 32: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments If you can change Constitutions that easily, you can nefver rule out a further change :-)


message 33: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments Well figured out! You can be a great commissar:)


message 34: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Sharpens axe :-)


message 35: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) ...redrafts constitution with special taxes deposited direct into Swiss/Caymans bank account whilst declaring all forces personally loyal to me....

If I Ruled the World

Note - every now and then I like to remember we are on a book site...


message 36: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5351 comments Ian, Supreme Court justices are appointed by politicians but, once appointed, owe allegiance to no party. They (ideally) make their judgments independent of political influence. Just last week, Justice Roberts, who was appointed by Bush (a republican) cast the deciding vote striking down a Louisiana abortion law, going against Republicans' wishes. These guys are autonomous, once appointed. That's why the selection process is so rigorous.


message 37: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Scout, that is the ideal, but in your example, while Justice Roberts voted differently than expected, the others did not. If it were merely interpreting the law free of any other influence, I would have expected ll, or nearly all, to come to the same conclusion.


message 38: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Ian wrote: "Scout, that is the ideal, but in your example, while Justice Roberts voted differently than expected, the others did not. If it were merely interpreting the law free of any other influence, I would..."

If the law was as logically coherent as mathematics then it would be reasonable to expect a group of supreme court justices to make a statement like, "We have conducted our deliberations and unanimously decided that 2 + 2, does indeed equal 4."

Unfortunately....

(Perhaps in time we will see A.I. justices sitting alongside the humans... for better or worse.)


message 39: by Philip (new)


message 40: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Yes, Philip, indeed.

The future has begun.


message 41: by Nik (last edited Jul 10, 2020 11:26AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13507 comments Law is not math, but it can benefit from some automation too, as many lawyers often stick to templates anyway


message 42: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Nik wrote: "Law is not math, but it can benefit from some automation too, as the many lawyers often stick to templates anyway"

AKA "cranking the handle" :-)


message 43: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Being involved in software development which is for an element of law enforcement we (Data Protection Act, GDPR etc) have to report our use of automated decision making. This is not AI but may give that appearance. i.e. based on various risk markers (in turn based on previous activity) the treatment of the prisoner (in this case) or the assignment of staff to handle that prisoner will vary. It is not practical to do this by human eyes. Some of this may seem obvious e,g, a violent prisoner will be handcuffed when a non-violent pregnant female prisoner would not be. The system is not actually cuffing the prisoner a human is, but guided by the recommendations on rules and process from the algorithms in the software written by a computer geek.

We also see this automation in things like speeding camera fines i.e. almost totally automatic process from picture taken to payment of fine. Luckily we still have the right to a day in court to contest the fine but at the risk of a higher penalty.

Nicely (i hope) back to judges - they have sentencing guidelines and in the case of the Supreme Court,precedent and interpretation of a 300 year old documents intentions when, I believe, there were only 13 states. As deliberated above political opinion should not outweigh facts but life, law and the US constitution are not binary or mathematical. Other nations appoint judges differently - maybe that is the issue.


message 44: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments As for traffic fines, I believe in almost all cases it is better to pay up because invariably you were guilty. The day in court usually costs a lot more than the fine, at least here it does.


message 45: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Ian wrote: "As for traffic fines, I believe in almost all cases it is better to pay up because invariably you were guilty. The day in court usually costs a lot more than the fine, at least here it does."

Same in UK and with Parking. Ban points get awarded too. Only disagreement tends to be over who was driving leading to more serious charges when trying to avoid points leading to actual ban. In UK speeding offences went up despite traffic going down in lockdown.


message 46: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Ban points get awarded here too, Philip, and if a case could be made someone else was driving, they would probably go to court here too if a ban was going to be earned under such circumstances.

Maybe speeding offences went up because there were fewer cars on the road and it was felt the chances of an accident were much lower. Here, during the lockdown, police were stopping a high proportion of the few vehicles on the road, so speeding was down.


message 47: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5351 comments This won't be a popular opinion, probably, but getting caught speeding or running a red light on camera instead of by a human just shouldn't count. We as humans should have a little wiggle room, just a fair chance to show out every now and then :-)


message 48: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments Not popular with me, Scout, especially running red lights. I nearly got sideswiped a short time ago by someone illegally coming out of a private alleyway at speed so I am against that sort of bad behaviour.


message 49: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5351 comments I always look both ways before running a light. There's no excuse for it, but I do it occasionally when sitting at a light with no one in sight. We have some interminable red lights in my town.


message 50: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9517 comments That is not what I call "running" it. Running it is hitting the red light at speed. In your case, Scout, not exactly legal, but I can understand it.


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