Here is the full text of the GOP Platform as approved today in Tampa. I urge you to read it carefully.
California cities’ bankruptcies: Blame the housing bust. [latimes.com] – From reading the voluminous accounts of the fiscal woes of Stockton and San Bernardino, you’d think that municipal unions and feckless city officials are primarily what led these cities down the path to fiscal ruin.
But you’d be wrong. What bankrupted Stockton and San Bernardino were the most severe housing busts in the nation. What bankrupted those two cities were banks peddling subprime mortgages to poorly paid workers.
The super-rich of The Earth had at least twenty-one trillion dollars hidden away in secret tax shelters at the end of 2010, according to a report just released by the Tax Justice Network. The number may be as high as $32 trillion – nearly half of the entire Gross World Product.
At least $21 trillion of unreported private financial wealth was owned by wealthy individuals via tax havens at the end of 2010. This sum is equivalent to the size of the United States and Japanese economies combined.
There may be as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets held offshore by high net worth individuals (HNWIs). according to our report The Price of Offshore Revisited, which is thought to be the most detailed and rigorous study ever made of financial assets held in offshore financial centres and secrecy structures.
We consider these numbers to be conservative. This is only financial wealth and excludes a welter of real estate, yachts and other non-fianncial assets owned via offshore structures.
This $32 trillion amounts to more than $4500 for every man, woman and child on the planet that has been squirreled away and not subject to taxation.
Less than 100,000 individuals accounted for nearly $10 trillion of the offshore wealth.
The report shows that when hidden wealth is taken into account, many so-called “debtor nations” are actually wealthy – but their wealth is being imprisoned offshore by the elites and bankers.
The Tax Justice Network is an independent organization launched in the British Houses of Parliament in March of 2003. It is dedicated to high-level research, analysis and advocacy in the field of tax and regulation.
The Summer 2012 Issue of Democratic Left, the quarterly publication of the Democratic Socialists of America, is now available for download and reading online.
In This Issue
- Make That Leap – by Chris Maisano
- DSA National Political Committee Statement
- The 2012 Elections: Tragic Dilemmas, Left Possibilities – by Joseph M. Schwartz
- From Port Huron to Zuccotti Park: 50 Years of Participatory Democracy – by Dick Flacks
- Michael Harrington and The Other America – remarks by Frances Fox Piven and Cornel West
- Book Review: Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010 – reviewed by Jack Clark
- No More Apologies: Socialist Feminism and the Struggle for Reproductive Freedom – by Amber Frost
- YDS Mobilizes for T-Day – by Andrew Porter
- Book Review: Cornel West (with David Ritz), Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir – reviewed by Duane E. Campbell
- Celebrating 40 Years of Democratic Left
The Dark Money Behind the Wisconsin Recall. [Mother Jones] – In the Wisconsin recall election, the Walker campaign outspent Barrett by nearly eight to one, with money mostly from out of state (and lots of it from the Kochs and their affiliates). Individual contributions to Barrett’s effort were limited by law to a maximum of $10,000. Individual contributions to Walker were unlimited by law.
Quit the Church? Thanks, but no thanks. [E. J. Dionne, Jr. | Commonweal] – Recently, a group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation ran a full-page ad in the Washington Post cast as an “open letter to ‘liberal’ and ‘nominal’ Catholics.” Its headline commanded: “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church.” I’m sorry to inform the FFRF that I am declining its invitation to quit. They may not see the Gospel as a liberating document, but I do, and I can’t ignore the good done in the name of Christ by the sisters, priests, brothers and laypeople who have devoted their lives to the poor and the marginalized.
Brian’s Comment: I had much the same reaction as Dionne when I first saw the letter from the FFRF. Granted, it is sometimes hard to be a free-thinking Catholic these days, but the Faith is not merely the institutions and the Church is not merely the hierarchy. Our Catholic Faith belongs to me and to my family as much as it does to the bishops, to the Vatican or to any of the Right-Wing bigots to whom I may be offering the sign of peace this weekend.
Poverty is Over—If We Want it. [Adam Lassila | The Occupied Wall Street Journal] – It’s unconscionable that more than 30 million full-time workers don’t earn enough to provide for their families. It’s also unacceptable that 22 million willing laborers don’t have access to full-time work. Every human being deserves a job that can provide for his or her family’s well-being. Full employment is possible, but the U.S. government has rejected it as a policy goal because it is not in the best interest of the elites who control Washington.
What You Need To Know About ALEC. [Bridging Differences | Education Week] – Since the 2010 elections, when Republicans took control of many states, there has been an explosion of legislation advancing privatization of public schools and stripping teachers of job protections and collective bargaining rights. Even some Democratic governors, seeing the strong rightward drift of our politics, have jumped on the right-wing bandwagon, seeking to remove any protection for academic freedom from public school teachers. This outburst of anti-public school, anti-teacher legislation is no accident.
Today’s WTF Story:
Girl Scouts under scrutiny from Catholic bishops. [CSMonitor.com] – Long a lightning rod for conservative criticism, the Girl Scouts of the USA are now facing their highest-level challenge yet: An official inquiry by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. At issue are concerns about program materials that some Catholics find offensive, as well as assertions that the Scouts associate with other groups espousing stances that conflict with church teaching. The Scouts, who have numerous parish-sponsored troops, deny many of the claims and defend their alliances.
Clean up your own power-mad money-grubbing homophobic misogynistic pedophiliac den of iniquity, Bishops.
Leave our Girl Scouts alone.