This month it was revealed that Amazon, Google, and Starbucks have systematically been avoiding tax on most of their profits. The glib view these companies take of their tax obligations was on full display two weeks ago, when Amazon’s Director of Public Policy, Andrew Cecil, caused the usually sedate members of the public accounts committee to scold him for his ‘outrageous’ and ‘deliberately evasive’ responses and his fantastical claim that he was not aware of how much Amazon made from its British operations. These companies are not exceptions. The total amount avoided in tax is approximately £25 billion; the amount illegally evaded is far higher, at £70 billion. In reality, the distinction between avoidance and evasion is nebulous, arising at least as much from the pusillanimity of tax inspectors as legislative loopholes. Over the last eight years, HMRC has failed to take to court a single company for avoidance of corporation tax, preferring to conclude amicable arrangements which result in companies paying a titular sum amounting to only a pitiful fraction of their actual liabilities. The image of the pertinacious taxman obstinately pursuing tax-dodgers is something that only applies when it comes to the rest of us, not big business. Moreover, HMRC’s inherent lassitude in enforcing corporation tax is compounded by the government’s efforts to reduce it a token organization, with only a token staff. 10,000 of its already over-burdened inspectors are to be made redundant once new budget cuts come into effect.

Joseph Richardson - “When Plutocrats Blame the Poor”

too tired to comment properly but:

  1. This sort of stuff is of course emblematic of the general decades-long trend provided by NeoLiberalism and now Austerity measures (an arm of NeoLiberalism). Things weren’t great before this trend started, but now it’s like an Accelerationist’s wet dream.
  2. So each time any sort of gov’t official announces an Austerity measure or a budget cut or the closing of a program that provided something potentially beneficial (like NEH or NHPRC funding) much less fundamental (like welfare and entitlement programs or the postal service) one should be reminded that such cuts are 100% unnecessary and enforced only and purely to the benefit of the already powerful.
  3. In the face of differentials of Power, the Law is irrelevant. As are regulations. Individuals and smaller businesses are subject to the Law and regulations, but larger corporations will always find a way around, through, and over… As much as these corporations enrich the government, as much as these things are institutionally entwined, the government is fine with that.
  4. Archives/Library/Information Professional friends… This is what I mean when I say “Fuck Google in the Eye”, yes they do amazing things with information technology, with linked data, with digitization, but by operating as a monstrous corporate entity they are effectively stabbing all your colleagues in the back as they grow and monopolize. Remember this next time you see a pathetically funded professional position or the lack of one all together. People in Publishing can recognize this with Amazon, it’s time Archivists and Librarians began recognizing this with Google.
Marche is merely the perfect example of how eager American liberals are to accommodate the ideology of the ruling class, “austerity” being all the rage these days. It’s nothing new. Liberals have always been useful servants. And they’ve been following their spiritual masters in the Democratic Party over the free market cliff for decades, even now as they squeeze out a few about inequality. Hey, they’ll always have a pet project.
But liberals aren’t just surrendering to all this debt-mongering bullshit, they’re chipping in like the good little poodles they are. They’re more than happy to cheer on the Millennials. Not for anything like socialism but for more austerity.

This is costing a lot of money, at a time when we are being warned that we may face revenge attacks from al-Qaida because of our recent drone strike.

We’re going to spend hundreds of thousands, maybe even $1 million on this that we don’t have. Because of these protests, we might even wind up shutting down schools and firehouses because this is costing a lot of money.

Perennial shit-heel (one might call him a "legendarily notorious" or, perhaps infamous fuckwad of New York City politicis) Peter Vallone, Jr. tries to drum up all sorts of fear over what these protests may cost the city

This article is just rich. You’ve got fear-mongering over terrorism (and what amounts to a tacit admission that it’s our stupid international violence that drums up terrorism), insistence on austerity (with added implication that it’s the people that are to blame), and not a hint of awareness of the real reasons behind the city’s budget woes (oh the irony?).

There’s also this amazingly Orwellian bit:

Members of the department have told WNYC that larger presence of “white shirts” is customary at large protests because of the sensitivities involved with trying to enforce the law while respecting First Amendment rights, and according to those sources, officers have been instructed not to make arrests unless explicitly authorized by a lieutenant, captain or inspector to do so.

The general thrust of the article, though, is that the protest is costing the NYPD a lot in time, money, and manpower. I suppose the journalist didn’t bother to ask the NYPD why they’re devoting so many resources (including a watch tower!) to a non-violent action that’s seen 0 damage to people or property (that wasn’t done by the NYPD itself)….

Agree with this. Tired of the “Obama is a bad negotiator” and/or “He’s a smart guy and doesn’t believe these stances, he’s just playing politics” bullshit excuses. Face it: Obama believes in the austerity nonsense. Obama believes in protecting the banks and financial sector at the cost of the people. Obama believes in curbing civil liberties and whistle blowers. Obama believes marijuana, and not the drug war itself, is the problem. Obama believes in some of the worst of the War On Terror nonsense. Obama believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Etc.

Agree with this. Tired of the “Obama is a bad negotiator” and/or “He’s a smart guy and doesn’t believe these stances, he’s just playing politics” bullshit excuses. Face it: Obama believes in the austerity nonsense. Obama believes in protecting the banks and financial sector at the cost of the people. Obama believes in curbing civil liberties and whistle blowers. Obama believes marijuana, and not the drug war itself, is the problem. Obama believes in some of the worst of the War On Terror nonsense. Obama believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Etc.