Bonum Certa Men Certa

A System Designed for 'Legalised' Plunder (Only by the Rich, Making Themselves Even Richer as Long as This System Exists)

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Dec 15, 2023

THE last few posts dealt with companies that exist despite not making money, only losing money [1, 2]. The sad truth is that most companies are like that. We're meant to think debt is "OK" and "normal" because most people borrow from an unknown future. Only about 10 countries do not have "significant" external debt: Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and Russia. There are 5 countries who do not have any external debt and they're more like rich people's tax havens: Macau, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Liechtenstein, and Palau.

In yesterday's batch of links we had this new article about investor-state dispute settlements, or ISDS. The issue was explored a lot about a decade ago, but now it is back, albeit facing less backlash because online media has nearly died. To quote "The Nation":

For decades, international corporations have used secretive hearings to take government money and avoid environmental regulation. Known as investor-state dispute settlements, or ISDS, this regime of supranational tribunals is eroding climate protections and increasing fossil fuel companies’ profits. Now, as the Biden administration pursues its clean energy goals, the White House is facing pressure to end this little-known practice.

The Nation

In November, a coalition of more than 200 labor unions, environmental organizations, and other civil society groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to bar international businesses from using ISDS to wring taxpayer money out of nations they allege are infringing on their corporate rights. Thirty-five Democratic lawmakers, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, sent a separate letter on ISDS to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

“Your agencies have an opportunity to put an end to this system of corporate exploitation of developing countries, Indigenous communities, the environment, and workers and consumers worldwide,” the lawmakers wrote.

In short, ISDS is a mechanism of blackmail by the rich.

ISDS has a lot to do with patents, according to an associate, perhaps even software patents.

"It has become common practice going back decade for corporations to write or design the very rules which are ostensibly there to limit abuse the opposite ends up happening as the rules warp the incentives," the associate says.

The Thief of Bagdad Vintage PosterSpeaking of the rich corporations writing the rules or building "the system" as best suits their own interest, the economy here got so dysfunctional that now they seek a way to tax 3+ million people who have savings in their bank. To quote: "Millions of people, some with quite modest savings, now face the prospect of paying tax on the interest those savings earn. Who does it affect and what can you do about it?"

That's a podcast that demands identifying oneself to listen to. It is from BillBC, which is financially beholden to the world's biggest and most notorious tax evader, Bill Gates. So the savers, albeit not oligarchs like Gates, are to be taxed, in addition to interest payments from those who took loans, like "mortgages" of what they sneakily call here "rent-to-own" (which is basically just a mortgage by another name; another buzzword/phrase is "first-time home buyers", i.e. those are people who take their first mortgage and now cough out blood as interest rates are very high).

In short, they're stealing money from people in debt and also from people who have modest savings (but not offshore bank accounts with fake "philanthropies" designed to avoid paying taxes). In other news from BillBC: "The Bank of England has held interest rates for a third time in a row following a run of 14 consecutive increases."

And now, instead of rewarding the savers, they are looking to tax them, except the oligarchs, who keep their money outside "the system" (which they created to prey on others).

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