Landmark Survey Finds Special Interests are Pouring Money into Local Elections

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Common Dreams | 26 June, 2016

The lower cost of state and local elections makes it relatively easy for dark money to dominate. (Image: Charles Mann Photography/iStockphoto.com)The lower cost of state and local elections makes it relatively easy for dark money to dominate. (Image: Charles Mann Photography/iStockphoto.com)

While the outsized influence that Big Money is having on federal elections is well-documented, the local impact of the Supreme Court’s 2011 Citizens United ruling has not been fully realized—until now.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law on Sunday published a landmark report (pdf) documenting how secret donations have corroded democracy at the state level, where it is “arguably most damaging.”Read More »

Advertisements

Standing on Backs of Global Poor, Filthy Rich Getting Even Filthier

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Common Dreams | 24 June, 2016

“For every person with more than $30 million, there are over 4800 people living in extreme poverty,” said Jenny Ricks of the Fight Inequality Alliance. (Photo: Glenn Halog/flickr/cc)

The wealth gap keeps growing as the world’s richest get richer at the expense of the poor, according to a new study released this week by an alliance of major organizations.

The World Wealth Report from Oxfam, Greenpeace, and other groups found that while the total number of millionaires in the world jumped to 15.4 million—up by nearly 5 million since 2009—more than 702 million people remain in poverty around the globe.Read More »

STOP BILDERBERG: Protest against the global elites’ secretive meet

“Murderer!” Kissinger heckled

A Journal of People report

bilderberg.jpg

With the Bilderberg 2016 meeting at the Taschenbergpalais hotel in Dresden, deep behind closed doors and protected by heavily-armed guards, many have wondered: just how hyperbolic are allegations that the Bilderberg run the world. To help readers decide, here is a chart compiled by Zero Hedge that lays out the linkages and connections – financial, political, statutory and otherwise – between the handful of persons who comprise the Bilderberg core.

Water cannon and other crowd control tools have been deployed by German police in preparation for “violent” protests outside this weekend’s Bilderberg 2016 conference, the world’s most intriguing gathering, in Germany.

The Bilderberg conference is one of the most secretive and powerful organizations people have ever heard of. The Bilderberg Group conference is being held in Dresden this week, with the West’s rich and powerful set to meditate on the migrant crisis, the next US president and UK’s referendum on leaving the EU.Read More »

Despite ‘Moral Angst’ About Inequality, World’s Richest Just Keep Getting Richer

by Nika Knight, staff writer

Common Dreams | 07 June, 2016

“The skyrocketing level of income and wealth inequality is not only grotesque and immoral, it is economically unsustainable,” Bernie Sanders has argued. (Photo: Janeen/flickr/cc)

At a moment when the wealthiest one percent own more money than the rest of the world combined, a new report finds that in 2015 the world’s richest people were able to sit back and watch their assets grow by 5.2 percent to a stunning $168 trillion.

Read More »

‘Why? And Why Now?’ Panama Papers ‘John Doe’ Steps Out of Shadows

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Common Dreams | 06 May, 2016

“For the record, I do not work for any government or intelligence agency, directly or as a contractor, and I never have,” wrote John Doe. (Photo: Lions Ground/flickr/cc)

The anonymous source behind the Panama Papers stepped out of the shadows on Friday to offer justification for what has been called the biggest leak in history.

The whistleblower’s gender and name remain secret, as does their occupation. German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the leaker’s initial contact, has authenticated that the statement came from the Panama Papers source.

“For the record, I do not work for any government or intelligence agency, directly or as a contractor, and I never have,” wrote John Doe. “My viewpoint is entirely my own, as was my decision to share the documents with Süddeutsche Zeitung and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), not for any specific political purpose, but simply because I understood enough about their contents to realize the scale of the injustices they described.”

Read More »

I Saw The King Naked First! Let’s Refresh Our Yunus – Memory!

by Omar Tarek Chowdhury

Countercurrents.org | 22 April, 2016

Everybody believed in the glory of the King and his gospel of sending poverty to museum with the help of microcredit.

Because, first, the development agencies of the western countries, and then, kings-queens-presidents-first ladies, international pundits and local consultants, a group of universities and think tanks, a part of global media and their local copycats orchestrated the hype. They all tried to make us believe he is the King for vanishing poverty from the earth. We subscribed their non-stop sermons. Promoters of the King mesmerized us and reinforced our trust in his manufactured image with record number of awards, degrees, honors, medals and laurels. The icon building process reached its pinnacle with the blessing of a mighty resident of the White House, president Bill Clinton, when the Norwegian Nobel Committee bestowed him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. By that time, he became the national hero of the donor-sponsored civil society movement and a proponent of poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, good governance, anti-corruption, fair elections and so on.Read More »

‘Dodgy Dave’ Off the Hook: British PM Escapes Tax Affairs Probe

Common Dreams | 21 April, 2016

A sign held during the March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education in London on 16 April 2016.  (Photo: RonF via The Weekly Bull/flickr/cc)

“Dodgy Dave” appears to be off the hook.

According to new reporting on Thursday, British Prime Minister David Cameron will not face an inquiry by the parliamentary watchdog over controversy surrounding his benefiting from an offshore fund.Read More »

$1,400,000,000,000: Oxfam Exposes the Great Offshore Tax Scam of US Companies

Common Dreams | 14 April, 2016

In 2012, U.S. companies reported $80 billion of profits in the tax haven of Bermuda. (Photo: /flickr/cc)

Using an “opaque and secretive network” of subsidiaries in tax havens, top American corporations have stashed $1.4 trillion offshore, a new report from Oxfam shows.

With “a range of tricks, tools, and loopholes,” for tax avoidance, the 50 largest U.S. companies, including well-known names like Goldman Sachs, Verizon Communications, Apple, Coca-Cola, IBM, and Chevron, raked in $4 trillion in profits globally between 2008 and 2014, are contributing to inequality, the anti-poverty group said.Read More »

Confessions of a Panama Papers Hit Man

by John Perkins

Common Dreams | 12 April, 2016

“The Panama Papers,” writes Perkins, “are a warning: we can’t turn a blind eye on legalized crimes.” (Photo: The Weekly Bull/flickr/cc)

The Panama Papers should be no surprise. I was there in the 1970s, when the system they’ve exposed was set in motion. As an Economic Hit Man (an EHM), I helped forge this global economy that is based on legalized crimes. It’s a system in which 62 individuals have as much wealth as half the world’s population, and a handful of the super-rich control governments around the globe. Big corporations benefit from infrastructure and social services without having to foot the bill. Instead, average U.S. citizens pay for it with their hard-earned tax dollars, while the very rich and their corporations shelter their incomes in tax havens like Panama.

Read More »

Panama Papers: The Hypocrisy of the Ruling Elites

by Remi Piet

Common Dreams | Published on 10 April, 2016 by Al-Jazeera English

Thousands protested in London on Saturday calling for British Prime Minister David Cameron to step down over the Panama Papers. (Photo: The Weekly Bull/flickr/cc)

The Panama Papers leak offer for the first time a clear understanding of how world elites engage in shady financial mechanisms to avoid paying taxes and thus contribute to the financing of their national welfare system and development efforts. Read More »