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The one percent

Opinion

April 9, 2016

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The worst criminals on earth are not the poor who sit behind bars in jails and prisons. The biggest thieves are found among the rich. The 1 percent can buy legislation, politicians and the media to carry out and hide their dirty work. If they can’t change the laws to benefit themselves in their homelands they simply send their money elsewhere through shell holding companies.

This transfer of wealth, much of it diverted from what ought to be tax payments, is an open secret. The leak of 11.5 million documents from the Panama based Mossack Fonseca law firm brings into the light of day what was long known but passively accepted. Now the facts are in the open but the way in which the revelations are reported is questionable and taints an important story.

While the corporate media happily do the work of imperialism, Russia is making good on its promise to kick Isis out of Syria. The liberation of the ancient Syrian city Palmyra should have garnered Putin as much press attention as the Panama story. But the United States and Nato have still not abandoned their goal of regime change in Syria. They were ready to let Isis fight Assad and do the job for them. While they pretend to drive Isis out of Syria the Russians are actually getting the job done. If the corporate media want to cover Putin, that development provides an excellent opportunity for them to do so.

While news outlets ranging from the Guardian to the New York Times do their best to connect Putin to the Mossack Fonseca scandal without evidence, forgetting that the prime minister of the United Kingdom and the president of Ukraine are directly involved. David Cameron’s late father is among those mentioned in the Mossack Fonseca trove. Simply put, he established an offshore account to hide the family fortune. The goal of the scheme was as simple as it is devious: keep Cameron family money and the prime minister’s inheritance from being taxed.

The president of Ukraine is yet another thief. When Petro Poroshenko came to office after the 2014 anti-Russian coup he promised to cease playing any role in the operations of his confection company. That business made him a wealthy man with an estimated $800 million personal fortune. Instead he opened an offshore account in the British Virgin Islands to avoid paying taxes.

The media already knew that Poroshenko is richer than many of the Russian oligarchs they obsessively cover and they know that Ukraine is a failed state. They know that Ukraine owes Russia $3 billion and they know that the IMF violated its own rules in not making them pay up.

It is a good thing that the corruption of the world’s elites has been revealed. But as Wikileaks points out, all the documents must be released so that there is transparency available to all and an adherence to journalistic standards.

Hopefully, the proof of worldwide corruption will spur protest and opposition to a system which gives the masses nothing except more inequality. The people of Iceland didn’t wait to be told what to do. Thousands took to the streets and forced their prime minister to resign within three days of the story being published.

It is interesting but not at all mysterious that there are no Americans named in the Mossack Fonseca documents. The reason is simple. US law so clearly favours the rich that they have no need to go offshore to form shell corporations. They can do so legally in Wyoming, Delaware or Nevada. Rich people everywhere know it too. No need to go to Panama or Switzerland. The US is now the best tax haven on the planet. Hopefully the corporate media will decide to cover that story too.

This article has been excerpted from: ‘The Panama Papers problem’.

Courtesy: Commondreams.org

 

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