November 25, 2013

What's to be done about tax?

Posted in Global Economy · 131 comments ·

Last Thursday at the bar of Na Fianna GAA club in Glasnevin, I chatted to two Irish entrepreneurs who have a successful software company about the unintended negative consequences Ireland’s multinational tax policy has on their business.

They maintained that because the multinationals pay much less tax than local Irish companies do, the multinationals can always pay more than the local companies for talent. This is a serious problem for them and given this state’s obsession with large multinationals as opposed to small Irish companies it is an argument we rarely hear.

(You might say: ”Typical McWilliams, goes to a GAA club and talks about tax policy at the bar!” Fair point. Guilty as charged.)

They weren’t the only people talking about multinational tax this week. On Friday, the OECD held a two-day global forum to come up with policy initiatives to prevent global corporate tax evasion. More seriously, last Tuesday, the US finance committee on Capital Hill heard proposals that would have a dramatic impact on Irish policy.

So if the rest of the world is talking about multinational tax and Ireland is firmly in their sights, why don’t we? The elephant in the room simply can’t be ignored.

The government promises a new economic strategy for Ireland. It will wax lyrical about sovereignty, fairness, efficiency and job creation, but precious little is likely to be said about taxation and, in particular, the way we tax multinationals.

How are we going to deal with multinationals in the next five years against a background clamour all over the world to clamp down on corporate tax avoidance? Indeed, today’s clever tax avoidance strategies are likely be tomorrow’s criminal tax evasion tactics, so what are we going to do about it?

Lets be clear. Multinationals in Ireland do not pay 12.5 per cent tax; they pay on average 2.5 per cent tax on profits. This is a joke and the joke is on you because that which they don’t pay, you do.

One of the reasons Irish citizens, small businesses and embryonic start-ups are hammered with all sorts of taxation is because multinationals don’t pay their fair share.

This stands to reason. If we have a certain bill for running the country (the amount of which we can argue about) yet one section of the economy is treated differently and more leniently to other parts in terms of what it pays, then the other sectors by definition pay more.

The multinationals operate in this country like every other business. Children of their employees go to our schools like the rest of us. Multinational executives drive on our roads, drink our water, use our electricity and get tended in our hospitals like everyone else. Their managers and workers were educated by our state. These companies are not ”corporate colonialists” living in an economic garrison; they exist as part of a functioning society. And so they should treat us with respect and pay the modest amount of tax, which we – and every country – expects them to.

Reassessing what multinationals pay is not some Marxist tract about taxing capital. It is quite the opposite and is a legitimate building block of a sensible and entirely reasonable policy where each sector pays its fair share.

Indeed, this question is part of the bigger process of national self-reflection – a sort of unforgiving economic and moral inventory – that the post-bailout environment could facilitate. This long-overdue conversation is part of the broader discourse about what type of society do we want to live in and what type of economic policies support that vision.

By demanding that multinationals actually pay 12.5 per cent – the actual corporate tax rate – Ireland would still be one of the most attractive places to invest in the industrialised world. However, the income of the citizens of the country and the returns to capital foreign investment would at least begin to be treated similarly.

The 12.5 per cent rate is still way below the 50 per cent plus marginal rate paid by many tens of thousands of Irish workers and still far, far below the level levied on corporations elsewhere.

As things stand, the deal that multinationals get in Ireland is phenomenal.

Latest US tax figures indicate that profits per employee at US-owned companies in Ireland are at $970,000, whereas the corporate tax paid in Ireland per employee is just under $26,000.

This is a deal like no other for the multinationals.

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, US multinationals in Ireland reported net income of $95.6 billion. These firms employ 98,500 people in Ireland, which gives profits per employee of a whopping $970,000. In contrast, according to the IDA, tax paid per employee of multinationals to the Irish exchequer was €19,000 or $25,840 at today’s exchange rate.

The American data reveals that ”taxes other than income and payroll taxes” payable in Ireland in 2010 amounted to €2.4 billion, giving an effective rate of tax of 2.5 per cent – far below headline rate of 12.5 per cent.

If these companies were to pay tax at the very low – by international standards – rate of 12.5 per cent, the exchequer would net Euro 12 billion in corporation tax per year. €12 billion! No doubt some other jurisdictions would claim they should have a share of this, but Ireland is currently where the profits are booked.

The gain to Ireland would be huge. The budget deficit would be eliminated immediately and the country would run a surplus.

Multinational profits

The multinationals would still be making over €800,000 profit per employee here, so they could hardly complain. Ireland would remain one the most profitable locations in the world for US multinationals.

Quite apart from the obvious benefits to Ireland, another reason we should close off tax jiggery pokery is the world is moving swiftly against countries that encourage tax avoidance vehicles.

For example, in the US on Tuesday, a proposal from the Democrats on Capitol Hill aims to impose a 20 per cent tax on an estimated $2 trillion of cash held overseas by American multinationals. The Americans want to clamp down US companies keeping their profits overseas. US tax on repatriated cash is a significant 35 per cent.

The Democrat finance committee, with the support of President Obama, argues that this move will generate more than $200 billion in revenue for the US government.

President Obama likes this simplicity and stated on Wednesday ”rather than a whole bunch of tangled laws that incentivise folks to keep money overseas, let’s have a modest but clear global minimum tax”.

So you can see where this is going. And of course where do you think enormous amounts of US multinational money is on deposit? Yes you guessed right, in the deposit accounts of the big US banks in the IFSC.

So it’s crucial we move in step with the rest of the world. Ireland has so much to gain from this and little to lose. At the moment we are riding a tax-arbitrage bubble, that will burst as political leaders in Washington, Brussels and Berlin close off loopholes and deviant fiscal behaviour. And this will be spun as a morality issue – which in a sense it is.

You could look at us as a sort of weird red-line district for tax fetishists where companies are allowed do all sorts of stuff they would dream of getting up to at home! Of course these types of deviant tax zones attract all classes of fiscal perversion, and if there are companies in Ireland that exit here only to avoid tax and have no real business here, well these are not the sorts of people a respectable economy should want to deal with. And if they moved to seek out the more exotic tax practices of committed tax havens, good riddance to them.

Proper businesses will stay because it is profitable and everyone will be better off. It’s a ”no-brainer” really.

David McWilliams hosts the Winter Tales’ book festival at Dalkey on December 7. Tickets

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  1. Paul Divers

    Typical McWilliams, goes to a GAA club and talks about tax policy at the bar!

  2. Dorothy Jones

    Ireland’s Empty Gesture on Curbing Offshore Tax Abuses 131017

  3. Deco

    Excellent article.

    We had Las Vegas on the Liffey – a red light district for banks to gamble and engage in all sorts of reckless behaviour that they could not do at home. And it resulted in a lot of phoniness with respect to the GDP figures in the middle of the last decade. It is all connected very tightly with Ireland’s political layer, with John Bruton as international ambassador for the IFSC.

    We also have a similar scenario with respect to west coast US multinationals who have their HQ in Ireland.

    One of the consequences of Las Vegas on the Liffey, is the massive debt binge. And the debt binge has our politicians and state system begging for “investment”. The problem now is that we are getting too much investment, and therefore too much attention. We really would be better off if we cooled this down a bit. Because in any case, as proven by the Dot Com boom bust, this is a sector that can be extremely accentuated. In other words, it can be more extreme than the rest of the economy. And it is definitely more influenced by interest rates than the rest of the economy.

    Currently, many of these firms use Ireland as hub for revenue declaration. We can get away with this, if we don’t get any attention. The less noise the better. Except in the mad rush to “lift” the property market, and thereby save the banks (and prove to the EU that we have “proof of concept” with regard to the EU bailout strategy) the polticians and the Irish state are on a mad rush to get as much investment as possible.

    They are not looking at the labour market. In fact they do not understand it. They have failed to reform Ireland’s third level sector to produce either the quantity or the quality of graduate that is needed by such firms. And they have concentrated the development in one county mostly. As an exercise in planning, what we are seeing is a sugar rush. It is not any smarter than what FF tried with construction. Curiously, the objective seems to be the same – to goose the real estate market. One of the results of bailouts, is that the entire Irish state became a “sovereign debt fund” backed by real estate. The needs of the state (which now take precedence over the needs of the people) will result in some rather myopic inspired strategies. These strategies are being rolled before a sceptical public dressed up in a “green jersey”. These include the “pillar bank” strategy, NAMA, and even the Windmills that nobody in England wants. [the state's moral position in this respect is completely undermined by it's tariff system on domestic wind producers trying to sell the power locally, because it will rididule ESB pay levels, amongst other things].

    At the same time there is competition for resources within Irish society. And there are hundreds of quangoes, justifying their existence, by providing advocacy, and access to resources.

    The Irish institutional state apparatus is highly dysfunctional, and creates distortions all over the place. Policy frameworks are written as much to impress the populace as they are to actually work.

    We have merely changed the veneer. The whole system, is once again sustained by low interest rates. We had an imbalanced eceonomy. And now we are doing it all over again. A few painful lessons have been learned, but not enough. In fact, I would say that at an individual people have have learned, but at the aggregate level, the state is not that much smarter than it ever was.

    Excellent article by David.

  4. Deco

    Apart from anything else, there is a boom at the moment in the technology sector which is liable to hid th skids at some point in the next twelve months.

    We are back once again in “irrational exhuberence” territory – with companies being valued on the PS ration Price to Sales. This is because their revenue model is deemed more important than their actual profits (because their profits are marginal). When you have stock valuations based on a model rather than a rate of return, the market is meandering into virtual territory. And out of the real.

    Another bubble in the making. And the autorities here are betting the property market on this. And in case, you did not notice, they have already bet the taxpayers on the property market.

    We are leveraged to the lot. Charles Ponzi in action once again folks.

    • EugeneN

      IT bubbles are far less destructive than housing bubbles because most people do not own 200+ stock in IT companies bought on the margin. There are some over valued companies, Amazon has never had a low P/E for some reason, but twitter ( which is the cause the jour of the bubblists) is probably not one of them.

      • Deco

        Twitter and Facebook are both ridiculously overvalued in my opinion.

        • EugeneN

          People said the same about Google when it debited at $85, and when it had small revenues, and – I think – no profit. Its now at $1000.

          Facebook is taking a huge amount of mobile advertising already, and that will continue.

  5. EugeneN

    There seems to be some confusion here. Are these multinationals stealing revenue from Ireland, the US, or Britain?

    Lets agree that they should pay more tax.

    Claim 1:

    David is arguing for the theft from Ireland, because their managers were educated here ( not necessarily, of course) and their children go to school here. But the managers easily pay for that with their PAYE tax, if they aren’t in tax deficit then who are? The corporation presumably pays for electricity etc.

    Claim 2:

    The US is arguing ( see the Forbes) argument, that the low subsidy here is a subsidy from the US taxpayer and that corporations headquarted there – its also implied that when they do most of their IP there – should pay tax in the US regardless of where else the are also domiciled.

    Claim 3:
    And the UK claim that profits on Google sales are “booked through Ireland”, which is a totally different claim again. This time its not that your managers live there, or that Google started and most IP is created in the UK but is taxed in Ireland, but that sales in a country should be subject to corporation tax in that country, regardless of where the company is headquartered.

    My feeling on these claims.

    Claim 1 is legally correct but morally wrong ( but not for the reasons David thinks).
    Claim 2 is legally incorrect (and might be hard to fix) but mostly morally correct.
    Claim 3 is bollocks.

    The reason why Apple et al. don’t owe the Irish economy much more than 2% is because the Irish contribution to Apple’s worldwide profits is negligible. We do well enough from income tax. Ireland had little to do with the 70% of iPhones sold outside the US, and the idea that we are owed even 12.5% from it is nonsense. What needs to happen is

    IP should is transferable but companies should declare tax where the majority of IP is actually performed. Of course this may not stop US companies relocating their actual productive workers but the other thing the US should do is reduce its corporation tax, funny that such a capitalist country is so hostile to the idea.

  6. Deco

    Of course the irony of atracting businesses to Ireland, on the basis of them paying a low tax rate on their profits, is kind of absurd, when they are not making much profit.

    Except that it is part of their pretence that they will make massive profits that has them locating here in the first place. It impresses investors. And in a low interest rate environment, investors are gasping for the promise of yield, and capital gain.

    There is too much of the charade going on, with respect to the social media boom.

    • EugeneN

      Deco, what are you talking about. Seriously. Which companies do you think are not making that much profit in the multinational sector in Ireland, I see them raking it in.

  7. Dorothy Jones

    [Dermot] Desmond was one of the creators of the Irish tax haven: a mucky, lax combination of corporate tax avoidance (see the “Double Irish Sandwich, for instance) and financial regulatory avoidance that has been quite heavily implicated in the global financial crisis that erupted in around 2008.

    Irish tax haven creator rings LSE bell on Tax Justice Network 130418

    • 5Fingers

      I remember when they got the IFSC operational and it was going to renew an area in Dublin and bring FDI like never before. No one really understood how unstable it could become. It is now becoming clear how poor the finalcial community are at assessing risk. By rights if capitalism was allowed to do its thing German Banks would have been some of the worst hit. But since politicians etc need to consider their careers in the future the bribe/lure of and EU appointment meant Paddy got it in the neck.

      BTW, ever see how they tax dodge in Germany? You can write off tax against buying German goods. Nice closed loop system that keep everything under control and stimulating local industry while reinforcing the gap with the periphery.

  8. Deco

    We just need to insist that they pay the tax that they claim to pay. That is sufficient.

    Current state policy is use multinationals to sustain suspect GDP statistics, and to sustain an overly complex state system by using the people.

  9. hibernian56

    Would giving the civil service an extra undeserved 12 Billion to play with would result in any benefit to our society?

    Of course not, it would only result in civil service pay increases and more civil servants.

  10. McGoo

    “if there are companies in Ireland that exit here only to avoid tax and have no real business here, well these are not the sorts of people a respectable economy should want to deal with.”

    Well that’s my respectable job gone, then. My employer, a US IT Multinational, relocated it’s international HQ from the UK to Ireland a number of years ago. When they were interviewing me, I asked why they had done that? The answer was a single word : “Tax”.
    Honestly, they have no other reason to be here – no customers, no capital investments – and if things change they could pull out of Ireland at almost no cost. And they would – it’s all driven my numbers, absolutely no one is irreplaceable.


      So the whole point is to arrive at a tax rate that is better for us than 2.5% but not higher than any of our rivals within the EU (assuming the M-Nationals can’t exit the EU without serious repercussions for their tax situation). Arriving at a more reasonable tax rate, and we should have done this by ’09, would and could at least make our tax haven status less of a sore thumb, to our own and our guests benefit. This would, of course, require the sort of deal-making ability that the government displayed it’s total lack of, as they got walked all over by bankers and EU bureaucrats in the last few years. Paddy, dressed in a striped jumper & a balaclava, a bag marked “Swag” slung over his shoulder, kept trying to tip-toe out of the room, even though the lights had come on & the dobermans were growling. Oh, Paddy!

  11. hibernian56

    I would add that whatever revenues raised via tax, need to be spent realistically for the benefit of society, not a select few top tier trough feeders and parasites.

    When running my business I have to adjust based on cash flow, having a windfall does not necessarily mean spending immediately, all cash is guarded, all expenditure justified and thought out before any cheques are signed.

    This is the complete opposite for government, which is ultimately run by people who see no intrinsic value in money, who constantly talk in billions as if it makes them sound more learned than they actually are. Frankly if I heard somebody worked in the civil service I would not give them a job, they are spoiled goods, suffering from the “I’m worth it mentality”.

    When citizens in this country who genuinely can’t find work are expected to live on €180 – €250 per week at the same time as a career politician is paid in excess of €1,500 per week we have a problem.

    The citizen getting dole is still paying tax on his consumables, esb, phone whatever.

    The politician is being reimbursed for almost everything as an “expense”

    The entire system is broken. We need to start watching the pennies again. I do weekly cash-flows which drill down to almost every expense. It’s good practice and takes little effort once you get into the rhythm.

    The civil service produce top level projections, that are more often than not completely off the mark. Then you realise that they are both hiding the truth (exorbitant pay and perks) and not qualified (Remember Oli Rehn’s comments about the lack of accountants in the Dept. of Finance?).

    These gov cash-flows are again in the billions because they serve to hide the details of who gets what.

    I honestly don’t think they deserve one cent more.

      • EMMETTOR

        I know there’s the all these “hotshot” advisors but they’re swamped by Civil Servants, who got a good leaving, mostly quite a while ago, and went straight into a system that institutionalized them. Even the sharp ones are faced with a monolithic system and a Ministerial boss who’s thinking firstly about re-election. Inefficiencies in dealing with the processing of immigrants meant that while the number of jobless dropped, the numbers working in the Dept of S.W. went up during the boom. Speaking personally, it would appear most of these excess staff have been let loose on the unemployed and are busy “job activating” them to distraction. Maybe we need to start laying them off, like taxing the rich, it’s not gonna solve all our problems but it’s not always about counting beans, sometimes it’s about fairness. I do understand all the arguments against this.

  12. Excellent & Insightful

    I am in agreement with the message of the story .

    However I am questioning a few small issues :

    The said Company Profits are ‘Booked Profits’ .This means total income did not derive from Ireland and calculations are not all Cash Profits ; and

    Capital Allowances do reduce the Taxable Profits and the Capital Expenditure and R&R is usually significant compared to ordinary Irish companies.This reduces the effective rate of CT liability .

    Profit per Irish Employee does not include foreign subcontractors and agents in other countries that are usually in the marketing field .There are few competent Irish employees in this field . We know how Ryanair refrains from employing staff directly in France due to bureaucracy ; and

    Foreign companies ARE economic ‘corporate colonialist’and with the protection of The State ; and

    France allows effective CT rates to be paid at 7% despite the what is commonly known .

    The real reason why Foreign American Companies WILL Stay in Ireland is because they do not fear ‘Industrial Espionage’ .However this is an item that will be on the tables of the EU in 2015 and will effect Ireland .

    • EugeneN

      “Foreign companies ARE economic ‘corporate colonialist’and with the protection of The State ”

      Nonsense, the cost is to the home countries of the companies who set up here, not to us. This is a funny sort of colonialism, making it’s victims richer and it’s home countries poorer.

      The profit per “Irish employee” is in fact Marxism despite what David suggests. Marxists believe that the amount of work done by all employees is about equal, and that is happens – like in 1842 – in a defined place and only by workers, not by machines. And they believe that brand, design, marketing and IP don’t matter ( or rather being stuck in 1842 in their heads they ignore them). This is the Labour theory of value.

      It isn’t in fact 1842 any more. The cost to Apple of a top end iPhone ( of it’s production) when it is built by FoxConn and shipped to Cork; is the cost of the components, the labour in FoxConn – of which some is a sunk capital cost to Apple because they pay for the machinery. There is some IP already sunk in the Apple modified CPUs but most of that is off the shelf components, except Apple spend money on the fit and finish with their own bespoke machinery which they sell to FoxConn.

      In any case the cost is about $200 per top end iPhone arriving in Cork. then it becomes worth about $700 when shipped from Cork. The question here isn’t whether you think that is “worth it or not”, plenty of people do. The question is where that extra value comes from. It comes from IP, R&D ( mostly iOS) and so on, mostly a Cupertino exercise. The “profit per Irish employee” is clearly then a myth, which is what the Americans are saying.

      But we can’t have it both ways, do these companies owe taxes here, or in the US? Because of double taxation laws it can’t be both. I would say tax should be owed where the IP is actually, or primarily, developed and countries where it is not developed but which may have some support services etc, should not really cry about the “lost taxation”. Or exploitation, but be glad of the work.

      • The definition of Corporate Colonialists can vary and depending what are your views it can be either a Yes or a No .

      • paddythepig

        excellent stuff EugeneN. Keep posting.

      • EMMETTOR

        Yes, apart from the idea that a Marxist analysis can’t assign value except per employee. I thought David’s use of this was an easy way to compare payroll taxes, etc actually paid in this country, on a like for like basis, with how much money is being laundered?

  13. This excellent article echoes the final “Ten More Ideas To Help Ireland Recover and Grow ” session at Kilkenomics 2013, and may help progress a tentative national conversation about another element of the moral collapse of the 1st Irish Republic. However, it’s only beginning to sketch the dimensions of the Corporate Tax Crisis in Ireland and across the globe. It’s time to join up the dots of the geo-political tax arbitrage assault on the foundations of the Nation State by feral Corporations, using dens of iniquity such as Wall Street, The City’s Canary Dwarf and the IFSC’s Canary Dwarf to see what they can get away with. And just look what they got away with until 2007/8 when the the whole thing began to destabilise! In the current arrogant interregnum before another leg down into Collapse, the Neoliberal Wizards try and re-frame, re-market their End Game by making token concessions to citizen outrage, but they are so far in, it’s double or quits on Double Irish With A Dutch Sandwich as soon as things begin to shake and rumble again. The underlying, unedifying assumption being that Ireland can only compete for business on the basis of Lowest Common Denominator & has no rightful aspirations to genuine transgenerational wealth capacity, just boom and bust. There’s comments by me on this blog years ago saying that if the Corporates had any long-term plans for Ireland, they’d have agreed to pay a crisis levy during the meltdown. Of course, the eejits running the place have such low self-esteem that the thought of such a levy was always ridiculous when there were Citizen’s to be harvested for water and property dues. Corporations are, by definition, psychopaths and no blame or censure can be attributed to them for maximising their utility within the framework of existing laws, protocols and international conventions.

    However, no such get out of jail free card applies to democratically elected politicians of Sovereign Nation States with regard to bending and spreading so egregiously to such Corporate sociopaths. The word that comes to mind is Traitor. If allowed to, short-term Corporate hucksters would bankrupt the world economy (again) by ruining long-term productive capacity for short-term tax breaks. The fissure between 2.5% paid and 12% claimed paid is EXACTLY that: an empty pot of tax to invest in Ireland’s long-term productive capacity so that the shameful emmigration as ‘lifestyle choice’ parroted by clown politicians is never again used to defuse a crisis of Sovereignty.

    “But the opinion of regular people matters, too. If, as in the United Kingdom, the general public perceives that corporations are abusing tax rules, then democratically elected governments may have to stop pandering to footloose multinational businesses and start cracking down on them.”
    It isn’t politicians who are forcing this heated debate, it is citizen activists and Hive Mind journalism from London taxi driver types.

    Politicians across the world have sold their nation’s souls to the lowest bidder, with Ireland being specatacularly craven and short-term in thinking being obedient to such Corporate pscyhos will turn out any better than being obedient to the Brits or Rome. It won’t. As soon as various Nation States in the East are fit for purpose to be raped, the Corporates will move there, anyone thinking they will stay in Ireland via inertia needs to explain why they didn’t stay in the States for that reason.

    The reputational damage to Ireland of feral banking cabals in the Ireland Inc Celtic Tiger era is now similar to that of child sexual abuse, caused by De Valera jumping into bed with Rome in betrayal of the original foundational texts and inspirational zeitgeist of the Republic. I don’t advocate Banker lynching, just trials, but have to agree when London taxi drivers. There’s definitely a link between the outrageous colonisation of Ireland by rapist ideologues from Rome and those from other foreign powers via the bailout. But I’ll leave all those links to the expert:
    ‘chunkymark-the artist taxi driver’.

    oh, the LOLs! I do worry about your blood pressure, though. Have you tried meditation? Or that calming whale music whilst you drive? Srsly, this is very, very good. Especially the sober ending. Kudos. [Video link. Language NSFW, lots of f words!] “Breaking News: Govt sells your soul your debt to bankers ”

    Sadly, my recent visit to Ireland left me concluding that many people there think the failed state incubus/succubus faux-Republicans of FF/FG have gotten away with the Ireland Inc cute hoor stuff and that the future is more of the same shenanigan’s with just better rules to stop it going tits up. Delusional. Utterly unaware of the seismic global tectonic shifs coming down the line. The IFSC / D4 crew are just the same as the City types, they regard the rest of the Nation State as captive tax payers to fund their gambling. But they’re not the legitimate focus for rage, that’s for the Politicians with their lobbyist lunches and Directorships. When the next crisis comes and there’s no more options. Of course, there’s the option to retreat from the challenged of the Nation State, to become sanguine about how and why the Corporations won, why unless and until the very Laws Of Incorporation are challeneged, there’s no hope for genuine Capitalism that doesn’t also endanger the long-term productive capacity of the planet, but who cares when house prices are rising in London and Dublin?

    Yes, you can retreat from the challenge of Nation State Sovereignty and just bend and scrape, felch and fluff Corporates, but you need to drop the notion of being ‘Irish’, ‘English’, ‘British’, ‘American’ or whatever the place was temporarily called by History’s gangster victors where you erupted into existence. I revel in being “all at sea”, adrift from such comforting nostrums, rejecting the current circle jerk between crazed Corporation and soi-disant Nation State in a tentative, speculative attempt to grope towards a new meta-narrative that’s fit for purpose ‘going forward’ [sic]. I no longer identify as British, Irish or English and await the Picts giving 2 fingers to the British Crown or being shown up slightly less Braveheart than Mel Gibson, etc. Standing by the riverbank in my ancestral village I thought of how special the Geals were/are/can be, but not if their real ambition was only ever to swap one foreign overlord for another. Maybe, like the island of Britain with its’ cauldron of tribes about to become a Disunited ex-Kingdom, there’s a case for destabilising the totalising narrative that is ‘Ireland’. There are many Irelands, the Ireland of the D4 clique ‘insiders’ is not the same as that of the struggling trader in a Midlands town. It’s the easiest thing in the world to wallow in a load of sentimental inclusive tosh about ‘Ireland’ as a pretext for ‘facilitating immigration’ and bank bailouts. Just because an American corporation isn’t paying tax to a tax-dodging bunch of Tories in London doesn’t necessarily make them a friend. Just look at Geithner’s behaviour towards Ireland during the storm.

    Anyway, I need to finish The Knowledge and become a taxi-driver…in London, Birmingham, Dublin or Limerick…anywhere on these Isles of Wonder…Ireland? England? Britain? Redundant concepts, betrayed by liar politicians and feral colonialist banksters for centuries…time to move to the next iteration..time for a revolution. Fcuk FF/FG, D4, Canary Dwarf & The City, and Charles Windsor and the British Royal Family. It’s going to be a long list…

    • Andrew

      I have prepared a compendium of the first words on the isles of Britain and Ireland .I think you will devour this .Can you give me an e-mail that I can send it to ?

    • 5Fingers

      Frightening clarity there Mr A. I just finished the Bed of Procrustes by Mr N Taleb (Black Swan). It’s a book of observations. He has one (roughly paraphrased) The Nation State is Apartheid without political incorrectness.

      The more I read this stuff (and DMW’s article here is A1) the more I get the feeling the nation state and corporations (banks included) are natural bedfellows. The citizens are a highly tiered and manipulated lot (apartheid) for the most part all dependant and in constant need of reassurance which the media deliver by the shed load. Taxes? That is just there to finance the system. Like drugs it is poisonous with short term benefit but long term? Who knows?

      I finish with another of Taleb’s observations…Modernity is where you age faster but live longer. Our pensions and assets shall be converted to life support at maximum profit courtesy of current state/ corporate interlock. There never was a nation state…

    • hibernian56

      The time of the morally bankrupt whores of Aton will hopefully end soon, then and only then will mankind finally be able to move forward.

      Our great nation has been raped and pillaged far too long. Our knowledge plagiarised, our race villafied and portrayed as drunken fools.

      And then I look around and realise I am largely surrounded by narcissistic fools, more interested in Facebook than their fellows.

      Hibernia is broken. Sold to the lowest bidder for a bulging envelope and a pat on the back.


      Very long and worth every second I spent reading it. Thanks, AndrewG, very enjoyable as well as very good.

  14. kinsele2

    My guess is nothing will change here for similar reasons outlined in “The Good Room”. Irish ministers will quake in awe and admiration of American executives, and have an attitude of “sure if we go asking them for money we might annoy them and they might go home, aren’t we lucky to have them at all”. No such fear when it comes to the rest of us though.
    As for moving forward I would guess based on past evidence our government will probably not even be very much aware of developments in corporate taxation globally, reacting only when they have to when laws are passed elsewhere. Chances of acting now with a measured, informed, sensible shift in policy to safeguard our interests with regards to the jobs these companies create, while also achieving fairness in ensuring they pay what they owe? I think unfortunately that’s a no-brainer as well.

  15. Deco

    This is a difficult area to regulate. And regulation requires backbone. Something usually missing in the sleeveen mentality run state.


      And we should’ve started ages ago, right in the middle of the shitstorm, when little attention would’ve been paid to it and we’d not be heading towards losing even the couple of percent we have been getting, because we are going to lose at least a big chunk of it.

  16. joe hack

    This important excellent article:

    We are told that the likes of Starbucks create jobs but there is no special technical knowhow in making coffee, Starbucks does not create jobs the people that drink coffee create these jobs. Starbucks is an importer of coffee beans and exporter of profits this is net loss for Ireland. The government incentives allow for the export of Irish people’s money directly into to the hands of foreign owned company shareholders with no gain of any sort to the Irish economy.
    The movement is incentivising the export of Irelands money…

    Stabucks is now run by TGI Fridays and I hear they are reducing wages dramatically?

  17. redriversix

    Great article,…

    really enjoyed it..

    Think it hits nail on head

  18. Micheal D

    While I completely agree the concept of everybody paying their fair share of the bill, I think the figures should be restated as the total 12.5% tax bill on Net income USD$95.6 Billion should be USD$12 Billion / EUR€8.8 Billion @ USD$ rate 1.36!!

    No matter it would still get us out of a hole and be far more equitable!!



  19. joe hack

    “Of course these types of deviant tax zones attract all classes of fiscal perversion, and if there are companies in Ireland that exit here only to avoid tax and have no real business here, well these are not the sorts of people a respectable economy should want to deal with. And if they moved to seek out the more exotic tax practices of committed tax havens, good riddance to them.”

    “EXIT” I assume you mean ‘exist here only to avoid tax’


    Being a citizen of a nation and a member of a society comes with societal and behavioural responsibility. As a citizen of a nation certain rights, privileges and protections are afforded the citizen.

    In return for these rights, privileges and protections the citizen whether willingly or not is compelled to comply with the laws and regulations of their nation state, for the most part, most people are willing participants in their societal and behavioural responsibilities as they understand the benefits and consequences to a society.

    Ireland does not any more endow the citizen with certain rights, privileges and protections above those that reside outside of Ireland moreover it is now outside interests that have been giving extra special conditions and protections over and above those of the citizen.

    When Irish citizens look upon certain groups, individuals and outside interests being giving special treatment their anger and reluctance to participate in their societal and behavioural responsibilities is becoming palpable (‘do as they say and not as I do’ is becoming untenable).

    Today I witnessed a College bring in a foreign companies human resources team, the human resources team set about enticing the students to travel outside of Ireland for work they even had free MARS BARS to help entice the students. It seems the Irish government’s response to unemployment is to spend tax money training our citizens to immigrate. This is another tax break for foreign companies who have no stake or societal responsibility in Ireland. Irelands borrowed and tax money, your money and your work is sponsoring the profits of foreign companies that do not even do any business within Ireland never mind being part of the society or even paying only 2.5% tax.

    The Fás slogan at present reads, “we are changing”
    Fás and the Irish education should now be rebranded to its actual trade (trafficking) sculpt ‘EXIT Inc Ire’.

    One of the most heinous expressions I have heard in my lifetime is “Ireland Inc” it demeans the citizen, it demeans a society, it demeans social responsibility, it demeans a nation, it demeans Ireland, it demeans YoU!

    • Don’t be daft joe. I am a free man. I have no resposibility to any one, apart from any kids I bring into the world and my parent(s), when they get old and need additional help, plus the friends I make by choice. Even my choices pertaining to my kids and parents are my own – strictly speaking I can do what I want – even in regard to them (actually I’m a pretty ‘normal’ person so I love my family but the fact remains that I don’t HAVE to if I don’t want to).

      Furthermore, I don’t have to comply with any laws or regulations should I not wish to, as long as I’m prepared to take the risk of fines, prison etc.

      I can go anywhere in the world as long as I can get around whatever visa regulations exist, either legally or through whatever loopholes I can find. If I want to, and can afford it – I can build a spaceship and fly to the moon and die quickly in solitude should I so desire.

      What planet were you born on joe? – where a ‘nation’ (a totally fake construct) can tell you what you can and cannot do?

      Good little boy joe. Keep doing what they tell you to do.

      • joe hack

        For you Adam I came across this accidentally just now via another link someone sent me

        • Obedience indeed joe, you’d know more about that than I would.

          I’ve lived a life of disobedience and been in situations that most of the people on here would run scared shitless from – and continue to as it happens – natually I’m not going to go into details.

          Obedience – like lunch, is for wimps.

          • Having said that Joe, I’m a nice person and would gladly sit down with you for a tea or a beer or whatever.

            You are free to do what you want with your own life and good luck to you but I am not living by anyone’s law, rules and regulations – apart from my own.

            If and when do follow such laws, it’s only because it’s convenient and I’m pretending – know that.

          • If and when ‘I’ do follow laws… [it should read]

          • hibernian56

            And yet you wear a suit and tie.

            Is that not conformity? ;-)

          • Not often and I like a good suit, feels good and looks good. It’s just clothes Sir. Nothing wrong with looking good. The ladies like it too.

          • hibernian56

            You’re not wrong there.

            Never liked wearing them though, always felt too formal, too restrictive.

      • joe hack

        For you Adam I came across this accidentally just now via another link someone sent me:

      • Paul Divers

        I wonder are you having a bad day Adam. It looks like you read the first two paragraphs of Joe’s post and then blew a gasket. He wrote seven paras.

        I think you missed a sitter there Adam. The post has nothing to do with being a good boy and instead is peppered with prejudice. That should have been your angle.

        I think Joe should explain what he means by ‘certain groups, individuals and outside interests’. Names on a postcard please Joe.

        I think his fourth para is confusing. How can he possibly speak for ‘Irish Citizens’ as a whole? No-one can. As Andrew said in his blinder of a post there are many Irelands and many types of Irishness.

        The fifth para returns to prejudice and it looks like Joe might have a problem with foreign entities who remain nameless. Don’t worry we will flesh it out in time

        Earlier I posted a link to the Johnny Void blog and on the sidebar of that blog you will all see posts exposing the Tory Gov’t as being worse than Thatcher.

        Things are going to turn very nasty in the UK the longer they keep sticking the boot in. Cases of malnourishment have doubled in Leeds in the last three years and this is only the tip of the Iceberg. London is being cleansed of poor people and the threat of desitution is only a brown envelope away for millions. Billions of taxpayers cash is handed to private firms who engage in fraud. Etc, etc, etc.

        The truth is life in Ireland is much better than in the UK. Their politicians are ideaological thugs going to war with their own people whereas ours are just fucking stupid. Still I’d choose Ireland any day. It is far more civilised for a start.

        • Well it was better you deal with that part Paul (the prejudice). I am more concerned with individuality – including the individual right to not to be prejudiced against anyone else – which I never am.

          • Paul Divers

            I know you are not Adam and I know how much you value your individuality but I think individuality is way over-rated.

          • That’s what’s good about individuality – different people can have varied opinions – on individuality – for example.

          • hibernian56

            Individuality is to be applauded once it doesn’t evolve into selfishness.

            I often read of ancient Ireland, of the clans the sense of belonging. Now days if you try to talk to a neighbour you’re regarded as a freak.

            This all feeds back to the idea of the cheap six pack, destroy public assembly, community and eventually divide and conquer.


          • EMMETTOR

            This quickly gets to resemble a Monty Python sketch.

          • Paul Divers

            As a wise man said recently the blog has become a mad house. Maybe we are all mad.

        • joe hack

          Paul Div,
          The outside interest is with reference to DMW thoughts above, what else could it mean! – there are many outside interest as suggested by DMW above, naming names serves little purpose except maybe, a free advert.

          Learn to read in context and do not just read words, mine is a response to DMW. The idea is that a person reads DMW article then they respond to his words I suggest you read DMW words above.

  20. joe hack

    Please don’t mention Bono and I am not being sarcastic

    • Dorothy Jones

      Bono and Ali tout much needed Louis Vuitton handbags in poor areas of Africa and claim : U2 tax affairs ‘in line with Irish policy’

    • Dorothy Jones

      “U2 is in total harmony with our government’s philosophy,” he told The Observer. “Tax competitiveness has taken our country out of poverty. [The revenue] accept that if you engage in that policy then some people are going to go out, and some people are coming in.”

      He added: “At the heart of the Irish economy has always been the philosophy of tax competitiveness. On the cranky left that is very annoying, I can see that. But [that] is why Ireland has stayed afloat.”

      • joe hack

        Hello Dorothy,

        I meant it when said do not mention bono…

        “U2 is in total harmony with our government’s philosophy”

        I do not have any time for bono/U2. However, bono himself is not the issue, as he did not make the laws, rules… etc.

        He is also factually correct in the above quoted text – he is in harmony with the Irish government’s tax philosophy as mentioned by DMW above – it is this that needs changing.

        As far as I am aware, bono has broken no tax laws – it is the tax laws that are the problem – bono is a result.
        He is just doing what the Irish government allows the likes Google and Starbuck to do and it is not just Irish government. Bono is a scapegoat he dilutes the focus on the problem and he is therefore a gift to some – a distraction from the real issue.

        Do not be surprised if you find people drinking coffee in (untaxed) Starbucks while complaining about tax exiles and bono. The problem is with the Irish people and its government and other international tax philosophy, it is ‘economics across boundaries’.

        As for bono, he is a gilly and should go away and hide in shame.

        People appear to expect morality to run a country – lets not take gullibility out on scapegoats – bono – let focus on the issue – police the money system.

        • joe hack

          correction – bono tax bill is a result and not ‘bono is result’ of tax, at least I don’t think he is?

        • hibernian56

          Actually I think the proper description of Bon is “Short arsed gobshite” as my mother calls him.

          • joe hack

            Your mother know Bon Bon Gs.

            Does anyone like bono?

          • hibernian56

            Was that the spell checker or Bono’s corporate friends?

          • Morning

            In fact I like Bono very much. He is a really decent person.

            I remember when Sarajevo was being bombed and 80,000 of its citizens butchered, where did all the hipster musicians look, they looked away. What did self-satisfied governments do, nothing.

            What did Bono and U2 do? They went an played there. They supported the people, so much that the government of Bosnia gave him a honorary life citizenship, recognising what he did for them just by turning up and constantly advocating their plight.

            I was there this summer and this feeling is real.

            This was a genocide and Bono responded honourably, while the rest of Europe looked the other way and all the “cool” bands sat on their holes. Fact.

            He is a good guy but he suffers the brunt of our pathetic begrudgery for having the affrontary to create a band that have actually achieved something.

            Bono haters and Bono hating is a specific Irish pathology – the very worst example of it.


          • Colin

            The Christian community in Syria face a bleak Christmas this year. Their churches are defiled and vandalised, terrorist gangs of al-qaeda affiliated jihadist ‘rebels’ from all around the world have descended there and are on the loose looking for martyrdom and paradise with 70 odd virgins, striking fear into the hearts of the Christians there.

            Any chance Paul Hewson could make their Christmas less bleak this year with a visit and a concert? I mean, after all, there was some manner of tolerance there before the so called Arab spring sprung.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Just no Bon Scott bashing, The guy’s gilded and a ledge in the Rock ‘n Roll hall of fame!

            Acca Dacca for-ever…

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            A ‘European Spring’ will follow hot on the heels of the Arab version… sure as night follows day.
            Or at least as far as night/day seems to in our field of perception!

          • hibernian56

            Thanks for that Paul, a real classic. And my Mother does know, he’s a short arsed gobshite.

            He grew up around the corner from us, but went to different “better” schools. Big bro’s age group, but Bono didn’t mix. Some of his first gigs were in a club off Grafton St, which was connected via our family.

            My Mother does know.

            Plenty of stories, great photo albums. You should see the Phil Linnet ones.

          • hibernian56

            Linnot (broody speil chequer against)

        • joe hack

          Even though I did not like the U2 music, taste is subjective. I was a defender of bono earlier on – I would argue that he didn’t have to do it ,he could just enjoy the fame of the music like most other music makers do and that in most cases he was bringing attention to issues that needed it.but he has now inevitably become a hindrance his association with bush and others has done more damage he is now a liability he has become the debate – a gilly – and not a assist.

          There is no begrudger here-an easy term to use as you well know.

          A good heart doesn’t necessarily make a good public policy.

          So I totally understand your view and as a neighbor or friend maybe of bono the best advice he needs is lay low. He is now harmful to causes that he originally was helpful to . A gilly

          • DB4545

            David you did ask the question “What’s to be done about tax?”. Bono? Fantastic achievements as you stated above. Irish band on a world stage and all that. U2 have taken full advantage of tax breaks for Artists over the years as is their right. They have unique talents and have achieved success on a Global level. Nobody likes paying any more tax than they have to. If your moral position regarding multinationals paying a fair amount of tax is correct it applies generally and you can’t just make exceptions for good “pals”. Given the choice I’d probably relocate to the Netherlands rather than see my tax bill go to pay the insane pensions of the incompetent wasters who bankrupted this State. But I wouldn’t then grandstand in the country and bask in the reflected glory of throwing a few crumbs to the poor. I think I’d recognise my own hypocrisy and learn to shut the fuck up. That’s all I’d ask of Bono, that he pay his fair share of taxes in the State that supported him generously(that was your taxes and mine David) while he built his career. Alternatively fuck off to the Netherlands and learn to shut the fuck up. It really is that simple.

  21. joe hack

    It’s DMW fault as he is teaching economics without boundaries

  22. Thank God it is another DAY

  23. Tax Arbitrage is a creative imaginary philosophy that has pragmatic relief and recognises something that in fact does not exist in real value .It is deeply religious and has a following from business leaders that are often ex religious order members . It is akin to primitive values for money when rocks were held in esteem as we recognise gold today . And gold is a rock too only that we worship it .

    Like money it is given a value and its value can change depending on location and the symphony of its economic musical it was originally set up for .

    If you can can the air around you and sell it for a price what harm has it done .

  24. Deco

    News update.

    Hybrid structure tax schemes are going to get wound down.

    • joe hack

      “The question is whether governments really want to crack down on the complicated cross-border tax structures. Countries such as Ireland, Spain and other EU members tolerate the schemes because they allow them to lure large taxpayers: Some tax income from them is better than none at all.” (From Deco link above)

      -It is a case of Beggar thy neighbour, eventually everyone become a beggar.

      At present, we have a bastardised version of globalisation (semi-globalisation) which at present seems worse that none, or possibly, even worse than full globalisation, we may soon find out the answer to that? Globalisation love or loath it, it may be on its way?

  25. David McWilliams

    You have often written about your travels in Europe especially during family vacations and with the dog too . Mostly you seem to be driving through the Continent .Am I correct to believe that you have ventured in your family car as far as the Slave countries too ? That is a very long drive .

    Mr Bean is a notoriety on cars and has appeared on the TV car programmes too .Maybe you should add this to your repertoire.

  26. bonbon

    There is a U2 and Riverdance tiptoing going on around the issue. Not a mention about the so-called “transaction tax” movement in the EU and Wall Street “to deflate the bubbles”.

    Obama has personally said no to Glass-Steagall and his owners in Britain have made it clear any move towards Glass-Steagall would be a “hostile act”. So we are to listen to “alternative” pabulum instead?

    Or is DMcW about to come out in favor of the “transaction tax”?
    By the away, what was this inanity about :

    A U2 “pod” overlooking the IFSC? And DMcW rails about property porn?

  27. Ryu Hayabusa

    Yo whatamess,

    You still on your hols?

    Renting jet-skis for 200 sovs an hour… way to kickstart the greek economy, huh!?

  28. joe hack

    I think after reading some posts here DWW excellent question has been clearly answered it seems also obvious even before this question was asked here that most of the people of this country would agree.

    So let us now start to debate what should be in the next budget before the budget is set which is usually the case within media i.e. the budget is debated – after the fact – just one week before it is published.

    With respect, there have been some signs of justification (gombeenism of sorts) for do gooder tax exiles types; we must tax our friends and neighbours as we tax the anonymous. We need to out hypocrisy particularly when it comes to justice, morality and equality and be proud to do it.

    If the majority of people are in favour of proper tax laws then the incumbent must do the biding of the people, their masters. If not the incumbent must show just cause as to why not-which is clearly an untenable proposition.

    We need to remove the justification for tax fraud, evasion, and avoidance the ‘I am in harmony’ and the ‘well if’ – so and so is doing it why not ME and ME and ME… this must stop now. Otherwise we are heading toward a societal breakdown and that is clearly now palpable.

    • bonbon

      There is a disconnect there – you can debate the budget all you like and then send it to Brussels where the real scissors is applied to any debator’s requests. That is the new EU law.

      EU Commission Turns Down French, Italian, and Spanish Budget

      Nov. 15, 2013 (EIRNS) — In its first act of so-called EU
      “governance,” the European Commission today turned down these
      three draft budgets. Reason given? The French budget follows the
      recommendations of the EU Council, but contains “no maneuvering
      room.” Italy’s draft contains “limited progress” on structural
      reforms (with the emphasis on “limited”) and “there is the risk
      that, with current plans, the rule of debt reduction will not be
      respected in 2014.” Spain might not reach its deficit target.
      Through this verdict, Italy loses EU3 billion of the
      so-called “investment clause,” which was conceded by the EU to
      “virtuous” countries. The EU Commission says Italy cannot use
      that advantage, because the debt-to-GDP target ratio will not be
      achieved in 2014. The clause would have allowed Italy to run a
      2.5% deficit instead of a 2.2% one. (That 0.3% comes to EU3
      billion, which now the government must find at the bottom of a
      barrel which has been already well and truly scraped. This might
      even bring the government down.)

      Troika clear that government is making unfair budget decisions on its own: Pearse Doherty

      • joe hack

        You make valid points, democracy in Europe is fast fading (gone) last seen in Charles J Haughey time, would you believe. I heard somewhere that Ireland is a republic and rumour has it that Ireland also has constitution.

        If the people speak and not the government, then Europe cannot do a dam thing about it, but in all of this and it can be seen here fear of fear itself is at the heart of it.
        Have you given up Bonbon are you compliant? Are you speaking on behalf of your masters.

        Do we do what the wailing dog does all day while sitting thorn simply moan and groan while doing nothing about, the knitting and the quilt making on here along with the moaning and groaning does not change anything.

        Are you suggesting do nothing! The people voted for Europe people can vote out of it to, Ireland wake up.

    • bonbon

      The objective is not a “societal breakdown” but massive depopulation, a cull. This is something quite different than mere fraud, depression or austerity.

      Incumbents must remember the Nürnberg damning prosecution “The could have known and should have known” in their positions.

      • joe hack

        “The objective is not a “societal breakdown” but massive depopulation, a cull.”

        If you believe that is the case, are you accepting it. Is your fate already determined if so why come here to moan why not go and enjoy the last days of your captivity.Do you have an objective of your own?

  29. joe hack

    Here is a header for DMW ‘How close are we to societal breakdown?’

  30. Tax concessions are a national thing, a country trying to get a competitive edge.
    another is to reduce the value of currency relative to your trade competitor and we see the current competitive devaluation of currencies world wide in a beggar thy neighbor frenzy. This results in QE to the nth.
    Now we have the Trans Pacific Partnership being foisted on us by transnational corporations. These corporations will sue governments, read taxpayers, for any legislation that impedes profits.
    This will allow such as Monsanto to trade their death chemicals in the form of a benefit to humanity. Here we have bonbon’s eugenics subtly at work as the populations are poisoned and sickened and rendered sterile.

    Rothschild Brothers of London, 1863. “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws” — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild ..

    “Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. ”Control food and you control the people.”

    Our money is controlled.
    Oil is controlled
    Food is mostly controlled.

    While we argue over the parochial matters the world is being taken over by the money masters following the grand master plan. The global controllers are one and the same. The banksters, and oligopolies are the same. It is organized crime in the 21st century.

    Ellen Brown—
    Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.

    It is time to stop our local squabbles and concentrate on the real problems
    Control of the money allows manipulation of government.
    Government is allowing a corporate takeover
    The future of humanity is now at stake.

    • bonbon

      The only eugenicist openly posting here are the “sound money” from unsound minds – the goldbugs.

      The EU literally kills, as does NICE and Obamacare, no question, and being publicized right now :
      The EU is Dying.

      But any attempt to use this murder to push a golden ideal which will pile billions onto a human scrapheap, is not only genocidal, but with a Hayek wink-and-a-nudge.

      Using a murderous regime to push a population reduction “cure” is very bad medicine, would’nt you think?

      • Funny how you have an anti gold obsession. The word gold uttered by non other.

        This puts you on the side of the central banks and the money masters and the house of Rothschild. Shows your obsession with control and one world government. Much as you protest, LaRouche policies favour a central bank, debt based credit for money and grandiose schemes overlaying national boundaries.

        No different to what we already have that is killing the economy and ruining societies.

        You are aware that GS is a half assed suggestion to cure a piece of the problem.

        It is the money system that is at the root of our problems and the instigators behind this policy need to be exposed.

        Andrew Jackson said it all
        ” Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!”

        He succeeded in closing the Hamilton First National Bank. (the first attempt of Rothschild to control the US )

        There will be hurt to get the system righted but the longer it is delayed the worse it will eventually be.

    • bonbon

      And for your blinkered edification,
      Finance Writer Ellen Brown Demands Passage of HR 129 – Glass-Steagall

      This is the way to handle the TPP.

      • OK so it is not on your link. where is the reference?
        The TPP is little to do with banks so GS useless there.
        You have GS on the brain. solves all problems according to you. Well how, so please explain. Blinkers are off, hearing aid turned up–I am all ears.

      • bonbon

        Winner Takes All: The Super-priority Status of Derivatives
        It is all over the internet.

        All the schemes such as TPP are from the bowels of the doomed financial system, that should be obvious. Breaking up that zombie system opens the door to real pacific partnerships based on development and progress.

        Who wants to partner with a doomed financial empire?

    • bonbon

      As for Sir Henry Kissinger, knighted by the Queen,
      London’s Food Weapon Slams Kissinger’s NSSM 200 Hit List of 13 Nations, and Others the World Over

      If you may care to remember Sir Henry’s NSSM 200, well documented now, with the hitlist for the hitmen. Destruction of food supply is the agenda.

      Monsanto has perverted the vision of late American agro-scientist, Norman Borlaug :
      Borlaug-Collaborator M.S. Swaminathan Calls for “Evergreen Revolution” to Double Agricultural Production in India

  31. bonbon

    Pope Francis Calls for Ending Tyranny of An Economy Which “Kills”

    “A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future… Money must serve, not rule!

    In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis calls upon financial experts and political leaders from around the world to bring about a financial reform which defends the common good, and replaces the tyranny of a “survival of the fittest [economy], where the powerful feed upon the powerless,” where the ancient golden calf is worshipped, and where human beings are “considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded.” He admonishes that “it is the responsibility of the State to safeguard and promote the common good of society.

    Some emphasis mine, but the emphasis is powerfully and clearly there.

  32. Have a butcher’s and a read of this lads:

    Great blog, I have retweeted it. Should be required reading for everyone at that pampered den of property porn RTE. They are disconnected from reality and the common person. @bryansixone – Brian Dobon’s behaviour was a disgrace and @davidmurphyRTE – David Murphy just as bad for suggesting that it is almost time to get the champagne out for rising property prices – have they learned nothing? History set to repeat itself it seems.


  33. DB4545

    Thanks for the reference Adam.
    It looks like they want to get the merry-go-round up and running before the next round of elections and have some sort of feel good factor in place. It really is pravda on the liffey. Next we’ll be hearing Eddie Hobbs trying to flog apartments in Cape Verde again (just remember a return flight from Cork to Cape Verde costs 3300 Euros Eddie). An electorate with short memories and politicians with hard necks and who knows who’ll get elected next time out. It’s not a republic it’s a kleptocracy as Max Keiser pointed out to us Adam.

  34. NK

    > The multinationals operate in this country like every other business. Children of their employees go to our schools like the rest of us. Multinational executives drive on our roads, drink our water, use our electricity and get tended in our hospitals like everyone else.

    1. They pay for roads and utilities “like everyone else”
    2. Their kids should pay tuition (or rather, their parents)
    3. This has nothing to do with companies where these people (their kids’ parents) work.

    These companies could operate anywhere else. Their being in Ireland doesn’t somehow “increase” amount of tax that taxpayers have to pay as long as employees of those multinational companies pay their fair share of public resources. These companies could be located on Cayman Islands and send checks to their employees in Ireland. How could that make the rest of Irish people better off?

    “Good riddance” isn’t a valid argument.
    You should rather ask yourself why can’t all companies pay 2.5%? Why is 2.5% or 5% not enough? It’d create less incentive for scheming.

    • They could operate in Mali or Somalia, but they don’t because they prefer to harvest taxpayer funded infrastructure for their short-term gain. Why 2.5%? Why not 0.0000025%? Ireland in “massive vote of no confidence in own future/race to the bottom on taxation policy”. What next? A race to the bottom on wages? How unsurprising that will be.

      Does Koch pay you piece rate for these comments like the Communist Republic of China? I bet you’re some kind of accountant: cost of everything/value of nothing type. Or maybe you’re a poet. *rollseyes*

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