October 8, 2015

Let's talk: there is nothing to fear from a level playing field for taxes

Posted in Irish Independent · 61 comments ·
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Being on the right side of history is important.

 

When there are huge global forces moving in a certain direction, it’s crucial that a country and the Establishment of the country recognize this – and do something about it. In terms of the way large corporations avoid tax, the world is moving in a certain direction. People will look back in years to come and be astounded at the way corporations were able to play countries off each other in order to avoid tax.

The world is moving towards a level playing field in the area of corporate tax. Earlier this year, US President Barack Obama described American companies that use foreign countries to avoid US taxes as “corporate deserters”. This is serious language.

Earlier this week, the OECD published a paper that will form the basis of the next G20 meeting about multinational tax planning. It plans to eliminate the ability of corporations to avoid tax by “shifting” profits to low tax countries.

The OECD estimates that countries lose $100-240bn annually from multinationals using tax shelters to avoid tax.

The reason for this change is quite simple. Governments need the tax base to maintain a proper functioning economy. The multinationals use the same roads as everyone else. Their employees use the same hospitals and schools as everyone else. Ultimately, all the functioning areas of a normal society, from the police force and the transport infrastructure to environmental regulations, are paid for by tax.

All of these things make the relevant country a better place to live and invest and if the corporations aren’t paying their share, someone else has to pay for them.

In Ireland, we have a lot to gain from these new moves towards tax harmonization because we have so much at stake. For example, multinational corporations are supposed to pay 12.5pc tax in Ireland – which is already a great deal for them.

However, latest figures from the American Bureau of Economic Statistics reveal that American multinational companies make $100bn profit in Ireland. That means they should pay $12.5bn in tax; in fact, they pay only $4bn total tax. This means that $8.5bn is being avoided, even taking into account Ireland’s already very low corporate tax rate. This is a lot of money.

To better understand just how much of a good deal the multinationals are getting here, let’s look at some more figures.

Did you know that American corporations make on average $970,000 profit per employee in Ireland every year?

This is an amazingly high figure – making Ireland the most profitable place in the world for US multinationals.

However, these same multinationals pay $25,000 tax per employee. Even if they were to double their tax paid here, they’d still be making $920,000 profit per employee in Ireland.

So it is not difficult to see how we would benefit from a global level playing field.

The second major reason that authorities are clamping down on corporations is because it doesn’t feel right that, in an age of massive wealth inequality, capital is taxed much more leniently than labour.

If you depend on wages for your income – as the vast majority do – you pay significant amounts of income tax. In Ireland, the marginal rate is above 50pc. Yet if you are a company whose income comes from profit, you pay 4pc!

Such disparities drive up the value of the shares of these companies, but in the main, it is other companies or rich people who own company shares!

So the tax disparities are driving a wedge between those people who depend on wages for income (the majority) and those who depend on assets for income (the minority).

Consider for a moment the Irish worker who is working at a multinational this morning. His marginal income will be taxed at 50pc. In contrast, the corporation he works for will have its income taxed effectively at 4pc.

Why should the worker pay 12 times more tax than the company?

The third big reason for these historical shifts against tax avoidance is that America needs its cash. This is why Obama referred to corporations who use aggressive tax avoidance strategies as “corporate deserters”. When the American government cloaks the discussion on tax in patriotic terms, you know they are serious.

Now all this is a significant opportunity for Ireland.

There’s nothing to be afraid of. However, to benefit most from this global shift, we have to be part of the conversation.

Ireland needs its own position. We should begin a discussion with the multinationals. We have had a brilliant experience with them for years. They make good money here and in turn provide 100,000 jobs, which is about 7pc of the workforce. In terms of the capital base of the country, the multinationals have transformed the place, bringing in know-how and networks that would never have otherwise been constructed in Ireland.

There is absolutely no reason to be confrontational. Typically, when you want to start a serious conversation about change with someone, you begin by speaking the same language.

You do not start by shouting or laying out conditions. The Irish State and the multinationals should regard themselves as being on the same side for the purposes of this next phase of the relationship.

We want to avoid them leaving. If we have a level global playing field, where would they go? They’d hardly get a better deal anywhere else. But that said, most of what the multinationals do here is services and services can move more quickly than manufacturing.

On the other hand, the multinationals are happy here. They make great money. The society is stable and, like an old marriage, we’ve got used to each other’s peculiarities.

Maybe now it’s time to introduce a new element to the relationship. Why not embed them deeper here, by for example asking the likes of Google, Apple or HP to fund and staff a new engineering university? After all, they have the best engineers in the world. They could do this easily.

This would provide brilliant graduates for them and we could get world-class infrastructure for free.

There could also be a stipulation that 25pc of graduates in these new schools have to come from deprived areas – making the multinationals agents of change.

This is just one of many ways we can use the big shift in global attitudes towards tax and multinationals to our advantage. Let’s not bury our heads in the sand and start having the conversation, and make our own suggestions rather than have someone else make the decisions for us.


  1. jfcassidy95

    David,

    Always enjoy your articles.

    I stand to be corrected but I’d like to make the following points:

    The BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis) uses a different interpretation of data on FDI than the CSO (look at equity, reinvested earnings and exclude other capital). MNES such as Google, Facebook, Apple have muddied the water in recent times.

    Analysis by Revenue (Keith Walsh) in 2006, 2010, 2014 shows that the majority of Ireland based MNEs pay pretty much the given corporate tax rate.

    jfcassidy95

  2. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    An excellent article once again driving home the very important message about the different treatment of capital and labour.

    Clearly your message IS being heard thank god;

    http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2015/1008/733219-lidl-living-wage/

    I don’t think central planning like the 25% requirement is a good idea even if well intentioned.

    Look what Mrs Edna is doing now David. Paying builders to sell houses below the market value which will only drive the price HIGHER;

    http://www.independent.ie/business/budget/sweeteners-for-builders-who-sell-new-homes-at-less-than-market-value-31592593.html

    Central planning madness or what?

    Michael.

  3. Pat Flannery

    Before we start that conversation we should ensure that the people sitting at our side of the conference table will represent us, not be the same politicians-on-the-make we have had in the past. If the Americans can invoke patriotism so can we. We have something to offer, not the old inherited “beal bocht”. We have a talented workforce, despite the shortcomings of our Church-dominated education system.

    When I was a student in St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghadereen in the ‘50s before Donogh O’Malley’s controversial announcement of free second-level education in 1966, we had a continuous stream of highly trained recruiting priests representing Bishops from all over America and the British Commonwealth roaming the evening corridors peddling the sweet life of a priest in their sunny foreign climes. To go and talk to them for as long as we liked was a favorite way of dodging evening study.

    28 of the 32 in my graduating class of 1960 succumbed to the charms of these slick recruiting sergeants in Roman collars. For three centuries before the Free State/Catholic Church era of recruiting priests, the British Army had free rein robbing our precious human breeding grounds.

    We should recognize the global commercial reality of our time and allow the multi-nationals back into the corridors of our Irish high schools and colleges to mold the future generations of our human resource.

    Let’s adopt the successful model developed by the British Army and the Catholic Church and change the world again, using Ireland’s precious resource, its youth, properly trained for the modern world.

    • coldblow

      I think some of my uncles went to that school. DId all of those classmates of yours become priests? I don,t think corporations should be let anywhere near schools or children

      • Pat Flannery

        coldblow: yes, 28 of my class of 32 including myself entered seminaries to study to be priests. I went to St. Kieran’s Kilkenny and completed the two year philosophy course which I loved before going to London to study accountancy.

        I think most of the other 27 stuck it out and actually became priests for all over the world. I met many of them later in America. Some quit and got married. In either case they were all fine men. And in either case we all got career guidance which seems to be missing from schools should today. That was my basic point.

  4. michaelcoughlan

    Hi all,

    Is there any plans for any of us to meet up in Kilkenny this year?

    Michael.

  5. sravrannies

    The downside of having so many multinationals in Ireland has been discussed before, not least the continued reliance on them for “easy” job creation with little or no attempts to encourage replace them with indigenous industries.

    One other aspect that I would love to see analysed is the impact of these multinationals on the current accommodation crisis. PayPal recently asked staff to rent rooms to new colleagues in an attempt to address their problems. Theses MNCs may recruit 1000s of staff but as “service” companies it is primarily for low level skilled staff recruited from countries of the language required. Because of the low tax rates these companies will stay here in the short term and they can afford to pay good wages to attract staff but, we would be left with a lot of empty apartments/houses if any one of them ever decided to up sticks.

    I worked in MNCs for a long time and got well paid for it. I remember reading an article about an indigenous Irish technology company a while ago who were struggling to recruit staff because they couldn’t compete with the salaries offered by the MNCs. He claimed they had an advantage because they could avoid so much more tax than he could and so pay better. He was seriously considering moving his business to London because wages were actually lower!

    In any discussion/negotiations we should not be afraid to ‘lose’ one of two of these MNCs – what would we lose? A small amount of Corporation Tax and some jobs – which are for non-Irish anyway [unless you speak a foreign language]and it would certainly relieve the housing problem.

    Peter

  6. NeilW

    “The reason for this change is quite simple. Governments need the tax base to maintain a proper functioning economy.”

    No it doesn’t. Taxes for Revenue is an obsolete concept and has been for decades.

    The tax take has nothing to do with what a Government can do for its people (and in the Irish case we’re talking about the European parliament and government, not the Irish one – which is merely a European town council in the Euro area doing what they are told).

    The issue with corporations is merely a distributional discussion: should corporations pay less tax than labour.

  7. If you want to pay less taxes then have your own currency issued debt free from treasury instead of the debt based interest laden fiat you currently use.
    Income taxes could be abolished.

    • McCawber

      Before Ireland joined the EU it had it’s own currency called the Punt.
      I remember paying taxes at a significantly higher rate that at present.
      I can only assume that you will argue that this was because the Punt wasn’t backed by gold. I would argue that it was because we had greedy, self serving politicians.
      The problem with returning to the gold standard is that you need the people holding the levers of power to get on board.
      That just isn’t going to happen so can you come up with another alternative. As in start campaigning for the removal of some of the worst aspects of fiat currencies, like spread betting etc or worst still the elimination of paper currency altogether.
      Failing that then I suggest you prepare for Utopianomics.
      NB in Utopia there will be no currency because there will be no need for one.
      The real challenge over the next 50 years is to ensure that the rich don’t get to control the machines and by extension us.

  8. The Trans Pacific Partnership has just been approved by 12 nations. Very few have any information about what is included as all negotiations were in secret.

    It is apparent that corporations will now be able to sue states who pass legislation that impede corporate decisions and profits. Corporatism rules. The decisions of your local representative will no longer matter wit.

    The banker/corporate elites will rule the world.

    Individual and state sovereignty have been sold or given away. Welcome to modern fascism. Welcome to what you already see. Wars, financial repression and political impotency are the near future. As you see, from Brussels, welcome to rule by the technocrat.

    https://www.dollarvigilante.com/blog/2015/10/08/shemitah-trends-tpp-and-the-demise-of-the-eu-schengen-area-ushers-in-rise-of-technocracy.html

  9. StephenKenny

    I’m a bit surprised at this article, really. We’re not really talking about tax at all, we’re talking about incentives. If there was such a law – which we should think very carefully about in terms of the presidence – there are many other ways in which a country can attract such inward investment.

    All they would have to do is provide, at a steep discount, anything else the companies would otherwise would have to pay for. Indeed, in these days of everyone nodding sagely at the idea of negative interest rates, they could provide negative costs for anything: housing, parking, training, scientific research, catering, advertising (including international), and a million others.

    If all these taxes were equalised, the benefit could just be on the margins, to have the desired effect.

    To the the effectiveness of this idea, just consider what would happen next: A law stating that corporate benefits would have to be equalised, So how would you compare housing in the far west, with housing in Singapore? A group of international civil servants would do valuations?

    This is central planning, and we have seen a lot of history to show that this always ends badly. i.e. with a lot of left, but no right, boot factories, and very expensive health care systems with no medical staff.

  10. “Germany:

    Bundesbank releases gold reserve details: The FT cited a Bundesbank inventory report of every single bar amounting to 3,384 tonnes of gold worth around €107B, stored in vaults in Frankfurt, London, Paris and New York. The article noted the move to release details is the latest by the central bank, which is in a process of moving gold back to Germany. It cited Bundesbank executive board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele who said by 2020 at the latest, half of Germany’s gold reserves will be stored in domestically.” Posted on lemetropolecafe.

    There is still no transparency as the gold accounts cannot be verified. This is a propaganda PR enterprise. No actual gold bar numbers were used. That is the serial numbers STAMPED ON THE BARS THEM SELVES. There was no audit just a custodial list of inventory numbers issued.

    https://www.bullionstar.com/blogs/koos-jansen/guest-post-47-years-after-1968-bundesbank-still-fails-to-deliver-a-gold-bar-number-list/

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi tony,

      I just checked with my coin supplier on the price of 1oz coins. There is only 3% on the spot price premium. Just curious?

      Michael.

      • Sounds like gold , Michael Silver is showing the bigger stress at 30-50% premium, or was a day or two ago.
        For 1 ounce gold or silver maple leaf coin the premiums are Gold 4.2% and Silver 20%

        • michaelcoughlan

          OK.

          Based on your recent analysis I have change my mind on something to reflect my increased awareness re PM’s.

          From now on I am going to use the plural when referring to gold or silver in terms of price the new word being prices.

          The explanation is as follows;

          The first price will be the quoted spot price based on the manipulated derivatives.

          The second price will be the spot price plus the premium for the physical and when I refer to the gold prices I will quote both one after the other.

          This will allow at a glance the person to track the divergence in price between matrix type imaginary gold and real physical gold rounded up to the nearest dollar.

          Example;

          The gold prices are;

          1019/1053 per oz. Euro. This info is taken from my coin supplier website.

          Regards,

          Michael.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      As to Germany…

      I am still gobsmacked that the plucky Ireland beat the best football team in the world – and Shane’s goal was a cracker. It’s an equivalent of plucky Finland standing up to the arrogant Soviet Union during the Winter War. If Poland could not beat a weak team like Scotland, than maybe they do not deserve to qualify (maybe only for Lewandowski). This sport is not for the weaklings. Whatever does not kill you, it will make you stronger. Maybe it’s time to place a bet on Ireland to qualify? – though the odds are not great.
      Now Ireland needs to qualify and beat England – that’d be a soccer Triple Crown ;-) – Germany, Poland, England. lol

      • coldblow

        AS soon as the keeper (West Ham!) kicked the ball up to Long, before it had travelled ten feet, I said it was a great pass (not a punt or clearance as they said in the papers) and it reminded me of that superb French free kick that led to Henri,s hand ball. nobody has given Randolph his due (and I say that aware that Forde was left on the bench).

  11. SLICKMICK

    1 in 4 of staff in Facebook, Google, Linkedin based in Dublin are Irish. Where are the apprenticeships/starter positions for Irish people ?
    No wonder rents are back @ 2007 levels. Where will they be in 2020? More expensive than London? At least the latter has an economy a similar size as Poland, GDP per head in the european capital is on a par with LA and New York.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      They had been advertising for positions with fluent foreign language speakers with IT skills and could not find enough Irish people. Same with UPC. I’d say it’s a flow in the Irish education system and it’s even worse in Britain. My friend is Irish though and he works for Google; his mum speaks fluent German and French and basic Italian. They had no problems finding employment

      • SLICKMICK

        64 different nationalities work @ Facebook Dublin. irish grads emigrate in droves, 60 % of DIT grads emigrated during the 80′s.Bolton Trust compiled the data in 1992.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/multilingual-irish-jobs-education-1000102-Jul2013/

      But I have to say you are right about the starter positions. If you go back to my comment to the previous article, I explained in it how the near zero interest rates distort the job and property markets…

      “Where will they be in 2020?” 2020?! That will be after the FED/ECB/China central banks bubble burst. Dollar will be nearly worthless and so will be properties in Dublin – at the end of the day, if it was not for the QE generated bubble, properties would only be worth whatever income they could generate from rents, and considering the real wages have been falling everywhere except Asia and well paid full jobs turn into low paid part-time jobs…

      Singapore, New Zealand, Liechtenstein – these three destinations come to my mind; only theoretically though – I am too old…

      • michaelcoughlan

        “Singapore, New Zealand, Liechtenstein”

        Why these 3?

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          You caught me at the bad moment with commenting, Michael – I am really in a tight corner with what I am doing at the moment. So my answer will sound overly simplistic.
          Singapore – a likely centre of the world’s gold exchange after the dollar collapse and a global system reset. It’s location – at the strait (which can be blocked by navy), on the sea route (even nowadays sea transport from Asia is 23 times less expensive than through the mainland) makes it a very important place within the Rimland theory (probably only theory tough unspoiled at military academies on both sides during the cold war):

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rimland

          No “refugees”. Singapore and Hong Kong will be even more important should Australia orient itself towards China.

          New Zealand.
          Again, location attractive for Rimland powers (though not as much as Singapore). Free market reforms carried out in the 80s as described by me here:

          http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/we-need-more-than-a-pat-on-the-head-from-eu-26817818.html

          No “refugees”

          Liechtenstein.
          Wise political system (the citizens actually voted for the king to have more say), very stable, no crony capitalism really because its a hereditary monarchy – but not deviated like Britain. There is too much money laundered in Liechtenstein to do away with its sovereignty the way Poland or Ireland no longer have national politics, in their national interest. The king of Liechtenstein was the only one who refused to hand over the “White Russians” to the Bolsheviks after WWII (Britain and the US have a disgraceful record in that respect).

          No refugees.

          Btw, I am not obsessed about the refugees. By no means I am saying no one should be helped. It’s just that I have seen real war refugees and they do not behave like that, destroying passport, demanding money, shitting in the forest, telling us how our woman should dress. This is an invasion. It’s the decline of the West like in Spengler’s book. It’s us against them. And it’s our politicians who are too blame in first place (as one out ten of those refugees might be or might be not real)…

          • coldblow

            Greg

            I am using my son,s iPad so I can,t say much. I enjoyed your post on the last thread about the Polish Syrian. also, I sometimes saw that Russian giant around Killarney. I saw yet another pro immigration article in the Sindo last week by Joseph O,Connor and he said that it wasn’t,t a matter of pc and that of cors there should be limits on numbers. to which I say of course it is a matter of political correctness and that in turn is psychologically determined, as if there was ever a time to debate , and probably any other that time is now. it doesn’t,t matter if they are so called genuine refugees or not,it should stop now before it gets going as later it will be impossible to do so.

            I suspect he had been reading the debate, in inverted commas, on The Irish Economy which ended up between some misguided extroverted economists and me. I can,t dog links but it is the only thread on the issue there

          • coldblow

            Got cut off there. I think it was the only debate on a respectable blog, apart from here, certainly the only one I am aware of, which says a lot, doesn’t it? I can,y do links on this yoke but readers here hardly need to look as I have been over it here loads of times before. I used my real name but it is obvious who I am. I use cold low here for reasons of tradition and sentiment. My guess is that ,Connor read this thread. Anyway, it is fair to keep raising it here because David went onto the Late Late at the time to argue in favour of opening our borders – not in so many words but that is the end result.

            My posts look a bit disjointed or repetitive as a one or two posts wean,t published so I had to do them again, and then, once I had done so, then appeared (at least as I recall).

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Coldblow,
            I have noticed the same thing with posting comments for the last few days – once or twice I posted something and it did it show up, then when I tried to post it again, “duplicate” comment was detected; with yet another comment it came as a duplicate indeed (which I could not remove).
            Very shortly (I can only make a short comment) :-(

            “it doesn’t,t matter if they are so called genuine refugees or not,it should stop now before it gets going as later it will be impossible to do so.”
            I understand your point, but my point is that it matters primarily for security reasons, hence I make a distinction between fake and genuine refugees in each post and use the word “refugees” in inverted commas.
            If ISIS themselves boast about the number of jihad terrorist they were going smuggle to Europe with the refugees, then what else can I say?

            I suffer from the impression that the whole discussion is conducted in wrong terms, partly because of PC, like you mention. I only have time to point out one thing – we in Ireland discuss whether countries like Greece, Hungary or Poland want or not want to take the asylum seekers.
            Who is an asylum seekers? A person escaping from danger (war, political prisoners) into safety.

            Take the Polish asylum seekers in the 80s. What his route to the West might have looked like?

            1. I.e. Buying the only possible travel to tour to the West – on a hydroplane boat from Budapest to Vienna, without the right of landing, or one of the official Poland’s matches, or – if you were a particularly nasty political opponent – the commis would give you a one way passport; some number of Poles had been sent by the communist secret service as the so called sleepers (many of them “converted” into CIA).
            2. So you are a Pole in Vienna in 1981. What happens to you?
            3. You HAVE to have a passport. You do not have a passport – you do not have an asylum.
            4. You have to wait for some country to take you and grant you a visa. Usually a year. And they would take you primarily if you were an engineer.
            5. So they took you. You do not go there and scream “Germany, I want Germany”, because they (usually Australia, Canada, USA or South Africa) took you ONLY because they needed you (Austria took you as a refugee, but by no means that meant you would get social housing in Vienna).
            6. So what happens if you are a Pole in 1981 in Vienna, you have no passport and you cannot prove that you are a political prisoner in Poland? I would say you have to fuck off to the Polish People’s Republic, but it’s actually worse than that – you cannot do that either.
            And you certainly do not throw out food given to you and you do not have a few thousand euro to pay ISIS to smuggle you, because the monthly salary in Poland in 1981 is $20 (twenty).

            What we see now?

            1. Germany does not other countries to implement asylum procedures – everyone is to be let in.
            2. You can travel around Europe without a passport – just need to say you are Syrian.
            3. You do not need a visa – you just stay and occupy a country you are in.
            4. You do not have to look for a job. Therefore you do not need to have or learn any qualifications.
            5. Last but not least, you can not only differ in certain habits from the country you are going into – that I can accept to an extent – but you insolently take a mickey out of what is the holy of the holiest in a given country (Croatia in this case).

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1LHowkptgs

            6. And then you see people beheading people in London. See my point?

          • “If ISIS themselves boast about the number of jihad terrorist they were going smuggle to Europe with the refugees, then what else can I say?”

            Eh lads, did it never occur to you that ISIS might be just talking shit to put the willies up you all? Seems to be working.

          • Hitchens as well with his jihabs in Marks and Spencer’s.

            Gimme a break.

            Lazy, terrible ‘journalism’.

          • coldblow

            Adam

            Hitchens merely pointed out that advertising is very sensitive to social trends and that MandS, by advertising hijabs, are conferring how immigration has led to profound and irreversible changes (which nobody was ever consulted about). Hitchens predicts that Islam will become the main religion there in time, following trends. Some, of course, are relaxed at the prospect.

            As for ISIS, I have never even mentioned them as the security aspect is very secondary. As the asylum laws work nowadays even at a comparatively low admissions rate (30 pc compared with double that in Holland) you are wide open to mass immigration and national Iapetus . The prudent policy is to repudiate these commitments, which were designed, as Greg says, for another age.

            AszI say in the Irish Economy site this is psychologically motivated and of course no one could refute my argument. (It was that site where my comments appear disjointed, by the way, and not here.) Like Greg, and David, most commenters on the net are extravert and by definition blind to my argument. When I push them (as you know yourself) they tend to react with unreasoning anger.

          • coldblow

            Lapetus? Transformational

          • coldblow

            Grzegorz

            I found this link on James Howard Kunstler’s blog. I don’t know if it is reliable but it’s amusing in its own way.

            http://www.ridus.ru/news/199880

            As I said earlier security isn’t my main concern, just the automatic assumption that mass immigration is a good thing when common sense says it isn’t.

            This is a good article from Spiked about the Refugee Convention:

            http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/time-to-tear-up-the-refugee-convention/17436#.VhqqCzaFOUk

            Holbrook is in favour of open borders himself but at least he is honest in his approach. The Irish non-debate is as usual dishonest and delusional.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Michael,

          You caught me at the bad moment with commenting, Michael – I am really in a tight corner with what I am doing at the moment. So my answer will sound overly simplistic.
          Singapore – a likely centre of the world’s gold exchange after the dollar collapse and a global system reset. It’s location – at the strait (which can be blocked by navy), on the sea route (even nowadays sea transport from Asia is 23 times less expensive than through the mainland) makes it a very important place within the Rimland theory (probably only theory tough unspoiled at military academies on both sides during the cold war):

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rimland

          No “refugees”. Singapore and Hong Kong will be even more important should Australia orient itself towards China.

          New Zealand.
          Again, location attractive for Rimland powers (though not as much as Singapore). Free market reforms carried out in the 80s as described by me here:

          http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/we-need-more-than-a-pat-on-the-head-from-eu-26817818.html

          No “refugees”

          Liechtenstein.
          Wise political system (the citizens actually voted for the king to have more say), very stable, no crony capitalism really because its a hereditary monarchy – but not deviated like Britain. There is too much money laundered in Liechtenstein to do away with its sovereignty the way Poland or Ireland no longer have national politics, in their national interest. The king of Liechtenstein was the only one who refused to hand over the “White Russians” to the Bolsheviks after WWII (Britain and the US have a disgraceful record in that respect).

          No refugees.

          Btw, I am not obsessed about the refugees. By no means I am saying no one should be helped. It’s just that I have seen real war refugees and they do not behave like that, destroying passport, demanding money, shitting in the forest, telling us how our woman should dress. This is an invasion. It’s the decline of the West like in Spengler’s book. It’s us against them. And it’s our politicians who are too blame in first place (as one out ten of those refugees might be or might be not real)…

  12. Volatility in the base metal commodities has seen up spikes of 4-10% in prices. There is an overall gain in prices the last 2-4 weeks. Is cash looking for a safe home in real assets and this the start of a commodity lift off. It could be the continuous and expected flood of QE from around the world is more inflationary than reported. IMHO.

    Heasdline at Midas du Metropole

    October 9 – $1156.30 up $11.60 – Silver $15.81 up 5 cents

    Gold Breaks Out / HUI Keeps Moving Higher

    “THERE IS NO MEANS OF AVOIDING THE FINAL COLLAPSE OF A BOOM BROUGHT ABOUT BY CREDIT EXPANSION. THE ALTERNATIVE IS ONLY WHETHER THE CRISIS SHOULD COME SOONER AS THE RESULT OF A VOLUNTARY ABANDONMENT OF FURTHER CREDIT EXPANSION OR LATER AS A FINAL AND TOTAL CATASTROPHE OF THE CURRENCY SYSTEM INVOLVED.” … Ludwig von Mises

    Take your pick for the cause of the inevitable.

    Zinc up 10% plus today as Glencore cut production to preserve assets from low priced sales.
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/13252788-6e0e-11e5-aca9-d87542bf8673.html

  13. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Coldblow (II)

    “David went onto the Late Late at the time to argue in favour of opening our borders – not in so many words but that is the end result.”

    David comes across as someone with a good heart. But there is a puzzling inconsistency in his writing. He proposed a discussion (starting from his Generation Game) about the immigration into Ireland. He was is of an opinion that this may put pressure on wages, schools and houses. Indeed, they estimate that 3,000.000 people have left Poland alone, out of which 2,000.000 stayed abroad (the rest doing seasonal jobs in mainly Germany); a few thousand came to Ireland, out of which 160,000 have stayed after the likes of David Dumb, alias David Drumm, or, as I would call him, having listen to the tapes – Da Moron – have screwed us up (I posted a link on that with very precise data) – the rest left for countries like Norway.

    So here is what we have – 160,000 Poles, most of them partly assimilated, some of them not assimilated neither in Ireland not in Poland and getting on my nerves, who were not entitled to social housing or social welfare or medical care upon arrival and who did not demand it, and who had not beheaded anyone yet -though there have been some incidents (hence I think we should start a discussion on guns, but my stance is opposite to David’s) – so they are a problem.

    And those who, at the start, without passports, without anyone checking if they had killed 100 people, who get money, food, medical care, social housing and – this is for real – staged a protest in Vienna that they are only paid €5 per hour working in a canteen, cleaning after themselves and giving food to themselves, and for whom Saudi Arabia is building 200 mosques in Europe – they are not a problem for Dave. I must say he lost me on that one…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWbQLnru65Y

    • coldblow

      David has always been consistent, ever since the Generation Game, where he explicitly endorses the victorious liberal agenda (“They won and they were right”). Tight laws on gun ownership, where the criminals are well armed but threatened rural people will be refused the means to defend themselves, are part and parcel. The disgraceful state of affairs where a media and political class, speaking with one voice, impose this transformation against the clear wishes much of the people is ignored.

  14. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    “Eh lads, did it never occur to you that ISIS might be just talking shit to put the willies up you all?”

    It did occur to me. They might be talking shit. The problem is that they are talking that shit from a position of mosques in places like London and Copenhagen, saying that every woman who does not dress like a radical Islamist is a whore and wants to be rape.

    And, someone is doing the be-headings. Ok, maybe some of that is a job of secret service (do not quote me on that one), maybe not, but some of them terror attacks clearly come from the same beardy ilk.
    And what’s Europe’s (but not US or Israels or Saudi Arabia or Kuwait’s) response? To let in a few million, 90pc of them without passports…

    • Keep drinking the Kool Aid Grzegorz,and believing everything the Fox News types are feeding you.

      News Flash: There hasn’t been any beheadings in Ireland. And there won’t be any beheadings in Ireland.

      As for the UK, I worked in the psychiatric section of the NHS for a number of years (in a previous life) and given its perilous state and a population of 70 million or so, you’d be surprised if you didn’t get the odd nutter performing a beheading every now and then.

      In a mature society, people are free to go to the church or the synagogue or the mosque and listen to whatever flavour of ridiculous fairytale they like – if it makes them ‘happy’ in their pathetic lives. 99.99% of them have no interest in raping and beheading anyone, they just want to get on with their lives.

      And as for the other 00.01% (or whatever the actual and miniscule percentage is), well we’ll just have to deal with them through reasonable use of the rule of law. Not that we get that at present but hopefully it’s a work in progress (I’m an optimist).

      Get a grip Grzegorz – most Syrians etc. are not interested in ‘invading’ Europe – like most members of any group of people they’d much rather stay close to where they were born – and if the Yanks, Brits and Russians etc. would stop interfering in their affairs and bombing the hell out of their homelands, that’s exactly what they would do – stay home.

      Do you have a natural tendency to believe fear-mongering, war-mongering, divide-and-conquer propaganda from the military-industrial complex or what?!

  15. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    I had to check what that Kood Aid is (is it any good?). You would be surprised, but my drink of choice this week is organic Cider Vinegar Mother (excellent for the nasty chest infection I caught washing windows at my home). I do not smoke, I almost do not drink and I watch Fox News very rarely – only the debate and Stossel,who has views similar to yours.

    “if the Yanks, Brits and Russians etc. would stop interfering in their affairs and bombing the hell out of their homelands, that’s exactly what they would do – stay home.”

    Of course you are right – sure I am not a friend of their interventions, based on my posting – having said that, what’s the time gap between the bombings and that plague of locust? And why most of them are not from Syria (remind what the number of Syrians was according to official statistics – 10 or 20pc?), while most of them claim they are?

    “most Syrians etc. are not interested in ‘invading’ Europe”

    I could give you that one, no problem. I think my posts were rather warm regarding Syrians, especially Christians – who would be by definition in most danger and whom we strangely do see on TV manifesting their faith in Hungary, now free from intolerance in tolerant Europe (with restrictions like fake Syrians or so called Syrians).

    Thing is most of them are not even Syrians.

    • I said most ‘Syrians etc.’ Grzegorz, meaning wherever they come from, it doesn’t really matter, they are all people – most of them don’t want to be leaving home and if their countries hadn’t have been f**ked in the ass so badly by the West in one way or another, then they wouldn’t indeed be leaving home. But of course, the West is never wrong in what it does, never admits any culpability.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        I am not trying to catch you on words – I am just simply pointing out to the fact that according to Eurostat itself 4 out of 5 are not Syrians.
        “meaning wherever they come from, it doesn’t really matter, they are all people”

        Right, I do not contest that, but it matters to me if someone is lying that he is:
        -persecuted when he is not (especially if he left his elderly and women behind)
        -that he has lost his passport
        -or he fakes his passport
        -lying about looking for protection while it is social housing and money he is after (Denmark not good enough – Sweden gives twice as much)
        - and he is demolishing someone’s grave while doing that
        - while shouting Allah Akbar

        Like I said some time before, a daughter of my Polish friend went to Kenya from the money she earned working in a hospital part-time (I can back up that statement) to help build a home for a Kenyan family. What did you do for the Syrians (by no means I am implying that you did nothing, just curious; it’s a noble thing and most of us would like to hear it)

        • Funnily enough, the apartment I am sitting in right this minute in Antigua – I am renting from a Syrian man – Mr Hadeed, I know him a long time, rented from him 10 years ago, lovely man but a hell of a businessman, doesn’t suffer fools. And again, purely coincidentally I just bought a car off a young Syrian guy I literally met on the street – Fadi. Also a good businessman but these two Syrians are at the opposite end of the societal spectrum here in Antigua – Mr Hadeed is a multi-millionaire and was entertaining a Venezuelan trade delegation yesterday whereas Fadi was probably giving it large somewhere in a reggae jam with some local chicks. I could just as easily have been renting an apartment and buying a car from Antiguan entrepreneurs here – there’s plenty of those around too. No one cares, Mr Hadeed’s kids are more Antiguan than the Antiguans and Fadi speaks English with the broadest West Indian accent you are ever likely to hear (even though, as he told me, when he arrived here 8 years ago the only two words he knew in English were YES and NO). The point is my dear Grzegorz, people are people, there’s very little difference between then – don’t let the lunatic profiteers of the military-industrial complex infect your mind and control you with their poisonous xenophobia and racism – if they are trying to do that (which they are through their media lackeys) it is because there’s an angle in it for them – what they really want is your money and they want to keep their jackboots planted on your head while they are dipping your pockets – that’s what it’s really all about – as David says – ‘Follow The Money’.

          • coldblow

            Adam

            This is just daft. Of course people are people but that is no reason to engage in a dangerous and damaging utopian policy. Why on earth did people defend their borders in the past?

            Military ind complex and their media lackeys? Have you actually followed the media? If so you will surely have noticed that they follow one line only. I haven,t seen even one article opposing this stupidity. I am standing outside your bubble and (alone) explaining why you are unable to see why you and millions like you cannot think independently? I antipathetic another intemperate and emotional attempt from you to police social norms.

            Why do you think David lost it the other day? I think it is over this. If someone challenges a cherished plank of conventional wisdom it threatens your own sense of existence. Funny thing is that if and when conventional opinion flips the extravert will be drawn to the new line because that,s what everyone knows.

            By the way read Hitchen,s article about the hijab and then tell me exactly why it is poor journalism. You won,t be able.

          • coldblow

            Antipathetic anticipate

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        Adam

        I am not trying to catch you on words – I am just simply pointing out to the fact that according to Eurostat itself 4 out of 5 are not Syrians.
        “meaning wherever they come from, it doesn’t really matter, they are all people”

        Right, I do not contest that, but it matters to me if someone is lying that he is:
        -persecuted when he is not (especially if he left his elderly and women behind)
        -that he has lost his passport
        -or he fakes his passport
        -lying about looking for protection while it is social housing and money he is after (Denmark not good enough – Sweden gives twice as much)
        - and he is demolishing someone’s grave while doing that
        - while shouting Allah Akbar

        Like I said some time before, a daughter of my Polish friend went to Kenya from the money she earned working in a hospital part-time (I can back up that statement) to help build a home for a Kenyan family. What did you do for the Syrians (by no means I am implying that you did nothing, just curious; it’s a noble thing and most of us would like to hear it)

  16. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    I had to check what that Kood Aid is (is it any good?). You would be surprised, but my drink of choice this week is organic Cider Vinegar Mother (excellent for the nasty chest infection I caught washing windows at my home). I do not smoke, I almost do not drink and I watch Fox News very rarely – only the debate and Stossel,who has views similar to yours.

    “if the Yanks, Brits and Russians etc. would stop interfering in their affairs and bombing the hell out of their homelands, that’s exactly what they would do – stay home.”

    Of course you are right – sure I am not a friend of their interventions, based on my posting – having said that, what’s the time gap between the bombings and that plague of locust? And why most of them are not from Syria (remind what the number of Syrians was according to official statistics – 10 or 20pc?), while most of them claim they are?

    “most Syrians etc. are not interested in ‘invading’ Europe”

    I could give you that one, no problem. I think my posts were rather warm regarding Syrians, especially Christians – who would be by definition in most danger and whom we strangely do see on TV manifesting their faith in Hungary, now free from intolerance in tolerant Europe (with restrictions like fake Syrians or so called Syrians).

    Thing is most of them are not even Syrians.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      Adam

      I am not trying to catch you on words – I am just simply pointing out to the fact that according to Eurostat itself 4 out of 5 are not Syrians.
      “meaning wherever they come from, it doesn’t really matter, they are all people”

      Right, I do not contest that, but it matters to me if someone is lying that he is:
      -persecuted when he is not (especially if he left his elderly and women behind)
      -that he has lost his passport
      -or he fakes his passport
      -lying about looking for protection while it is social housing and money he is after (Denmark not good enough – Sweden gives twice as much)
      - and he is demolishing someone’s grave while doing that
      - while shouting Allah Akbar

      Like I said some time before, a daughter of my Polish friend went to Kenya from the money she earned working in a hospital part-time (I can back up that statement) to help build a home for a Kenyan family. What did you do for the Syrians (by no means I am implying that you did nothing, just curious; it’s a noble thing and most of us would like to hear it)

  17. As for tax, which is what David’s article is actuallt about – let me be brief.

    I don’t pay tax. I realised many moons ago that taxes are a scam, especially those that pay the wages of thieving, lying, corrupt politician – so I refuse to pay them.

    I walk the walk, I don’t just talk the talk like most of the goody two-shoes wafflers on this blog. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to th actual mechanics of not paying any taxes (I keep EVERY SINGLE penny I earn through my own Herculean work efforts).

    If Bono and Apple don’t pay taxes, why should I?

    Catch me if you can oh taxman who is reading this (you won’t be able to).

    Life is what you make it lads, instead of just moaning about the (indeed) pathetic state of Ireland – DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      Adam,

      “If Bono and Apple don’t pay taxes, why should I?” – that’s a great political slogan :-)

      Can I make a T-shirt out of it or establish a political party which would have it as a motto lol?

      Cheers

    • coldblow

      More childishness. Goody two shoes wafflers? You are the one talking nonsense, and you are the one who detests this country. I cannot take you seriously. You should pay some taxes though.

      • coldblow

        Alas, Adam, my baiting has failed to draw the reaction I was hoping for. I’ll have to try again another time.

        Actually, agree with you up to a point about taxes. The state just wastes your money on things you don’t approve of. I am with Crotty on the proposition of a minimal state.

        And it is great to be back at home on my own keyboard again.

        • Yes I don’t take the bait for that kind of stuff – as a wise man once told me out here ‘I above that’ – search for Spider’s Bar Dominica on Facebook and you’ll see a picture of me and him.

          Actually I was just on the way out the door last night when you were replying – after 10 days inside working my nuts off, I felt I deserved to blow off some steam, what a crazy night, I’ll spare you the details, only recovering now watching The Walking Dead marathon – what an amazing show.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Adam,

      Antigua sounds beautiful. Is it really nice; good schools climate etc? What are the health services like? Are there good jobs there and are taxes low even if you don’t pay them? Has it it’s own currency? Do they speak english or spanish? Os ot easy to emigrate there?

      Tony lives on an island too. Real bunker mentality taking over I feel (joke)

      Best regards,

      Michael.

  18. mcsean2163

    Great article and hopefully it will get things moving. I said something similar in an article to the time in 2010 but used more charged language:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/increasing-corporation-tax-1.678464

    Bit surprised by:

    “There could also be a stipulation that 25pc of graduates in these new schools have to come from deprived areas – making the multinationals agents of change.”

    Such a stipulation would completely undermine the credibility of a university.

    I studied engineering in DCU and people came from all over. It’s not elitist. I’ve worked with good engineers from Ballyfermot and Tallaght. You don’t need to have a math teacher as a parent, go to infinite grinds and get 600 points in your leaving to get into engineering.

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