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October 18th, 2017

Max’s Views

Offshore Incorporated: ***

A few years back, Conservatives believed in the positive power of the free market. Their fundamental mission was to keep meddling government out of the way of business. Meanwhile, Liberals believed in the positive power of government. Their fundamental mission was to use the power of the State to keep naughty corporations in check. Those days are gone. I don’t see that the Left and the Right have any philosophical differences anymore. We are just two tribes of sworn enemies. We are separated by the fact that we read completely different news sources.

Both sides are being bamboozled. There is no battle going on between big government and big business; the battle is between the 1% and the rest of us. Powerful politicians and wealthy corporate elites are working hand in hand to make sure they stay powerful and get wealthier. How do global elites rip us off while pulling the wool over our eyes? “Offshore Incorporated” shows us one of the ways.

Documentarian Mark Donne sheds a light on the surprisingly large problem of offshore tax havens. What could be more boring than tax havens, you ask? Probably nothing. That’s one of the reasons why the 1% have been getting away with this for so long. The film takes us back to the disintegration of the British Empire after WWII. While the UK let all of its major colonies break away from the Crown, London tightened its grip on three tiny territories: Bermuda, Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands.

These are not just independent nations with a nominal allegiance to the Crown. These three island territories need to run every governing decision by the Queen. They have less independence than the Yorkshire County Council. These islands act as a shady legal method for British businesses and billionaires to hide their profits. The tax havens are working so wonderfully that wealthy Americans are joining the party. While public debt in the UK and the US skyrockets, the super rich hide their money from the taxman. There is now approximately $10 trillion squirreled away in secret offshore accounts.

Offshore tax havens are a disaster for the working class. The main reason why the economy is sputtering along at 2% growth is that our surplus capital is being systemically stolen away and hidden in overseas shell company accounts. Companies could be using all that loot to increase wages and hire more fulltime workers with benefits. Instead, it just collects dust on a ledger somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean.

“Offshore Incorporated” tells a story of greed that is not just destructive, it is pointless. This is money that the global elites will never live long enough to enjoy. They just want to keep it away from you. Sadly, even though there is no reasonable person who votes to keep offshore tax havens going, there is no clear plan to shut them down. The companies and billionaires that use them are just too powerful. And we can’t expect the government to save us; government has been behind this from the very beginning. You know that person in your life who supports the other party? Please hug him. Or send him a warm Facebook message. We’re on the same side. And we are all going to need to work together if we ever want to have a chance of defending ourselves from the unrelenting villainy of the 1%.

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