Monthly Archives: October 2012

Operation Caymans: How the 1% Hides their Money

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Early last year, as I was sharing a beer with a fellow 99 percenter and talking about tax policy, an idea came to me. It was one of those eureka! moments as an action organizer when form fits function, action and meaning unite to create an irresistible meme that echoes across our collective psyche. Let’s invade the Cayman Islands! Each tax day, activists on each side of our phony political divide find themselves shoulder to shoulder at local post offices. …

The 99% are not idiots.

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In typical Wall Street fashion, this week brings more claims that normal people just can’t understand complicated financial transactions. Epitomized by Greg Smith’s claim that Occupy Wall Street “doesn’t know what it’s talking about”, these smarter-than-thou proclamations typically go unquestioned by the media pundits and politicians. As they accumulate, a picture emerges of Main Street as unwitting victims of complex, out-of-control Wall Street schemes. It’s time to bust wide open the myth that everyday folk are too small-brained to understand …

It’s not radical.

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It’s not radical to say there’s too much money in politics today. It’s not radical to wish there were less homeless families and more families in foreclosed homes. It’s not radical to speak out against corrupt politicians who bail out their bank donors. No, that’s patriotism. It’s not radical to move your money out of banks that evict grandmothers. It’s not radical to take to the streets in protest with grandmothers kicked off their health benefits. It’s not radical to …

A vacation from taxation?

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Here’s a deligthful coincidence: In the same week, Mitt Romney’s VP candidate Paul Ryan declares “Let’s make this country a tax shelter!” and I find myself in the world’s most notorious offshore haven: Cayman Islands. I came down here in search of Romney’s hidden money among the 137 entities that Bain Capital and its numerous subsidiaries and shell companies use to evade taxes and hide earnings. I expected to find the highly-unequal and poverty-ridden society of haves and have-nots that …

Back in Brooklyn

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Back in Brooklyn after 3500 miles across the country of my birth. I barely recognize it anymore after 4 years in New York City: long, rolling hills with trees of many-colored leaves. Rickety fences lining old dirt roads. Back-country rest stops with rusted gray ‘FOOD’ signs and ghost-town alleys with emaciated old tire frames & trailer hitches strewn across them. Good, plain people moving in slow motion against the roaring rapids of modern civilization in SUVs and semi trucks racing down …