“Pope Francis on Thursday urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, denouncing a “new colonialism” by agencies that impose austerity programs and calling for the poor to have the “sacred rights” of labor, lodging and land.”
“Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
– James Otis (1725-1783)
Looking to find out if a particular world politician or transnational corporation, a particular business tycoon or Hollywood icon, or your local drug smuggler is using a tax haven? Perhaps you just have a hunch about a person, or persons, or company – that they are probably using a secretive tax scheme to hide money from their government to avoid paying their share of taxes.
Now you have an internet website with a tax haven database to search/check for yourself.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (icij.org) has established a place for any man or woman in the world to go for information on tax havens, where users are able to search by nation, corporation, or individual. This is an historic accomplishment that holds out great promise for the people of the world. Why? Because, as ICIJ’s Gerald Rye points out in the…
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I was horrified when, through the “Citizens United” ruling, corporations were given the Supreme Court’s blessing to spend unlimited sums of money on the candidates of their choice. How, I wondered, can individuals like me have an equal say in elections? Can my vote still count?
Just a few nights ago, I got an email from an activist group I’m a member of called People For the American Way (PFAW). Now I have hope that, just maybe, important reforms can be made to America’s campaign finance laws. I always knew it was a long shot, so getting this email was a very pleasant and very encouraging surprise:
I’d like to share with you some wonderful progress being made by activists. Below is part of an email I received recently from SumOfUs.org, an organization that uses petitions to put pressure on governments and corporations to achieve reform, and which I support by passing on petitions I get from them:
“As Walmart associates, we have been standing up across the country for respect and fair wages and hours — and Walmart has tried to silence us along the way.
Walmart is among the most profitable companies in the U.S. and is owned by the Walton family, the richest family in America, yet many associates at Walmart must rely on food stamps and even go hungry because of low wages and a lack of full-time hours. So now some of us are speaking out and taking our message to Bentonville by going on strike, and standing up to Walmart’s retaliation against us when we speak out. “
To sign the petition, go to org.CREDOAction.com
Teens are actually getting fed up with Facebook, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. The study surveyed 802 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 last September about their Facebook use. An article was written about the report’s findings by the Huffington Post on May 21 of this year.
The report’s findings are no doubt troubling to Facebook, given that the teen demographic has long been crucial to its massive success. The root of the “problem” (which is most likely what Facebook’s investors are calling it) is spelled out thus in the report of the study:
“Facebook has become a ‘social burden‘ for teens. While Facebook is still deeply integrated in teens’ everyday lives, it is sometimes seen as a utility and an obligation rather than an exciting new platform that teens can claim as their own. Facebook, teens say, has been overrun by parents, fuels unnecessary social “drama” and gives a mouthpiece to annoying oversharers who drone on about inane events in their lives.”
The Huffington Post summed up another important part of the study:
“They’re deleting, lying and blocking- Some three-quarters of Facebook users have purged friends on Facebook, 58 percent have edited or deleted content they’ve shared and 26 percent have tried to protect their privacy by sharing false information. Among all teens online (not just Facebook users), 39 percent have lied about their age.”
Another interesting find of the Pew study is that the typical teen has approximately 300 Facebook “friends.” But exactly who are these friends? Well, seventy percent of teens are friends with their parents, 30 percent are friends with teachers or coaches, and 33 percent are friends with people they’ve never met in person.
In some ways, the results are surprising- most people, teens and adults alike, have Facebook pages. In fact, a majority of the teens in the study, including those that complained about the site, still maintain pages on it. Some said that they continue using the site because they want to stay up on the social scene. Yet, as the study clearly shows, a large portion of their Facebook social circles are not real-life friends. A second possible reason for continued use of the site, though not suggested in the report, could be peer-pressure. Teens are very sensitive to what their peers say and do, and feel that if they don’t follow the crowd, they will be socially penalized by way of bullying or simple exclusion from peer activities, such as parties and dating.
To adults who have either never used the site, have an account but use it rarely, or have had accounts and deleted them, the news comes as no surprise. These adults often give the same reasons as the teens in the study for their own lack of interest in Facebook. Which begs the question- is Facebook just a failed social experiment, or is it here to stay? It seems society (and the social media industry) has yet to fully understand the human mind enough to properly predict how it will respond to new technology. After all, we didn’t exactly evolve to meet and interact with each other using machines.
The B Corporation- (The B stands for “beneficial.”) To become a certified B Corporation, a company must consider the interests of employees, the community, and the environment instead of worrying solely about shareholders. Those amendments, according to B Lab, will let entrepreneurs like Hannigan take on outside investors without worrying that their values will be compromised. “For us, this is a huge step forward,” says Hannigan, whose company recently became one of about two dozen certified B Corporations.
For more, go to Inc.com, then come back and tell me what you think! Do you think this is just a temporary trend, or will it last? Will it catch on, or is American society too obsessed with profit to take it seriously?