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TJN-Africa Director: Yes, Taxation Can Be a Good Thing for Developing Countries
February 26th, 2013
Alvin Mosiama, director of Tax Justice Network Africa, and a Task Force regional representative, has as much experience as anyone in campaigning on taxes and transparency for developing countries. In a great op-ed for Devex that everyone should read, he outlines how corporations aren't just shifting profits to tax havens, but simultaneously shifting the burden of funding the government to those that can least afford it.
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My 2012 Financial Transparency Person of the Year Picks
November 28th, 2012
This week TIME Magazine opened polling to their readers to weigh in on their nominations for Person of the Year. Generally, I think their picks are pretty good, although sometimes their nominations are a little off the mark (Roger Goodell, really?). Anyway, the nominations got me to thinking what a Transparency Person of the Year would look like. Keeping with TIME’s definition, this would be someone who influenced the news, for better or worse, on issues related to financial transparency. Here are my picks. CARL LEVIN. I’m going to go with the most obvious one first. If I did this...
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Fuzzy Math and Magic Math on Taxes at the Presidential Debate
October 4th, 2012
We heard a lot about taxes in the first presidential debate last night. In fact, it largely dominated the first forty-five minutes in what amounted to a ridiculously-long-back-and-forth-that-silent-Jim-Lehrer-couldn’t-seem-to-interrupt. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s an important issue. It’s a defining issue. And it’s one that says a lot about the candidates, their values...and their grip on reality. Before we talk about the debate, though, let's start with some politics and some economics. Last week, when former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger went on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart pointed out that his state is an interesting example of the effect...
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Redistribution Is a 14-Letter Word, But It Shouldn't Be
September 26th, 2012
Redistribution is a dirty word. It’s become something of a catch phrase for the Tea Party and Libertarians. In 2008 the McCain campaign sought to unfavorably label Obama a “redistributor” in speeches and attack ads. But perhaps this is not a recent development. Libertarians point out that many of our early presidents were also suspicious of redistributionist policies. President Grover Cleveland, for example, vetoed a bill in 1887 that would have given $10,000 in aid to Texas farmers struggling with a drought. He rationalized that he did not believe it is the duty of the government to relieve “individual...
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