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Firms on Caribbean island chain own 23,000 UK properties - BBC News
A quarter of property in England and Wales owned by overseas firms is held by entities registered in the British Virgin Islands, BBC analysis has found.
UK  tax  evasion  avoidance  offshore  Kapital  neoliberal  neoliberalism  capitalism  globalisation  globalization  money  laundering  white-collar  crime 
5 days ago by asterisk2a
If we talk about hurting ‘our’ planet, who exactly is the ‘we’? | Aeon Essays
very year, human activity moves more sediment and rock than all natural processes combined, including erosion and rivers. This might not shock you. In fact, you’ve probably seen similar soundbites circulating online, signals of the sheer scale of how we’re terraforming the planet in the era of the Anthropocene. Natural and social scientists argue passionately about almost everything Anthropocenic, from the nuances of nomenclature to the start-date of the new geological epoch, but most agree on one thing: the Earth will outlive humanity. What’s in doubt is how long we will populate the planet, and under what conditions.

But who, exactly, are ‘we’?
anthropocene  globalization  africa  essay  colonialism  global_south 
11 days ago by pelttari
If we talk about hurting ‘our’ planet, who exactly is the ‘we’? | Aeon Essays
Confronting the Anthropocene, in Africa and elsewhere, requires fresh sources of imagination. And these sources must be found at the frontlines of planetary transformation – from the urban advocates for cleaner air and water, to intellectuals who challenge European and North American paradigms for studying the world. That’s why Africa plays a huge role not only in our planet’s present, but also in its future, as the Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe, the Senegalese economist Felwine Sarr and other African scholars have argued. Africa is the continent where population growth is projected to be the highest. It contains 60 per cent of the world’s uncultivated arable land. Some pockets of Africa lie at the forefront of decentralised energy systems (such as solar power) that promise to mitigate climate change. And that’s only for starters.

If the Anthropocene is to have real value as a category of thought and a call to action, it must federate people and places, not just disciplines. It requires thinking from, and with, Africa. ‘They’ are ‘us’, and there is no planetary ‘we’ without them.
anthropocene  planetary_urbanism  globalization 
12 days ago by shannon_mattern
Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton thinks we're asking all the wrong questions about inequality — Quartz
To Deaton, there are other economic and social processes that propagate inequality, and they’re unfair.

Healthcare financing. Each year, the US wastes a trillion dollars ($8,000 per family) more than other wealthy nations on healthcare costs, with worse outcomes. Healthcare jobs grew the second fastest in 2017, but wages were largely flat, leading hospital workers to unionize for higher pay. Healthcare financing cuts wages for the average American too—most employer-sponsored healthcare benefits are actually taken out workers’ paychecks (paywall), not a pure company perk.

Mergers. Many industries, like tech, media, and healthcare, are now run by a few, large companies. But mergers rarely boost the wages of workers. Because of hospital mergers, hospital prices have risen, while hospital wages have not (even during a decade-long shortage of nurses). Big companies have an easier time manipulating public policy to accrue profits, instead of making money through innovation and investment.

The sluggish federal minimum wage. The federal minimum wage, at $7.25 an hour, hasn’t budged since 2009. According to a 2017 YouGov Survey, 66% of US adults would like to see the minimum wage raised to $10.10. But the policy change usually faces resistance in Congress, where wealthy firms and donors exert disproportionate influence.

Diminishing worker power. Twenty percent of workers sign non-compete clauses, which prevent them from taking on side-hustles, reducing their incomes and bargaining power. What’s more, over half of non-union, privately employed Americans—some 60 million people—have signed mandatory arbitration agreements, which means they can never sue their employers.

The rise of temps. Companies are increasingly replacing full-time, salaried workers with contractors. Janitors, servers, and maintenance staff who once worked for wealthy companies now work for independent service corporations that compete aggressively against each other over pricing. Contractors often live paycheck to paycheck, without benefits, and with little opportunity for promotion.

The growth of the stock market. While the stock market rewards innovation, it also incentivizes companies to shuffle resources from labor to capital. As median wages have stagnated, corporate profits relative to GDP have grown 20% to 25%. That number would be even higher if executive pay was tracked as profits instead of salaries.

Corporate wins in politics. “We have entered a period of regulatory bonfires,” writes Deaton. Both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the 2010 Dodd-Frank legislation are under attack. Trump plans to gut 75% of regulations, and may roll back a rule that requires money managers to prioritize their clients’ interests. All the while, the US Supreme Court has ruled that corporations can act as political entities—spending unlimited amounts to support candidates and the lax legislation they will eventually push.

Deaton takes heart from these problems. They’re not a consequence of seemingly unstoppable forces like globalization and technology, but of a dysfunctional economy.

And with the right policies, they can be reversed.
economics  politics  inequality  policy  *****  interview  questions  globalization  corporation 
13 days ago by gpe

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