Archive | Corporate Skeptics

Ireland to close corporate tax loophole used by Google and others

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Well now isn’t that special.

Via the LA Times:

Bowing to pressure from U.S. and European officials, Ireland will phase out a notorious loophole that helps multinational corporations legally dodge billions of dollars in taxes in their homelands.

A tax maneuver known as the Double Irish has allowed major U.S. technology companies such as Google Inc. to funnel income through subsidiaries in Ireland to slash their tax bills at home.

The decision to close that loophole won’t affect Ireland’s low corporate tax rate or other special tax breaks that have lured the likes of tech giants Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Oracle, all of which have set up Irish subsidiaries to help them shelter foreign profits from U.S. taxes.

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This should be interesting…

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The City Council of Worcester, MA Says Comcast is Not Welcome

temp_comcast

via Ars Technica:

The City Council in Worcester, MA does not want Comcast coming anywhere near its residents. The cable company is seeking a license transfer from Charter as part of a customer swap that’s tied to its purchase of Time Warner Cable, but the council is trying to block it.

“It’s a terrible company,” City Councilor Gary Rosen said after a vote last night, pointing to Comcast’s “deplorable and substandard” customer service in other municipalities. “In my opinion, they should not be welcome in this city. Comcast is a wolf in wolf’s clothing; it’s that bad. They are awful, no doubt about it. Maybe we can’t stop it, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak out.”

The vote is advisory only, the paper wrote. If Augustus takes no action today, the transfer will automatically be approved. If he rejects the transfer, Comcast is expected to appeal the decision to the state cable commission.

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Chris Hedges on Willful Blindness, Climate Corporatism & the Underground Revolt

Abby Martin speaks with journalist and author, Chris Hedges, going over where the recent mass climate change demonstrations in New York fall short, as well as why he believes revolt is the only solution to restoring a functioning American democracy.

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ELLO: Could This Be The End of Facebook?

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 9.56.39 PMMany moons ago, I discovered a wonderful social network known as myspace.com. It was an exciting way to meet new people and find those who had likeminded interests. It was also a great way to cruise for members of the opposite sex and flirt. As time progressed, people seemed to become annoyed with the juvenile aspects of Myspace culture and the pervasive tendency to blast through and ‘friend collect’, while worshipping internet celebs like ‘Forbidden’ and ‘Tila Tequila’. When Facebook launched, it was an exclusive network for college students. But soon it became the unstoppable juggernaut that we know today. What seemed to be the nail in Myspace’s coffin was the involvement of big corporate interest which essentially stripped Myspace of all its coolness. Forbidden and Tila became old news and we breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Now Facebook has become a bit like Myspace. It is riddled with corporate grossness and metrics that monitor and track us NSA style.… Read the rest

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Koch Industries Launches New PR Video: It’s About As Horrible As You’d Expect

Oh, the pandering makes me sick.

via The Daily Kos:

The Kochs are apparently feeling the blowback from their efforts to buy a Congress that will do their bidding, and are launching a new public relations effort with two aims: making them appear as warm and fuzzy patriotic job creators and attacking liberal groups. The Washington Post reports:

In coming weeks, Koch Industries plans a fresh round of television ads casting itself as an all-American company with a diverse workforce—part of the first nationwide marketing campaign it has ever undertaken. The corporation is considering spots similar in concept to a Web video currently on its YouTube page in which military veterans who work at Koch Industries compare the values of the armed forces to those of the company. […]At the same time, the company is adopting a more confrontational approach in the political arena, seeking to undermine its antagonists on the left.

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Six Ads That Went Viral Because They Preyed on our Emotions

Advertisers have figured out how to use social media to their advantage: create a video that will go viral. How to do this? Mask the advertisement behind sentimentalities, belief systems, and emotions. Focus the ad on a relevant issue that amps people up.

Advertisers are smart. They’ve undoubtedly tapped into our social media psyches. They reap the benefits of Western society’s insatiable need to share every thing on every social media outlet.

I’ve compiled a short list of some of the more famous viral ads:

6. Real Beauty Sketches – Dove


This one has been out for awhile, but it continues to pop up on my Facebook feed. The ad plays into society’s obsession with appearance, especially for females. However the video is quick to assuage any fears by “proving” that how we see ourselves is not how others see us.

5. Almost Identical – Beldent (Trident’s European counterpart)


The “debunking” that went on in this ad is no more than a mere gimmick.… Read the rest

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More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’

"end wage theft" by torbakhopper via Flickr.

“end wage theft” by torbakhopper via Flickr.

If you haven’t caught on by now, the need for livable wages is something that I strongly advocate for.

via The New York Times:

MIRA LOMA, Calif. — Week after week, Guadalupe Rangel worked seven days straight, sometimes 11 hours a day, unloading dining room sets, trampolines, television stands and other imports from Asia that would soon be shipped to Walmart stores.

Even though he often clocked 70 hours a week at the Schneider warehouse here, he was never paid time-and-a-half overtime, he said. And now, having joined a lawsuit involving hundreds of warehouse workers, Mr. Rangel stands to receive more than $20,000 in back pay as part of a recent $21 million legal settlement with Schneider, a national trucking company.

“Sometimes I’d work 60, even 90 days in a row,” said Mr. Rangel, a soft-spoken immigrant from Mexico. “They never paid overtime.”

The lawsuit is part of a flood of recent cases — brought in California and across the nation — that accuse employers of violating minimum wage and overtime laws, erasing work hours and wrongfully taking employees’ tips.

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LISTEN: Leaked Audio Reveals Republican Candidates Cozying Up to the Kochs

Again, I can feel your surprise.

via Policy.Mic:

While Republican candidates have benefitted greatly from the financial assistance of the Koch brothers and their network of mega-donors, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see them owning up to that on the campaign trail.

Behind closed doors, though, is another story. That’s why we get regular leaks from Koch conferences and meetings featuring conservative candidates seemingly kowtowing to a room full of billionaires. It’s what makes the Koch empire the Left’s biggest boogeyman.

But while these leaks make for good campaign soundbites, the real problem isn’t politicians heading to these conferences and retreats. It’s the lax campaign finance rules that make buddying up to donors so damn profitable.

Meanwhile, the Nation got a clip of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaking frankly at a secret Koch-organized meeting. “I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called placing riders in the bill,” he told those in attendance.

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Sick of this market-driven world? You should be

Taken by Shmuel Spiegelman using a Canon 10D. Via Wikimedia Commons

Taken by Shmuel Spiegelman using a Canon 10D. Via Wikimedia Commons

An interesting read from The Guardian about neoliberalism and its erosion of human values within the market.

via The Guardian:

The self-serving con of neoliberalism is that it has eroded the human values the market was supposed to emancipate

To be at peace with a troubled world: this is not a reasonable aim. It can be achieved only through a disavowal of what surrounds you. To be at peace with yourself within a troubled world: that, by contrast, is an honourable aspiration. This column is for those who feel at odds with life. It calls on you not to be ashamed.

I was prompted to write it by a remarkable book, just published in English, by a Belgian professor of psychoanalysis, Paul Verhaeghe. What About Me? The Struggle for Identity in a Market-Based Society is one of those books that, by making connections between apparently distinct phenomena, permits sudden new insights into what is happening to us and why.

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The Star Chamber: Episode 2: The Great Immigration Debate.

Intriguing Chat Show from DownUnder. The pace is languid, but the discussion is fascinating and relevant.

And the house-band are kind of weird (in a good way).

Hosts Richard Wolstencroft and David Thrussell
With Guests Richard Lowenstein and Mandy Kane

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