Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 12/15 - Fracking's Lure, Trap and Endless Damage, Exploring São Paulo’s Polluted Rivers

Saturday, December 15, 2012, 11:28 AM

Economy

170 legal victories empower First Nations in fight over resource development (westcoastjan)

They include scores of mining, forestry and pipeline projects such as the now-shelved Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline in the Northwest Territories. The Northern Gateway pipeline could be next unless accommodation is found with opposed First Nations in the B.C. interior and on the coast.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt Defends Tax Dodge: 'It's Called Capitalism' (westcoastjan)

Bloomberg reported on Monday that Google avoided paying $2 billion in global income taxes last year by housing profits in Bermuda, which has no corporate income tax. Google already had been paying a 2.4 percent overseas tax rate through tax avoidance strategies, according to a 2010 Bloomberg report. Its overall effective tax rate was 22.2 percent in 2009.

Google could not be reached for comment.

Meet Five CEOs Who Prove That Lower Corporate Taxes Don't Equal More Hiring (westcoastjan)

Luckily we have some interesting case studies. Several of the CEOs pushing this idea actually run companies that pay extremely low corporate tax rates, well below the statutory 35 percent rate—or pay none at all. So, via the invaluable Institute for Policy Studies, let’s see what kind of job creation these folks did while enjoying very low corporate tax rates:

Want To Stop The Fiscal Cliff From Advancing? Cut Welfare To Sports (westcoastjan)

During the recent presidential race, Mitt Romney was pilloried for his surreptitiously recorded remarks that “47 percent” of Americans are “dependent upon government,” believe that they are “entitled to … you name it” and will never be persuaded to “take personal responsibility and care for their own lives.” Romney was wrong about the 47 percent. (Disagree? Send your hate mail here before going Galt.) But he was right about the country hosting a system-gaming moocher class, an entitled, irresponsible, parasitic piglet subset, lazily suckling from the public teat, pulled up by shiny new bootstraps purchased with government giveaways, forever hiding in plain sight.

SEC Ruling: Active ETFs Now Allowed To Use Derivatives (adam)

The SEC stressed that it will continuously review this issue, but in regards to decisions concerning the use of derivatives by leveraged exchange-traded funds, they are still hesitant to grant permission. Champ expressed his concern over these powerful products, stating that “Because of concerns regarding leveraged ETFs, however, we continue not to support exemptive relief for such ETFs.”

Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke (Denny J.)

This bears repeating: in order to more efficiently move as much illegal money as possible into the "legitimate" banking institution HSBC, drug dealers specifically designed boxes to fit through the bank's teller windows. Tony Montana's henchmen marching dufflebags of cash into the fictional "American City Bank" in Miami was actually more subtle than what the cartels were doing when they washed their cash through one of Britain's most storied financial institutions.

Opposition to Labor Camps Widens in China (jdargis)

The calls for change go beyond longstanding advocates of political reform like Professor Hu. China’s national bar association is circulating an online petition that has been signed by thousands. Legal experts have convened seminars to denounce the system. And almost every day, it seems, the state-run news media, with the top leadership’s tacit support, report on hapless citizens ensnared by the arbitrary justice that the local police impose with the wave of a hand.

Fracking's Lure, Trap and Endless Damage (Michael W.)

The gas companies are putting heavy pressure on Gov. Cuomo to join Pennsylvania, which is already suffering the ravages of fracking. Landowners in Pennsylvania and in other permitted states now realize that their water was contaminated by chemicals used in the fracking process and leaked natural gas from fractured shale deposits.

A Willing Explorer of São Paulo’s Polluted Rivers (jdargis)

The rivers now persist in Brazil’s popular culture as dystopian objects of derision. Rock bands like Skank composed songs about the seemingly impossible dream of cleaning up the Tietê. Laerte Coutinho, a cartoonist, created an entire strip, “Pirates of the Tietê,” in which marauders set forth from the malodorous river on raiding expeditions across contemporary São Paulo.

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