29 March 2018

Facebook 'curbing' information it shares?

Not good enough! Any sharing is dubious. And making your agreement a condition of being allowed to use the service can easily be gamed by Facebook & Co. See what happened to the requirement that you have to give internet sites permission to plant cookies on your computer when you access a site. It has become a pointless box-ticking exercise. Shame on regulators and their politician backers!
Facebook to curb information sharing

Online Voting and Blockchain

Tracking your vote like an Amazon parcel? Does not sound so good to me.
Blockchain-based voting is like tracking your Amazon package

29 November 2017

Take spending power away from Politicians

"It's becoming more and more clear to that disapproving public that members of Congress from both parties see holding office as a means to control the power of the purse to reward friends and attack enemies. Cutting spending means cutting what they see as their rightful power. So they'll never really do it. Our money and wealth is theirs to use as they please, even against us. This is one very ugly definition of tyranny"

Only a hefty dose of Direct Democracy can insure that taxpayers are not fleeced!

On tax reform, Democrats have already won the battle—Commentary

16 November 2017

$450 Mio Leonardo Painting - who pays any tax?

Let people believe what they want, I would always be very suspicious of paintings that do not have an iron-clad 'provenence'. But given the (rising) outrage over inequality one wonders what the tax implications of such a wondrous rise in value are. Surely the painting has been 'domiciled' in some tax haven, but in a better regulated world the seller would be charged capital gains tax. So why are our (idiot) politicians not able to close the loopholes and allow the footloose rich to run rings around our tax laws?

2 November 2017

Witch Hunts fashionable again

On a day when Facebook celebrates another bumper profit and Twitter is still on the rampage one has to ask why the modern form of witch hunt can gather more and more support, aided by a gullible media desperate for headlines.
Unsubstantiated accusations - and to top it off based on trivial incidents that would not raise an eyebrow from any sane person - get accepted at facevalue. Accused are denied any legal recourse or protection by the (fake) privacy laws that are disregarded when it suits the Political Establishment.

Fascism alive in Spain, EU

Blatant disregard of democratic decision has form in the EU. Catalonia, Brexit demonstrate how 'Elites' in Nation States try to cling on to their powerbase.

1 November 2017

Facebook to double (Political?) 'Safety and Security Staff'

And there are already 10,000 staff toiling in this department - fine line divides it from (private) censorship. The future does look Orwellian! And who controls Facebook? It is an oligopoly! Who controls what you are 'fed' (yes, we are basically like animals for the 'Masters of the Universe' controlling the Web).

22 October 2017

Tax Havens: Drain the Swamp!

Given that politicians try to suck the last bit of blood out of taxpayer's working income it is repellent that the rich who can afford to relocate to tax havens get treated so leniently. It is high time that all payments to tax havens are charged a substantial (30%?) withholding tax that these tax tourists can then apply against any tax charge in their domicile.
Sunday Times (Paywall)

21 October 2017

Private Schools: When to take Charity Status away

A few days ago a headmaster at a leading UK Private School said that he could fill all places with overseas students if he would wish to do so.
That he is not doing it may seem to be altruistic, but I guess the public backlash would be just to violent to contemplate.
But it is still remarkable how large the foreign contingent has become during the recent few years. Maybe this is due to excessive greed shown by headmasters and their 'trustees' (usually harmless bigwigs that eat from the headmasters's hand).
Is this not pure commercialism and would it not be appropriate to treat these 'Private' Schools as businesses for tax purposes?
The fees that are being charged are being pushed to astronomical levels due to the demand pressure from foreign student applications. How can one justify 15 or 20000 pounds per annum for non-boarders? Assuming class sizes of 20 and one teacher per class (pro rata), add minimal admin staff (no headmasters sitting idly in the office, pontificating, not doing any teaching at all), some costs for property (who needs five-star luxury, labs where students play around without learning a craft in the end) and one arrives at 100-120000 pounds per class, that results in about 5-6000 pounds per place.
Question: where do the remaining 10000+ pounds go to? Excessive teacher salaries? Unnecessary facilities, dubious purchasing policies?
No one knows, or has any ordinary parent ever had access to full and audited accounts of a Private School?
Evening Standard