Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard memberfinnegan
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    27 May '17 20:40
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/05/africa-poor-stealing-wealth-170524063731884.html

    sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world to the tune of more than $41bn. Sure, there's money going in: around $161bn a year in the form of loans, remittances (those working outside Africa and sending money back home), and aid.

    But there's also $203bn leaving the continent. Some of this is direct, such as $68bn in mainly dodged taxes. Essentially multinational corporations "steal" much of this - legally - by pretending they are really generating their wealth in tax havens. These so-called "illicit financial flows" amount to around 6.1 per cent of the continent's entire gross domestic product (GDP) - or three times what Africa receives in aid.

    Then there's the $30bn that these corporations "repatriate" - profits they make in Africa but send back to their home country, or elsewhere, to enjoy their wealth. The City of London is awash with profits extracted from the land and labour of Africa.

    There are also more indirect means by which we pull wealth out of Africa. Today's report estimates that $29bn a year is being stolen from Africa in illegal logging, fishing and trade in wildlife. $36bn is owed to Africa as a result of the damage that climate change will cause to their societies and economies as they are unable to use fossil fuels to develop in the way that Europe did. Our climate crisis was not caused by Africa, but Africans will feel the effect more than most others. Needless to say, the funds are not currently forthcoming.
  2. Standard memberapathist
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    28 May '17 00:38
    aljazeeraf? Find a better source.

    I'm sure africa is richer than antartica.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_continents_by_GDP_(nominal)
  3. Cape Town
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    28 May '17 07:502 edits
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Essentially multinational corporations "steal" much of this - legally - by pretending they are really generating their wealth in tax havens.
    I object to the word 'legally' in this context. It is quite often is not legal - at least not in the African country being cheated.

    YouTube
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  4. Cape Town
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    28 May '17 07:53
    And don't forget farm subsidies.
  5. Standard memberfinnegan
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    28 May '17 08:35
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I object to the word 'legally' in this context. It is quite often is not legal - at least not in the African country being cheated.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNYemuiAOfU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uamzirLswjk
    The word "legally" is qualified with the term "much of this". A huge propoertion of international trade takes place within the supply chains of multinationals, and not in competitive markets, contrary to the illusions of those supporting free trade and globalisation. Frequently, a local branch of a multinational fails to make profits for the simple reason that the multinational offers unrealistically low prices for its output or imposes excessive and wildly unrealistic overheads to impose costs that are fictional, while creating revenues that are equally fictional at other points in the supply chain. .

    The accounting devices by which multinationals simply transfer costs and revenues around the globe, evading national taxation and accumulating cash in tax havens, distorts the world economy in ways that ought to be intolerable, not only because of its social injustice but also because it makes nationally based business incapable of competing with the global companies - one effect is the wrecking of competitive markets. In other worlds, even capitalism cannot function properly under these conditions - unless you want to advocate as desirable anti competitive global monopolies with more power than nation states.
  6. Cape Town
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    28 May '17 15:05
    Originally posted by finnegan
    The word "legally" is qualified with the term "much of this". A huge propoertion of international trade takes place within the supply chains of multinationals, and not in competitive markets, contrary to the illusions of those supporting free trade and globalisation. Frequently, a local branch of a multinational fails to make profits for the simple reaso ...[text shortened]... ctional, while creating revenues that are equally fictional at other points in the supply chain.
    And it is my belief that although multinationals get away with such creative accounting they are doing so illegally ie in violation of the local laws where they are operating. But because they wield so much power, they get away with it. And of course the first world countries benefiting from the theft, are all too ready to overlook or actively encourage it.
  7. Standard memberfinnegan
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    28 May '17 15:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And it is my belief that although multinationals get away with such creative accounting they are doing so illegally ie in violation of the local laws where they are operating. But because they wield so much power, they get away with it. And of course the first world countries benefiting from the theft, are all too ready to overlook or actively encourage it.
    I am not sure that first world countries benefit as much as implied by the sums. They are just unwilling to discomfort their corporate interests. However the resulting casino capitalism is not beneficial at all.
  8. Cape Town
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    28 May '17 15:46
    Originally posted by finnegan
    I am not sure that first world countries benefit as much as implied by the sums.
    Well I am sure that first world countries benefit enormously from such behaviour and have done so since colonial days (although one could claim that such theft was legal at the time).
  9. Cape Town
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    28 May '17 15:48
    Originally posted by finnegan
    However the resulting casino capitalism is not beneficial at all.
    Not beneficial to whom? I am sure it is beneficial to the casinos.
    Your implication that capitalism has a 'pure' form that is beneficial is questionable at best.
  10. Standard memberfinnegan
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    28 May '17 18:38
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Not beneficial to whom? I am sure it is beneficial to the casinos.
    Your implication that capitalism has a 'pure' form that is beneficial is questionable at best.
    Okay.
  11. Joined
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    29 May '17 04:00
    Originally posted by finnegan
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/05/africa-poor-stealing-wealth-170524063731884.html

    sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world to the tune of more than $41bn. Sure, there's money going in: around $161bn a year in the form of loans, remittances (those working outside Africa and sending money back home), and aid.

    But the ...[text shortened]... feel the effect more than most others. Needless to say, the funds are not currently forthcoming.
    So what's new? Read Confessions of an economic hitman. John perkins
  12. Standard membersh76
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    29 May '17 13:48
    http://www.theonion.com/multiblogpost/nigeria-may-be-a-developing-nation-but-it-is-rich--11539
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    29 May '17 20:56
    Africa may not be poor, but evidently Africans are poor, especially those who are not white.
  14. Standard memberfinnegan
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    29 May '17 22:03
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Africa may not be poor, but evidently Africans are poor, especially those who are not white.
    Quite so and what you are invited to grasp is the way this outcome is achieved through imperialism. It is not a lack of resources, nor a failure to work, nor a lack of ingenuity, but the ongoing theft of all the benefits of those assets to enrich others.

    It has been happening globally of course. An interesting statistic I encountered today - that when the British arrived in India, the Indian economy accounted for an estimated 27% of world trade. When they left in 1947, this share had fallen to under 3%. A huge and prosperous textiles industry was forcibly destroyed, and replaced with imported British cotton products of inferior quality, free of the tariffs imposed on non British rivals and residual indian manufactures. India had a successful shipbuilding tradition, and because they used superior wood to the Europeans, made ships capable of lasting far longer in service (15 years compared to maybe 4 years for a European wooden ship). So in the 19th century, as shipping companies preferred Indian built ships, British shipbuilders objected and the industry was destroyed. India had a superior steel making tradition - British soldiers were keen to recover weapons from their Indian opponents in battle, as these were far better than anything made in Britain. Again - the British destroyed this industry and imposed British imports instead. At the end of the 19th / early 20th Century, Tata Steel was founded against severe obstacles imposed by the British, and recently enjoyed the ironic victory of buying out Britain's last steel making capacity. This and more in "Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India" by Shashi Tharoor.

    As Britain stupidly stumbles towards the Brexit black hole, it was laughable to see Treeza Mayhem visit India and talk of the historical ties and the opportunities for trade, while offering India less than nothing of any value to trade with, and introducing racist barriers to make it harder for Indians to study at British universities and impossible for them to gain post graduate work experience in Britain.

    Western Imperialism has not brought development and opportunity in its wake - but exploitation and murder. As Africa, Latin America, India, China, Central Eur-Asia slowly emerge from the burden of imperialism, we are beginning to see development turn things around, but not without ongoing interference and exploitation by western corporations and their thieving governments.

    Your frank racism is breathtaking you know. I am continually depressed that you feel so free to express it here.
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    29 May '17 22:43
    So you blame capitalism, but I ask you what communist natiin is doing well?

    China?

    Russia?

    Cuba?

    What is the median income in those countries?
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