Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cradles, Weddings and other Certainties of Life

America’s suicide epidemic is getting so bad there’s now a ‘suicide belt’ Foreign Policy

Cash Strapped Towns Are Unpaving Roads They Can’t Afford to Fix

The NSW corruption watchdog ICAC has swooped on the offices of an embattled western Sydney council, seizing computers and storage devices, the ABC understands.
The ABC has been told three Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) officers searched Liverpool Council Mayor Ned Mannoun's office yesterday morning, taking a laptop, computer, and several USB sticks Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun's office raided by ICAC

Liverpool Mayor Ned Mannoun’s home and office raided by ICAC

One encounters in any ordinary day far more real difficulty than one confronts in the most `intellectual' piece of work. Why is it believed that poetry, prose, painting, music should be less than we are?” "Weightless Magnificence Upholds the Past"

Like a Victorian wedding night, yes. Let’s take difficulty first. We are difficult. Human beings are difficult. We’re difficult to ourselves, we’re difficult to each other. And we are mysteries to ourselves, we are mysteries to each other.  Geoffrey Hill and the “unwitting travesty of the ‘authentic self'

The Media Against Jeremy Corbyn Jacobin

The unfinished business of multinational tax avoidance

Tax administrations share findings and develop actions on "Panama Papers"

The Wolves of Silicon Valley: how megalomaniacs in hoodies became tech’s answer to Wall Street Telegraph (rich). Cults are a very effective business model. Goldman and Bain are examples.

Exchanging brutalisms: Millennials are ripe for socialism: A generation is rising up against neoliberal oppression Salon 

The al-Qarawiyyin library, the oldest library in the world, has just reopened after years of renovations. Take a look inside. Andrew Pippos writes about private libraries and what they reveal about their readers ... 

Communist Youth League short propaganda video about China, Straussian

One dad’s story on confirmation and availability bias

Robert D. Flach ponders the TAX ASPECTS OF DIVORCE. They need to be considered before the settlement is signed

Research by Victoria University shows 10 times more welfare fraudsters were prosecuted than tax evaders even though tax evasion costs the economy 33 times more White v Blue Welfare Crime Tax Evasion

According to court documents, Obayedul Hoque owned and operated Skyhill Shell, a gas station in Alexandria, and multiple Subway restaurant franchises in Washington, D.C., and Arlington, and Alexandria. Hoque admitted that between 2008 and 2014, he and his co-conspirators, who were managers of some of the Subway franchises and the gas station, conspired to defraud the IRS, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Multimillion dollar tax fraud Alexandria gas station subway shop owner

The IRS likens the planned program to early warning radar that it says should allow for significant gains in detecting and preventing tax identity theft refund fraud. Even better, the IRS says the "nimble and agile" information sharing will provide law enforcement with better data with which it can investigate, catch and prosecute identity thieves IRS outlines new ways to fight tax fraud

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Stop Freaking Out About Porn. It’s Actually Good for Your Relationship and Sex Life

This bedspread, / Embroidered with the shapes of men / Who lived long ago, unveils the virtue of heroes / Through the miracle of art.
Catullus’ corpus of 116 poems teems with rage and obscenity. He was Rome’s most erotic poet, but we know almost nothing of him. Cue the dark arts of speculative historical reconstruction...Roman  imagination 

Interesting new books still to come in 2016, good offbeat but quality list.  And here is a more populist and more British Guardian summer reading symposium

Tax compliance depends on voice of taxpayers

Curbing tax avoidance – is Australia up to the challenge? Investment Magazine

Dealing with disputes about taxation in a ‘fair’ way
This article explores the use of ADR in disputes relating to taxation and involves a consideration of effectiveness, procedural justice indicators and potential issues with the use of ADR in these disputes. In particular, perceptions of fairness and outcome are contrasted as well as indicia relating to participatory features. The article is based on a study that involved a selected sample of 118 Australian tax disputes that progressed to conciliation, mediation and evaluation over a 12 month period in 2013 and 2014. 

For each network, a country’s degree of connectivity for incoming and outgoing flows was quantified using the Jaccard coefficient and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.
Although the highest Jaccard overlap was between the postal and trade networks, the rest of the networks did not strongly overlap in terms of edges.  Conversely, the Spearman rank correlation revealed that the volume of goods, people, and information flows are correlated, with the exception of the digital communications network, which was entirely uncorrelated with any other network…”

Understanding the effects of coercive and persuasive tax compliance tools on large corporate taxpayers

Kay Bell, 4 tax-smart ways to give back on your wedding day. “Here are four relatively easy ways to take charitable tax advantage of this special event.”

Big Brother is listening as well as watching Christian Science Monitor

Via the Greenlining Institute: “Despite a congressional mandate to pay more attention to diversity within federal financial regulatory agencies, Greenlining found that these agencies generally lack diversity at executive and upper management levels and often lack the systems needed to track progress. Greenlining examined 2014 data from eight agencies that oversee banking and financial businesses 

The magical thinking of pro-Brexit conservatives.  And put the referendum aside, constituency-by-constituency, most of the support is for Leave.  Sobering.  And here is an excellent John Kay piece: “As one student of Scottish politics, explaining the UK Independence party’s lack of traction north of the border, put it to me two years ago: “People in Scotland who are disgruntled and suspicious of foreigners [the English] already have a party they can vote for.”” 

It’s not rocket science.  Why Everyone Needs a Tax Cut: Scientists Like Living in Countries That Don’t Plunder Their Paychecks (Wall Street Journal, via the TaxProf):

Two 2015 papers from the National Bureau of Economic Research looked at the impact of top marginal tax rates on the mobility of superstar scientists—the people critical to U.S. success in a high-tech global economy.
One study, by Ufuk Akcigit, Salomé Baslandze and Stefanie Stantcheva, looked at the international migration patterns of highly successful inventors since 1977. The authors found that “top 1% inventors”—those with the most valuable patents—“are significantly affected by top tax rates when choosing where to locate.” Specifically, countries enjoy a “26% increase in foreign superstar top 1% inventors” with each “10 percentage points decrease in top tax rates.

Eliminate and reduce waste. Adopt zealously and positively Jeff Bezos’ mantra, “There are 2 kinds of companies. Those that want to charge more. Those that work to charge less. We will be the second kind.” We all should be. CEO Focus on 2017

Obayedul Hoque owned and operated Skyhill Shell, a gas station in Alexandria, and multiple Subway restaurant franchises in Washington, D.C 

(2016) 31 Australian Tax Forum. The current study is the first to empirically examine the tax literacy of Australians and whether there are any correlations with certain demographical factors.

Following up on my previous posts (links below) about taxes and tithing:  Christianity Today, When Tithing Comes With a Money-Back Guarantee:
This month, hundreds of Christians at a South Carolina megachurch can request a refund on all the money they’ve given since March.
NewSpring Church, led by pastor Perry Noble, is one of hundreds of congregations across the country that have offered 90-day tithing challenges

U.S. spending on prisons grew at three times rate of school spending: report Reuters

How real is the Martha Stewart-type character in the new season of "Orange is the New Black"? If you don't mind ruining the fantasy with the facts, read this