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Panama Papers Prove America Has the Money to Transition to 100% Clean Energy


Panama Papers Prove America Has the Money to Transition to 100% Clean Energy

Vien Truong

Last week, the IRS asked anyone who might be exposed in the Panama Papers to come forward before they get caught. And for good reason—America is a hotbed of tax evasion.

There’s an old myth that we can’t have a comfortable lifestyle—cars, homes, creature comforts—without sacrificing clean water and clean air, because it requires lots of energy and we don’t have the money to transition to cleaner energy sources.


"You can’t say we don’t have the money."

Actually, I can.

If WE had the money, it could be used for all those necessary things.

As Piketty's careful study has shown, about 400 inordinately wealthy people HAVE the money.

If "WE" can get our hands on it, certainly that would make a difference.

Note, however, that when Bernie Sanders makes noise about a tiny tax on Wall Street Transactions he's demonized, kept off the airwaves, or spoken of as an impractical dreamer.

The will that might organize to shift the dynamics that ALLOW enormous wealth to solidify into relatively few hands, and then observe as that wealth finds lawyers who dream up schemes designed to protect that wealth from taxation (usually in off-shore tax havens) is not allowed to solidify into a force strong enough to change the calculus that has Big Money calling the shots, owning the politicians, courts, judges, media narratives, and academics/think tanks paid handsomely to promulgate them.

In short, if WE had the money, we'd make different policies and most of us would use the funds to better the lives of more persons.


"Not one has ever gotten rich without using goods and resources financed by everybody else—electricity, the internet, roads, air, water, land." That is one message that needs to be repeated over and over ad nauseam!


We don't have to go to the Panama Papers to prove that Yes, we have the money. It is just misappropriated. 60% plus of the budget thrown away on the MIC. We have the money - she got that right.


"Liberals argue a transition is possible, but we need bridge fuels or “All of the Above” to fund a slow transition."

No Ms Truong. Liberals do not argue that, NEO-LIberals do.


"Financed by everybody else"? Not sure about you but i paid about $10k in taxes last year, probably more than a lot of other tax payers but still a pittance (you can build about 35ft of two lane undivided road with that). I'm thinking of sending a thank you card to some "rich" guy for financing the roads i drive on, the internet infrastructure and everything else i get "free". 50% of us don't pay federal taxes. The top 20% of us pay 70% of the total fed taxes, The top 1% pay about 20%.

So yeah, every day i use a road or fly in an airplane or pay $35/mth for high speed internet there's someone else subsidizing that. Somehow i doubt it's any of us on this board.


In ancient Rome, when the government needed money and taxes were insufficient they would just kill their rich political enemies and seize their lands and wealth. We have allowed such vast sums of wealth and influence to build up that now the wealthy can hire private armies to keep them and their wealth safe.

Fair taxation and a generous inheritance tax is what is needed for an equitable society. We admire and encourage those who pursue wealth acquisition and value that pursuit above all else. In reality it is a sickness that could probably be treated. We may have to take away their goods simply for self-preservation. Then they can seek treatment.


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You are correct. But i guess nobody counts those taxes as they are equally paid by everyone (gallon of gas cost the same for everyone, so does a pack of cigs) , and, the rich probably consume much more so they probably pay more (dollar wise) than the poor. The only way consumption taxes fit the progressive agenda is if you look at them as a percent of total income, then, yes the poor pay more.


Not sure i understand how i earned something "on the backs of others". I got paid for services rendered just like the the "others".

Everyone has equal use of roads, infrastructure yet some get rich others do not. It's not like "rich" take anything that "the poor" don't have access to. The rich/poor thing lies more in the attitude of the individual. Some people like to improve themselves and do better, some just like to live mediocre life and be left alone.


Not really... But the employees do get paid and they can always negotiate their salary or find another employer if they are unsatisfied. I know i did. Several times.


Earning doesn't only mean you ride the back of a garbage truck in the morning or flip burgers, or take care of a patient. Some people, like you mentioned, purchase real estate and rent it out to others and make a living from that. They maintain that real estate and improve it. Others, like fund managers, invest other people's money (my 401k and your 401k) and they earn money that way. It's still earning... Are you good at investing and predicting market trends so you can get a positive return? I can't. I'm good at other stuff and that how I earn my income. would i like to be a fund manager and make millions, sure i would, but in the words of Austin Powers "It's just not in the stars, baby"


That would not be me but to keep it in context, i give those employees a possibility to apply their skills. Maybe one is a lathe operator or a millwright. He does know how to run a business or find customers for his products. He enjoys his work and he wants to build cool stuff on lathe. If i wasn't there to provide the late and a customer base for his work what's he gonna do?

This is the 21 century (even in the 20th is was so) stop thinking that work is only something that churns out some kind of gizmo.


Didn't mean to make it personal. It was just a rhetorical question. I love what i am doing, and look forward to going to work every day. Does the owner of the company i work for have a crapload of money? he does. But he also pays me for the work i do for him.


I'm gonna say it again
This is the 21 century (even in the 20th is was so) stop thinking that work is only something that churns out some kind of gizmo.

How do you measure a teacher's productivity? (you don't cuz the union doesn't want you to). How about a nurse? Or a tech support person?

Here's what's real: some people can do some "stuff" some people can do other kinds of "stuff". There's some "stuff" a lot of people can do hence there's plenty out there and they can't demand a lot of remuneration for the "stuff" they do. Some "stuff" can only be done by a limited number people, be it because of talent, education or whatever. This "stuff" brings more income.