Category Archives: Obtaining income through the government – rent seeking – corruption

Various terms have been used to describe obtaining income through the government that does not provide a good or service.  One of them is corruption.  This typically refers to acts that people consider corrupt, such as government officials taking government money that is not theirs.  People or firms not in the government can also obtain favorable treatment from the government.  Taxes can be avoided, for example.  This is sometimes called corruption and sometimes not.  Rent-seeking is a more neutral term used by standard economics.

Oppression and Exploitation News September 10 – 16

Tax Havens 2020

Fincen Files: Thousands of secret suspicious activity reports offer a never-before-seen picture of corruption and complicity—and how the government lets it flourish Jason Leopold, Anthony Cormier, Jeremy Singer-Vine, Scott Pham, Richard Holmes, Azeen Ghorayshi, Michael Sallah, Tanya Kozyreva, and Emma Loop Buzzfeed News September 20, 2020
A huge trove of secret government documents reveals for the first time how the giants of Western banking move trillions of dollars in suspicious transactions, enriching themselves and their shareholders while facilitating the work of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins. And the US government, despite its vast powers, fails to stop it.

Report documents criminality and corruption at heart of global banking system Barry Grey World Socialist Website September 22, 2020

Harm through the market 2020

This deal helped turn Google into an ad powerhouse. Is that a problem? Steve Lohr New York Times September 21, 2020

Oppression and Exploitation News September 10 – September 16

Conflict 2020

At least 37 million people have been displaced by America’s War on Terror John Ismay New York Times September 8, 2020
A new report calculates the number of people who fled because of wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. See the full report below.

Creating refugees: Displacement caused by the United States’ post-9/11 wars
David Vine, Cala Coffman, Katalina Khoury, Madison Lovasz, Helen Bush, Rachel Leduc,and Jennifer Walkup Costs of War Project, Brown University September 8, 2020 (30 page PDF file.)

Harm through the government 2020

How a massive bomb came together in Beirut’s port Ben Hubbard, Maria Abi-Habib, Mona El-Naggar, Allison McCann, Anjali Singhvi, James Glanz and Jeremy White New York Times September 9, 2020
Fifteen tons of fireworks. Jugs of kerosene and acid. Thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate. A system of corruption and bribes let the perfect bomb sit for years.

Justice Dept. intervenes on behalf of Trump in defamation case brought by woman who accused him of rape Matt Zapotosky Washington Post September 8, 2020

Control of land and natural resources 2020

In the Amazon, the coronavirus fuels an illegal gold rush — and an environmental crisis Terrence McCoy and Heloísa Traiano Washington Post September 4, 2020

Oppression and Exploitation News August 20 – 26

Harming people – Keeping people oppressed 2020

Aleksei Navalny hospitalized in Russia in suspected poisoning Andrew Higgins New York Times August 20, 2020
The prominent opposition leader was reported to be in serious but stable condition in intensive care in Siberia after his flight to Moscow was forced to make an emergency landing.

Obtaining income through the government 2020

Steve Bannon is charged with fraud in We Build the Wall campaign Alan Feuer, William K. Rashbaum and Maggie Haberman New York Times August 20, 2020
Mr. Bannon and three others are accused in a scheme to use funds raised for construction to pay for personal expenses.

Juan Carlos, Spain’s former king, quits country amid multiple investigations Raphael Minder New York Times August 3, 2020
The former king’s departure, which comes as he faces financial inquiries, may fuel Spain’s political and social debate over the future of the monarchy.

Struggle for control – staying in power 2020

G.O.P.-led Senate panel details ties between 2016 Trump campaign and Russia Mark Mazetti New York Times August 18, 2020
A nearly 1,000-page report confirmed the special counsel’s findings at a moment when President Trump’s allies have sought to undermine that inquiry.

Trump’s flagrant assault on the First Amendment is disguised as a defense of it Editorial Board Washington Post August 5, 2020

Oppression and Exploitation News August 13 -19

Critiques of orthodox economics 2020

Economics for Black lives Darrick Hamilton and Jesse A. Myerson Dissent June 29, 2020.
Discussion of the pandemic, the uprisings, and the future through the lens of stratification economics.

Struggle for control – staying in power 2020

Protests take on Thai monarchy, despite laws banning such criticism Hannah Beech New York Times August 13, 2020
The rare questioning of Thailand’s royal family comes as student-led demonstrations have gained momentum, testing the government and the boundaries of strict lèse-majesté laws.

Trump makes clear his opposition to more money to support mail voting Emily Cochrane and Hailey Fuchs New York Times August 13, 2020
The president’s remarks fueled alarm among Democrats that he is seeking to undercut the election and sow confusion about the outcome.

What’s happening in Belarus? Daniel Victor New York Times August 13, 2020
A guide to the protests, the police response and the crisis in government sparked by a disputed election.

Voter ID law handed Wisconsin to Trump in 2016. It could happen again in 2020. Greg Palast Truthout July 31, 2020

Harm through the government 2020

Trump promises permanent cut to payroll tax funding Social Security and Medicare if he’s reelected Tony Romm Washington Post August 8, 2020
The president made the pledge after signing a directive postponing payroll tax payments into next year.

The corrupt political class that broke Lebanon Mohamad Bazzi Foreign Affairs August 14, 2020
A decaying sectarian system kindled Beirut’s port blast.

Luxury homes tie Chinese Communist elite to Hong Kong’s fate Alexandra Stevenson and Michael Forsythe New York Times August 12, 2020
Three top leaders of China’s Communist Party have relatives who own assets in Hong Kong, including more than $51 million in luxury real estate, a New York Times investigation shows.

Inside the Iraqi kleptocracy Robert F. Worth New York Times July 29, 2020

Harming people – Keeping people oppressed 2020

‘We will persevere’: A newspaper faces the weight of Hong Kong’s crackdown Tiffany May and Austin Ramzy New York Times August 12, 2020
Apple Daily, a pro-democracy paper known for celebrity gossip and hard-hitting investigations, has become a target in Beijing’s new national security law in Hong Kong.

Former Saudi official accuses the Crown Prince of trying to kill him Ben Hubbard and Mark Mazzetti New York Times August 6, 2020
Saad Aljabri, a former top intelligence official, filed suit in Washington alleging that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a team of agents to Canada to kill him.

Discrimination 2020

Louisiana Supreme Court won’t review life sentence for man who stole hedge clippers Laurel Wamsley NPR August 5, 2020

I hope this is not another lie about the Republican Party Stuart Stevens New York Times July 29, 2020 (Opinion)
I chose to believe what I wanted to believe: The party wasn’t just a white grievance party…. We were wrong…the Republican Party actively embraced, supported, defended and now enthusiastically identifies with a man who eagerly exploits the nation’s racial tensions.