Thursday, August 23, 2012

Echoes of the Ancients

From Al's Emporium at the Wall Street Journal, CEOs Tax the People:

All the major corporations cited in the report paid more to their CEOs than they did in federal income taxes...

Actually, the world's wealthiest people have now stashed $21 trillion to $32 trillion in offshore tax havens, according to a recent estimate by the London-based Tax Justice Network in a report written by a former chief economist for McKinsey & Co.

The middle of that range is more than the annual gross domestic product of the U.S., China and Japan combined.

More than the GDP of the US, China and Japan, combined.

From Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England by Michael Wood:

Archaeology has shown that in the third and fourth centuries
villas were built in great numbers in southern Britain....

Built by wealthy Romans, escaping a decadent and declining Rome.

The long-term effect of Roman government, then, may well have
been to concentrate land in the hands of the governing aristocracy at
the expense of the mass of the population at large.

Concrete evidence survives which gives a clear picture of this
accretion of power and land by a British landowner at this very time.
It consists of a Latin life of a Roman lady from the great family of
the Valerii; she became a Christian, and the Church recorded her
disposal of many estates to charity. In AD 404 Melania freed 8000
slaves out of a total of 24,000 on sixty farms, villas or hamlets
which she owned in the vicinity of Rome. Her other landholdings
included estates elsewhere in Italy and Sicily, Africa, Spain and
Britain.... her rentals show her income to have been on a scale
comparable to the imperial revenues.

Income comparable to the imperial revenues of Rome.

Corporations paid their CEOs more than they paid in taxes. And the tax-haven stash exceeds the GDP of the US, China and Japan combined.

The post at Al's Emporium: CEO = Cash Eating Organism
Al links to this report: Executive Excess 2012 (PDF)

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