“European leaders and the West in general are criticising Greece for their failure to collect taxes. One of the points of our commission [Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation] is that the West has created a framework for global tax avoidance, but the US is opposing the creation of a UN framework and [even] discussions among all the countries to do something about it. Here you have advanced countries trying to undermine a global effort to stop tax avoidance. Can you have a better image of hypocrisy?”
“Worse still is the fact that no one is really speaking up for those who are left behind. Conventional parties of the so-called left are barely audible in France, Britain and the U.S. Leaders like Obama are too afraid to “challenge elite priorities, in particular the obsession with budget deficits, for fear of being considered irresponsible,” Krugman writes. “And that leaves the field open for unconventional leaders — some of them seriously scary — who are willing to address the anger and despair of ordinary citizens.”
Of course. To talk about social issues and poverty, to acknowledge that these are serious issues and to define them as a political priority is considered to be populism. In many countries. But then we are wondering about the rising popularity of UKIP in England and similar movements elsewhere. However, the more conventional politicians will get obsessed with the rat-race and ambitious growth projects and the more they will treat corporations not the citizens as their main electorate, the more these conventional politicians will have to fear the up and coming extremism in various forms.
“Water available as a commons shared freely and protected by all provides for all. However, it does not create growth. But when Coca-Cola sets up a plant, mines the water and fills plastic bottles with it, the economy grows. But this growth is based on creating poverty – both for nature and local communities. […] Healthy societies and communities do not contribute to growth, but disease creates growth through, for example, the sale of patented medicine.”
Vandana Shiva, well-known environment activist and anti-globalist, on growth (and GDP) in her article in the Guardian.
We should remember this when next time readings news on growing GDP..