Home > #OWS, finance, guest post > Tax haven in comedy: the Caymans (#OWS)

Tax haven in comedy: the Caymans (#OWS)

April 16, 2013

This is a guest post by Justin Wedes. A graduate of the University of Michigan with degrees in Physics and Linguistics with High Honors, Justin has taught formerly truant and low-income youth in subjects ranging from science to media literacy and social justice activism. A founding member of the New York City General Assembly (NYCGA), the group that brought you Occupy Wall Street, Justin continues his education activism with the Grassroots Education Movement, Class Size Matters, and now serves as the Co-Principal of the Paul Robeson Freedom School.

Yesterday was tax day, when millions of Americans fulfilled that annual patriotic ritual that funds roads, schools, libraries, hospitals, and all those pesky social services that regular people rely upon each day to make our country liveable.

Millions of Americans, yes, but not ALL Americans.

Some choose to help fund roads, schools, libraries, hospitals in other places instead. Like the Cayman Islands.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Caymanians. Beautifully hospitable people they are, and they enjoy arguably the most progressive taxes in the world: zero income tax and only the rich pay when they come to work – read “cook the books” – on their island for a few days a year. School is free, health care guaranteed to all who work. It’s a beautiful place to live, wholly subsidized by the 99% in developed countries like yours and mine.

When they stash their money abroad and don’t pay taxes while doing business on our land, using our workforce and electrical grids and roads and getting our tax incentives to (not) create jobs, WE pay.

We small businesses.

We students.

We nurses.

We taxpayers.

I went down to the Caymans myself to figure out just how easy it is to open an offshore tax haven and start helping Caymanians – and myself – rather than Americans.

Here’s what happened:

Categories: #OWS, finance, guest post
  1. Abe Kohen
    April 16, 2013 at 10:44 am

    “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
    ― Margaret Thatcher


    • Too Left
      April 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      “The problem with capitalism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
      — Thargaret Matcher


  2. aalasti
    April 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Hi, Cathy –

    Got to get me one of those pen cameras, although I think that then one has to be sheltered from surveillance laws also. Thanks for sending! I didn’t expect to ever have a chance to see Ugland House, where Harvard Management Company has a lot of entities registered. I’ve forwarded this to Krishna Dasaratha, whom you may remember from one of your summer camps. He’s now research ringleader for our Responsible Investment at Harvard coalition (although graduating soon).

    Note: I tried replying according to the WordPress instructions at the top of the posting, but that didn’t work; I got an error message in response.



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