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Panama Papers Show How the Rich Stay Rich

April 19, 2016
Plain English Version
Pedestrians talk near a parking lot outside the building housing the offices of the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Panama. Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pedestrians talk near a parking lot outside the building housing the offices of the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Panama. Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Crooks and some politicians and business people have a few things in common. They like to make money and some like to hide it.

Some business people, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mike Bloomberg, are proud to be rich. They use their great wealth to help people.

Which brings us to the “Panama Papers.” Someone leaked these documents to the press; they name names.  Moosack Fonseca is a law firm in Panama. It sets up the deals. Some rich people are hiding their money. There are three reasons to hide money. First, some sources of money, such as drugs, are illegal. Second, some people do not want to pay taxes. Third, some people do not want other people to know how rich they are.

The scandal involves some big names. They include Vladimir Putin, President of Russia and David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain. Other figures called out are the prime ministers of Spain and Iceland. Athletes and celebrities also are named.

The papers confirm what many suspect. They show that there are laws for us and there are other laws for the rich and well connected. It is even more shocking that most of the accounts used by the rich and well connected are not illegal. No one will go to jail for using the law to help them keep their money.

Politics may start to catch up. Across the globe, there is a call for new laws. Rules that will end how offshore banks and countries foster tax evasion.

There is great outrage throughout the world. Forces for change are growing.  Hiding money has an impact. There was a recent report from the United Nations. It said that developing countries lose $100 billion in tax revenues every year. That means less money for building schools and health centers.

It will take a lot of heavy lifting for the rules to change. But, change is more likely to happen now that we know about the Panama Papers.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor April 15, 2016

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