- Albert Einstein
As finance-capitalism is facing the worst crisis of its life, more and more stories of stunning inherent corruption of this system are coming to light day by day.
Corruption which mars all aspects of our lives, our environment and prospect of our future generations, has its roots back to the instinctive greed of capitalism itself.
Here we have a few examples that emerged through the media in the last few days, and do not forget that these are only the tip of the iceberg.
Two U.S. judges in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, took more than $2 million from PA Child Care LLC and a sister company, in exchange for giving to more than 2000 teenagers long sentences to serve in the private detention centre as slave laborers , and allowed these companies to receive extra governmental funds. Many of these children were first-time offenders, had no lawyers to defend them, given hearings that lasted only a minute or two, and received harsh sentences for minor offenses, (Associated Press, February 11, 2009). Even Charles Dickens (1812-1870), the great English Novelist and the author of “Oliver Twist” could not have imagined this.
A report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction suggests that more than $50 billion (possibly up to $ 125 billion) is missing, making it even a bigger theft than Bernard Madoff’s notorious Ponzi scheme. The alleged role of senior military officers is under investigation.
Millions were killed, maimed or disappeared; a whole country was destroyed only to pave the way for some cruel individuals to fill their insatiable pockets, (From a report by Independent, February 16, 2009).
In a joint investigation conducted by the Independent, Sky News and Greenpeace, it was revealed that nearly 500,000 tones of toxic wastes are going unaccounted for and are mostly being sent illegally to Africa (especially to Nigeria and Ghana), where they are stripped of their raw metals by young men and children working on poison waste dumps for a trifle wage or price. Household items and electronic wastes contain chemicals like mercury, lead and cadmium. (February 18, 2009).
Swiss banking giant UBS has agreed to pay $780 million in fines, penalties, interests and restitutions for conspiring to create sham accounts to hide the assets of U.S. clients from the U.S. government. Senator Carl Levin, D-Michigan, has estimated that abusive tax shelters and hidden offshore accounts cost the U.S. government approximately $ 100 billion a year in lost tax revenues.
While ordinary people and workers’ tax monies are used to bailout financial giants, rich people evade taxes by sheltering their capital in offshore accounts, like British Cayman Islands, ex-British colony Antigua and others. As is the case for Sir Allen Stanford’s fraud of about $8 billion that was committed through Stanford International Bank, based in Antigua. S.A. Stanford is a major player in U.S. politics, which recently donated about one million dollars mostly to the Democrats.
Except for a few individuals, UBS has refused to disclose to the International Revenue Service, the identity of all 52,000 Americans who allegedly evaded taxes.
US Legislators have accused UBS and other banks of helping wealthy Americans to hide about $ 1.5 trillion in overseas tax havens. The U.S. government lawsuit alleges that UBS has helped hundreds of U.S. rich to setup dummy offshore companies, to make it easier for those people to avoid reporting their financial obligations under U.S. tax laws, (Associated Press, February 19th, 2009).
While millions of American tax-payers are losing their jobs, their homes, their healthcare, their opportunity for education, and their retirement savings; the flag-waving, God-fearing rich Americans depleted the country of its assets and ruined the lives of its citizens.
The inevitable take-over of industry by the banks has led to the rise of finance-capitalism or imperialism. In this latest stage of capitalism, production of money has taken precedence over production of goods and services. It is destroying industry and creating a bubble economy. Internal mechanism of this usury system reproduces corruption all around the world. In 1916, V. I. Lenin wrote “… Transactions between particularly big companies assume a form, which as Schilder ‘mildly’ puts it, ‘borders on corruption”, (Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism).
And that is why we selected in time, the title of this article.