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A place to discuss topics/games with other webDiplomacy players.
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peterlund (1320 D (G))
18 May 17 UTC
Robert Mueller my hero!
At last you are getting something right over there. Put that traitor into prison where he belongs!
12 replies
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DemonOverlord (402 D)
16 May 17 UTC
WDC
Is in Oxford this year. Anyone going?
11 replies
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WyattS14 (100 D)
16 May 17 UTC
(+1)
History of The Entire World, I Guess
If you haven't watched this video, I urge you to do so right now. (And let's start a discussion, why not? I'd like to hear what Zmaj and James have to say.
https://youtu.be/xuCn8ux2gbs
8 replies
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stranger (660 D)
17 May 17 UTC
convoy rules
If my opponent moves his army from Tuscany to Piedmont and I convoy my Piedmont army to Tuscany via the gulf of lyons at the same time, will they swap places?
8 replies
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rojimy1123 (562 D)
18 May 17 UTC
Chris Cornell, 1964-2017
My inner teenager is crying. RIP.
8 replies
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Jacob63831 (163 D)
16 May 17 UTC
What is the meaning of life?
Is it Memes?
Is it Bill Cosby?
18 replies
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orathaic (1009 D (B))
15 May 17 UTC
Interesting read
I'd like to hear what the right wing thinkers (and not trolls) think of this article, as well as the liberals here.

Mostly a criticism of market liberalism: https://jacobinmag.com/2017/05/handmaids-tale-margaret-atwood-trump-abortion-theocracy
15 replies
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wasdok (0 D X)
18 May 17 UTC
SSD AUTOMATIC CHEMICAL SOLUTION FOR
SSD AUTOMATIC CHEMICAL SOLUTION FOR CLEANING DEFACED
ssdsolutionlab1@gmail.com

7 replies
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orathaic (1009 D (B))
17 May 17 UTC
Tax dodging and capital flight
Ok, this youtube video discusses it. In brief, company extracts mineral wealth, sells for a low price to parent company based in a tax haven, declares no/very little profit. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ocm42ytXto )
orathaic (1009 D (B))
17 May 17 UTC
My question, now i'm not against transparency and international tax reporting system. But in principle, if the country is sovereign, it can investigate any suspected 'dodgy' dealings, and threaten to freeze assets of the given multinational - in which case all production would become frozen. Or indeed demand payment on 'assumed' profits, if they refuse to divulge the information.

A sovereign nation could infact take over the operation entirely, claiming that the corporate assets have been repossessed on the assumption of owed taxes.

Similar to how Ireland could ask for Apple to pay tax profits - but will not. (see: https://medium.com/@orathaic/apples-enda-and-the-eu-d371f60f622 )

Why do we not see more countries doing this? I understand why we don't see it in Ireland's case. But what about the rest of the world?
superkeiko (239 D)
17 May 17 UTC
This phenomenon is called regulatory arbitrage, and it is a feature of national sovereignty not a bug. In fact, most developed countries has relatively high tax compliance with a relatively high tax by historical standard.(imagine the tax evasion in the middle ages).
It is a bit like a race to the bottom, if a country does have lower tax, or favorable treatment, it would incentivizes companies to past income through.
Now, here is the rub, 1 percent of something is always better than 50 percent of nothing, so the wisdom goes.
The idea is similar to prisoner dilemma, it is rational for countries to defect and stuff it to the foreigners. That is not even accounting for what some people like to called the corrupting influence of money on politics and power and lobbying.
In your case, it is not so much that Ireland taxpayer got stiff, but in fact taxpayer in foreign countries that got stiff. Since foreign tax payable was reduce by shifting profit to Ireland, and Apple paid little to no tax in Ireland. Though without this deal, Ireland probably won't get any part of those tax anyways.
So, while countries technically can use national sovereignty to do whatever they please(within the laws/customs of each country in turn), the stable solution to this system might very well be the current situation.
Notice that the proposed international tax reporting is done in the OECD, and generally done to exclude those developing world that has the most tax non-compliance.
In fact, one of best tax haven for non-Americans is USA since IRS generally does not make the effort to assist foreign tax collection agency(with some exceptions of course).
orathaic (1009 D (B))
17 May 17 UTC
@"Now, here is the rub, 1 percent of something is always better than 50 percent of nothing, so the wisdom goes." - the very same arguement could be used for the corporations.

If they aren't able to extract resources at all, without paying tax, then they're actually better off just paying the tax.

Of course i was thinking the reverse, that extracting minerals may damage a country (by removing some natural resources) and ruin it's future. This means that the options for the nation aren't 1% vs 50% but a cost of 20% plus 1% tax vs a cost of 20% + 50% tax (say).

So it is entirely possible that the arguement is wrong to begin with. Depending on how you count costs, or which costs you think should count.

The irish case doesn't really interest me that much. Though i did post on medium about it, i suspect my views are pretty clear there.

The fact is, countries are not sovereign, they are bound by international treaties. Especially those which protect investors rights. So if a country was to attempt to repatriate the profits, but the 'internationally agree' standards for tax reporting had been respected, then a violation of international law would require the states protecting the corporation's right to step in.

Either with trade embargos or similar economic sanctions.

And in that way, Imperialism continues in economic exploitation.
Hauta (1592 D (S))
17 May 17 UTC
Why not just use the concept of "imputed income" the way the IRS does on "zero interest" bonds? If comparable domestic resource-extraction companies earn 20% profit on revenue, then impute that much income for tax purposes, regardless of the intra-company transaction.
orathaic (1009 D (B))
17 May 17 UTC
@Hauta, that does go into my question of 'why don't sovereign nations just take their cut' and the answer, which apparently i didn't think of when originally posting is, investor protections.
diplomat61 (594 D)
17 May 17 UTC
Essentially the country (aka sovereign nation) is making a choice between direct tax income and encouraging economic activity, which can bring other benefits (jobs, tax on the income of workers, local purchasing by the company and its employees, etc.).

Many countries offer incentives to attract multinational companies. This can be lower tax rates generally, but why give a tax break to a company that is already there? Temporary reliefs, such as lower tax for X years, are more common. Less often you also see things like reduced personal tax rates for nominated staff.

Of course, governments don't like it when they consider that another country is stealing business from them. In the 2000's many large companies restructured their European businesses to move ownership of some activities into Switzerland to take advantage of tax deals available there. As these were existing activities the companies had to be careful that the authorities in the country where the activities were previously owned (and taxed) accepted the change.

From the companies' point of view there is a dilemma. Typically company directors have an obligation to maximise the value of the business for the shareholders, so is it right for them to not minimise tax by pursuing options like these? Remember that through your pension fund you may well have an interest in companies that do this.
Hauta (1592 D (S))
17 May 17 UTC
Many resource rich countries are also quite corrupt, so letting someone extract resources without tax implications is one great way for politicians to deliver value. (Another would be to sell the right to extract at a below-market rate). Now all they need to do is find/create an Estonian trust that can conceal their ownership in the company making the profit (or if they are more discreet, to receive a payoff from a "3rd party").
orathaic (1009 D (B))
17 May 17 UTC
Many countries without a lot of economic development have two roads, one from the presidential palace to the airport and one from the mining area to the seaport.

Thus allowing great extraction of mineral wealth in exchange for enough welath for the rulers to run things. No need for schools, or hospitals, because those things don't contribute signifigantly to national wealth.

There is a case for the existance of natural resources to exploit being a major impediment towards development (like the discovery of oil). Meanwhile, when a nation derives a majority of its income from taxing the people then you tend to see small things like schools to help the people earn more money (which can then be taxed), and hospitals to help keep people alive/healthy longer so they can earn more (higher return on investment in education).

And thus also some infrastructure to transport people from home to school/hospital...

I would suspect that 'off the books' payments are a large part of why taxation in less developed nations is allowed. But you can't blame everything on corruption. Especially when we have the ability to track publicly and securely all financial transactions (it is called block-chain, and is the technology underlying bitcoin, but you can use it for any transaction, you could use it to trace land registry, for example).
MajorMitchell (975 D)
17 May 17 UTC
How about the way the Greek nation treats it's shipping industry for tax purposes ? A nation with a debt of about 180% of it's GDP, mostly owed to European Union countries. Yet it's shipping industry is virtually untaxed. No tax on shipping company profits, (a complex, innefective "tonnage tax" with so many loopholes, so it raise very little revenue) no tax on share holders dividends or capital gains ( unlike taxes on shareholders in other, non shipping companies ) and the owners ( mostly dynastic families ).. are also virtually exempt from paying taxes, eg an inheritance tax exemption. And it looks like Greece's economy is about to go into recession again.
diplomat61 (594 D)
17 May 17 UTC
As I said above, gov'ts make a choice between taxing a business directly or gaining indirectly by encouraging the activity. Shipping is a business that really could operate from anywhere so it would not take much for them to relocate; a classic case of 1% of something is better than 50% of nothing.
orathaic (1009 D (B))
17 May 17 UTC
@MM, it looks like Greece's tax base is rather narrow and limited, somehow i think this is a case of internal Greek politics, the way you describe it, the influence of greek dynasties.

That is entirely up to the Greek people to address. If i were an investor, of looking at Greek bonds on the international bond market, i would definitely consider how broad the tax base is in Greece before investing (which would help them pay off that massive debt... though it will largely be written off at this stage).
MajorMitchell (975 D)
18 May 17 UTC
Diplomat..they're not even getting 1%...try between 0% and 0.5%, on shipping company profits, and 0% on shareholders dividends and capital gains, and 0% on inheritance taxes whilst other Greek businesses are required to pay a lot higher tax rates on profits, and there are similar differences with shareholders and inheritance taxes.
So really, they are effectively getting 0% .or an infitesimely small %
So your 1% of something being better than 50% of nothing tends to fall on its ass.
Fortunately those hardworking, taxpaying Socialists in Europe are there to constantly bail these "free market, zero taxing stooges to Capitalism" out of their extravagant debts.
MajorMitchell (975 D)
18 May 17 UTC
Increase the profits with taxpayer funded business welfare and privatise them, Nationalise losses, but exempt higher income earners and businesses from the costs of that, throw all that on the workers....but get Yannick and Capt Brad to spin a nice confected window dressing bit of propaganda to hide those inconvenient truths. Right wing economic theory 101. LoL.


13 replies
Hauta (1592 D (S))
12 May 17 UTC
Probably not in the Bible but...
Before Jesus took over John's ministry what did people think of the fact that a man in his upper 20s wasn't married and had no children? Wouldn't that have been exceedingly rare at the time?
24 replies
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Jamiet99uk (50 D X)
18 Apr 17 UTC
Survivors-Win Scoring
What is this?
91 replies
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brainbomb (128 D)
15 May 17 UTC
(+8)
I am retiring from Trolling
I will henceforth focus my efforts on promoting games, offering opinions on actual issues and an occasional contribution that may be amusing. My goal was never to see the forum overrun with nonsense. Sadly its becoming unreadable and the threads are so abundant that trolling is now all thats happening. Sorry webdip for ushering in this era.
14 replies
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orathaic (1009 D (B))
15 May 17 UTC
Completely unrelated thought
You can easily walk out the door and abandon your life, start over and become a new person. But can you do the same to your mindset? Can you drop all previous prejudices/perspectives/opinions, (but not facts) and build a new world view? A new model for interacting with reality?
10 replies
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Ogion (5391 D)
16 May 17 UTC
(+5)
Apologies to the community
I seriously lost my cool last night, and I'm quite sorry. Although we discuss very serious, and sometimes life or death issues for some, that tone is way out of bounds.
67 replies
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A_Tin_Can (1520 D)
08 May 17 UTC
(+1)
The forum
Has been unusually good lately. What do you attribute this to?
46 replies
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DammmmDaniel (99 D)
16 May 17 UTC
Anyone in the Dallas Area?
I will be staying at UT Dallas for all of June and was just wondering if anyone lived in the Dallas area? Do the mods have a list of where everyone lives by any chance?
5 replies
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fourofswords (327 D)
16 May 17 UTC
unit placement
I ordered my builds, and one of the units did not show on the map in spring. How do I contact a mod, and can it be fixed?
5 replies
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JEccles (741 D)
16 May 17 UTC
Need 2 people
We need 2 more in the next 5 hours.

http://webdiplomacy.net/board.php?gameID=198310
0 replies
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steephie22 (182 D (S))
16 May 17 UTC
About those earth rays..
Years ago, I started a discussion (and an infrequently used meme) about how I used to have severe headaches as a small child until a small metal device that my parents can't describe very well was buried in the frontyard and my headaches disappeared overnight. My parents cited mythical earth rays as the cause of the problem. The brilliant minds of webdip saw a placebo effect as the only possible answer. I found another possible explanation and would like your thoughts.
4 replies
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Hauta (1592 D (S))
14 May 17 UTC
Can the President dissolve Congress?
McConnell is fine with Comey firing. Would he be ok with Congress being dissolved? Can it be achieved with martial law in a national emergency?
178 replies
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Hauta (1592 D (S))
15 May 17 UTC
Barron von Trump just got admitted...
to middle school at St. Andrews Episcopal in DC. "Melania Trump cited the school’s diversity and academics as the reason behind the selection"
This was reported by Time Magazine.

Is anyone here aware of what kind of diversity a school with 38k tuition has? Even CAPT_Brad can't afford that!
10 replies
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AlexFH (100 D)
15 May 17 UTC
Death
Who here wants to die
12 replies
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Jacob63831 (163 D)
15 May 17 UTC
Metaphysics
Since webdip loves debates and analyzing things such as does .999= 1
Why should we leave out metaphysics?
8 replies
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TrPrado (372 D)
13 May 17 UTC
(+1)
Are paredy thredz achulee funneeey?
Meh
7 replies
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Hippopankake (70 D)
15 May 17 UTC
Commies
Commies are bad
4 replies
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brainbomb (128 D)
13 May 17 UTC
Unanswerable Questions
Lets play a game. In this thread you may post only questions which have no right or wrong answer. If you post a question which can be answered with empirical evidence you are eliminated. Example: Are aliens real.
54 replies
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Chaqa (3134 D (B))
15 May 17 UTC
(+1)
Can the President Dissolve the Moon?
McConnel is fine with the Comey firing. Would he be OK with the Moon being dissolved? It might increase the area for his turtle people to live.
3 replies
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Fat backstab (100 D)
15 May 17 UTC
Namejeff
Namejeff
1 reply
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chairman meow (300 D)
15 May 17 UTC
(+1)
Can the President?
McConnell is fine with Comey firing. Would he be ok with the can? Can it be achieved with can, in a national emergency?
0 replies
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xy4 (100 D)
15 May 17 UTC
The Player: namejeff
Well, this guy name a namejeff, says that myself and another player are linked. He says that we are the same person. I am here to tell you that these claims are false. namejeff is himself, a multicultur-- sorry multiaccounter. Ask him when he replies to this forum post.
5 replies
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