offshoring

Why isn’t Tumblr talking about the biggest leak in history?

The Panama Papers are information that has the potential to change the world and this story broke over 2 hours ago now. Putin might go to prison. Same with the Saudi-Arabian king Salman ibn Abd al-Asis, the Ukranian president Petro Poroschenko, the former Georgian prime minister Bidsina Iwanischwili, the Argentinian president Mauricio Macri, a quarter of the Icelandic cabinet, several other world leaders, and ‘best soccer player of all time’ Lionel Messi.

This is 2.6 terabytes of leaked data about tax evasion and off-shore companies, drug trade, etc etc etc. Remember Wikileaks? That was huge, right? The Panama Papers dwarf the 1.7GB of data we got out of that.

THE VIDEO

Just watch it. Think about it. Talk about it. This is real journalism and probably the biggest scandal of our lifetimes.

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Panama Papers map visualizes where the money is hiding

11.5 million documents and 2.6 terabytes of information have been leaked from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca. It’s being called the “Panama Papers” and it paints an ugly portrait of how wealthy figures worldwide illegally take advantage of offshore tax havens for personal benefit. Now an interactive map shows where all those tax evaders come from.

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Let’s not kid ourselves about just how cheap offshore labor really is. We not only pay substantially less per hour, we also avoid the costs we would incur if these workers immigrated here. We don’t pay for their medical expenses when they show up in the emergency room without insurance. We don’t pay for their pension costs if they don’t save for retirement. We don’t pay for their children’s public education. Nor do we pay for their out-of-wedlock children, their unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation, their slip and fall torts, their wear and tear on our public infrastructure, and the cost of their drunk driving, drug use and other crimes. We outsource pollution, its adverse effects on our health, and its clean-up costs. Neither the employees nor their employers are here to vote and seek political handouts.
—  Former Bain Capital partner and Mitt Romney supporter Edward Conard extols the virtues of “cheap offshore labor” in his book “Unintended Consequences.” Conard was for a long time the head of the manufacturing practice at Bain Capital. As we speak, Sensata Technologies, which is owned by Bain Capital, is preparing to offshore 170 jobs from a manufacturing plant in Freeport, Illinois to China.

Most people can at least identify the wealthiest neighborhoods in their town, but what about the richest person living in their state? You just might have to take a look at a new map made by the real estate trends blog Movoto to figure that out.

“So how did they get to where they are? Are they all self-made entrepreneurs, or were they just lucky? Do they hoard all that wealth, or do they give back?” Chris Kolmar, chief “armchair economist” for Movoto, asked.

The real estate blog found that these elite are a mix of entrepreneurs and those who inherited grand wealth.

“Of the wealthiest in each state, roughly half are founders of companies. Another major path to wealth is inheritance, with the Waltons being the most striking example,” Kolmar wrote, citing the founder of Walmart, Sam Walton, and how a few of his family members are the wealthiest people in their states, including Texas, Wyoming and Arkansas.

Taking it a step further, Movoto also found that higher education doesn’t necessarily equate to more wealth.

“From an undergraduate education to the coveted Ph.D., most members of the list have some sort of college degree. But years spent studying on campus isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to striking it rich. Bill Gates, a college dropout, is the wealthiest of them all,” Kolmar wrote.  ”On the other side of the academic spectrum, Delaware’s Robert Gore holds a Ph.D. but ranks second to last in terms of his net worth.”

Check out Movoto’s blog post to play around with an interactive version of the map and learn more about these well-off people.