Trump thinks not paying taxes is smart. But it's a threat to democracy

The US presidential candidate Donald Trump seems to think it’s smart to play the tax system. But it’s not smart – it is antisocial. It’s anti-democratic.

The offshore world is not designed for the blue-collar worker or the average earner. It’s not for the 99%. The Panama Papers showed us you need to own at least a solid million euros if you want to go offshore and see your taxes drop. And the more you have, the easier it is to pay less tax. This is wrong and we have to stop it. To be precise: we, politicians, citizens, taxpayers, have to stop it.

The rules that govern how lower- and middle-income earners pay tax have to apply to everybody. Otherwise our democracy is at stake. (The Guardian)

Whistleblowers are vital to democracy. We need to better protect them

Without whistleblowers (...) the world would be a much less transparent place. We wouldn't know the details of the shady shell games of the financial industries. We would be in the dark about how national intelligence services intercept our communications, Russia's elaborate doping machine, Israel's secret nuclear program and the dodgy tricks of Cambridge Analytica.

Yet still, the way society treats whistleblowers is schizophrenic at best. They are regarded as vital to open societies, but there are few laws to effectively protect them. When they're revealed along with the secrets they uncover, they often end up marginalized, shamed or, worse, threatened. People love the betrayal, but not the betrayer. (Los Angeles Times)

Oligarchs hide billions in shell companies. Here's how we stop them

Financial crimes rely on exploiting anonymous companies and trusts, and secrecy jurisdictions like the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the states of Delaware and Nevada are partners in those crimes. They must be held accountable.

Waiting for a global solution means waiting a long time, if not forever. The only way to draw the corporate curtain back and expose corruption is for lawmakers to work in the public interest and create public beneficial ownership registries and public property registrie s now. (...) Lawmakers that claim to stand against corruption should do so by fighting for these kinds of registries now, or forever hold their peace. (The Guardian)