Net Neutrality, Fast Lanes and Europe on
Wednesday April 26, 2017
   // united states
25
May
Written by Tadhg Prendiville

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Tom Wheeler at the FCC Proposal announcement – Politco/Getty

Net Neutrality is a bit like economics: it’s something that affects the core of how we interact with the world today but also seems incredibly dull and apparently irrelevant to the majority of people until something gets shaken up. And it just so happens that things were shaken up a couple of weeks back when Tom Wheeler the chairman for the  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US proposed changes to the future of regulation online. This is something that is being heavily lobbied and supported by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) whilst simultaneously being decried as a death knell for the internet as we know it by the companies of Silicon Valley and a huge amount of people online. Whilst this particular proposal only directly impacts the US, its effects would certainly be felt globally and on top of this there are forces at work attempting to impose similar regulation in Europe.

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Professor William Black joins Greg McInerney to talk about his own background in fraud cases in the US and how the US and Europe are dealing with the financial crisis in different ways. As well as austerity in Ireland and Europe and Germany’s role in all of this.

Download here.

Greg McInerney: This is Greg McInerney here for the meltingpress.com. This is episode three of our Alternative Voices series and we are joined today by Professor Bill Black. Bill is a former bank regulator, a professor of law and economics and also the author of the brilliant book The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Bill thanks so much for joining us today.

 

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13
Mar
Written by The Melting Press

Sharp Fall in Exports Last Year Shrinks Irish Economy – The Irish Times

The Press

The Irish economy contracted again last year on the back of a sharp fall-off in net exports linked to the so-called pharma patent cliff. Preliminary figures published today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.3 per cent last year

The Melt

The government continually talks about austerity bringing about growth despite the fact that any decent economist will tell you that growth through austerity is impossible, hence more stagnation for the Irish economy. Our GDP figures are misleading as huge multinationals like Google, Facebook and Microsoft book their international sales through Ireland but this type of transaction is not tangible wealth. GNP has been similarly distorted by foreign companies without operations in Ireland, locating their headquarters here for taxation purposes.

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05
Mar
Written by The Melting Press

Russia test-fires ICBM amid tension over Ukraine - Reuters

The Press

Russia launched a test nuclear missile during the middle of the Ukrainian-Crimean crisis.  Although the launch was scheduled before the current international tensions, and the US was notified well in advance.

The Melt

Although the article itself clears up the circumstances the headline is nothing but sensationalist click bait. The fact that this test fire is being flaunted as a headline all over the web is completely absurd, and just seems to be attempting to milk what has been just short of a hysterical look at Russian actions and potential actions concerning Ukraine and Crimea.

China announces military spending increase – Aljazeera

The Press

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27
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

IMF Study Finds Inequality is Damaging to Economic Growth – The Guardian

The Press

The International Monetary Fund has backed economists who argue that inequality is a drag on growth in a discussion paper that has also dismissed right wing theories that efforts to redistribute incomes are self-defeating. Backing analysis by the Keynesian economist and Nobel prizewinner Joseph Stiglitz, it warned that inequality can also make growth more volatile and create the unstable conditions for a sudden slowdown in GDP growth.

The Melt

The IMF is basically an offshoot of the U.S.treasury. Since the Second World War it has wrecked Africa, Latin America and now Europe with its commitment to “economic liberalization”, essentially looting countries of their wealth in the service of multinationals and the financial industry. This report is a bit like a serial arsonist discovering that petrol is highly flammable.

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25
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

Which Country Has the Highest Tax Bracket? – BBC News

The Press

Price Waterhouse Coopers published a list of OECD countries’ tax rates. For each country, they calculated how much a high earner on a salary of $400,000 (£240,000) in 2013, with a mortgage of $1.2m (£750,000), would have left after all income tax rates and social security contributions. The lowsest tax liability came in at 3% in Saudi Arabia.

The Melt

You would have to be spectacularly dumb or have the world’s worst accountant to end up paying anywhere near the rates specified in this article if you were a member of the 1%. Tax havens, shell companies, equity swaps, capital gains tax, avoiding said capital gains tax, carried interest, shell trust funds, incorporating, and payments in kind are just some of the delightful ways they can excuse themselves from their tax obligations.

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24
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

Egyptian government offers shock resignation in live announcement broadcast on state TV – The Independent

The Press

Egypt’s military-backed government has issued a shock resignation in an announcement broadcast today on Egyptian state TV. Interim prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi said his entire cabinet will now stand down, but has provided no explanation for their decision or information on who will take over.

The Melt

A military coup took place in Egypt last year overthrowing democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and replacing him with a military dictatorship of sorts under General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Al-Sisi is also the country’s current Minister of Defense, a position that would have prohibited him from running for President in an election scheduled for later this year. The resignation of the entire interim cabinet will pave the way for al-Sisi to run for President, an attempt that will likely be successful given his designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, criminalising all its activities, its financing and even membership to the group

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22
Feb
Written by Tadhg Prendiville

I visited Ukraine for several days back in 2010 and although the Ukraine I saw was very different to the one flooding news and social media streams in recent weeks, there were signs of the factors that brought the country to a boiling point over the last few months. Of the week I spent in the country, during a peaceful summer, one thing that stood out even then was that it was a divided country. The divide I noticed didn’t seem like a clear cut case of the Ukrainian people vs a pro Russian government as has largely been reported by various news outlets up until the tail end of this week. The divided country I experienced was a cultural one, it included the two sides that have been presented to us time and again on major news outlets, and also many other groups both large and small in the middle ground and on the extremities of the political spectrum.

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19
Feb
Written by The Melting Press

Violence, Protests Spread From Ukraine Capital – CNN.com

The Press

Some 25 people were killed with 240 hospitalized in Ukraine last night as government forces attempted to restore order in the capital Kiev. It was the deadliest day in what has been a month of unrest in the eastern European country. The U.S.and Europe have firmly backed opposition forces in hopes of integrating Ukraine into the European Union whilst Russia is seen as an ally of the government.

The Melt

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This is the first episode of our new “Alternative Voices” interview series, where we talk to people who give us a different perspective on all manner of topics.

Our first guest is Professor Michael Hudson, a research professor of economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and the author of two books “The Bubble And Beyond” and “Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy Of American Empire”. He talks to Greg about austerity in Ireland, how US economic policy has affected Ireland, Europe and the rest of the world as well as how the various political parties in Ireland have mishandled the economic crisis.

Without further ado the first episode, along with the transcript and a link to download the episode from soundcloud, is below.

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Net Neutrality
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Tadhg examines the threats to the way we use the internet on both sides of the Atlantic.

Read more...

Ireland & Alcohol
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Sean talks about the peer pressure that surrounds drinking culture that pervades Irish society.

Read more...

It's Not Us, It's You
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Greg's thoughts on the rather "special" relationship maintained between the US and Ireland.

Read more...

Victim Of Bureaucracy
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Mark tells the story of a Multicultural Centre in Dublin CIty, its impact on the local area and it's struggle to survive.

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