Inequalities from the Panama Papers
by RomyLeclerc on April 27, 2016 - 8:16pm
Lately, I have been working on different inequalities in our world. In fact, disparities are present in all countries and in all social classes. Because, as for me, this subject is important, I decided to volunteer into one of the most important inequalities-fighting organization: Oxfam. I will indeed take part of the annual Marche Monde in Montreal. I will be walking and informing Montreal youth about disparities in the world.
Oxfam is working thoroughly worldwide on diminishing those inequalities. This year, they focus on tax havens: they try to inform people about the risks they are creating in the world.
According to Oxfam, a tax haven is a particular country that offers to outsiders “no tax liability”. This popular technique used by a majority of the wealthiest people in the world is in fact taking away wealth from countries. Indeed, country’s government is not receiving money, usually collected from the taxes, and is not able to help its own population in need.
Moreover, a new framework named “new power” expands more and more worldwide. On his TED talk, activist Jeremy Heimans explains that, according to this idea, change-making is only possible with the “deployment of mass participation and peer coordination”. Heimans explains that new power “values participation and [...] is all about do-it-yourself”. Oxfam is also sharing this idea. According to the organization, the only way we can make a notable change within the tax haven issue is to invite the population to take part of the solution. Oxfam took the initiative to create a petition and to raise awareness of the issue within the population.
Also, new power encourages “transparency above all else”. It would undoubtedly help diminishing Tax Haven’s importance worldwide if we would prioritize transparency in any spheres of finance.
However, the most important “new-power characteristic” of Oxfam’s campaign is that they encourage people -principally youth- to start something on their own, but mostly to take about the issue. Nothing can be make if people do not know what is going on. Therefore, the new power would affect this issue in an immense way because boosting youth’s initiative transparency would mean that we are working together at being more open and more honest.
Before joining the organization, I have never read anything on this particular subject. While I was becoming more and more aware of the situation, a big news busted worldwide: the Panama Papers. Those papers have raised many questions about possible corruption within the world economic sphere. Oxfam decided to take this scandal to take its own campaign forward.
First of all, according to the article from The New York Times “The Panama Papers: Here’s What We Know” published on April 4th 2016, those papers have been published by the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama. They have exposed how many of the wealthiest and most powerful world’s figures have used “offshore bank accounts and shell companies” to protect their wealth from their own country’s taxes. From the hundreds names cited in those papers, we can find Prime Minister David Cameron’s father, President Vladimir V. Putin’s associated, Lionel Messi and Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.
Within hours, concerned people have denied taking part in any lawbreaking acts. They are in fact perfectly right. Holding money in any offshore company is legal. However, even if it is not sanctioned by any kind of laws, it does not mean that it is fair. Oxfam is taking that angle in order to address its campaign.
If you want to make a little change, you can sign Oxfam’s petition! To do so, you can click here: https://act.oxfam.org/new-zealand/tax-havens-petition-alt
If you want to learn more about Oxfam and they do, click here: http://www.oxfam.ca/
If you live in Montreal and want to take part in the Marche Monde, click here for more info: https://oxfam.qc.ca/agissez/marche-monde/
If you want to see Heimans’ TED Talk on new power, click here: https://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_heimans_what_new_power_looks_like?language=en
To see my old posts on inequalities, click here:
“Panama Papers reveal how billions of dollars are funneled to tax havens.” Oxfam International. Oxfam International, 3 Apr. 2016.
Posadzaki, Alexandra. “RBC to comb through four decades of records following Panama Papers Fallout.” Canadian Press, The Montreal Gazette, 4 Apr. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.
“The Panama Papers: Here’s What We Know.” The New York Post, The New York Post, 4 Apr. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.