Bookmarked Ten Ways Billionaires Avoid Taxes on an Epic Scale (ProPublica)

After a year of reporting on the tax machinations of the ultrawealthy, ProPublica spotlights the top tax-avoidance techniques that provide massive benefits to billionaires.

Reviewing the Secret IRS Files series, Paul Kiel provides a summary of ten ways the ultrawealthy avoid taxes:

1. The Ultra Wealth Effect
2. The $5 Billion IRA
3. The $1 Billion Parlor Trick: Turning High-Tax-Rate Trading into Low-Tax-Rate Income
4: The Magic of Sports Ownership: Make Money While (Legally) Reporting Losses
5. Build, Drill and Save: The Real Estate and Oil Businesses Can Both Be Tax Havens
6. Even a Billionaire’s Hobbies Can Pay Off at Tax Time
7. Think Your Taxes are Too High? Change the Tax Laws
8. Why Tech Billionaires Pay Less Than Hedge-Fund Managers
9. Brother, Can You Spare a Stimulus Check?
10. Trust This: How Wealthy Families Pass Billions to Heirs While Avoiding Taxes

I often read about how some organisations avoid paying taxes, this piece is helpful in explaining how.

Coming from an Australian perspective, Daniel Ziffer discusses giving it away, generous tax concessions and going offshore. Although, the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL) has made some of these strategies more difficult.

MAAL scribble

Bookmarked Why It’s Impossible to Rent a Car Right Now by Nicole Kobie (WIRED)

Even without apps and peer-to-peer disruption, the car shortage could mean a lasting shake-up in the rental market—and that means prices are likely to stay high. One reason: The car rental industry was previously able to keep prices down in part because automakers produced too many vehicles, says Toby Poston, director of corporate affairs at BVRLA. Rental companies would either buy excess vehicles in bulk at a discount, selling them off after their rental career ended, or set up buyback schemes with manufacturers, cutting a deal to use a car for a short time before returning it.

Nicole Kobie explains why it is so difficult to rent a car right now. In part the drop-off due to the rental market drop-off during lockdowns and issues with supply chains when trying to restock. Kobie wonders whether this new normal will give rise to disruptions, such as gives peer-to-peer car-sharing firms. This all explains so much. Personally, I was recently run into and tried to hire a car and was told there was nothing available for three weeks.
Bookmarked How Ikea tricks you into buying more stuff (The Hustle)

The home furnishings giant enlists a maze-like layout, cheap food, and crafty psychology to get you to fill up your cart.

Zachary Crockett explains how Ikea tricks shoppers into buying more. Much of this stems from the layout. As a store, Ikea breaks with common store configurations, such as grid, racetrack, freeform, and spine, to provide a one-way path. This approach does three things:

  1. It forces wider product exposure
  2. It creates a false sense of scarcity
  3. It creates a sense of mystery

In addition to this, there are other tricks, such as strategically placed mirrors, contextual positioning and dirt cheap bins and decoy prices.

Alan Penn, a professor of architecture at University College London, describes this as a ‘submissive experience’. What is intriguing is how much my children love going there as it provides a hands-on experience. I wonder if there has been any research into this?

Bookmarked 12 Steps to Post-Growth Sustainable Business | P2P Foundation (P2P Foundation)

Nobody cares about how we got here. They just want solutions for how to get out of the trap. CEOs are struggling to create value for corporations programmed only to accumulate more capital, drain local economies, and externalize the costs.

So I’ve been ending my talks with specific, actionable suggestions for how companies of all sizes and stages can become more sustainably profitable in the current environment. It amounts to a 12-step program for getting off the addiction to growth. If you need to grow in order to survive, then you’re not a real business – you’re just a brand name on debt.

Here’s the quintessence of the recommendations to be gleaned from hearing my talks, reading my book Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, or listening to my TeamHuman podcast. Of course, if you read the book you’ll see the arguments for why these strategies will work, and how they expose the false assumptions we’ve been working under for a few centuries, now. But here are the basic principles.

Douglas Rushkoff provides a series of steps for moving to a more sustainable business model. This is a useful summary of many of his arguments and ideas from his book Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus:

  1. Optimize for the velocity of money.
  2. Make them rich.
  3. Employ bounded investment strategies.
  4. Push for a tax policy that promotes revenues instead capital gains.
  5. Organize as Platform Cooperatives.
  6. Local crowdfunding.
  7. Develop favor banks and local currencies.
  8. Cooperative businesses cooperate.
  9. Larger companies can enact economic experiments as local, limited trials.
  10. Run your company like a family business.
  11. Develop new metrics for success other than growth.
  12. Your goods and services are your product – not your stock.