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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The wealth of [society's] most powerful members is never redistributed or put to use for public good
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Monday, July 19, 2010

The wealth of [society's] most powerful members is never redistributed or put to use for public good

you'd almost think we were talking about the u.s., now wouldn't you...?
Pakistan’s Elite Pay Few Taxes, Widening Gap

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Much of Pakistan’s capital city looks like a rich Los Angeles suburb. Shiny sport utility vehicles purr down gated driveways. Elegant multistory homes are tended by servants. Laundry is never hung out to dry.

But behind the opulence lurks a troubling fact. Very few of these households pay income tax. That is mostly because the politicians who make the rules are also the country’s richest citizens, and are skilled at finding ways to exempt themselves.

That would be a problem in any country. But in Pakistan, the lack of a workable tax system feeds something more menacing: a festering inequality in Pakistani society, where the wealth of its most powerful members is never redistributed or put to use for public good. That is creating conditions that have helped spread an insurgency that is tormenting the country and complicating American policy in the region.

It is also a sorry performance for a country that is among the largest recipients of American aid, payments of billions of dollars that prop up the country’s finances and are meant to help its leaders fight the insurgency.

Though the authorities have tried to expand the net in recent years, taxing profits from the stock market and real estate, entire swaths of the economy, like agriculture, a major moneymaker for the elite, remain untaxed.

This is a system of the elite, by the elite and for the elite,” said Riyaz Hussain Naqvi, a retired government official who worked in tax collection for 38 years. “It is a skewed system in which the poor man subsidizes the rich man.”

[emphases added]

the disingenuousness of the nyt is stunning, particularly in a time when the super-rich elites in the united states, with the enthusiastic cooperation of the obama administration, are systematically destroying what's left of the social contract in a process that's continued unabated through the bush/clinton/bush/reagan years...

but, hey... the ability of the united states to point out the sins of others is unparalleled and it seems that everybody in the world accepts that as fact - except us, of course...

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