Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Progress in curtailing the antisocial super-rich

Last week, three economic earthquakes left tremors around the globe

In turbo-speed, humanity is racing toward the abyss of climate extinction.

Strangely, the richest of the richest, well-informed and powerful, often lead the pack in this doom scenario. These smart and wealthy people seem to prefer to live in unrestrained luxury and then have humans jointly die out (final fairness) above trying to survive as species with a bit less money.

The larger the richest companies, the larger the scale on which we need to organize to curve their irresponsible powers. But the first thing we need to learn is: profitable doesn’t mean good and rich doesn’t mean successful.

Three news items of last week show things finally slowly start changing.

Oil Company Curtailed on Pollution

A judge in the Netherlands has just ordered oil giant Shell to slash its greenhouse gas emissions in a landmark victory for climate activists with implications for energy firms worldwide. Carbon emissions should be about halved in a decade based on the 2015 Paris climate accords.

Shell had argued that the Paris Accords are not binding and that it does enough voluntarily. But the judge ruled that the Anglo-Dutch multinational giant’s climate policy is “not concrete and is full of reservations.” Shell’s emissions were “greater than those of many countries” and the resulting climate change effects pose “serious risk to human rights, such as the right to life and an undisturbed family life,” the judge said. It causes an “enormous CO2 emission,” which it must curtail “at once.”

Unsurprisingly, Shell will appeal having to help save the planet. Big Oil has a long history of polluting nature. Why would it improve on that record?

Climate activists rejoiced but it ain’t over till Fat Oil sings a different tune.

But, also the Dutch State is far away still from a rational climate policy.

Internationally Taxing the Rich

The Ministers of Finance of the seven richest countries just agreed to a global minimum corporate tax rate from now of 15%. AFP said euphemistically, it targets tech giants and other multinationals allegedly ‘not paying enough.’ Rather, it aims at those who don’t pay a dime.

This will require them to pay tax in the countries where they made the money (low-wage former colonies), and not just (if at all) in the states of origin or the tax havens where they have their headquarters.

Taxing the richest 15% rate should only be the first step.

Yet, for instance, the Dutch economy is greatly helped by the tax haven it created (see below). Don’t expect Big Money to take this sitting down. Greed got them there and overnight, it won’t turn into magnanimity.

Dutch Hand-out to the Rich Stopped

Across the Channel, the government of Europe’s prime tax haven, the Netherlands, just go called to order by the European Commission.

It had planned a couple of billion euro handout per year for some large boys (Shell, Unilever, AkzoNobel, and Philips first), just to let them know that the Netherlands loves them. But, the reverse Robin Hood plan died in Parliament, after an ugly fight. Never mind, double the amount would be gifted anyway, as a tax break for job creation. That started January first, 2021. Yet, it just had to quietly cancel it retroactively because now, the European Commission deemed it a state subsidy, so, unfair competition.

But the Dutch demissionary government still plans on this gift to the rich, maybe via lowering employers’ costs. It’s vital to keep watching it.

Activist victories encourage. Yet, only persistence will ensure a change.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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