Extinction Rebellion Wants to Do Away with Economic Growth

The founder of Extinction Rebellion has ambitions to upend the UK’s financial system after her organisation targeted the City in two weeks of London protests.

Gail Bradbrook wants to provoke a “mass refusal” to pay off loans and mortgages in a bid to throw London’s financial district into disarray following action that saw climate change activists deface Shell’s offices and glue themselves to the London Stock Exchange.

Economic growth tends to require the taking of resources from the Earth,” Bradbook told Reuters in an interview published today. “So something has to change on a debt-based economy.”

Here. I'll go be speechless in the corner.

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So, this group is pro - extinction, and they are rebelling against hydrocarcons and CO2 molecules?  Lots of gluing bodies to objects seem to fit into this plan somehow, although the mental gymnastics involved in their plan escapes me so far.

Does manufacturing glue increase CO2?  Because that would be amusing.

Will this lead up to Extinction Rebellion gluing their bodies to ATM machines?  Because that would be amusing as well.

 

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A mass refusal to pay mortgages and loans would also be amusing, just not for the ones refusing to pay them. I remember a few people from our overbuilt neighbourhood try the I-Won't-Pay-Taxes-Then approach to make the authorities stop the construction frenzy. Guess what happened: it turned out the government Has Ways to make people pay. With interest. Amazing, right?

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Just now, Marina Schwarz said:

 it turned out the government Has Ways to make people pay. With interest. Amazing, right?

The people also have ways to dispose of that government.  I offer the past examples of East Germany, Ukraine, and now Venezuela  (in progress).  

There comes a time in the affairs of men where the bold upend the stagnant and the ossified, and install a new replacement.  We are getting a flavor of that even here in the US of A. 

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Economic growth appears to be going away on it's own. Some of us remember a campaign for ZPG (Zero Population Growth) in the 1970's. This effort is no longer necessary in western industrialized societies.

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37 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

The people also have ways to dispose of that government.  I offer the past examples of East Germany, Ukraine, and now Venezuela  (in progress).  

There comes a time in the affairs of men where the bold upend the stagnant and the ossified, and install a new replacement.  We are getting a flavor of that even here in the US of A. 

I'm sorry, do you not get taxed in the States? Does the U.S. government have no way to ensure tax collection? if this is the case, I must apologise. I don't believe it is, however.

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14 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

I'm sorry, do you not get taxed in the States? Does the U.S. government have no way to ensure tax collection? if this is the case, I must apologise. I don't believe it is, however.

The US Govt has no way to ensure tax collection, other than income taxes via deductions at source.  Other than that, the US Govt is without effective means.  The US personal tax system is strictly by way of voluntary declaration, done on a form known as the 1090.  You put down what you think is proper.  As the numbers are controlled by the deductions at source, they do not vary much overall from what the govt expects. On an individual basis, there is no way to control it. IN that respect, the USA is not much different from Greece. 

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if what you say is true and the U.S. government has no way to penalise people for not paying their taxes, then the US economy is a miracle in action. And Al Capone, for a random example, never existed, I suppose. I'll need to ask my friends in the U.S. what's the panic around tax season, then, if they don't really have to declare anything if they don't feel like it. 

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16 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

So, this group is pro - extinction, and they are rebelling against hydrocarcons and CO2 molecules?  Lots of gluing bodies to objects seem to fit into this plan somehow, although the mental gymnastics involved in their plan escapes me so far.

Does manufacturing glue increase CO2?  Because that would be amusing.

Will this lead up to Extinction Rebellion gluing their bodies to ATM machines?  Because that would be amusing as well.

 

Extinction Rebellion is between a rock and a hard place here. Any of the "rendered" animal products such as Elmer's glue are two fold bad. First they're going to piss off PETA because… animals, and second because the rendering process itself is going to produce Lots of CO2. So no "bone glue", that leaves the synthetic glues made from, you guessed it, fossil fuels! 

BTW because I suspect you're my kind of inquisitive nerd Tom, I thought you'd find this How glue is made article interesting. 

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1 hour ago, Jan van Eck said:

The US Govt has no way to ensure tax collection, other than income taxes via deductions at source.  Other than that, the US Govt is without effective means.  The US personal tax system is strictly by way of voluntary declaration, done on a form known as the 1090.  You put down what you think is proper.  As the numbers are controlled by the deductions at source, they do not vary much overall from what the govt expects. On an individual basis, there is no way to control it. IN that respect, the USA is not much different from Greece. 

Jan you're a smart guy but you've conflated two separate things here. Tax COLLECTION is of course easiest done through payroll as you pointed out. But you've neglected tax EVASION, which is a serious crime involving harsh sentences and fines. The law is clear that you OWE taxes in the USA and while it is indeed up to you to pay those taxes if, for example you find a million dollars lying on the road, the government is well within their powers to come and take it from you. In my example if you find a million and start living large with it, while neglecting to give the taxman his cut, once the IRS figures it out, they'll pretty much take it all, fines and penalties really add up quickly. 

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Just now, Ward Smith said:

Jan you're a smart guy but you've conflated two separate things here. Tax COLLECTION is of course easiest done through payroll as you pointed out. But you've neglected tax EVASION, which is a serious crime involving harsh sentences and fines. The law is clear that you OWE taxes in the USA and while it is indeed up to you to pay those taxes if, for example you find a million dollars lying on the road, the government is well within their powers to come and take it from you. In my example if you find a million and start living large with it, while neglecting to give the taxman his cut, once the IRS figures it out, they'll pretty much take it all, fines and penalties really add up quickly. 

Ward, I am going to quote your entire post (which I typically do not do) as it does need dissection.  Here we go:

1.  The USA is a self-assessment tax regime.  Nobody is going around reviewing what individuals are putting down on their 1090's.  YOu put down what you think is correct, and then you sign it "under penalty of perjury" that it is up to snuff.  

2.   The US govt does not have the resources to scrutinize what you have declared.  Unless there is a tip-off, you are ignored, just as if you are a nobody.  Which, in govt eyes, you are. 

3.   The IRS is chronically under-funded to do audits.  And that is deliberate, to avoid creating an oppressive govt. 

4.   If the govt does not agree with what you have declared (and paid), then they can do an audit.  Those are civil procedures. 

5.   You are taxed on earned income, and to some extent on capital gains and dividend income.  You are not taxed on a million dollars lying in the road.  It is definitely not "earned income."  If you were to find it, as a practical matter is likely belonged to some seriously bad-ass people who kill for a living, so you have bigger problems than the IRS to worry about.  Guns have this certain finality about them. 

6.   Self-assessment is not tax evasion.  "Evasion" requires a conscious state of mind to be a crime.  The govt has to prove that state of mind. It is not easy to do, and for ordinary folks, the govt never does.  You see that in hefty swindles by scam artists, but the really smart ones never get caught, and the ones that see themselves being exposed, hey they skedaddle over some Border to a non-extradition country.  I think Brasil has no extradition treaty with the USA.  Neither does Switzerland.  Not sure about Malta.  I suspect the Isle of Man has no Treaty, nor the Isle of Guernsey.  Lots of places to go park yourself until the heat is off.  Look at Bill Erbey, the former boss of Ocwen Financial, the largest single swindle operation ever forged in the USA, if you discount JPMorgan Chase Bank. It even outranks Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse (itself convicted of aiding tax evasions and is a convicted criminal enterprise, but still allowed to do banking in the USA as if nothing ever happened - go figure). Erbey stole a few billion, then purchased Maltese citizenship for the paltry sum of Euro 660,000, thus getting instant Maltese citizenship and a Maltese passport, good for travelling around Europe, including Monaco.  Must be nice.  He remains unindicted, and the govt is not chasing him, too much like work.

7.  All of this, including my diversion into federal income taxes, diverges from the implied tenet of Marina, who was really addressing local property taxes on realty.  But she drifted off to federal taxes, and that was my opening.  Just saying. 

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(edited)

Thank you for the input, Ward. In any case, the point I meant to make by mentioning the tax issue was this: if you pay taxes you can make demands on the government (not that there's any guarantee these demands will be met, of course). If you don't... how come you're making demands? Same as voting, really. Simple.

What's more, the call of ER is to stop paying not taxes but loans and mortgages, provided by private entities, correct? Which may then collapse with lots of people losing their jobs... This will actually be positive from the no-to-economic-growth perspective, come to think of it. OK, I've got nothing else.

No, Jan, I did not drift off to federal taxes. I asked about taxing in general.

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9 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

Thank you for the input, Ward. In any case, the point I meant to make by mentioning the tax issue was this: if you pay taxes you can make demands on the government (not that there's any guarantee these demands will be met, of course). If you don't... how come you're making demands? Same as voting, really. Simple.

Not so simple.  In the USA (for example) some 47% of the population pays no taxes on earned income.  They do not earn enough.  Those that trip over the threshold may also end up with zero payments due to the Earned Income Tax Credit.  This was famously brought out with the secret recording (by some hotel housemaids) of Mitt Romney making disparaging remarks about the 47%.  Hillary did the same with her comment about "the deplorables," although in a different context.  In the US, you can pay no taxes and still have the perfect right to make demands on the government.  Half the population fits into that bracket. 

12 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

What's more, the call of ER is to stop paying not taxes but loans and mortgages, provided by private entities, correct?

Not correct.  Mortgage loans (again in the USA as the example) are guaranteed by credit-default insurance, the premiums paid for b y the home buyer at closing.  And that insurance, and the insurers themselves, are all guaranteed by the govt.  You might recall the TARP program, or Troubled Assets Relief Program, where several hundred billion of tax dollars were used to buy up non-paying loans.  So the "private entities" privatized the profits and socialized the losses.  Classic Wall Street behavior.

16 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

No, Jan, I did not drift off to federal taxes. I asked about taxing in general.

Look at your own post, Marina.  You said:  " Does the U.S. government have no way to ensure tax collection?"   U.S. Govt means the Feds. 

Cheers.

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Exactly. Taxes. Government in its most general sense, not specifically the federal U.S. government. I do suppose it's a question of interpretation, though. Feel free to drone on and go into the tiniest and irrelevant detail you feel you need to. I'll be back on topic.

So, I found that interview with the co-founder.

This: 

"Bradbrook, once “a girly swot par excellence”, said Extinction Rebellion was also partly inspired by the clarity she gained taking psychedelic substances including iboga and ayahuasca, both powerful hallucinogens, in Costa Rica in 2016.

The experience, she wrote, “rewired” her brain. She returned to the UK, left her husband and, with a handful of others, founded the movement that became Extinction Rebellion." 

I like that.

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1 hour ago, Marina Schwarz said:

Exactly. Taxes. Government in its most general sense, not specifically the federal U.S. government. I do suppose it's a question of interpretation, though. Feel free to drone on and go into the tiniest and irrelevant detail you feel you need to. I'll be back on topic.

So, I found that interview with the co-founder.

This: 

"Bradbrook, once “a girly swot par excellence”, said Extinction Rebellion was also partly inspired by the clarity she gained taking psychedelic substances including iboga and ayahuasca, both powerful hallucinogens, in Costa Rica in 2016.

The experience, she wrote, “rewired” her brain. She returned to the UK, left her husband and, with a handful of others, founded the movement that became Extinction Rebellion." 

I like that.

Which part do you like? Taking the psychotropic drugs or the leaving the husband bit? ;)

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1 hour ago, Jan van Eck said:

Not so simple.  In the USA (for example) some 47% of the population pays no taxes on earned income.  They do not earn enough.  Those that trip over the threshold may also end up with zero payments due to the Earned Income Tax Credit.  This was famously brought out with the secret recording (by some hotel housemaids) of Mitt Romney making disparaging remarks about the 47%.  Hillary did the same with her comment about "the deplorables," although in a different context.  In the US, you can pay no taxes and still have the perfect right to make demands on the government.  Half the population fits into that bracket. 

Not correct.  Mortgage loans (again in the USA as the example) are guaranteed by credit-default insurance, the premiums paid for b y the home buyer at closing.  And that insurance, and the insurers themselves, are all guaranteed by the govt.  You might recall the TARP program, or Troubled Assets Relief Program, where several hundred billion of tax dollars were used to buy up non-paying loans.  So the "private entities" privatized the profits and socialized the losses.  Classic Wall Street behavior.

Look at your own post, Marina.  You said:  " Does the U.S. government have no way to ensure tax collection?"   U.S. Govt means the Feds. 

Cheers.

Ah the mortgage disaster. Interestingly all that mortgage insurance didn't cover anything. It's just a scam to take more money from those least able to afford it, as usual. 

On taxes here is an amusing take on them (penalties). In fact found money (or a windfall from gambling) likewise requires self disclosure. I'm not going to give tax advice here, but my personal experience is to err on the side of caution. The IRS may be under manned but they can be very aggressive, and their revenue agents actually get commissions on what they recover, so they're extremely motivated. That said, they're not interested in Joe Six-pack, small potatoes. They're far more interested in the big fish like Donald Trump. 

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23 minutes ago, Ward Smith said:

Which part do you like? Taking the psychotropic drugs or the leaving the husband bit? ;)

The whole magical transformation, of course! Joke aside, this information is concerning, to put it mildly. Makes one wonder about changes in perception of mental health that are not necessarily beneficial to either the perceiver or the perceived.

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3 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

if what you say is true and the U.S. government has no way to penalise people for not paying their taxes, then the US economy is a miracle in action. And Al Capone, for a random example, never existed, I suppose. I'll need to ask my friends in the U.S. what's the panic around tax season, then, if they don't really have to declare anything if they don't feel like it. 

Uh... it's not a perfect system with a 100 percent filing rate, but the US indeed has ways to make you pay (wage garnishment, asset seizure, etc).  And if you are employed (instead of contracting), then your employer is required to deduct income tax and social security tax and whatnot right from your check. Handy! 

It's mostly cut and dry what you need to pay.  And whether you file or not, they end up with a nice chunk of change. 

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Exactly. Every system has these ways. It must, otherwise there is no system. 

2 hours ago, Rodent said:

And if you are employed (instead of contracting), then your employer is required to deduct income tax and social security tax and whatnot right from your check. Handy! 

Same here. 

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15 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

if what you say is true and the U.S. government has no way to penalise people for not paying their taxes, then the US economy is a miracle in action. And Al Capone, for a random example, never existed, I suppose. I'll need to ask my friends in the U.S. what's the panic around tax season, then, if they don't really have to declare anything if they don't feel like it. 

That is utter nonsense. People do indeed go to jail in the US for tax evasion plus repayment of back taxes + penalties. There is no such thing as volunteer taxes.

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Indeed. The first thing would-be governments try to establish is a monopoly on force so that they can reliably collect taxes.

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On 5/1/2019 at 6:21 AM, Jan van Eck said:

There comes a time in the affairs of men where the bold upend the stagnant and the ossified, and install a new replacement.  We are getting a flavor of that even here in the US of A. 

I've heard conflicting opinions on whether Trump is disrupting the establishment or part of it, so I'm not sure what to make of things.  What disruption are you seeing? 

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1 minute ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

I've heard conflicting opinions on whether Trump is disrupting the establishment or part of it, so I'm not sure what to make of things.  What disruption are you seeing? 

He has shattered both the Democratic and the Republican parties simultaneously, which is a remarkable feat.  He fired all Ambassadors in one shot.  He fired all US Attorneys in each State in one shot.  He fired the head of the Justice Dept and the head of the FBI, and replaced the head of the NSA, all in one shot.  He closed the US Borders to an entire religious group, the ME Muslims, and managed to include some Christians while he was at it.  He scrapped and wrecked the trade across the Canadian Border, causing chaos in that relationship.  Same for Mexico. Worse for Europe.  He managed to shake Brussels to its core, especially as to NATO.   Getting disruptive enough for you?   

No?  OK, so then he tosses the Iran deal and goes after them with a vengeance.  He starts exporting oil and LNG as a political weapon. He puts a ton of sanctions on the finances of the top Russians.  He closes down their Consulates on the West Coast.  He scraps visas for Russians and I forget who else.  He goes to Mr. Kim and tells him point-blank, either you behave and join the family of nations or you will be squeezed like no tomorrow.  Getting more disruptive?  

Now he is leading (and doing an end run around Congress) by use of Executive Orders.  For DC, that is seriously disruptive.  And no end in sight.  Is he incompetent?  Sure.  Does it matter?  Evidently not. If he hired me, would Washington be totally transformed and reformed?  But of course. 

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Sadly, I heard today that the capital city of my country (Amsterdam) wants to ban gasoline and diesel vehicles in 2030.. 

Absolutely ridiculous proposal, and void of any serious consideration/ anticipation of consequences.

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1 hour ago, Jan van Eck said:

He has shattered both the Democratic and the Republican parties simultaneously, which is a remarkable feat.  He fired all Ambassadors in one shot.  He fired all US Attorneys in each State in one shot.  He fired the head of the Justice Dept and the head of the FBI, and replaced the head of the NSA, all in one shot.  He closed the US Borders to an entire religious group, the ME Muslims, and managed to include some Christians while he was at it.  He scrapped and wrecked the trade across the Canadian Border, causing chaos in that relationship.  Same for Mexico. Worse for Europe.  He managed to shake Brussels to its core, especially as to NATO.   Getting disruptive enough for you?   

No?  OK, so then he tosses the Iran deal and goes after them with a vengeance.  He starts exporting oil and LNG as a political weapon. He puts a ton of sanctions on the finances of the top Russians.  He closes down their Consulates on the West Coast.  He scraps visas for Russians and I forget who else.  He goes to Mr. Kim and tells him point-blank, either you behave and join the family of nations or you will be squeezed like no tomorrow.  Getting more disruptive?  

Now he is leading (and doing an end run around Congress) by use of Executive Orders.  For DC, that is seriously disruptive.  And no end in sight.  Is he incompetent?  Sure.  Does it matter?  Evidently not. If he hired me, would Washington be totally transformed and reformed?  But of course.  

Very well then!  Some of that I knew of, but I'd missed the diplomats and US attorneys.  Where do you get your news; I'd like to read the same. 

Given the opportunity, would you work for him? 

Does he actually help his constituents, or is there something else going on? 

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