Trump Has Appointed The Users Of Dark Money To Regulate All Our Money

Trump Has Appointed The Users Of Dark Money To Regulate All Our Money

The Paradise Papers and Trump.
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Donald Trump claimed that he would “drain the swamp” but it seems that this has not been the case. One of the most alarming examples of this has been seeing the amount of Trump’s advisors who have appeared in the Paradise Papers. For those unaware, the Paradise Papers is “the latest in a series of global journalistic exposés of the offshore financial industry” mostly being spearheaded by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The idea is that many well-off people will hide money in offshore accounts, and not pay taxes on it. Now it is important to mention that people do use these accounts legitimately, but if you were to want to hide your money from the government, these accounts are how you’d do it. These accounts provide a high level of anonymity, which some people take advantage of, and the only way to know if everything is being handled legally is for investigations like those the ICIJ is doing.

So, who has appeared in the Panama Papers? I’ll be using this tool by the ICIJ to write about the following people, but I strongly recommend looking at their interactive tool to get the full picture, and see who I didn’t have time to look into.

Of the people currently in the Trump administration, one of the most notable to appear is Wilbur Ross, US Secretary of Commerce. Once appointed Ross divested most of his assets, but held on to a company Navigator Holdings. One of Navigator Holdings biggest customers? A Russian company called Sibur, with close ties to Putin, and is partially owned by Putin’s son-in-law. That is right, the US Secretary of Commerce is making money from a company being paid by Putin’s son-in-law’s company. Navigator Holdings also has ties to a Venezuelan Government run company, which has ties to “corruption and undermining of democracy” in Venezuela. Keep in mind Ross is in charge of handling sanctions.

Another prominent figure is Gary Cohn, chief economic advisor, and Director of the National Economic Council. Cohn, who used to work for Goldman Sachs, appeared as “president of 20 Bermuda incorporated companies … affiliated with Goldman Sachs”.

Another high-level official is Randal Quarles, who is “vice chairman of supervision at the Federal Reserve” and so he essentially acts as a “watchdog over the US banking industry.” Quarles was seen to be an “officer of two tax-exempt entities.” It is also worth noting that in 2013 Quarles was pronounced to be under investigation for tax-evasion by the USDJ.

Now I should reiterate that their are legitimate reasons to have one of these accounts. Also I don’t want to say that it is only Republicans who use them. You can read here about Democratic nominee for Governor of Illinois JB Pritzker, and his use of them. What I want to point out is the widespread use of these offshore accounts. For example, it is thought that 11.5% of ALL the world's wealth lies sitting in these accounts. And with that, maybe we shouldn't put the people who use this shady system, like Wilbur Ross, Gary Cohn, and Randal Quarles, in charge of regulating these kinds of practices.

Cover Image Credit: Lucas Favre

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I Might Have Aborted My Fetus When I Was 18, But Looking Back, I Saved A Child’s Life

It may have been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had done it.

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Due to recent political strife happening in the world today, I have decided to write on a very touchy, difficult subject for me that only a handful of people truly know.

When I was 18 years old, I had an abortion.

I was fresh out of high school, and deferring college for a year or two — I wanted to get all of my immature fun out so I was prepared to focus and work in the future. I was going through my hardcore party stage, and I had a boyfriend at the time that truly was a work of art (I mean truly).

Needless to say, I was extremely misinformed on sex education, and I never really thought it could happen to me. I actually thought I was invincible to getting pregnant, and it never really registered to me that if I had unprotected sex, I could actually get pregnant (I was 18, I never said I was smart).

I remember being at my desk job and for weeks, I just felt so nauseous and overly tired. I was late for my period, but it never really registered to me something could be wrong besides just getting the flu — it was November, which is the peak of flu season.

The first person I told was my best friend, and she came with me to get three pregnancy tests at Target. The first one came negative, however, the second two came positive.

I truly believe this was when my anxiety disorder started because I haven't been the same ever since.

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic Italian household, teen pregnancy and especially abortion is 150% frowned upon. So when I went to Planned Parenthood and got the actual lab test done that came out positive, I was heartbroken.

I felt like I was stuck between two roads: Follow how I was raised and have the child, or terminate it and ultimately save myself AND the child from a hard future.

My boyfriend at the time and I were beyond not ready. That same week, I found out he had cheated on me with his ex and finances weren't looking so great, and I was starting to go through the hardest depression of my life. Because of our relationship, I had lost so many friends and family, that I was left to decide the fate of both myself and this fetus. I could barely take care of myself — I was drinking, overcoming drug addictions, slightly suicidal and living with a man who didn't love me.

As selfish as you may think this was, I terminated the fetus and had the abortion.

I knew that if I had the child, I would be continuing the cycle in which my family has created. My goal since I was young was to break the cycle and breakaway from the toxicity in how generations of children in my family were raised. If I had this child, I can assure you my life would be far from how it is now.

If I had carried to term, I would have had a six-year old, and God knows where I would've been.

Now, I am fulfilling my future by getting a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having several student leadership roles, and looking into law schools for the future.

Although it still haunts me, and the thought of having another abortion truly upsets me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get asked constantly "Do you think it's just to kill a valuable future of a child?" and my response to that is this:

It's in the hands of the woman. She is giving away her valuable future to an unwanted pregnancy, which then resentment could cause horror to both the child and the woman.

As horrible as it was for me in my personal experience, I would not be where I am today: a strong woman, who had overcome addiction, her partying stage, and ultimately got her life in order. If I would have had the child, I can assure you that I would have followed the footsteps of my own childhood, and the child would not have had an easy life.

Because of this, I saved both my life and the child's life.

And if you don't agree or you dislike this decision, tough stuff because this is my body, my decision, my choice — no one else.

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The Democratic Enthusiasm Is Great, But They're Missing Something Crucial — Policy

The Democrats are more motivated than ever for 2020, but are they getting too carried away?

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The 2020 Democratic primary continues to become more up for grabs as we near closer and closer to the actual primaries themselves. From familiar faces such as Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden to newcomers to the presidential trail such as Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, Democratic-leaning voters have a wide array of candidates to choose from in order to defeat Donald Trump.

It's absolutely great seeing the Democratic base more energized than ever for the pending political circus next year. Beto O'Rourke, for example, seems to still have the enthusiasm that he picked up from his failed senatorial campaign in 2018. Moreover, it was also inspiring to see Pete Buttigieg kiss his husband on stage while proving that progressive politics can help even those in middle-class small towns like South Bend, Indiana.

All of this is great to see, but with all due respect to Beto, Mayor Pete, and perhaps nearly all of the other Democrats running: we know you want to fix Trump's mess, but how are you going to do it?

The 2020 election can genuinely make or break the state of progressive politics in the United States. With critical issues ranging from the Green New Deal, reparations for slavery, health care as a human right, and a $15 minimum wage, if candidates think gracing the covers of Vanity Fair and Vogue are doing the American people any good, then they are deeply mistaken.

Candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, so far, have been consistent in how they will specifically initiate the policy positions that they're undertaking. Of the 23 major candidates that have declared their candidacy, only 13 of them have policy pages on their campaign sites. You might say that it's too early in the campaign cycle for policy positions to be rolled out, but the fact of the matter is: Americans who are struggling to get by cannot wait.

The 2018 midterms have demonstrated that the American people want people in government that are willing to fight tooth and nail for them. Americans want people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib representing them and their interests.

We cannot succumb to the bad habit of gloating in our victories and pretend that our work is over. We may have severed one head of the corruption hydra, but we have many more heads to go.

So to all 2020 candidates, it's time to quit wasting time on PR stunts and thinking that your past or background will guarantee you victory. There's too much at stake — let's get to work.

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