Search This Blog

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Britain's Exit From the EU is Significant

Britain's vote to leave the European Union (or "BREXIT" as named by those who pine away wondering if they'll ever be sufficiently sophisticated) sent shock waves throughout the ethers, as manifested in hysterical market reactions around the globe.  But here's why I think the significance of BREXIT is over rated.
First, the vote was more a cultural phenomenon than economic (although populist frustrations about Britain's bifurcated economy contributed), triggered- I believe -by the flood of immigrants created, in turn, by our systematic demolition of the Middle East.
Second, nothing will change for at least a couple of years.  And even then we can still buy and sell with Britain to our hearts' content.
Third, although the 5th largest economy in the world, Britain is the world's largest financial center & 78% of its economy is services, as opposed to traded goods.  If anything, leaving the EU will loosen the relentless grip of the already stupendously wealthy on Britain's economy (need I say Rothchild?) as Britain transitions away from the dead end of fossil fuel production and use.

Finally, here is how I think BREXIT (is that cool or what?) IS significant:  It points out some of the many ways that vertical globalization (tearing down all boundaries, geographic, social, economic, governmental) is neither inevitable nor desirable.
Survival of any entity or group of entities depends on robust diversity, both macro in the population and micro or genetically.  But especially in behavior.  Bankrupt attempts at mono'ing everything, making us all the same (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) have wreaked havoc and are not sustainable.  Good for Britain for going independent.  

Your Constructive Comments are Welcome!

Monday, June 6, 2016

IRS Makes It Easy to Pay Your Federal Student Tax On The Phone

Well, that's a myth.  There is no such thing as a "Federal Student Tax " (other than the larcenous interest rates they charge students)  But here are some recent things scammers do that IRS definitely will NOT do:
  • Demanding immediate tax payment for taxes owed on an iTunes gift card.
  • Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals (IR-2016-34
  • “Verifying” tax return information over the phone (IR-2016-40
  • Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry (IR-2016-28

IRS Warns of Latest Scam Variation Involving Bogus “Federal Student Tax”

IR-2016-81, May 27, 2016                                                                                   
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued a warning to taxpayers about bogus phone calls from IRS impersonators demanding payment for a non-existent tax, the “Federal Student Tax.”
Even though the tax deadline has come and gone, scammers continue to use varied strategies to trick people, in this case students. In this newest twist, they try to convince people to wire money immediately to the scammer. If the victim does not fall quickly enough for this fake “federal student tax”, the scammer threatens to report the student to the police.
“These scams and schemes continue to evolve nationwide, and now they’re trying to trick students,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remain vigilant and not fall prey to these aggressive calls demanding immediate payment of a tax supposedly owed.”
Scam artists frequently masquerade as being from the IRS, a tax company and sometimes even a state revenue department. Many scammers use threats to intimidate and bully people into paying a tax bill. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the driver’s license of their victim if they don’t get the money.
The IRS urges taxpayers to stay vigilant against these calls and to know the telltale signs of a scam demanding payment.
The IRS Will Never:
  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money and you don’t owe taxes, here’s what you should do:
  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page or call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting and clicking on “File a Consumer Complaint.” Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
  • If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.
More information on how to report phishing or phone scams is available on

Your Constructive Comments are Welcome!