France approves digital tax measures against Apple despite US pressure

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  • Reply 121 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    avon b7 said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    I am not confused.

    What problem do you have with the Guardian?

    It has participated in all of the recent multi-paper investigations of the last few years.

    At the time of the Balkan conflict the EU had no option but diplomacy, although from the beginning NATO was seen as the best way to handle a response. It wasn't until Javier Solana became the first High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security in 1999, that the EU had a common exterior voice.

    Weekly protests by yellow jackets have been widely reported (Guardian included) but the yellow jacket protests are aimed at Macron, not the EU and yesterday's protests were at best pockets of protest. A tiny minority of the people that turned out for the celebrations. After dark, we see the Anti-System come out to smash windows, burn rubbish bins and confront the police. They are not yellow jacket protesters and don't care about their protests. They are simply a form of hooligan.

    As for Germany, it has long kept its head down when it comes military hardware and for obvious reasons. It also had the difficult (and extremely costly process of reunification to deal with) plus the worst world economic downturn on record.

    That doesn't change the facts though and the facts are that the EU is moving to improve its defence options through more integration and efficiencies.
    The EU's desire for an EU army has nothing to do with "efficiency", rather it's about weakening the member states.

    For instance if Poland no longer has a standing army of their own, Brussels can order them around with ever increasing force in the years to come.

    And considering a wide divide is developing between the nations of Western Europe versus Eastern on a range of issues, (migration, taxation) this is no small advantage in Brussel's favor to have an army of their own.
    It is now clear you haven't read anything on the subject.

    Any proposal for an EU-wide defence force would require unanimous support from all member states. Yes, even those on the other side of that divide you mention. They have a veto!

    They are also net receivers from the EU and enjoy EU aide.

    It is still early days. The Franco-German accord is just one tiny step.

    If you had read anything, even at a high level, on this subject you would have understood that efficicies are one of the goals. They are referenced in one form or another, all over the place.

    -- Annex the Council Conclusions on Security and Defence in the context 
    of the EU Global Strategy, adopted by the Council at its 3700th meeting held on 17 June 2019.--

    Point 25: EDF

    "Looks forward to the swift adoption and implementation of the European Defence Fund, following the common understanding reached in February by the European Parliament and the Council on the related Regulation and once an overall agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 is reached. The Council stresses the importance of the Fund in helping to enhance the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the EDTIB throughout the Union. The Council also welcomes the foreseen role of the EDF in promoting disruptive technologies for defence."


    You are correct, I am not an expert on the EU.

    Nevertheless as a casual observer it seems fairly self-evident the EU is a power grab by Germany and France so they can rule the Continent through the administrative state where they failed in the past militarily.  And Germany does enjoy throwing its weight around.  You saw this during the 2008 financial crisis and then more recently with Merkel's extremely generous migration policy which she expects all member states to fall in line with, no matter if they view her policies as needlessly reckless or not.

    So the creation of an EU army is just another step in the German consolidation of power.

    And I think you have to be a little bit naive to not notice the trend.  For instance if Germany really cared about its military so much, they wouldn't have such trouble meeting their 2% NATO funding requirement.  So their own military is not their primary concern, they merely want to be in control of everyone else's.


    And then of course the EU bureaucrats are going to sell the idea of an EU army to the public on promises of greater "efficiency"!

    I mean do you really expect them to say:  "Hey, this is nothing but a naked power grab, I hope y'all don't mind..."

  • Reply 122 of 186
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    Germany and France enjoy throwing their weight around by pooling their resources with others and underwriting other less wealthy and productive countries?  Weird understanding of power grab you have.  You must be incensed at the underhand and Machiavellian nature of cooperatives.
  • Reply 123 of 186
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,208member
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    I am not confused.

    What problem do you have with the Guardian?

    It has participated in all of the recent multi-paper investigations of the last few years.

    At the time of the Balkan conflict the EU had no option but diplomacy, although from the beginning NATO was seen as the best way to handle a response. It wasn't until Javier Solana became the first High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security in 1999, that the EU had a common exterior voice.

    Weekly protests by yellow jackets have been widely reported (Guardian included) but the yellow jacket protests are aimed at Macron, not the EU and yesterday's protests were at best pockets of protest. A tiny minority of the people that turned out for the celebrations. After dark, we see the Anti-System come out to smash windows, burn rubbish bins and confront the police. They are not yellow jacket protesters and don't care about their protests. They are simply a form of hooligan.

    As for Germany, it has long kept its head down when it comes military hardware and for obvious reasons. It also had the difficult (and extremely costly process of reunification to deal with) plus the worst world economic downturn on record.

    That doesn't change the facts though and the facts are that the EU is moving to improve its defence options through more integration and efficiencies.
    The EU's desire for an EU army has nothing to do with "efficiency", rather it's about weakening the member states.

    For instance if Poland no longer has a standing army of their own, Brussels can order them around with ever increasing force in the years to come.

    And considering a wide divide is developing between the nations of Western Europe versus Eastern on a range of issues, (migration, taxation) this is no small advantage in Brussel's favor to have an army of their own.
    It is now clear you haven't read anything on the subject.

    Any proposal for an EU-wide defence force would require unanimous support from all member states. Yes, even those on the other side of that divide you mention. They have a veto!

    They are also net receivers from the EU and enjoy EU aide.

    It is still early days. The Franco-German accord is just one tiny step.

    If you had read anything, even at a high level, on this subject you would have understood that efficicies are one of the goals. They are referenced in one form or another, all over the place.

    -- Annex the Council Conclusions on Security and Defence in the context 
    of the EU Global Strategy, adopted by the Council at its 3700th meeting held on 17 June 2019.--

    Point 25: EDF

    "Looks forward to the swift adoption and implementation of the European Defence Fund, following the common understanding reached in February by the European Parliament and the Council on the related Regulation and once an overall agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 is reached. The Council stresses the importance of the Fund in helping to enhance the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the EDTIB throughout the Union. The Council also welcomes the foreseen role of the EDF in promoting disruptive technologies for defence."


    You are correct, I am not an expert on the EU.

    Nevertheless as a casual observer it seems fairly self-evident the EU is a power grab by Germany and France so they can rule the Continent through the administrative state where they failed in the past militarily.  And Germany does enjoy throwing its weight around.  You saw this during the 2008 financial crisis and then more recently with Merkel's extremely generous migration policy which she expects all member states to fall in line with, no matter if they view her policies as needlessly reckless or not.

    So the creation of an EU army is just another step in the German consolidation of power.

    And I think you have to be a little bit naive to not notice the trend.  For instance if Germany really cared about its military so much, they wouldn't have such trouble meeting their 2% NATO funding requirement.  So their own military is not their primary concern, they merely want to be in control of everyone else's.


    And then of course the EU bureaucrats are going to sell the idea of an EU army to the public on promises of greater "efficiency"!

    I mean do you really expect them to say:  "Hey, this is nothing but a naked power grab, I hope y'all don't mind..."

    Germany, the most industrialised state in the EU has been the motor of the bloc. As a permanent net contributor to the bloc and its poorer nations, yes it does carry weight and influence (like others) but the countries you place on the other side of 'the divide' were all eager to join, knowing full well the conditions and get a veto on major decisions. They wouldn't have been so eager to join if they had reservations. Their weight is proportional to different factors but veto power is not easy to come by for smaller nations so that is a big win.

    The EU may not be perfect but its citizens are overwhelmingly pro EU. Yes, I am also pro EU and enjoying so many things that we now take for granted. Free movement, consumer protection, WEEE, RoHs, environment protection - stability.

    In my case (Spain) the EU courts have ruled against Spanish banking abuses which would never have succeeded inside Spain. That's billions of euros finding their way back to consumers.

    The EU is also coming down hard on Spain for failing to tackle pollution. That's a big positive if you're breathing the Barcelona air.

    We have  learned a lot from each other but no one has lost their cultural identity either (which was a big fear of people 30 years ago).




    Carnage
  • Reply 124 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    avon b7 said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    I am not confused.

    What problem do you have with the Guardian?

    It has participated in all of the recent multi-paper investigations of the last few years.

    At the time of the Balkan conflict the EU had no option but diplomacy, although from the beginning NATO was seen as the best way to handle a response. It wasn't until Javier Solana became the first High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security in 1999, that the EU had a common exterior voice.

    Weekly protests by yellow jackets have been widely reported (Guardian included) but the yellow jacket protests are aimed at Macron, not the EU and yesterday's protests were at best pockets of protest. A tiny minority of the people that turned out for the celebrations. After dark, we see the Anti-System come out to smash windows, burn rubbish bins and confront the police. They are not yellow jacket protesters and don't care about their protests. They are simply a form of hooligan.

    As for Germany, it has long kept its head down when it comes military hardware and for obvious reasons. It also had the difficult (and extremely costly process of reunification to deal with) plus the worst world economic downturn on record.

    That doesn't change the facts though and the facts are that the EU is moving to improve its defence options through more integration and efficiencies.
    The EU's desire for an EU army has nothing to do with "efficiency", rather it's about weakening the member states.

    For instance if Poland no longer has a standing army of their own, Brussels can order them around with ever increasing force in the years to come.

    And considering a wide divide is developing between the nations of Western Europe versus Eastern on a range of issues, (migration, taxation) this is no small advantage in Brussel's favor to have an army of their own.
    It is now clear you haven't read anything on the subject.

    Any proposal for an EU-wide defence force would require unanimous support from all member states. Yes, even those on the other side of that divide you mention. They have a veto!

    They are also net receivers from the EU and enjoy EU aide.

    It is still early days. The Franco-German accord is just one tiny step.

    If you had read anything, even at a high level, on this subject you would have understood that efficicies are one of the goals. They are referenced in one form or another, all over the place.

    -- Annex the Council Conclusions on Security and Defence in the context 
    of the EU Global Strategy, adopted by the Council at its 3700th meeting held on 17 June 2019.--

    Point 25: EDF

    "Looks forward to the swift adoption and implementation of the European Defence Fund, following the common understanding reached in February by the European Parliament and the Council on the related Regulation and once an overall agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 is reached. The Council stresses the importance of the Fund in helping to enhance the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the EDTIB throughout the Union. The Council also welcomes the foreseen role of the EDF in promoting disruptive technologies for defence."


    You are correct, I am not an expert on the EU.

    Nevertheless as a casual observer it seems fairly self-evident the EU is a power grab by Germany and France so they can rule the Continent through the administrative state where they failed in the past militarily.  And Germany does enjoy throwing its weight around.  You saw this during the 2008 financial crisis and then more recently with Merkel's extremely generous migration policy which she expects all member states to fall in line with, no matter if they view her policies as needlessly reckless or not.

    So the creation of an EU army is just another step in the German consolidation of power.

    And I think you have to be a little bit naive to not notice the trend.  For instance if Germany really cared about its military so much, they wouldn't have such trouble meeting their 2% NATO funding requirement.  So their own military is not their primary concern, they merely want to be in control of everyone else's.


    And then of course the EU bureaucrats are going to sell the idea of an EU army to the public on promises of greater "efficiency"!

    I mean do you really expect them to say:  "Hey, this is nothing but a naked power grab, I hope y'all don't mind..."

    Germany, the most industrialised state in the EU has been the motor of the bloc. As a permanent net contributor to the bloc and its poorer nations, yes it does carry weight and influence (like others) but the countries you place on the other side of 'the divide' were all eager to join, knowing full well the conditions and get a veto on major decisions. They wouldn't have been so eager to join if they had reservations. Their weight is proportional to different factors but veto power is not easy to come by for smaller nations so that is a big win.

    The EU may not be perfect but its citizens are overwhelmingly pro EU. Yes, I am also pro EU and enjoying so many things that we now take for granted. Free movement, consumer protection, WEEE, RoHs, environment protection - stability.

    In my case (Spain) the EU courts have ruled against Spanish banking abuses which would never have succeeded inside Spain. That's billions of euros finding their way back to consumers.

    The EU is also coming down hard on Spain for failing to tackle pollution. That's a big positive if you're breathing the Barcelona air.

    We have  learned a lot from each other but no one has lost their cultural identity either (which was a big fear of people 30 years ago).




    Thank you, I enjoyed reading your post...  And how are things in Barcelona??  Been meaning to visit there, but haven't had the chance yet.

    And yes I agree with you the EU has done some very good things.  The eastern europeans were indeed absolutely dying to join the EU a number of years ago because they were very poor after the Soviet Union collapsed and needed all the financial help they could get.

    However things change and as the EU has evolved, many people are starting to worry that too much power has shifted to Brussels.

    And no bigger issue looms across the EU than immigration.  Merkel favors nearly unlimited immigration, as does Guy Verhofstadt, and so the countries of eastern europe are very much worried about losing their cultural identity.  So the big fear you mention from 30 years ago, is alive today as well, if not more so.

    So there is this uneasy tension these days in the EU between national sovereignty and the EU superstate.  How this all resolves is anyone's guess, but the EU shows no signs of slowing down in its quest for ever greater powers.  And for those who don't believe in a 'one-size-fits-all' philosophy, this is not so welcome.


    And then of course, there is Brexit.  If Britain didn't enjoy being in the EU, it's quite possible other countries aren't enjoying the experience either.

    But nice to hear the EU has been helping Spain combat air pollution as well as bank corruption...  Nothing to complain about there.  ;)
    edited July 15
  • Reply 125 of 186
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member
    This seems like a good tax measure and other countries should consider it. Why??

    The problem is that the big five tech firms and other multinational play tax and accounting games at a global level to get around playing there fair share of local taxes.

    In Australia most of the big tech firms pay virtual no tax despite making billions of dollars in our country. Not because they aren’t profitable but because they just move the money around to make it look like they make no money.... rubbish.

    This is unfair to local businesses that don’t have the ability / scale of business to do this and thus pay a tax rate closer to 30% in Australia vs the virtually nothing that these companies pay.

    The second problem with this is that these companies are generating money in other nations while providing little back. These companies use our airports our roads our infrastructure yet pay virtually nothing to help keep it going despite using it.. just take take take.

    This helps funnel billions of dollars back to a few rich Americans in Silicon Valley. I get why you would be pro this happening if you’re American, cause it is good for the US. For the rest of the world it’s not great and nations are looking for a way to fix this. 

    It’s a difficult problem for a country to solve as a country can only make tax laws over there own area. Trying to get a global tax agreement between nations to stop this is extremely difficult so good on France for saying enough is enough.... you won’t pay your fair share, fine we will start going after your revenue. I hope many more do

    All Apple sales are taxed in Europe with VAT. As for company profits, since Apple is a US corporation it is US where that corporation tax is due. What would you feel if EU begins taxing Australian corporations just because they export goods and services to EU?

    Local subsidiaries of Apple are already paying their corporation tax in the countries where they are established. This is not those profits EU is trying to hunt. EU is in the pursuit of root Apple’s profits.
    @macplusplus , VAT is not a tax Apple is paying. They are a collections agent, turning over the end-user taxes they've collected on a countries behalf. It's a consumer tax not a corporate one. That would be like me claiming I'm paying thousands in sales tax every year from the sales I make to my customers. No. it's my customers paying the tax, I'm simply a collections agent for the state. 

    And no the French are not after Apple's worldwide revenues either.
    This is for services provided to French citizens living in France, but where the majority of those profits are currently being shifted to Ireland where a reduced rate is paid instead of subject to taxation in the country where the service was provided: France.

    That's a typical accounting tactic, tax trickery in essence IMO, used by big multinationals and not available to the vast majority of companies doing business in France. (According to a recent article little tax may be paid in Ireland as well with Apple purportedly moving operations to Jersey within the last year to avoid it)
    edited July 15
  • Reply 126 of 186
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    gatorguy said:
    This seems like a good tax measure and other countries should consider it. Why??

    The problem is that the big five tech firms and other multinational play tax and accounting games at a global level to get around playing there fair share of local taxes.

    In Australia most of the big tech firms pay virtual no tax despite making billions of dollars in our country. Not because they aren’t profitable but because they just move the money around to make it look like they make no money.... rubbish.

    This is unfair to local businesses that don’t have the ability / scale of business to do this and thus pay a tax rate closer to 30% in Australia vs the virtually nothing that these companies pay.

    The second problem with this is that these companies are generating money in other nations while providing little back. These companies use our airports our roads our infrastructure yet pay virtually nothing to help keep it going despite using it.. just take take take.

    This helps funnel billions of dollars back to a few rich Americans in Silicon Valley. I get why you would be pro this happening if you’re American, cause it is good for the US. For the rest of the world it’s not great and nations are looking for a way to fix this. 

    It’s a difficult problem for a country to solve as a country can only make tax laws over there own area. Trying to get a global tax agreement between nations to stop this is extremely difficult so good on France for saying enough is enough.... you won’t pay your fair share, fine we will start going after your revenue. I hope many more do

    All Apple sales are taxed in Europe with VAT. As for company profits, since Apple is a US corporation it is US where that corporation tax is due. What would you feel if EU begins taxing Australian corporations just because they export goods and services to EU?

    Local subsidiaries of Apple are already paying their corporation tax in the countries where they are established. This is not those profits EU is trying to hunt. EU is in the pursuit of root Apple’s profits.
    @macplusplus , VAT is not a tax Apple is paying. They are a collections agent, turning over the end-user taxes they've collected on a countries behalf. It's a consumer tax not a corporate one. That would be like me claiming I'm paying thousands in sales tax every year from teh sales I make to my customers. No. it's my customers paying the tax, I'm simply a collections agent for the state. 

    And no the French are not after Apple's worldwide revenues either.
    This is for services provided to French citizens living in France, but where the majority of those profits are currently being shifted to Ireland where a reduced rate is paid instead of subject to taxation in the country where the service was provided: France.

    That's a typical accounting tactic, tax trickery in essence, used by big multinationals and not available to the vast majority of companies doing business there. (According to a recent article little tax may be paid in Ireland as well with Apple purportedly moving operations to Jersey within the last year to avoid it)
    Before inventing conspiracy theories get informed. There 

    https://www.apple.com/jobs/euro/eu_registration.html

    There is an Apple subsidiary in almost ALL COUNTRIES Apple operates. Those subsidiaries are TAXED in the countries they are established. Cork may get additional profits over those subsidiaries, such as when exporting hardware to those countries. If so then obviously it will be taxed in Ireland. Nothing is shifted nowhere, every company in the chain gets its profits and pays its taxes LOCALLY. Find another artist for your wet financial porn dreams.

    Apple is just a brand and a logical entity when talking worldwide. There are several Apple companies as independent business entities subject to local and international law and trade agreements. And don’t worry tax laws never have loopholes. Governments and lawmakers are not that stupid to make evading taxes so easy.
    edited July 15
  • Reply 127 of 186
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,451member
    Abalos65 said:
    knowitall said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    The EU is forced upon its citizens (with no option to vote on it) by politicians aiming to get a very profitable second career at the EU parliament (effectively selling out the interests of their own country).
    Are you from a country within the EU? In that case you missed an election only two months ago: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/at-your-service/en/be-heard/elections
    No, it was the initial vote to be able to prevent the ‘election’ you mention that was withheld from the people within the region now called the EU.
    cat52
  • Reply 128 of 186
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    macplusplus said:

    Nothing is shifted nowhere
    Do you actually believe this?  There have been countless news stories about how Apple manipulated their operations to shift most EU profits into Ireland to minimise their tax liability.  They've been fined for it before.

    https://www.cultofmac.com/455660/france-tax-bill/
  • Reply 129 of 186
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    Or was the double negative intentional?
  • Reply 130 of 186
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,324member
    jbdragon said:
    dougd said:
    Awww Apple has to pay some tax boo hoo


    No Apple is NOT going to pay those Taxes. Corporations don't pay taxes, YOU DO!!! Prices will go up to cover the taxes. This is the #1 way for Politicians to tax the people and yet look good, like they're doing something that everyone likes. Gets those EVIL company's!!! If they just flatr out raised taxes on YOU, you'd be mad and vote them out of office. Instead, they do this round about way. They Tax the company's, the company's raise prices, YOU the customer are now paying higher prices, paying for that new tax. Really, it's just another tax on YOU. Company's aren't going to just eat it as it cuts into their bottom line and the shareholders aren't going to just allow them to eat the cost. For many things, profit margins are pretty slim. a 3% tax could be a break even point. Not even worth doing business. Prices will have to go up to compensate.

    So no, Apple won't be paying these taxes. YOU will if you buy anything from Apple, or Google, or Amazon, etc. Have fun with that.
    That’s not true at all. Prices are determined by the market or by what the company wants to price at. Increased taxes reduce profit. The only tax paid by the consumer is a sales tax.  



  • Reply 131 of 186
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member
    gatorguy said:
    This seems like a good tax measure and other countries should consider it. Why??

    The problem is that the big five tech firms and other multinational play tax and accounting games at a global level to get around playing there fair share of local taxes.

    In Australia most of the big tech firms pay virtual no tax despite making billions of dollars in our country. Not because they aren’t profitable but because they just move the money around to make it look like they make no money.... rubbish.

    This is unfair to local businesses that don’t have the ability / scale of business to do this and thus pay a tax rate closer to 30% in Australia vs the virtually nothing that these companies pay.

    The second problem with this is that these companies are generating money in other nations while providing little back. These companies use our airports our roads our infrastructure yet pay virtually nothing to help keep it going despite using it.. just take take take.

    This helps funnel billions of dollars back to a few rich Americans in Silicon Valley. I get why you would be pro this happening if you’re American, cause it is good for the US. For the rest of the world it’s not great and nations are looking for a way to fix this. 

    It’s a difficult problem for a country to solve as a country can only make tax laws over there own area. Trying to get a global tax agreement between nations to stop this is extremely difficult so good on France for saying enough is enough.... you won’t pay your fair share, fine we will start going after your revenue. I hope many more do

    All Apple sales are taxed in Europe with VAT. As for company profits, since Apple is a US corporation it is US where that corporation tax is due. What would you feel if EU begins taxing Australian corporations just because they export goods and services to EU?

    Local subsidiaries of Apple are already paying their corporation tax in the countries where they are established. This is not those profits EU is trying to hunt. EU is in the pursuit of root Apple’s profits.
    @macplusplus , VAT is not a tax Apple is paying. They are a collections agent, turning over the end-user taxes they've collected on a countries behalf. It's a consumer tax not a corporate one. That would be like me claiming I'm paying thousands in sales tax every year from teh sales I make to my customers. No. it's my customers paying the tax, I'm simply a collections agent for the state. 

    And no the French are not after Apple's worldwide revenues either.
    This is for services provided to French citizens living in France, but where the majority of those profits are currently being shifted to Ireland where a reduced rate is paid instead of subject to taxation in the country where the service was provided: France.

    That's a typical accounting tactic, tax trickery in essence, used by big multinationals and not available to the vast majority of companies doing business there. (According to a recent article little tax may be paid in Ireland as well with Apple purportedly moving operations to Jersey within the last year to avoid it)
    Before inventing conspiracy theories get informed. There 

    https://www.apple.com/jobs/euro/eu_registration.html

    There is an Apple subsidiary in almost ALL COUNTRIES Apple operates. Those subsidiaries are TAXED in the countries they are established. Cork may get additional profits over those subsidiaries, such as when exporting hardware to those countries. If so then obviously it will be taxed in Ireland. Nothing is shifted nowhere, every company in the chain gets its profits and pays its taxes LOCALLY. Find another artist for your wet financial porn dreams.
    Your research is horrid... 
    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/apple-records-global-sales-of-119bn-in-ireland-1.3283066
    https://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/episode-363-apple-s-tax-shelters-marvel-vs-dc-london-s-wartime-stretcher-fences-lost-jewish-music-more-1.4391482/how-apple-managed-to-pay-almost-no-tax-on-billions-in-profits-1.4391505
    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/apple-paid-36m-tax-on-7-11bn-profits-at-irish-unit-1.1715727


    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 132 of 186
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,324member
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    I am not confused.

    What problem do you have with the Guardian?

    It has participated in all of the recent multi-paper investigations of the last few years.

    At the time of the Balkan conflict the EU had no option but diplomacy, although from the beginning NATO was seen as the best way to handle a response. It wasn't until Javier Solana became the first High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security in 1999, that the EU had a common exterior voice.

    Weekly protests by yellow jackets have been widely reported (Guardian included) but the yellow jacket protests are aimed at Macron, not the EU and yesterday's protests were at best pockets of protest. A tiny minority of the people that turned out for the celebrations. After dark, we see the Anti-System come out to smash windows, burn rubbish bins and confront the police. They are not yellow jacket protesters and don't care about their protests. They are simply a form of hooligan.

    As for Germany, it has long kept its head down when it comes military hardware and for obvious reasons. It also had the difficult (and extremely costly process of reunification to deal with) plus the worst world economic downturn on record.

    That doesn't change the facts though and the facts are that the EU is moving to improve its defence options through more integration and efficiencies.
    The EU's desire for an EU army has nothing to do with "efficiency", rather it's about weakening the member states.

    For instance if Poland no longer has a standing army of their own, Brussels can order them around with ever increasing force in the years to come.

    And considering a wide divide is developing between the nations of Western Europe versus Eastern on a range of issues, (migration, taxation) this is no small advantage in Brussel's favor to have an army of their own.
    It is now clear you haven't read anything on the subject.

    Any proposal for an EU-wide defence force would require unanimous support from all member states. Yes, even those on the other side of that divide you mention. They have a veto!

    They are also net receivers from the EU and enjoy EU aide.

    It is still early days. The Franco-German accord is just one tiny step.

    If you had read anything, even at a high level, on this subject you would have understood that efficicies are one of the goals. They are referenced in one form or another, all over the place.

    -- Annex the Council Conclusions on Security and Defence in the context 
    of the EU Global Strategy, adopted by the Council at its 3700th meeting held on 17 June 2019.--

    Point 25: EDF

    "Looks forward to the swift adoption and implementation of the European Defence Fund, following the common understanding reached in February by the European Parliament and the Council on the related Regulation and once an overall agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 is reached. The Council stresses the importance of the Fund in helping to enhance the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the EDTIB throughout the Union. The Council also welcomes the foreseen role of the EDF in promoting disruptive technologies for defence."


    You are correct, I am not an expert on the EU.

    Nevertheless as a casual observer it seems fairly self-evident the EU is a power grab by Germany and France so they can rule the Continent through the administrative state where they failed in the past militarily.  And Germany does enjoy throwing its weight around.  You saw this during the 2008 financial crisis and then more recently with Merkel's extremely generous migration policy which she expects all member states to fall in line with, no matter if they view her policies as needlessly reckless or not.

    So the creation of an EU army is just another step in the German consolidation of power.

    And I think you have to be a little bit naive to not notice the trend.  For instance if Germany really cared about its military so much, they wouldn't have such trouble meeting their 2% NATO funding requirement.  So their own military is not their primary concern, they merely want to be in control of everyone else's.


    And then of course the EU bureaucrats are going to sell the idea of an EU army to the public on promises of greater "efficiency"!

    I mean do you really expect them to say:  "Hey, this is nothing but a naked power grab, I hope y'all don't mind..."

    Germany is one of the least power grabbing nations on earth, these days and one of the best regarded by its neighbours. Bit odd to see someone from the US (presumably) talk about power grabbing. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 133 of 186
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,324member
    gatorguy said:
    This seems like a good tax measure and other countries should consider it. Why??

    The problem is that the big five tech firms and other multinational play tax and accounting games at a global level to get around playing there fair share of local taxes.

    In Australia most of the big tech firms pay virtual no tax despite making billions of dollars in our country. Not because they aren’t profitable but because they just move the money around to make it look like they make no money.... rubbish.

    This is unfair to local businesses that don’t have the ability / scale of business to do this and thus pay a tax rate closer to 30% in Australia vs the virtually nothing that these companies pay.

    The second problem with this is that these companies are generating money in other nations while providing little back. These companies use our airports our roads our infrastructure yet pay virtually nothing to help keep it going despite using it.. just take take take.

    This helps funnel billions of dollars back to a few rich Americans in Silicon Valley. I get why you would be pro this happening if you’re American, cause it is good for the US. For the rest of the world it’s not great and nations are looking for a way to fix this. 

    It’s a difficult problem for a country to solve as a country can only make tax laws over there own area. Trying to get a global tax agreement between nations to stop this is extremely difficult so good on France for saying enough is enough.... you won’t pay your fair share, fine we will start going after your revenue. I hope many more do

    All Apple sales are taxed in Europe with VAT. As for company profits, since Apple is a US corporation it is US where that corporation tax is due. What would you feel if EU begins taxing Australian corporations just because they export goods and services to EU?

    Local subsidiaries of Apple are already paying their corporation tax in the countries where they are established. This is not those profits EU is trying to hunt. EU is in the pursuit of root Apple’s profits.
    @macplusplus , VAT is not a tax Apple is paying. They are a collections agent, turning over the end-user taxes they've collected on a countries behalf. It's a consumer tax not a corporate one. That would be like me claiming I'm paying thousands in sales tax every year from the sales I make to my customers. No. it's my customers paying the tax, I'm simply a collections agent for the state. 

    And no the French are not after Apple's worldwide revenues either.
    This is for services provided to French citizens living in France, but where the majority of those profits are currently being shifted to Ireland where a reduced rate is paid instead of subject to taxation in the country where the service was provided: France.

    That's a typical accounting tactic, tax trickery in essence IMO, used by big multinationals and not available to the vast majority of companies doing business in France. (According to a recent article little tax may be paid in Ireland as well with Apple purportedly moving operations to Jersey within the last year to avoid it)
    Apple is a just collection agent for VAT  but so what? That’s still a tax take for the French government. Taking corporate profits is an entirely different thing
    and it goes against the existing tax treaties. 

    (Taxing revenue rather than profit is also problematic as is setting the tax to 3% of all revenue past a threshold. A threshold designed to stop the tax being taxed on French service providers perhaps). 
  • Reply 134 of 186
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    crowley said:
    macplusplus said:

    Nothing is shifted nowhere
    Do you actually believe this?  There have been countless news stories about how Apple manipulated their operations to shift most EU profits into Ireland to minimise their tax liability.  They've been fined for it before.

    https://www.cultofmac.com/455660/france-tax-bill/
    You cannot shift a profit. Don’t even try. Detecting profit is the most basic thing in a tax investigation. To shift a profit you have to commit rough crimes such as shill invoicing, money laundering and alike. Companies at Apple’s scale are continuously monitored during their operations by the tax authorities, SEC etc...
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    This seems like a good tax measure and other countries should consider it. Why??

    The problem is that the big five tech firms and other multinational play tax and accounting games at a global level to get around playing there fair share of local taxes.

    In Australia most of the big tech firms pay virtual no tax despite making billions of dollars in our country. Not because they aren’t profitable but because they just move the money around to make it look like they make no money.... rubbish.

    This is unfair to local businesses that don’t have the ability / scale of business to do this and thus pay a tax rate closer to 30% in Australia vs the virtually nothing that these companies pay.

    The second problem with this is that these companies are generating money in other nations while providing little back. These companies use our airports our roads our infrastructure yet pay virtually nothing to help keep it going despite using it.. just take take take.

    This helps funnel billions of dollars back to a few rich Americans in Silicon Valley. I get why you would be pro this happening if you’re American, cause it is good for the US. For the rest of the world it’s not great and nations are looking for a way to fix this. 

    It’s a difficult problem for a country to solve as a country can only make tax laws over there own area. Trying to get a global tax agreement between nations to stop this is extremely difficult so good on France for saying enough is enough.... you won’t pay your fair share, fine we will start going after your revenue. I hope many more do

    All Apple sales are taxed in Europe with VAT. As for company profits, since Apple is a US corporation it is US where that corporation tax is due. What would you feel if EU begins taxing Australian corporations just because they export goods and services to EU?

    Local subsidiaries of Apple are already paying their corporation tax in the countries where they are established. This is not those profits EU is trying to hunt. EU is in the pursuit of root Apple’s profits.
    @macplusplus , VAT is not a tax Apple is paying. They are a collections agent, turning over the end-user taxes they've collected on a countries behalf. It's a consumer tax not a corporate one. That would be like me claiming I'm paying thousands in sales tax every year from teh sales I make to my customers. No. it's my customers paying the tax, I'm simply a collections agent for the state. 

    And no the French are not after Apple's worldwide revenues either.
    This is for services provided to French citizens living in France, but where the majority of those profits are currently being shifted to Ireland where a reduced rate is paid instead of subject to taxation in the country where the service was provided: France.

    That's a typical accounting tactic, tax trickery in essence, used by big multinationals and not available to the vast majority of companies doing business there. (According to a recent article little tax may be paid in Ireland as well with Apple purportedly moving operations to Jersey within the last year to avoid it)
    Before inventing conspiracy theories get informed. There 

    https://www.apple.com/jobs/euro/eu_registration.html

    There is an Apple subsidiary in almost ALL COUNTRIES Apple operates. Those subsidiaries are TAXED in the countries they are established. Cork may get additional profits over those subsidiaries, such as when exporting hardware to those countries. If so then obviously it will be taxed in Ireland. Nothing is shifted nowhere, every company in the chain gets its profits and pays its taxes LOCALLY. Find another artist for your wet financial porn dreams.
    Your research is horrid... 
    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/apple-records-global-sales-of-119bn-in-ireland-1.3283066
    https://www.cbc.ca/radio/day6/episode-363-apple-s-tax-shelters-marvel-vs-dc-london-s-wartime-stretcher-fences-lost-jewish-music-more-1.4391482/how-apple-managed-to-pay-almost-no-tax-on-billions-in-profits-1.4391505
    https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/apple-paid-36m-tax-on-7-11bn-profits-at-irish-unit-1.1715727

    Of course there may be differing political opinions or stances regarding international trade and fiscal issues, but things change when they are ported to legal and investigative platforms, because those platforms work on technical grounds, not on journalists’ opinions. And apparently Irish investigation by EU led to nowhere and France tries a different course of action...
    edited July 15
  • Reply 135 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    asdasd said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    I am not confused.

    What problem do you have with the Guardian?

    It has participated in all of the recent multi-paper investigations of the last few years.

    At the time of the Balkan conflict the EU had no option but diplomacy, although from the beginning NATO was seen as the best way to handle a response. It wasn't until Javier Solana became the first High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security in 1999, that the EU had a common exterior voice.

    Weekly protests by yellow jackets have been widely reported (Guardian included) but the yellow jacket protests are aimed at Macron, not the EU and yesterday's protests were at best pockets of protest. A tiny minority of the people that turned out for the celebrations. After dark, we see the Anti-System come out to smash windows, burn rubbish bins and confront the police. They are not yellow jacket protesters and don't care about their protests. They are simply a form of hooligan.

    As for Germany, it has long kept its head down when it comes military hardware and for obvious reasons. It also had the difficult (and extremely costly process of reunification to deal with) plus the worst world economic downturn on record.

    That doesn't change the facts though and the facts are that the EU is moving to improve its defence options through more integration and efficiencies.
    The EU's desire for an EU army has nothing to do with "efficiency", rather it's about weakening the member states.

    For instance if Poland no longer has a standing army of their own, Brussels can order them around with ever increasing force in the years to come.

    And considering a wide divide is developing between the nations of Western Europe versus Eastern on a range of issues, (migration, taxation) this is no small advantage in Brussel's favor to have an army of their own.
    It is now clear you haven't read anything on the subject.

    Any proposal for an EU-wide defence force would require unanimous support from all member states. Yes, even those on the other side of that divide you mention. They have a veto!

    They are also net receivers from the EU and enjoy EU aide.

    It is still early days. The Franco-German accord is just one tiny step.

    If you had read anything, even at a high level, on this subject you would have understood that efficicies are one of the goals. They are referenced in one form or another, all over the place.

    -- Annex the Council Conclusions on Security and Defence in the context 
    of the EU Global Strategy, adopted by the Council at its 3700th meeting held on 17 June 2019.--

    Point 25: EDF

    "Looks forward to the swift adoption and implementation of the European Defence Fund, following the common understanding reached in February by the European Parliament and the Council on the related Regulation and once an overall agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 is reached. The Council stresses the importance of the Fund in helping to enhance the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the EDTIB throughout the Union. The Council also welcomes the foreseen role of the EDF in promoting disruptive technologies for defence."


    You are correct, I am not an expert on the EU.

    Nevertheless as a casual observer it seems fairly self-evident the EU is a power grab by Germany and France so they can rule the Continent through the administrative state where they failed in the past militarily.  And Germany does enjoy throwing its weight around.  You saw this during the 2008 financial crisis and then more recently with Merkel's extremely generous migration policy which she expects all member states to fall in line with, no matter if they view her policies as needlessly reckless or not.

    So the creation of an EU army is just another step in the German consolidation of power.

    And I think you have to be a little bit naive to not notice the trend.  For instance if Germany really cared about its military so much, they wouldn't have such trouble meeting their 2% NATO funding requirement.  So their own military is not their primary concern, they merely want to be in control of everyone else's.


    And then of course the EU bureaucrats are going to sell the idea of an EU army to the public on promises of greater "efficiency"!

    I mean do you really expect them to say:  "Hey, this is nothing but a naked power grab, I hope y'all don't mind..."

    Germany is one of the least power grabbing nations on earth, these days and one of the best regarded by its neighbours. Bit odd to see someone from the US (presumably) talk about power grabbing. 
    Is that so?

    Talk to the Hungarians or the Poles or the Greeks or the Italians...

    Angela Merkel is not well liked outside the corridors of Berlin or Paris.


    And just because Germany throws its weight around from inside the EU these days, doesn't mean it's not transparent who's calling the shots.
    edited July 15
  • Reply 136 of 186
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    crowley said:
    macplusplus said:

    Nothing is shifted nowhere
    Do you actually believe this?  There have been countless news stories about how Apple manipulated their operations to shift most EU profits into Ireland to minimise their tax liability.  They've been fined for it before.

    https://www.cultofmac.com/455660/france-tax-bill/
    You cannot shift a profit. Don’t even try. Detecting profit is the most basic thing in a tax investigation. To shift a profit you have to commit rough crimes such as shill invoicing and alike. Companies at Apple’s scale are continuously monitored during their operations by the tax authorities, SEC etc...
    No idea what you're talking about, lots of forms of profit shifting can be legal or in a grey area, such as IP movement, setting up additional service companies (i.e. the Ireland operations entities) and digital service locationing in friendlier tax locales (e.g. iTunes S.à.r.l. in Luxembourg).  The latter of those is precisely what this new French tax law is being aimed at.  In addition, Apple has been found to have used illegal measures, see the link that I handily provided you
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 137 of 186
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    macplusplus said:

    Nothing is shifted nowhere
    Do you actually believe this?  There have been countless news stories about how Apple manipulated their operations to shift most EU profits into Ireland to minimise their tax liability.  They've been fined for it before.

    https://www.cultofmac.com/455660/france-tax-bill/
    You cannot shift a profit. Don’t even try. Detecting profit is the most basic thing in a tax investigation. To shift a profit you have to commit rough crimes such as shill invoicing and alike. Companies at Apple’s scale are continuously monitored during their operations by the tax authorities, SEC etc...
    No idea what you're talking about, lots of forms of profit shifting can be legal or in a grey area, such as IP movement, setting up additional service companies (i.e. the Ireland operations entities) and digital service locationing in friendlier tax locales (e.g. iTunes S.à.r.l. in Luxembourg).  The latter of those is precisely what this new French tax law is being aimed at.  In addition, Apple has been found to have used illegal measures, see the link that I handily provided you
    OK thank you, we have learned your political opinions, FWIW.
    edited July 15
  • Reply 138 of 186
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,018member
    cat52 said:
    asdasd said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    I am not confused.

    What problem do you have with the Guardian?

    It has participated in all of the recent multi-paper investigations of the last few years.

    At the time of the Balkan conflict the EU had no option but diplomacy, although from the beginning NATO was seen as the best way to handle a response. It wasn't until Javier Solana became the first High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security in 1999, that the EU had a common exterior voice.

    Weekly protests by yellow jackets have been widely reported (Guardian included) but the yellow jacket protests are aimed at Macron, not the EU and yesterday's protests were at best pockets of protest. A tiny minority of the people that turned out for the celebrations. After dark, we see the Anti-System come out to smash windows, burn rubbish bins and confront the police. They are not yellow jacket protesters and don't care about their protests. They are simply a form of hooligan.

    As for Germany, it has long kept its head down when it comes military hardware and for obvious reasons. It also had the difficult (and extremely costly process of reunification to deal with) plus the worst world economic downturn on record.

    That doesn't change the facts though and the facts are that the EU is moving to improve its defence options through more integration and efficiencies.
    The EU's desire for an EU army has nothing to do with "efficiency", rather it's about weakening the member states.

    For instance if Poland no longer has a standing army of their own, Brussels can order them around with ever increasing force in the years to come.

    And considering a wide divide is developing between the nations of Western Europe versus Eastern on a range of issues, (migration, taxation) this is no small advantage in Brussel's favor to have an army of their own.
    It is now clear you haven't read anything on the subject.

    Any proposal for an EU-wide defence force would require unanimous support from all member states. Yes, even those on the other side of that divide you mention. They have a veto!

    They are also net receivers from the EU and enjoy EU aide.

    It is still early days. The Franco-German accord is just one tiny step.

    If you had read anything, even at a high level, on this subject you would have understood that efficicies are one of the goals. They are referenced in one form or another, all over the place.

    -- Annex the Council Conclusions on Security and Defence in the context 
    of the EU Global Strategy, adopted by the Council at its 3700th meeting held on 17 June 2019.--

    Point 25: EDF

    "Looks forward to the swift adoption and implementation of the European Defence Fund, following the common understanding reached in February by the European Parliament and the Council on the related Regulation and once an overall agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 is reached. The Council stresses the importance of the Fund in helping to enhance the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the EDTIB throughout the Union. The Council also welcomes the foreseen role of the EDF in promoting disruptive technologies for defence."


    You are correct, I am not an expert on the EU.

    Nevertheless as a casual observer it seems fairly self-evident the EU is a power grab by Germany and France so they can rule the Continent through the administrative state where they failed in the past militarily.  And Germany does enjoy throwing its weight around.  You saw this during the 2008 financial crisis and then more recently with Merkel's extremely generous migration policy which she expects all member states to fall in line with, no matter if they view her policies as needlessly reckless or not.

    So the creation of an EU army is just another step in the German consolidation of power.

    And I think you have to be a little bit naive to not notice the trend.  For instance if Germany really cared about its military so much, they wouldn't have such trouble meeting their 2% NATO funding requirement.  So their own military is not their primary concern, they merely want to be in control of everyone else's.


    And then of course the EU bureaucrats are going to sell the idea of an EU army to the public on promises of greater "efficiency"!

    I mean do you really expect them to say:  "Hey, this is nothing but a naked power grab, I hope y'all don't mind..."

    Germany is one of the least power grabbing nations on earth, these days and one of the best regarded by its neighbours. Bit odd to see someone from the US (presumably) talk about power grabbing. 
    Is that so?

    Talk to the Hungarians or the Poles or the Greeks or the Italians...

    Angela Merkel is not well liked outside the corridors of Berlin or Paris.


    And just because Germany throws its weight around from inside the EU these days, doesn't mean it's not transparent who's calling the shots.
    As the most populous, richest, and most productive country in the union of course they wield a lot of influence.  Not sure why you're surprised by that.  Antipathy towards a single leader for fairly simple policy differences is not evidence that a country is power grabbing.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 139 of 186
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member
    crowley said:
    macplusplus said:

    Nothing is shifted nowhere
    Do you actually believe this?  There have been countless news stories about how Apple manipulated their operations to shift most EU profits into Ireland to minimise their tax liability.  They've been fined for it before.

    https://www.cultofmac.com/455660/france-tax-bill/
    You cannot shift a profit. Don’t even try. Detecting profit is the most basic thing in a tax investigation. To shift a profit you have to commit rough crimes such as shill invoicing, money laundering and alike. Companies at Apple’s scale are continuously monitored during their operations by the tax authorities, SEC etc...

    Of course there may be differing political opinions or stances regarding international trade and fiscal issues, but things change when they are ported to legal and investigative platforms, because those platforms work on technical grounds, not on journalists’ opinions. And apparently Irish investigation by EU led to nowhere and France tries a different course of action...
    @macplusplus ;
     In Japan Apple's tax plans were deemed tax evasion.Yes Apple hid profits and no they are not the only multinational who has done so. It is also not as easy to discover as you like to claim it is. 
    https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Japan-casts-wider-net-for-corporate-tax-evaders

    Apple refused to pay it's Italian corporate taxes on profit from sales in that country until one of Apple's executives was threatened with a six-month jail sentence for filing false tax documents. aka tax fraud.  
    https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/irishbased-apple-executive-spared-italy-jail-sentence-35167822.html

    What Apple has been doing is buying iProducts from China through its Irish company. It then sells those products at a higher price to yet other Apple owned subsidiaries who then sell those same products to its Apple owned distributors across Europe like Apple Germany, Apple Italy, Apple France and so on, again at some even higher price which assures there's little profit realized when the products sell to citizens in a particular country. Those Apple-owned subsidiaries are left with just enough margin in the deal to cover their costs. Because their margins and their costs are designed to be roughly equal there's not much if any taxes to pay in the countries where the sale occurred because there's not much left in the way of profits in them. All the profits were realized far up the chain and they are substantial.

    So at the end of the day those profits end up sitting in Apple Ireland, or as reported now in Apple Jersey (see Paradise Papers https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41889787) and as such they are not taxable in the country where the transaction took place. But yeah, technically Apple is obligated to pay its taxes in the country where the profit was realized, and Apple might claim to pay all the taxes they are legally obligated to pay. It's just not the country where the retail sale happened. 

    Is Apple being picked on? Nope. Google for instance has had its own share of tax avoidance schemes
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/03/google-tax-haven-bermuda-netherlands
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/google-avoided-paying-15bn-tax-14250344

    edited July 15 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 140 of 186
    cat52cat52 Posts: 38member
    crowley said:
    cat52 said:
    asdasd said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    cat52 said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    seanj said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    iCave said:
    I'm not sure which country you are from, but looking at high quality health care and affordable education provided in most of the European Union, it bears evidence that high taxes, when used the right way, do pay social dividends.
    Complete baloney. The ONLY reason the EU has the social programs it has is because the EU members have NO military budgets to speak of. Instead the EU relies on the United States to protect it from the Russian Bear, the Middle East Islamic radicals. If the U.S. pulled out militarily from the EU and NATO those countries would have no choice but to dramatically increase their military budgets and those social programs would suffer big time. For over 70 years now the U.S. has spent its treasure to keep the peace in Europe.
    Now that is baloney. The absence of conflict in Europe is precisely because of the EU. 

    As for external threats and U.S 'protection', simply pull out of NATO if it costs too much!

    That won't happen because the U.S wants to keep its military bases in Europe. It wants to continue selling arms. It needs NATO allies. Without them (however 'small' their financial contribution) the Gulf wars would not have been possible and with so much debt, the U.S is rapidly approaching a point where it might have hardware to parade around but no be able to use in actual conflict. Wars are expensive.

    I'll take a balanced welfare state over any of that.


    https://www.businessinsider.com/how-nato-budget-is-funded-2018-7
    You're believing the spin from the Eurocrats I'm afraid, the EU has done NOTHING to prevent conflict in Europe.
    When Yugoslavia split and war broke out, including ethnic cleansing, it wasn't the EU that stopped it, it was NATO with the USA and UK at the forefront.
    As for the current ongoing war in the Ukraine, that's solely due to the EU courting the Ukraine to get them to join as part of their ongoing aggressive expansionist policy. Every observer pointed out that Russia would never allow Ukraine to join, but the EU persisted.
    Meanwhile there is civil unrest across Europe - weekly riots in France for months - and the rise of extremists on both left and right due to the EU's disasterous Euro policy. Economists warned back in the 90's that allowing countries with divergent economies to use a common currency would result in economic collapse, so rules were put in place to stop it. But when Eurocrats realised that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France would fail the test and be excluded from the Euro, they decided to ignore their own rules. As a result they set in train the sovereign debt crisis that erupted in 2009 and is still ongoing. The reason they did this was simple to trap these countries in the EU, leaving after having adopted the Euro would be nearly impossible.

    The USA and Canda should consider a mutual defence pact with a smaller set of countries - the UK and France account for nearly 50% of ALL of europe's military capability. In the long term, the like of Macron in France and the Eurocrats in Brussels want to undermine NATO and rely more on an EU Army. The hilarious thing is they don't want to fund it properly, for example, Germany's armed forces reduced to a token force with most ships, aircraft, and submarines unsable due to repairs being required.

    You are mixing different things up.

    Yugoslavia was not the EU and its problems were rooted in a completely non-EU world.

    Peace and stability is very much one of the pillars of the EU and the vast majority of EU citizens are pro EU (and I'm including UK citizens here).

    There are rules. Greece broke them (it lied) to join the euro. The consequences were hard to swallow but totally necessary. The blame lies - ultimately - with those who took Greece to where they did: its politicians. The world financial crisis also had roots. Do you remember where? The euro crisis was simply made worse by that but is now better prepared for future depressions. Of course, the U.S would have loved to see the euro fail.

    There is no civil unrest in Europe. There were violent protests in a few places in France - and for a clear reason. They were not anti EU protests. This is nothing new for the French. Have you ever seen how they deal with Spanish tomatoes?

    Do you really understand why some elements of the EU would like a unified EU controlled armed forces? It isn't hard to figure out and is nothing new. The EDC dates back to the fifties! At some point an alternative idea will get support and move forward. The U.S will not be happy when that happens.

    Ukraine?

    Ukraine wants to be rid of Russia as a threat. The only way that is going to happen is by joining the EU. We know the people of Ukraine are willing to give their lives to achieve their goals but first they must get their house in order and tackle corruption. The EU has a strategic interest in Ukraine and a pressing need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. That is already in progress.

    It's not 'euro spin' it's happening and people are supporting it in spite of populist movements peddling nationalistic manifests in most countries.

    And for something weird, defence and EU related:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/14/jet-powered-flyboard-soars-over-paris-for-bastille-day-parade

    It’s not surprising you’re confused if you quote and believe The Guardian newspaper!!!
    Yugoslavia wasn’t it the EU but the EU tried to stop the fighting the genocide by diplomatic means. It was up to NATO to stop it the only way possible, by military action. Afterwards after the fighting the EU was allowed in as a peacekeeping and policing force.

    The EU knew the Greeks lied about their economy to pass the rules. Italy Spain, Portugal and France didn’t even have to lie, the EU just ignored its own rules. And Greece’s problems are nothing compared to what Italy has.
    The Eurozone crisis was an inevitability, a bomb waiting to go off at any time. It just happened to have been the drying up of liquidity in the international markets in 2008 that set it off. You should be thankful, if that hadn’t triggered it and the same issue had gone on for another 10 years then even Germany would hVe been bankrupted by it.

    It may not be covered by the europhile media but there’s been weekly disturbances or riots by the yellow jackets for the last 34 weeks in Paris. And you obviously are ignorant of the rise of the AfD and waves of attacks against immigrants in Germany.

    As for the Ukraine, if it ever does submit a membership application to the EU, Russian tanks will arrive in Kiev before the application arrives in Brussels.

    And God help Europe if the EU thinks it can defend itself military without NATO. Only Poland would slow the Russians before they arrived at the French border. At the start of the year every single German submarine was broken, the majority of their air-force grounded, and their new frigates have to carry concrete ballast because the are top heavy with a 10 degree list to starboard. The German Tornadoes can’t fly at night because the lighting of the control panel interferes with their night vision:- an aircraft the RAF has already retired. And the German Defence Minister responsible for all this? She’s the new unelected EU Commission President!!!!

    BTW that Bastille Day Parade you linked to? Well the yellow jackets took the opportunity for more civil unrest...
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48983089
    I am not confused.

    What problem do you have with the Guardian?

    It has participated in all of the recent multi-paper investigations of the last few years.

    At the time of the Balkan conflict the EU had no option but diplomacy, although from the beginning NATO was seen as the best way to handle a response. It wasn't until Javier Solana became the first High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security in 1999, that the EU had a common exterior voice.

    Weekly protests by yellow jackets have been widely reported (Guardian included) but the yellow jacket protests are aimed at Macron, not the EU and yesterday's protests were at best pockets of protest. A tiny minority of the people that turned out for the celebrations. After dark, we see the Anti-System come out to smash windows, burn rubbish bins and confront the police. They are not yellow jacket protesters and don't care about their protests. They are simply a form of hooligan.

    As for Germany, it has long kept its head down when it comes military hardware and for obvious reasons. It also had the difficult (and extremely costly process of reunification to deal with) plus the worst world economic downturn on record.

    That doesn't change the facts though and the facts are that the EU is moving to improve its defence options through more integration and efficiencies.
    The EU's desire for an EU army has nothing to do with "efficiency", rather it's about weakening the member states.

    For instance if Poland no longer has a standing army of their own, Brussels can order them around with ever increasing force in the years to come.

    And considering a wide divide is developing between the nations of Western Europe versus Eastern on a range of issues, (migration, taxation) this is no small advantage in Brussel's favor to have an army of their own.
    It is now clear you haven't read anything on the subject.

    Any proposal for an EU-wide defence force would require unanimous support from all member states. Yes, even those on the other side of that divide you mention. They have a veto!

    They are also net receivers from the EU and enjoy EU aide.

    It is still early days. The Franco-German accord is just one tiny step.

    If you had read anything, even at a high level, on this subject you would have understood that efficicies are one of the goals. They are referenced in one form or another, all over the place.

    -- Annex the Council Conclusions on Security and Defence in the context 
    of the EU Global Strategy, adopted by the Council at its 3700th meeting held on 17 June 2019.--

    Point 25: EDF

    "Looks forward to the swift adoption and implementation of the European Defence Fund, following the common understanding reached in February by the European Parliament and the Council on the related Regulation and once an overall agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 is reached. The Council stresses the importance of the Fund in helping to enhance the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation capacity of the EDTIB throughout the Union. The Council also welcomes the foreseen role of the EDF in promoting disruptive technologies for defence."


    You are correct, I am not an expert on the EU.

    Nevertheless as a casual observer it seems fairly self-evident the EU is a power grab by Germany and France so they can rule the Continent through the administrative state where they failed in the past militarily.  And Germany does enjoy throwing its weight around.  You saw this during the 2008 financial crisis and then more recently with Merkel's extremely generous migration policy which she expects all member states to fall in line with, no matter if they view her policies as needlessly reckless or not.

    So the creation of an EU army is just another step in the German consolidation of power.

    And I think you have to be a little bit naive to not notice the trend.  For instance if Germany really cared about its military so much, they wouldn't have such trouble meeting their 2% NATO funding requirement.  So their own military is not their primary concern, they merely want to be in control of everyone else's.


    And then of course the EU bureaucrats are going to sell the idea of an EU army to the public on promises of greater "efficiency"!

    I mean do you really expect them to say:  "Hey, this is nothing but a naked power grab, I hope y'all don't mind..."

    Germany is one of the least power grabbing nations on earth, these days and one of the best regarded by its neighbours. Bit odd to see someone from the US (presumably) talk about power grabbing. 
    Is that so?

    Talk to the Hungarians or the Poles or the Greeks or the Italians...

    Angela Merkel is not well liked outside the corridors of Berlin or Paris.


    And just because Germany throws its weight around from inside the EU these days, doesn't mean it's not transparent who's calling the shots.
    As the most populous, richest, and most productive country in the union of course they wield a lot of influence.  Not sure why you're surprised by that.  Antipathy towards a single leader for fairly simple policy differences is not evidence that a country is power grabbing.
    If you want an example of power grabbing, here it is:

    During the summer of 2015 Merkel threw open the borders to Germany and 1.5 million refugees flooded into Germany.

    She then turned around and demanded that all EU member states take in their "fair share".

    Such unilateral decision making without consulting your friends and allies is the very definition of power grabbing.


    And try to tell us immigration is a "fairly simple policy difference".

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