Archive for March 8th, 2013

Rugby club plans ‘scrumble’ for cash on golf course

| 08/03/2013 | 0 Comments

151017-that-is-not-the-correct-shape-for-a-golf-ball-golf-cross-wanaka-new-zealand.jpg(CRFU): The 2013 Cayman Rugby “Scrumble” Golf Tournament is set to tee off at the North Sound Club Golf Course on March 15. The Tournament will be a Fourball Scramble format with Shotgun Starts at 8am and 1pm with the usual Putting Competition, “Closest to the Pin”, “Longest drive” and a Hole-in-One Competitions. Plus Cayman’s only “Major” (in memory of Steven Hall-Jones aka the Major) will be awarded to the winning team and over CI$ 2,000 in prizes.The Tournament, in support of the Cayman National Men’s Rugby Team, kicks of the Cayman Rugby Union’s fundraising efforts ahead of the 2013 Caribbean Championships where the Cayman Islands are likely to face off against either the Bahamas or USA South (away) on 4 May 2013 followed by “Big Game 3” here in Cayman vs. Bermuda on 1 June 2013.

Last year’s tournament winners, Jacques Scott will not be returning to defend their title so a new Major winner will be crowned. Sponsors: HSBC (Platinum), PriceWaterhouseCoopers (Bronze), Jacques Scott, Mise en Place. Those wishing to register for a tee off or interested in sponsorship or donating prizes can phone 517-6617 for more details
 

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Chamber sets date for candidate forums

| 08/03/2013 | 2 Comments

mac n cline.JPG(CNS): For the sixth time over the last two decades the Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a series of candidate forums next month in all of the districts, where would-be politicians and incumbents will face questions derived from a public opinion survey. All nominated candidates will be invited to participate in the sessions, which will be broadcast live on Radio Cayman. The Chamber has organised district forums each election since 1992. They are open to the public and audiences will be given an opportunity to submit further questions through the moderator on the evening of the event. The candidates do not get to see the questions beforehand and all are expected to answer on the hoof.

Over the last twenty years, the forums have proved to be successful and enlightening evenings, very different from the public meetings and campaign rhetoric that will dominate the hustings during the campaign.

The Chamber has already set the dates and venues for the events, which are posted below, but sponsors for the forums are urgently needed.  Anyone that can help or needs more information is asked to contact Kerry Pratt at kerry.pratt@caymanchamber.ky or 743-9126.

All forums begin at 7 pm.chamber forums_0.JPG

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PPM members confirm first ever West Bay team

| 08/03/2013 | 33 Comments

ray farrington.jpg(CNS): Members of the West Bay branch of the People’s Progressive Movement confirmed the nomination of three candidates to run in the district for the first time on the Progressive’s ticket Thursday night. In the final official vote of the party’s Grand Cayman membership for the three larger districts, Woody Da Costa, Ray Farrington (left) and Captain Bryan Ebanks were confirmed as the PPM’s candidates. Although the party is still hoping to field a fourth candidate in what will be the toughest battle for the PPM, at present the last person has not yet been nominated.

Although the UDP is still expected to dominate the district vote, the split between UDP Leader McKeeva Bush and his two former West Bay colleagues, Rolston Anglin and cline Glidden, has opened a window of opportunity for the Progressives

This will be the first time that the PPM plans to take Bush on directly in his West Bay stronghold. In the past the party had given its support to loose teams of independents running in opposition to Bush but this is the first time since the party formed in 2002 as a grass roots movement that it will field candidates on its own platform.

While the PPM candidates will still face an uphill struggle to break the UDP grip on the district, not least because the anti-Bush vote in the district will be divided between the PPM candidates, the two Coalition for Cayman candidates and other independents, the fact that the UDP vote will also be split means that the district result is no longer a sure thing for the UDP.

Former UDP members and current interim government Cabinet ministers, Anglin and Glidden, will be running in the district. Although neither of the two incumbent MLAs have said how they will fight to retain their seats, regardless of their platform they will take some votes from the UDP candidates. Bush will be running with Captain Eugene and two other candidates, who are expected to be confirmed at the UDP conference this weekend.

While there is no doubt that Bush will retain his own seat and more than likely carry two more with him, for the first time in several years the certainty of a clean sweep for Bush in his own district is in question.

DaCosta, Farrington and Ebanks are all hoping that it is one of them that breaks the UDP grip and returns a PPM candidate for the first time from West Bay to the Legislative Assembly, in what would be an historic victory for the Progressives.

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Cayman government deports more Cuban refugees

| 08/03/2013 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Another group of Cuban refugees has found that a hazardous journey across the sea in a bid for freedom was in vain. The Cayman Islands’ government has sent home five migrants who had arrived in Cayman at Christmas after deciding to leave the vessel which was carrying some 30 people, once it arrived in Cayman waters. This is the second repatriation immigration officials have carried out of Cuban migrants so far this year and for at least one of the refugees it was his second time being deported. The three men and two women were escorted home last Friday after being housed at the Immigration Detention Centre for the last two and a half months as they waited processing and repatriation. Officials said that 22 Cubans remain at the detention centre.
 

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Convenient scapegoats: “Tax Havens”

| 08/03/2013 | 37 Comments

Adolph Hitler was one of the most infamous examples of a politician skilled at deflecting the blame for a country's woes to others so as to take the people's focus away from fundamental problems on the home front  The ploy worked for a while, Hitler rose to power as Fuhrer and the Jews suffered as Nazi scapegoats.  In the end, Hitler put a gun to his head as Allied forces marched on Berlin and the Third Reich ended rather ingloriously.

Fast forward to contemporary America and the rhetoric that many Americans seem to be eating up lately, the rancorous rhetoric aimed at "closing down" so-called "Tax Havens". Tax Havens being those jurisdictions that some American politicians conveniently blame for America's economic woes and describe in terms meant to lead voters to believe that these vital offshore financial centres are nefarious cosmic black holes for American dollars. The spirit of Mein Kampf still lives on via the vapid spewing of the U.S. politicians who deflect blame for their mismanagement of their country's economy — and deflect attention from the USD$1,090,000,000,000 federal deficit they helped create and continue to grow — by pointing their slimy fingers at "Tax Havens".

Let's look at the facts: Americans and the poor leaders that they have chosen over the years have fueled the fires of unsustainable spending and have amassed a debt that now hovers at around  USD$16,700,000,000,000. Stack this figure against the claim that offshore tax havens are said to cost the US Treasury an estimated $150,000,000,000 per year in lost revenues and an interesting picture begins to emerge. If the claims of revenue losses are true, (and if I did my math right at this late hour) the loss claimed to be caused by "Tax Havens" amount to a paltry sum of less than 1% of US debt. Hitler would be proud of (and maybe even a bit awestruck by) power-hungry American politicians and their beguiling propaganda.

It is important to bear in mind that it is not the "tax havens" that are collecting this USD$150 billion annually; it is US businesses that are benefiting by reducing their tax burden by that amount. The offshore jurisdictions that are being lambasted by American political demagogues receive revenue based on professional financial and business services and that's all

Lower tax expenditure means that US companies have more money to spend on capital expansion, and on research and development. Economically this should be a good thing. If we assume that  the lion's share of stock in US companies is held domestically then an even more interesting picture materialises:  less money spent on taxes means more profits and more dollars to distribute as dividends to shareholders. More profits to American shareholders means more money circulating in the country's economy. Is this bad?

American corporations saving on taxes may be a good thing for the US economy, but not so good for leaders of a wasteful government that is unable to control its expenditures and powerless to curb its gnawing appetite for tax dollars to waste. Combine US tax gluttony with the unrealistic and absolutely unsustainable expectations of the American people and their insatiable desire for a comfy share of government services, and you can see why a scapegoat is needed: at the current rate of runaway expenditure the U.S. debt is forecast to mount from its current level of around 70% of GDP to grim predictions of up to 200% of GDP within the next 25 years.

To add to an already dire scenario, America is steadily loosing its global competitive edge. This is partly because of its own esurience, and significantly because China, India and other strongly emerging countries are beginning to adapt rapidly and are quickly becoming able to play the global economic domination game all too keenly. Their cut of the global pie is rapidly expanding. They are beginning to eat America's lunch primarily because the cost of doing business is less in those places, and significantly because the labour and technical talent pool is industrious, ambitious, skilled, vast, and cheap. The economic slide America is experiencing will inexorably continue and will most likely accelerate, whether or not so-called "Tax Havens" are "closed down". But, they gotta blame somebody, right? So why not blame the Cayman Islands and other politically small and oh-so-convenient scapegoats? Sieg heil!

Americans and their leaders need to look in a mirror and do the healthy thing and accept their fair share of the blame for the mess their country is in. Then they need to wake up to the stark and cold reality that the world's old economic and political map is being burned and a new one is being redrawn even as you read this. Like it or not, new global paradigms are evolving. Whenever sweeping global economic shifts take place it results in domestic conditions undergoing massive change, a great many people are deeply discomfited, established powers and entities are turned topsy-turvy and established societies experience almost unbearable turmoil. Rather than embracing political propaganda and trying to hold on to an unsustainable standard of living and an unhealthy dependence on government services, the people of America need to stop looking for external scapegoats, face reality and try to figure out how to best survive the unrelenting changes that are taking place in the world. A new race is being run and those not ready to keep pace in the pack will be left in the dust.

Pointing fingers at scapegoats and embracing political rhetoric ended badly for Hitler and the German people. The bad ending was a foregone conclusion as soon as the masses began to believe in Hitler's enticing rhetoric. Sadly, the poll mentioned in the article on CNS Business entitled "Democrats bring bill to cut tax loopholes" shows that the people of the USA seem to be no less gullible than the masses of pre-war Germany.  Unless the people of America face reality and act accordingly, a bad ending for the USA is no less certain.

PS: We see that other countries that have also jumped on the "Let's make Tax Havens the scapegoat" band wagon. To them I say: "Read carefully and apply accordingly!" because most of them are even bigger tax gluttons and tax wasters than the USA.

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