Trading U.S. Citizenship For Tax Savings

During the third quarter of this year 776 Americans, an increase of 39 percent from a year earlier, gave up their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes on assets they had previously been able to hide abroad from the IRS…

Trading U.S. Citizenship For Tax Savings

They gotta pay their taxes
They think, ‘that isn’t fair’
Taxes are some others’ burden
They should not their own share bear.

So they shrug, turn in their passports
U.S. citizens no more
Trade their country for some money
Extra spending at a store.

It’s a trade I find confusing
Birthright sold for such a pittance
But I ain’t come here to argue
Keep your money — and good riddance.

My latest book is The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street

My favorite new book from another author is a humorous graphic novel titled The Big Belch…

The ‘What Else Is New’ Poem

Does anything ever really change? Or are only the details a little different?

The ‘What Else Is New’ Poem

The world is falling apart
The center can not hold
All things have a selling price
They’re all just bought and sold.

Government is corrupt
Markets awash in grift
The air and the waters are fouled.
Rich rut while the poor get stiffed.

I don’t wanna seem smartass
Say there’s nothing here really to rue
But you get to a certain age and think:
Oh yeah — So what else is new?

My latest book is The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street

My favorite new book from another author is a humorous graphic novel titled The Big Belch…

Our Solar And Wind Import-Export failures

Our Solar And Wind Import-Export Failures

Germany gets almost one-third of its electricity from renewables, two-thirds of this from non-hydro renewables (solar and wind). The U.S. gets 13 percent of its total electricity from renewables, but more than half comes from hydro.

Clearly Germany is way ahead in terms of its solar and wind revolution. And one rarely noted part of that lead is the positive effects this has on imports and exports to neighboring countries.

Consider these figures: Germany in the first six months of this year had an electricity export surplus of 18 Terawatt hours, and is well on its way to having its third annual electricity export record in a row. The U.S., by way of comparison, imported almost 60 million megawatts from Canada last year while exporting just 11.4 megawatts. And even with our southern neighbor, Mexico , we imported 1.3 million megawatts while exporting just a bit more than 603,000 megawatts.

Our country has a lousy trade balance. In dollar terms, part of this includes a lousy electricity balance. More solar and wind systems can help redress this imbalance. So maybe we should try harder here.

My latest book is The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street

My favorite new book from another author is a humorous graphic novel titled The Big Belch… Big Belch

Huge CEO Pay Packets Explained

A recent study found that company CEOs now make 350 times more on average than their employees. Here’s how they do it.

The Vast CEO-Worker Compensation Chasm Explained

With pay packs oft’ related
To their companies’ stock price
It’s a set up that for CEOs
That is really very nice
They just use their firm’s own money
To buy lots of its own stock
And voila! the price keeps soaring
For the boss, a pay boost lock.

There are other ways to jack up
A stock price evaluation
Move your headquarters abroad
With a cutesy tax inversion
Or earn bigger package hoards
From your passive browbeat boards
Or workers’ pay and bennies lessen
To win market’s pay out blessing.

For the CEO all nifty
Legal games, not fraud or grifty
Leaving CEOs to workers
Workers one, bosses 350.

But I ain’t come here complaining
‘Bout this CEOs’ rigged gig
What I really want is joining
In this dance, this big pig jig.

My latest book is The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street

My favorite new book from another author is a humorous graphic novel titled The Big Belch… Big Belch

The Beyond Stupid Poem

“Since the end of 2001, the U.S. has spent over $100 billion on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, a Pentagon oversight body.” From the Wall Street Journal…10/2/14

The Beyond Stupidity Poem
by Michael Silverstein

(Our Afghanistan Project)
We destroyed those who attacked us
Took ‘em out with shock and awe
Then we chose instead of leaving
Nation building, Lord knows what for.

Now a hundred billion later
Our money stolen, wasted, gone
We’ve agreed here to more spending
Bigger dopes were never born.

(Our Iraq Project)
It was crazy to begin with
A think tank bauble run amuck
And here, too, the local con men
Laughed and watched us play the schmuck.

Here as well, we spawned an army
That when confronted ran away
And here again we’ve said we’ll do it
Rebuild this army, the costs we’ll pay.

(Our Syria Project)
It’s a little late in coming
This now familiar story line
But now we have once more committed
To pursue the old design.

Where’s this newest project headed
That’s so easy to forecast
Massive waste, corruption, failure
Same stupid game…one stares..aghast.


My latest book is The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street

My favorite new book from another author is a humorous graphic novel titled The Big Belch…

The Disenfranchisement Poem

The Supreme Court recently allowed Texas’ voter ID law to remain in effect during this year’s election—though it is perfectly obvious that this will disenfranchise a great many Democratic voters as the law’s Republican sponsors obviously intended…


A Republican
Slick enterprise
They can’t disguise.

To rig the polls
Trim voter rolls
And realize
Election goals.

Fair rules revise
Rules vandalize
From losses thus
Get immunized.

All recognize
This crude resort
Except it seems
Our highest court.

Energy Past And Future by Michael Silverstein

Energy Past And Future
by Michael Silverstein

Why do we raid the burial grounds
Of long dead creatures for coal?
For oil and methane from these old remains
Why are these are energy goal?

The sun and the wind, the motion of waves,
The heat ‘neath our feet underground;
Are there to be tapped, to be used, and enjoyed
Live energy sources abound.

We’ve gone from the horse for private transport,
Keep in touch in a host of new ways;
It’s time, truly time, for a better resort
Navigating the energy maze.


A Progressive’s Call For Smaller Government

Conservatives are shredding the safety net. They say government spending here is getting out of control.

I agree. We have to reduce spending in this realm. And there’s only one sensible and sustainable way to do this: We have to reform the private sector of the economy.

Isn’t that obvious? The main reason more and more people need government aid is because their economic needs aren’t being met by working in the private sector. If they made enough, they wouldn’t need food stamps. If they made enough, they wouldn’t need subsidies to help pay for their health insurance.

Raise the minimum wage, and safety net spending decreases. Rebalance the tax code so it doesn’t unduly favor capital over labor, investors over workers, and fewer working people would qualify for earned income credits that reduce government revenues.

The government safety net that covers the elderly, the disabled and the impoverished young should of course remain in tact. But the part of that safety net that today is growing so quickly because working people are being squeezed in a top-heavy marketplace, could be cut dramatically with reforms of the private sector.

Progressives — ditto the conservatives’ call for smaller government. Just combine the call with the most sensible and sustainable way to bring it about. Marketplace reform.

(Michael Silverstein’s recent books, all available from Amazon, include: The Devil’s Dictionary Of Wall Street, and the comic novels’ Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, The Bellman’s Revenge, and Murder At Bernstein’s.)

What The Democrats Need: A Voice, Not An Echo

In the 1964 presidential race between Barry Goldwater and LBJ, Goldwater got creamed. His conservative principles-based campaign went down to a massive electoral defeat. His campaign slogan, “A voice, not an echo,” appeared to be something the Republican Party would be wise to forget.

Except Republicans didn’t forget that slogan. Instead, a harder edged conservatism took hold of the party and with the passage of time led to its present dominance setting the national agenda.

Today conservative Republicans are the voice. Democrats are the echo. So…

Maybe it’s time for Democrats to find their own voice. A harder edged progressive voice. One that favors labor over capital, workers over investors, students over their bank lenders.. One that doesn’t keep making the hard choices between the economy and the environment because it’s recognized that sound environmental policies create more prosperous economies. One that promotes live energy of solar, wind and geothermal rather than raiding burial grounds for coal and oil to burn.

There’s a powerful progressive voice on many issues such as these. Perhaps not for an immediate 2104 victory. But for real political power in the future.

Progressives—Make 2014 your voice, not a Clinton-Obama echo. There’s no future in being satisfied with the least worst choices.

Fly Cheap, Fly Wheel Well

Two big problems face the airlines industry today. Carriers want to increase their seating capacity without ordering more planes, but because of excessive government regulation they are not permitted to seat passengers on the wings of their aircraft.

The other big problem is airline fares. A lot of people can’t afford them, and this is especially true of young people with little economic opportunity in today’s version of the American Opportunity Society.

So what’s the solution to both these problems? Wheel well seating on both domestic and overseas flights.

Arctic sleeping bags and oxygen breathing equipment do away with any prissy safety concerns about this mode of travel. The airlines get their extra seating with no new plane purchases. Passengers get cheap flights that with one thing and another, after all the comfort cut-backs in recent years, are not that much less comfortable than flying commuter class.

(Michael Silverstein’s latest books: The Devil’s Dictionary of Wall Street, Fifteen Feet Beneath Manhattan, The Bellman’s Revenge, and Murder at Bernstein’s — all available from Amazon)