August 13, 2015
Dear Your Majesty,
My name is James Conrad. I am a native citizen of the United States of America with a strong connection to Commonwealth of Nations under the Crown of Great Britain, as my mother was born in Montreal, Quebec to a Canadian father and an English mother.
It is with that last point in mind that I write to inform you of distressing and appalling matters that are being aided and abetted by several Commonwealth realms and British Overseas territories including Anguila, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Monarchies of Antigua and Barbuda, St. Christopher and Nevis, Barbados and the Bahamas. Considering the urgency of this situation, I have decided to endeavor to publish this letter in a number of media outlets, as I fear that if I mailed it to Buckingham Palace, it would only end up buried under the countless letters that you and the rest of the Royal Family receive.
According to Forbes magazine, as of March 2015, a study conducted by the United States Public Interest Group Education Fund and Citizens For Tax Justice found that over 70 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, Apple and Google have salted away $2.1 trillion in offshore tax shelters, with an appreciable bulk of the wealth being kept in the aforementioned countries, posing an annual expense of $90 billion to the U.S. taxpayers.
Meanwhile, the infrastructure of the United States is crumbling. The richest 10 per cent of the U.S. population controls 75 per cent of the monies in the U.S., whilst the remaining 25 per cent of the wealth is divided among the other 90 per cent of the population. Funding has been cut for health care, education, veterans’ affairs and other important social programs. Despite the attempt on the part of the United States to present herself as a civilized nation, people in several of her more important cities including but not limited to New York, Detroit, Oakland, San Francisco, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Chicago live in abject poverty.
Because of the short shrift given to U.S. veterans by said country’s government, many of those soldiers are committing suicide at a rate of 22 per day, which means that in 2012, there were more veteran suicides than combat fatalities. Furthermore, considering the high divorce and incarceration rates in the U.S., both of which lay the groundwork for dire poverty, the 2013 Well-Being of Adolescents in Vulnerable Environments Study, surveying youth from fifteen to nineteen years of age in impoverished sections of Ibadan, Nigeria; New Delhi, India; Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa and Baltimore, Maryland found that teenagers in Baltimore reported feeling a great deal less social support in their community than those in New Delhi and Shanghai,and reported witnessing a higher level of violence in their communities than in Ibadan, Shanghai and New Delhi.
With all of the above in mind, Jeffrey Sachs, the author of the book The End of Poverty calculated that ending poverty worldwide could be done in 20 years at an annual cost of $175 billion, which represents less than one percent of the combined income of the richest countries in the world. Furthermore, putting money toward ending poverty at least in the United States would not only strengthen her economy as more money would be circulating through it, but would do the same for the rest of the world, as the recent economic crisis in the United States, more or less caused by wealthy laissez-faire capitalists who want to keep as much money to themselves and take more than they give had a detrimental effect of the economies of other nations in the world.
With that in mind, a good start would be to scale back or possibly end the glorified fraud in the form of offshore tax havens in the British Commonwealth realms and Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, since that money could and should be put to better use.
James Geoffrey Parfitt Conrad
Featured image via The Queen’s School 6th Form