The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.2

March 11, 2011

You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.

Complicity

Our world seeks change. And it is ours to drive that change – a change that leaves the world a better place than the world which we received into our servant hands. Change, however, must begin with our refusal to be complicit in wrong-doing.

And that’s no easy thing to do.

In the case of Realitatea-Catavencu v. The Romanian People, the complicity of Romanian journalists and media agencies in downplaying the investigation of fraud and tax evasion is nothing less than a betrayal of the people’s trust in main stream and new media.

The irony is not lost on me when journalists who decry the failure of the Romanian government are complicit in corporate schemes of tax evasion that disable the Romanian economy.

This is not unique to Romania; it happens everywhere for one reason or another.

As Jeff Jarvis, Director of the interactive journalism program at City University of New York, has noted on Twitter and elsewhere, main stream and new media (a la AOL) increasingly conspire with governments, corporations and powerful interest groups. For profit, obviously. Despite the messiness of citizen journalism, Jarvis believes that the truth is out there. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.1

March 11, 2011

You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.

Case Study in Corruption: Realitatea-Catavencu defrauds the Romanian People

The present anti-corruption investigation of the Romanian Press agency, Realitatea-Catavencu, is an interesting example of how difficult it is to overcome corruption.

Realitatea-Catavencu is a major media group in Romania that includes television, radio, print and new media networks including The Money Channel, Academia Catavencu and Realitatea TV (one of the leading news channels in Romania). This group is currently being investigated for tax-evasion practices on a sophisticated level. In lieu of a complete salary payment that is commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of a position at Realitatea-Catavencu, employees receive part of their salary in the form of compensation for intellectual property contributions.

In other words, Realitatea-Catavencu paid employees the minimum salary as salary and additional amounts of a negotiated salary through compensation for intellectual property. Realitatea-Catavencu used this scheme to evade the higher taxes on officially registered salaries. Salary taxes and various mandatory contributions can reflect up to 100% of a net salary, whereas taxes for compensation for intellectual property is about 16% . Read the rest of this entry »