Archive for the ‘inequality’ Category

The IRS only audits working people, because it’s cheaper

October 7, 2019

The IRS only audits working people, because it's cheaper.
Leona Helmsley said “Only the little people pay taxes.”  That’s who the IRS audits, any way.

“On the one hand, the IRS said, auditing poor taxpayers is a lot easier: The agency uses relatively low-level employees to audit returns for low-income taxpayers who claim the earned income tax credit. The audits — of which there were about 380,000 last year, accounting for 39% of the total the IRS conducted — are done by mail and don’t take too much staff time, either.”

“On the other hand, auditing the rich is hard. It takes senior auditors hours upon hours to complete an exam. What’s more … ‘the rate of attrition is significantly higher among these more experienced examiners.’ As a result, the budget cuts have hit this part of the IRS particularly hard.”

“For now, the IRS says, while it agrees auditing more wealthy taxpayers would be a good idea, without adequate funding there’s nothing it can do.”

“Since 2011, Republicans in Congress have driven cuts to the IRS enforcement budget; it’s more than a quarter lower than its 2010 level, adjusting for inflation.”

— “IRS: Sorry, but It’s Just Easier and Cheaper to Audit the Poor,” Paul Kiel, ProPublica

Related:

“The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You,” David Leonhardt, New York Times

________________________

Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-tYm

 

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

W. E. B. Du Bois: Strivings

February 15, 2019

“Strivings of the Negro People” by W. E. B. Du Bois, from The Atlantic, August 1897, animated by Tynesha Foreman. Read the full essay here.

“It dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like … in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil.”

_____________

Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-rAB

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

January 21, 2019

Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) planned a Poor People’s Campaign for May 1968 to demand jobs, unemployment insurance, a fair minimum wage, affordable housing, and education for poor adults and children, an Economic Bill of Rights. The effort was to involve poor people of all races from all parts of the country, urban and rural, but the historical roots of racial economic disparity could not be ignored:

(more…)

The Tipped Wage: Depending on ‘The Kindness of Strangers’

October 17, 2018

If you’re uncomfortable leaving a tip at a restaurant, there’s a good reason. The nominally-egalitarian United States adopted the custom of tipping during Reconstruction, when African Americans, newly-freed from bondage, filled many low-paying personal-service jobs. Tipping allowed employers to rationalize paying a pittance to servers, and allowed restaurant patrons to feel like the European aristocrats who initiated the custom. Even today, in the Nation’s Capital, while most workers get $13.25 an hour, restaurant owners can pay servers $3.89 an hour.

Americans calculate a restaurant tip as a percentage of the total meal bill, so the more expensive the menu, the greater the gratuities to servers. That’s why Washington DC’s high-end restaurant owners had no trouble finding employees to testify against a District of Columbia law mandating equal hourly wages for servers, despite the fact that DC voters had approved the measure in a referendum. The District Council voted 8 to 5 to overturn the will of the voters.

If DC voters want to ratify their referendum vote and end vulnerable restaurant workers’ dependence on “the kindness of strangers,” they’ll have a chance soon. Four of the council members who voted to repeal the fair wage law are up for re-election on November 6th.

(more…)

Amazon’s Low-Paid Employees Need Food Stamps

August 30, 2018

Amazon's Low-Paid Employees Need Food Stamps

“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will soon introduce legislation that would require large employers such as Amazon, Walmart and McDonald’s to fully cover the cost of food stamps, public housing, Medicaid and other federal assistance received by their employees. The goal, he says, is to force corporations to pay a living wage and curb about $150 billion in taxpayer dollars that go to funding federal assistance programs for low-wage workers each year.”

— “Thousands of Amazon workers receive food stamps. Now Bernie Sanders wants the company to pay up.” Abha Bhattarai, Washington Post

Think about that on Labor Day Weekend.

More:

“Amazon urges employees to tell Bernie Sanders how much they love working there,” Summer Meza, The Week

“Amazon gets huge subsidies to provide good jobs—but it’s a top employer of SNAP recipients in at least five states,”  H. Claire Brown, New Food Economy

________________________

Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-s6l

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Americans Think Hard Work Gets You Nowhere

June 7, 2017

Americans Think Hard Work Gets You Nowhere

“A new poll from the Strong, Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), an initiative to bolster local economies, found that Americans are quite skeptical of the narrative connecting wealth with personal agency. SPARCC found that 74 percent of those surveyed believed that most poor people work hard, but aren’t able to work their way out of poverty due to the lack of economic opportunities. In the U.S., 19 percent of income inequality is attributed to predetermined circumstances such as a person’s race, gender, and parental income. The SPARCC report also points to past research showing that economic mobility and health outcomes are greatly affected by geography as evidence that individual hard work won’t ensure success because opportunities aren’t evenly distributed.”

–“Americans Are Pretty Skeptical That Hard Work Will Pay Off,” Bourree Lam, The Atlantic

____________________________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-pwv

Top image derived from Urban Folklore from the Paperwork Empire, Alan Dundes and Carl R. Pagter (1975)

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Gender Pay Gap To Be Closed in Only 170 Years

November 1, 2016

Gender Pay Gap To Be Closed in Only 170 Years

Women are expected to earn as much as men as early as January 2196, reports the World Economic Forum. WEF is the organization behind that annual gathering of radical populists at Davos.

The global gender pay gap has widened since 2015, when it was expected to close in 118 years. The United States has fallen in the rankings in the past year, from 23rd to 45th place in gender wage equality.

Download the report here.

______________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-oIR

Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

The Gender Wage Gap

September 9, 2016

The Gender Wage Gap

“Women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man makes.”  Factually correct, but that doesn’t reflect the complexity of the problem. Sarah Kliff explains:

(more…)

Back to School

September 7, 2016

Back to School

“The back-to-school season is the second-biggest shopping period of the year, behind Christmas. But while families will spend more than before, how they will do it — and where they will do it — varies widely.

A growing list of designer notebooks, luxury desk accessories and even beanbag chairs now caters to wealthy back-to-school shoppers. Shoppers can buy a $195 Gucci headband, a $572 Versace backpack and a $28 Terez pencil case on the back-to-school section of Saks’ website. Restoration Hardware has a new ‘teen’ line that includes a $2,000 ‘riveted aluminum’ desk and $250 faux fur beanbag chairs.”

— “Back-to-School Divide: $195 Headbands and $1 Glue Sticks,” Rachel Abrams, New York Times

_______________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-otr

Photo by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Father Christmas

December 20, 2015

“Father Christmas” by Ray Davies, recorded by him with his group The Kinks in 1977. This video by Rick Rogan follows the lyrics, and Devotchka Duste’s video interpretation is also a good fit.

“Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys.
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys.”

Note to Yanks: “Father Christmas” = Santa Claus.

_____________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-mJA

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine