Posts Tagged ‘economic inequality’

How the rich avoid paying taxes

August 11, 2021

Under our tax system, owning something is better than actually working at something. Madeline Marshall explains how the rich avoid paying taxes. A Vox video.

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Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

January 18, 2021

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:

“At the very same time that America refused to give the Negro any land, through an act of Congress our government was giving away millions of acres of land in the West and the Midwest, which meant that it was willing to undergird its white peasants from Europe with an economic floor.

But not only did they give the land, they built land grant colleges with government money to teach them how to farm. Not only that, they provided county agents to further their expertise in farming. Not only that, they provided low interest rates in order that they could mechanize their farms.

Not only that, today many of these people are receiving millions of dollars in federal subsidies not to farm, and they are the very people telling the black man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” delivered at the National Cathedral, Washington DC on March 31, 1968 (full text here).

Related:

“Four ways Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to battle inequality,” Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC

“MLK called out income inequality,” James C. Harrington, Houston Chronicle

“American Dream Deferred: Wealth of Richest 400 Equals that of Nation’s 44 Million African Americans,” David Harris-Gershon,Tikkun Daily

“For women, economic justice a civil rights issue,” Maya L. Harris,CNN

“Martin Luther King’s Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income,” Matthew Yglesias, Slate

“Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Solution to Poverty,” Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic

“Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations Overlook His Critiques of Capitalism and Militarism,” Zaid Jilani, The Intercept

“How the 1% profit off of racial economic inequality,” Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Chuck Collins, Guardian

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Top image: Library of Congress.

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

Coronavirus Stimulus Tax Break Benefits Millionaires

April 16, 2020

Coronavirus Stimulus Tax Break Benefits Millionaires

“More than 80 percent of the benefits of a tax change tucked into the coronavirus relief package Congress passed last month will go to those who earn more than $1 million annually, according to a report by a nonpartisan congressional body ….

The provision, inserted into the legislation by Senate Republicans, temporarily suspends a limitation on how much owners of businesses formed as ‘pass-through’ entities can deduct against their nonbusiness income, such as capital gains, to reduce their tax liability. The limitation was created as part of the 2017 Republican tax law to offset other tax cuts to firms in that legislation.

Suspending the limitation will cost taxpayers about $90 billion in 2020 alone, part of a set of tax changes that will add close to $170 billion to the national deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the nonpartisan congressional body.”

— “Tax change in coronavirus package overwhelmingly benefits millionaires, congressional body finds,” Jeff Stein, Washington Post

More:

“Coronavirus stimulus law has a tax loophole just for millionaires, report says,” Charles Duncan, McClatchy

“Millionaires to reap 80% of benefit from tax change in US coronavirus stimulus,” Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

Related:

“White House, GOP face heat after hotel and restaurant chains helped run small business program dry,” Jonathan O’Connell, Washington Post

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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.

Rural Resort Towns: ‘Seasonal People Stay Away’

April 6, 2020

Wealthy Americans are leaving Coronavirus-ravaged U.S, cities for their second homes in coastal and ski resorts. Year-round residents of these rural areas are concerned that these rich refugees have brought COVID-19 with them and will overwhelm local grocery stores, pharmacies, and the limited medical resources of their small towns.

More:

“This Pandemic Is Not Your Vacation,” Anne Helen Petersen, BuzzFeed News

“Locals are petitioning to close the bridges into Cape Cod to keep out the influx of second-homeowners fleeing the coronavirus,” Dominic-Madori Davis, Business Insider

“‘We should blow up the bridges’ — coronavirus leads to class warfare in Hamptons,” Maureen Callahan, New York Post

“A plea from rural America: Urban covid-19 refugees, please stay home,” David Yamamoto, Washington Post

“Luxury resorts face coronavirus crisis as the 1% flee cities for holiday hideaways,” Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

“In Epidemics, the Wealthy Have Always Fled,” Allison C. Meier, JSTOR Daily

Updates:

“New York man fleeing pandemic pays almost $2m to rent Hamptons hideout,” Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

“Private jet full of super-rich holidaymakers is sent back to London after the group landed in France and tried to get to their villa by helicopter during coronavirus lockdown,” Peter Allen, Daily Mail

“Where the Very Rich Fly to Hide,” Justin Farrell, New York Times

“Tourist Towns Ban Short-Term Rentals to Prevent Virus Spread,” Andrea Noble, Route Fifty

“Vacation Mecca Wants Visitors to Stay Away — For Now,” Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matter

“Weekending in an Emergency,” Robert Rubsam, The Baffler

“‘It’s beyond frustrating’: tensions peak as Hawaii locals urge tourists to stay out,” Nick Pachelli, The Guardian

“Billionaires’ compound with its own coronavirus testing center stokes anger on the French Riviera,” Dana Thomas, Washington Post

“Eastward, Ho! Even Art Is Leaving for the Hamptons,” Ted Loos, New York Times

Related:

“When It’s This Easy at the Top, It’s Harder for Everyone Else,” Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times

“Why the Wealthy Fear Pandemics,” Walter Scheidel, New York Times

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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

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

Taxing the Super-Rich

August 14, 2019

What is a wealth tax, anyway? Alvin Chang explains. A Vox video.

There’s a related fact sheet here

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Berlusconi’s Back. Europe Shrugs.

July 5, 2019

Berlusconi's Back. Europe Shrugs.

Billionaire octagenarian, former football team ownerBunga-Bunga Party host, one-time cruise ship crooner and disgraced 3-time former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, forced out of the Italian Senate over his 2013 tax-fraud conviction, has started serving as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Madonna Mia!

More:

“Forget the tax fraud and sex scandals. Italy’s Berlusconi is back.” Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post

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Image (“Pasha Berlusconi and His Harem, after François Gabriel Lepaulle”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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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…)

DC Shut Down? The GOP Does Davos.

January 15, 2019

DC Shut Down? The GOP Does Davos.

The president has shut down the U.S. government by refusing to authorize federal spending, but presidential aides and cabinet officials are spending $3-4 million and change to go to the World Economic Forum at Davos, kind of a Coachella for billionaires and financial heavies at a resort in the Swiss Alps.  Administration figures scheduled to attend include: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

U.S. officials at Davos will have a significant weight lifted from their shoulders at this year’s WEF. Unlike last year, President Donald Trump will not attend. Swiss protesters must be crestfallen.

More:

“Trump’s team is still running up bills for Davos during the government shutdown,” Justin Rohrlich and Heather Timmons, Quartz

“Davos, other Swiss ski resorts warned of high avalanche danger,” Xinhua

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

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Equal Pay Day 2018

April 10, 2018

Equal Pay Day 2018

It’s Pay Equality Day, last of the 99 extra days into 2018 that American women worked to finally make the same amount of wages that men made by Dec. 31, 2017. The concept originated with the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a way to point out the economic injustice of  American women earning 82 cents when men are earning a dollar. Want to change that inequity? Look here.

In a timely decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that employers can’t use workers’ salary histories to justify paying women less.

More:

“When Is Equal Pay Day? 2018 Is The Year Women Can Help Close It Once & For All,” Sarah Friedmann, Bustle

 

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

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