A tax-the-rich bombshell has dropped in the presidential race. The French presidential race. The leading candidate in the French polls is proposing a 75 percent top tax rate on the incomes of the rich, a rate that nearly doubles the developed world’s recent conventional wisdom.
With inequality now a global front-page matter, the stats that measure inequality have taken on a new importance. And no inequality stat has a longer pedigree — or more confusion surrounding it — than the “Gini coefficient.” We explain the Gini stat and clear the confusion.
Psychologists have been tracking the phenomenon of “biased self-perception” for years now. But new research suggests that they’ve been blaming the wrong social culprit. Levels of economic inequality, not core culture, seems to be driving how we project ourselves to others.
Changes in state tax laws now encourage America’s awesomely affluent to create “perpetual” trusts for their heirs. The combination of these new laws and new technology, legal scholars warn, allows the “dead hand” of the past to rule over the living. In effect, immortality for the rich.
In 2030, the latest United for a Fair Economy State of the Dream report points out, the majority of U.S. residents under 18 will be people of color. If current household wealth trends continue, the majority of America’s young people will be growing up in economically insecure households.
Inflation has been steadily eroding the value of the U.S. minimum wage over recent decades. But inflation only explains part of the story why the minimum wage has become such an inadequate guarantor of low-wage decency and justice in the United States today.
Retail sales are up this holiday season in the top 1 percent plutonomy, but down in the realonomy where the other 99 percent live. And it’s not just the poor who are struggling. Even high-income, college-educated professionals have seen no income growth in over a dozen years.
One puts on football pageants. Another makes millions on a virtual farm. From Too Much, the Institute for Policy Studies inequality weekly, we present the year’s ten most avaricious. All ten remind us just how much needs to change, economically and politically, in 2012 and beyond.
In the past, analysts at the OECD global think tank have consistently recommended tax cuts around the world. The incomes of the richest have now grown so large that even the OECD, in a major new report on developed world inequality, is urging tax increases.
The other 99 percent do far worse in the United States than in any other developed country. The other 99 percent take home, the data show, just 82.6 percent of America’s personal income. The share of national income going to America’s other 99 percent has been falling for decades.