Executives at private companies flush with federal contracts are getting rich off America’s tax dollars — at the expense of their low-wage workers. But these tables can turn. An insightful report just released by the New York think tank Demos explains just how.
Exactly a century ago, decades of progressive struggle finally paid off and outfitted America with a tool for braking the unlimited accumulation of grand private fortune. On this 100th anniversary, a noted historian looks back on the birth of the modern federal income tax.
The new sci-fi film Elysium offers a dire warning about our society’s extreme inequalities of income and wealth. The newly released documentary Inequality for All may be our best hope yet to broaden a national conversation about the dangers of inequality.
The long-delayed disclosure rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission on CEO-worker pay turned out last week to be surprisingly strong. The new rule, once finally adopted, will require corporations to annually reveal the ratio between what they pay their top execs and median workers.
The exceedingly comfortable who sit in America’s richest 1 percent have nearly fully regained the outsized share of the nation’s income they held just before the economy cratered five years ago. So report economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, based on an analysis of IRS data.
America’s corporate chiefs deserve all their hefty rewards, we’re told, because they take hefty risks. And what exactly are these richly rewarded corporate chief executives putting at risk? A new Economic Policy Institute study has the answer: our retirement security.
Over the last 20 years, the annual lists of America’s highest-paid chief execs — our corporate ‘best and brightest’ — have included an amazingly high concentration of outright frauds and flops, as Institute for Policy Studies researchers show in their 20th annual Executive Excess report.
Back in Al Capone’s day, Prohibition helped give rise to a rash of epic crime-boss fortunes. In our day, deregulation has spawned on Wall Street an entire new generation of rich racketeers. Our racketeers don’t sell “protection.” They sell storage space for commodities.
Voters of modest means outnumber voters of excessive means. Yet U.S. public policy essentially comforts only the already comfortable. One explanation: Societies that let wealth concentrate will end up with a wealthy who can concentrate enormous resources — on getting their way.
A rather ruthless billionaire has grabbed one of the world’s great newspapers, the Washington Post. But you don’t have to be a high-tech plutocrat like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the paper’s previous regime has demonstrated over the years, to help make our world significantly more unequal.