In general, sales taxes are indeed regressive; moreover, as I recently argued, sales taxes are partly “passed back” onto suppliers, hitting small businesses hardest. But wait… Imagine that we impose a sales tax on diamonds. Would we worry about the burden on middle class purchasers of one-fourth-caret engagement rings? What about the part of the […]
Call their bluff. Take the plunge. Go over the cliff. Let the government default on its bonds.
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.
People need jobs. Put them to work. It’s that simple.
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.
New research explores how privilege can turn the privileged self-centered and worse.
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.
Is $15 an hour really a fair wage for serving fast food? Is it reasonable? Is it affordable? In a word: YES.
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.
Detroit’s property tax base, diminished and badly-assessed, could still fund a renewal if Michigan would only read its history and find the political will.
A foundation world insider is spilling the beans on the great unsaid in charitable circles: You can’t ignore wealth’s maldistribution and hope to fix an unequal world. Will this insider’s critique gain traction? Could be. His father just happens to be the world’s fourth-richest billionaire.
House Oversight Committee chair Darrell Issa has failed to pin the “IRS scandal” on President Obama — or even prove the existence of a major scandal. But if his goal all along has been a weaker IRS, and happier days for wealthy tax avoiders, he has certainly scored a major triumph.
Need a job? Join the new servant economy.
It was the perfect “natural experiment:” in April 1992, New Jersey’s minimum-wage was scheduled to rise from $4.25 an hour to $5.05, while neighboring Pennsylvania’s minimum wage remained unchanged.
To protect our health, we’ve learned to have our “vital signs” taken. But no visit to a doctor’s office, a new study reminds us, can tell us the vital signs that determine where on earth people can expect to live the longest lives. For that answer, we need to check the “vital sign” of inequality.
The top 0.5% of Americans are about 1.5 million people. And by definition they’re the 1.5 million richest and most powerful people in the country.
The ‘market’ isn’t working for working people. The rich have rigged the rules. We ought to keep trying, of course, to reduce the resulting inequality. But why not, unions are asking, end the rule rigging?
An academic heavyweight from Harvard has taken up the cause of America’s most affluent 1 percent. High earners are making high incomes, his claim goes, because they’re making “significant economic contributions.” But this defense is doing the nation’s rich no favors.
On the high road to the future, we would use government institutions to put people to work in support of the common good.
Private wealth management groups continue to survey the holdings of the world’s rich, and Capgemini and RBC have just offered the most up-to-date look yet. The millionaire share of world wealth, the data show, has jumped 14 percent since the global economic crisis began in 2007.
Back in 1776, public-spirited patriots emerged from the ranks of colonial America’s privileged. But our corporate elite today seems to offer up only thieving, tax-dodging parasites. Why such a contrast?
House Republicans, with help from some Wall Street-friendly Democrats, are rushing to repeal the most promising Dodd-Frank Act check on excessive executive pay. Their rationale? Expecting corporations to calculate how much they pay their most typical workers would impose a burden too heavy for corporations to bear.
How unequal have we become in the United States? Why are we so unequal? In our current globalized economy, is a more equal America even plausible? Growing Apart, a new Inequality.Org interactive publication, offers answers both compelling and comprehensive.
Over half America’s financial wealth, about $34 trillion, is generating income not subject to current federal income taxation. One key reason: Congress has been making the retirement savings rules more friendly to wealthy taxpayers eager to defer income from tax as long as possible.
Let’s place private corporations with government contracts under surveillance — to make sure no one is getting rich off our tax dollars.
The CEOs who belong to the corporate lobby group “Fix the Debt” are pushing for a tax “reform” that could, details a new Institute for Policy Studies report, cost the federal treasury as much as $173 billion. In the meantime, these same CEOs are complaining that the nation can no longer afford Social Security as we know it.
America’s official poverty line has remained fixed in real terms for over 40 years. Despite this, poverty is higher than it was at the end of the 1960s.
For the grasping managers of Corporate America — and the institutions their wealth dominates — no workers deserve dignity, not even the most amazingly accomplished.
Among the world’s major nations, documents the UN agency dedicated to labor matters, only the United States currently has a level of inequality both high and rising. In Norway, about 70 percent of the nation rates as middle class. In the United States, only 52 percent.
If world’s big corporations prefer to sit on trillions of dollars in order to avoid paying taxes, let them. If they won’t invest, we should.
America’s deepest pockets, a new Congressional Budget Office report shows, are saving big bucks from the U.S. tax code’s wide assortment of income tax breaks. They’re saving even more, other studies help show, from the absence of an annual wealth tax.
Advantages accelerate for wealthy children while disadvantages compound for everyone else.
Just like the United States, Australia has a debt ceiling. Australian borrowing bumps up against this ceiling on a regular basis. But there the similarity ends.
High-profile federal prosecutions of hedge fund execs like SAC Capital’s Steven Cohen only hint at the crime and ethical misbehavior rampant in America’s most rewarding high-finance suites, concludes an eye-opening new analysis from a veteran labor educator.
If President Obama played basketball with the king of Bhutan, would the world have a better shot at becoming a happier place?
The Great Recession has widened the gap between the developed world’s affluent and everyone else, details a new report from researchers at the Paris-based OECD. In fact, inequality increased more in the three years after the global crisis first hit in 2007 than in the previous 12 years.
The inequality and growth debate is a red herring. It just doesn’t matter. The problem is inequality, and its solution is simple.
Sales taxes — of whatever stripe — fall harder on poorer than richer customers. And they squeeze smaller retailers more than big ones.