If Europe successfully implements a financial transactions tax (FTT), it will demonstrate that it is possible to make banks pay for the privilege of trading financial instruments like stocks, bonds, and derivatives.
Young activists in Switzerland have plutocrats hyperventilating — and spending a fortune to beat back a November 24 national ballot initiative that would establish a landmark legal limit on the pay gap between top corporate executives and their lowest-paid workers.
Americans are gaining, ever so slowly, a more accurate picture of just how wide the gap has stretched between the nation’s most fabulously privileged and everyone else. New data from Social Security statisticians are helping fill in the holes. But a full picture remains elusive.
This year’s fast GDP growth underlines one of the great myths of economic statistics: the myth that growth benefits everyone, or at least most people.
People who cut food stamp benefits — and gut child labor laws — most all had empathy when they came into the world. So what squeezed the empathy out? At the Economic Policy Institute and elsewhere, analysts and researchers are pointing to inequality.
Fox News may have failed to have an impact on the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election in the United States, but media organizations controlled by Rupert Murdoch celebrated a victory this year in Australia.
America’s top execs don’t have the time to celebrate. They’re too busy waging a corporate holy war against what may be the most promising check yet on executive pay excess, a Dodd-Frank Act provision that mandates the disclosure of the pay gap between CEOs and workers.
A tiny tax on global personal wealth over $1 million could ensure that no child anywhere has to live in extreme poverty. That’s the takeaway suggested by the data in new reports on wealth and income distribution from the Credit Suisse Research Institute and the World Bank.
If the Supreme Court chooses to erase our remaining post-Watergate campaign finance reforms, Richard Nixon’s scandalous reign may come to seem mere kid’s play. The reason? Today’s wealthy have far more wealth available to plow into politics than the rich of Nixon’s time.
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.
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.