The wealthy are pouring billions into supposedly philanthropic funds to sidestep taxes, but nonprofits aren’t actually reaping the benefits.
We’ve all heard loads of euphemisms for wealth hoarding. In our new report, Warehousing Wealth, my colleagues Helen Flannery, Josh Hoxie, and I take a deep dive into donor-advised funds, yet another loophole the rich have carved out to sidestep taxes, this time in the name of charity.

As we detail in our report, the wealthy are pouring billions into these supposedly philanthropic funds, but nonprofits aren’t actually reaping massive benefits from these “charitable donations.” We’ve been doing plenty of writing about the link between these funds and the degradation of our social safety net. See below in this week’s issue for more.

With this issue, we’ll also be taking our annual summer break. We’ll be back in mid-August. And if you have your own break coming, you might want to check out The Case for a Maximum Wage, the new book by’s Sam Pizzigati that Truthout, the social justice platform, has just made its latest “Progressive Pick.” readers can get a half-price discount good through July 31. Just scroll down for details.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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Lancaster Shows How to Say No to Geo Group
What’s the best way to push profit-seeking corporations out of the public sphere? Don’t let them take over in the first place. That’s the lesson residents of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania learned with their recent victory against Geo Group, a giant of the private prison industry. co-editor Negin Owliaei spoke with organizer Michelle Hines about how local activists can keep control over their communities, even when it seems like they’re up against insurmountable power.
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The Philly Loan Shark Who Never Broke Kneecaps
The Philadelphia investment banker who turned “the payday-lending industry into a multibillion-dollar-a-year financial juggernaut” is going behind bars. U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno ruled last week that the 77-year-old Charles Hallinan must now start the 14-year sentence handed down earlier this month. Hallinan, notes the Philadelphia Inquirer, “taught many of the industry’s other top lenders how to make millions by illegally offering low-dollar, high-interest loans to financially desperate borrowers.” His companies charged annual interest rates that touched near 800 percent, and his payday lenders made nearly half a billion dollars off 1.3 million low-income borrowers between 2007 and 2013. Hallinan must now also pay $66.5 million in fines. The banker remains unrepentant, “exactly the opposite” of contrite, as he put it just before his sentencing.
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Creating Pension Plan Chaos for Public Employees
A single butterfly flapping its wings, chaos theory tells us, can wreak social havoc. Those flaps could alter the course of a tornado two weeks later. A big deal if your home happens to be in that tornado’s new course. Now if a single butterfly could wreak such havoc, imagine the damage a few flaps by America’s super rich could wreak. We don’t have to imagine, suggests a new report from the Center for Retirement Research. We just have a trace the recent history of America’s pension funds for state and local government employees. co-editor Sam Pizzigati, author of the just-published The Case for a Maximum Wage, has more.
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This week on 

Chuck Collins and Helen Flannery, Stop Warehousing Wealth in Charity Funds. Billions are being warehoused in donor-advised funds in the face of urgent social needs. 

Juliette Legendre, New Currencies for a New Economy. To build local power, activists in Bristol are taking aim at the root of all evils: money. 

Chuck Collins and Helen Flannery, If You Take a Charitable Tax Deduction, You Should Actually Give to Charity. Wealthy donors are hoarding money in shady 'charity' accounts.

Elsewhere on the web 

Eileen G'Sell, Lessons of ‘Generation Wealth’: In an age of excess, it’s women who lose, Salon. Lauren Greenfield’s new documentary exposes the fallacies of marketplace feminism.

Meagan Day, The Return of the Super-Elite, Jacobin. New research reveals inequality levels not seen in a century — and shows where these new elites live.

Dean Baker, The Washington Post Thinks It Is a New Idea to Tell People to Worry About Mobility and Not Inequality, Beat the Press. The joy of reading a top economist who relishes bashing apologists for our unequal economic order.

Mark Karlin, Attacking Income Inequality by Limiting Wealth, Truthout. An interview with co-editor Sam Pizzigati on his new book, The Case for a Maximum Wage.

Chuck Collins, How the Ultra-Rich Can Help Fix the Affordable Housing Crisis, Yes! A growing number of people invest in real estate they never intend to occupy and push up prices for the rest of us. Cities should make them pay.

Gwynn Guilford, The mystery of Russia’s missing wealth shows how Putin retains his power, Quartz. What happens when wealth concentrates.

Sarita Gupta and Ai-Jen Poo, Who Will Care for the Carers? Foreign Policy. We’ll need ever more primary health workers and aides as our population ages. So why do we treat these workers so poorly?

Thomas Edsall, In Our ‘Winner-Take-Most’ Economy, the Wealth Is Not Spreading, New York Times. The top 0.01 percent’s share of U.S. income is now up to 11.2 percent.
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The Case for a Maximum Wage!
Modern societies set limits on everything from how fast motorists can drive to how many ducks hunters can shoot. But we don’t limit incomes. Should we? Would limiting income address the inequality that ails us more effectively than more conventional approaches? Could a cap on income – a maximum wage – ever become politically practical?

All these questions deeply matter. That some people are making far too much has become not just a problem. This inequality has become the problem, a social cancer that’s coarsening our cultures, distorting our democracies, and even limiting how long we live.

This cancer we can conquer. Egalitarians worldwide, Sam Pizzigati details in The Case for a Maximum Wage, are exploring promising new approaches to capping income. These grassroots struggles point us toward a grander goal: a world with income ceilings set as a multiple of income floors. A world without the super rich. A better world for us all. readers who order before July 31 can get 50 percent off the cover price. Just use promo code PIZMW.