We’ve got ideas for how cities and states can recoup some of the many dollars in lost tax revenue and put that money to use reducing poverty and inequality.
Most Americans, the polls tell us, now realize that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in 2017 — the Trump administration’s signature legislative “achievement” — has been a gift to the nation’s wealthiest that keeps on giving. Just last week, a top federal banking agency released still another data point that highlights how generous this giving continues to be.

Banks, the FDIC reports, pulled in record profits last year. One reason for those records: Provisions in the 2017 GOP tax cut allowed banks to rake in an additional $28 billion in 2018.

Fortunately, we’ve got some ideas for how cities and states can recoup some of those many dollars in lost tax revenue and put that money to use reducing poverty and inequality. More on that in this week’s issue.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies Inequality.org team
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A Blueprint for the City Chicagoans Deserve
Chicagoans have a history of coming together to help each other, be that by digging out a neighbor’s car after a snowstorm or checking up on a vulnerable senior during a heat wave. Chicago residents have each other’s backs. But they haven’t been able to count on the same caring from their elected leaders. That could change this Tuesday when Chicagoans have a shot at electing a mayor and city council committed to policies that focus on the real needs of working people. Saqib Bhatti, the co-executive director of the Action Center on Race and the Economy, writes for us this week about a plan to make sure the city’s richest and the corporations they run pay their fair tax share to help improve the lives of all Chicagoans.
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Country First? Absolutely, But Not at Tax Time
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is making a run, one UK columnist quipped last week, to being “the most disliked as well as the richest man in Britain.” Sir Jim made his way to the top of the annual Sunday Times “rich list” this past May after he called the editor to complain that the paper was undervaluing his petrochemicals company — and his two super-yachts. His dislikes, meanwhile, soared after recent news reports indicated that Ratcliffe was moving to Monaco in a scheme to avoid up to £4 billion — about $5.2 billion — in taxes. But those dislikes had already been running high. Ratcliffe has been a prime corporate booster of the Brexit drive to get the UK out of the European Union, and earlier this year he blasted the EU for its “stupid” green taxes. Sir Jim, sums up Tax Justice UK’s Robert Palmer, has “put his own greed ahead of contributing to this country.”
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Let’s Give America’s ‘Helicopter Parents’ a Break!
Why have “helicopter parents” — moms and pops constantly hovering over their kids, filling their schedules with enrichment activities of every sort — become so deeply emblematic of our modern times? The standard explanation: The pace and pressures of our dangerous digital times leave parents no choice. But economists Matthias Doepke of Northwestern and Fabrizio Zilibotti of Yale aren’t jumping on this blame-modernity bandwagon. If modernity is driving parents to hover, the pair point out, then we ought to see parents helicoptering across the developed world. But we’re not. Parents in only some societies are helicoptering. Which societies? The most unequal ones. Inequality.org co-editor Sam Pizzigati, author of The Case for a Maximum Wage, has more.
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This week on Inequality.org 

Sarah Anderson and Chuck Collins, What States Can Do to Reduce Poverty and Inequality Through Tax Policy. State governments have many options for recouping the windfalls large corporations and the wealthy received through the 2017 Republican federal tax law.

Sally Tomlinson and Danny Dorling, The Key to the Brexit Backstory. How did Britain’s wealthy take the end of the British empire? Not well — and the rest of us are still paying the price.

Paul Theobald, Reflections on a Quixotic Bid for Social and Economic Justice. In rural America, a cascade of billionaire dollars is making sure that democracy cannot grow.

Sarah Schulz, Immigrants Aren't the Emergency. Communities around the U.S. are told to blame immigrants for the burdens of unchecked capitalism. Don’t buy it.

Rebecca Tarlau, What’s Behind the Teacher Strikes: Unions Focus on Social Justice, Not Just Salaries. A new generation of union activists see their struggle as part of the fight for equitable resources for the communities where they teach.

Elsewhere on the web 

Bob Lord, The Problem With Bernie Sanders's 77 Percent Estate Tax for Billionaires? It's Not Enough, Newsweek. The Sanders estate tax proposal has a fighting chance of curtailing the concentration of wealth that’s corroding our democracy, but only if strengthened to tax gifts the same as bequests.

Lynn Parramore, Opioid Crisis Shows How Economic Inequality Kills, Institute for New Economic Thinking. Big Pharma couldn’t do its dirty work without America’s increasing economic inequality.

Jen Doll, Why Does It Feel Like Everyone Has More Money Than You? Harper's Bazaar. Opening up dialogues around money, privilege, success, and class can be as complex as the threads weaving these four beasts together.

David Gelles, They’re Rich and They’re Mad About Taxes (Too Low!), New York Times. An affluent few are raging against a tax law that puts more money — a lot more — in their pockets.

Jacob Hacker, The Roots of America’s Exceptional Inequality, Yale Insights. A cogent new overview.

John Horgan, Revolt Against the Rich, Scientific American. An uprising long overdue.

Anil Antony and Ankur Prasad, Pay people for data, The Hindu.  Seven of the world’s most valuable companies profit off data obtained for free from ordinary people. To nurture a more equal world, that needs to end.
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