Maybe, after tomorrow, we'll have a new government in Washington much more interested in finding homes for people than slips for yachts.
I’ve spent a good chunk of this fall working on reports that have been tracking the enormous windfalls that our billionaires have been scoring. The numbers have been dramatic: Our billionaire fortunes have soared by nearly $1 trillion since this past March.

But sometimes mere numbers can’t do a story justice. We’ve just learned, for instance, that South Florida is now experiencing a boat- slip shortage because our awesomely affluent are buying so many new boats. The solution our deep pockets have fixed upon? They’ve buying up waterfront homes they don’t particularly need or want so they can have a place to park their flashy new vessels.

Florida, let’s remember, has become Donald Trump’s new home state. Come January 20, maybe he’ll have some time to work on a more elegant boat-slip solution for his fellow wealthy. And maybe we’ll have a new government in Washington much more interested in finding homes for people than slips for yachts.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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Unleashing the Power of Black Low-Income Voters
Voter mobilization can get exceedingly difficult in Metcalfe Park, a Black Milwaukee neighborhood scarred by poverty, racism, neglect, and disenfranchisement. As one young Black woman told Melody McCurtis, a door-to-door canvasser: “I don’t believe in voting. The higher-ups, they’re going to pick the president. Our votes don’t count.” A new short film follows McCurtis and her mother, Danell Cross, as they tirelessly work to persuade their neighbors to vote in the face of voter suppression and pandemic-related job and health problems. The two canvassers are aiming to go beyond winning elections to building power. Notes McCurtis about the lack of decent jobs in the communities she knows best: “We have officials that say, ‘Oh, let’s open up a Family Dollar that pays $8 per hour.’ When we vote, they’ll start paying attention.”
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Let Them Eat Birthday Cake, Just Not at My Party
Near-billionaire Kim Kardashian West didn’t want all that much for her 40th birthday October 21. Only a chance, amid pandemic frustrations, to be “normal just for a brief moment in time.” So she had two dozen of her closest friends and family quarantine for two weeks and then flew them all from the West Coast to Marlon Brando’s old private island hideaway in Tahiti, where they blissfully frolicked their way through a $1-million birthday bash. Then Kim took to Instagram and told her 190 million followers all about it — and triggered a social media uproar. For starters, Kim’s party had violated California’s non-essential travel ban. Even worse, added aging rocker Peter Frampton, the entire affair betrayed an abject lack of sensitivity to suffering. People, noted Frampton, “are going to food banks not private islands.” But one social critic, the Guardian’s Niloufar Haidari, found all the outrage somewhat surprising: “I don’t know why it’s taken Covid-19 for some people to realize this, but the super-rich simply do not live on the same planet as the rest of us.”
Tax the Rich. School the Children. Pay Teachers.
For organizers Olivia Pace, Sahar Yarjani Muranovic, and Emily von W. Gilbert, universal preschool can’t wait. Neither can kids missing out on quality care and early childhood education, preschool workers earning poverty wages, or mothers dropping out of the workforce at alarming rates because they can’t afford sky-high preschool tuition. So Pace, Muranovic, and von W. Gilbert got to work. They helped their community build a coalition of teachers, organizations, unions, and local businesses to get universal preschool on the November 3 ballot. In Multnomah County, the metro area of Portland, Oregon, voters will soon decide whether they want to ensure free preschool for all three- and four-year-olds, while guaranteeing preschool teachers a livable wage. But how can the county afford it? By taxing its highest-income earners. Robert Alvarez has more.
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California Dreamin’ . . . for Much More Equal Days
This may be the year when how California voters cast their ballots really matters again. That surprise you? Given what we all know about “battleground states,” any prediction that has California mattering on Election Day can sound just plain silly. California, after all, hasn’t been a “battleground” nationally for years. On the national political scene, goes the conventional wisdom, California simply does not matter. But look closer, please. The voting on two initiatives in California this year — one statewide, the other a local balloting in San Francisco — could mark the end of one national political era and the hopeful beginning of another. California voters this Election Day could signal, at long last, our national emergence out of the darkness of maldistributed income and wealth. co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more.
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This week on 

Robert Morrison, Trump Sold Out Workers Like Me. The president came to Iowa bragging about his jobs record, but he didn’t lift a finger when my 150-year-old plant closed.

Elaine Shelly, Four Pandemic Americas: Infinite Choices, Few Choices, Pseudo-Choice, and No Choices at All. In this election, vote for candidates who support strong care policies as the first step towards building an America that cares for us all equally.

Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Sally Sim, An Immigrant Nation Defined By Racial Inequality. Immigrants to the U.S. face racist and classist barriers to the so-called "American Dream."

Greg Wilkinson, Between Chaos and Commonwealth. Some reflections from decades of contemplating the rich, the poor, and the conviviality that comes with common purpose

Elsewhere on the Web

Dean Baker, Changes that Would Make a Difference in the Biden Administration, Center for Economic and Policy Research. Never too early to think about concrete steps to make the United States a more equal place.

Mark Engler and Andrew Elrod, COVID-19 Provides All the More Reason to Tax the Rich, Boston Review. Big tax hikes on the rich to fight inequality have usually succeeded only at moments of national crisis. We have just such a moment right now.

Paul Constant, When rich people don't face the same consequences as the rest of us, the system falls apart — and it's bad for everyone, Business Insider. Try grabbing a six-pack of soda at a gas station and walking out without paying.

Eric Asimov, How Income Inequality Has Erased Your Chance to Drink the Great Wines, New York Times. The increasing concentration of wealth has put fine wines out of reach for all but the richest connoisseurs.

Jason Oh and Eric Zolt, Wealth Tax Design: Lessons from Estate Tax Avoidance, TaxProf. In many ways, a robust estate tax will make the wealth tax harder to avoid and vice-versa.

Brenton Stewart, Avatar's Biggest Villain Was Really . . . Wealth Inequality? CBR. The distribution of wealth may be this franchise’s most consistent target of criticism.

Steve Wamhoff, Trump Says Taxes Will Be Too High on the 2% Who Pay More Under Biden’s Plan, Just Taxes. The Trump campaign has pivoted on taxes, after Americans correctly rejected the Trump claim that Biden is planning to hike taxes on average Americans. 
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