As the Pandora Papers leak revealed, the revenue needed to fund these programs exists, we just need the political will to increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations, close tax loopholes, and shut down tax havens.
A sense of bittersweet vindication washed over me as I read the disappointingly low September jobs report on Friday, just new 194,000 jobs created last month. Economists had expected nearly 500,000.

The federal government ended expanded unemployment insurance last month in the hope that move would nudge — force — more people back to work. But as I wrote in early September, unemployment insurance isn’t holding back the U.S. economy. Inequality is.

All of this should make the passage of President Joe Biden’s full Build Back Better agenda all the more urgent. Many of the policies that agenda outlines — an expanded Child Tax Credit, paid leave, universal pre-K, and well-funded care programs — would do so much to help build a just economy that advances equity in the pandemic recovery and beyond.

The revenue needed to fund these programs exists. Last week’s Pandora Papers leak makes that fact absolutely clear. Also absolutely clear: We need the political will to close tax loopholes, shut down tax havens, and increase taxes on the wealthy and the corporations they run.

Rebekah Entralgo,
for the Institute for Policy Studies team
Facebook Twitter Download
Care Movement Fights Back Against Cuts to BBB
“The more beds they fill in nursing homes, the more money there is to be made”: So observed disability rights organizer Josue Rodriguez last week at a vigil outside the U.S. Capitol to demand increased investment in alternatives to institutionalized care. Rodriguez, who has cerebral palsy, explained that the profit motive, combined with a misconception that disabled people don’t have the capacity to lead normal lives, has led to the severe underfunding of home- and community-based services. Rodriguez traveled to D.C. from his home in El Paso for a 24-hour vigil in support of the historic home care investments in President Biden’s Build Back Better plan — proposals now in jeopardy because conservative Democrats are balking at the budget plan’s price tag. Rebekah Entralgo has more.
Read More
Facebook Twitter Download
How Dare They Defame My Lovely Golden Goose!
Last week, from a PR perspective, may have been the Facebook empire’s absolute worst. On Sunday, October 3, former Facebook exec Frances Haugen told a massive “60 Minutes” CBS TV audience that Facebook was hiding disturbing internal research on its products and greenlighting “hateful content” to pump up usership. Haugen then expanded on those themes at a Senate hearing Tuesday in testimony that drew bipartisan plaudits. On Monday, in between Haugen’s hits, Facebook’s cyber universe crashed and stayed dark for over five hours. All these events left Facebook advertisers openly grouching. The events left Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg grouching, too. In a memo to staff, he complained about media coverage “that misrepresents our work and our motives,” adding that “most of us just don’t recognize the false picture of the company that is being painted.” Another reason for Zuckerberg’s foul mood: Facebook’s horrible week had his personal fortune down $18 billion.
Put Workers’ Voices in Corporate Decision-Making
Google is facing an unfair labor practices case for axing four employees in 2019 who had raised objections to the company’s bid for a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol contract. What appalled the employees: the idea of doing business with an agency known for mistreating migrant children. But the tech giant argued that employees leave their right to freedom of expression on civic matters at the workplace door. This case has huge implications for the future of American democracy, argues labor expert Bama Athreya in this exclusive. Voices inside companies can powerfully reinforce organizing outside companies, particularly on social and political issues where companies have an outsized influence. Giving workers a stronger voice in decision-making is becoming ever more important, Athreya notes, because CEOs and the political leaders they support stand increasingly distant from ordinary Americans.
Read More
Facebook Twitter Download
Forget the Huddled Masses. Bring Us Billionaires.
The stunning Pandora Papers released last week name names. They’ve exposed the tax-dodging financial machinations of individual “rich and famous” from every corner of the known Earth. But America’s most familiar super rich simply do not appear in the Pandora Papers coverage. How could that be — when Americans so dominate the ranks of the global super rich? Are America’s super wealthiest simply behaving more nobly than their peers elsewhere and refusing to engage in shifty financial games to shield their fortunes? Let’s get real. The relative absence of U.S. billionaires in the Pandora Papers has nothing whatsoever to do with nobility. co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more.
Read More
This week on 

Chuck Collins, Inside the Pandora Papers. A massive data leak includes explosive revelations about the hidden wealth system, including the U.S. role as a magnet for kleptocratic funds.

Elsewhere on the Web

Chuck Collins, Pandora Papers: Stop the enablers that help billionaires dodge taxes, The Hill. U.S. lawmakers, if they mustered the political will, could invest in tax enforcement and regulate or ban the trusts and transactions that serve no purpose other than tax dodging.

Bob Lord and Kalena Thomhave, Why Do South Dakota Politicians Help Billionaires? American Prospect. They’re acting on behalf of the state’s massive estate trust industry.

Sarah Anderson and Sam Pizzigati, WV has huge stake in federal budget fight, Herald-Dispatch. For decades, West Virginians have watched as CEOs chasing big bonuses have recklessly contributed to human disasters, from the 2008 financial crash to deadly mining accidents and the opioid epidemic.

Haleluya Hadero, A growing worry for charities: Tax havens for the rich, Associated Press. The Pandora Papers showed us how the wealthy hide their money—including using “dynasty trusts” to avoid taxes, which sap charities of needed donations.

Will Fitzgibbon, US lawmakers call for crackdown on financial ‘enablers’ after Pandora Papers, ICIJ. The proposed legislation may represent the most significant reform of anti-money laundering rules since 9/11.

David Leonhardt, Taxing the Rich, New York Times. Americans strongly favor raising taxes on the rich. Why are Democrats struggling to do so?

Anne Zimmerman, Good for business: Why owners of small firms support higher taxes on the wealthy, USA Today. The right-wing National Federation of Independent Business doesn’t speak for small business people.

Daniel Drezner, A Pyrrhic victory for plutocrats at Yale, Washington Post. Public intellectuals have a hard time speaking truth to power. Speaking truth to money can be next to impossible.

Meg Conley, Invisible fridges and cooling cubbies: how kitchens have been designed for the rich, Guardian. Rich people are having a couture cooling moment.

Thomas Neuburger, ‘This Is a Battle Between What People Need & What Money Wants.’ How's That Going to End? God’s Spies. The rich won’t stand down. Will the people stand up? On that one question hangs all of the rest.

Marc Fisher, For decades, Trump fought to climb the Forbes rich list. Now he’s off it, Washington Post. If Trump had divested his real estate interests when he became president, as ethic officials urged, and invested the proceeds in a blind brokerage account, he would be $2 billion richer today.

Facebook Twitter Download

Our goal for 2021: that 1% of our subscribers become monthly sustainers and help grow our newsletter and research efforts. Be the 1%, for as little as $3 a month!