In this issue, a new report from our partners at Americans for Tax Fairness on how the already ultra-rich utilize family trusts to avoid taxation and keep their wealth dynasties intact for generations to come.
 
INEQUALITY.ORG
THIS WEEK
With U.S. union density at an all-time low, any good news these days on the labor front will always be welcome.  Luckily, we don’t have to look too far this week for inspiration.

In Mexico, over 6,000 workers at a massive General Motors plant have just voted overwhelmingly to form an independent union. This gives workers real collective power to advocate for higher wages and improved health and safety standards. This vote also sets us on a path for greater equality on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Inequality.org’s Sam Pizzigati, in a dispatch from Mexico, has more below.

Also in this issue: a new report from our partners at Americans for Tax Fairness on how the already ultra-rich utilize family trusts to avoid taxation and keep their wealth dynasties intact for generations to come.

Chuck Collins and Rebekah Entralgo,
for the Institute for Policy Studies Inequality.org team
 
INEQUALITY BY THE NUMBERS
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FACES ON THE FRONTLINES
Amazon Workers Demand Safe Working Conditions
In Edwardsville, Illinois, the fight for justice and accountability continues for the six Amazon employees killed in December when a fierce tornado hit. Amazon policy at the company prevented these workers from leaving their shifts early or using their phones while the tornado neared and then collapsed the warehouse’s roof. Edwardsville’s workers and their allies are rallying for more humane conditions and demanding that the nation’s second-largest employer prioritize workplace safety over ceaseless profit. Says Jeffrey Hebb, the father of Etheria Hebb, an Amazon worker who died in the roof collapse: “Amazon was supposed to keep them safe. They didn’t do that. How does a company worth over $1 trillion let this happen?” Inequality.org managing editor Rebekah Entralgo has more.
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WORDS OF WISDOM
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PETULANT PLUTOCRAT
OF THE WEEK
Making Big Bucks Battling Crime, Squeezing Wages
Karen Lynch, the CEO of drugstore giant CVS, wants the government to start getting tough on crime, and she has a particular crime in mind: the rash of “smash-and-grab” robberies now roiling CVS outlets nationwide. The robbers, says Lynch, are “taking our products off the shelf and they’re putting them online and we need to go after that.” Interestingly, late last year on CNBC’s Power Lunch, Lynch acknowledged that the uptick in “organized crime” that has her raging has had only a minimal impact on the CVS bottom line. Maybe that’s because 35 percent of CVS workers spent 2021 still earning under $15 an hour. Last October, Fortune named Lynch Corporate America’s most powerful woman. She took over as CVS CEO last February after making $11.3 million the year before as a top exec at Aetna. Last month, Lynch’s CVS announced plans to limit paid time off for all its workers who catch Covid.
 
BOLD SOLUTIONS
Stop Letting Wealth Family Dynasties Skip Taxes
A new report from the Americans for Tax Fairness — Dynasty Trusts: Giant Tax Loopholes that Supercharge Wealth Accumulation — estimates that dynastically wealthy U.S. families will avoid as much as $8.4 trillion in estate and generation-skipping taxes between now and 2024 by using dynasty trusts and other currently available legal loopholes. Aggressive tax dodging is leading, in effect, to virtually unlimited intergenerational transfers of wealth from one generation to the next, creating an inherited-wealth oligarchy class. Inequality.org co-editor Chuck Collins has more on how we can address growing concentrated generational wealth.
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GREED AT A GLANCE
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TOO MUCH
A Labor Triumph in Mexico That Really Matters
The U.S. labor movement, after a depressing January, needed some encouraging news. That encouraging news has just come — from Mexico. At the massive General Motors plant in Silao, a small city in central Mexico’s industrial heartland, workers have just installed a democratic, rank-and-file-led union that’s directly challenging the corrupt sweetheart contract deals that have kept wages depressed in both Mexico and the United States. To pull their stunning victory off, the Silao workers had to beat a GM intent on maintaining a corrupt status quo. Inequality.org co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more.
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MUST READS
This week on Inequality.org 

Basav Sen, How the U.S. Transportation System Fuels Inequality. Transportation policies prioritizing private vehicle use leave the poor and people of color behind.

Elsewhere on the Web

John Nichols, We Need a 92 Percent Tax on Pandemic Profiteers, Nation. Let’s tax billionaires — and übermillionaires — back to where they stood when Covid-19 hit.

David Dayen and Rakeen Mabud, How We Broke the Supply Chain, American Prospect. We’ve spent a half-century letting corporate and banking execs take control of our supply chains. Their greed has left us supremely ill-equipped to handle inevitable supply bottlenecks.

Robert Reich, Share the profits! Why US businesses must return to rewarding workers properly, Guardian. Profit-sharing plans, once widespread, have virtually disappeared.

Kate Pickett, The story versus the statistic, Social Europe. The pandemic is profoundly piling on top of pre-existing inequalities to threaten the life chances of children by the millions. But media barons continue to concentrate on salacious stories that stoke outrage and not understanding.

Josh Marcus, The rich emit way more C02 than the poor and the gap is growing bigger, a new study says, Independent. Over half of emissions from passenger jets comes from the top 1 per cent of air travel users.

David Hope and Julian Limberg,  The economic consequences of major tax cuts for the rich, Socio-Economic Review. An analysis of a half-century of data from 18 nations between 1965 and 2015 reveals that tax cuts for the rich yield no significant boost to jobs and economic growth, only more inequality.

Matt Stoller, Mergers Ruin Everything, BIG. Why wealth and power have so consolidated in America.

Colleen Boyle and Eric Dirnbach, In a Single Year, $1.78 Trillion Was Taken From the Working Class, In These Times. How shareholders gained the wealth workers should have received, had wages kept up with productivity.
 
 
A FINAL FIGURE
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