We don’t need or want an underclass to look down on.

One of the ills of American capitalism is the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. At this very moment, the gap between rich and poor has never been wider, and it is only growing. As we are unable to even broach the discussion of maximum wages, we frequently argue over raising the minimum wage. These conversations quickly turn to ad hominems … Continue reading We don’t need or want an underclass to look down on. »

Who was Nancy Pelosi talking about?

A few minutes after ten o’clock yesterday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi started talking about some of the Americans who, as young children, arrived in this country with their families and have been here doing all of the things that make America America ever since: creating businesses, teaching our youth, even curing cancer. She is stumbling over pronunciations of names from Mexico and Thailand, from … Continue reading Who was Nancy Pelosi talking about? »

Do Trump’s appointees ask what they can do for their country, or what their country can do for them?

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), resigned yesterday (31 January 2018). Her resignation exposes the real change in philosophy that the government is now going through. Previously, the mission of the CDC, and for the government as a whole for that matter, had been to improve the lives of the people who live in the United States … Continue reading Do Trump’s appointees ask what they can do for their country, or what their country can do for them? »

Another instance of higher tax rates for the working poor.

Within the next few weeks, the average millionaire will be done paying into Social Security for the year because the payroll tax is zero on income above $128,400. 10,000 “Baby Boomers” become eligible for Social Security benefits everyday, and if our legislators continue to insist that their social security benefits must be tied to the FICA tax, our tax system can not adequately provide for … Continue reading Another instance of higher tax rates for the working poor. »

Does the new tax bill provide more incentives to give workers raises… or less?

Let’s talk about the incentives in the new tax bill for employers to raise workers pay. Here is a concrete example. Say I own a small bar where people come and drink beer after work.  Suppose I gross (on average) $1,000 per day in sales, the bartender gets paid $4,000 per month, I spend $10,000 per month on other fixed costs and $8,000 per month … Continue reading Does the new tax bill provide more incentives to give workers raises… or less? »

Statement from the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires on the Passing of Paul Booth

Following the passing of legendary activist and organizer Paul Booth, Morris Pearl, Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires issued the following statement: Paul Booth is a part of the history that my children studied in school. He organized the first huge protests against the Vietnam war in the early 1960s and helped workers stand up for their rights when Ronald Reagan told America that unionized air … Continue reading Statement from the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires on the Passing of Paul Booth »

Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget takes first steps towards closing egregious loophole.

For the first time ever, closing the carried interest loophole has been added to a state budget. Governor Cuomo of New York revealed this egregious aspect of the tax code is on the chopping block in his Tuesday, January 16 address. The carried interest loophole is “a federal tax that allows some hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate on revenue from investments,” … Continue reading Gov. Cuomo’s proposed budget takes first steps towards closing egregious loophole. »

Society can’t fix a non-disclosable problem.

The #MeToo movement has continued its efforts to change the culture of workplace sexual harassment by putting their money where their mouth is. New Year’s Day the Time’s Up initiative was announced, with stated goals that include fighting sexual assault in blue-collar workplaces across the country. One of their missions is to “discourage the use of non-disclosure agreements to silence victims,” according to the nytimes.com. … Continue reading Society can’t fix a non-disclosable problem. »

What’s the #CorkerKickback and why does it matter?

Since the final version of the congressional Republicans’ tax bill was released last Friday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has been the focus of conversations. This is because the fiscal hawk would personally benefit from a last minute provision to the bill, and having recently backtracked on his decision to vote ‘no’, the timing is curious. The new provision would lower taxes on income from real-estate … Continue reading What’s the #CorkerKickback and why does it matter? »

Republicans want to make all of the states more like Kansas.

While the Republicans reconcile the two versions of the tax bill that passed each chamber, it’s important to remember exactly what about each was so contemptible. Surely removal of the SALT (state and local taxes) deduction is at the top of the list. On the surface, removing the tax deduction that chiefly benefits high tax states makes some sense. Why, after all, should the federal … Continue reading Republicans want to make all of the states more like Kansas. »

The #GradStudentTax is the end of equal opportunity.

In a bill full of boondoggles to the 1%, few other amendments are as egregious as the graduate student tax. The aforementioned tax has been championed as a way to increase tax revenue in the wake of mounting special interest pressure to remove the estate tax. Thus, it is simply a shifting of the fiscal burden onto hard-working, less privileged citizens in order for the … Continue reading The #GradStudentTax is the end of equal opportunity. »

Pearls of Wisdom: Does Gary Cohn Even Understand the Estate Tax

Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council was just on CNBC talking about the necessity of repealing the estate tax. Mr. Cohn said: Well, look, we want that farmer to go out and buy the next piece of land, and the next piece of land, and the next piece of land, and create the economies of scale and be able to compete in … Continue reading Pearls of Wisdom: Does Gary Cohn Even Understand the Estate Tax »

Pearls of Wisdom: Who is Being Regulated?

One of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis was the high demand for securities backed by sub-prime mortgages and rated triple-A (AAA) by the rating agencies. The agencies gave the AAA rating to many bonds that turned out to be much riskier than the rating implied. The demand for those bonds, driven in part by the ratings, was the main driver of the issuance … Continue reading Pearls of Wisdom: Who is Being Regulated? »

Why Progressives Don’t Need Wall Street Millionaires

Despite calls to move to the center and focus on bipartisanship, since the 2016 election the Democratic party is finally beginning to realize that it can no longer compromise on its values for Wall Street cash. Even setting aside the simple fact that progressive platforms like raising the minimum wage are good policy, it’s clear that relying on Wall Street money and ignoring the energy … Continue reading Why Progressives Don’t Need Wall Street Millionaires »

Are Secret Settlements Good for Companies?

After decades of degeneracy, Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse and harassment of dozens of women in Hollywood is being widely discussed and covered in the media. Some of these women accused Mr. Weinstein of criminal acts (assault, rape), while many claimed he acted incredibly inappropriately (suggesting that he could aid their career advancement if they had a sexual relationship with him). In some of these … Continue reading Are Secret Settlements Good for Companies? »

Elected Officials, not Philanthropists, Should Make Decisions for Our Country

Two years ago, billionaire David Geffen donated $100 million for renovations and naming rights to David Geffen Hall. Wealthy due to his success as a music promoter and executive, Mr. Geffen is well-known today for his philanthropy. For example, UCLA’s School of Medicine was renamed in his honor following a $200 million donation in 2001. I’m not opposed to these donations, in and of themselves. … Continue reading Elected Officials, not Philanthropists, Should Make Decisions for Our Country »

My Tax Philosophy

When we discuss economics there are, very broadly, two types of people: First, there are regular people. They mostly need to work, and a lot of them try to save enough so that they can retire someday. Some of them succeed, but increasingly, many do not. Being a regular person means spending most of your income. Some live very well, and some live very poorly. … Continue reading My Tax Philosophy »