In her recent piece in the New Yorker “Gospels of Giving for the New Gilded Age,” Elizabeth Kolbert rightly calls out the American donor class for their underwhelming philanthropic leanings. Too many ultra-wealthy Americans spend millions of dollars on efforts that may purport to make the world a better place, but that in many instances do nothing but serve to further their own ideological vision for what our society should look like.
As a U.S. citizen, I understand our taxes go towards paying for things we as a society feel are necessary.
Congressional Republicans sure have a hard time with math. In the most recent House budget, they included massive cuts to the Pell Grant program, which allows millions of students each year to better afford a college education, all in the name of fiscal responsibility. We can’t afford it, they say. It’s a sign of how quickly things change, I guess, that we suddenly can’t afford … Continue reading Bye Bye Pell Grants, Hello Even More Student Loan Debt
Americans across the country are justifiably up in arms over the latest Supreme Court Justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Mr. Kavanaugh is an avowed partisan, hostile to women’s rights and consumer protection policies, as well as the conservative boogie-man, “Big Government.” What many Americans don’t know, however, is how his addition to the court could change the role of government generally, and in workplace safety specifically … Continue reading Confirming Justice Kavanaugh Means Freedom… from Being Safe?
Since 1984, when CoreCivic got the first contract to operate a for-profit prison, there has been a massive increase in private corporations finding ways to enrich themselves off mass incarceration. While it is unclear whether private interests or tough-on-crime public policy first fueled this epidemic, the result is that the U.S. has five times as many inmates as any other country. Unfortunately, this crisis touches … Continue reading Prisoners Can’t Support Their Families, But They Can Make Investors Rich
If other countries believe our president is willing to overlook bad conduct in exchange for personal gain, then they have no reason not to act badly.
With all the talk surrounding money in politics, little attention has been paid to how this issue limits the candidate pool. Essentially, we are seeing now more than ever the devastating results of money in politics in the form of limiting the ability of potential candidates to afford running for office. There have been many reports on how expensive elections have become, but few have … Continue reading Who Should Run for Office?
Last year, when the GOP passed their $1.5 trillion tax bill, they announced it would put $4,000 back in the average American’s paycheck. If this were true, this Tax Day, which is 15 weeks into the year, the average American should have an extra $1,153.85 of the $4,000. Do you? If your answer is an emphatic no, you’re not alone. Across the country, there has … Continue reading Are You Still Waiting on that $4,000 raise?
*This post was written in response to the April 8th Wall Street Journal “You Won’t Believe the Names the Left is Calling ‘No Labels’” Some people want to have no labels applied to themselves, others of us choose to be labeled. I support certain candidates because I believe that certain policies will make our great nation the kind of nation where I want to … Continue reading Label Me, Please.
The mayor of Mount Vernon, NY, a city of around 70,000 citizens just north of New York City, has been charged with several felonies, essentially for stealing money from his own campaign committee. Mayor Richard Thomas also spent tens of thousands of dollars raised for his inauguration on personal expenses, but that is apparently not illegal. New York State law clearly prohibits using money raised … Continue reading Elected Officials and Outside Income — Not a Good Match
There are vast differences between the lives of a rich person and a poor person. As someone who finds himself in the former category, I know that the majority of these differences privilege my experiences and opportunities over the other. In a truly democratic and safe society, these benefits should stop once the criminal justice system enters into the equation, but this is not the … Continue reading Do Millionaires Worry About Going to Jail?
With so many contentious aspects of the omnibus being highlighted in the news cycle, it’s easy to ignore the seemingly innocuous touting Trump has done in the aftermath of the legislation’s passage. Unfortunately, the president’s musings over enacting a presidential line item veto is not simply hot air, and while many presidents have called for one before, the proposal has never been as potentially detrimental … Continue reading Trump Wants to Take Even More Power From Congress
On February 24th, 2018 Chair Morris Pearl spoke at the Working People’s Day of Action rally in New York City. Below are his thoughts. I’m standing on the podium at the Working People’s Day of Action. It’s twenty minutes before call time and there are already at least a thousand people here. Hospital workers from local 1199. Teachers from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). … Continue reading Working People’s Day of Action
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
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?
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?
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
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?
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
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