This election season has been particularly ugly, exposing many weak spots in our democracy. After being defeated in statewide races, Republican legislators in Wisconsin and Michigan are spending what little time they have left before their new governors take power doing everything possible to subvert the will of their states’ voters. The partisan weakening of incoming governors’ powers, as well as undoing of citizen-supported measures … Continue reading Democracy Suspended in Wisconsin and Michigan
On Monday, General Motors (GM) announced it will be shutting down five factories and cutting almost 14,000 jobs in North America. With this announcement just weeks before the holidays, thousands of American families, along with the communities in Maryland, Michigan, and Ohio that they live in, now face an existential financial crisis. GM’s executives and investors, will have no such problems, however, in large part … Continue reading GM Layoffs Result of Trump Tax Plan
Recently, Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times that she was having a hard time finding an apartment in Washington DC, in part because she will not be receiving any salary until she is sworn in as a member of Congress in January. Beyond the issue of Washington rent being, frankly, out of control, this brings up the real issue of how most Americans … Continue reading Public Offices Need to be More Accessible to Working Class Candidates
With more races being decided by ever-slimmer margins, like in Florida’s gubernatorial and senate elections, increasing attention is being paid to who can and cannot vote, and how difficult the voting process has become for certain Americans. This midterm election was decided in part by widespread voter suppression, and it’s time for Americans to acknowledge how much partisan maneuvering is to blame. In this summer’s … Continue reading Because of the Supreme Court’s Complicity, Our Elections Lack Integrity
Last week, in a last ditch effort to persuade voters before Election Day, President Trump made one of his most baffling false claims yet. At a rally in Nevada, Trump announced a new 10% tax cut for the middle class that would be passed by Congress and come into effect before the midterms. This came as news to, well, everyone. Congressional leaders had no idea … Continue reading Vote As I Say, Not As I Do
By now, you’ve read all about the rich people who are now far richer since Republicans passed their tax bill. You might have even come across articles highlighting members of Congress who bought new yachts and properties with their tax savings. For just a moment, though, let’s reflect on the people on the other side of the inequality gap. Members of Congress feign ignorance, … Continue reading Winners and Losers from the Tax Bill
Despite our country’s immense wealth, poverty has been a longstanding challenge to far too many communities, especially immigrant communities. This inequality has persisted for generations, simply because citizenship opens the door to uncountable opportunities, and immigration policy has frequently been racially and economically charged. Instead of policies to ease the path to citizenship for all people regardless of means and background, the current administration is … Continue reading The Criminalization of Poverty and Legal Immigration
Normally, the basic idea of our tax system is that you figure out how much you profit on a transaction, then pay tax as a percentage of that profit. Unfortunately, our tax code is broken, and people like Jared Kushner have taken advantage of that. The simplest explanation for this is that the tax code is very complicated, and it isn’t the responsibility of taxpayers … Continue reading Our Tax Code is Broken When it Comes to Real Estate
Recently, Amazon announced it will begin paying its full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers a minimum wage of $15 per hour. To be clear, this is great news. The question is: why did we have to wait for Amazon to do it? There should already be a federally mandated minimum wage of $15 per hour. Since 2009, the federal minimum has been stuck at just … Continue reading Why Did We Have to Wait on Amazon to Pay a Fair Wage?
In Trump’s latest efforts to enrich wealthy people like himself, his administration recently proposed indexing the capital gains tax rate to inflation. This change would give billions of dollars in tax cuts to wealthy investors, while giving no relief at all to the working class. Right now, the capital gains tax is one of the only safeguards against the upper class’s unprecedented accumulation of wealth, … Continue reading How Many Tax Cuts Do Millionaires Need?
It seems like every day we see another news story about how conservative politicians found a new and innovative way to disenfranchise minority populations living in urban centers. But while voter ID laws and partisan gerrymandering (rightfully) earn significant outrage, there’s another issue discriminately shifting political power in virtually every state that’s flown under the radar: prison gerrymandering. Prison gerrymandering is the practice of state … Continue reading “One Person, One Vote” Doesn’t Count for Urban Communities
Every time I turn on the financial news, I see that the stock market (on average) has been rising for a record amount of time (3,453 days as of the writing of this piece). Every program trumpets this consistent rise in value as an incredible positive for the American people. But who’s it really helping? It’s been working for me. I made about $18,000 today … Continue reading I Made Money Today
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?