As the 2020 presidential candidates increasingly talk about raising taxes on the wealthy, it seems like every day a new, well-paid talking head comes out of the woodwork to try and convince us all why this would somehow, actually, be a bad thing. The latest act of mental gymnastics comes to us from Lee Ohanian, an economics professor at UCLA, who desperately wants working Americans … Continue reading Actually, Taxing Capital Is A Great Idea
The federal minimum wage for tipped workers has been stuck at $2.13 an hour since 1991. This means that if you’re a restaurant server, bartender, hairdresser, ride-share driver, or other worker that receives tips, your employer is only required to pay you $2.13 an hour. Even with this meager requirement, there have been countless instances of wage theft, thanks to today’s age of credit cards, … Continue reading The Bare Minimum Series: One Fair Wage
Raising the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour will lift millions of Americans out of working poverty – and it’s scaring a lot of special interests who profit from keeping people poor. In this series, we’re dismantling the myths, one by one, that Raise the Wage opponents use to try and stop 40 million workers from making the money they deserve. This … Continue reading The Bare Minimum Series: Regional Variation
The national poverty rate is one of the most widely used indicators of the nation’s economic success – but the rate masks how many people are actually living in poverty. Now, The Trump Administration is publicly weighing reducing the cost-of-living adjustments to make way for an even lower poverty line. This is a flagrant attempt to ignore the hardships of families already living below the … Continue reading More Americans Are Struggling Than This Administration Wants to Admit
Raising the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour will lift millions of Americans out of working poverty – and it’s scaring a lot of special interests who profit from keeping people poor. In this series, we’re dismantling the myths, one by one, that Raise the Wage opponents use to try and stop 40 million workers from making the money they deserve. This … Continue reading The Bare Minimum Series: Marginal Utility
Raising the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour will lift millions of Americans out of working poverty – and it’s scaring a lot of special interests who profit from keeping people poor. In this series, we’re dismantling the myths, one by one, that Raise the Wage opponents use to try and stop 40 million workers from making the money they deserve. This … Continue reading The Bare Minimum Series: Wage Compression
I met Elijah Cummings on October 14, 2014. He talked about growing up in Baltimore, as a young person with a learning disability. It sounded to me like he was describing dyslexia but I don’t recall him ever using that word – but the point is that he didn’t know. He and his family were just told that he was stupid, and he would never … Continue reading Honoring Elijah Cummings’ Legacy
Every year, the gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the country grows wider and wider. While 40% of Americans would be unable to come up with $400 in an emergency, a select few wonder where they’ll park their next yacht. But we didn’t arrive to a reality where the richest 10% of Americans hold 70% of the countries’ wealth by accident. In … Continue reading “The Triumph of Injustice” and How to Tax Our Way Back
There are loopholes in the laws that allow employers to take advantage of their workers and avoid paying them or giving them benefits that they by rights are owed. As our economy changes in the face of automation, the gig economy, and new corporate employment schemes, we need to focus not just on how employees are treated, but on who counts as an employee at all.
The myth that raising the minimum wage kills jobs has proven to be wrong, again. A new report from the US Federal Reserve found that there is no link between raising the minimum wage and job loss. The report compared low-wage leisure and hospitality workers in an area spanning the border of New York (which had raised its minimum wage) and Pennsylvania (which had not). … Continue reading The Fed Proves Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Kill Jobs
There’s a lot of (welcome) discussion about taxing the rich these days, but so far, there hasn’t been substantive talk about the structural problems that got our country to its current inequality crisis in the first place. I think this is an absolutely vital narrative to communicate to the American public, because if we want to create lasting, sustainable change, voters need to know just … Continue reading We Have to Fix What Reagan Broke
This week, barely noticed amidst all other, bigger headlines in Washington, the Senate confirmed a Labor Secretary who will be a disaster for working people. A corporate lawyer by the name of Eugene Scalia, with an anti-labor, anti-worker record longer than the list of labor complaints against the Trump organization, will be the country’s top authority on protecting workers and fighting for labor rights. In … Continue reading Meet the New (Anti) Labor Secretary
This week, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg gave a blistering speech to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly on their climate inaction, castigating them for only talking about “fairytales of eternal economic growth.” She’s right – but fairytales of growth don’t even scratch the surface of our fossil fuel economic problem. Fossil fuels are, unfortunately, so deeply embedded in our political economy that … Continue reading The Climate Crisis In Our Tax Code
Most working Americans see taxes taken out of their paycheck every other week. Wages are taxed in real-time, while investment growth (from stocks, dividends, etc., ) is only taxed when the investment is sold. On any given year, rich people are not paying any taxes on the majority of any increase in their personal wealth. This is because most of their wealth comes from their … Continue reading Equalizing Capital Gains is Essential for Equality
One afternoon in Georgia, a man lifted a $2 can of beer from a corner store. He was quickly caught, prosecuted, and ordered to wear a $1,000 ankle monitoring device as part of a plea deal – at his own expense. The man, already impoverished, sold his plasma to try and make the minimum payments. When he fell behind, the court jailed him for not being able … Continue reading In Revenue Shortfalls, Don’t Fine the Poor – Tax the Rich
September 2, 2019 is the 125th year that Labor Day has been celebrated as a national holiday. This Labor Day, people all around the US will enjoy a day off and appreciate the end of summer. They will spend time with family and friends, host barbecues, and take advantage of Labor Day sales. But as we celebrate this holiday, we must remember the legacy of … Continue reading Labor Day 2019
The first Monday of every September, the country comes together to celebrate Labor Day: a holiday meant to celebrate overworked, underpaid workers and rally around shared values. 125 years later, American workers continue to put in tireless hours only to be behind the 1% of the country that enjoys loopholes in tax codes. While gross inequality lingers on today’s Labor Day, Donald Trump is advocating for … Continue reading Our Tax Code Should Value Labor, Not Wealth
Amid warning signs of recession, rather than helping normal Americans Donald Trump has yet again suggested a new round of tax cuts for the rich. Trump has proposed, then backed down from, then proposed again, then backed away from again, indexing capital gains to inflation, which would hand over $100 billion in tax cuts to some of the richest Americans. We shouldn’t be surprised that … Continue reading America First or Rich People First?
We know that algorithms can be used to institutionalize and credentialize injustices, but just recently the Trump administration proposed new rules to allow mortgage lenders to be exempt from claims of racial discrimination if they use algorithms.
In 2017, Republican legislators in the House and Senate passed a sweeping $1.9 trillion tax cut bill, the vast majority of which went directly into the pockets of millionaires, billionaires, and multinational corporations. Emboldened by the success of their first attempt, they’re now back for more tax cuts for the rich. This time, they want to further decrease capital gains taxes.