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.
Here’s a helpful tip to understanding the current debate over taxing the rich: if you ever find yourself reading an opinion piece, say like the one in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, that begins with the words, “the two of us are quite rich,” take whatever follows with a heaping grain of salt. That may sound a bit counterintuitive coming from a group called the … Continue reading Making Money Doesn’t Make You A Patriot
Our nation is currently experiencing a destabilizing level of economic inequality, the highest in almost 100 years. In 2015, the top 1% of families in the US earned, on average, 26.3 times as much income as the bottom 99%. The gap between the top 1% and everyone else has only grown since then. On July 18, the US House took the first step to combat … Continue reading Undoing the Racist History of the Tipped Minimum Wage
State taxes make the meat-and-potatoes work of government possible, but nickel-and-diming poor people on their meager incomes is not the way to raise them.
In 2010, the late Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a scathing dissent in Citizens United v. FEC, an infamous Supreme Court ruling that gave corporations and special interest groups unprecedented power to spend on American politics. In that dissent, Stevens chided his fellow Justices for failing to recognize that corporations “are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution … Continue reading Senate Dems Introduce Amendment to Erase the Dark Legacy of Citizens United
This week, many Americans were shocked to learn that Doordash, the most popular food delivery app in the US, steals tips meant for delivery drivers. Few people knew that their tips were going to subsidize the bottom line of this corporation rather than into the pockets of the people that delivered their food. But even fewer know that this arrangement is actually incredibly common, and … Continue reading Doordash Isn’t Alone – Almost Every Restaurant in America Uses Tips to Pad their Bottom Line
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Raise The Wage Act, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour and tie it to inflation, with near-unanimous support from Democrats and near-unanimous opposition from Republicans. This is a momentous victory for workers, but self-proclaimed “grim reaper” Mitch McConnell casts a long shadow on any celebration. Surprising no one, McConnell promptly vowed not to … Continue reading Wages Don’t Kill Jobs, Corporations Do
If you’ve kept pace with the news recently, then you’ve been reading a lot over the last few weeks of horrific conditions in which some people in this country are being held: babies without diapers, children without beds, parents separated from their kids. Honestly, I am having trouble typing the keys on my keyboard because I am so disgusted thinking about it. The Trump administration, … Continue reading Money Shouldn’t Buy A Different Kind of Justice