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Income Inequality Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Income Inequality Media Articles in Major Media


Below are key excerpts of highly revealing income inequality articles reported in the major media. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These income inequality articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Wage gap between CEOs and US workers jumped to 670-to-1 last year, study finds
2022-06-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/07/us-wage-gap-ceos-workers-inst...

The wage gap between chief executives and workers at some of the US companies with the lowest-paid staff grew even wider last year, with CEOs making an average of $10.6m, while the median worker received $23,968. A study of 300 top US companies released by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) on Tuesday found the average gap between CEO and median worker pay jumped to 670-to-1. The ratio was up from 604-to-1 in 2020. Forty-nine firms had ratios above 1,000-to-1. At more than a third of the companies surveyed, IPS found that median worker pay did not keep pace with inflation. The report ... comes amid a wave of unionization efforts among low wage workers and growing scrutiny of the huge share buyback programs many corporations have been using to inflate their share prices. US companies announced plans to buy back more than $300bn of their own shares in the first quarter of the year and Goldman Sachs has estimated that buybacks could top $1tn in 2022. Share-related remuneration makes up the largest portion of senior executive compensation and as buybacks generally boost a company's share price, they also boost executive pay. The biggest buyback firm was home improvement chain Lowe's, which spent $13bn on share repurchases. That money could have given each of its 325,000 employees a $40,000 raise. Instead, median pay at the company fell 7.6% to $22,697. IPS noted that many of the companies in its sample were also the recipients of large federal government contracts.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the corporate corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


A new billionaire has been minted nearly every day during the pandemic
2022-05-23, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/22/economy/billionaires-poverty-oxfam-davos/index...

The Covid-19 pandemic has been good for the wallets of the wealthy. Some 573 people have joined the billionaire ranks since 2020, bringing the worldwide total to 2,668, according to an analysis released by Oxfam on Sunday. That means a new billionaire was minted about every 30 hours, on average, so far during the pandemic. The report, which draws on data compiled by Forbes, looks at the rise of inequality over the past two years. It is timed to coincide with the kickoff of the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, a gathering of some of the wealthiest people and world leaders. Billionaires have seen their total net worth soar by $3.8 trillion, or 42%, to $12.7 trillion during the pandemic. A large part of the increase has been fueled by strong gains in the stock markets, which was aided by governments injecting money into the global economy. Much of the jump in wealth came in the first year of the pandemic. It then plateaued and has since dropped a bit. At the same time, Covid-19, growing inequality and rising food prices could push as many as 263 million people into extreme poverty this year. Billionaires in the food and agribusiness sector have seen their total wealth increase by $382 billion, or 45%, over the past two years, after adjusting for inflation. Some 62 food billionaires were created since 2020. Forty new pandemic billionaires were created in the pharmaceutical industry, which has been at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19 and the beneficiary of billions in public funding.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


How a Social Security program piled huge fines on the poor and disabled
2022-05-20, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/05/20/social-security-fraud-pena...

After her longtime partner died of kidney cancer, federal agents knocked on Gail Deckman's door outside Chicago and told her she was in trouble: She had kept thousands of dollars in Social Security disability benefits that should have stopped when he died. The inspector general's office, which investigates disability fraud and tries to recoup money for the government, ultimately charged her $119,392 – nearly three times what she received in error. The inflated fees were set in motion during the Trump administration, when attorneys in charge of a little-known anti-fraud program run by the inspector general's office levied unprecedented fines against Deckman and more than 100 other beneficiaries without due process. The escalating penalties created a giant jump – at least on paper – in the amount of money the inspector general could show lawmakers it was bringing in. A Chicago woman was fined $132,000 after wrongly receiving as much as $10,618 in benefits. A Denver woman was sanctioned $168,000 after cashing as much as $14,960 in wrongly received checks. The remarkable penalties led to tumult inside the Office of Inspector General Gail Ennis, where a whistleblower was targeted for retaliation, according to a ruling this month. [Deborah] Shaw testified that she was shocked when she was directed in early 2019 to issue a penalty of $176,000 to a woman who had already written a check for $26,000 to repay the government the entire amount she had wrongly received in disability benefits.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Revealed: top US corporations raising prices on Americans even as profits surge
2022-04-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/apr/27/inflation-corporate-america-...

As inflation shot to a new peak in March, cost increases exacted a deep toll on the economy. But for many of the US's largest companies and their shareholders it has been a very different story. A Guardian analysis of top corporations' financials and earnings calls reveals most are enjoying profit increases even as they pass on costs to customers, many of whom are struggling to afford gas, food, clothing, housing and other basics. The analysis of Securities and Exchange Commission filings for 100 US corporations found net profits up by a median of 49%, and in one case by as much as 111,000%. Those increases came as companies saddled customers with higher prices and all but ten executed massive stock buyback programs or bumped dividends to enrich investors. In earnings calls, executives detailed how even as demand and profits rose post-vaccine, they passed on most or all inflationary costs to customers via price increases, and some took the opportunity to add more on top. Margins – the share of sales converted into profits – also improved for the majority of the companies. The Guardian's findings are in line with recent US commerce department data that shows corporate profits rose 35% during the last year and are at their highest level since 1950. Inflation, meanwhile, rose to 8.5% year over year in March. The Guardian's data ... objectively shows a massive "transfer of wealth" from consumers, who pay higher prices, to shareholders and investment firms.

Note: Meanwhile global poverty has skyrocketed. Do the billionaires really care? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


How Many Billionaires Are There, Anyway?
2022-04-07, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/07/magazine/billionaires.html

In 1981, Malcolm Forbes, the eccentric and fabulously wealthy magazine publisher, came to his editors with a request: Could they pull together a special issue about the 400 richest Americans? The resulting reporting project took a year, dozens of flights and thousands of interviews. At the top of the very first Forbes 400 list was Daniel K. Ludwig, a shipping magnate, estimated by the magazine to be worth more than $2 billion. Adjusted for inflation, that's now at least $5.8 billion, a fortune that would land Ludwig in a seven-way tie for the 182nd spot on the last Forbes 400 list, alongside Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx; Gary Rollins, chief executive of Rollins, Inc., which owns several pest-control companies; and who could forget Peter Gassner, the head of a cloud-software company called Veeva. Since 1987, Forbes has published another list, which started smaller but has grown to be much larger: the World's Billionaires List. The magazine just published this year's edition, with a staggering 2,668 names. The task of gathering information for both lists is overseen by Kerry Dolan, an editor at Forbes, in a highly collaborative effort that involves at least 92 different reporters from all over the organization, including from the company's many internationally licensed editions – Russia, Poland, Mexico and more. The 2022 World's Billionaires list ... grew by 573 names compared with the last prepandemic list, in 2020. That year, the world was minting new billionaires at a rate, Forbes noted, of about one every 17 hours.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


'Obscene inequality': Oxfam says taxing the world's richest could help save lives
2022-01-17, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/17/oxfam-on-covid-inequality-tax-rich-to-pay-for...

The pandemic has made the rich richer while the income of the rest of the world – about 99% of humanity – dropped, according to a new Oxfam report titled "Inequality Kills." The wealth of the world's 10 richest men doubled from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion during the pandemic, the global charity said on Monday. "It has never been so important to start righting the violent wrongs of this obscene inequality by clawing back elites' power and extreme wealth including through taxation – getting that money back into the real economy and to save lives," said Oxfam International's Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. A 99% windfall tax on the pandemic gains of the world's 10 richest men would raise enough money to pay for vaccines for the world – as well as finance various social measures for more than 80 countries, the report said. The wealth of billionaires rose more since Covid started compared to the last 14 years, and a new billionaire was minted every 26 hours since the pandemic began. The CEOs of Covid vaccine-developers Moderna and BioNTech made billions in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, the vast majority of the population are worse off after losing income during Covid-19, and 160 million more people fell into poverty. One way to "claw back" the huge gains made by billionaires during the crisis is to tax the money that billionaires have made since the start of the pandemic. Even after the tax, the world's 10 richest men would still be billionaires.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Wealth of world's 10 richest men doubled in pandemic
2022-01-17, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60015294

The pandemic has made the world's wealthiest far richer but has led to more people living in poverty, according to the charity Oxfam. Lower incomes for the world's poorest contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day. But the world's 10 richest men have more than doubled their collective fortunes since March 2020, Oxfam said. Oxfam typically releases a report on global inequality at the start of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. That event usually sees thousands of corporate and political leaders, celebrities, campaigners, economists and journalists gather in the Swiss ski resort for panel discussions, drinks parties and schmoozing. However for the second year running, the meeting (scheduled for this week) will be online-only after the emergence of the Omicron variant derailed plans to return to an in-person event. Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB's chief executive, said the charity timed the report each year to coincide with Davos to attract the attention of economic, business and political elites. "This year, what's happening is off the scale," he said. "There's been a new billionaire created almost every day during this pandemic, meanwhile 99% of the world's population are worse off because of lockdowns, lower international trade, less international tourism, and as a result of that, 160 million more people have been pushed into poverty." "Something is deeply flawed with our economic system," he added.

Note: BBC sadly fails to mention it is not the pandemic that has caused all of this, but the lockdowns. 21,000 a day, which is one million every 50 days, died as a result of the lockdowns. 160 million humans fell into poverty a result of these lockdowns, not to mention the huge increase in suicides, murders, domestic abuse, shuttered small businesses, and more. Even if a million lives were saved by the lockdowns, was it worth these tremendous costs? For more, see summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable media sources.


Economists warn of inflation inequality as poor get slammed by rising prices
2021-12-29, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/29/economists-warn-of-inflation-inequality-in-20...

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a new era of inflation inequality, economists warn, in which poor households bear the brunt of rising prices. That's because a bigger portion of their budget goes toward categories that have spiked in cost. Food is up 6.4% over the past year, for example, while gasoline jumped a whopping 58%. And now many people are facing those higher prices as federal stimulus programs fade away. "They're essentially looking to stretch a dollar most days," said Chris Wimer ... at Columbia University. "It's going to lead to difficult choices between putting gas in the car or paying for your kids' child care or putting food on the table." A recent analysis by the Penn Wharton Budget Model found that low- and middle-income households spent about 7% more in 2021 for the same products they bought in 2020 or in 2019. That translates into about $3,500 for the average household. Meanwhile, pandemic-related production disruptions have driven up the costs of commodities that poor households rely on. The findings dovetail with an analysis [by] economist Alberto Cavallo. He showed that low-income consumers experienced price increases that were roughly double those of wealthier ones. In 2019, a joint paper from researchers at Columbia and the London School of Economics estimated that about 3 million more people would qualify as living in poverty if their incomes were adjusted for the inflation rates they experience.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


How school closures from COVID-19 have cost society
2021-12-26, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2021/12/26/1068160156/how-school-closures-from-covid-19-h...

Closures from COVID-19 have affected 1.6 billion children worldwide. Nearly two years into the pandemic, experts say the economic costs are in the trillions and the social costs are incalculable. $17 trillion. That's how much the pandemic could cost children around the world in terms of lost lifetime earnings. The number comes from a new report by the United Nations and the World Bank. Closed schools combined with the economic crashes all around the world not only means lost learning, it means students driven into the workforce. And some of them are going to stay there. So that all translates to children learning fewer basic skills, which makes them less qualified for higher-waged jobs. And that is how they get that estimate of $17 trillion of lost wages potentially over the lifetimes of these children. UNESCO actually has a really simple benchmark, which is can a child, by the age of 10, read a sentence in their native language? And if they can't, they call that learning poverty. And they found that even before the pandemic, more than half of the children in low- and middle-income countries couldn't do that. And now learning poverty is projected to potentially reach up to 7 in 10 of those children. UNICEF says that 10 million more girls around the world could be forced into child marriage in the next decade as one of the most unusual cascading impacts of the pandemic. Essentially, they've run out of options for survival. So this is really a human toll that they're talking about here.

Note: The media continually blame the many harmful effects of the lockdown on COVID. The virus did not cause these problems, the lockdowns did. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Top 1% of U.S. Earners Now Hold More Wealth Than All of the Middle Class
2021-10-08, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-08/top-1-earners-hold-more-we...

After years of declines, America's middle class now holds a smaller share of U.S. wealth than the top 1%. The middle 60% of U.S. households by income ... saw their combined assets drop to 26.6% of national wealth as of June, the lowest in Federal Reserve data going back three decades. For the first time, the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. The data offer a window into the slow-motion erosion in the financial security of mid-tier earners. That continued through the Covid-19 pandemic, despite trillions of dollars in government relief. While "middle class" has different meanings to different people, many economists use income to define the group. The 77.5 million families in the middle 60% make about $27,000 to $141,000 annually, based on Census Bureau data. Their share in three main categories of assets - real estate, equities and private businesses - slumped in one generation. That made their lives more precarious, with fewer financial reserves to fall back on when they lose their jobs. The top 1% represents about 1.3 million households who roughly make more than $500,000 a year - out of a total of almost 130 million. Over the past 30 years, 10 percentage points of American wealth has shifted to the top 20% of earners, who now hold 70% of the total, Fed data show. A generation ago, the middle class held more than 44% of real estate assets in the country. Now it's down to 38%. The pandemic ... led to soaring rents this year, which hurt those who can't afford a house.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Pandora Papers: Secret wealth and dealings of world leaders exposed
2021-10-03, BBC News
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58780465

The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents. Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers. They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed Ł70m of UK and US property. They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved Ł312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office. The couple bought an offshore firm that owned the building. The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco, and shows the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis - facing an election later this week - failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for Ł12m in the south of France. It is the latest in a string of leaks over the past seven years, following the FinCen Files, the Paradise Papers, the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks. The examination of the files is the largest organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), with more than 650 reporters taking part. Some figures are facing allegations of corruption, money laundering and global tax avoidance. But one of the biggest revelations is how prominent and wealthy people have been legally setting up companies to secretly buy property in the UK. The documents reveal the owners of some of the 95,000 offshore firms behind the purchases.

Note: Read about the Panama Papers leak that previously shed light on the tax havens of the elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


America's richest 400 families pay a lower tax rate than average taxpayer
2021-09-23, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/23/americas-richest-400-families-pay-a-lower-tax...

The wealthiest 400 American families paid an 8.2% average rate on their federal individual income taxes from 2010 to 2018, according to a White House analysis published Thursday. Those richest 400 families represent the top 0.0002% of all taxpayers. Their estimated tax rate, paid on $1.8 trillion of income over the nine-year period, is "low" relative to other taxpayers, according to the report. By comparison, Americans paid an average 13.3% tax rate on their income in 2018, according to a Tax Foundation analysis. The analysis comes as Democrats have proposed raising taxes on the rich and corporations to help fund up to $3.5 trillion of investments education, paid leave, healthcare, childcare and measures to curb climate change. The report's findings are similar to those of a recent ProPublica investigation, which found that some of the world's richest men (Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, Elon Musk and George Soros) pay a tiny fraction of their wealth in tax. The 25 richest Americans paid a true federal tax rate of 3.4% from 2014 to 2018, while seeing their net worth grow by $401 billion, according to the investigation, which cited confidential IRS data. Low- and middle-earners pay most of their income tax from wages on jobs. In contrast, the wealthiest Americans generate the bulk of their income from investments, which, if held longer than a year, are taxed at a lower rate than wages.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


House Democrats are scared to tax billionaires – that's a costly mistake
2021-09-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/18/house-democrats-tax-bil...

This week, House Democrats released their proposed tax increases to fund Joe Biden's $3.5tn social policy plan. The biggest surprise: they didn't go after the huge accumulations of wealth at the top – representing the largest share of the economy in more than a century. You might have thought Democrats would be eager to tax America's 660 billionaires whose fortunes have increased by $1.8tn since the start of the pandemic, an amount that could fund half of Biden's plan and still leave the billionaires as rich as they were before the pandemic began. Elon Musk's $138bn in pandemic gains, for example, could cover the cost of tuition for 5.5 million community college students and feed 29 million low-income public-school kids, while still leaving Musk $4bn richer than he was before Covid. But senior House Democrats decided to raise revenue the traditional way, taxing annual income rather than giant wealth. They aim to raise the highest income tax rate and apply a 3% surtax to incomes over $5m. The dirty little secret is the ultra-rich don't live off their paychecks. You might also have assumed Democrats would target America's biggest corporations, awash in cash but paying a pittance in taxes. Thirty-nine of the S&P 500 or Fortune 500 paid no federal income tax at all from 2018 to 2020 while reporting a combined $122bn in profits to their shareholders. But remarkably, House Democrats have decided to set corporate tax rates below the level they were at when Barack Obama was in the White House.

Note: Learn more about this in this New York magazine article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


CEO on why giving all employees minimum salary of $70,000 still "works" six years later: "Our turnover rate was cut in half"
2021-09-16, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dan-price-gravity-payments-ceo-70000-employee-mi...

It was six years ago when CEO Dan Price raised the salary of everyone at his Seattle-based credit card processing company Gravity Payments to at least $70,000 a year. Price slashed his own salary by $1 million to be able to give his employees a pay raise. He was hailed a hero by some and met with predictions of bankruptcy from his critics. But that has not happened; instead, the company is thriving. "So you've almost doubled the number of employees?" CBS News' Carter Evans asked. "Yeah," Price replied. He said his company has tripled and he is still paying his employees $70,000 a year. "How much do you make?" asked Evans. "I make $70,000 a year," Price replied. To pay his own bills, Price downsized his life, sold a second home he owned, and tapped into his savings. According to the Economic Policy Institute, average CEO compensation is 320 times more than the salaries of their typical workers. "This shows that isn't the only way for a company to be successful and profitable," Hafenbrack said. "Do you pay what you can get away with? Or do you pay what you think is ideal, or reasonable, or fair?" Price said despite the success his company has had with the policy, he wishes other companies would follow suit. Bigger paychecks have lead to fiercely loyal employees. "Our turnover rate was cut in half, so when you have employees staying twice as long, their knowledge of how to help our customers skyrocketed over time and that's really what paid for the raise more so than my pay cut," said Price.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Richest Americans fail to pay $163 billion in taxes, Treasury estimates
2021-09-08, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tax-avoidance-richest-americans-163-billion/

The top 1% of Americans are avoiding paying an estimated $163 billion in taxes a year, according to the Treasury Department. That is pushing the estimated tax gap, the amount of money owed by taxpayers that isn't collected, to nearly around $600 billion annually, and to approximately $7 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade, the Treasury Department finds. Tax evasion is concentrated among the wealthy in part because high-income taxpayers are able to employ experts who can better shield them from reporting their true incomes. More complicated incomes such as partnerships and proprietorships – more frequent among high earners – have a far greater noncompliance rate that can hit as high as 55%. "The tax gap can be a major source of inequity. Today's tax code contains two sets of rules: one for regular wage and salary workers who report virtually all the income they earn; and another for wealthy taxpayers, who are often able to avoid a large share of the taxes they owe," wrote Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Natasha Sarin. The IRS is unable to collect about 15% of taxes owed and the lack of resources has led to a fall in audit rates. For the IRS to appropriately enforce tax laws against high earners and large corporations, it would need money to hire and train agents who can examine thousands of pages of sophisticated tax filings. The Biden administration is pushing to raise the IRS budget by $80 billion over 10 years to help increase enforcement, IT and taxpayer services.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Pandemic-driven hunger is making the world more unequal
2021-07-12, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/07/12/coronavirus-peru-hunger-inequ...

Worsening inequality, as poorer people and nations lose years of gains in the battle against hunger and poverty, is likely to be one of the lasting legacies of the pandemic. New data released by the United Nations ... illustrates the unequal impact as measured by access to a basic human necessity: Food. Global hunger shot up by an estimated 118 million people worldwide in 2020, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, jumping to 768 million people – the most going at least as far back as 2006. The number of people living with food insecurity – or those forced to compromise on food quantity or quality – surged by 318 million, to 2.38 billion. In North America and Europe, formal employment, social safety nets and the widespread availability of remote work cushioned the blow. In those parts of the world, the percentage of people living with food insecurity edged up from 7.7 percent to 8.8 percent. But the developing world, home to billions of informal workers and gaps in government assistance, fared far worse. Latin America and the Caribbean saw the biggest one-year spike in food insecurity: a jump of nine percentage points, to 40.9 percent. "Governments need to open their eyes and adjust their thinking in a crisis, and in some cases, like Peru, they just didn't," said Torero of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. "They had the money available to deal with the problem. But they imposed restrictions on movement blindly and did not find a way to help the people who needed it."

Note: The tragic increase of hunger and starvation worldwide is not a result of the pandemic, but rather of the lockdown in response to the pandemic. Why is that not even mentioned in this article? Many millions have died of starvation and suicide as a result of the lockdowns, yet so few care or are even aware of this. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


What happens at Sun Valley, the secret gathering of unelected billionaire kings?
2021-07-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/12/what-happens-at-sun-val...

Did you make it to the Allen & Co conference in Sun Valley, Idaho this past week? The investment bank sponsors the annual schmooze-fest and "summer camp for billionaires" for the same reason that companies give away their luxury products in Oscars gift baskets: because if you spoil rich people enough, they may develop sufficiently warm feelings towards you to throw you some business one day. At Sun Valley each year, the billionaires are feted by the mere millionaires; the millionaires drum up enough deals to allow them to buy their third and fourth homes. The Sun Valley conference is primarily known as a place where tech and media moguls gather to do a little fly fishing and strike multibillion-dollar merger deals. More fundamentally, the conference is, like Davos, a mechanism for the concentration of wealth, dressed up as something friendlier. Here, America's wealthiest mega-billionaires gather with the chief executive of America's most powerful companies, the director of the CIA, and America's most worthless pseudo-journalists ... to develop the social and business connections that allow the top 0.00001% of earners to continue to accumulate a share of our nation's wealth that already exceeds the famously cartoonish inequality of the Gilded Age of Rockefeller and Carnegie. We are developing a private class of billionaire kings whose will is omnipotent and untouchable by any democratic force. This is the state of affairs that the Sun Valley conference serves to intensify.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Super rich's wealth concentration surpasses Gilded Age levels
2021-07-07, Yahoo! News
https://news.yahoo.com/super-richs-wealth-concentration-surpasses-gilded-age-...

The wealth of the richest 0.00001% of the U.S. now exceeds that of the prior historical peak, which occurred in the Gilded Age, according to economist Gabriel Zucman. In the late 19th century, the U.S. experienced rapid industrialization and economic growth, creating an inordinate amount of wealth for a handful of families. This era was also known for its severe inequality; and some have called the period that began around 1990 a "Second Gilded Age." Back then, just four families represented the richest 0.00001% – today's equivalent is 18 families. Zucman, a French economist whose doctoral advisor was the historical economist Thomas Piketty, author of bestseller "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," released data this week showing that as of July 1, the top 0.00001% richest people in the U.S. held 1.35% of the country's total wealth. These 18 families include those of Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. The richest 0.01% – around 18,000 U.S. families – have also surpassed the wealth levels reached in the Gilded Age. These families hold 10% of the country's wealth today, Zucman wrote. By comparison, in 1913, the top 0.01% held 9% of U.S. wealth, and a mere 2% in the late 1970s. The increasing concentration of wealth comes as the ultra-rich face more scrutiny for the money they're not paying in taxes. Recent reports have highlighted that because so much of their wealth consists of unrealized gains in stocks and real estate, they pay little or nothing in income tax.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Moguls, Deals And Patagonia Vests: A Look Inside 'Summer Camp For Billionaires'
2021-07-05, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2021/07/05/1012587989/moguls-deals-and-patagonia-vests-a-...

Welcome to what's known as "summer camp for billionaires." This week, the top executives at the biggest and most influential companies in tech and media, including Apple's Tim Cook and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, will get together at the Sun Valley Resort. These top moguls are traveling again to Sun Valley for an annual weeklong gathering organized by a boutique investment firm called Allen & Company that is known as intensely private. This week, the aggregate wealth of the men and women staying at the Sun Valley Resort is likely to reach more than $1 trillion. "It really is elitism on full display," says media analyst Colin Gillis. "But actually, it's a very private event; so, I shouldn't say 'on full display.'" Prominent politicians – including heads of state – give talks and take questions. Mike Pompeo attended when he was the head of the C.I.A., and Mauricio Macri was a guest when he was the president of Argentina. Then, at night, there are cocktail parties and lavish dinners. Among Allen & Co.'s deal makers are prominent former members of Congress, including Rep. Will Hurd and Sen. Bill Bradley, and George Tenet, the former director of the C.I.A.. The gathering is geared towards ... building relationships that may one day pay off. Bezos reportedly decided to buy "The Washington Post" when he was in Sun Valley. "They've organized the biggest matchmaking service for media companies," says Steven Davidoff Solomon, the head of the Berkeley Center for Law and Business.

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US billionaires don't pay tax, and our politicians don't seem bothered
2021-06-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/24/us-billionaires-tax-ret...

This month, ProPublica revealed that American billionaires essentially do not pay taxes, and within hours the White House had awkwardly promised no fewer than four federal investigations into the identity of the individual who had alerted the news organization to this fact. By Thursday, a North Carolina congressman was demanding the FBI director explain why he hadn't made any arrests or at the very least, "executed any search warrants or raided any offices" in the international manhunt for the leaker. ProPublica carefully chose the six billionaires whose tax returns it chose to single out for specific scrutiny. But ProPublica seems to have deliberately underthrown. After breathlessly informing readers they possessed a "trove" of 15 years' worth of tax returns on literally "thousands" of the world's richest people, the story's three authors proceeded to weave a few juicy and non-contextualized facts into a narrative that felt like a protracted sidebar to the "real" story. We learned that the 25 richest billionaires in America added $401bn to their net worths between 2014 and 2018 and paid about 3% of that amount in taxes, but we didn't learn much about any specific billionaire's tax avoidance strategies. Fifteen years of tax return information on thousands of American plutocrats is, to be sure, one of the biggest stories of the decade. It's just not clear ProPublica has that much appetite for sticking with the story.

Note: In the US, former tax lobbyists often write the rules on tax dodging. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


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