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Income Inequality News Articles
Excerpts of key news articles on income inequality


Below are key excerpts of little-known, yet highly revealing news articles on income inequality from the major media. Links are provided to the full news articles for verification. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These articles on income inequality are listed by order of importance. You can also explore them ordered by the date of the article or by the date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves, we can build a brighter future.


Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on dozens of engaging topics. And read excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


With working Americans' survival at stake, the US is bailing out the richest
2020-04-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/13/with-working-americans-...

Amid a humanitarian crisis compounded by mass layoffs and collapsing economic activity, the last course our legislators should be following is the one they appear to be on right now: bailing out shareholders and executives who, while enriching themselves, spent the past decade pushing business corporations to the edge of insolvency. The $500bn dollars of public money that Congress’s relief bill provides will be used for a corporate bailout, with the only oversight in the hands of an independent council similar to the one used in the 2008 financial crisis. While that body was able to report misuses of taxpayer money, it could do nothing to stop them. As currently structured, there is nothing to keep this bailout from, like its predecessor, putting cash directly into the hands of those at the top rather than into the hands of workers. Without strong regulation and accountability, asking corporations to preserve jobs with these funds will be nothing more than a simple suggestion, leaving millions of everyday Americans in financial peril. If not properly managed, this economic disaster has the potential to be the worst in American history. Our country cannot allow a small number of executives and shareholders to profit from taxpayer funds that we have injected into these corporations for reasons of pure emergency. We need to stop this rot at the core of our economic system and realign the priorities of government with those of workers and consumers.

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


The One Percent Have Gotten $21 Trillion Richer Since 1989. The Bottom 50% Have Gotten Poorer.
2019-06-16, New York Magazine
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/06/the-fed-just-released-a-damning-indict...

Some Democratic presidential candidates say that America’s economic system is badly broken and in need of sweeping, structural change. In its new Distributive Financial Accounts data series, the central bank offers a granular picture of how American capitalism has been distributing the gains of economic growth over the past three decades. Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project took the Fed’s data and calculated how much the respective net worth of America’s top one percent and its bottom 50 percent has changed since 1989. He found that America’s superrich have grown about $21 trillion richer ... while those in the bottom half of the wealth distribution have grown $900 billion poorer. Notably, this measure of wealth includes liabilities. And it does not include consumer goods. But if one did include the Fed’s data on the distribution of consumer goods, the wealth gap between the top one percent and bottom 50 would actually be even larger. In 2011, Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University published a study on Americans’ views of how wealth was distributed in their society, and how they felt it should be distributed. They found that, in the average American’s ideal world, the richest 20 percent would own 32 percent of national wealth. In reality, the top quintile owned 84 percent as of 2011. And that share has grown in the intervening years. Today, the one percent alone commands roughly 40 percent of all America’s wealth.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on 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.


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.


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.

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


Millions of Americans Have Lost Jobs in the Pandemic — And Robots and AI Are Replacing Them Faster Than Ever
2020-08-06, Time magazine
https://time.com/5876604/machines-jobs-coronavirus/

For 23 years, Larry Collins worked in a [toll] booth. But one day in mid-March, as confirmed cases of the coronavirus were skyrocketing, Collins’ supervisor called and told him not to come into work the next day. Collins’ job was disappearing, as were the jobs of around 185 other toll collectors at bridges in Northern California, all to be replaced by technology. The drive to replace humans with machinery is accelerating as companies struggle to avoid workplace infections of COVID-19 and to keep operating costs low. The U.S. shed around 40 million jobs at the peak of the pandemic. Some will never return. One group of economists estimates that 42% of the jobs lost are gone forever. This replacement of humans with machines may pick up more speed in coming months as companies move from survival mode to figuring out how to operate while the pandemic drags on. Robots could replace as many as 2 million more workers in manufacturing alone by 2025. “Look at the business model of Google, Facebook, Netflix. They’re not in the business of creating new tasks for humans,” says Daron Acemoglu, an MIT economist. The U.S. government incentivizes companies to automate, he says, by giving tax breaks for buying machinery and software. A business that pays a worker $100 pays $30 in taxes, but a business that spends $100 on equipment pays about $3 in taxes, he notes. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowered taxes on purchases so much that “you can actually make money buying equipment,” Acemoglu says.

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


Deficit hawks once again show their hypocrisy on military spending
2019-12-16, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/16/bernie-sanders-deficit-haw...

The Senate will be voting this week on the Trump military budget, which calls for a massive increase in defense spending. I strongly oppose this legislation. At a time when we have massive levels of income and wealth inequality; when half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck; when more than 500,000 Americans are homeless; and when public schools throughout the country are struggling to pay their teachers a livable salary, it is time to change our national priorities. I find it ironic that when I and other progressive members of Congress propose legislation to address the many unmet needs of workers, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, we are invariably asked, “How will we pay for it?” Yet we rarely hear that question with regard to huge increases in military spending, tax breaks for billionaires or massive subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. When it comes to giving the Pentagon $738 billion — even more money than it requested — there is a deafening silence within Congress and the ruling elites about what our nation can and cannot afford. When I talk about changing national priorities, I’m talking about the fact that the $120 billion increase in Pentagon spending — compared with the final year of the Obama administration — could have made every public college, university, trade school and apprenticeship program in the United States tuition free, eliminated homelessness and provided universal school meals to every kid in our nation’s public schools.

Note: The above article was written by Bernie Sanders. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


IRS records show wealthiest Americans, including Bezos and Musk, paid little in income taxes as share of wealth, report says
2021-06-08, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/06/08/wealthy-irs-taxes/

The wealthiest Americans – including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos – paid little in federal income taxes at times in recent years despite soaring fortunes, according to Internal Revenue Service data obtained by ProPublica. The information published Tuesday shows how billionaires are able to legally reduce their tax burden, highlighting how the American tax system can hit ordinary wage earners harder than the richest people in the country. That's often because the richest Americans tend to have their wealth tied up in stocks and real estate, allowing them to avoid taxes on unrealized profits. The U.S. tax system focuses on income, not what is known as unrealized gains from unsold stocks, real estate or other assets. The records ... purport to show Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, as having paid $23.7 million in federal income taxes on total income of $125 million from 2014 to 2018, which would indicate a personal income tax rate of 19 percent. ProPublica estimated that Buffett saw his wealth soar by $24.3 billion during that period and so his "true tax rate" was 0.10 percent. Musk, chief executive of Tesla, paid $455 million on $1.52 billion in income during the same period, when his wealth grew by $13.9 billion, accounting for a "true tax rate" of 3.27 percent. Bezos, chief executive of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, paid $973 million in taxes on $4.22 billion in income, as his wealth soared by $99 billion, resulting in a 0.98 percent "true tax rate."

Note: Learn about important facts this article leaves out in this excellent piece. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Billionaires club grew by nearly a third, to 2,755, during pandemic
2021-04-06, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/news/billionaires-club-grew-by-nearly-a-third...

The number of newly minted and reissued billionaires soared last year, Forbes reported Tuesday in its annual ranking, a staggering accumulation of personal wealth that stands in sharp contrast with the widespread economic struggles unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic. The number of billionaires on Forbes' 35th annual ranking swelled by 660 to 2,755 – a roughly 30 percent jump from a year ago – and 493 of them are first-timers. Seven of eight are richer than they were before the pandemic. Forbes calculates net worth by using stock prices and exchange rates from March 5. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, with an estimated fortune of $177 billion, topped the list. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk came in at No. 2 at $151 billion. As a class, billionaires added about $8 trillion to their total net worth from last year, totaling $13.1 trillion. The United States had the most billionaires, at 724, extending a rapid rise in wealth that hasn't happened since the Rockefellers and the Carnegies roughly a century ago. China ... had the second highest number of billionaires: 698. Gabriel Zucman, an economist ... said in an email that the explosive acceleration of wealth among the richest of the rich has only accelerated during the pandemic. "In the United States, the top 400 wealthiest Americans now own the equivalent 18% of GDP in wealth, twice as much as in 2010 (9% of GDP). The pandemic has reinforced this trend, with a boom in top-end wealth despite the decline in economic activity," he wrote.

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.


Covid-19 has cost global workers $3.7tn in lost earnings, says ILO
2021-01-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jan/25/covid-19-workers-lost-earnin...

The economic blow from Covid-19 has cost workers around the world $3.7tn (Ł2.7tn) in lost earnings, after the pandemic wiped out four times the number of working hours lost in the 2008 financial crisis. The International Labour Organization (ILO) said women and younger workers had borne the brunt of job losses and reductions in hours, and warned that people in sectors hardest hit by the crisis – such as hospitality and retail – risked being left behind when the economy recovered. Sounding the alarm that entrenched levels of inequality risked becoming a defining feature of the economic rebound from Covid-19, the Geneva-based agency said that governments around the world needed to take urgent action to support those at the heart of the storm. In its annual analysis of the global jobs market, it said 8.8% of working hours were lost in 2020 relative to the end of 2019, equivalent to 255m full-time jobs. This is approximately four times bigger than the toll on workers as a consequence of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. These "massive losses" resulted in an 8.3% decline in global labour income, before government support measures are included, according to the ILO, equivalent to $3.7tn in earnings – about 4.4% of global GDP. Women have been more affected than men by the disruption to the jobs market, with female workers more likely to drop out of work altogether. Younger workers have also been particularly hard hit, either losing jobs, dropping out of the labour force or delaying the search for a first job.

Note: In the meantime, MSN reports that billionaires made $3.9 trillion during the pandemic. Is this the kind of wealth transfer that supports humanity? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.


Covid-19 pandemic shines a light on a new kind of class divide and its inequalities
2020-04-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/25/covid-19-pandemic-shine...

The Covid-19 pandemic is putting the deepening class divide in America into stark relief. Four new classes are emerging. The Remotes: These are professional, managerial, and technical workers – an estimated 35% of the workforce – who are putting in long hours at their laptops ... and collecting about the same pay as before the crisis. The Essentials: They’re about 30% of workers, including nurses, homecare and childcare workers, farm workers, food processors, truck drivers, warehouse and transit workers, drugstore employees, sanitation workers, police officers, firefighters, and the military. Too many Essentials lack adequate protective gear, paid sick leave, health insurance, and childcare. They also deserve hazard pay. The Unpaid: They’re an even larger group than the unemployed – whose ranks could soon reach 25%, the same as in the Great Depression. 43% of adults report they or someone in their household has lost jobs or pay. The unpaid most need cash to feed their families and pay the rent. Fewer than half say they have enough emergency funds to cover three months of expenses. The Forgotten: This group includes everyone ... packed tightly into places most Americans don’t see: prisons, jails for undocumented immigrants, camps for migrant farmworkers, Native American reservations, homeless shelters, and nursing homes. The Essentials, the Unpaid, and the Forgotten are disproportionately poor, black, and Latino and they are disproportionately becoming infected.

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


American billionaires have gotten $280 billion richer since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
2020-04-22, MSN News
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/american-billionaires-have-gotten-280...

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from a great equalizer. In the same month that 22 million Americans lost their jobs, the American billionaire class's total wealth increased about 10%–or $282 billion more than it was at the beginning of March. They now have a combined net worth of $3.229 trillion. The initial stock market crash may have dented some net worths at first–for instance, that of Jeff Bezos, which dropped down to a mere $105 billion on March 12. But his riches have rebounded: As of April 15, his net worth has increased by $25 billion. These "pandemic profiteers," as a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, calls them, is just one piece of the wealth inequality puzzle in America. In the background is the fact that since 1980, the taxes paid by billionaires, measured as a percentage of their wealth, dropped 79%. "We're reading about benevolent billionaires sharing .0001% of their wealth with their fellow humans in this crisis, but in fact they've been rigging the tax rules to reduce their taxes for decades–money that could have been spent building a better public health infrastructure," says Chuck Collins [of] the Institute for Policy Studies and coauthor of the new report, titled "Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes, and Pandemic Profiteers." Another key finding of the report is that after the 2008 financial crisis, it took less than 30 months for billionaire wealth to return to its pre-meltdown levels. That wealth then quickly exceeded pre-2008 levels. But as of 2019, the middle class in America has not even yet recovered to the level of its 2007 net worth.

Note: This New York Post article shows how 43,000 millionaires in the U.S. will receive a "stimulus" gift averaging $1.6 million each. At the same time, this Reuters article claims that the coronavirus lockdown could plunge half a billion worldwide into poverty. And this BBC article warns of potential massive famines. So who is this lockdown really serving? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus 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.


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.


Taxes 2020: These two groups of taxpayers face the highest audit rates
2020-01-31, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/01/31/taxes-2020-audits-most-likely...

Getting audited by the IRS is increasingly less certain. An audit is about half as likely as it was five years ago. Even so, some groups face higher audit rates than others. The tax agency is auditing fewer individual taxpayers not because we’re more honest, but because the IRS is working with fewer employees. The agency’s workforce has dropped from 94,000 workers in 2010 to roughly 78,000 in the most recent fiscal year, according to IRS data. With fewer agents available to perform audits, the agency’s audit rate has been whittled to 0.45% of individual returns in fiscal 2019, the IRS said. That compares with an audit rate of 0.9% in the fiscal 2014. Two types of taxpayers are more likely to draw the attention of the IRS: the rich and the poor, according to IRS data of audits by income range. Poor taxpayers, or those earning less than $25,000 annually, have an audit rate of 0.69% — more than 50% higher than the overall audit rate. Low-income taxpayers are more likely to get audited than any other group, except Americans with incomes of more than $500,000. The least likely group to get audited? That would be upper-middle-class households with an annual income of $100,000 to $200,000. Low-income households are more likely to get audited than some wealthier taxpayers ... due to the IRS checking for fraud and errors related to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Americans with annual incomes of more than $10 million have enjoyed a 75% decline in audit rates since 2013.

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


Ten Years After The Financial Crisis, The Contagion Has Spread To Democracy Itself
2018-09-15, Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/financial-crisis-10-years-later-ben-bern...

By the time Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in American history on Sept. 15, 2008, the country had been navigating stormy global financial waters for more than a year. Throughout the mess, the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury had been permitting the largest banks in the country to funnel as much cash as they wanted to their shareholders ― even as it became clear those same banks could not pay their debts. Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner ... didn’t really rescue the banking system. They transformed it into an unaccountable criminal syndicate. Since the crash, the biggest Wall Street banks have been caught laundering drug money, violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Cuba, bribing foreign government officials, making illegal campaign contributions to a state regulator and manipulating the market for U.S. government debt. Citibank, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and UBS even pleaded guilty to felonies for manipulating currency markets. Not a single human being has served a day in jail for any of it. As a percentage of each family’s overall wealth, the poorer you were, the more you lost in the crash. The top 1 percent of U.S. households ultimately captured more than half of the economic gains over the course of the Obama years, while the bottom 99 percent never recovered their losses from the crash. The result has been a predictable and terrifying resurgence of authoritarian politics unseen since the Second World War.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption and income inequality.


Companies Shouldn’t Be Accountable Only to Shareholders
2018-08-14, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/companies-shouldnt-be-accountable-only-to-shareh...

Corporate profits are booming, but average wages haven’t budged. In the early 1980s, large American companies sent less than half their earnings to shareholders, spending the rest on their employees and other priorities. But between 2007 and 2016, large American companies dedicated 93% of their earnings to shareholders. Because the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households own 84% of American-held shares, the obsession with maximizing shareholder returns effectively means America’s biggest companies have dedicated themselves to making the rich even richer. In the four decades after World War II, shareholders on net contributed more than $250 billion to U.S. companies. But since 1985 they have extracted almost $7 trillion. That’s trillions of dollars in profits that might otherwise have been reinvested in the workers who helped produce them. Before “shareholder value maximization” ideology took hold, wages and productivity grew at roughly the same rate. But since the early 1980s, real wages have stagnated even as productivity has continued to rise. Workers aren’t getting what they’ve earned. Companies also are setting themselves up to fail. Retained earnings were once the foundation for long-term investments. But from 1990 to 2015, nonfinancial U.S. companies invested trillions less than projected, funneling earnings to shareholders instead. This underinvestment handcuffs U.S. enterprise and bestows an advantage on foreign competitors. We should insist on a new deal.

Note: The above was written by Sen. Elizabeth Warren in conjunction with her introduction of the "Accountable Capitalism Act". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and income inequality.


How Baby Boomers Broke America
2018-05-17, Time
http://time.com/magazine/us/5280431/may-28th-2018-vol-191-no-20-u-s/

About five decades ago, the core values that make America great began to bring America down. The First Amendment became a tool for the wealthy to put a thumb on the scales of democracy. America’s rightly celebrated dedication to due process was used as an instrument to block government from enforcing job-safety rules ... and otherwise protecting the unprotected. Election reforms ... wound up undercutting democracy. Ingenious financial and legal engineering turned our economy ... into a casino with only a few big winners. Distinctly American ideas became the often unintended instruments for splitting the country into two classes: the protected and the unprotected. The protected overmatched, overran and paralyzed the government. The unprotected were left even further behind. Income inequality has soared: Middle-class wages have been nearly frozen for the last four decades, while earnings of the top 1% have nearly tripled. For adults in their 30s, the chance of earning more than their parents dropped to 50% from 90% just two generations earlier. Many of the most talented, driven Americans used what makes America great - the First Amendment, due process, financial and legal ingenuity, free markets and free trade, meritocracy, even democracy itself - to chase the American Dream. And they won it, for themselves. Then, in a way unprecedented in history, they were able to consolidate their winnings ... and pull up the ladder so more could not share in their success or challenge their primacy.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality.


It's Now Illegal to Pay Men More Than Women in Iceland
2018-01-02, Fortune
http://fortune.com/2018/01/02/illegal-to-pay-men-more-than-women-iceland/

Iceland is the first country to make it illegal to pay men more than women. Equal pay policies is now mandatory for companies with 25 or more employees. Those that cannot show that they provide equal pay will be subject to fines. The law, which was passed last year, went into effect on Jan. 1. Iceland is already a leader in gender parity. The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Iceland as the top country for gender quality for the last nine years based on criteria involving economics, education, health, and politics. For example, Icelandic women make up 48% of the country’s parliament - without a quota system. Despite this, wage inequality has persisted. In 2016, thousands of women in Iceland left work at 2:38 p.m., to protest pay disparity. The time was symbolic of when woman stop receiving pay during their 9 to 5 work day compared to men. The wage gap in Iceland was 72 cents to every man’s dollar. On International Women’s Day in 2017, the country moved to change that. The tiny country, pop. 323,000, aims to completely eliminate the wage gap by 2020.

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