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Income Inequality News Stories
Excerpts of Key Income Inequality News Stories in Major Media


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


Note: This comprehensive list of income inequality news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


The US has a ruling class – and Americans must stand up to it
2022-09-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2022-09-26 22:05:44
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/02/the-us-has-a-ruling-cla...

The most important economic and political issues facing this country are the extraordinary levels of income and wealth inequality, the rapidly growing concentration of ownership, the long-term decline of the American middle class and the evolution of this country into oligarchy. We know how important these issues are because our ruling class works overtime to prevent them from being seriously discussed. We now have more income and wealth inequality than at any time in the last hundred years. Wages ... are lower today than they were almost 50 years ago. When I was a kid growing up, most families were able to be supported by one breadwinner. Now an overwhelming majority of households need two paychecks to survive. Since 1975, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth in America that has gone in exactly the wrong direction. Over the past 47 years, according to the Rand Corporation, $50tn in wealth has been redistributed from the bottom 90% of American society to the top 1%, primarily because a growing percentage of corporate profits has been flowing into the stock portfolios of the wealthy and the powerful. During this terrible pandemic ... some 700 billionaires in America became nearly $2tn richer. Just three Wall Street firms (Blackrock, Vanguard and State Street) control assets of over $20tn and are the major stockholders in 96% of S&P 500 companies. In terms of media, some eight multinational media conglomerates control what we see, hear and read.

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


Just 2% of the richest Americans had their taxes audited in 2019, down from 16% in 2010
2022-05-17, CNBC News
Posted: 2022-09-13 02:53:19
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/17/super-wealthy-irs-tax-audits-plunge-over-deca...

The audit rate for Americans earning more than $5 million a year plunged to just over 2% in 2019 from over 16% in 2010, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog. The report estimated that taxpayers underreported their income tax by a combined $245 billion a year between 2011 and 2013, and said that "taxpayers are more likely to voluntarily comply with the tax laws if they believe their return may be audited." The main reason for the decline, according to the report, is a lack of IRS funding. In fiscal year 2021, the agency's budget was $11.9 billion – $200 million less than its 2010 budget. The IRS also has seen its staffing levels fall to the same levels as 1973. The decline in funding and auditors means that taxpayers, and especially the top earners, are far less likely to get caught underpaying their taxes than a decade ago. Overall audit rates for American taxpayers fell to 0.2% in 2019 from 0.9% in 2010. The wealthy are still audited at a higher rate than the general taxpayer population. Yet their audit rates have declined at a much higher rate. The audit rate for taxpayers earning between $5 million and $10 million fell to 1.4% from 13.5%. Those earning more than $10 million saw their audit rate fall to 3.9% in 2019 from 21.2% in 2010, while audit rates for $10 million-plus earners ticked up slightly for the 2017 and 2018 tax years due to a Treasury Department mandate to impose audit rates of at least 8% on those making $10 million or more.

Note: For more along these lines, see key news articles on the financial industry from reliable major media sources.


'The level of sneakiness with Americans hiding money abroad is staggering'
2022-07-22, Yahoo News
Posted: 2022-09-06 14:07:57
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/patrick-radden-keefe-americans-hiding-money-ab...

Whether dodging taxes or legal peril, wealthy Americans often succeed in concealing assets from the government by hiding their money in offshore bank accounts. Research from the IRS and a group of economists last year found that the top 1% of earners in the U.S. neglect to report 20% of their income – and that random audits almost never detect offshore accounts. Tax havens like Switzerland or the Cayman Islands have traditionally offered Americans a place to hide their assets because they fiercely guard financial privacy and have minimal to no taxes. Often, they also have laws that inhibit scrutiny from foreign tax officials. Prior to his latest book, [author Patrick Radden] Keefe published "Empire of Pain," which chronicled the billionaire Sackler family's connection to the nation's opioid epidemic. The Sacklers, the notorious family that owned the now bankrupt Purdue Pharma, reportedly have much of their wealth hidden in offshore accounts. An audit commissioned by Purdue showed the family withdrew more than $10 billion from their company during the opioid crisis, CNN reported in October 2020. They began drawing especially large amounts of money from the firm after paying $600 million in a 2007 plea deal with the Justice Department for misleading physicians and consumers about the opioid OxyContin, CNN reported. "The kind of sophistication of the whole industry of financial dissimulation ... such that nobody can put their hands on the money, is really interesting." Keefe told Yahoo Finance.

Note: A 2015 Guardian newspaper article further describes how the US helps the super-rich hide assets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


A large new study offers clues about how lower-income children can rise up the economic ladder.
2022-08-01, New York Times
Posted: 2022-08-08 17:48:14
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/01/briefing/economic-ladder-rich-poor-america...

Social scientists have made it a priority in recent years to understand upward mobility. Money itself is ... important. Other factors – like avoiding eviction, having access to good medical care and growing up in a household with two parents – may also make upward mobility more likely. Now there is another intriguing factor to add to the list, thanks to a study ... in the academic journal Nature: friendships with people who are not poor. "Growing up in a community connected across class lines improves kids' outcome," [said] Raj Chetty ... one of the study's four principal authors. The study ... compares two otherwise similar children in lower-income households – one who grows up in a community where social contacts mostly come from the lower half of the socioeconomic distribution, and another who grows up in a community where social contacts mostly come from the upper half. The average difference between the two, in terms of their expected adult outcomes, is significant. It's the same as the gap between a child who grows up in a family that makes $27,000 a year and one who grows up in a family that makes $47,000. There seem to be three main mechanisms by which cross-class friendships can increase a person's chances of escaping poverty. The first is raised ambition: Social familiarity can give people a clearer sense of what's possible. The second is basic information, such as how to apply to college and for financial aid. The third is networking, such as getting a recommendation for an internship.

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


Wall Street is buying up family homes. The rent checks are too juicy to ignore
2021-08-02, CNN News
Posted: 2022-07-24 20:27:50
https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/02/business/family-homes-wall-street/index.html

Pension funds, investment firms and Wall Street banks are snapping up family homes in Europe and the United States at a rapid pace as prices rocket higher. At the same time, the soaring cost of home ownership means that growing numbers of younger Americans and Brits renting rather than buying houses as they start families. Some of them may find their next landlord is based on Wall Street or in London's financial district. Analysts argue that this will improve standards in the rental sector. But some tenants who rent from corporate landlords dispute this, alleging substandard services and excessive rent increases. If investors are hoovering up existing properties that would otherwise have been sold to individuals, that could squeeze out first-time buyers. Household incomes in the United States and United Kingdom have not kept pace with rising home values in recent years, a trend made worse by the pandemic, which has sent average house prices in both markets to record highs. Invitation Homes, America's biggest single-family home leasing company with some 81,000 houses, is currently facing two lawsuits brought by tenants in California and Maryland who claim that the company's late rent fees constitute illegal penalties under state laws. Current and former tenants of the company ... painted a picture of an uncaring landlord, slow to make repairs and quick to threaten eviction when rent payments are overdue or withheld because of unresolved maintenance issues.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry 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
Posted: 2022-06-12 13:28:52
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
Posted: 2022-06-12 13:27:23
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.


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)
Posted: 2022-06-12 13:24:21
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.


Revealed: top US corporations raising prices on Americans even as profits surge
2022-04-27, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-05-09 00:30:39
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
Posted: 2022-05-09 00:28:46
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.


Richest 25 Americans reportedly paid 'true tax rate' of 3.4% as wealth rocketed
2021-06-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-05-02 23:24:41
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jun/08/richest-25-americans-jeff-be...

The 25 richest Americans, including Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk, paid a "true tax rate" of just 3.4% between 2014 and 2018, according to an investigation by ProPublica, despite their collective net worth rising by more than $400bn in the same period. The report by the non-profit news organization exposes the US tax system as income and wealth inequality continues to widen. ProPublica used Internal Revenue Service data to dive into the tax returns of some of America's wealthiest and most prominent people. It found that in 2007 Bezos, the founder of Amazon and already a billionaire, paid no federal taxes. In 2011, when he had a net worth of $18bn, he was again able to pay no federal taxes – and even received a $4,000 tax credit for his children. ProPublica created what it called a "true tax rate" for the wealthiest 25 Americans by comparing federal income tax paid between 2014 and 2018 to how their net worth increased on Forbes' well-regarded rich list over the same period. "The results are stark," ProPublica wrote. "According to Forbes, those 25 people saw their worth rise a collective $401bn from 2014 to 2018. "They paid a total of $13.6bn in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That's a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%." By contrast, the median American household paid 14% in federal taxes. The top income tax rate is 37% on incomes over $523,600 for single filers.

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


Economists warn of inflation inequality as poor get slammed by rising prices
2021-12-29, CNBC News
Posted: 2022-04-11 17:33:18
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.


'Obscene inequality': Oxfam says taxing the world's richest could help save lives
2022-01-17, CNBC News
Posted: 2022-02-07 12:39:03
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
Posted: 2022-01-25 14:19:57
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.


How school closures from COVID-19 have cost society
2021-12-26, NPR
Posted: 2022-01-03 10:11:12
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.


Half of world's population worse off due to the pandemic, survey finds
2021-05-03, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2021-12-20 01:02:39
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/coronavirus-pandemic-income-loss-...

One in two people worldwide saw their earnings drop due to the coronavirus, with people in low-income countries hit particularly hard by job losses or cuts to their working hours, new research shows. US-based polling company Gallup, which surveyed 300,000 people across 117 countries, found that half of those with jobs earned less because of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This translated to 1.6 billion adults globally, it said. "Worldwide, these percentages ranged from a high of 76 per cent in Thailand to a low of 10 per cent in Switzerland," said researchers in a statement. In Bolivia, Myanmar, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras and Ecuador, more than 70 per cent of people polled said they took home less than before the global health crisis. In the United States, this figure dropped to 34 per cent. The Covid-19 crisis has affected workers across the world – particularly women. International charity Oxfam said ... that according to its own research, the pandemic had cost women around the world $800bn (Ł578bn) in lost income. The poll also showed that one in three people surveyed had lost their job or business due to the pandemic – translating to just over 1 billion people globally. These figures also varied across nations, with more than 60 per cent of respondents in lower-income countries such as the Philippines, Kenya and Zimbabwe having lost their jobs or businesses, compared to 3 per cent in Switzerland and 13 per cent in the United States.

Note: This article fails to mention that these were consequences not of the virus, but of the lockdowns. 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
Posted: 2021-11-22 00:01:48
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.


Billionaires got 54% richer during pandemic, sparking calls for "wealth tax"
2021-03-31, CBS News
Posted: 2021-11-07 15:28:01
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/billionaire-wealth-covid-pandemic-12-trillion-je...

The world's 2,365 billionaires enjoyed a $4 trillion boost to their wealth during the first year of the pandemic, increasing their fortunes by 54%, according to a new analysis by the Program on Inequality at the ... Institute for Policy Studies. Between March 18, 2020, and March 18, 2021, the wealth held by the world's billionaires jumped from $8.04 trillion to $12.39 trillion, according to the IPS' analysis of data from Forbes, Bloomberg and Wealth-X. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest person, saw his fortune soar to $178 billion from $113 billion, or 57%, during that time, the study found. All told, the total wealth of the world's billionaire class grew 54% during the pandemic year, IPS reported. The ballooning wealth among the world's richest people is sparking calls for a "wealth tax," or an additional tax that would be added on top of regular income and capital gains taxes. But so far, a wealth tax is proving elusive in Washington, D.C., even as two-thirds of Americans express support for the idea of raising taxes on people earning more than $400,000. Rather than taxing the growing wealth of the nation's billionaires and millionaires, Mr. Biden wants to pay for his $2 trillion American Jobs Plan by boosting the corporate tax rate to 28% from its current 21%. In the meantime, the wealth disparities between the world's richest and poorest citizens have only widened during the pandemic. The number of people living in poverty globally doubled to more than 500 million during the first nine months of the pandemic.

Note: Why is so little media attention given to the greatest transfer of wealth ever since COVID hit? 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
Posted: 2021-10-18 01:23:06
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.

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America's richest 400 families pay a lower tax rate than average taxpayer
2021-09-23, CNBC News
Posted: 2021-10-18 01:21:09
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.

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