Tag Archives: income inequality

The Morning Grumpy 5/3/12

3 May

All the news, views, and filtered excellence that’s fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

 

1. On Tuesday, Alan wrote a blog post about President Obama starting off the general election season on offense, rather than playing defense against Mitt Romney. I replied with the following comment:

Within weeks, the Republicans will put his ass right back on defense. They’ll attack him where he is strongest, it’s the Rove strategy.

The killing of Bin Laden will be discredited and conspiracy theories around it will make John Kerry’s Swift Boat fiasco seem tame.

Well, I appreciate a good opportunity to pat myself on the back. Within 24 hours of the release of that Obama2012 campaign video, the swiftboating of President Obama began.

On Tuesday night, Veterans for a Strong America, a political action group led by Joel Arends, a lawyer and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, released an ad attacking Obama for exploiting the killing of Osama bin Laden.

I’m still a little unclear, is Obama a socialist terrorist hugger who is always apologizing for America or a football spiking braggart? Anyhow, Hannity, Limbaugh and the rest of the right wing media mafia will continue pounding this home until election day. Next up? How Mitt Romney actually saved General Motors and the American Auto Industry over the objections of the Obama Administration.

2. Keep buying those Apple products!

Apple currently keeps about two-thirds of its $97.6 billion in profits abroad.

While some of Apple’s monumental success is due to the undeniable popularity of its products, the Times reports that Apple “has devised corporate strategies that take advantage of gaps in the tax code.” This has ultimately saved the company (and thus cost the public) as much as $2.4 billion a year, according to a recent study by a former Treasury Department economist.

Apple fights for favorable tax policies in the United States with a formidable army of lobbyists. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Apple spent $2.3 million on lobbying last year and its lobbying expenditures have been steadily increasing over the past decade – in 2000, it only spent $360,000 on lobbying.

What a great American company.

3. 40 years of workers being left behind. AKA, the reason behind the Occupy movement.

From the article:

Particularly striking is the fact that for years leading up to the 1970s, productivity gains were broadly shared, as theory predicts. Then the linkage abruptly broke. What explains the shift?

Yeah, what could it have been?

“The continuing growth of the wage gap between high and middle earners is the result of various laissez-faire policies (acts of omission as well as commission) including globalization, deregulation, privatization, eroded unionization, and weakened labor standards,” he writes. “The gap between the very highest earners — the top 1 percent — and all other earners, including other high earners, reflects the escalation of CEO and other managers’ compensation and the growth of compensation in the financial sector.”

The article and the study it references note that this isn’t a global problem. It’s an American problem.

4. Here’s an article which eloquently supports a point I’ve been trying to make for at least a year. Why Facebook won’t matter in five years.

Facebook is the triumphant winner of social companies.  It will go public in a few weeks and probably hit $140 billion in market capitalization.  Yet, it loses money in mobile and has rather simple iPhone and iPad versions of its desktop experience.  It is just trying to figure out how to make money on the web – as it only had $3.7 billion in revenues in 2011 and its revenues actually decelerated in Q1 of this year relative to Q4 of last year.  It has no idea how it will make money in mobile.

Facebook was never meant to be a mobile company and they don’t have the core competencies required to become a mobile company. Now, they are about to become a public company, which means they will slowly curtail innovation and focus on shareholder return and risk mitigation. They will innovate, like most large public technology companies, through acquisitions. Even then, the street will judge those acquisitions on the short term and turn bearish on the stock if it becomes too reliant upon the strategy, which is why Mark Zuckerberg raced to acquire Instagram prior to Facebook’s IPO.

Will someone build a better social network? Probably not, but someone will invent a mobile or augmented reality technology that makes traditional social networks obsolete.

5. How would America be different if rational, realist adults were in charge, rather than emotional reactionaries?

#7. A normal relationship with Israel. Realists have long been skeptical of the “special relationship” with Israel, and they would have worked to transform it into a normal relationship. The United States would have remained committed to helping Israel were its survival ever threatened, but instead of acting like “Israel’s lawyer,” Washington would have used its leverage to prevent Israel from endlessly expanding settlements in the Occupied Territories. An even-handed U.S. approach would have taken swift advantage of the opportunity created by the 1993 Oslo Accords, and might well have achieved the elusive two-state solution that U.S. presidents have long sought. At a minimum, realists could hardly have done worse than the various “un-realists” who’ve mismanaged this relationship for the past 20 years.

Someday, we might return to a rational foreign policy, but not right now it seems.

 

Fact Of The Day: Homosexual behavior is found in at least 1,500 species of mammal, fish, reptile, bird, and even invertebrate. I hope those fish know that Rick Santorum believes they’re going to hell.

Quote Of The Day: “Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it.” – Ray Kurzweil

Video Of The Day: A Real Life Robinson Crusoe

Laugh Of The Day: “Grapes vs. Grapefruit” – Gary Gulman

Song Of The Day: “The Way I Walk” – The Cramps

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Email me links, tips, story ideas: chris@artvoice.com

The Morning Grumpy 1/19/2012

19 Jan

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

We party hard at Artvoice.

1. The Atlantic magazine asks, “Why does Buffalo pay for its teachers to have plastic surgery?

In Buffalo, New York, the heart of the American rust-belt, the public school system pays for its teachers to get plastic surgery. Hair removal. Miscrodermabrasian. Liposuction. If you can name the procedure, it’s probably covered.

There’s no co-pay, so the school district ends up footing the entire bill. It estimates the current annual cost at $5.2 million, down from $9 million in 2009.

This in a city where the average teacher makes roughly $52,000 a year. The plastic surgery tab would pay salaries for 100 extra educators.

For all the protesting liberals do about right wing union busting Governors like Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, Rick Scott, and Andrew Cuomo, sometimes we need to recognize our own political weaknesses. Contract provisions like this one make it too easy for anti-union forces to paint public servants as the budget bogeyman and overreach for extensive givebacks in labor negotiations.

The collective bargaining system in New York State does not provide any incentive for honest give and take in public union contracts, so we continue to maintain the status quo.  A solid start in a negotiation with the BTF would include the removal of this rider in a new ten year contract ( savings of $52-60MM) in exchange for hiring new teachers and salary increases for those already on staff amounting to 50-60% of the savings. Offer, counteroffer. Give and take. Ensure union workers receive the pay and benefits they deserve while making sensible reforms to public outlays.

Instead, we get legislatively mandated bluster and stasis rather than progress.

2. The triggers of economic inequality and the results of policy changes. Click the link to play with the interactive infographic, the following is just a screenshot.

In recent years, the rich have seen their wealth grow dramatically while the poor and middle class have basically flatlined. It’s no accident, argue Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson in their book Winner-Take-All Politics. The infographic, which draws from Hacker and Pierson’s book, explains how our politicians — on both sides of the isle — fell under the spell of corporate dollars and re-engineered our economic system to favor the wealthy.

I’m halfway through this book and it is fascinating. I highly recommend it.

3. Aaron Bartley of PUSH Buffalo wrote a sage and enlightened article for The Huffington Post titled “The Recovery Runs Through The City“.

In the absence of national direction, leaders at the neighborhood, regional and state levels have put forward innovative and scalable development initiatives with triple-bottom-line impacts, meaning that they benefit people and the planet and generate sustainable economic growth.

The imaginative solutions to systemic ills bubbling up at the regional, municipal and community-levels could jumpstart a national movement to build a new economy, one in which capital formation and developmental control are rooted in communities over the long term.

After reading that article, try and tell me there is a better candidate for Mayor of Buffalo anywhere in this city. While he has never publicly voiced a desire to run for elected office, Mr. Bartley possesses the right package of education, experience, vision and strategic thinking necessary to do big things. At the very least, I’d love to see many of these activist groups collectively assert their political power  in a more organized fashion and speak with one voice. A real “Grassroots” political club, if you will, with the power to change elections and the fortunes of a great city.

4. Imagine Buffalo’s outer harbor lined with these. They’re called windstalks and they deliver wind power without the turbines. Hey, if Mark Goldman can simply wish that a solar powered carousel be installed on the inner harbor and have it happen, I can wish for something that’s actually cool, right?

Noise from wind turbine blades, inadvertent bat and bird kills and even the way wind turbines look have made installing them anything but a breeze. New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving.

A remarkable and beautiful design.

Fact Of The Day: The taste and smell of your Tropicana or Minute Maid Orange Juice? Yeah, that’s not from oranges, it’s from chemically derived “flavor packs”. Everything sucks.

Quote Of The Day: “Here is the crisis of the times as I see it: We talk about problems, issues, policies, but we don’t talk about what democracy means — what it bestows on us — the revolutionary idea that it isn’t just about the means of governance but the means of dignifying people so they become fully free to claim their moral and political agency. ” – Bill Moyers

Song Of The Day: Redux from yesterday, because it’s awesome. “Tell Me A Tale” – Michael Kiwanuka

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Email me links, tips, story ideas: chrissmithbuffalo[@]gmail.com

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

18 Jan

When they’re not insulting our NATO allies, the Republican “candidates” for President accuse Democrats of waging “class warfare”, and equate criticism of the vulture capitalist superwealthy with assault on free-market capitalism itself. They think that if they keep yelling “socialism” – an untrue charge that hasn’t stuck – that they can find electoral success, enabling them to further weaken the government they so detest.

The problem the Republicans have is that their frontrunner and presumptive nominee, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, is the very embodiment of the vulture capitalist. But this week, it was revealed that Mitt Romney likely pays 15% or less on his income, most of which comes from investments, not work.

What this means is that if you earn a paycheck or own your own business and earn money from your labor rather than from investments, you probably pay a higher tax rate than millionaire Mitt Romney. The guy who owns this Belmont manse pays a 15% income tax rate, or possibly less.

No, this isn’t about class warfare. No one begrudges Mitt Romney his success at Bain Capital or his ability or right to buy and live in whatever type of home he wants and can afford. But we have a progressive tax code in this country, under which the wealthy pay more than those who are not. This is about fundamental fairness – that a person earning millions of dollars, taking advantage of tax shelters and loopholes custom-made for the superwealthy, by the superwealthy can pay a lower income tax rate than a physician or a teacher or a sales clerk is fundamentally unfair.

There’s a really good reason why Mitt Romney is reluctant to release his tax return – because it shows that he is taking advantage of a tax code in a way that the average American cannot.  Someone who says $374,000 is “not very much” is, by definition, completely out of touch.

It also drew fire from the Democratic White House and other critics, who said it reflected how Romney, whose estimated net worth is $270 million, is out of touch with the experiences and concerns of typical Americans.

Romney, a former private equity executive and Massachusetts governor, seemed to feed that narrative on Tuesday. He said that he gets speaker fees “from time to time, but not very much.”

Annual campaign financial disclosure forms indicate that he was paid more than $374,000 in speaker fees from February 2010 to February 2011.

Romney’s estimate of his income tax rate suggested that like many of the wealthiest Americans, he could earn a large chunk of his income from investments – much of it in capital gains.

Because capital gains generally are taxed at 15 percent compared with the top income tax rate of 35 percent on ordinary wages, those with significant income from capital gains often pay lower tax rates than many Americans.

His vast fortune is invested in dozens of funds linked to Bain Capital LLC, the powerhouse private equity firm he co-founded and led for 15 years. Several Bain funds have offshore connections and take advantage of tax breaks used only by the U.S. financial elite.

His tax returns could shed light on how Romney and Bain use offshore strategies to avoid taxes, said Daniel Berman, a former U.S. Treasury deputy international tax counsel and now director of tax at Boston University’s graduate tax program.

Bain funds in which Romney is invested are scattered from Delaware to the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, Ireland and Hong Kong, according to a Reuters analysis of securities filings.

“Certain interests in foreign investment structures would have to be reported on attachments to his return,” Berman said.

On capital gains, Romney’s tax returns would not reveal any gains that he has not yet realized, even though those gains would be easy for him to lock in at any time, Berman said.

“I remember as a young lawyer being surprised to see tax returns of very successful investors showing net losses – because they were recognizing net losses” but not yet factoring in unrealized gains, Berman said.

Romney’s returns also might not spell out how much he benefits from a tax break used by private equity executives called the carried interest loophole.

This rule allows private equity and hedge fund managers to pay the 15 percent capital gains tax rate, rather than the top income tax rate, on a large portion of their earnings.

The economy is still reeling. People are earning less and working more. When it’s not acting out of noblesse oblige to grant average Americans a small pittance in tax relief, Congress is arguing over whether to do so for political reasons.  It’s a time where the Occupy movement is giving voice to a lot of people’s concerns about money in politics – this isn’t going to fly.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, for example, has said he paid $6.9 million in federal income taxes on $39.8 million in taxable income in 2010, a rate of 17.4 percent. Buffett has said it’s unfair than his tax rate is lower than his secretary’s.

You’re damn right it’s unfair, and it’s something that ought to be fixed.  Clearly, the guy who pays a 15% tax rate on his (mostly) investment income, and who thinks $374,000 isn’t a lot of money, the guy who was born into wealth and power and never lost it, has absolutely no clue – none – what it  means to struggle. It’s as if contemporary Republicans are eager to abandon our great bourgeois revolution of the late 18th century and bring about a new sort of feudal nobility – a plutonomy of the rich, for the rich, and by the rich.

You and I? We don’t matter. We exist to be pandered to just enough to motivate us to become another slab of meat in a voting booth.

Bill Moyers On Inequality

16 Jan

Bill Moyers, also known as “America’s Conscience” , returned to the public airwaves this week with his new show, Moyers & Company.

Moyers & Company Generic Promo from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

He came back with a progressive bang; airing segments on engineered income inequality, Occupy Wall Street, and the political system that birthed both of those outcomes. It was the most intelligent and thought-provoking television I’ve watched since, well, the last time Bill Moyers was on the air.

His segment on Occupy Wall Street was the best I’ve seen since the movement began. It’s amazing what a a journalist can do when given 15 minutes to tell a story without multiple pundits arguing over the top of the content.

Moyers’s closing essay was fantastic.

Waking up is right. Waking up to the reality that inequality matters. It matters because what we’re talking about is what it takes to live a decent life. If you get sick without health coverage, inequality matters. If you’re the only breadwinner and out of work, inequality matters. If your local public library closes down and you can’t afford to buy books on your own, inequality matters. If budget cuts mean your child has to pay to play on the school basketball team or to sing in the chorus or march in the band, inequality matters. If you lose your job as you’re about to retire, inequality matters. And if the financial system collapses and knocks the props from beneath your pension, inequality matters.

I grew up in a working class family. We were among the poorest in town, but I was rich in public goods.

I went to a good public school, played sandlot ball in a good public park, had access to a good public library, drove down a good public highway to a good public college, all made possible by people I never met. There was an unwritten bargain among the generations — we didn’t all get the same deal, but we did get civilization.

That bargain is being shredded. The occupiers of Wall Street understand this. You could tell from their slogans. A fellow young enough to be my grandson wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the words: “The system’s not broken. It’s fixed.” That’s right. Rigged. And that’s why so many are so angry. Not at wealth itself, but at the crony capitalists who resorts to tricks, loopholes, and hard, cold cash for politicians to make sure insiders prosper and then pull up the ladder behind them.

Yes, Americans are waking up. To how they’re being made to pay for Wall Street’s malfeasance and Washington’s complicity. Paying with stagnant wages and lost jobs, with slashing cuts to their benefits and to their social services. And waking up to the grotesque Supreme Court decision defining a corporation as a person, although it doesn’t eat, breath, make love or sing, or take care of children and aging parents. Waking up to how campaign contributions corrupt our elections; to the fact that if speech is money, no money means no speech.

So the collective cry has gone up loud and clear: enough’s enough. We won’t, as I said, know for a while if this is just a momentary cry of pain; or whether it’s a movement that, like the Abolitionists and Suffragettes, the populists and workers of another era, or the Civil Rights movement of our time, gathers force until the powers-that-be can no longer sustain the inequality, the injustice and yes, the immorality of winner-take-all politics.

Welcome back, Mr. Moyers. Welcome back.

The Morning Grumpy – 1/11/2012

11 Jan

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

1. Last night in his victory speech, Mitt Romney asked Americans to reject the “bitter politics of envy” and to not be “dragged down by a resentment of success”.  As Paul Krugman put it yesterday,

“Romney evidently has no sense of what it’s like NOT to be the very wealthy son of an already wealthy father; no idea how the fear of unemployment or medical bills afflicts ordinary Americans.”

Of course, Romney advocates for massive tax cuts for the wealthy while sticking it to regular schmoes.

According to an analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice, the average tax cuts received by the richest 1 percent of Americans under the Republican plans would be 270 times as large as the cut received by the middle class.

So, please, don’t resent him for his money or his 1% politics of money hoarding. That would be class warfare. And shut the hell up or he’ll buy your company and fire your ass, cubicle slave!

2. Hey, remember friend of Jimmy Griffin and Operation Rescue christian nutjob, Randall Terry? He’s running for President and he plans to air Super Bowl ads in 40 cities across the country.

Anti-abortion ads showing graphic images of aborted fetuses covered in blood and surrounded by religious icons will air during the Super Bowl in February, courtesy of Democratic Presidential candidate Randall Terry. Terry, who has spent a year in jail and been arrested 50 times for his anti-abortion efforts, is using a Federal Election Commission loophole that ensures ads for political candidates cannot be prohibited within 45 days of an election. Apparently, primaries count, so Terry will be running ads on local stations during Super Bowl XLVI February 5

It’s a crazy fucking country.

3. When Republican candidates want to increase turnout amongst the base, they usually warn about “socialism” (code word for ‘black people wanna take your stuff’), warn that pinko Democrats are coming for the guns and that ZOMG, TEH GAYS WANNA GET MARRIED!

If Democrats need a social issue to rally around this year for some good, old-fashioned fear mongering, how about this? Republicans are coming for your porn. 

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich in a face-to-face meeting: When asked by MIM staff if he will enforce existing laws that make much hard-core adult pornography illegal, he responded, “Yes, I will appoint an Attorney General who will enforce these laws.”

If we’re the godless secularist humanists they claim we are, we need to GET TO THE VOTING BOOTHS!

4. Here’s a few facts to use next time you find yourself talking with someone who doesn’t get why those “damn, dirty hippies” are still Occupying around the country.

The rich have gotten richer, thanks to the stock market and the Bush tax cuts, a recent report has found.

Growth in income from capital gains and dividends has widened the divide between the wealthy and the poor in recent years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. It supplanted wage inequality as the primary driver of the growing income gap, which helped spur the Occupy Wall Street movement last fall.

After-tax income for the top 1% of taxpayers soared 74%, on average, between 1996 and 2006. The top 0.1% benefited even more, nearly doubling their income over that decade.

By comparison, the bottom 20% of taxpayers saw their income fall by 6%, while the middle quintile experienced a meager 10% gain.

I know this is, as Mitt Romney says, “the bitter politics of envy”, but I like to call it “the middle class keeps getting ‘f’d in the a'”. Read the full report here.

5. In case you’re not one of the 17 people who watched Face The Nation on CBS this past Sunday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let us in on a little secret. Panetta admitted that despite all the rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split atoms with weapons, saying it is instead pursuing “a nuclear capability.” That “capability” falls in line with what Iran has said for years: that it is developing nuclear energy facilities, not nuclear weapons.

“I think the pressure of the sanctions, the diplomatic pressures from everywhere, Europe, the United States, elsewhere, it’s working to put pressure on them,” Panetta explained on Sunday. “To make them understand that they cannot continue to do what they’re doing. Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.

Maybe this might chill some of the rapidly increasing rhetoric about going to war with Iran, right? Probably not.

Fact Of The Day: Calling the death penalty process “arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral,” Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 condemned inmates, clearing his state’s death row two days before leaving office.

Quote Of The Day: “If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.” – Christopher Hitchens

Bible Verse Of The Day: “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.” – Leviticus 20:10

Song Of The Day: “Take Your Whiskey Home” – Van Halen

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The Morning Grumpy – November 22nd

22 Nov

I have a voracious appetite for internet memes, video, podcasts, news, and analysis. Each morning I’ll share several links that you can consume during your “morning grumpy”.

1. It is tremendously sad that up to 700 people will now be out of work at Pillar Processing and Steven J. Baum PC.

In an abrupt turn of events, Steven J. Baum is shutting down his foreclosure law firm and laying off at least 90 full- and part-time employees in Amherst and Long Island just days after losing the bulk of his business when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stopped giving the firm new work.

The closing could also affect 600 employees at Amherst-based Pillar Processing, a neighboring firm that handles much of the paperwork from the Baum office.

The announcement caps a remarkable fall for the state’s dominant foreclosure law firm, which until recently handled 40 percent of all foreclosures statewide.

The firm last month agreed to pay a $2 million fine and change its practices to settle a federal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, and is also under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

But what may have hastened the firm’s demise were photos that recently emerged into the national spotlight from the firm’s Halloween party last year, at which Baum employees dressed up as foreclosure victims and attorneys, mocking and ridiculing them.

If any of the former employees find themselves in financial difficulty and perhaps in foreclosure proceedings, I hope they deal with a firm that extends them the ethical treatment, respect, and empathy the Baum firm failed to extend in recent years. We’re America, we need to be better than Steven J. Baum and his ilk.

2. The richest 0.1% of Americans reap nearly 50% of all capital gains.

The preferable treatment that investment income receives in the tax code is one of the factors driving the income inequality and galvanizing the Occupy Wall Street movement. Because the capital gains tax is capped at 15%, “anyone making more than $34,500 a year in wages and salary is taxed at a higher rate than a billionaire is taxed on untold millions in capital gains.

If you’re  a member of the Forbes 400, capital gains make up nearly 60% of your income.  All the while wages have remained flat for what used to be the middle class…

3. People who regularly get their news and information from Fox News are less informed than people who generally avoid news altogether. Yes, we now have proof, watching Fox News actually makes you dumber.

“Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News,” said Dan Cassino, a Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor who took part in the analysis of the PublicMind data. “Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions (about current events and news) than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

Yes, I know the poll is incredibly flawed and I posted it primarily to appeal to the condescending liberal elitist part of my audience. It isn’t a credible poll based on the limited number of questions asked and that it focused on people in New Jersey. While the poll is not especially credulous, some people are more prone towards in-group loyalty and confirmation bias. Jonathan Haidt’s work suggests that this tends to happen to people who identify more as conservative. So, draw your own conclusions.

4. First, they came for the salaries and benefits of teachers, cops, firemen and civil service employees. Up next? Soldiers. How a Pentagon advisory group stacked and staffed with Wall Street executives aims to slash the salaries and benefits of American soldiers.

These ideas may sound like a bold new approach in an urgent moment—but in fact, the push for pension cuts and other corporate “reforms” at the Pentagon originates from an obscure advisory panel that has existed for a decade: the Defense Business Board. Its 21 members know little about military affairs, but they are rich in Wall Street experience, including with some of the biggest companies implicated in the 2008 financial meltdown. They are investment bank CEOs and CFOs, outsourcing experts, and layoff specialists who promote a corporate agenda of “behavior change” and “business solutions” in the military bureaucracy. The board proposes not only to slash and privatize military pensions, but also to have the Pentagon invest in oil futures, boost pay for its executives and political appointees, and make it easier for them to fire rank-and-file employees while scaling back those workers’ collective-bargaining rights.

5. Where does New York’s 1% live? The Center for Working Families, a progressive think tank with ties to the Working Families Party breaks it down by State Senate District and State Assembly District using data from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. The report finds that 93% of millionaires live in and around New York City and uses the data to argue that upstate lawmakers should support the continuation and further progressive modification of New York’s “Millionaire’s Tax” as it will have limited effect on their constituencies. Fewer than 0.4% of taxpayers in SD-58 would be affected, 1.4% in SD-59, 0.8% in SD-60, and 2.0% in SD-61.

Who Pays the Millionaires Tax Reporthttp://www.scribd.com/embeds/73355726/content?start_page=1&view_mode=list

 

Quote of the day: “There are some who maintain that trade will regulate itself, and it is not to be benefited by the encouragements or restraints of government. Such persons will imagine that there is no need of a common directing power. This is one of those wild speculative paradoxes, which have grown into credit among us, contrary to the uniform practice and sense of the most enlightened nations.” – Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father and First Secretary of the Treasury (The Continentalist, No. 5)

Song Of The Day: Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside, “Against The Law”

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