Leaked: The Rich Pay Less Taxes Than Wage-Earners

In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.

ProPublica

Generally, the wealthy of all stripes keep their tax rates low in multiple ways. Some are simple: They avoid forms of income, like wages, that are taxed at a high rate, 37%, and instead make most of their money via capital gains and dividends from investments, most of which is taxed at 20%.

You May Be Paying a Higher Tax Rate Than a Billionaire

Tax the Rich: Jared & Ivanka Show They Can Afford It

They’re renting a D.C. house for $15,000 per month, buying a $30 million lot on a high-security island in Miami with a 13-person police force protecting 29 houses. Taxes are $472,764 a year.

Indian Creek Island, A.K.A. “Billionaires Bunker”

They will reportedly also maintain their house in New York.

Page Six

Meanwhile, amongst the plebians (the rest of us):

6 million American households could face eviction on January 1

This is what life could look like for them:

And this:

Millions of hungry Americans turn to food banks for the first time

But console yourself in the knowledge that we live in “the richest country in the world”.

How Wealth Reduces Compassion

As riches grow, empathy for others seems to decline.

Who is more likely to lie, cheat, and steal—the poor person or the rich one? It’s temping to think that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to act fairly. After all, if you already have enough for yourself, it’s easier to think about what others may need. But research suggests the opposite is true: as people climb the social ladder, their compassionate feelings towards other people decline.

Berkeley psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner ran several studies looking at whether social class (as measured by wealth, occupational prestige, and education) influences how much we care about the feelings of others. In one study, Piff and his colleagues discreetly observed the behavior of drivers at a busy four-way intersection. They found that luxury car drivers were more likely to cut off other motorists instead of waiting for their turn at the intersection. This was true for both men and women upper-class drivers, regardless of the time of day or the amount of traffic at the intersection. In a different study they found that luxury car drivers were also more likely to speed past a pedestrian trying to use a crosswalk, even after making eye contact with the pedestrian.

Scientific American

Hunger in America, Especially for Children, Has “Skyrocketed” During Covid-19, Data Shows

The number of children who do not have enough to eat has soared in the pandemic, according to the Census Bureau and Agriculture Department.

The level of hunger in U.S. households almost tripled between 2019 and August of this year, according to an analysis of new data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Agriculture. Even more alarming, the proportion of American children who sometimes do not have enough to eat is now as much as 14 times higher than it was last year.

The Intercept

Related:

The rich are getting richer during the pandemic

This is Why People Like the Kochs Promote “Free Market Economics”

Just how far has the working class been left behind by the winner-take-all economy? A new analysis by the RAND Corporation examines what rising inequality has cost Americans in lost income—and the results are stunning.

A full-time worker whose taxable income is at the median—with half the population making more and half making less—now pulls in about $50,000 a year. Yet had the fruits of the nation’s economic output been shared over the past 45 years as broadly as they were from the end of World War II until the early 1970s, that worker would instead be making $92,000 to $102,000. (The exact figures vary slightly depending on how inflation is calculated.)

They say the blame lies, in large measure, with decades of failed federal policy decisions—allowing the minimum wage to deteriorate, overtime coverage to dwindle, and the effectiveness of labor law to decline, undermining union power. They also cite a shift in corporate culture that has elevated the interests of shareholders over those of workers, an ethos that took root 50 years ago this week with the publication of an essay by University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman.

Many of these developments, Rolf points out, have been driven by the belief that an unfettered free market would generate wealth for everyone. Thanks to the RAND study, he says, “we now have the proof that this theory was wrong.”

Fast Company

Related:

The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90%—And That’s Made the U.S. Less Secure

GOP Tax change in coronavirus package overwhelmingly benefits millionaires, congressional body finds

The provision, included by Senate Republicans, would cost taxpayers approximately $90 billion in 2020

More than 80 percent of the benefits of a tax change tucked into the coronavirus relief package Congress passed last month will go to those who earn more than $1 million annually, according to a report by a nonpartisan congressional body expected to be released Tuesday.

USA Today

“Let Them Fail”: This Guy Gets It

WHY are we bailing out corporations?
To save the outrageous salaries their executives receive?
While probably laying off workers?

There’s another way. Let them declare bankruptcy.
This guy gets it: