In the aftermath of the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, the FBI and D.C. Police are asking the public to help identify people who planned and participated in the attack. Like clockwork, many people have been quick to assume that those involved in the attack were either rural white working class people, or antifascists pretending to be Trump supporters. Of course, neither of these assumptions could be farther from the truth, and the actual rioters were a varied group of people — all galvanized by President Donald Trump. While some liberals have either ridiculed the rioters they call “blue collar MAGA” — blaming the white working class, without ever contending with the fact that the majority of Trump voters were actually wealthy...
The studies, one commissioned by Trust for London and another by Tax Justice UK, explore public attitudes towards wealth based on focus groups held across England. Both found that most people are relatively content with people getting rich, and that attacks on the wealthy are often viewed negatively.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently published its final set of regulations on “public charge,” which amount to a racially-motivated wealth test on immigrant families and individuals pursuing a healthy, stable future in the U.S. DHS finalized this rule against widespread public opposition, having received 266,000 public comments on it, the overwhelming majority opposed to its implementation. If the new rule goes into effect, it would devastatingly impact millions and dramatically reshape our immigration system...
The numbers are mind-boggling: $70,000 per minute, $4 million per hour, $100 million per day. That’s how quickly the fortune of the Waltons, the clan behind Walmart Inc., has been growing since last year’s Bloomberg ranking of the world’s richest families. At that rate, their wealth would’ve expanded about $23,000 since you began reading this. A new Walmart associate in the U.S. would’ve made about 6 cents in that time, on the way to an $11 hourly minimum.
The next Congress faces a stunning array of challenges — on health care, gun policy, climate change, you name it. One crucial challenge starved of attention, however, is what I call runaway inter-generational wealth. That’s where the wealth of a country’s richest families snowballs from one generation to the next, unconstrained by living expenses or taxes, causing an ever-increasing share of national wealth to concentrate at the top. America has experienced this problem for decades now, and last year’s tax act is certain to make it worse. For the first time since the estate tax was enacted a century ago, rich American couples can pass $22 million to their children entirely free of federal taxes.
Canada Is Richer Than The US, According To A New Wealth Ranking — In Fact, The US Doesn’t Even Make The Top 10
The United States is home to more millionaires than any other country in the world. But whether the country is truly the wealthiest in the world depends on how you measure. A report released by Credit Suisse in October says the US is "in the lead" when it comes to global wealth. But a closer look at the numbers in that report reveals a different story. While it's true that wealth in the US is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, it's not the richest when you compare the average amount of wealth per adult. That prize goes to Switzerland, as you can see in the map below.
“The past 30 years have seen far greater wealth creation than the Gilded Age,” the UBS annual billionaires report says. During a year in which so much of the world faced deep poverty, the corrosive effects of austerity, and extreme weather caused by the worsening human-caused climate crisis — from devastating hurricanes to deadly wildfires and floods — one class of individuals raked in more money in 2017 than any other year in recorded history: the world’s billionaires. According to the Swiss bank UBS’s fifth annual billionaires report published on Friday, billionaires across the globe increased their wealth by $1.4 trillion last year — an astonishing 20 percent — bringing their combined wealth to $8.9 trillion.
It took 100 years, but America has returned to its unequal past. With a vengeance. The year many consider the height of the Gilded Age, when John D. Rockefeller’s wealth was at its peak, was exactly a century ago, in 1918. By that time, Rockefeller had amassed about $1.2 billion — the equivalent of $340 billion today. America’s economy and aggregate wealth were much smaller in those days, which made Rockefeller a truly towering figure. Just over a decade after Rockefeller’s fortune peaked, the Great Depression put an end to America’s first Gilded Age. America eventually recovered from the ruins of the Great Depression and made huge strides toward economic equality. Between 1945 and the early 1970s, circumstances for all Americans, rich and poor alike, improved.
Over the years, the IPS Program on Inequality and the Common Good has examined the ways that extreme inequality effects philanthropy. In 2016, IPS published the report Gilded Giving: Top Heavy Philanthropy in an Age of Extreme Inequality, which looked at the rise of mega-donors and the decline of small-dollar donors, and the risks of both for a democratic society. In that report, IPS briefly examined the rise of donor-advised funds (DAFs) as a mechanism for holding funds for later donations. At that time, in 2015, the largest recipient of charitable donations in the U.S. was the United Way, an enormous public charity that had traded that top spot back and forth with the American Red Cross for decades.
Five powerful families? Is this about the mafia? No, for these five families, it’s not la cosa nostra, “the thing of ours.” Rather, it’s la cupidigia nostra, “the greed of ours.” And it’s their greed that’s killing our democracy. Six hundred billion dollars approximately equals the budget for the United States Department of Defense for an entire year — enough to pay, feed, and house over 1,000,000 active duty service personnel and 800,000 reservists, operate close to 1,000 military bases, pay 750,000 civilian personnel, and fund all military equipment purchases. That $600 billion also equals the combined wealth now hoarded by just five American families — specifically, the Walton, Bezos, Koch, Gates, and Mars clans. The Walton family alone has a combined net worth estimated at $150 billion. The poorest of the five families, the heirs of the Mars candy fortune, hold about $90 billion.
There is a large wealth gap between white families and nonwhite families — a gap that impacts the economic stability of entire communities. According to 2016 Federal Reserve data, median wealth for white families is $171,000. Black and Latino families, meanwhile, have far less wealth: Black families have a median wealth of $17,600, while Latino families have $20,700. It would take decades to centuries for Black families to achieve the same amount of wealth that white families have. According to a 2016 report from the Institute for Policy Studies, it would take Black families 228 years to reach the same amount of wealth that white families have today. The racial wealth gap matters because wealth is an important economic resource and a form of power. Wealth builds and sustains communities. It helps communities weather economic hardships and supports future generations.
December 21, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - Since last November 8th the Russell 2000 has risen by 30% and the net Federal debt has expanded by an astounding $1.0 trillion dollars. In a rational world operating with honest financial markets those two results would not be found in even remotely the same zip code; and especially not in month #102 of a tired economic expansion and at the inception of an epochal pivot by the Fed to QT (quantitative tightening) on a scale never before imagined. And we do mean exactly those words. By next April the Fed will be shrinking its balance sheet at $360 billion annual rate and by $600 billion per year as of next October. Altogether, the Fed’s balance is scheduled to contract by upwards $2 trillion by the end of 2020.
Entrepreneurship can be a powerful force for prosperity. Business ownership gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to earn more money and create jobs. But this pathway to self-made success is mostly an option for the wealthy and for white households with access to capital and connections. Latino or African American households are historically less likely to start a business than white households, contributing to a persistent racial wealth gap. The business asset gap has notable impacts for women—in fact, women of all ethnic backgrounds and races: women business owners have household incomes 56 percent higher than other women working full-time. Making it easier for all people to become business owners will increase the wealth opportunities in our neighborhoods, cities, and the national economy.
By Chuck Collins for Inequality - Just as Congress begins debate on the Republicans’ “Tax Cut and Jobs Act,” new revelations have emerged about how wealthy elites around the world hide their wealth. The “Paradise Papers” — the result of a leak from the Bermuda-based law firm Appleby — shines additional light onto the shadowy world of hidden wealth and tax dodging. Efforts to reform the U.S. tax system are fundamentally undermined by a global tax-avoidance system that allows individuals and corporations to shift trillions to offshore havens to escape taxation, accountability, and publicity. The Paradise Papers, alongside the “Panama Papers” released in April 2016, provide another set of disclosures into a system full of titillating details about how high-ranking global officials have created their own system of rules. The Bermuda leaks disclose the role of high-ranking Trump administration members, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House economic advisor Gary Cohn, in using offshore tax havens. National groups and political leaders, including Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, are calling for a slowdown of Republican efforts to push through their tax bill to address these abuses. Oxfam America and the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition have called on Congress to hold hearings on the findings and a debate over how to best remedy them. Tax Justice Network international has called on the United Nations to convene a global summit to address tax haven abuse.
By Rivera Sun for Kosmos Online - Historically, the rise of massive individual wealth has been accompanied by the destruction of many forms of common wealth through conquest, colonization, cultural destruction, enclosures of the commons and subsequent impoverishment and displacement, wars, invasions, genocides, slavery, indentured servitude, wage-slavery and overworking, oppression, and massive waves of emigrations due to economic upheavals. This has happened not just throughout Europe and European colonization cycles, but also in the Middle East and throughout Africa and Asia. It is a trend that continues to this day, as we witness the rise of unprecedented oligarchs in control of transnational corporations at a time when poverty is growing and the ecological wealth of our planet has been so assaulted and diminished that we hang on the edge of collapse. There is no substitute for common wealth. True wealth, we are finding, lies not in vast personal fortunes, nor even solely in the personal inner wealth of inner peace, connection, love, community, spiritual awareness, etc., but rather it lies in balance with vibrant systems of common wealth that support the needs of all people and the planet. At this critical juncture of human history, it is necessary for those of us with personal monetary or material wealth, or personal spiritual and inner wealth, to put our resources in service of restoring our common wealth.