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Wealthy Class

The Climate Justice Shot Heard ‘Round The World

In 1775, the first battles of the American Revolution began in Massachusetts at Lexington and Concord with what is now known as the “shot heard ’round the world.” Three miles away, at an airport known as Hanscom Field, climate activists are launching what might be the newest shot to ring across a warming planet: No new private jet infrastructure. Located 14 miles outside Boston, Hanscom is New England’s largest private jet port. Private jets are the epitome of private excess at public and planetary expense. They pollute between 10 and 20 times more per passenger than commercial flights.

The Forgotten Victims Of America’s Class War

Mechanic Falls, Maine – I am sitting in Eric Heimel’s barbershop in the center of Mechanic Falls. Russ Day, who was the owner for 52 years before he sold it to Eric, cut my hair as a boy. The shop looks the same. The mounted trout on the walls. The worn linoleum floor. The 1956 Emil J. Paidar barber chair. The two American flags on the wall flanking the oval mirror. The plaque that reads: “If a Man is Alone In the Woods, With No Woman to Hear Him, Is He Still Wrong?” Another plaque that reads: “Men have 3 hairstyles parted…unparted…and DEPARTED!” I can almost see my grandfather, with his thick gold masonic ring on his pinky finger smoking an unfiltered Camel cigarette, waiting for Russ to finish.

ALEC’s Funding Revealed

For years, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has claimed to be “committed to transparency”—yet it refuses to disclose its donors on its website. When asked about this, ALEC’s CEO Lisa Nelson told the press that donor information is available in tax filings published on its website. But a review of those filings shows that although the organization’s Schedule B does include donation amounts, all donors’ names are redacted.So who funds ALEC? A review of hundreds of tax filings by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has uncovered 39%—or $16.4 million—of the $41.7 million ALEC received in contributions between 2017 and 2021. Most 2022 IRS filings are not yet publicly available.

Debunking The Five Major Myths About Wealth Flight

Recently, multiple news articles, op-eds, and think tank reports have asserted that Massachusetts is suffering an exodus of households, particularly high-income households, fleeing to states with lower taxes. A closely related claim is that outmigrants are taking billions of dollars out of the Massachusetts economy when they leave. These claims about income migration are both overblown and based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the available data. The scary portrayals of population flight are typically connected to calls for tax cuts that overwhelmingly would benefit the wealthiest households.

The Hypocrisy Of The Christian Church

We are here today to call out the Pharisees that run this seminary, the ones who speak about loving the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized, in the abstract, but who really love the rich, including the rich who make their fortunes by exploiting the families of the students I teach in the Rutgers college degree program in New Jersey prisons, students, many of whom should have never been imprisoned, who are victims of our system of neo-slavery. We are here today to call out the liberal church, so quick to wrap itself in the cloak of virtue and so quick to sell virtue out when it conflicts with monetary interests and requires self-sacrifice.
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