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Joel Pett | Nobel Economics

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A US Tax on Wealth Is Long Overdue

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/ Carefully calculated by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), now running for president, sets a rate of 2 percent on fortunes valued between $50 million and $1 billion, and 3 percent above $1 billion, Getty Images

Between 1930 and 1980, the rate applied on the highest incomes was on average 81 percent, and the rate applied to the highest inherited estates was 74 percent. Clearly this did not destroy American capitalism.

Thomas Piketty, the Boston Globe / Common Dreams / Portside


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February 12, 2019 | What if the final blow for French President Emmanuel Macron came not from the yellow vests but from US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts? Warren, who announced her candidacy for president on Saturday, has proposed what will doubtless be one of the key points of her campaign — the creation of a genuine federal progressive wealth tax.


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Carefully calculated by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the Warren proposal sets a rate of 2 percent on fortunes valued between $50 million and $1 billion, and 3 percent above $1 billion. The proposal also provides for an exit tax equal to 40 percent of total wealth for those who relinquish their American citizenship. The tax would apply to all assets, with no exemptions, with dissuasive sanctions for people and governments that do not transmit appropriate information on assets held abroad.

Thomas Piketty is a French economist and the author of the best-selling book, Capital in the 21st Century, which emphasises the themes of his work on wealth concentrations and distribution over the past 250 years.
 
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Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?

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/ Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair

The lack of historical consciousness lies at the heart of American exceptionalism. It hobbles our capacity to think and act. This denial of history is the masters’ mythology, not ours. Corporate power is not eternal but historical. It too shall pass — but only if we make it so.

Richard Moser, Counterpunch

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January 11, 2019 | I’ve been hearing about neoliberalism for a long time now and never could make much sense of it. It turns out the story we tell about neoliberalism is as contradictory as neoliberalism itself. Two currents within the critique of neoliberalism offer different analyses of the current economy and suggest different strategies for dealing with the gross exploitation, wealth inequality, climate destruction and dictatorial governance of the modern corporate order.

These opposing currents are not just different schools of thought represented by divergent thinkers. Rather they appear as contradictions within the critiques of neoliberalism leveled by some of the most influential writers on the subject. These different interpretations are often the result of focus. Look at neoliberal doctrine and intellectuals and the free market comes to the fore. Look at the history and practice of the largest corporations and the most powerful political actors and corporate power takes center stage.

Richard Moser writes at befreedom.co where this article first appeared.

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Related:

Chris Hedges: Fascism, Neoliberalism and Third Parties in the US, Chris Hedges, Dandelion Salad / Rise Up Times

Related: Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems

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The Trump Tax Cut: Even Worse Than You’ve Heard

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 / President Trump in a meeting with governors and members of Congress about tax cuts in April 2018. Credit Doug Mills/the New York Times

Skeptical reporting has still been too favorable.

Paul Krugman, New York (NY) Times

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Jan. 1, 2019 | The 2017 tax cut has received pretty bad press, and rightly so. Its proponents made big promises about soaring investment and wages, and also assured everyone that it would pay for itself; none of that has happened.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Geo%20Washington%20on%20%241%20Bill%20with%20Black%20Eye.jpgYet coverage actually hasn’t been negative enough. The story you mostly read runs something like this: The tax cut has caused corporations to bring some money home, but they’ve used it for stock buybacks rather than to raise wages, and the boost to growth has been modest. That doesn’t sound great, but it’s still better than the reality: No money has, in fact, been brought home, and the tax cut has probably reduced national income. Indeed, at least 90 percent of Americans will end up poorer thanks to that cut.

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/04/02/opinion/paul-krugman/paul-krugman-thumbLarge.png / Paul Krugman, Opinion Columnist for the New York (NY) Times, is distinguished professor in the Graduate Center Economics Ph.D. program and distinguished scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center at the City University of New York. In addition, he is professor emeritus of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.

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The market will not fix Twin Cities' affordable housing crisis.


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  • Developers are building new luxury units in the metro, but they are out of reach for most. Without subsidies, that math won't change. 
  • Related: From the Archives | More Housing, Not Shelters

Carol Becker, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune

October 23, 2018 | In “Private market must be a big part of the solution,” (Oct. 18) Federal Reserve Bank executives Ron Feldman and Mark Wright argue that building more market-rate housing will create more affordable housing through simple supply and demand.

If you have a market for bananas and you increase the number of bananas for sale, the cost per banana will go down. And people will buy more bananas and fewer of oranges. Conversely if you have fewer bananas for sale, the price will go up and people will buy fewer bananas and more oranges.

Carol Becker lives in Minneapolis.

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From the Archives | More Housing, Not Shelters, Colleen O’Connor Toberman, Minnesota 2020

We know that housing helps people live stable, healthy, productive lives. We know what we need to do. The question, Minnesota, is… will we do it?

May 1, 2014 | Today, Minneapolis’ two winter shelters will close for the season. This has become an annual ritual for the past few years, ever since two churches opened temporary winter shelters to offer supplemental beds for the rising homeless population. These two shelters house over 100 people a night, who will now find themselves out in the still-chilly spring without other options.

Our first impulse might be to solve this problem by keeping these shelters open year round, but I have mixed feelings about opening more homeless shelters. Obviously, I want everyone to have a safe place to sleep, eat, and connect to services. I want shelters that are accessible to every community across the state and offer sufficient space for everyone in need. It’s (inhumane) to turn someone away because there’s no room at the inn.

Colleen O’Connor Toberman is passionate about housing and poverty issues. Colleen is a social worker at East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis, where she assists low-income individuals with benefits enrollment and food security. Her prior experience includes time at Our Saviour’s Housing and several other housing/homeless organizations.

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