Inequality is about much more than the growing chasm of income and wealth between those at the very top and everyone else in America. It’s also about education, environmental hazards, health and health care, incarceration, law enforcement, wage theft and policies that interfere with family life over multiple generations.
In its full dimensions, inequality shapes, distorts and destroys lives in ways that get little attention from politicians and major news organizations. How many of us know that every day 47 American babies die, who would live if only our nation had the much better infant mortality rates of Sweden?
“Poverty is not natural,” Nelson Mandela once said. “It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”
The man-made disparities between the rich and the poor are a threat to the liberties of the people. Plutarch, the Greco-Roman historian, observed more than 2000 years ago that, “an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” MORE
How do you value the efforts of America’s top chief executives? Are they worth 10 times what their average worker makes, 20 times or even 100 times?
The current answer appears to be a ratio of more than 300-to-1, according to a new study from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. The meteoric rise of CEO pay is nothing short of breathtaking, outpacing not only the wages of ordinary workers, but also gains in the stock market and the not-too-shabby rise of income among America’s 0.1 percent of top earners. MORE
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted Thursday to give a tax break worth $269 billion to the richest few thousand estates in the country, and add that cost to the federal debt.
Called the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, the bill would end the nearly 100-year-old federal estate tax. All but three Republicans voted in favor, while all but seven Democrats voted against. The legislation passed 239 to 179.
The measure benefits only the top .2 percent of the population because the other 99.8 percent of the country doesn’t own enough wealth to ever pay the tax. Only estates worth more than $10.9 million for couples and $5.4 million for individuals fall under the tax. MORE