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February 23 2014

08:00

Dark Money Groups to Get Clarity From the IRS; Outrage Ensues

billmoyers.com - By Joshua Holland - Feb. 23 (News Report) - Social welfare organizations are allowed to influence elections to a degree, but can’t make electoral politics their “primary focus.” The problem is that standard hasn’t been well defined. That lack of clarity was at the heart of the IRS’s Cincinnati field office using “inappropriate criteria” to examine these groups’ applications for tax-exempt status. In its report on the “scandal,” the IRS Inspector General’s office wrote, “We also believe that Determinations Unit specialists lacked knowledge of what activities are allowed by” the tax code.

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February 22 2014

08:00

Anatomy of the Deep State

billmoyers.com - By Mike Lofgren - Feb. 22 (Opinion) - Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.  Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome.  By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks …

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January 29 2014

08:00

January 28 2014

08:00

The 20 Richest Americans Are Greedy Takers—Not Inspirational 'Makers'

AlterNet - By Paul Buchheit - Jan. 28 (Special Report) - many of the richest Americans are takers. The top twenty, with a total net worth of almost two-thirds of a trillion dollars, have all taken from the public or from employees, or through taxes or untaxed inheritances.

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Tags: Wealth

January 25 2014

08:00

Republicans believe rich people just work harder. So how do they explain these statistics?

Daily Kos - By Laura Clawson - Jan. 25 (Opinion) - Rich people are rich because they worked harder, my ass. This is a convenient belief if you're wealthy, but in the vast majority of cases, reality it is not. And on that mistaken—and often self-interested—belief rests a long list of Republican policy positions that are increasing inequality and poverty, year by year by year.

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January 22 2014

08:00

85 richest people own as much as bottom half of population, report says

Los Angeles Times - Jan. 22 (Special Report) - The 85 richest people on Earth have the same amount of wealth as the bottom half of the population, according to a new report that highlights growing income inequality as political and business leaders gather for the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Those wealthy individuals are a small part of the richest 1% of the population, which combined owns about 46% of global wealth, according to the report from British humanitarian group Oxfam International.

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Tags: Poverty Wealth

December 30 2013

08:00

3 Shocking Ways Inequality Keeps Getting Worse in America

AlterNet - By Paul Buchheit - Dec. 30 (Special Report) - Anyone reviewing the data is likely to conclude that there must be some mistake. It doesn't seem possible that one out of twenty American families could each have made a million dollars since Obama became President, while millions of American families' net worth has barely recovered. But the evidence comes from numerous reputable sources.

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08:00

Number of Black-Owned TV Stations Plummets to... Zero

AlterNet - By Joseph Torres, S. Derek Turner - Dec. 30 (News Report) - This sorry state of affairs is the culmination of a trend that started in the late 1990s when Congress and the Federal Communications Commission allowed massive consolidation in the broadcasting industry. This policy shift crowded out existing owners of color and ensured that it would be nearly impossible for new owners to access the public airwaves. Recent FCC actions (and in some cases, inaction) have only hastened this decline in opportunities for diverse broadcasters.

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December 26 2013

08:00

Massive Inequality Didn't Just Happen—It Was Engineered by Conservative Government Policies

AlterNet - By Dean Baker - Dec. 26 (Opinion) - Trade is probably the best place to start just because it is so obvious. Trade deals like NAFTA were quite explicitly designed to place our manufacturing workers in direct competition with the lowest paid workers in the world. The text was written after consulting with top executives at major companies like General Electric. Our negotiators asked these executives what changes in Mexico's law would make it easier for them to set up factories in Mexico. The text was written accordingly. When we saw factory workers losing their jobs to imports from Mexico and other developing countries, this was not an accident.

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December 23 2013

08:00

The Hard-to-Believe, Cruel Things Corporate Executives Say About Americans Struggling to Get By

AlterNet - By Paul Buchheit - Dec. 23 (Special Report) - At a time of year when we're inclined to show empathy for people less fortunate than ourselves, some of our top business leaders are notable for comments that show their disdain for struggling Americans. Their words may seem too outlandish to have been uttered, or inappropriately humorous, but all the speakers were serious.

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December 16 2013

08:00

"Makes Absolutely No Sense": David Cay Johnston on Budget Deal That Helps Billionaires, Not the Poor

Democracy Now - By Amy Goodman - Dec. 16 (News Analysis) - A bipartisan budget deal to avert another government shutdown comes before the Senate this week. The vast majority of House members from both parties approved the two-year budget agreement last week in a 332-to-94 vote. It is being hailed as a breakthrough compromise for Democrats and Republicans. The bill eases across-the-board spending cuts, replacing them with new airline fees and cuts to federal pensions. In a concession by Democrats, it does not extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people, which are set to expire this month. To discuss the deal, we are joined by David Cay Johnston, an investigative reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize while at The New York Times. He is currently a columnist for Tax Analysts and Al Jazeera, as well as a contributing editor at Newsweek.

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December 14 2013

08:00

Bill Moyers: "That Sound You Hear Is the Shredding of the Social Contract"

Mother Jones - By Bill Moyers - Dec. 14 (Opinion) - The historian Plutarch warned us long ago of what happens when there is no brake on the power of great wealth to subvert the electorate. "The abuse of buying and selling votes," he wrote of Rome, "crept in and money began to play an important part in determining elections. Later on, this process of corruption spread in the law courts and to the army, and finally, when even the sword became enslaved by the power of gold, the republic was subjected to the rule of emperors." We don't have emperors yet, but we do have the Roberts Court that consistently privileges the donor class.

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December 07 2013

08:00

Walmart Is Not the Bargain You Might Think

truth-out.org - By Maura Stephens - Dec. 07 (Opinion) - People flock to Walmart for perceived bargains and convenience. Here are some facts that might keep them from adding their hard-earned cash to the profits of a company that's squashing lives and worker rights worldwide. Next time someone tells you they shop at Walmart because it's cheap or convenient, share this.

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December 04 2013

08:00

The Lies Behind This Transatlantic Trade Deal

readersupportednews.org - By George Monbiot - Dec. 04 (News Report) - All over Europe people are asking why this is happening; why we were not consulted; for whom it is being done. They have good reason to ask. The commission insists that its Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership should include a toxic mechanism called investor-state dispute settlement. Where this has been forced into other trade agreements, it has allowed big corporations to sue governments before secretive arbitration panels composed of corporate lawyers, which bypass domestic courts and override the will of parliaments.

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December 03 2013

08:00

Fast Food Giants Gorge on Subsidies

Common Dreams - By Sarah Anderson - Dec. 03 (News Report) - The fast food industry is notorious for handing out lean paychecks to their burger flippers and fat ones to their CEOs. What’s less well-known is that taxpayers are actually subsidizing fast food incomes at both the bottom — and top — of the industry.read more

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08:00

Is Boeing a terrorist organization?

Crosscut.com - By Knute Berger - Dec. 03 (Opinion) - "Terrorism" is an extreme characterization for what Boeing is doing, but the consequences could still be damaging. The loss of jobs — especially well-paying union jobs — will be painful. But also damaging is a self-inflicted sense of panic. "We have become a fearful state where our aspirations are subordinate to our fears. We cannot even ask questions, but must do as we’re told. Corporatism, and its ceaseless rewards for the 1 percent, is a fealty demanded of both parties, even as the 99 percent — working families held hostage — reject their captor’s demands." Who said that? Radical Sawant? No, former Democrat state representative Brendan Williams, writing a Seattle Times oped about Boeing's bullying.

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November 18 2013

08:00

Because They Can

Huffington Post - By | Stan Sorscher - Nov. 18 (Opinion) - The purpose of an economy is to raise living standards. I'm happy for business to succeed, as long as gains are shared. There is no legitimate policy purpose to have business succeed at the expense of workers, families and communities.

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November 14 2013

08:00

Add It Up: The Average American Family Pays $6,000 a Year in Subsidies to Big Business

Common Dreams - By Paul Buchheit - Nov. 14 (Special Report) - That's over and above our payments to the big companies for energy and food and housing and health care and all our tech devices. It's $6,000 that no family would have to pay if we truly lived in a competitive but well-regulated free-market economy.

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November 12 2013

08:00

Meet Your Taxpayer-Subsidized Farm Bill Billionaires!

Huffington Post - By Jason Linkins - Nov. 12 (Investigative Report) - Surely, these subsidies are helping to keep an important way of life alive for the True Sons of Soil and Toil ... like, say, multi-billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Wait. What? He's a farmer? Ha ha, yes. As it turns out, your taxpayer dollars "subsidize" the "farming" that's being done by a host of mega-rich superstars from the Forbes 400 list, none of whom you'd immediately associate with the sort of hardscrabble agri-artisan who's in need of a leg up from the federal government. But their numbers are legion.

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November 09 2013

08:00

Dark Money Groups Are Funded By Dark Money Groups That Fund Dark Money Groups That Fund...

Huffington Post - By Paul Blumenthal - Nov. 09 (News Report) - A recent million-dollar settlement in California has stripped back the curtain on how "dark money" is secretly moved in and around electoral politics. Documents and interviews revealed how a networks of nonprofits passed dark money -- that is, money whose source is not disclosed to the public -- from one to another to another to further obscure the original sources. Examples of similar financial transfers uncovered by The Huffington Post, in addition to a host of examples reported by the Center for Responsive Politics and NPR, demonstrate that the California case is no isolated incident.

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