Category Archives: economic equality

H-2A workers don’t pay Social Security (FICA) tax, neither do the millionaires who are exploiting them

Foreign agricultural workers temporarily admitted into the United States on H-2A visas are exempt from U.S. Social Security and Medicare taxes on compensation paid to them for services performed in connection with the H-2A visa. This is true whether they are resident aliens or nonresident aliens.

In addition, compensation paid to H-2A agricultural workers for services performed in connection with the H-2A visa is not considered to be “wages” for purposes of federal income tax withholding, and thus is not subject to mandatory withholding of U.S. federal income tax…Internal Revenue Service

More than 160,000 new temporary (up to three years extension allowed) workers were issued H-2A Visas last year, with about half of those going to Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Washington and California. Their employers did not pay the company share (6.2%) for FICA (Social Security) or Medicare tax (1.45%). Their bosses didn’t even withhold income taxes, making net pay almost the same same as gross pay. Continue reading →

If your family was as rich as the Waltons, you could easily buy Buckingham Palace over and over again

Some one million Walmart employees in the United States will have their meager pay supplemented this year with a bonus averaging $400, thanks to the lapse of usual parsimony by the owners of the world’s largest retailer – the Walton family. That total $400 million is $71 million less than the cost of the bottom two estates ($222 million and $249 million) in the above video of the five most expensive homes in the world.

Half of all workers in the United States make less than $30,500 a year, and half earn more, so $400 is meaningful, even though a flat 25% ($100) will be lost to income tax under an odd IRS ruling, leaving $300.

But $300 could buy you and the spouse a motel room for two nights, and have some money left over for lunch one day. That would be a one-room accommodation. Hotel rooms with multiple rooms charge much more than $100 to $200 a night.

While you are pinching pennies to pay for this $300 getaway, how would your benefactors – the Waltons of inheritance fame – entertain themselves? Since “all men are created equal”, but allowing for some being more equal, you would expect the gang of seven to perhaps rent an entire floor of a Best Western or splurge at a Hilton.

Actually, the poorest member of the Walton family, Nancy Walton Laurie, could afford to not just rent a room, but buy all five of the properties listed in the above video – including Buckingham Palace – and still have nearly $2,000,000,000 left of her fortune. Continue reading →

Middle class seniors forced to pay for that 40% corporate tax cut with reductions to Medicare

Happy holidays came a few days early for big corporations and rich shareholders. Their income tax rate in 2018 will drop from 35% to 21% – exactly a 40% decrease.

Next year, Medicare premiums will go from $109 to $134 per month – a 23% increase in one year. This additional deduction from Social Security benefits wipes out the proposed minimal 2% cost of living increase for most seniors, leaving them with no increase, just inflation losses.

The argument goes that most corporations deserve a tax decrease, because they pay higher income taxes (35%) here than in some other countries. Concerned about the tax burden on our “job creators”, I put together this list of the top 30 largest companies (sales) and what they paid in income tax in 2016.

All told, these firms paid $114.9 billion of income tax on $4,108 billion in sales, or 2.76% rate on sales. Continue reading →

Other countries want you as a university student – English-speaking classes with virtually no tuition

If you are not a resident of Pennsylvania you can still earn a nursing degree at Penn State University in four years at a tuition-only cost of $154,600.

Or you could get the same education (with brat bun, not frat fun) free in Germany.

Free?

And you don’t have to speak German?

Public universities in Germany charge no tuition to anyone, including Americans , ugly or otherwise. Classes are offered in spoken English.

Students, who want degrees (in English) from among the world’s best institutions, can enroll in schools like  University of Munich, University of Hamburg or Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, three of the country’s best schools, and pay no tuition. Some years ago the government initiated a $500 a semester tuition charge, but students revolted and it was eliminated.

American students enrolled in public universities in Slovenia Continue reading →

Who controls the World? Here’s what you need to know about how super companies are connected!

A study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich has found that a mere 147 corporations control the world – orchestrating events and controlling governments. Many of their officials are members of the Trilateral Commission, participants in world economic forums and leaders of national governments.

The analysis examined the relations between 43,000 transnational corporations (TNC), and decided that the top 147 mega-corporations had huge power over world events.

James Glattfelder, who directed the Zurich team, said they began with a database listing 37 million companies and investors in the world. They identified 43,060 TNCs and the share ownership linking them. A model of which companies controlled others through shareholding networks, along with each company’s operating revenues, was created to map the structure of economic power.

From the 43,000 TNCs, the study revealed a core of 1,318 companies with interlocking owners. Continue reading →

Donald Trump will easily win the Wall Street vote!

President Donald Trump in February 2016:

“I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over him (Ted Cruz). Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”

Times have changed and there are now suggestions to rename the “East Wing” to “Hedge Fund Headquarters.”

Or more accurately – “GS Village in the Capitol.” This is the place where old bean counters and masters of economic disaster gather to decide how much financial misery the “little people” will endure without revolting.

A good and quick example is Anthony Scaramucci, He worked at Goldman Sachs‘s Investment Banking, Equities, and Private Wealth Management divisions from 1989 to 1996. Flamboyant, like his fictional counterpart, he lasted ten days before Trump replaced him with a retired general. The president’s picks for his cabinet tend to be either Wall Street bankers or multi-star generals. Guns and promises of rose gardens?

But GS and the financial class are hardly left without influence, despite Continue reading →

Foreigners take our best jobs under H-1B scheme; video exposes “fake news” approach at CNN!

American universities produce the best software engineers, IT managers and programmers  in the world, but many can’t find a job or have taken pay cuts in recent years.

India’s Navin Kabra, 20+ years of being a software engineer at various levels, explains why in a comment on Quora:

Because there are too many software engineers in India, and not enough in the US.

Because India is churning out 1 million new engineers every year, whereas the industry requires only about 200,000 of them.

Because the “average” fresh software engineering graduate in India can barely program, and 40% of them fail the Fizz Buzz test (as per actual data we’ve collected over the last 2 years), whereas the average software engineering graduate in the US is likely to be much better (as per my anecdotal data).

Kahra was answering this question:

Why is the median salary of a software engineer in India around Rs 3.6 Lakh, whereas in US it is $71k(ie Rs 44Lakh), which is nearly 12.4 times that of India, but the cost of living or equivalent salary of US is considered to be only 4 to 5 times that of Indian salary?

Which brings me to the one bright hope in recent years that the abominable H-1B Continue reading →

Will Facebook “change your status” to “go directly to jail” for what it identifies as suspicious posts?

“The long term promise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) is that in addition to identifying risks more quickly and accurately than would have already happened, it may also identify risks that nobody would have flagged at all including terrorists planning attacks using private channels, people bullying someone too afraid to report it themselves, and other issues both local and global,”

Those are the words of an early version of a Facebook manifesto, content later removed in the final version by Mark Zuckerberg, one of the richest men in the world – $62.4 billion. (By comparison, Zuck’s assets equal the total family wealth of 12,755,000 African-American households.)

But here’s what the published version of the document said:

“Looking ahead, one of our greatest opportunities to keep people safe is building artificial intelligence to understand more quickly and accurately what is happening across our community.”

It added: “Going forward, there are even more cases where our community should be able to identify risks related to mental health, disease or crime.”

Zuck also wants you to be fed the Facebook Continue reading →

That buy your green card pitch by Kushner’s sister in China renews controversy over visas for the rich

If you had $300 during the Civil War you could avoid that first Draft by just paying the dough and walking away. No money, you could go to jail or possibly become one of the 620,000 Americans killed on the battlefields.

When it comes to citizenship, the rich don’t need to climb that wall or swim that Rio Grande, now they just put up money, $500,000 or more to be exact, to invest in some project in the U.S. and agree that somehow that will create ten new jobs.

Some 85% of all these “investment citizens” are from China. The deal is called EB-5 Visa, and not only can you become an American, but so can the wife and children – all for the same price.

By this criterion, anyone with enough money can buy citizenship. Poor folks need not apply.

The program was extended last week by President Donald Trump, even though he said he had qualms about it during the campaign last year. The day after he signed the extension, the Kushner organization was in Beijing, selling investments in the luxury apartment building, One Journal Square, that is set to be built next year in Jersey City. A brochure blasted:

“Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

Continue reading →

How to instantly add $54 billion to Trump budget revenues and end every cut to every department

It’s as easy as: one, two, three!

The 2018 Donald Trump Federal Budget can be balanced, even when including nearly $54 billion in increased Defense Department spending, and not one federal department would require any cuts in spending.

These are the proposed $54 billion in department cuts that would not have to take effect under my 123 Plan:

Agriculture 2018 Budget

  • Eliminates $500 million Water and Wastewater loan/grant program
  • Eliminates $200 million McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program
  • Cuts Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance from $6.4 billion to $6.2 billion
  • Unspecified staff reductions at USDA service center agencies
  • Cuts $95 million from Rural Business and Cooperative Service

Continue reading →

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