Category Archives: Inequality

Richest man in world ($115,000,000,000) offers only $8 a week raise to some of America’s top journalists, meanwhile spending $42,000,000 for a cuckoo clock

Washington Post writers and reporters began the New Year with a major problem: their owner was offering a lump sum $12 a week raise in the first year of a new contract, and $8 a week in the second year. Plus, unlike the New York Times staff, they had to pay for their own coffee.

Scrooge, how we love ya!

It’s not like this owner needs to cut expenses. The master of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is estimated to be worth about $115,000,000,000 ($115 billion), and he even beats Microsoft’s Bill Gates as the richest person in the world.

For Bezos and many other corporate cheapskates, it’s about principle, not mere money. Along with the Koch brothers, Pete Peterson and the Cato Institute, the new mantra is that no raises should go to anyone for longevity. If you are with a company 20 weeks or 20 years, your pay should be exactly the same.

Rather than bore you with examining this idiocy hiding greed, an example from my previous employer reveals the same “management” style.

A reporter left my newspaper after many years of suffering miserable pay (under $7.92 an hour), and I was required to complete a form to be signed off by a half dozen corporate execs. Part of this document was a place to indicate the wage offered to the replacement. Continue reading →

If Trump had kept his campaign promise, a $50k couple would save an extra $2,739 in 2018 taxes

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s new tax law will save less than $9 a week for most working Americans, and many may receive cuts as little as $2.70. Meanwhile, a $1 million filer will gain $628 a week. The GOP plan smells like a few peanuts for the middle class and the elephant’s share of the tax cut designated for the very rich.

Let’s examine how the 2018 income tax really works, compared to what we were promised during the election campaign.

Current law now taxes a married couple for every dollar earned that exceeds $24,000 a year. Last year’s tax floor was $20,800, or a difference of $3,200.

Anyone earning exactly $24,000 in 2018 will save income tax of 10% of that $3,200, or $6.15 a week, versus last year.

What do you do with this $6.15 tax cut? If you are taking Xarelto for heart problems, as millions do, your tax bonanza won’t cover that drug’s $80 a month increase, or offset higher gas prices, or, or…

But what would have happened if candidate Donald Trump’s original tax plan had been adopted? Continue reading →

Everyone was watching the girl in the teeny bikini, just like the public is now looking for a big tax cut

As I entered the general manager’s office in the Gimbel’s Cheltenham department store, the mood was surly. Picking up an ad for my Philadelphia newspaper was usually pleasant. Sometimes conversation about merchandising for the 250,000 square foot emporium. Other times small talk and smiles, but not today.

It was a Spring afternoon in the late 1970s, and two hours earlier a tall blonde, wearing only a string bikini and high heels, strolled into the store and began walking from department to department, finally covering all three floors in about 45 minutes. She did not go unnoticed by the store staff or customers, and more than a few males seemed to wander after her at a safe distance, pretending to be interested in this or that sale display.

Ten minutes after she left, the Fine Jewelry department reported items worth several thousand dollars had been shoplifted. Then, other managers began counting goods and finding shortages.

It seems that while the blonde was walking, two accomplices were taking the goods. 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 →

Trickle, trickle, fools we are, to trust the rich, now flush with cash, will share with us their bounty

The inlaid walnut table in the corporate boardroom held 12 on either side and two or three at each end, and the execs were all perched, prepped to pounce, when I dragged in my 2001 budget – 1015 pages of spreadsheet and other sheet.

As division CEO of a NYSE-listed publishing company with nearly a billion dollars sales, my pitch was explain how I would increase sales, restrain costs and improve the value of the newspapers I published.

What could go wrong? In the past year sales were up, but more important, the bottom line jumped from about a $200,000 loss to an $860,000 profit before taxes.

Since most of my employees were salaried – meaning they worked long hours without overtime compensation – my proposed budget included a four percent average pay increase. That four percent, I was told, was a big mistake. Continue reading →

China’s 626 million cameras will spy on its citizens, and use software to apprehend them in just minutes

The nation which will soon boast the largest GDP in the world – China – is using digital technology to secretly detain and imprison tens of thousands of its citizens for so-called political crimes that range from expressing “extremist” thoughts to merely traveling or studying abroad.

This police state is part of a sweeping effort by Chinese authorities to use detentions and data-driven CCTV surveillance especially in the region of Xinjiang and over its ten million Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority that China says has been influenced by Islamic extremism.

Meanwhile, China’s state-run Xinhua news service has just announced that China’s State Council Information Office has declared China is making “remarkable progress” on improving human rights:

China has opened a new era of human rights protection and is now contributing to the diversity of human civilization and providing Chinese wisdom and solutions to promote social progress.

The truth is that China currently has installed 176 million surveillance cameras , and it shooting for 626 million by 2020. Since China has 1.4 billion citizens, there will be almost one camera for every two persons.

Continue reading →

If all you want for Christmas is your two front teeth, it’s time to borrow $6,400 or pay 1/3 price in India

Visit Victoria Station while in Mumbai for implants

If our politicians ever make the effort to visit the “little people” – those neglected voters, who don’t live in gated communities and suck gin in the Capitol – our selected leaders will see smiles without front teeth. And that is just the beginning of their constituents’ dental problems.

Some 140 million Americans have no dental insurance, and for most who do pay premiums, the coverage won’t cover the cost of replacing those two front teeth with implants

Medicaid and Medicare will pay nothing.

If you search the web for how to afford dental implants, the usual answer is borrow the money. A few suggested contributing more to your Health Savings account (as if everyone has an account). One advised asking for charity on the Internet. I am surprised no one said: write a check or pay with cash. Continue reading →

Center for American Progress and CATO both want to invest our Social Security funds in stock market

When the right and left political wings agree, you can bet middle-class Americans are in trouble.

And if you are talking about Social Security, a new bipartisan plan spells major cuts in benefits, as the establishment is set to privatize our public retirement system after the mid-term elections next year.

John Podesta – Trilateral member

About $2.8 trillion (2,800,000,000) has been borrowed since the 1980s from your Social Security contributions to pay for bureaucratic wars on poverty. to fight real wars on ungrateful Arabs, to sweetheart deals to campaign contributors, and to create a war machine larger than all other countries combined.

But the political class has decided it should not pay back this money, but will instead cut your Social Security benefits enough so they you only get benefits from FICA taxes paid in the current year, and receive none of the money borrowed from the Trust Fund, which will be dissolved. Continue reading →

$4,000 Wage hike “Fake News” from the White House – whatever happened to Trump promise of “no taxes for a couple earning less than $50,000”


UPDATE to April 2017 post, Russian Dossier with complete text: DNC and Clinton campaign paid for Fusion GPS  report used by FBI to investigate President.


The following was emailed to me on Saturday from the White House.

TRUMP PENCE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 10.21.17
TAX CUTS FOR REAL AMERICANS

President Trump is working harder than ever to bring tax reform to middle class Americans, including the biggest tax cut in American history. This week, the President took his case to conservative leaders, seeking their support in pushing Congress to pass a tax reform bill, he said, “We need…help…to get our tax cuts through the house, through the Senate, and to my desk for signature.” Now is the time for all Republicans in Congress and maybe even patriotic Democrats to come together and support major tax reform that will boost wages and deliver families a $4,000 annual pay raise. We must get Congress on board, in order to deliver tax relief to hard-working Americans. Call and remind your Representative and Senators to support the President’s Middle Class Miracle today.

Although I am retired and there is no boss to give me a pay raise, I imagined that, at least, my children and grandchildren would benefit, and perhaps send me a fancier birthday card or buy me a funny hat with all the extra cash in their checking accounts.

And after learning that I am a “Real American”, according to this government email, I wondered: “could this $4,000 pay raise be real?” I turned to YouTube, where your computer screen seems to come alive with the voice of Mr. Trump and Bill Nye, among others, and found the President making this same promise: Continue reading →

Flight delayed? – blame the very, very rich!

It was a legendary story in our newsroom, retold to new hires as a warning never to antagonize top management.

The company had a private jet, used by about a half dozen top execs, and reports had it that the CEO had called one of his local publishers to meet him at a small airport.

When the subordinate arrived he was fired on the spot for some past infraction and told to find his own way home from the airport without his auto. Then, the CEO was driven away in the company car, previously used by the employee.

Anyone who has stood in line at an airport, or waited for a delayed flight, appreciates the inequality of the very rich flying around the country with instant takeoffs and landings. The CEO story above may not be entirely true, but it reflects the anger Continue reading →

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