Sunday, May 18, 2014

Favorite Posts on Taxes, Wages, Wealth and Democracy

What follows below are the best (most read) and latest of my blog entries on the economy. I annotated it so you can pick which might interest you.

Wage History and The Case for A Living Wage  - This lays the groundwork for understanding what I believe is at the root of our economic woes today. It is the loss of income relative to the ever growing wealth that our labors generate. It talks about the dwindling responsibility of business owners towards their workers, neighbors and a community. It also demonstrates how, as wages fall over the decades (relative to hourly GDP), government aid to working poor families has grown while income tax revenues shrink.

A 99 Year History of Tax Rates in America  - This is the story of America's progressive income tax and the shifting sense of fairness that has flattened our progressive tax code. People making a billion dollars a year pay the same tax rate as those making a $200k per year. Corporate taxes are also only a fraction of what they were. The decline in the progressive income tax and the suppression of wages since the mid-1970"s together are driving forces between our growing wealth inequality.

Four Graphs on What's Hurting the Working Class  - This is a short, graphical depiction of what has happened to the forgotten economic class once known as "working class."

Does Higher Taxes Hurt Job Growth? Answer: No!  - This is sort of self-explanatory. It answers (in part) the critics of those who want to further unburden taxes on the rich.
Do Pro-business Policies Benefit the Poor?  - This is a more in-depth look at our "pro-business" politics and the assumption that what is good for business is good for everyone, including the poor. It is directed at all those who think everything will be find if we just grow the economy.

OUR VOTING RIGHTS - A State-by-State Analysis - This isn't economic, but is a crucial understanding we need to have in our democracy. Voting and the whole election process precedes, or should precede politics. And what we think are our voting rights is an illusion.

New Jersey's Regressive Public School Funding - This is in response to how New Jersey relies on property taxes (really a wealth based tax scheme) to fund public education and why, especially in today's economy and the runaway capital income of the wealthy, why this is a very regressive way to fund our schools. It has applications beyond New Jersey.

Civil Service Pensions - A Marker for What We've Lost - This article is a personal observation of the politics and evolution of attitudes towards public employee pensions. It is significant application to other states as the attack on teacher and public pensions is actually a centrally coordinated attack across the country.

 Main Street Meets Their Wall Street Landlords - This article just plain scares me. It should be seen as an early warning of what might come as private equity corporations turn their attention to all the under market value housing they created. They have begun buying it up and renting out these post-foreclosure single family homes. 

I hope you enjoy this selection of articles from my publications. 

Brian T. Lynch, MSW 

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