. . we would have a fascinating, first-hand history of the roller-coaster first century of the modern federal income tax. Industrialist Frederick Peabody started building this manse of his dreams in 1913, the same year the federal income tax started biting into the nation’s highest incomes.
The world’s wealthy gathered in the Alps again last week to discuss how to ‘solve’ the world’s problems. The world’s biggest problem, suggests one top global anti-poverty outfit, may be […]
How do unequal societies solve the problems — like traffic congestion — that make us miserable? They come up with solutions that make life easier for rich people. Politicians and […]
Can a democracy survive if the richest of the rich within it can pass on to their heirs, generation after generation, the vast bulk of their fortunes? In the United […]
The Bush years gave America’s rich new and unprecedented preferential treatment at tax time. The fiscal cliff deal enacted in the early moments of 2013 leaves that preferential treatment in […]
Some of today’s most greedy are running giant multinationals. Some are just running their mouths. Their stories remind us just how much needs to change, economically and politically, in the […]
The political friends of America's rich aren't aiming to convince us that higher taxes on the nation's highest incomes make no sense. They're just hoping to keep us distracted.
How much can a billion dollars buy? The undivided attention of America’s entire political and chattering classes. Case in point: our ongoing national fixation on debt and deficit. Down through […]
Americans today can take more than inspiration from the struggles against plutocracy that progressives waged years ago. They can take a host of still relevant — and cutting-edge — policy proposals.
Yes, the poor have struggled mightily while our rich have become phenomenally flush. But middle-income Americans haven’t been able to jump off the treadmill either. We’ve all heard plenty of […]
We’ll never know exactly how much America’s super rich pumped into the 2012 elections. Hundreds of millions in “dark money” — contributions laundered through hyper-politicized nonprofits like the U.S. Chamber of […]
Americans haven't heard much at all from Joe the Plumber this election cycle. A shame. Without his rants against sharing the wealth, no one's bothering to debate how desperately America really needs to be sharing. And how desperate has our maldistribution of wealth become?
Candidates this fall are taking plenty of pokes at the financial industry's best and brightest. But they could be doing a lot more than poke. They could push to start taxing Wall Street.
Federal regulators have actually been cracking down somewhat lately on financial industry fraud. But the power-suited executives responsible for that fraud are still paying no personal price.
America's billionaires have realized they really don't have to bother convincing a majority of people to vote their way. They can put their cash instead into campaigns to keep the hard-to-convince from voting.
In real life, working hard only takes you so far. Those who go all the way — to grand fortune — typically get a substantial head start. So documents an entertaining, baseball-themed new analysis of the Forbes 400.
In any society where wealth and income concentrate overwhelmingly at the top, the affluent will almost always come to sneer at public services and the men and women who provide them. In Chicago, those men and women have pushed back.
Corporate execs and billionaire ideologues are creating — at taxpayer expense — a network of schools where learning takes a back seat.
In our current economic and political environment, we're letting top corporate executives expropriate our public 'property' for private gain. The resulting rewards, for both corporations and their CEOs, can be immense, as the recent Apple patent triumph over Samsung so amazingly demonstrates.
The national leader of one of America's feistiest unions is aiming to expand the economic fairness debate. He's proposing a cap on incomes at the top that rises only if incomes at the bottom rise first.
The old robber barons exploited workers and gouged consumers.
The United States already sports an exceedingly rich people-friendly tax structure. But America's rich seem to have far more friendly tax models in mind. Like Singapore.
In today's anything-goes political fundraising world, the nation’s super rich and their favored politicos are no longer even going through the motions of maintaining 'separate and independent' campaigns.
The movers and shakers of scandal-ridden Wall Street are busy scapegoating a 'few rotten apples' — and hoping the rest of us don't notice they're still holding billions in ill-gotten gains. .
All those official government stats on the maldistribution of wealth in the United States — and the world — vastly understate the actual extent of our contemporary inequality, says a blockbuster new study on global tax havens.
America's revolutionary generation, new research documents, lived in a society much more equal than our own. And early Americans prized that equality, an inconvenient reality for conservatives today.
Robin Hood would not be happy if he happened upon our incredibly top-heavy modern world. But the new campaign to levy a tax on speculative trading would most likely have him breaking out in smiles.
The Federal Reserve has once again counted up America's personal wealth — and omitted the nation's 400 richest from the final tally. But the new figures, even with that omission, show a divide still deepening.
All those millions that America's billionaires are pouring into super PACs, where do they come from? We can trace a huge chunk of that political cash to the truly massive tax cuts our richest now enjoy. How massive? Over $25 billion a year -- for our most affluent 400 -- massive enough for you?
Wisconsin’s capitol continues to reverberate with the sound and fury of workers and students united — against the 'Mubarak of the Midwest' and the wealthy he so diligently shields from any inconvenience.
Sugary soft drinks, as Michael Bloomberg reminds us, do our nation no good. But if we really want to narrow our waistbands, we’re going to have to narrow the income gaps that divide us.
A perfectly respectable business panel is urging corporate boards to ditch the ridiculous rationalizations for CEO pay excess and narrow the gargantuan corporate pay gap. Step one: end CEO stock options.
Facebook's initial public offering last week 'offered' the world another double dose of windfalls and greed. But Egypt's elections this week may bring an IPO of a different sort, the 'initial public offering' of an antidote to avarice.
A string of surprising 'say on pay' votes has some executive pay critics sensing an impending revolution in corporate boardrooms. But that 'revolution' won't amount to much until mainstream CEO pay reformers start factoring worker pay into the corporate compensation equation.
From Manhattan to Monaco, the world's super rich are fashioning themselves into a new global tribe of footloose and stateless. The rest of us get to gawk — and foot the ultimate bill.
Bits and bytes would be doing a lot more to help make our lives less nasty, brutish, and short if we shared wealth as routinely as bandwidth. From San Francisco, a new lesson in that reality.
Over two years ago, the IRS announced an ambitious new effort to subject the super rich to unprecedentedly intensive audits. How's that effort working out? Most lawmakers would rather you not ask.
Even rich people sooner or later have to drive over bridges. So why aren't the wealthy screaming about America's inadequate — and increasingly unsafe — basic infrastructure?
President Obama has proposed a specific new minimum tax rate for millionaires. Should America's rich feel angry or relieved? We check the IRS tax data archives for an answer.
Can democracy, one top political scientist asked last week, 'function effectively in a society marked by vast economic inequality'? The fate of the modest new White House bid to tax our rich may tell the tale.