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environment | imperialism & war

"The Public Trust Doctrine" (PTD), Wealth Inequality, and Iraq

The Public Trust Doctrine is a fundamental precursor to modern environmental law and continues to be an integral principle of natural resource management. The doctrine has often been characterized as an attribute of sovereignty that carries constitutional power.

Why did the USA invade Iraq?
by Sabastian Plappert



Vol. 131
May 2016
Issue 2
Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman
This paper combines income tax returns with macroeconomic household
balance sheets to estimate the distribution of wealth in the United States
since 1913. We estimate wealth by capitalizing the incomes reported by indi-
vidual taxpayers, accounting for assets that do not generate taxable income. We
successfully test our capitalization method in three micro datasets where we
can observe both income and wealth: the Survey of Consumer Finance, linked
estate and income tax returns, and foundations' tax records. We find that
wealth concentration was high in the beginning of the twentieth century, fell
from 1929 to 1978, and has continuously increased since then. The top 0.1%
wealth share has risen from 7% in 1978 to 22% in 2012, a level almost as high
as in 1929. Top wealth-holders are younger today than in the 1960s and earn a
higher fraction of the economy's labor income. The bottom 90% wealth share
first increased up to the mid-1980s and then steadily declined. The increase in
wealth inequality in recent decades is due to the upsurge of top incomes com-
bined with an increase in saving rate inequality.

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The Plot Against the 99% 12.Nov.2017 17:56

Nouriel Roubini


After multiple failed attempts to "repeal and replace" the 2010 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), US President Donald Trump's administration now hopes to achieve its first legislative victory with a massive tax giveaway that it has wrapped in the language of "tax reform." To that end, Republicans in the US Congress have just unveiled a bill that, if enacted, could vastly widen the deficit and increase the public debt by as much as $4 trillion over the next decade.

Worse still, the Republican plan is designed to funnel most of the benefits to the rich. It would lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%, reduce the tax on capital gains (investment profits), eliminate the estate tax, and introduce other changes that benefit the wealthy.

Like the Republicans' health-care proposals, their tax plan offers little to struggling middle- and working-class households. Trump continues to govern as a pluto-populist - a plutocrat pretending to be a populist - who has not hesitated to betray the people he conned into voting for him.