Most Americans want a 70% tax rate on earnings over $10,000,000

During a 60 Minutes interview Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez casually mentioned that she thought that America's super-rich should pay a marginal tax-rate of 70% on annual earnings over $10,000,000 (which is a better deal than they got under Reagan); since then, the proposal has roiled the political classes and billionaire-backed news outlets, who coincidentally oppose taxing billionaires. Read the rest

In LA, the teachers of America's largest school district are on strike

LA teachers are on strike today, fighting against privatization, standardized tests, giant classes, and clawbacks of in-class teachers' aides. Read the rest

Someone's finally going to jail over the Panama Papers: a Turkish journalist who reported true facts from them

A Turkish court has sentenced journalist Pelin Ünker to 13 months' imprisonment for her participation in reporting the Panama Papers, a massive leak of documents from the tax-evasion enablers Mossack-Fonseca. Read the rest

American towns survive by fining poor people, and use debtors' prisons to make them pay

The Ferguson uprising was triggered by the police assassination of Michael Brown, but even before that killing, the city was a powder-keg, thanks to the practice of financing the city government by levying fines on the poor and putting those who couldn't pay in debtors' prison to encourage the rest to cough up. Read the rest

Trump gave AT&T a $20B tax break and killed Net Neutrality, now they're prepping mass layoffs

The same year that Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai killed broadband privacy and cheated Network Neutrality to death, the Trump tax plan delivered a $20B windfall to AT&T -- both Trump and Pai claimed that the measures would stimulate the economy and trickle down to the rest of us. Read the rest

LA's teachers are ready to strike on Tuesday, rejecting privatization of public education

Last year saw a wave of teachers' strikes across America, but mostly in red states where public education has been starved of funds, putting teachers on starvation wages, subjecting kids to dangerous conditions, and stripping schools of resources and even putting schools on four-day weeks. Read the rest

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a plan to pay for the Green New Deal: a 70% tax on the super-rich

How can America possibly fund a radical transformation into a carbon-free economy, centered on preparing for the coming centuries of climate crises? ACO knows: a 70% tax on people with more than $10,000,000/year in earnings: “I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country...If that’s what radical means, call me a radical." (via Mitch Wagner) Read the rest

Guillotine Watch: weighing the pros and cons of keeping your art collection on your super-yacht

Writing in The Art Newspaper, Andrea Marechal Watson enumerates the up- and down-sides of keeping your millions in art treasures aboard your super-yacht: on the one hand, the full-time crew of up to 50 will certainly ensure that the art is well looked-after and kept in climate controlled stasis; but then there's the problem that international looters like Jho Low have had their collections seized after their complicity in multi-billion-dollar frauds were discovered. Super-yachts with many millions in art aboard might be excellent "floating signifiers of their owners’ wealth," but on balance you might be better off warehousing your "assets" in anonymous shipping containers in the Freeport of Basel. (Images: Ed g2s, MrPanyGoff, CC-BY-SA) (via JWZ) Read the rest

How a millionaire slumlord got sweetheart government deals to maintain armed forces housing and then left them to rot

John Picerne is a hereditary one-percenter whose contribution to his family legacy of "real estate development" was to spend millions on lobbying, which landed him millions more in government loans earmarked for taking over the maintenance of 26,000 units of on-base military housing in 13 locations, with the repayment of the loans coming straight out of enlisted personnel's paychecks. Read the rest

No peace in Hungary as thousands fill the streets, risking police violence, to protest slave labor law

Last week, Viktor Orban's authoritarian government rammed through a pair of massively unpopular laws: the "slave labor" law (employers can require up to 400 hours/year of overtime, and take up to three years to pay for it); and a law creating a parallel system of "administrative courts" dealing with "government issues" like voter fraud, overseen by political appointees from within Orban's regime. Read the rest

Yellow Vests stand for and against many contradictory things, but are united in opposition to oligarchy

From a distance, it's hard to understand the nuance of the mass "gilets jaunes" protests that rocked France; with one in five French people identifying as a yellow vest and more vests marching in Basra, Baghdad and Alberta (and with Egypt's autocrats pre-emptive cracking down on the sale of yellow vests ahead of elections), it's clearly a complicated and fast-spreading phenomenon. Read the rest

Mass protests and parliamentary chaos in Hungary over "slave labour" law

Hungary's far-right, xenophobic government rose to power by exploiting racism and economic anxiety, just like Trump -- and just like Trump, they've pursued an agenda that uses performative racist cruelty to distract people while they enact policies that make the rich much richer, at everyone else's expense. Read the rest

Ajit Pai killed Net Neutrality and Trump gave away a huge tax break; Verizon got billions and killed 10,000 jobs

When Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai killed Net Neutrality (by illegally ignoring legitimate comments in support of it in favor of millions of anti-Net Neutrality comments sent by identity-stealing bots), he promised that it would spur growth in the telcoms sector -- and of course, he should know, because he used to be a Verizon exec. Verizon agreed: they objected to Obama-era Neutrality orders by saying the measures would "severely curtail job growth." Read the rest

Uber forces its drivers to arbitrate, rather than sue, but Uber also won't arbitrate

Binding arbitration agreements were formalized in 1925, allowing two corporate entities of roughly equal size to resolve their disputes outside of a court, saving both parties a lot of money, but since then, the primary use of arbitration is to force employees, customers, patients and other comparatively weak parties to surrender their right to sue (or join class actions) as a condition of going to work, seeking care, or simply shopping. Read the rest

Jamie Dimon is getting fed up with the protesters who "occupy" him everywhere he goes

Jamie Dimon is CEO of Jpmorgan Chase, the massive bank that settled a $13 billion mortgage fraud case with the DoJ in 2013 by committing more mortgage frauds to raise the cash; he has since taken the bank into some of the dirtiest business on Earth, from the loans that keep the Keystone XL pipeline viable to funding the private border prisons where Trump's Kids in Cages are being held, terrified and separated from their families. Read the rest

Wells Fargo blames "computer glitch" for its improper foreclosure on 545 homes

According to Wells Fargo, a "computer glitch" caused the improper denial of 870 loan modification requests, which led to 545 foreclosures in which Wells Fargo customers lost their homes; the bank is now offering those former homeowners -- some of whom saw the breakup of their marriages as the result of the stress of foreclosure -- insultingly small sums, like $25,000. Read the rest

Thousands of Wisconsinites turn out to protest outgoing Republicans' plan to seize power after electoral defeat

8 years after Scott Walker and his Koch-backed GOP used voter suppression and gerrymandering to steal control over Wisconsin, Wisconsites finally pried his crooked ass out of the governor's chair, but Walker and Co want to blow up the state on their way out. Read the rest

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