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One Chart Shows How the Tax Burden has Shifted from Corporations to the Working Class

By on Oct 25, 2016 in Capitalism, Class, Economics, Politics |

  Just wanted to drop in here and share this astounding chart from yesterday’s “Hour One” of The Young Turks show. They shared this while building an argument against the Washington establishment consensus that budget proposals should be revenue neutral. As reported in Huffington Post, But from the perspective of the [Elizabeth] Warren wing of the party, corporations pay far too little as it is, so making any plan revenue neutral is a loser. Before companies managed to start gaming the system, Warren noted, three out of every ten dollars of federal revenue came from corporate taxes, today it’s only one in ten. Then he dropped this chart that shows how the tax burden in this country has shifted from corporations to the working class. Social insurance and retirement includes the Payroll tax, and it has tripled since 1952. Meanwhile corporate taxes are a third...

One Hundred Year Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

By on Mar 25, 2011 in Capitalism, Class, Feminism, Politics | 7 comments

When we think of desperate people holding hands on a flaming building and leaping to their death, Americans are not generally thinking of the history of labor unions. But on March 24th, 1911, one couple held hands and lept to their deaths, to be followed by some 140 others, in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire. Bystanders watched helplessly: Down below on the street, people started to notice the smoke billowing from the 8th floor. One of the bystanders observed a bolt of cloth come flying out the window and hit the pavement. Instinctively, he remarked that Harris was trying to save his best material. As the people on the street moved closer, out flew another bolt. It was then that the realization hit them that it wasn’t bolts of cloth at all but bodies plummeting to the pavement below. The thousands who watched as the workers jumped flaming to their deaths were instrumental in...

Some Predictions About Books By Way of Some Predictions About Music

By on Jul 10, 2010 in Books, Writing, Publishing, Capitalism, Economics, Gotta Hear This Music, Publishing:, Tech, Writers |

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the “future of publishing.” After all, books have never had as much cash to spare as the recording industry, and look at the mess they’re in. Already it is not so difficult for a self-published manuscript to sell itself on Amazon.com. What will happen when everything goes digital? The suggestion is that there will be an opening of the gates, and the latest best-seller will stand on the same virtual shelf with thirty self-published manuscripts. The optimists claim that this is where the great unpublished books will be discovered and pessimists point to the unleashed masses of poorly thought-out, half-written tomes filled with spelling errors. But it doesn’t matter if fantastic self-published books are available if they’re drowned out by countless other books vying for the consumer’s attention. I’m...

We Burn Books

By on Jan 11, 2010 in Books, Writing, Publishing, Capitalism, Culture, Economics, Publishing:, Writers | 2 comments

Burning the library in slow motion: how copyright extension has banished millions of books to the scrapheap of history Boing Boing. I came across this nice article by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing wherein he makes some interesting points on how current copyright laws have censored the majority of books. the legal changes introduced in the years after Fahrenheit 451 did more than just extend terms. Congress eliminated the benign practice of the renewal requirement (which had guaranteed that 85% of works and 93% of books entered the public domain after 28 years because the authors and publishers simply didn’t want or need a second copyright term.) And copyright, which had been an opt-in system (you had to comply with some very minor formalities to get a copyright) became an opt out system (you got a copyright automatically when you “fixed” the work in material form,...

Save the Planet: Buy Stuff!

By on Oct 23, 2009 in Capitalism, Climate Change, Environment, Politics | 4 comments

Funny how capitalism ruins things, even when they set out to do something swell. The Treasure Island Music Festival is a fine example. Not that the fest was ruined as a whole, but their efforts at environmentalism left the stale taste of unfiltered Oakland water in my mouth. They made big efforts to make the show green. Instead of trash bins, you had landfill, recycling and compost bins, with tips on what goes where. Kudos for that. But in other respects their need to be profitable got in the way of their stewardship to mama earth. Firstly, I was irritated by their transit plan. There was no parking on Treasure Island. Instead one was supposed to take a free shuttle from the ATT Center. The problem with that is that the ATT Center is not on BART. Anyone (such as myself) who doesn’t live in San Francisco is expected to take a one hour BART ride to the city, catch a short cab ride to the...