Economy and Business
Returning from Haiti makes life in America look pretty sweet…briefly. Until you read the data. The poverty rate here is up to 12 percent, or 39 million people. Unemployment hovers around 10 percent (not even counting the underemployed or those who have given up), 14 percent lack health insurance, and 15 percent endure hunger.
My grandfather taught his three children that their earnings should be distributed in thirds: A third for charitable community organizations, a third for taxes, and a third for themselves. But today, many wealthy Americans pay far less than a third of their income in taxes, because tax rates have been slashed and the income from capital gains is taxed at much lower rates than income from wages.
Nobody wants government bailouts of financial institutions, but nobody wants to take responsibility for letting them fail.
The government’s treatment of UBS banking whistleblower Brad Birkenfeld, who is credited with shattering Swiss bank secrecy and revealing massive tax evasion by Americans, has alarmed government accountability advocates nationwide.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a dramatic press conference in October. The group promised to stop lobbying against pending climate legislation, and pledged to help make it even stronger. A few minutes later, the jig was up when an authentic Chamber representative barged in, sputtering, aghast.
For example, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were crashed to the ground on 9/11. But now, a new tower is rising from those very ashes—a soaring steel and glass monument to the American spirit, a powerful symbol of our national resilience. Well—except for the glass. A company named Beijing Glass got the government contract to provide the window panes that’ll cover the first 20 stories of the tower. Yes, the monument to our national spirit is being sheathed with made-in-China glass.
I don’t know why people, even smart people, keep saying that bankers and the rest of the Wall Street crowd don’t get it.
All of us will be hurting for years because Washington is refusing to make the banks eat the debt bubble they created. Instead, the bailed-out banks are walking away with record profits and fat bonuses.