One Day of Warren Buffett Wealth Gains Could Cover Rail Workers’ Paid Sick Leave

Billionaire Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the world and the CEO of BNSF Railway’s parent company, saw his wealth jump by nearly $1.4 billion in a single day earlier this week, a sum that could easily fund 15 days of paid sick leave for every rail worker in the United States. BNSF is one of the major railroad giants refusing to budge in contract negotiations with rail unions as they fight for 15 days of paid sick leave. Under a White House-brokered contract that major rail unions have recently voted to reject, rail workers would not receive…

Capitalism Has Ended the Issue of Scarcity But Worsened the Crisis of Inequality

Capitalism has been around for such a long time that it is hard for people even to imagine a world without it. Yet, it is far from an immutable physical law. In fact, capitalism is now “materially outmoded and ideologically defunct,” argues British author Steve Paxton in his forthcoming book, How Capitalism Ends (Zero Books, 2022). “The capitalist era has provided the material abundance required for a free human society, but capitalism cannot deliver the freedom its productive capacity makes possible.” In the interview that follows, Paxton shares his thoughts on the contours, contradictions and twilight of capitalism with Truthout.…

Sanders: Democrats Must Curb Billionaires’ Grip on Elections to Save Democracy

As the midterm elections wrap up with a better-than-expected showing for Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is saying that the Democratic Party must make curbing the influence of deep-pocketed political donors one of its top priorities in order to save democracy from the far right. The right is posing a credible and concerning threat to democracy in the U.S. — and their attacks on democracy are aided by the fact that billionaires and corporations are exercising ever increasing influence over elections, as enabled by 2010’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Sanders said in a new interview with Rolling Stone.…

The Largest Political Donation in US History Took Place in the 2022 Midterms

Despite GOP-orchestrated voter suppression and the disenfranchisement of many voters, tens of millions of people exercised their right to vote on November 8, and the 2022 midterms did not usher in the more widespread and acute breakdown of the democratic process that many had feared could occur. There were no reports of major violence at the polls, for example, and majorities of voters in most states repudiated the election deniers who sought control over state election apparatuses solely to ensure that they could produce GOP electoral college victories even if the electorate had rejected such outcomes at the polls. Yet…

465 Billionaires Have Pumped an Eye-Popping $881 Million Into the Midterms

A small group of billionaires who come from the top 0.000002 percent of wealthiest people in the U.S. have spent nearly $900 million in the federal midterm runoffs this election cycle, a new report finds, and could reach $1 billion in political spending by the time the cycle is over. According to a report released Thursday by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), just 465 American billionaires had donated an unprecedented $881 million by the end of September — even before last-minute campaign pushes in the last five weeks before Election Day. This is already more than the amount that billionaires…

A Wealth Tax on the 0.25 Percent Could Fund Biden’s Entire Student Debt Plan

If a modest 2 percent wealth tax on a fraction of the richest households in the U.S. was in place this year, it would have raised enough funds to pay for the next three decades of President Joe Biden’s student debt cancellation plan, new data shows. A report released by the Institute on Taxation and Policy (ITEP) on Thursday finds that a nationwide 2 percent wealth tax on households worth over $30 million, or the top 0.25 percent of households, would have raised nearly $415 billion this year alone. This could pay for a wide swath of important federal programs,…

Trump Erased Millions of Possible PPP Fraud Flags in Last Days in Office

An explosive new investigation of data from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) finds that, in Donald Trump’s final days in office, his administration rushed to eliminate oversight for loans which were flagged for potential fraud or further investigation — and wiped flags from nearly every one of the largest PPP loans. As the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) revealed in a report published Wednesday, over the course of several weeks before President Joe Biden was inaugurated, the Trump administration went on a spree of eliminating flags on PPP loans, the majority of which went directly to personally enriching the richest…

Iran: “Protester killings must be urgently investigated by international accountability mechanism” says Amnesty chief

Amnesty International’s ongoing investigations into the crackdown on popular protests in Iran have revealed widespread patterns of unlawful use of force and ruthless violence by security forces. These include use of live ammunitions, birdshot and other metal pellets, heavy beatings of protesters and gender-based violence, including sexual violence against women. Responding to the increasingly brutal […] The post Iran: “Protester killings must be urgently investigated by international accountability mechanism” says Amnesty chief appeared first on Amnesty International.

Leak Reveals Billionaire Donor Advising GOP to Spread Lies on Dem Tax Policies

Leaked audio obtained this week by Politico revealed that billionaire casino magnate and GOP megadonor Steve Wynn recently offered Republicans a bit of messaging advice as they attempt to win back control of the Senate: Amplify the lies about Democratic tax policies. During a Wednesday conference call hosted by the Republican National Committee, which is seeking to wrangle big-money donors amid internal concerns that the party’s Senate chances are dimming, Wynn recommended “hard-hitting” ads with scripts warning ominously: “They’re coming after you if you’re a waiter, if you’re a bartender, if you’re anybody with a cash business… they’re coming after…

Sanders: “It Is Absolutely Imperative” for Progressives to Not Back Down

In the wake of a tumultuous few months that have seen the revocation of federal abortion rights and the passage of a major climate and fossil fuel bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is encouraging progressives to keep fighting, despite the enormous and seemingly insurmountable challenges facing the country. In an interview with Teen Vogue published on Thursday, Sanders told young progressives that political transformation and social justice only come after long periods of struggle in which ordinary people put in the work to fight for revolutionary change. The country is creeping toward corporate oligarchy, he said, citing major corruption in…

Nearly Half of GOP Congressional PACs’ 2022 Funding Comes From 27 Billionaires

Over a decade after Citizens United and as the rich grow ever richer, billionaires are rapidly taking over Capitol Hill with political donations — and, as a new report shows, the Republican Party is a major beneficiary of this supposed generosity. This election cycle, nearly half of the funding (47 percent) raised by the two major Republican congressional super PACs came from just 27 billionaires, a new report from Americans for Tax Fairness revealed on Wednesday. That’s $89.4 million, straight from the pockets of over two dozen of America’s richest people. The vast majority of those billionaires — 86 percent…

A TikTok Investor Has Avoided $1 Billion in Taxes. Now He’s a GOP Megadonor.

This story was originally published by ProPublica. One day in July 1985, three young men from Philadelphia, their lawyer and a burly Pinkerton guard arrived at a horse track outside Chicago carrying a briefcase with $250,000 in cash. Running the numbers on a Compaq computer the size of a small refrigerator, Jeffrey Yass and his friends had found a way to outwit the track’s bookies, according to interviews, records and news accounts. A few months earlier, they’d wagered $160,000, gambling that, with tens of thousands of bets, they could nail the exact order of seven horses in three different races.…

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