When Donald Trump uses bankruptcy to protect his fortune from creditors — but you can’t use bankruptcy to protect your home from foreclosure or your student debt from garnished paychecks — it’s because the bankruptcy system has been rigged by people like Trump.
When Trump’s presidential campaign declares his buildings worth lots of money — seeking to demonstrate his business success — but his property tax filings describe the same properties as almost worthless, it’s because the tax system has been rigged by people like Donald Trump.
As David Cay Johnston reveals in the article below, throughout his career Trump has put high values on his properties when talking to bankers, investors and the public, and low values on them when dealing with tax authorities.
Most recently, when Trump wanted to reduce property taxes on the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, he turned to well-connected local Democrat Edward M. Burke on the Chicago City Council, who lowered Trump’s property taxes by almost 40 percent by reducing the building’s assessed value. (Trump also spread around nearly $100,000 in campaign contributions to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Democrats and other local pols.) Average Chicagoans now have to pay higher taxes or have fewer government services to make up the difference.
Bottom line: Trump makes money by using his fortune to rig the system in his favor. He’s just another oligarch masquerading as a populist. But of course you knew this, right? Please make sure everyone you know does, too.
If you’re 18 to 34, are you still living with your parents? If you’re the parent of an 18 to 34-year-old, is your kid still living at home? In either case, you’re hardly alone.
In fact, a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data shows that for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to be living in their parents’ home than to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household. In 1960, 62 percent of the America’s 18- to 34-year-olds were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, and one-in-five were living with their parents. Nowadays, only 31.6 percent of young adults are living with a spouse or partner in their own household, and 32. 1 percent are living in the home of their parent(s).
Chalk it up to low wages and fewer jobs. Employment among young men has fallen significantly in recent decades. The share of young men with jobs peaked around 1960 at 84%. In 2014, only 71% of 18- to 34-year-old men were employed. And young men’s wages (after adjusting for inflation) have been on a downward trajectory since 1970 and fell significantly from 2000 to 2010. Although young women have had increasing success in the paid labor market since 1960, the trend toward delayed marriage— itself related to fewer and worse jobs for men — explains why more young women are living with their parents.
Those of you who have seen our movie "Inequality for All" will recognize the shape of the graphs, below. They track what’s happened to inequality over the last 80 years — with America becoming more equal in the 1950s and 1960s, and then plunging toward ever-widening inequality over the last 3 decades.
Fewer jobs and lower wages for young men spells trouble – not only for them, but for our social fabric. It fosters anger and frustration, and fuels the appeal of demagogues like Trump.
This article is a little bit dated, but it’s good. "As Oil Can Eddie pointed out, a class consciousness discourages office workers from unionizing… The fact that many of today’s college graduates have the same standard of living as the lowest-skilled workers of the 1960s proves that attitude is wrong, wrong, wrong. If we want to restore what we’ve traditionally thought of as the middle class, we have to stop thinking of ourselves as middle class, no matter how much we earn, or what we do to earn it. “Working class” should be defined by your relationship to your employer, not whether you perform physical labor. Unless you own the business, you’re working class."