Why I [Tax] March

Why I [Tax] March

By Samantha Waxman

Many of the ways that I’ve been thinking and feeling about taxes, wealth, and the recent election crystallized during the recent healthcare debate—the fiasco in which Paul Ryan and Trump tried to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

Ryan’s efforts to destroy the nation’s healthcare system have been panned across the political spectrum, for a host of reasons. But as many, many media sources have pointed out, Ryan’s plan was a not-at-all-veiled tax giveaway to the rich. Specifically, a $600 billion one. The biggest tax cut is for investment income for families that make more than $250,000 per year—and the richest 1% would see the most benefit.

I continue to be horrified that Ryan and Trump would even consider letting rich people pay less in taxes in order to snatch health coverage away from 24 million Americans. It’s fundamentally unfair, undemocratic, and viciously cruel. I’m not sure what kind of values those are, but they aren’t mine. And they aren’t the values of many people like me—people from upper-class backgrounds who are in theory supposed to support these tax changes.

When elected leaders try to change laws in a way … Continue reading »

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Why Resource Generation Members are Joining the Tax March

Why Resource Generation Members are Joining the Tax March

“As a young person with inherited wealth, I am proud to march on National Tax Day because wealthy people like myself benefit unjustly from our inequitable tax system, which is based on the exploitation of the working class. I just turned in my taxes and despite having both inherited wealth and a middle-class income, I only fall in the 25% tax bracket! I believe we should tax wealth like income. I believe that the wealthy need to pay our fair share of taxes and fight against any further tax cuts to the wealthy. Additionally, Trump has promised corporate tax cuts ‘from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, small and big businesses’ which would benefit both major corporations and people who have money invested in the stock market. As young people with wealth who care about economic justice, we need to speak out against the policies that benefit us materially but harm us on a level of our values and care for the collective. We can expect to get richer during this administration, and I encourage all of us to reflect on how to redistribute that money we will unjustly earn.”
IRIS BRILLIANT, Resource Generation staff, National Organizer … Continue reading »

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The Personal is Political: Follow Up Conversations with My Parents

The Personal is Political: Follow Up Conversations with My Parents

By Iimay Ho, Executive Director of Resource Generation

Since I published my last blog post sharing my family’s immigration story told with a class lens, I’ve had a lot of people ask me how my parents reacted. Through my time with Resource Generation I’ve spoken with my parents many times about class and their net financial wealth, mostly through the angle of giving and how class privilege and wealth has personally affected my life. Sometimes we talk about their class journeys and how closely it is tied to their immigrant experience. But I had never publicly shared their immigration story in this way before. I felt the urgency to do so because I saw how much the rhetoric around immigration was classed (through coded language about which immigrants “contributed” or were “drains” on our economy) but there was little to no public discussion squarely centering class. I saw how stories like my family’s could be used as a class wedge against the undocumented poor and working class immigrants bearing the brunt of Trump’s anti-immigration policies, and knew that if I didn’t want our story told (and exploited) by others then I had to tell it myself.

So I took a … Continue reading »

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Healthcare Not Wealthcare – Taking Action for Tax Justice

Healthcare Not Wealthcare - Taking Action for Tax Justice

 

We recently got a glimpse into Trump’s 2005 tax returns. The returns don’t tell us a lot about Trump’s current financial situation, but they do foreshadow how the Republicans are planning to continue gutting social programs and advance unprecedented tax cuts for the wealthy which are already well underway as proposed in the replacement bill for Obamacare (the American Health Care Act).

This is a crucial time for young people with access to wealth to take action. Read on to learn about what is at stake and how to join Tax Day actions.

Trump’s 2005 tax returns show that he paid $38 million in taxes out of $150 million in income. He paid that amount because of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which he and Republicans have insisted on eliminating. According to the Guardian, “The alternative minimum tax was created in 1969 (and amended in 1979) to address the fact that some of the uber-wealthy could use so many deductions and loopholes that they ended up paying zero federal income tax. People with high incomes have to calculate their taxes twice — once with all their deductions and once without many of them. The taxpayer must then pay … Continue reading »

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Debate Team & Student Debt

Debate Team & Student Debt

By Maria Myotte, Communications Director

I was born in Colorado into a white, working-class family, and for most of my life, was raised by my Dad and helped to raise my two younger siblings. My family had housing stability, consistent food, and safety, but we went through a few stretches of turning to free lunches and food stamps. I hated leaving the assigned seats of desks in classrooms to navigate social hierarchy of the lunchroom. And I resented my Dad for not caring enough about me to avoid sending me to the free lunch line and the bottom of the social heap. Now it’s literally amazing to me that a tiny human with just a few years on Earth could so effortlessly deploy the logic of internalized classism against her family. 

Hanging with my grandparents and siblings, sporting overalls, nervously deploying the logic of internalized classism against my family

I’m only beginning to realize how deeply that internalized classism — my own and my Dad’s — runs throughout our relationship. I’m realizing now that it’s absolutely part of the reason I left Colorado to escape to New York.

I’ve been in New York City for the last four years, where … Continue reading »

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One Wealthy Family’s Immigration Story Told Three Ways

One Wealthy Family’s Immigration Story Told Three Ways

By Iimay Ho, Executive Director

This is the first in a monthly series of messages from Iimay Ho, Executive Director of Resource Generation. As the first young person of color with wealth to become ED of RG, she will be sharing reflections on living at the intersection of a strange Venn diagram and fighting racism and classism in the Trump era.

When the Muslim ban was implemented, I was with my family during the Lunar New Year holiday practicing ritual, honoring ancestors, and eating dozens of dumplings. I watched in confusion and horror as the news broke in my family’s living room via Chinese satellite TV, struggling to pick up what was happening.

Three generations of my family gather for Lunar New Year dinner.

As the hours went by and we heard of reports of people being detained at the border, my mom started railing about it with her sisters and brothers. Like many immigrant families, we still have relatives abroad and make frequent trips to see them. She felt, on a visceral level, the injustice and inhumanity of being denied entry to your home after leaving to maintain family ties. I was proud of her for setting the tone, … Continue reading »

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Five Classist Pitfalls to #Resist in Your Activism

Five Classist Pitfalls to #Resist in Your Activism

In a moment of potentially revolutionary activism and mobilization, don’t let classism undermine your efforts.

The past few weeks have been both terrifying and inspiring. In the midst of ascending totalitarianism and the drastic, likely unconstitutional roll-backs of basic rights, we are also seeing a swift mobilization from both new and established activists. Organizations and individuals are stepping up to defend, protect and support one another, with a massive potential to become a transformative force for justice.

There may be a temptation in these moments to prioritize getting things done over doing them well. But overlooking the details that determine whether our movements, organizations and actions will be broadly inclusive can limit our effectiveness and undermine the revolutionary potential of our work.

Revolution Without Classism

We already know many of the ways that classism can show up in activist work. Here are just a few examples of pitfalls to avoid, to make sure the revolution can truly be for everyone, across class, race, gender, disability and other differences.

Reinventing the Wheel
Many people who were raised professional middle class or owning class (especially men) have been socialized to think of themselves as leaders. For these folks, it can be hard… Continue reading »
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Standing With Our Muslim, Refugee, and Immigrant Neighbors, Friends, and Family

Standing With Our Muslim, Refugee, and Immigrant Neighbors, Friends, and FamilyContinue reading »
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101 Online Training: Class Privilege and Activism

Resource Generation organizes young people with wealth and class privilege in the U.S. to become transformative leaders working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power. Those of us with class privilege and wealth have many roles to play towards creating a more just world. It’s important that we understand our privilege and power so we can effectively collaborate across lines of class and with movements led by communities most impacted by injustice.

This 101 training is geared toward people with class privilege of all ages and will be most relevant for those in the top 25% of the US economy.*

Part 1 (with video)
Part 2 (with video)

Part 1 (audio only)
Part 2 (audio only)

The training covers two main topics:
1) How to leverage our privilege to support progressive change, and
2) Building our awareness of how class privilege shows up in activism and how to be effective collaborators with people who are poor, working class, and middle class.

*Who is the training for?

The webinar will prepare you to take action for change. It is open to people of all ages, and will be geared toward both people of color with class privilege and white … Continue reading »

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Give Big, Give Now, Keep Giving for Social Justice

Give Big, Give Now, Keep Giving for Social Justice


By Jessie Spector, outgoing Executive Director of Resource Generation


Will you join me and thousands of others to give big and bold to social justice now and for the next 4 years?

All around the country and the world, people are feeling a sense of fear and scarcity. Upper class and wealthy people will probably be buffered from the worst of the impact of a new administration, though to different degrees depending on race, immigration status, religious affiliation (or perceived affiliation), gender expression, and sexuality.

So this is our time to ask, how can we stretch and take risks, especially with giving?

Resource Generation is proud to release this “giving guide” in response to the growing movement of wealthy people who want to support social justice organizing. For almost 20 years, Resource Generation (RG) has been organizing young wealthy people to leverage financial resources and access to power for social change.

Trump’s billionaire cabinet-elect has interests and policies that will continue the consolidation of wealth and power in the hands of a few. In contrast, Resource Generation shows there is an alternative movement of wealthy people: those who believe in equity and equality, who see the “American Dream” not … Continue reading »

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