Prince John goes rogue, joins Robin Hood in wealth redistribution scheme

Kate Poole ComicWritten By RG Philly Chapter Leaders Kate Poole, Sarah Burgess & Julia Stone

In this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, Robin Hood talks with Prince John about his recent transformation and decision to join a movement to redistribute wealth on a massive scale.

Robin Hood:  Let’s get right to the point here, Prince John.  Tell us, what’s behind your recent political shift?

Prince John:  Well, Robin, after years of hoarding and thinking that I alone was responsible for earning my wealth and ruling the kingdom, my brother Richard came back from the Crusades and shared with me that he had joined an organization of wealthy kings with social justice values.  At first I tried to have him beheaded at the suggestion of Sir Hissss, but after deep reflection I realized that I want to be part of a socially just world, and find love and joy in community.

RH:  That makes sense.  And what are you planning to do now?  Are you passing out gems at the gate?

PR:  Actually, Robin, I’ve learned that organizing is the most powerful tool for transforming our society.  My fellow kings visited last month and we had a visioning retreat where we concluded that equitable taxation was the best tool for us to redistribute our wealth on a kingdom-wide scale. (more…)

New York Tax Team Taking Action on the Millionaire’s Tax

We are all at Resource Generation’s Making Money Make Change conference! Wish you were here. For those of you who had to miss it,  here’s a throw back Thursday post for you by our summer intern Maddie Reichman.

Grr

Beginning in February of this year, RG NY began dedicating its tax team to the fight for universal pre-kindergarten education for New York City. Our angle: taxing the 1% to provide a consistent, dependable revenue stream for the program.

“UPK,” as the city-wide campaign was called, meant different things to different organizations. To education organizations, the campaign was a call for expanded and universal access to a crucial educational stepping stone that currently is convoluted and unfair in its procedures and access.

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RG DC Publishes Op-Ed on Taxes and Wealth Inequality

 A great piece by our summer intern Maddie Reichman for throw back Thursday on an Op Ed by leaders in the DC Chapter. 

17e77f5This spring the DC chapter of Resource Generation worked with other community groups for fair tax policy. There was a proposal for a tax package that included large tax cuts for wealthy people, including the elimination of the tax bracket for the highest earners and an increase in the threshold for the Estate Tax. In the end we won some, the higher tax rate on high wage earners remained in the budget, and we lost some, the increase in the estate tax threshold was also included. This editorial by DC chapter leader Sam Waxman was written in response to the Estate Tax changes.

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RG Philly Chapter Making the News!

On May 17, members of Philadelphia’s RG Chapter turned out to the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education rally to demand more funding for public schools, charter school accountability, shutting down the school to prison pipeline and returning schools to local control. Heather, a member of of this chapter who was at the rally, says that the chapter is starting to work on the fight for fair funding for public schools.

“We were slightly worried before we showed up–is this the right place for us, our message,” Heather says. “The other folks there were mostly union members, and a handful of student and parent groups. But we went for it, and we were surprised by how well we were received. One of the first people who saw us came up and took our picture, and heartfeltly said, ‘That’s the best sentiment I’ve seen in years.’”

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Let’s Welcome Back the 1%

Based out of Cambridge, MA, Abe Lateiner is an class-activist focused on transformational philanthropy. Through choosing his parents wisely, Abe was born into a life of privilege and opportunity. Now, he fights for a society in which people with and without money are valued equally as change agents. Through his blog, “Risk Something,” Abe seeks to inspire other financially-wealthy people to open themselves to internal change at the same scale as the change they wish to see in the outside world.  This article was also reposted on Huffington Post.

In her talk with Thomas Piketty, Senator Elizabeth Warren offered a forceful argument for a progressive American tax system as a way to reduce inequality. As a young person with inherited financial wealth myself, I agree with Senator Warren’s proposal. 

But the quest for greater economic equality in America must be two-pronged. Politicians and policy-makers must lead the legal charge to make our rules fairer. Meanwhile, the rest of us are charged with changing hearts and minds–our own and those around us. 

If our legislature could somehow succeed in installing a progressive tax system (that’s quite an if!), would this be a short- or long-term victory? If we soak the “1%” but do nothing to win them over to the cause of making our country more equitable, can that victory really last? I don’t think so…and I wonder what a further-alienated 1% would do with the massive power they would still wield in an America with progressive taxes.

Skewed: Income Inequality in America

We received this informative infographic from our friend Jaelynn Ficarra at the Finance Degree Center. They have put together a great graphic highlighting Americans’ perceptions of inequality versus the startling reality of the Unites States’s wealth disparities. With inequality issues like this we need tax justice now!

Check out the graphic after the break.

The Finance Degree Center is dedicated to educating the public about finance and issues surrounding the financial industry in America.

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Letters for Tax Justice

 

On February 20th, Resource Generation members around the country participated in a national day of action to stop “fiscal cliff” cuts to social programs and call for higher taxes on the rich. (You can find information about the impacts … Continue reading »

Historic Tax Justice Debate LIVE!!!!

Oh how I wish that were true! But as so often is the case, the road to historically good options is paved with savvy choices about the exceedingly moderate, ultimately unacceptable options before us today.

This is the situation with the debate over the Bush Tax Cuts happening right now. President Obama is putting forward a plan (an exceedingly moderate, ultimately unacceptable as a vision of wealth distribution) to extend the Bush Tax Cuts to everyone making less than $250,000/year, and to let them expire for everyone making $250,001 and up.

Basically, taxes stay the same for the top 98%, and for the top 2% they go back up to what they were under Clinton (which is still lower than they were under Bush I, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower…).  This is about the least we should expect, not any sort of dream we should be fighting for. (more…)

The Tax Deal and What It Means for Wealth Inequality—and Us

By Alison Goldberg. Despite a mighty mobilization by progressive groups, this past week, President Obama struck a deal that would extend high-income tax cuts and gut the estate tax.

These policies will widen the already gaping wealth divide.

As young people with wealth and privilege, what role can we play to challenge policies that create further inequality, policies that also increase our own wealth and privilege?

Resource Generation and Wealth for the Common Good are getting ready to launch a joint tax campaign in early 2011 that will grapple with these very questions.

In this context, I thought it would be useful to repost this article by Chuck Collins about the tax deal and the work ahead:

Obama Tax Deal Further Concentrates Wealth and Power: Stop the Death Spiral to Plutocracy

by Chuck Collins, Originally posted at Common Dreams, December 9, 2010

In 2010, an essential moral test of a public policy choice is: Does it further concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a few?

Or does it disperse concentrated wealth and power and strengthen possibilities for a democratic society with greater equality, improved health and well-being, shared prosperity and ecological sustainability?

Does it move us toward Plutocracy or Peace and Plenty?

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Sharing Our Stories for the Common Good

Libbey Goldberg (no relation) wrote the piece below as an op-ed for Wealth for the Common Good, to help influence current public debates about taxes. I think it’s a great example of how we can use our stories about wealth and privilege as a part of larger campaigns.

May we all thrive
by Libbey Goldberg

If all of us are to thrive in the United States, we need accountability and support from our public systems of education, health, and transportation —the very systems that we invest our hard-earned tax dollars in.

Unfortunately, the 2001 Bush-era tax cuts gave $700 billion in breaks over eight years to those with annual incomes more than $250,000. The government borrowed money to make these tax cuts possible.

These cuts are due to expire at the end of 2010, but Congress is considering a proposal that would extend them. I come from a family that will pay more if the cuts expire, and I’m urging our lawmakers and President Obama to allow let this happen. We can’t allow these irresponsible tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans continue.

If restored, these taxes could bring in an estimated $45 billion in annual revenue. That is money that could be far better spent on investments in our schools, infrastructure, research institutions and social services.

The story that I was told about how my family accumulated its wealth is a common one: “My grandfather grew up poor, the son of produce peddlers, Jewish refugees from Poland. He made his own fortune through sheer will, hard-work, shrewd business sense and intelligence.” (more…)