Friday, October 30, 2020

The Wealthy Have Made Billions Since The Pandemic Began-- Should There Be A Special Pandemic Profit Tax... Maybe 99%?



Nationally the problem is Trump; in Florida he has 3 main henchmen

Secure in the knowledge that some folks are stupid enough to believe his gaslighting, Trump has been congratulating himself on having defeated the pandemic, even as the coronavirus spikes out of control across the country. On Wednesday there were another 81,581 new cases reported, bringing the U.S. total to the 10 million it is expected to reach right around election day. The 17 states with the worst number of cases per million residents are all states that voted Trump in 2016 and all states where state government has been unreceptive to advice on social distancing and mask mandates from public health officials. (The states I've bolded have learned nothing since then and will deliver their electoral voted to Trump again. Voters in the non-bolded states are considering making up for the tragic mistake they made in 2016:
North Dakota- 53,972 cases per million residents
South Dakota- 48,606 cases per million residents
Mississippi- 39,846 cases per million residents
Louisiana- 39,115 cases per million residents
Iowa- 38,768 cases per million residents
Alabama- 38,577 cases per million residents
Tennessee- 37,615 cases per million residents
Florida- 36,998 cases per million residents
Wisconsin- 36,925 cases per million residents
Arkansas- 36,355 cases per million residents
Idaho- 34,573 cases per million residents
Nebraska- 34,401 cases per million residents
Utah- 34,511 cases per million residents
South Carolina- 33,910 cases per million residents
Georgia- 33,610 cases per million residents
Arizona- 33,314 cases per million residents
Texas- 32,240 cases per million residents
Anything over 20,000 cases per million residents is generally considered an out of control, catastrophic pandemic. Yesterday, Germany instituted a second national lockdown with just 5,895 cases per million residents!

About a week or so ago a BBC business reporter based in NYC, Natalie Sherman, wrote a piece for the BBC audience worldwide, Coronavirus: US poverty rises as aid winds down. She wrote that university researchers have concluded that "nearly 8 million Americans-- many of them children and minorities-- have fallen into poverty since May. Last week, nearly 900,000 people filed new claims for jobless benefits-- the highest number since August. Analysts have called for aid to prevent the economic recovery from stalling." Mitch McConnell has prevented that and quickly adjourned the Senate until after the election, fearful that Trump might make him compromise with the Democrats, who have already passed a pandemic rescue package.

Last spring's $3 trillion aid package-- which mostly bailed out businesses but did include $1,200 aid checks (+ $600/week in temporary supplemental unemployment payments for people thrown out of work)-- "initially blunted the economic upheaval caused by the virus, prompting poverty rates to decline. But those figures began to tick up again this summer, as the one-time financial boost from the cheques wore off and the expansion to unemployment benefits expired at the end of July. As of September, the poverty rate stood at 16.7%, up from 15.3% in February and 14.3% in May, with higher rates among children and minorities.
Trump has celebrated that the economy has so far rebounded faster than many analysts initially expected.

But while the US has regained about half the jobs lost in March and April, many economists do not expect the labour market to fully recover before the end of 2023-- and they warn that momentum appears to be slowing.

Thursday's Labor Department report showed an unexpected 53,000 increase in unemployment filings from the week before, sending new claims to a two-month high.

More than 25 million people continued to collect some form of unemployment payment as of 26 September, the Labor Department said.

Wells Fargo economist Sarah House said the report showed "the risk of the labour market's recovery going into reverse."
The Republican Party has refused to authorize any more aid to the country, almost comic that this is the one and only time they have stood up to Trump!

When the Republicans talk about how the economic threat of the pandemic is overblown, they're talking about how well the wealthy have weathered the national disaster-- like the 47 billionaires who have gotten richer during the pandemic. Gabrielle Olya wrote that the pandemic "has disrupted the financial well-being of millions of people around the world, with many losing jobs, shuttering their businesses or losing a large portion of their retirement savings due to market volatility. Yet somehow, the world’s richest seem to be coming out of the crisis unscathed-- and in many cases, even richer. Here are some familiar names and the amount their fortunes have increased since March 18:
Jeff Bezos of Amazon +$72.6 billion
Elon Musk of Tesla +$63.3 billion
Jeff Zuckerberg of Facebook +$42.1 billion
Jim, Rob and Alice Walton of Walmart- total +$35.7 billion
MacKenzie Scott of Amazon (Jeff Bezo's ex) +$23.6 billion
Larry Ellison of Oracle- $19.9 billion
Phil Knight of Nikes- $19.8 billion
Bill Gates- $17.8 billion
Michael Dell of Dell Technologies +$15.6 billion
Sergey Brin of Google +$15.1 billion
Larry Page of Google +$15 billion
Warren Buffett +$12.6 billion
Gerard Wertheimer and his bro Alain Wetheimer of Chanel +$7.5 billion each
Michael Bloomberg +$6.9 billion
Charles Koch and sister-in-law Julia Koch +$6.7 billion each
Sheldon Adelson of the Mafia +$4.3 billion
John Mars and sister Jacqueline Mars of Mars candy +$4.2 billion each
Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies +$1.9 billion

Many radicals are suggesting that these billionaires should be guillotined but-- with some exceptions-- that is too harsh. How about a much fairer proposition? An excess income tax for anything any individual made over $500,000 during the pandemic? The details would have to be worked out in Congress but if 100% is considered too high (I don't consider it too high, but you know the Blue Dogs and New Dems)... how about just 99%? (and don't sneer; 1 percent of a billion is $10 million dollars. AND they still have their heads!)

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At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the excess obscene incomes tax is 40 years overdue. the democraps have refused to tax the rich that become obscenely rich because they are not taxed for 40 years.

you expect that party of pussies who lay on their backs for those billionaires to tax them?

Given that nothing will ever happen, you shoulda talked about the guillotine thing. just as possible and more interesting.

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be a tax, alright! People on Social Security will get to pay it so that the poor, oppressed wealthy won't have to hock a yacht to pay theirs. The "Democrats" will insist!



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