Tag: income inequality

Billions for Climate Protection Fuel New Debate: Who Deserves It Most

More than half the money went to California, New Jersey and Washington State. The largest single recipient was a $68 million flood-control project in Menlo Park, Calif., where the median household income is more than $160,000, the typical home costs more than $2 million and only one in five residents are Black or Hispanic. The […]

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W.H.O. Scolds Rich Nations for Travel Bans and Booster Shots

LONDON — As the still-mysterious Omicron variant reached American shores, the World Health Organization on Wednesday scolded wealthy countries that imposed travel bans and dismissed those that poured resources into vaccine booster campaigns when billions in poor countries had yet to receive their first shots. The comments by W.H.O. officials reopened fraught questions of equity […]

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Antiviral Covid-19 Pills Are Coming. Will There Be Enough Tests?

Currently, the most effective treatments available for Covid in the U.S. are monoclonal antibody drugs, which bind to the virus and stop it from infecting cells. But these treatments are typically administered intravenously by health care workers. This can pose logistical challenges both for hospitals, many of which are overburdened and short-staffed, and for patients, […]

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In Their 80s, and Living It Up (or Not)

  Credit…Matthew Monteith for The New York Times To the Editor: Re “Living My Life Again,” by Katharine Esty (Opinion guest essay, Sunday Review, Nov. 21): Dr. Esty, who is 87, put her social life on hold for most of the pandemic, but now she goes out often, plans to attend parties and has been to […]

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The Humble Beginnings of Today’s Culinary Delicacies

Eating, or rather being able to eat whatever you like, whether sumptuous or spartan, can be a means of exerting control. Sometimes this manifests as culinary tourism, dabbling in the foods of other cultures or classes, with the assurance of knowing you can always retreat to the safety of your own. I’ve never forgotten a […]

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Spending as if the Future Matters

For centuries, America has invested taxpayer money in its future. Public funds built physical infrastructure, from the Erie Canal to the interstate highway system. We invested in human capital, too: Universal education came to the United States early, and America basically invented modern public secondary education. This public spending laid the foundations for prosperity and […]

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Build Back Better May Not Have Passed a Decade Ago

“Look at the millennials in my district, who can’t afford a house, who can’t afford to pay back their student loans, who can’t even dream about living the lives their parents lived,” Representative John B. Larson of Connecticut, a veteran Democrat, said. “You can’t tell people they are doing better than they are.” And as […]

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In the Fight Against Climate Change, Young Voices Speak Out

This article is part of a special report on Climate Solutions, which looks at efforts around the world to make a difference. The climate conference in Scotland, known as COP26, concluded last week with an assortment of promises and agreements from participating nations on confronting climate change. How they will ultimately turn out is anyone’s […]

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Liberal Hypocrisy Is Fueling Inequality

It’s easy to blame the other side. And for many Democrats, it’s obvious that Republicans are thwarting progress toward a more equal society. But what happens when Republicans aren’t standing in the way? In many states — including California, New York and Illinois — Democrats control all the levers of power. They run the government. […]

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What a $50 Million Donation Did for One H.B.C.U.

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — In-person learning resumed at Prairie View A&M University at the end of August, and the campus was soon buzzing with familiar sounds and sights: freshmen laughing in the dining hall, students walking across the sprawling yard in between classes. There were also inescapable nods to our current era, like signs on […]

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Elon Musk’s Extraterrestrial Capitalism

But Muskism has earlier origins, too, including in Mr. Musk’s own biography. Much of Muskism is descended from the technocracy movement that flourished in North America in the 1930s and that had as a leader Mr. Musk’s grandfather Joshua N. Haldeman, an ardent anti-communist. Like Muskism, technocracy took its inspiration from science fiction and rested […]

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The Life-Altering Differences Between White and Black Debt

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’ Public policy in the United States often overlooks wealth. We tend to design, debate and measure our economic policies with regard to income alone, which blinds us to the ways prosperity and precarity tangibly function in people’s lives. And that blind spot can ultimately prevent us from addressing social […]

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Europe Fears That Rising Cost of Climate Action Is Stirring Anger

PARIS — Raucous demonstrations against high energy bills in Spain. Demands for social protection in Greece as coal mines close. Fresh protests in French rural areas and small towns over spiking petrol prices. As world leaders gather for a United Nations conference in Glasgow to tackle the threat of climate change, attention is pivoting to […]

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Pressure Grows on G20 Nations to Get Covid Vaccines to the Poor

ROME — From the opening moments of the Group of 20 summit on Saturday, the leaders of the world’s largest economies wanted to send a strong message about ending the coronavirus pandemic: During an unconventional group photograph, they were joined on the dais by doctors in white coats and first responders from the Italian Red […]

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Book Review: ‘Time for Socialism,’ by Thomas Piketty

Now Piketty has collected several dozen of those columns into an anthology (here translated by Kristin Couper), beginning with a 26-page original essay audaciously titled “Long Live Socialism!” After his deep exploration of intensifying inequality, Piketty has concluded that the redistributive policies of welfare capitalism — mildly progressive taxes and social benefits — are inadequate. […]

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Who Are America’s Billionaires, Anyway?

“This would be the first real attempt to tax unrealized gains, which would be a significant shift in how we view income,” said Joe Bishop-Henchman, vice president of tax policy and litigation at the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. “There’s a big suspicion of direct taxes, of giving the central government this power.” Recently, as officials […]

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How Democrats Would Tax Billionaires to Pay for Their Agenda

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats plan to tax the richest of the rich, hoping to extract hundreds of billions of dollars from the mountains of wealth that billionaires sit on to help pay for their social safety net and climate change policies. The billionaires tax would almost certainly face court challenges, but given the blockade on […]

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Tax the Rich, Help America’s Children

Democrats may — may — finally be about to agree on a revenue and spending plan. It will clearly be smaller than President Biden’s original proposal, and much smaller than what progressives wanted. It will, however, be infinitely bigger than what Republicans would have done, because if the G.O.P. controlled Congress, we would be doing […]

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Proposed Tax on Billionaires Raises Question: What’s Income?

ProPublica, the nonprofit news organization, obtained the tax returns of many ultra-wealthy people, and reported that, among other extraordinary examples, the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos saw his wealth rise by $99 billion from 2014 to 2018, while he paid $973 million in taxes in that span — less than 1 percent. The Wyden plan would […]

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The Unvaccinated May Not Be Who You Think

We know from research into human behavior but also just common sense that in such situations, face-saving can be crucial. In fact, that’s exactly why the mandates may be working so well. If all the unvaccinated truly believed that vaccines were that dangerous, more of them would have quit. These mandates may be making it […]

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Of 4 Family Policies in Democrats’ Bill, Which Deserves Priority?

But others said they would rather the money go directly to child care or pre-K because it would help mothers work. “I’m always very sensitive to policies that even unintentionally discourage mothers’ labor force participation,” said Barbara Risman, a sociologist at the University of Illinois, Chicago. “In the long run, those families will have fewer […]

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World’s Growth Cools and the Rich-Poor Divide Widens

As the world economy struggles to find its footing, the resurgence of the coronavirus and supply chain chokeholds threaten to hold back the global recovery’s momentum, a closely watched report warned on Tuesday. The overall growth rate will remain near 6 percent this year, a historically high level after a recession, but the expansion reflects […]

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Moderna, Racing for Profits, Keeps Covid Vaccine Out of Reach of Poor

Moderna’s market value has nearly tripled this year to more than $120 billion. Two of its founders, as well as an early investor, this month made Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest people in the United States. As the coronavirus spread in early 2020, Moderna raced to design its vaccine — which uses a […]

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Debate Looms Over I.M.F.: Should It Do More Than Put Out Fires?

Lopsided access to vaccinations, extreme economic inequality, rising food prices and staggering debt are on the agenda when the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank gather for their annual meetings in Washington next week. A pressing issue not in the official program is the controversy that has been swirling for weeks around the chief […]

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Benefits for All or Just the Needy? Manchin’s Demand Focuses Debate

In a private meeting with Mr. Biden and nearly a dozen House Democrats in swing-districts on Tuesday, the prospect of limiting who could benefit from a promised two years of free community college came up as part of a broader discussion about the program, according to Representative Susan Wild, Democrat of Pennsylvania. But, she added, […]

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Two Authors View America From Above and Below, and Are Not Happy With What They See

In “The Raging 2020s,” Alec Ross similarly argues that our social contract is broken, that the roles of business, labor, government and foreign countries need to be rethought, and he supplies several of his favorite templates. Osnos’s view is from the ground, Ross’s view, that of the policy wonk, is from above, not the view […]

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What’s Changed in 13 Years of Writing About the Wealthy

I began writing the Wealth Matters column in December 2008. The column was conceived earlier that year, when the economy still appeared to be running high. But by the time the first one ran, the economy was deep in crisis, and Americans were worried about their investments, their savings and, in many cases, their homes. […]

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The Pandora Papers and the Power of Shame

Yet we do see forms of accountability being imposed that are effective despite being outside the realm of the law. As my own and other recent research on high-net-worth individuals has shown, reputational costs weigh more heavily on them than the threat of fines or prosecution. The laws are no match for the legal armory […]

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‘Squid Game,’ the Netflix Hit, Taps South Korean Fears

SEOUL — In “Squid Game,” the hit dystopian television show on Netflix, 456 people facing severe debt and financial despair play a series of deadly children’s games to win a $38 million cash prize in South Korea. Koo Yong-hyun, a 35-year-old office worker in Seoul, has never had to face down masked homicidal guards or […]

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Worried About Low Interest Rates? Jane Austen Can Help.

The Federal Reserve and its counterparts abroad slashed interest rates in the face of the 2008 financial crisis and have kept them very low — in some cases below zero — ever since. This isn’t an arbitrary policy: Central banks believe that they need to keep rates low to avoid sliding into recession. But there […]

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‘The Moratorium Saved Us. It Really Did.’

If the main lessons we take from the eviction moratorium have to do with how to configure a better moratorium for the next national emergency, we will have failed. We should be dedicating ourselves to building a better housing system, one that ensures we don’t face an eviction crisis come next pandemic — or next […]

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