Is it time to switch income tax with a sales tax?

With wealth inequality rising the case for raising revenue via a consumption tax is compellingIs it time for the US to consider switching from income tax to a progressive consumption tax as a way of addressing growing wealth inequality? Many economists…

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Six ways to bring the American Dream back from the dead

From cutting student debts to index-linking the minimum wage, the dream can be rebuiltIt is time to admit that the “American Dream” is dead. Its underlying conditions – strong, consistent economic growth and a meritocracy structured to keep the rich fr…

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Jamie Dimon, spare us your crocodile tears about inequality | Robert Reich

If the CEO of JP Morgan really cared about American workers, he would put an end to corporate executives like him rigging the systemIf I may be so bold as to try to lure your attention away from Trump and Mueller for a moment, consider Jamie Dimon’s la…

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Inequality gap widens as 42 people hold same wealth as 3.7bn poorest

Oxfam calls for action on gap as wealthiest people gather at World Economic Forum in Davos

The development charity Oxfam has called for action to tackle the growing gap between rich and poor as it launched a new report showing that 42 people hold as much wealth as the 3.7 billion who make up the poorest half of the world’s population.

In a report published on Monday to coincide with the gathering of some of the world’s richest people at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Oxfam said billionaires had been created at a record rate of one every two days over the past 12 months, at a time when the bottom 50% of the world’s population had seen no increase in wealth. It added that 82% of the global wealth generated in 2017 went to the most wealthy 1%.

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When will we see the world’s first trillionaire?

The fantastic fortunes of fictional characters are being outstripped by the assets of flesh-and-blood tycoons. Should we fear this explosion of super-wealth?

Every so often Forbes, the magazine closely associated with America’s corporate elite, compiles its Fictional Fifteen – a chart of the wealthiest characters in film and literature, to complement its well-known annual list of the world’s wealthiest individuals.

After carefully assessing the assets of the likes of Bruce Wayne and Montgomery Burns, its most recent analysis concluded that Scrooge McDuck – mining magnate and uncle of Donald Duck – was top, with an estimated net worth of $65bn, narrowly beating the dragon Smaug.

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World’s richest 0.1% have boosted their wealth by as much as poorest half

Inequality report also shows UK’s 50,000 richest people have seen their share of the country’s wealth double since 1984

The richest 0.1% of the world’s population have increased their combined wealth by as much as the poorest 50% – or 3.8 billion people – since 1980, according to a report detailing the widening gap between the very rich and poor.

The World Inequality Report, published on Thursday by French economist Thomas Piketty, warned that inequality had ballooned to “extreme levels” in some countries and said the problem would only get worse unless governments took coordinated action to increase taxes and prevent tax avoidance.

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The Guardian view on the Paradise Papers: a light on murky dealings | Editorial

Allowing the very richest to secede from the rest of society and choose the jurisdiction they operate under has led to an astonishing rise in global inequality

The millions of leaked files in the Paradise Papers once again shine a bright light on where the uber-elite stash their cash. Until very recently the hidden web of investments made by the super-rich operated in the comforting darkness offered by secretive tax shelters. The disinfecting sunlight provided by whistleblowing-led investigations since 2013 has fundamentally altered how the world looks at, and regulates, tax affairs. Last year’s Panama Papers cost the leaders of Iceland and Pakistan their jobs. More than a dozen nations have changed their laws and the offshore law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers closed offices in tax havens. It is work that is both necessary and brave: one of the journalists involved in investigating the Panama Papers was blown up by a car bomb last month.

This latest dump of data centres around the Bermudian law firm Appleby, a 119-year-old operation favoured by the global super-rich and big corporations, as well as the Singaporean company Asiaciti Trust and the mostly opaque company registries of 19 tax havens. The first stories have already generated global headlines: about why millions of pounds from the Queen’s private estate went into an offshore portfolio which included an investment in the retailer BrightHouse, criticised for exploiting poor families with high-interest loans to purchase white goods; and about why anti-poverty campaigner Bono has so much money he didn’t know some of it bought a piece of a Lithuanian shopping centre via a tax haven.

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Inside the gig economy: the ‘vulnerable human underbelly’ of UK’s labour market

Frank Field MP’s recent report into the UK’s delivery sector demanded ‘emergency government intervention’ to protect self-employed workers from exploitation. This is the story behind that investigation

The modern working day has begun. Thousands of couriers have arrived at their local sub-depots, and spent the first hour sorting through mountains of parcels containing goods of all shapes and sizes, all bought online from some of Britain’s best-known brands. Every last one needs to be delivered by the end of the day. Some have a specific time attached, so there is not a second to lose.

Once each courier has loaded their share of parcels into their vehicle, they begin programming the day’s deliveries into a handheld device that will record their progress. While the device usually works, its periodic habit of malfunctioning can sometimes mean unwelcome delays.

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