"It looks like we are going to be able to go home and tell people we didn't raise their taxes," state Senator Creigh Deeds (D-25th), said during a Senate floor debate over House Bill 1349 at the close of the assembly's legislative session in March. "But with this bill, we are going to tell some people they are going to have to pay more to file their taxes." from the Richmond Times DispatchLast session, almost unnoticed, the General Assembly in its collective wisdom decided that the cost of a service that is only required as a result of a state function should be borne twice by the taxpayers. Not only is it disappointing that so many legislators were hornswoggled by the cute initiative (messaging is everything these days), it is also alarming that they didn't understand the business case at all. The honor roll of members voting for Virginians is short enough that it is included below the fold. Not a Republican among the 16.
A continuing national survey of workers who lost their jobs during the Great Recession, conducted by two professors at Rutgers University, offers anything but a rosy view of the economic prospects for ordinary Americans. It paints, instead, a portrait filled with gloom.
That paragraph is from The Data and the Reality, Bob Herbert's NY Times column this morning. The professor have been following a representative sample from the unemployed since Summer 2009, and their latest report, "The Shattered American Dream: Unemployed Workers Lose Ground, Hope, and Faith in Their Futures," just came out and is the source of information for Herbert's gloomy column, which I will explore, and to which I will respond.
On the eve of this G-20 gathering, let's look at a few facts. Fact, the world has divided into rich and poor as at no time in our history. The richest 2% own more than half the household wealth in the world. The richest 10% hold 85% of total global assets and the bottom half of humanity owns less than 1% of the wealth in the world. The three richest men in the world have more money than the poorest 48 countries.
The words are from Maude Barlow, head of the Council of Canadians, Canada's largest public advocacy organization, and a founder of the Blue Planet Project. She opposes the G-20. She spoke to a gathering of activists in Massey Hall who gathered in opposition to the summit.
You can read the source of the quote here, where they were reproduced on Friday from Amy Goodman's Democracy, Now!.