As if you don’t have enough problems already if you’re poor. From Jenny Jayne at theorganicprepper.com:
The IRS has announced that it’s “too expensive” to audit the rich. Affluent taxpayers, the 1%, are too well protected from government intrusion. Their tax returns are complex and take more time and more experienced auditors to review them. The IRS then has to pay these more experienced auditors a higher price to audit those larger accounts. It’s become an expensive hassle for them. They encounter resistance from the teams that the affluent have behind them to defend them from the IRS. So, what is their solution?
Target the poor.
It is easier and cheaper for the IRS to go after the working class.
As if the struggling working class in this country doesn’t have enough to deal with, watch out for Big Brother! Because lower-income families have fewer resources to guard their finances, the IRS finds it a “better use of their resources” to target the poor instead of the wealthy. Because the wealthy have the means to fight back against government intrusion aka well-paid attorneys and accountants, the IRS has decided that any effort to monitor the “haves” is not worth their time. They will instead focus on the “have nots,” or the poor working and middle class.
A detailed study of the prison-industrial complex from ammo.com:
Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice.
There’s no two ways about it: The United States of America and its 50 state governments love putting people in prison.
The U.S. has both the highest number of prisoners and the highest per capita incarceration rate in the modern world at 655 adults per 100,000. (It’s worth noting that China’s incarceration statistics are dubious, and they execute far more people than the United States. Indeed, the so-called People’s Republic executes more people annually than the rest of the world combined.) Still, that’s more than 2.2 million Americans in state and federal prisons as well as county jails.
On top of those currently serving time, 4.7 million Americans were on parole in 2016, or about one in 56. These numbers do not include people on probation, which raises the number to one in 35. Nor does it include all of the Americans who have been arrested at one time or another, which is over 70 million – more than the population of France.
For firearm owners in particular, the growth in this “prison-industrial complex” is troubling because felons are forbidden from owning firearms and ammunition under the 1968 Gun Control Act. As the number of laws has grown and the cultural shift for police has gone from a focus on keeping the peace to enforcing the law, more and more Americans are being stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights (not to mention other civil rights like voting– as of 2017, 6.1 million Americans cannot vote because of their criminal records). All told, eight percent of all Americans cannot own firearms because of a felony conviction.
For American society as a whole, the prison-industrial complex has created a perverse incentive structure. Bad laws drive out respect for good laws because there are just so many laws (not to mention rules, regulations, and other prohibitions used by federal prosecutors to pin crimes on just about anyone). How did we get here?
Electric car production will probably cost a lot of auto workers their jobs. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Lost in the fatuous fake news juggernaut about the supposed misdeeds of the relentlessly besieged Orange Man has been real – and important news – about the longest nationwide strike by autoworkers in almost 50 years.
The target of the strike is General Motors. The United Auto Workers haven’t been working since September 16. Almost all GM plants have been idled since then, with the exception of the truck plant in Silao, Mexico. But a shortage of parts caused by the idling of the plants north of the border will almost certainly cause the truck plant to go silent soon, too.
The closures are costing GM about $25 million per day in lost profit, according to analysts.
But they could cost autoworkers – and us – much more.
If you like a service in the private market, the market will probably provide more of it. If you like something the government provides, it may well shut the service down. From John Stossel at townhall.com:
Source: AP Photo/Christopher Torchia
With most services, you get to shop around, but rarely can you do that with government-run schools.
Philadelphia mom Elaine Wells was upset to learn that there were fights every day in the school her son attended. So she walked him over to another school.
“We went to go enroll and we were told, ‘He can’t go here!’ That was my wake up call,” Wells tell me in my latest video.
She entered her sons in a charter school lottery, hoping to get them into a charter school.
“You’re on pins and needles, hoping and praying,” she said. But politicians stack the odds against kids who want to escape government-run schools. Philly rejected 75% of the applicants.
Wells’ kids did eventually manage to get into a charter called Boys’ Latin. I’m happy for them. I wish government bureaucrats would let all kids have similar chances.
Wells was so eager for her sons to attend that she arranged to have one repeat the sixth grade.
California is turning into a third-world country and its leading politicians are deeply concerned about…plastic straws. From Joe Guzzardi at theburningplatform.com:
When former California Gov. Jerry Brown announced his ill-conceived, ill-fated high-speed train that no one wanted, and no one ever thought would be completed, he unwittingly sent the message that the once Golden State would soon be spiraling into disaster. Before current Gov. Gavin Newsom killed the train, California had squandered $5 billion on the boondoggle, and cost projections soared billions more from the original estimate. New York Times’ analysts pegged the train’s final total at a staggering $100 billion.
Brown envisioned himself as a forward-thinking leader who would secure California’s self-proclaimed position as the nation’s preeminent cutting-edge state. Brown put California on the cutting-edge, all right, but of catastrophe.
Consider a short list of what California has become since the bullet train flop. California, a sanctuary state for illegal aliens, has cemented its position as the nation’s inequality leader, with disparities between rich and poor greater than those in Mexico and Guatemala. Speaking of poverty, California is also America’s capital in that sad category. According to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, California outstrips states traditionally associated with acute poverty – Mississippi, West Virginia and New Mexico.
The unproductive managerial class grows at the expense of the shrinking productive class. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:
One of the consequences of the neoliberal order is that labor markets in Western societies are at war with themselves. On the one hand, the relentless competition within the managerial class, the so-called meritocracy, results in a relentless, passive-aggressive struggle for status. Within that class of people it is a state of constant anxiety, as these people worry that one small misstep will cause them to lose their standing within the managerial class. Everyone is miserable.
On the other hand, the math of the managerial system means pitting worker against worker, usually relying on foreign mercenaries, to suppress wages and prevent class solidarity. In order to support the swelling army of otherwise useless people in the media, academy and government, it means extracting ever more from the laboring classes and their private employers. The typical private sector worker is under relentless daily pressure to do more with less.
Compounding this is the natural response to these pressures, where workers accumulate in areas shielded from competition. Government grows, as a jobs program and as a way to maintain support for government. The massive growth in government, education and now health care are responses to the relentless competition within the so-called private sector. Skip to the bottom of this post, where there is a graph showing the growth in administrators within the American health care industry.
It looks like New Jersey, rather than Illinois, may be winning the race to the fiscal bottom. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
For years, it was conventional wisdom that the most financially-challenged state in the US – whether it comes to overall debt burden, outlays, tax collections, underfunded pension and retirement obligations, or simply credit rating – was Illinois, followed closely by New Jersey in second place.
However, according to New Jersey’s Senate president, conventional wisdom is wrong. In an interview with Bloomberg, Senator Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat, said that that credit-rating companies may be underestimating the severity of the state’s financial strains by giving it the second-lowest grade after Illinois.
“We are in worse shape than Illinois,” Sweeney said. “We are not investing in education, we are not investing in the areas that we want because all the money is going to pensions and health care.”
As Bloomberg notes, these comments underscore the persistent fiscal pressure on New Jersey, a high-tax state contending with massive debts to employee pension funds after years of failing to set aside enough to cover the $212 billion of benefits that have been promised. As extensively discussed in the past, New Jersey’s retirement system had about $82 billion of assets in 2018, only 38% of what it needs to cover checks that are owed in the decades ahead. That’s lower than any other state system in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The state’s obligation for retirees’ health care benefits adds another $90.5 billion. The state’s solution? Raise expected pension fund returns from 7.0% to 7.5%!