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Heather Cox Richardson: authoritarianism and disproportionate shares of the national wealth

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Meryl Ann Butler
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Democracies are at risk from authoritarianism today in large part because centralizing power in a few wealthy people permits those people to continue to pocket disproportionate shares of the national wealth. A study released yesterday by ProPublica of leaked tax documents from the Internal Revenue Service revealed how our current laws permit the very wealthy to sidestep taxes and amass greater and greater wealth. According to Forbes, the wealth of the richest 25 Americans rose more than $400 billion from 2014 to 2018, giving them a combined wealth of $1.1 trillion. It would take the wealth of 14.3 million ordinary American wage earners to get to that number. During those years, those 25 richest Americans paid $13.6 billion in taxes, a true tax rate of 3.4%. Those with virtually unlimited money can buy the tools to spread propaganda in favor of their position. 
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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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