We Deserve Better

If you have young children or grandchildren, you’ve probably had some difficult conversations with them since the election.

My granddaughter Genesis is 9 years old. She was born in this country while her mom was a legal permanent resident. The day after the election, she went about her routine and was on the way to her 3rd grade class. As soon as she got in the car with her mom and little sister, she asked, “Mami, who won the election?”

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Trumped-Up Trickle-Down Economics: A Primer

           Trickle-down economics, a theory that has been disproven numerous times (source), became part of mainstream rhetoric again in a recent debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  Building on a popular United for a Fair Economy blog post first written during the George W. Bush administration, this article will discuss why Trump’s trickle-down economic plan is a farce, much as Reagan’s was. 

            Simply put, trickle-down economics is the idea that tax cuts on businesses and the wealthy will cause wealth to “trickle down” to everyone else.  The idea was particularly popular during the Reagan administration, when it was also known as “voodoo economics.”  Many people forget that humorist Will Rogers actually came up with the term “trickle down” to criticize President Herbert Hoover’s policies during the Great Depression (source).  But working people aren’t laughing about the disastrous consequences of these policies.

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Chris Christie's Millionaire Tax Meltdown

You may not have heard, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continues to prove that he’s a millionaire’s best friend– at least when it comes to taxes. Read UFE's newest article here.

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Open Letter to Gov. Chris Christie & the NJ Assembly about the Estate Tax

We are among the wealthiest New Jerseyans. We value the quality of life in our state. We believe New Jersey should have top-notch public schools and universities, well-funded public services, hospitals, parks, and public transportation, all paid for through a progressive federal, state and local tax structure.

We agree that New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure is in dire need of improvement, long overdue for adequate funding, so we applaud our elected officials’ intention to replenish the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. These infrastructure improvements benefit all of our citizens, but especially those at the lowest economic rungs who stand to pay less in transportation costs and car repairs. But this new revenue should not be paired with tax cuts for the wealthy.

At current levels, each signatory below would pay the estate tax in New Jersey. As citizens who are among the wealthiest 5% of residents in our beloved state, we have both the means and the responsibilityto contribute more to the needs of our state. We strongly object to the proposal to eliminate New Jersey’s estate tax on people like ourselves as part of the transportation bill.

The estate tax is not only an important source of revenue, but is also our only tax on accumulated fortunes, the bulk of which have never been subject to capital gains taxation. It would be a travesty to give a tax break to a small cohort of wealthy families (including ourselves) at the expense of adequately funding schools, health care, public infrastructure and other pressing needs in the state.

Eliminating New Jersey’s estate tax after 100 years would be a short-sighted mistake. We urge Governor Christie and the legislature to REMOVE this provision from the Transportation Trust Fund bill (S-2411; A-12). A more responsible plan would be to raise the exemption level to $2 million per person, which would exempt 78% of current estates but preserve 72% of the roughly $300 million in annual revenue from the estate tax. 

Signed,

Diane Abel, Bloomfield • Elizabeth Bates, Princeton • Ira Belsky, Franklin Lakes • Theodore Chase, Jr., Princeton • Jun Choi, Edison • William Corwin, Princeton • Elizabeth Counselman, Princeton • David Drukaroff, Lakewood • Wilma Emmerich, Princeton • Grover Furr, Bloomfield • Eliane Geren, Princeton • Elizabeth Gibson, Princeton • Steve Gold, Caldwell  Carol Golden, Princeton • Ed Gracely, Sicklerville • Brian Greenberg, Shrewsbury • Lonnie Hanauer, West Orange • Stephanie Harris, Hopewell • Joann Held, Pennington • Fred Hillmann, Union • Matthew House, North Brunswick • Jeffrey Keefe, Lakewood • Pat Kenschaft and Frederick Chichester, Upper Montclair • Shelley Krause, Princeton • James Litvack, Princeton • Carleton Montgomery, Medford • Diane Riley, Madison • Beth and Andrew Rothman, Princeton • Eric Schoenberg, Franklin Lakes • Jane Silverman, Princeton • Robert Steinbaum, Montclair • Kevin Walker, Collingswood • Karl Walko, Audubon • Torry Watkins, Hightstown • David B. Wilson, Jersey City • Susan N. Wilson, Princeton • Francis Wood, Mendham

You can sign this letter by clicking here.

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Add Your Name: NJ Gov. Christie, PRESERVE THE ESTATE TAX!

NJ_Legislators__KEEP_THE_ESTATE_TAX.-3.pngLast Friday, Governor Christie announced that he and legislative leaders had reached a long-overdue agreement to replenish New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund. Under the agreement, the earned income tax credit (EITC) would be strengthened, and sales taxes would be lowered. But the accord also includes a poison pill, which is the complete elimination of New Jersey's estate tax. If your household net assets are over $675,000 and you live in New Jersey, please add your name to the list of people telling Gov. Christie to PRESERVE THE ESTATE TAX!

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Liberation Economics

We are excited to introduce you to an amazing 2016 “Liberation Economics” class from across the nation – representing communities from Anchorage, Alaska to Washington DC, from Cambridge, MA to rural Kentucky.

This year we are offering more scholarship money than ever before.

We know the work for Economic Justice MUST be accessible to those who are the most deeply affected by economic inequalities. 

That's why we need you

As a small not-for-profit organization, we are asking for your support in assuring we can continue the vital work of education for movement building far into the future. We hope that you will pay your wisdom forward.

We are asking you to lead with us as you have so many times in the past: grassroots funding for grassroots movement building. 

Your donation is an investment in the leaders our movements need now more than ever

In Solidarity,

The Popular Education Team: Jeannette, Riahl, and Eroc

“United for a Fair Economy is excited to once again present LIBERATION ECONOMICS, an advanced training for experienced facilitators! For 20 years UFE has facilitated hundreds of workshops and trainings on Popular Economics Education around the country. This year UFE is honored to partner with the Highlander Center and Equipo Maiz from El Salvador to provide an advanced training for experienced organizers and facilitators.  This training will provide participants with tools for facilitating conversations about capitalism, racism and sexism that are meaningful, highly interactive and even fun!”   

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A Victory for Postal Banking

A little over a year ago, United for a Fair Economy released State of the Dream 2015: Underbanked and Overcharged. This groundbreaking report looks at the banking industry from the perspective of low-wage workers and people of color. We are thrilled to be sharing a small victory that has happened partly because of this report and the policy solutions it proposed.

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The Art of the Steal: GE's Massive $270-Million-Dollar Massachusetts Megadeal

According to a recent quarterly earnings report, GE is doing fantastically well, bringing in $23.5 billion in orders and income during the first three months of 2016. It has done so well, in fact, it bought back $6 billion worth of stock, while also giving $2 billion worth of dividends to shareholders.

In the face of this incredibly profitable three months, it seems almost laughable that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston­­—spearheaded by Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh—have committed to shelling out over $270 million in public funds for the luxury of moving some several hundred white-collar workers to Boston’s Seaport Innovation District. 

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Sharing in the Solution: Responsible Wealth for Fair Taxes

In 2009, New York State was facing a $15-20 billion budget deficit, and nobody was talking about taxing the wealthy. Responsible Wealth (a project of United for a Fair Economy) wrote an open letter, signed by 100 upper-income New Yorkers, and suddenly the conversation changed. It was renewed in 2011, but now the temporary tax rates are set to expire again, and it's time for a permanent, more progressive tax on upper income New Yorkers. 

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Berta Cáceres, Presente!

We send our condolences to the family and friends from Berta Cáceres and the Honduran people who has fought by her side. Unfortunately in much of the US media coverage, there has been a glaring omission about Berta’s death.

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