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    Statement re: annual State of the Dream report

    A Statement from United for a Fair Economy Executive Director Jeannette Huezo regarding State of the Dream 2018 (Jan 14, 2018):

    Every year, United for a Fair Economy (UFE) issues a “State of the Dream” report, in honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that looks at the state of racial economic inequality in the US.  Each year, the report has a different theme (see for a compilation of past reports).  For 2018, we decided to focus on the effects of the recently-passed Trump/GOP tax bill, particularly the likely effects on different racial groups. While we believe this will be an important and under-reported aspect of the new tax legislation, we need more time to research the issue, find racial data, and learn more about likely Congressional budget decisions in the wake of the lost revenue from the bill.

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    Responsible Wealth to Congress: Tax US!

    More than 400 wealthy and upper-income taxpayers have signed a letter calling on Congress to reject the Republican tax plan that gives tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, especially any plan that is not revenue neutral, which would lead to deep cuts in services and critical investments, such as Medicaid, Medicare, and education.  

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    A Plan for Federal Tax Fairness

    Tax reform is hard. It can be complicated, dull, and politically difficult. But that doesn’t change the fact that taxes are one of the most important issues facing Americans today, and progressives should take an active role in the debate. Closing loopholes, reforming rules, changing rates, creating and abolishing taxes- all of these matters play a huge and defining role in economic inequality, poverty, and social mobility. With the Republican congress taking up this issue, the time to push for progressive tax reform is now. 

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    Disparate Democracy: Preemption Laws Disempower Communities of Color

    In a previous post, we at United for a Fair Economy took a look at state preemption laws: laws passed by state governments which override the policies of city governments, especially progressive policies like raises in the minimum wage. These policies are in direct conflict with the ideals of a democracy, but their negative effects are concentrated among one specific group: people of color.

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    The Niña, the Pinta, and Hurricane Maria

    As news of the complete devastation across the island of Puerto Rico is released, I find myself incessantly hitting refresh on my Internet browser. With each click, my emotions and tears overwhelm me. A deep feeling of desperation follows. This has become an unintentional daily ritual since “natural disaster" Hurricane Maria struck the island. 

    I know I am not alone.

    -Eroc Arroyo-Montano

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    Laboratories of Democracy: How the Right is Limiting Progressive Policies in Cities

    Federalism- the division of decision-making power between different levels of government- is one of the foundational features of American government.

    The United States Constitution provides state governments with significant political power. States are considered to be “closer” to the people than the federal government and are therefore better suited to customize policies that meet local needs. But Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis made another argument in his dissent to New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann that: “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”


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    The Politics of Privatization: How Neoliberalism Took Over US Politics

    Many of us have come across the term "neoliberal," or "neoliberalism" before, but for all its use, few have ever taken the chance to actually explain what it is. An inadequate popular definition has allowed the term to be abused and misrepresented in a variety of ways. Despite these misrepresentations, however, "neoliberalism" is a concept that is very useful for understanding the world we live in today.

    In simple terms, neoliberalism is a broad ideology that became popular in political, economic, and governmental circles in the 1970’s and reached its peak in global popularity in the 1980’s. Neoliberalism describes the political paradigm we are in right now, the political conditions of modern society. As the name suggests, it calls for a revitalization of the classical liberal view of economic policy. It's important to understand that "classical liberal" here refers to an older understanding of the word liberal than the one it has in modern America- it is referencing the liberalism of the Enlightenment era, represented by thinkers like Adam Smith and John Locke, not modern social liberalism as embodied by Barack Obama and much of the rest of the Democratic Party. In concrete policy terms, neoliberalism means free trade, low taxes, deregulation, privatization, and balanced budgets.

    Neoliberalism represents a shift in the way we look at the world: it entails seeing every aspect of society, even those typically considered civic or community affairs, in the terms of the market economy.


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    A Statement on Charlottesville

    We are saddened and outraged by the display of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville this weekend. It is no coincidence that we see the far-right mobilizing while corporate interests continue to strip poor and working class people of their healthcare and their right to organize; that this happens while cutting public services and giving away massive tax cuts to the rich; that this happens while the budget prioritizes increases to an out-of-control war machine and climate deniers threaten to move us quicker towards a world that is increasingly unlivable for poor and working people. We are saddened, but we are not fooled.

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    We Can't Afford to Sit This Out

    On Friday, May 5, Republicans rammed through a terrible bill to repeal Obamacare.  Their bill would have disastrous effects on millions in our country.  Although the exact “scoring” of this bill has not been completed, it’s pretty similar to the bill that came before, under which 24 million people would lose their health insurance, 130 million people with pre-existing conditions would be put at risk, and the very wealthy would receive a huge tax cut. 

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    Press Release: 80+ Upper-Income New Yorkers Support Expanding Millionaire's Tax

    Today, UFE's Responsible Wealth Project released a letter of over 80 upper-income New Yorkers asking Governor Cuomo and the NY Legislature to renew and expand the State's Millionaires' Tax. As New York State braces for proposed federal budget cuts that would have a devastating impact on health care, education and infrastructure investments across the state, an expanded and permanent millionaires’ tax would bring in nearly $6 billion in annual revenue, or over $2 billion more than the current tax– set to expire in 2017– generates. The full press release can be found here, and information on the 1% Plan for NY Tax Fairness can be found here.

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