On Tuesday, The Tax Policy Center, a joint effort by the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, said the number of households that don’t pay federal income taxes fell to 45.3 percent. But that figure is still roughly 5 percentage points higher than the center’s 2013 estimate of 40.4 percent. Continue reading
- Hamburg city officials say that owners of vacant real estate have refused to make their property available to the city on a voluntary basis, and thus the city should be given the right to take it by force.
- “The proposed confiscation of private land and buildings is a massive attack on the property rights of the citizens of Hamburg. It amounts to an expropriation by the state [and a] “law of intimidation.” — André Trepoll, Christian Democratic Union.
- “If a property is confiscated… a lawsuit to determine the legality of the confiscation can only be resolved after the fact. But the accommodation would succeed in any event.” — Tübingen Mayor Boris Palmer.
- Officials in North Rhine-Westphalia seized a private resort in the town of Olpe to provide housing for up to 400 migrants
- “I find it impossible to understand how the city can treat me like this. I have struggled through life with grief and sorrow and now I get an eviction notice. It is a like a kick in the stomach.” — Bettina Halbey, 51-year-old nurse, after being notified that she must vacate her apartment so that migrants can move in. Continue reading
You’ve probably read that there is a “war on cash” being waged on various fronts around the world. What exactly does a “war on cash” mean?
It means governments are limiting the use of cash and a variety of official-mouthpiece economists are calling for the outright abolition of cash. Authorities are both restricting the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from banks, and limiting what can be purchased with cash.
These limits are broadly called “capital controls.” Continue reading
Eventually, and sooner rather than later, even the news won’t be able to continue whitewashing the fact that America is in serious decline.
Home prices are rising, and homeownership is falling. How can that be?
If prices are rising, it must be because there is increasing demand for homes, but if there is increasing demand, then why are there fewer homeowners?
It has to do with this: math. The homeownership rate in the first quarter of this year fell to 63.7 percent, the lowest since 1990, according to the U.S. Census. The homeownership rate is the ratio of households that own to overall households—the remaining being rental households. Continue reading
If you worry about the declining fortunes of the U.S. middle class, take heed: It might be worse than you realized.
Tracking the middle class can be difficult, because the group is hard to define. Typically, researchers look at households with incomes or net worth in the middle of the entire population. This approach, though, might provide a falsely rosy picture. It doesn’t, for example, capture the fates of families that start out in the middle and — due to a job loss or other setback — end up in the bottom. Continue reading
Most Americans spend their lives working for others, paying off debts to others and performing tasks that others tell them that they “must” do. These days, we don’t like to think of ourselves as “servants” or “slaves”, but that is what the vast majority of us are. It is just that the mechanisms of our enslavement have become much more sophisticated over time. It has been said that the borrower is the servant of the lender, and most of us start going into debt very early into our adult years. In fact, those that go to college to “get an education” are likely to enter the “real world” with a staggering amount of debt. And of course that is just the beginning of the debt accumulation. Continue reading