“For properties valued between $5 million and $6 million, a 0.5 percent surcharge would be added on the value over $5 million. Fees and a higher surcharge would apply to homes that sold for more than $6 million, topping out at a $370,000 fee and a 4 percent surcharge for homes valued at more than $25 million.”
This would be huge in NYC where so many high end living spaces remain empty for they are just investments.
Would be great for a subway system revamp, and any leftover for remedying the housing crisis there.
Stand with our British sisters, brothers, and comrades!!!
A great op-Ed by Nick Kristoff at the NYT explaining how, though lacking in first rate medical technology, the infant mortality rates are actually lower in Cuba. We could take away many good practices from the Socialist, island nation so close to our shores.
- The American public clearly has no idea what it wants from Obama on the issue of ISIS. A new poll showed a majority of the public disapproves of the president’s handling of ISIS but a majority also do not want boots on the ground to fight them. Considering the U.S. has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS for a while (a fact I assume is probably lost on a portion of the respondents of this poll), one has to wonder what the public even wants? What should he be doing? The question is not asked in the poll and, since it isn’t asked, it should be noted that some of the disapproval might be coming from people who think the airstrikes themselves are too much and those resources shouldn’t be used by the U.S. government. We can’t know from this poll.
- Welfare reform is now causing people to die earlier. A new study has found the welfare reforms of the 1990s are shaving time off of the lives of the poor. In a better world, politicians would recognize their duty to protect the citizens they represent and take things like these effects into account. In reality, it’s just another situation of the elected government not caring about those that do not vote in high numbers or contribute to their campaigns. I wonder how much longer the wealthy that are running government-subsidized corporations get to live because of their welfare?
- Attorney General Eric Holder calls for a national moratorium on capital punishment. Not really a strong endorsement of ending the ridiculously expensive practice but at least a step in the right direction from a high-ranking official. Unfortunately, the U.S. will continue to stay behind most of the rest of the modernized world on this issue for the foreseeable future.
- Get ready for the GOP swing to the left on gay marriage. “Half of Republican primary and caucus voters in the key early states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina said that opposition to same-sex marriage is unacceptable” (Emphasis added). I believe gay marriage will not be much of an issue by the time the primaries roll around since the SCOTUS will likely legalize it nationwide this summer. This will be a secretly welcomed change by the GOP candidates since they will then be able to dodge the question on the campaign trail next year.
- Senator Bernie Sanders continues to be awesome. In a great op-ed on the new regime in Greece, Sanders tells it like it is again with this great line:
The real concern, apparently, is that democracy may go too far for austerity advocates to continue imposing their economic ideology from a distance: in Spain, Portugal, Finland and elsewhere, the patience of citizens is wearing thin as a growing number of them awaken to the stark reality that, while the very rich get much richer, the austerity programs their governments dutifully implemented are the cause rather than the cure for what ails their economies. (Emphasis added)
Sanders also took the time today to call for the first two years of all college to be free for Americans. This would be a further expansion on the Obama plan of two years of community college being free. It’s nice to see that some elected officials in government actually want to see the United States be taken into the 21st Century and not taken back to the 19th. If only we could elect a guy like that to be president…
A great article in The Atlantic about how Finland has created a near Eden-with-snow-like society while America struggles with all sorts of a economic and social problems the Finns have seemed to have cured. It also goes into to some straight talk about the nuts and bolts regarding differences in political views, national GDP, and other factors that may influence the two societies differing characteristics. Also, great graphs.
Good piece in The Guardian by Heidi Moore about how a raise in the minimum wage is both an economic and moral issue.
A good op-ed in the NYT regarding how the rhetoric of the GOP might be changing to appeal to more voters in the wake of their recent defeat in November, but it’s not indicative of an honest change. According to Krugman, they’re just not saying they are the party of the “Makers,” and not the majority of “Takers,” in public any longer.
A good piece in The Guardian by Naomi Wolf professing that, with the release of the secret tapes of Mitt Romney discussing the “47 percent,” not even conservatives believe one can find success in America any longer if being born with the wrong socioeconomic status. The Horatio Alger-story like, “pulling oneself up by your own bootstraps” days are long gone.
A good article in the NYT about unemployed and under-employed 20-somethings. They are not voting, due to mostly disillusionment and apathy, but are a powerful demographic that may be tapped into w/the right message.
According to this article a successful message needs to concern the poor and their daily struggles, or ones that have always mobilized the radical left.
An article in the NYT reporting quotes from Mitt Romney from a closed door fundraiser posted on the Mother Jones website that must be read.
Talking about how 47% of the country’s population see themselves as “victims” and expect to be supported by the government. This is both false and sickening.
It seems that the social darwinist ideologies of the early 20th century are alive and well amongst the right wing and GOP.
(You can find a slew of op-eds on this subject in both the NYT and the Post).