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A Simple Economic Truth America's Super Rich Don't Want Us to Know About

Taxing the rich is good for everyone--even the rich. A Simple Economic Truth America's Super Rich Don't Want Us to Know About | Alternet
For the past 32 years, Americans have been living a lie. It's a lie that helps out rich people and screws working people, and it's a lie that needs to be called out. The people promoting this lie - most all of them rich people themselves - have been so good at promoting this lie that pretty much everybody believes it. It's even asserted as fact, without contradiction, in the mainstream media. But it's a lie. The lie is that raising income taxes on rich people and hugely profitable companies hurts economies and even leads to unemployment. The truth is that raising income taxes on rich people and hugely profitable companies actually helps economies and causes companies to hire more and more people, thus lowering unemployment. What makes this lie particularly relevant right now is that the French Constitutional Council - their court that decides what's constitutional and what's not - has just agreed with the new socialist government that it's totally legal to raise the very top income tax rates on very wealthy individuals and hugely profitable corporations to 50 percent (effectively 75 percent when you add in their other taxes like our FICA that funds healthcare and retirement). The lie that tax increases - like the one the French Constitutional Court just approved - raise unemployment, and that tax cuts reduce unemployment, is widely believed because, like so many Big Lies, it has a small germ of truth at its center. That germ of truth is that when people who spend all (or nearly all) of their income every year - poor people and working-class people - have a little more money in their pocket, they spend it. That increases economic activity - there's more demand for goods and services. To meet that demand, employers hire more workers. . . .

December 31, 2013

It's evil to use fake hospice care to steal billions from medicare

And yet many for-profit health centers have been shuttling not-really-that-sick old people into hospice care because MediCare pays more for Hospice. DownWithTyranny!: If predators are scamming billions and billions via for-profit hospice "care," isn't this why we have the death penalty?
Hospice patients are expected to die: The treatment focuses on providing comfort to the terminally ill, not finding a cure. To enroll a patient, two doctors certify a life expectancy of six months or less. But over the past decade, the number of "hospice survivors" in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren't actually dying, a Washington Post investigation has found. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer. The proportion of patients who were discharged alive from hospice care rose about 50 percent between 2002 and 2012, according to a Post analysis of more than 1 million hospice patients' records over 11 years in California, a state that makes public detailed descriptions and that, by virtue of its size, offers a portrait of the industry. The average length of a stay in hospice care also jumped substantially over that time, in California and nationally, according to the analysis. Profit per patient quintupled, to $1,975, California records show. This vast growth took place as the hospice "movement," once led by religious and community organizations, was evolving into a $17 billion industry dominated by for-profit companies. Much of that is paid for by the U.S. government -- roughly $15 billion of industry revenue came from Medicare last year. . . .

December 21, 2013

Google's second class citizens

Google is a great place to work, unless you aren't doing tech work and get treated like human garbage. The Second Class Citizens of the Google Cafeteria
As a contract worker, Cardenas' access to the basic perks of Googleplex—patient zero of pampered tech industry employees—are also limited: He says he usually stands in the lot for eight hours and gets a lunch break. That gives him a chance to dive into Google's famous free gourmet food buffet; he would like to bring a few snacks home for his 5-year-old daughter, but as a contract worker, he can't. "I see people taking to-go boxes," he says. "They give you to-go boxes if you ask for them, but we weren't allowed to do that." Cardenas says it is strange being on Google's campus, watching the regular employees drive around on company-supplied bikes and scooters and taking food home. "You feel like you're different," he says. "Even though you're working in the same place, you're still like an outsider. And it's weird because you're actually protecting these people." Imagine getting your hand slapped away from a to-go box in a campus that boasts "beach volleyball, a bowling alley, a climbing wall, over 25 cafeterias, more than 100 micro-kitchens and seven fitness centers." Cardenas is not alone. The SEIU-USWW is in the process of trying to unionize more than 5,000 Silicon Valley security officers struggling with low pay. They put out a report in April saying that tech companies purposefully limit hours to avoid paying benefits. While Silicon Valley boasts the second-highest concentration of wealth, the median hourly wage for a security officer there is $14.89 an hour, with many making $9–$12 an hour