FROM Eric Schoenberg
The Age of Outrage in Europe and America Multibillion-dollar investor Warren Buffett has made headlines by suggesting that he and other rich people pay too little in taxes. In this Sunday's New York Times, columnist Roger Cohen wrote that "a feeling has grown in Western societies that uncontrollable forces are at work shrinking possibility. "History," he said, "has never seen a global power shift as radical as the current one that managed to be peaceful." We hear a lively debate.
The Age of Outrage in Europe and America In Britain, Greece and elsewhere in Europe, outbreaks of street violence have disrupted the usual tranquility of spring and summer. The combination of high unemployment and new austerity measures is creating a loss of hope in the future among young people. Sound familiar? Multibillion-dollar investor Warren Buffett has made headlines by suggesting that he and other rich people pay too little in taxes. Are countries in the developed West facing a crisis of confidence? On both sides of the Atlantic, the gap between the rich and the rest of the population is growing fast. Is the work ethic losing its currency? Is it time for the rich to pay more taxes and share what they have or face an outbreak of class warfare?
Taxing the Multinationals One economics editor says Washington has been running a " fiscal clown show " for the past 10 years by spending more and taxing less. The report that General Electric earned more than $5 billion in profit while paying no taxes at all focused attention on multinational corporations. We hear how they do it, using laws approved by both parties in Congress that allow them to keep their money overseas. Congress could change those laws to help pay down the deficit. Should the world's super-power use its clout to get corporations to pay their fair share?
Wealth Inequality in America Whether Washington allows a federal shutdown or not, massive cuts are being made in federal programs for the poor and the hungry. Last week, New York Times food-writer Mark Bittman and 4000 others associated with a group called Bread for the World fasted to focus on increased suffering that will barely make a dent in the deficit. They also pointed to growing inequality, with the richest 400 people now owning more wealth than 50 million American households combined. But, is it government's job to level the playing field? We hear from Bittman, an investment banker who wants to pay more taxes, economist and and others.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.