Romney’s Infamous ’47 Percent’ Includes The Wealthy

The Article: Buffett Says Wealthy Avoiding Taxes Among Romney’s 47 Percent by Susanna Pak in Bloomberg News.

The Text: Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, said the ability of some of the highest earners to avoid federal taxes shows why laws should be changed so the wealthy pay more.

“They were the moochers, and they paid zero,” Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), said today in an interview on MSNBC. “The way they get at them is a minimum tax and it’s very simple to do.”

Buffett is pressing his call for a minimum tax on incomes above $1 million as lawmakers seek to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, which would impose more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts starting in January. He said in a New York Times opinion piece yesterday that higher taxes on the wealthy won’t thwart investment.

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The Best Theories On Everything: Volume One

Best Theories On Everything

The Communicating With The Opposite Sex Theories

The “She Asks, Does This Make Me Look Fat?” Theory: Smile sweetly and say, “Nothing could make you look fat.”

WARNING: Any variation from this answer may result in death by impalement.

The “She Says, Nothing Is Wrong” Theory: She means, everything is. All hands on deck. We’re at DEFCON 5. 

The “He/She Doesn’t Answer Your Call” Theory: Leave a text. Not a voicemail message. It never comes out well. And long rambling voice mails lead people to do crazy things. “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” creator Larry David once broke into a girl’s apartment to delete a particularly meandering message.

Americans born after 1977 are allergic to voicemail. Text. And keep it short. Texting should be Hemingway, not Dickens.

But be careful:

Relationship Theories Text

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Black Friday Is A Result Of Our Greed, Not Commercialism

The Article: Don’t Blame Commercialism For Your Shopping Madness by Dave Sirota in Salon.

The Text: Another Black Friday has come and gone, and the tradition of stuffing our faces and then violently welcoming in the holiday season lives on. This year, our post-Thanksgiving shopping ritual once again delivered a real-life, shopping-themed version of a Stallone flick from the 1980s. It was, indeed, a montage of Americans brawling with, stomping on, and shooting at one another. Moreover, if every year adds its own unique imprimatur to the now-standard bedlam — for example, 2008?s miscarriage and 2011?s trampled corpse — this year’s special addition was death by headlock.

Now utterly routinized, this Christmastime madness is no longer merely a ritual timed to the coming of the winter solstice — it has taken on qualities of a cultural entitlement. Bequeathed to us by both the unhinged mobs of shoppers and the gaggles of on-scene local news correspondents, this glorified mayhem teaches us that engaging in and/or ogling at post-Thanksgiving violence is nothing short of a birthright of citizenship — a red, white and blue endowment slaking our most base needs and desires.

Having reached such a deified (if disturbing) place in our society, we should take a moment and ask: What does it all mean?

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Ten Outrageous Figures The Rich Don’t Want You To See

The Article: Ten Numbers The Rich Would Like Fudged by Paul Bucheit in AlterNet.

The Text: 1. Only THREE PERCENT of the very rich are entrepreneurs.

According to both Marketwatch and economist Edward Wolff, over 90 percent of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), personal business accounts, the stock market, and real estate. Only 3.6 percent of taxpayers in the top .1% were classified as entrepreneurs based on 2004 tax returns. A 2009 Kauffman Foundation study found that the great majority of entrepreneurs come from middle-class backgrounds, with less than 1 percent of all entrepreneurs coming from very rich or very poor backgrounds.

2. Only FOUR OUT OF 150 countries have more wealth inequality than us.

In a world listing compiled by a reputable research team (which nevertheless prompted double-checking), the U.S. has greater wealth inequality than every measured country in the world except for Namibia, Zimbabwe, Denmark, and Switzerland.

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Raising Wages Is Good For Everyone

The Article: Why Raises For Walmart Workers Are Good For Everyone by Josh Harkinson in Mother Jones.

The Text: Chances are you missed this particular bargain on Black Friday: Agree to spend 15 cents more on every shopping trip, and Walmart, Target, and other large retailers will agree to pay their workers at least $25,000 a year.

Big box retailers aren’t actually offering that deal, but a new study [1] by the liberal think tank Demos argues that it would be a great bargain for us all if they did. Increasing the average wage at large retailers from $21,000 to $25,000 would probably cost you less than $20 a year at the register yet lift some 1.5 million people out of poverty (including your cashier), create 100,000 new jobs, and boost GDP by some $13.5 billion.

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