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Tax Reform Resources from our Partners

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UUs for Social Justice (UUSJ) developed an advocacy page "Say No to Fake Tax Reform!" to get UU background on tax reform, talking points and resources. Their letter-writing toolkit "Write Here! Right Now!" can be used to let officials know how our faith and values compel us to seek a more just and sustainable world. 


Thursday February 8, 2018

“A Conversation with Chuck Collins”

UUJEC, in partnership with UUs for Social Justice, featured Chuck Collins for our February webinar. As an active member of the UUJEC Advisory Board, we appreciate Chuck’s enduring commitment to justice and equality and welcomed his participation in our webinar series. On the February 8th webinar, Chuck shared initiatives cities and communities are carrying out to reverse inequality; from Massachusetts to California. 

If you missed the webinar, you can view the recording here

Chuck's new book "Is Inequality in America Irreversible?" is available for pre-order. 

You can find "The Community Land Trust Reader" referenced by Chuck, here. 



November 6, 2017 Webinar with Will Rice

 "Tax Cuts for the Wealthy. Guess who picks up the tab?” 

Thank you for attending the UUJEC/UUSJ webinar "Tax Cuts for the Wealthy. Guess who picks up the tab?” presented by Will Rice, Policy Consultant with Americans for Tax Fairness.  Will’s presentation slides are available for you to review and share with your congregation here.  

To learn more about the tax debate underway in Congress and across the country, please visit the web resources Will provided below.  To stay connected with Americans for Tax Fairness you can visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @4taxfairness. 

It’s important to reach out to our Senators and Representatives on important issues like tax reform. Elected officials need to hear our voices, our faithful perspectives and our ideas for a more just nation. Please reach out to your Senators and Representatives and tell them:  I strongly oppose the any tax bill that gives massive tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations that will be paid for by deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and education.

For more general information on GOP tax plans    

To find out how to get involved in the tax fight  
To read a section-by-section summary of the House bill as presented by its authors

For detailed outside analysis of the House plan.

 

Thursday, October 5, 2017 

Reversing Inequality with Chuck Collins 

 

Thank you to those who joined UUJEC, UUSJ and our guest presenter Chuck Collins for our latest webinar.  Chuck shared information about his newly released report “REVERSING INEQUALITY: Unleashing the Transformative Potential of an Equitable Economy.”  The report is an excellent resource to understand the key drivers of inequality and concrete wisdom on how to collectively and legislatively move toward a more just economy.  A key takeaway from our discussion was that we must continue addressing the concentration of wealth at the top in order to reverse inequality. Chuck emphasized, that wealth concentration “is the gift that keeps on giving.”

 In case you missed the webinar, you can find the video on the UUJEC YouTube page here. Chuck’s conversation with Senator Bernie Sanders from October 3 can also be found here.

Also, Chuck suggested a few action items and points of reference to stay engaged:

  • He is speaking at community forums across the country and happy to travel to your congregation. Contact Chuck here.
  • Sign up for additional updates at  https://inequality.org/
  • Participate in the estate tax conversation with the Patriotic Millionaires  
  • Stay informed on tax policy with Americans for Tax Fairness
  • Identify which businesses are the voice for positive change through the B Corp movement.
  • Share the events and actions of UUJEC and UUSJ in your congregations. 

 

Books of Interest on Tax Issues

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The Bubble and Beyond” by the heterodox economist Michael Hudson exposes the destructive financialization of our economy – how Wall Street “rigged the system”. This book traces the historical forces behind the Financial Crash of 2008 and how deregulated money uses debt and compound interest to impose an onerous tax on the 99%, evading federal taxes in the process.

This tax (= mortgage interest on skyrocketing real estate), acts like the land rents that forced the peasants to slave for the aristocrats of old Europe. Yet today housing in Germany is half the US cost. To fix the US bubble, impose high taxes on unearned income (= capital gains) and remove the tax deductibility of interest and depreciation of buildings. Even US industry is being attacked by corporate raiders touting “shareholder value” and hamstrung by excessive debt.

Hudson’s style can be repetitious, with dense words like monetarization and debt deflation, but his pithy quotes are worth it. Such as, “free markets for predatory lending and unearned income”. Or, “to the extent that economics uses mathematics, the spirit is closer to numerology than to the natural sciences”. Or, “throughout history societies that have polarized between creditors and debtors have not survived well”. [Dr. Dick Burkhart, UUJEC GA Committee Chair]

 

 

"Dark Age Ahead" by Jane Jacobs


Amazingly, this book was written well before the financial crash of 2008 and the 2016 US presidential election. Yet even in 2005 Jane Jacobs’ book became a bestseller, resonating with the many who suffered from, or who could see, the damage and corruption being wrought by an expanding culture of greed. She focuses on 5 points: (1) family, (2) higher education, (3) science and technology, (4) taxes and regulations, (5) self-policing.

Her chapter on family is really a lament for increasing domination by the car and the ensuing loss of public transit and social life, and the increasing cost of housing. On higher education, it is all about real education versus credentialing. On science, she describes three cases of scientific stupidity, deriving from unquestioned dogmas, taking examples from traffic engineering, public health, and economic development. On taxes, it is about Toronto’s dysfunctional property tax system and the rapid deterioration of public services due to a corrupt, neo-conservative government. On self-policing it is about failures in business and the professions, from Enron to the Catholic Church.

Then Jacobs looks for ways out of this “vicious spiral” of decay, such as revival of street life and affordable housing after the housing bubble; “performance zoning”; and redundancy in mentoring people and promoting economic diversity. Her final warning: Empires have not recognized that “the true power of a successful culture resides in its example”. [Dick Burkhart, UUJEC GA Committee Chair]

Many more UUJEC Book Reviews can be found here: http://uujec.com/bookReviews  

 


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