To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace.
Confucius, The Analects (via itsfromabook)
The Romney tax returns are a prime example of our increasingly two-tiered bureaucratic system, in which there is one set of rules for poor and middle-class people, and another set of rules for people like Mitt Romney. The most common method of giving preferential treatment to the rich is through semantics. The old classic was that you called a rich kid blowing coke in his dorm room one thing, and you called a black street kid smoking crack something else, and the two got different penalties for the same crime – cocaine use. Or, and this one is still true in some states, the rich white kid who uses a fake ID to get into a club gets hit with a misdemeanor and a fine, while an immigrant who uses a fake ID to get a job at a chicken plant gets dragged in for a felony and can get up to 15 years in jail. Both offenses are simple forgery, but one is also called felony fraud and you get real prison time for it. In Mitt’s case, the money you and I make to support ourselves is called income and is taxed up to 35 percent, but the money Mitt makes raiding companies with borrowed money and extracting draconian management fees from captive companies that have no choice but to pay them is called “Carried Interest,” and taxed at a top rate of 15%.
Today TED was subject to a story so misleading it would be funny… except it successfully launched an aggressive online campaign against us.
The National Journal alleged we had censored a talk because we considered the issue of inequality “too hot to handle.” The story ignited a firestorm of outrage on Reddit, Huffington Post and elsewhere. We were accused of being cowards. We were in the pay of our corporate partners. We were the despicable puppets of the Republican party.
Here’s what actually happened…