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  • Democracy Spring – and the Globe remains silent

    (from Amberpaw)

    Political Cartoon about the Globe's blackout of Democracy Spring reporting

    Join the Fight for $15 in 2016 on April 14

    On April 14th, low-wage workers and allies will join together nationwide for a historic moment to Fight for $15. You won’t want to miss it. For every hard working underpaid worker who dreams of a better future for their family – and for every person who believes that’s a dream worth fighting for, this is it. This is the day to be louder, stronger, and more united than we’ve ever been.

    Join the Fight for $15 in 2016! RSVP on Facebook or at WageAction.org

    Thursday, April 14th, 3:30PM
    MA State House

    Save the date and stand with us for economic justice! Too many low wage workers are trapped in poverty. We are tired of being pitted against each other in a race to the bottom. Rain or Shine. Family friendly.

    On Thursday, April 14th, we’ll rally at the State House in Boston at 3:30PM, followed by a short march through the Boston Common. While corporate executives, Wall Street investors and other one-percenters bounce back from the most serious economic recession in 100 years, everyone else continues to face a punishing, decades-long reality of stagnant wages. Too many of us are forced to choose between keeping a roof over our heads, paying our bills or feeding our kids. But on April 14th, we have a different choice; we can choose to stand up for what is right.

    Sign up for the Thunderclap to help spread the word! A Thunderclap is a social media tool where hundreds of people can help amplify one message for a cause. All you have to do is click this link choose Support with Facebook or Support with Twitter, and it will connect your personal social media accounts! Then, on April 14th at 3:30PM, just as we’re advocating at the State House for $15/hour, all of the messages will be released. All at once. One unified message in support of the #Fightfor15 will reach tens of thousands of our friends, family, and community members – but only if you take two minutes to chip in.

    Together we’re turning the tide in favor of working people and our families. And we’ll need everyone’s help – including yours – to make this a reality. We’re fed up with working families being forced to survive on poverty wages, while being exploited by companies raking in billions of dollars of profit. On April 14th, 2016, we are taking to the streets.

    Will you be there to stand with us for $15/hour?

    In solidarity,
    The #WageAction Coalition

    And remember: save the date for May 1st!

    On Sunday, May 1st, we’ll also be standing up for workers’ and immigrant rights
    for International Workers’ Day, or May Day. More details to follow – save the date!

    On the March with Democracy Spring

    Reports from Bil, who’s taking part in the DemocracySpring march.

    Sleeping on Astroturf

    It’s really nice. If your air mattress happens to lose air over the course of the night, you end up on something soft, not a church floor. The facility is an old warehouse that they converted to a soccer and volleyball center. The woman responsible was delightfull and completely focused on providing a center for people to play. Her #1 concern is that a developer will tear it down when she leaves and turn it into condos.

    Sleeping on Astroturf

    Passing Beltsville, MD

    Passing Beltsville, MD

    thousands sit in from Democracy Spring, arrests beginning

    Thousands say "one person, one vote"

    Looks like over 1,000 arrests

    “Today, April 12, 2016, Bil Lewis, an Occupier from Occupy Boston and citizen journalist called in to report on Democracy Spring. He said he is so humbled by the people who are willing to put their bodies on the line and be arrested for their country.

    Captain Ray Lewis, a retired police captain, who was arrested in New York City in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street was also arrested in Washington, D.C. on September 12, 2016. Bil Lewis saw and reported Captain Lewis’s arrest, as well as that of a man in a wheelchair. It was all peaceful, smooth, and the numbers are over whelming Washington, D.C. It looked like more than 1000 Americans were arrested for the good of their country, today.

    Tomorrow, Tuesday April 12, 2016 the elders will come in their hundreds to be arrested. Men and women who are 65, 75, 80 or older and want to leave a better country for their children and grandchildren by getting the money out of politics and over turning the Citizens United decision and pushing their congressmen and congresswomen to do their jobs will lay their bodies on the line in the hundreds, and perhaps thousands.

    Thousands march during Democracy Spring

    5-do-your-jobs

    Captain Ray Lewis: massive disobedience is next

    Democracy Spring Banner

    Democracy Spring March

    Photo courtesy of Bil

    Only 40 miles to reach DC!

    Democracy Spring March

    The Panama Papers: What is To Be Done?

    Editorial

    But we knew that, now didn’t we? We knew that the rich and powerful use the complexity of the tax code to protect and enhance their privilege. The real question is “What is it about Title 17 that–on a deeper level–let’s them get away with it?”

    The hidden agenda of the Federal Tax Code is to make us all feel powerless. Most people–but especially those without college degrees–must pay an expert to figure out what they owe the government for services they may or may not want. It’s like going to a restaurant and paying someone to read a menu written in a nonverbal language, ordering without understanding what you’ve heard and then paying that same expert to figure out the tab. If you feel like someone is twisting your arm when you file your taxes you have it right: the current system is a coerced bargain between those who have information and power and those who do not. The Panama Papers are a case in point.

    The Appropriate Tax—Power to the People

    Take a minute to contrast the piece of crap we have now to the proposed Automated Payment Transaction (APT) tax and you’ll see what I mean. The APT is a tiny tax paid by buyers and sellers on all transactions that includes no credits or exemptions. It would replace all other federal taxes (see links below for details.)

    Don’t want to pay taxes?–buy less stuff. You have the power. The choice is yours.

    If the system were APT then the rich–including the Flash Boys who buy and sell so much invisible stuff–would pay more because they uniformly spend more than people with less money. The APT system is automated so overhead is minimal. Like landlines, answering machines and horse drawn buggies filing a tax return would become a thing of the past.

    Yes! Filing your taxes—our annual sacrifice to the gods of nonsense, the excruciating attempt to wring meaning or at least direction out of mountain of words laid down like sediment one rainy Congressional season after another–could be a thing of the past. And instead of trying to micromanage us and the economy with the tax code the government could use fees, regulations and forethought. Off shore tax havens are not in the picture.

    The only downside to the APT tax is that it would put many low income individuals who work interpreting the tax code out of business. Ditto for almost everyone who works at the IRS. It would also decimate the humongous well-heeled “cheat on your taxes” industry so aptly described in The Panama Papers. And that would be a very good thing indeed. Low and moderate income individuals whose livelihoods are destroyed by instituting the APT should be compensated by the government. Upper income CPAs, tax attorneys etc. can go jump in a lake.

    In the weird world of word coincidences the fact that the acronym for the Automated Payment Transaction Tax (APT) means “suited to the purpose or occasion, appropriate” takes the cake. Even better is the fact that it takes the cake away from the 1%.
    Please support the Automated Payment Transaction tax by frequenting their website and Facebook page. If you can actually volunteer real time to make the tax system more apt more power to you.

    References:

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/03/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-panama-papers

    Tax Revolution – Replace All Taxes On Few with One Tiny Tax on All Transactions Including Stock and Currency Trades


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_Boys

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