Rich Versus Very Rich: The Strange Tax War in the United States

Rich Versus Very Rich: The Strange Tax War in the United States

Rich Versus Very Rich

A group of millionaires, who call themselves patriots, support the idea of ​​taxing billionaires more heavily like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk

The manifesto of the Patriotic Millionaires (from website) A protest with mobile posters on the streets and a symbolic sit-in to ask that the so-called 1% contribute more with the tax authorities as a measure of equity towards the rest of the country emerging from the coronavirus crisis: they organized it with a stop under the founder's house of Amazon, Jeff Bezos not trade unions, parties or citizens' associations but a handful of pro-tax millionaires. The initiative was prepared for Monday, the deadline for tax returns in the United States, in several places between New York and Washington, explains CNBC, on the initiative of the Patriotic Millionaires. To be part of this group you have to earn more than a million dollars a year or own properties worth over 5 million.

For some time the United States has been discussing President Joe Biden's proposal to increase corporate income tax from 21 to 28% and on those who earn over $ 400,000 a year. The Democratic president would also like to raise the tax for higher incomes from 37% to 39.6%, a measure that would affect 1% of Americans. All this would finance his 2 trillion billion infrastructure plan, but this idea was opposed by the Republicans, who with Trump lowered the corporate tax from 35 to 21%.

On the other hand, patriot millionaires go further by supporting Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders' tax plan: a 2% annual tax on wealth over $ 50 million, up to 3% for wealth of over 1 billion (1% surcharge). Such taxation would bring at least $ 3 trillion over 10 years, and would target about 100,000 Americans or less than one in a thousand households, "without raising taxes for 99.95% of Americans with net worth less than $ 50 million. ”Explains a statement from Warren. "The ultra-rich and powerful have manipulated the rules in their favor so much that 0.1% pay less than 99% and the wealth of billionaires is 40% greater than before the covid crisis," added the former candidate. presidency.

According to an analysis by the Institute on Economic and Fiscal Policy, Amazon paid 9.4% federal income tax instead of 21%, in 2020, but managed not to pay even in 2018 a dollar thanks to a system of credits and deductions. On the other hand, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation, Warren and Sanders' proposals would reduce American economic production by 0.37% and 0.43%.

“Tax me if you can”, it stated thus a mobile poster that circulated between Wall Street and the Federal Reserve headquarters in Manhattan, with the faces of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Bezos himself. The founder of the patriot millionaires, Erica Payne, who also wrote Tax the Rich! , a book explaining how "lies, loopholes and lobbies make the rich even richer", on sale since April. On Amazon.

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Deep water on Neptune and Uranus may be magnesium-rich

While scientists have amassed considerable knowledge of the rocky planets in our solar system, like Earth and Mars, much less is known about the icy water-rich planets, Neptune and Uranus.

In a new study recently published in Nature Astronomy, a team of scientists recreated the temperature and pressure of the interiors of Neptune and Uranus in the lab, and in so doing have gained a greater understanding of the chemistry of these planets' deep water layers. Their findings also provide clues to the composition of oceans on water-rich exoplanets outside our solar system.

Neptune and Uranus are conventionally thought to have distinct separate layers, consisting of an atmosphere, ice or fluid, a rocky mantle and a metallic core. For this study, the research team was particularly interested in possible reaction between water and rock in the deep interiors.

'Through this study, we were seeking to extend our knowledge of the deep interior of ice giants and determine what water-rock interactions at extreme conditions might exist,' says lead author Taehyun Kim, of Yonsei University in South Korea. 'Ice giants and some exoplanets have very deep water layers, unlike terrestrial planets. We proposed the possibility of an atomic-scale mixing of two of the planet-building materials (water and rock) in the interiors of ice giants.'

To mimic the conditions of the deep water layers on Neptune and Uranus in the lab, the team first immersed typical rock-forming minerals, olivine and ferropericlase, in water and compressed the sample in a diamond anvil to very high pressures. Then, to monitor the reaction between the minerals and water, they took X-ray measurements while a laser heated the sample to a high temperature.

The resulting chemical reaction led to high concentrations of magnesium in the water. Based on these findings, the team concluded that oceans on water-rich planets may not have the same chemical properties as the Earth's ocean and high pressure would make those oceans rich in magnesium.

'We found that magnesium becomes much more soluble in water at high pressures. In fact, magnesium may become as soluble in the water layers of Uranus and Neptune as salt is in Earth's ocean,' says study co-author Sang-Heon Dan Shim of Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration.

These characteristics may also help solve the mystery of why Uranus' atmosphere is much colder than Neptune's, even though they are both water-rich planets. If much more magnesium exists in the Uranus' water layer below the atmosphere, it could block heat from escaping from the interior to the atmosphere.

'This magnesium-rich water may act like a thermal blanket for the interior of the planet,' says Shim.

Beyond our solar system, these high-pressure and high-temperature experiments may also help scientists gain a greater understanding of sub-Neptune exoplanets, which are planets outside of our solar system with a smaller radius or a smaller mass than Neptune.

Sub-Neptune planets are the most common type of exoplanets that we know of so far, and scientists studying these planets hypothesize that many of them may have a thick water-rich layer with a rocky interior. This new study suggests that the deep oceans of these exoplanets would be much different from Earth's ocean and may be magnesium-rich.

'If an early dynamic process enabled a rock–water reaction in these exoplanets, the topmost water layer may be rich in magnesium, possibly affecting the thermal history of the planet,' says Shim.

For next steps, the team hopes to continue their high-pressure/high-temperature experiments under diverse conditions to learn more about the composition of planets.

'This experiment provided us with a plan for further exploration of the unknown phenomena in ice giants,' says Kim.

More information: Taehyun Kim et al. Atomic-scale mixing between MgO and H2O in the deep interiors of water-rich planets, Nature Astronomy (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41550-021-01368-2

Citation: Deep water on Neptune and Uranus may be magnesium-rich (2021, May 18) retrieved 18 May 2021 from

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