Monday, December 25, 2017

Monday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your holiday reading.

- The Star tells the stories of a few of the people working to make sure Christmas runs smoothly. And Erin McCormick points out other workers stuck in precarious (and largely care-related) positions who don't have a choice but to take on holiday shifts in order to try to stay afloat.

- Meanwhile, David Cay Johnston weighs in on the disparate treatment of corporate tycoons and working people in the U.S.' tax scam:
This year cops and other first responders can write off the costs of buying uniforms and dry cleaning them. But in 2018, cops who buy their uniforms or are required to buy their own guns and ammunition will no longer be able to deduct those costs as reasonable and necessary expenses to support their earning a paycheck, thanks to Trump and Congressional Republicans.

But that’s not all. Cops and anyone else who belongs to a union will no longer be allowed to deduct their union dues. People who must bear travel costs without reimbursement from their employers will just have to suck it up starting in January.

The new law takes special aim at teachers who seek advanced degrees, which typically qualifies them for more pay. Tuition, books and related costs of getting advanced degrees will not be deductible after the end of this year.

Why are Trump and Congressional Republicans dinging first responders, teachers, nurses, traveling salespeople and even those who pay someone to prepare their income tax returns? So the rich can get bigger tax breaks, of course.
- Michael Savage and Dulcie Lee discuss the widening health gap between the rich and poor in the UK, while also noting the return of Victorian-era diseases among its poorest children. 

- Vinay Menon offers his take on how the bread price-fixing scandal which has recently surfaced likely reflects only the tip of the iceberg in consumer exploitation.

- Finally, Jane Mayer writes about the conservative scheme to suppress progressive organizing on campuses based on laughable claims about free speech for bigots.

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