Employee or Contractor? Double-Tax Case Could Help Businesses Challenge IRS
– The Wall Street Journal
A tiny Native American tribe in New Mexico defeated the Internal Revenue Service in a dispute over a system that sometimes lets the government collect the same taxes twice. The case, decided in April by the U.S. Tax Court, gives employers a new way to challenge the IRS when the agency audits companies and labels their workers as employees for whom paycheck-withholding is required instead of independent contractors responsible for their own taxes.
Amazon Trounces Rivals in Battle of The Shopping ‘Bots’
Earlier this year, engineers at Wal-Mart Stores Inc who track rivals’ prices online got a rude surprise: the technology they were using to check Amazon several million times a day suddenly stopped working. But a new tactic by Amazon to block these programs — known commonly as robots or bots — thwarted the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer. The previously unreported incident offers a case study in how Amazon’s technological prowess is helping it dominate the retail competition.
Researchers Have Answered a Big Question About the Decline of The Middle Class
– The Washington Post
America is getting richer every year. The American worker is not. Far from it: On average, workers born in 1942 earned as much or more over their careers than workers born in any year since, according to new research – and workers on the job today shouldn’t expect to catch up with their predecessors in their remaining years of employment. Stagnant or falling earnings have put a squeeze on working- and middle-class households. The trend has also widened the gap between the rich and everyone else.
How Home Ownership Became the Engine of American Inequality
– The New York Times
Almost a decade removed from the foreclosure crisis that began in 2008, the nation is facing one of the worst affordable-housing shortages in generations. The standard of “affordable” housing is that which costs roughly 30 percent or less of a family’s income. Because of rising housing costs and stagnant wages, slightly more than half of all poor renting families in the country spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs, and at least one in four spends more than 70 percent. Yet America’s national housing policy gives affluent homeowners large benefits; middle-class homeowners, smaller benefits; and most renters, who are disproportionately poor, nothing.