How the Tax Code Can Help Bridge the Racial Wealth Gap

As a volunteer income tax preparer in the Bronx, I’ve worked with residents whose adjusted gross income often drops below the federal poverty line. Many of them are black, and their tax returns usually involve one or two sources of wage income or Social Security benefits. Rarely have they accumulated interest or capital gains, so their wealth is all but non-existent. Unfortunately, this is the story for many black households who hold up to nearly 13 times less wealth than their white counterparts. For them, though, tax season is not…

Trump Can Save Republicans from Getting Trumped in November

Given the current state and controversy within the GOP, I write as a concerned member of the Republican Party. More importantly, I write as a citizen concerned about the fate of this nation. Although a Trump supporter, I hope to separate myself from the bias that comes with this support and write on the circumstances that have allowed Donald Trump to redefine conservatism in the 2016 primary elections. Appealing to some and horrifying to others, Trump has used the American people’s distrust of the current political system to tactfully position…

Would a “Brexit” break Britain?

The issue of Britain remaining in the European Union and the consequences of a potential British exit — sometimes shortened to “Brexit” — from the European Union, have come to the forefront of public debate with the upcoming referendum vote this June. While some say that Britain’s egress from the EU would benefit it economically, others argue that the opposite is true, and that there would be detrimental economic consequences for Britain and Europe. In truth, the issue is much more complex and multifaceted. A possible Brexit must be looked…

Structural Economic Defects: Why U.S. Growth Continues to Lag

As 2015 saw the U.S. economy add hundreds of thousands of jobs each month and the unemployment rate drift steadily downwards, eventually closing out the year at a firm 5.0 percent, many economists were left scratching their heads. Despite the positive jobs data that was slowly filtering out from the U.S. Labor Department, there was a question that seemed to linger in the air, a subtle sense of doubt that immediately lent pause to any impulse for celebration. It was a question that plagued people’s minds in almost all of…

The Minimum Wage Debate: Where to Go From Here

The current debate surrounding the minimum wage in the United States is characterized in part by disagreement about its original purpose. Those who support raising the minimum wage (usually to somewhere between $10 and $15 per hour) claim that it should provide workers with a reasonable standard of living. According to many opponents of such legislation, however, the minimum wage is meant to be a starting point for those with little job experience — a point from which workers can grow the value of their labor — and as such…

The Demand for Patriotism and Progress

More than a half-century ago, John F. Kennedy stood before a roaring crowd at the Capitol as he was sworn into office as president of the United States. To some eighty-million people watching across the country, his breath clear in the winter air, he delivered what would become one of the most famous lines of any inaugural address in history: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Fifty years have come and gone since…

New York’s Most Disruptive Tenant: Airbnb

“Airbnb and home-sharing are here to stay, and it’s a matter of time before we fix this law.” – Nick Papas, Director of Public Affairs at Airbnb   What if you needed the government’s permission every time you let your friends crash for the night? Say you received a notice claiming you were operating an “illegal hotel” for not obtaining clearance to let your out-of-town family stay over for the week. Would you argue there’s a line to be drawn? Friends? Friends of friends? Complete strangers? There’s a war going…

Why Malaysia Airlines’ Future Looks Doubtful

March 8th, 2015 marks the one-year anniversary since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared over the South China Sea. Departing from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the Boeing 777, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crewmembers, was scheduled to land in Beijing Capital International Airport. Shortly after MH370’s disappearance, the Malaysian government provided little to no information to the families affected and to the public. If Ho Chi Minh Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) had operated according to protocol, then they should have alerted Kuala Lumpar ATC within the first five minutes of…