Pages I refer to often

  • Income Distribution in the US
    How is our income distributed? Well, it is pretty concentrated. How concentrated? Take a look.
  • Progress and Poverty, by Henry George
    Here are links to online editions of George's landmark book, Progress & Poverty, including audio and a number of abridgments -- the shortest is 30 words! I commend this book to your attention, if you are concerned about economic justice, poverty, sprawl, energy use, pollution, wages, housing affordability. Its observations will change how you approach all these problems. A mind-opening experience!
  • Wealth Concentration Tables from 2004 SCF: Bottom 90%, Next 9% and Top 1%
    Aggregated data by net worth quantile, for various kinds of wealth. With calculations you won't find anywhere else!
  • Wealth Concentration Tables from 2004 SCF: 50-40-5-4-1
    These tables show how concentrated the ownership of various kinds of assets are. With calculations you won't find anywhere else! This version is less aggregated: Bottom 50%, Next 40%, Next 5%, Next 4% and Top 1%.


Books I Value

  • Henry George: Progress and Poverty: An inquiry into the cause of industrial depressions and of increase of want with increase of wealth ... The Remedy
    This is perhaps the most important book ever written on the subjects of poverty, political economy, how we might live together in a society dedicated to the ideals Americans claim to believe are self-evident. It will provide you new lenses through which to view many of our most serious problems and how we might go about solving them: poverty, sprawl, long commutes, despoilation of the environment, housing affordability, wealth concentration, income concentration, concentration of power, low wages, etc. Read it online, or in hardcopy.
  • Bob Drake's abridgement of Henry George's original: Progress and Poverty: Why There Are Recessions and Poverty Amid Plenty -- And What To Do About It!
    This is a very readable thought-by-thought updating of Henry George's longer book, written in the language of a newsweekly. A fine way to get to know Henry George's ideas. Available online at and

Where Else Might You Look?

Sites I enjoy

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May 09, 2009


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to LVTfan:
Some of the info posted here previously is misleading, erroneous, and not true.

The comparison of average diesel to gas prices in CT is misleading. A big rig can't get into fueling stations like those posted at the website - they are stuck with filling up at truck stops where the price can be $1.00+ higher/gal. When gas prices were $3.00, diesel at the truck stops was over $4.00 ... $4.50 at some. It reached over $5.00/gal last year.

The statement that truckers fill 300 gal tanks (most are smaller) in a cheap state and get a free ride in CT is simply NOT TRUE.
No matter where a trucker fills, he/she pays for every mile driven in CT. CT charges trucks for highway use through the IRP (International Registration Plan) and IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) programs - something that non truckers are not subject to.

CT IRP registration costs about $1,550.00 every year per big rig. Even if a rig is not registered in CT as its home state, CT gets a portion according to miles driven in CT. What does car registration cost every year?

IFTA filings are required and taxes are paid every quarter for ALL miles traveled by big rigs in CT, no matter where truckers buy diesel. This can easily come to $5,000 in IFTA taxes per year and up that CT gets for every big rig that travels in CT.
CT IFTA charges are about the highest in the US at $.434 for every gallon of diesel fuel USED in CT. Big rigs get around 5 mi./gal. That is a lot of fuel for many more miles traveled than any car in CT! This gets both CT truckers as well as interstate truckers who travel into CT, no matter where the fuel is purchased. Gas powered cars get around 20 mi./gal. and do not have to file and pay IFTA taxes for mileage driven in CT, no matter where they fill. Maybe they should be included!

So, imposing a toll on CT's major highways, at least for trucks, DOES NOT make a lot of sense, since these revenues are already collected via IFTA & IRP. It would be a triple tax on truckers who already pay for using the highways. The suggestion that trucks be charged $.30 per mile tolls more is outrageous - truck freight paying $1.50 (average of loaded and non-loaded miles)- or so per mile would not be able to cover it since there is only about $.33 - $.35 per mile currently left to the trucker as income ! Leave it to someone who knows nothing about the trucking industry to come up with that one !

Many CT truckers cross our borders and use I-91, I95, I84 etc. several times in a day back and forth; the tolls would be a real killer! In order to avoid these tolls - as is happening in other states where they exist, truckers use alternate routes that were not built for the traffic which causes local problems.

Every year truckers also pay a Federal Highway Use tax of $550.00 per truck.

Truckers already contribute in a huge way to state highway support, many times more than a 4 wheel gasser owner!

As far as the claim from the Congressional Budget Office that trucks do about 6 times the damage to roads as cars: it is not from any scientific study. It is an arbitrary figure - a guestimate. While cars distribute weight over 4 wheels, big rigs distribute weight over 18 wheels, so there is not a lot difference.

While diesel prices and taxes have increased greatly over the past several years, the freight rates have been stagnant, so truckers are already bearing an unfair burden compared to the general public.


These truck owner operators work over 80 per wk and clear about $20 - 30,000 after trucking expenses (and no health insurance) if they are lucky and don't have to replace a rig for over $125,000 (expected life is little over 5 or 6 years). They also have to pay twice as much in social security and medicare taxes since they must pay the employers part.

Other reasons not to install tolls:
Wasn't one of the reasons to push removal of toll booths the horrid fiery crash that killed some people when a truck couldn't slow down at the toll plaza?

What about Federal funding? There were issues in the past of losing that if we were to reinstall tolls ... especially on roads that were already paid for.

We cannot afford the costs up front now for a toll program, nor the continuing costs.

How about raising the gas tax and the income tax on adjusted gross income over $50,000 (graduated of course)?

If CT needs to install tolls - how about doing it on the roads outside of the casinos where a lot of disposable income goes?

Cut Amtrack subsidies.
How much of the taxes from our truckers and others is funding Amtrack which comparatively few CT residents use?

Don't keep looking to truckers to support the state of CT. They already do much more than their fair share and are way overburdened already. Unfortunately, the lawmakers and tax people, as well as the general public, don't know or understand the trucking industry and it's financial situation/burden.

Over the years, the money collected from trucking that was supposed to go toward highway maintenance, improvements etc., has been taken and used for other programs and things totally unrelated.

The trucking industry is the biggest and most important industry in the country - bailout time?

Yachtcharter Griechenland

I was just thinking about How Should Connecticut Pay for Maintaining I-95, I-91, I-84 and the Parkways and you've really helped out. Thanks!

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