What Went Wrong: Taxes

The view from the ground: Seeds of recovery

Sept. 17, 2012

Hundreds of letters poured into the offices of The Philadelphia Inquirer in response to the gripping story of economic woes told in the original America: What Went Wrong? series by Donald Barlett and James Steele 20 years ago. While letters today are submitted electronically and conversations are often are on cell phones, the feeling of economic despair sounds eerily familiar. Bill Cotter's letter is one in an occasional series about people who submitted their story to us over the many months that we have worked on our current project, What Went Wrong: The Betrayal of the American Dream. The series led to Barlett and Steele's new, best-selling book, "The Betrayal of the America Dream," released in August.

Web Chat: Barlett and Steele take questions

April 18, 2011

Donald Barlett and James Steele are taking questions live online at on Monday, April 18 at 1 p.m. at a live chat hosted by The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Inquirer will run installments of the project, What Went Wrong: The Betrayal of the American Dream, over the coming year. The chat follows the Sunday publication of Tax time: Are corporations paying their share?

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Tax time: Are corporations paying their share?

April 16, 2011

One of the more egregious falsehoods being peddled by the corporate tax cutters is that companies doing business in the United States are taxed at an exorbitant rate. Not so. While the United States has one of the highest statutory rates on the books at 35 percent, the only fair way to measure what companies actually pay is their effective rate after deductions, credits and assorted writeoffs.

Graphic: Who pays the taxes?

Feb. 7, 2011

We will feature charts, maps, photos and other visualizations that reflect the state of the economy as part of our What Went Wrong project. Today's column chart shows the growing disparity between what individuals and corporations pay in taxes. In the 1950s, the difference was 22 percent. Recent figures show the difference is 62 percent.

What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele are revisiting America: What Went Wrong, their landmark 1991 newspaper series, in a new project with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. Over the next year, the project team will examine how four decades of public policy has shaped America's ongoing economic crisis.

Issues

Back Story

The authors talk about What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele talk about the project, and why they decided to revisit a book they wrote two decades ago, in a series of video clips produced by the Workshop.

Nation's Story

Who pays the taxes?

Who pays the taxes?

We feature charts, maps, photos and other visualizations that reflect the state of the economy as part of our What Went Wrong project. This column chart shows the growing disparity between what individuals and corporations pay in taxes. In the 1950s, the difference was 22 percent. Recent figures show the difference is 62 percent.

Rags to rags: Economic mobility hard to come by

New Pew Center on States report confirms that moving up the American economic ladder is difficult, even though most people have more income than their parents.

Homelessness takes it toll on Florida's youngest

Florida, as a center of the housing boom, still struggles to recover from the Great Recession. Financial stresses and widespread foreclosures have placed families in precarious situations, resulting in a spike in child homelessness. Susannah Nesmith reports in the Broward Bulldog.

Older workers face challenges in Silicon Valley

An advanced degree and experience in the tech sector should be a ticket to a job in today's economy. But older workers in the heart of the new economy, Silicon Valley, are finding their resume is not the issue. Aaron Glantz reports in The Bay Citizen.

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Read an Excerpt

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

Check out the first chapter of Barlett and Steele's 2012 book here.