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A trove of never-before-seen IRS files has revealed some of the creative tax strategies employed by America’s ultrarich. Among the most novel: Peter Thiel’s use of a Roth IRA to amass a $5 billion, untaxed fortune. By using his Roth to invest in early-stage start-ups like Facebook and Palantir, he’s shielded gargantuan gains in a Roth. Propublica investigates.
How ranked-choice voting could change the way democracy works Politics $ (Possible Paywall)
Last week, New York voters cast their ballots in the first mayoral election to use ranked-choice voting. What’s that, you ask? It’s an alternative voting system, where people rank the candidates in order of preference. If none of the candidates win the majority of votes, the last-place finisher is eliminated, and her votes are redistributed to her voters’ second-choice candidates. Supporters say it will improve democracy; detractors say it’s unnecessarily confusing.
In response to the economic effects of the pandemic, the U.S. federal government started the Payment Protection Program, a $953 billion loan program aimed at saving faltering businesses. But an analysis by The San Francisco Chronicle reveals that those loans were given to businesses in census tracts with a higher share of white residents, leaving business owners in lower income or predominantly Black and Hispanic areas without aid.
Tornado Alley — the corridor extending from Texas to South Dakota — has traditionally been the site of many powerful tornadoes. But an investigation by USA Today suggests that Tornado Alley has been expanding over the past two decades. More and more twisters are happening in places like Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi as warm, moist air off the Gulf of Mexico combines with cooler, upper-level winds from the west.