July 4, 2005
John Walton, one of five Wal-Mart heirs who are ranked among the richest people in the U.S., died with a fortune of $18.2 billion (Obituary, June 28). If all five heirs have approximately the same net worth, their total net worth would be more than $90 billion. Meanwhile, some of their employees are compelled to apply for public benefits funded with tax dollars while Wal-Mart squeezes subcontractors so that they cannot pay a living wage. Regardless of any of John Walton's charitable works, this disparity is a shameful commentary on our society and its tax laws.
June 20, 2008 |
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. doesn't owe any profits from the "Pink Panther" films to the heirs of a man who co-wrote the first movie treatment about the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. Heirs of Maurice Richlin claimed in a lawsuit against MGM that Richlin's role in writing the initial plot outline in 1962 made him a co-author of the 1963 film "The Pink Panther" and its nine sequels, giving them rights to the movie's copyright. An appeals court in San Francisco disagreed, saying Richlin assigned all rights to the treatment to a production company that made and copyrighted the film.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1985
Accolades to Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping for replacing the aging leaders of the Central Committee and Politburo, with new, younger, better educated technocrats. If Deng and his heirs succeed in their modernization of China, it will be similar to the modernization of feudal Japan, magnified 10,000 times. MONROE LEUNG Beverly Hills
September 29, 1985 |
It's dusk as a van pulls alongside James Dean's grave in a cemetery less than a mile from the stately white farmhouse in which he was raised. The blue Indiana sky is beginning to turn lavender and the cornfield across the street sparkles with the lights of thousands of fireflies. Terry Lee Dunn, 24 and unemployed, slides open the van door and silently contemplates Dean's small, plain gravestone.
October 31, 2008 |
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has sent a painting by cubist Fernand Leger back to the heirs of a Jewish art collector in France, after concluding it had been stolen by the Nazis during World War II. The museum had owned the 1911 Leger painting "Smoke Over Rooftops" since 1961. But after a decade of detective work, the institute decided to return it to the heirs of noted Parisian collector Alphonse Kann, who died in 1948. "Having researched this to the end of the road, we decided we had to return the painting; it was the right thing to do," Kaywin Feldman, director of the institute, told the Star Tribune for a story published Thursday.
July 14, 2010 |
In his July 6 Op-Ed, law professor Ray D. Madoff made a case for the estate tax, claiming that it promoted tax fairness and economic growth. Madoff is wrong on both counts. The estate tax violates common principles of justice and stifles economic growth. Congress should permanently lock in this year's special moratorium on the estate tax. One standard argument against the estate tax is that the wealth of the estate was already taxed (perhaps several times over) while being accumulated.
July 27, 2005
Nothing against the former first lady and matriarch of the Bush family, but Barbara Bush's comments about the future benefits of Social Security ring hollow (July 23). This is a family that is worth millions of dollars, and I don't think Bush's heirs will have to depend on Social Security. If anything they should be part of the elite who don't qualify for full, if any, benefits. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and I think our elite are playing the same tune. Paul Wah Ventura