5SR - March 14, 2024

Hitha on taxes, revolutionaries, and red foxes

A quick refresher - I’m Hitha Palepu, the founder of #5SmartReads. If you’d like to connect with me elsewhere, I’m most active on Instagram and write a weekly newsletter about smart, random things. Looking forward to connecting there!

I have a lot of feelings about this article - shock, rage, frustration, and a general sense of malaise of just how inequitable things are.

It’s a detailed reporting on how the ultra-wealthy take advantage of everything they can - from purposefully accumulating losses, how they use their private jets and art to their advantage, and how they handle audits - and spend a lot of money to keep even more money.

The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. A lot.

Just when I think I can no longer be surprised about American economics, some new stat comes along to shock me.

Like that there are TRILLIONS of dollars of commercial real estate debt. WITH A T.

And if you’re wondering what’s being done about said debt, it’s not a whole lot at the moment - but that’s poised to change at any minute, for the right price.

I know there’s a ton of rightful ire on where our tax dollars go (both in domestic and foreign policy), and I’d argue we should share some of that ire with the private markets who are recording record profits (or are poised to) with zero regard of the millions of people who suffer from said profits.

Here’s a necessary palate cleanser that will warm your heart.

A wildlife center’s veterinary team is donning red fox masks to care for an orphaned kit, in an effort to help the kit acclimate to life in the wild again.

I’ve added this video to my “joy triggers” list (a running list in my Notes app of happy, random things that cheer me up when I’m feeling low)

And if you need another adorable animal joy trigger, here you go:

In “looking for the good wherever you can”, I think this is an indication of things moving in favor of longstanding, durable peace.

And while it’s a long shot, being reported in a mainstream publication is indicative that Western leaders are taking it seriously and planning around it.

The article is both realistic and acknowledges that a different approach has to be considered, as the status quo has proven to be untenable and unviable over the past 70 years. I would also acknowledge that such a plan could not be introduced with the current leadership still in place in Gaza and Israel, which is another issue entirely.

Young and Restless (Study Marry Kill)

…and they always have - even when they don’t stand to benefit from their activism.

I’ve been saving Young and Restless for when I can give it the attention it deserves, and Mattie’s interview with my favorite historian Alexis Coe is proof that there is no such thing as the right time, but to be in the right mood for a book.

And given that I’m a pessimistic about everything right now, I need to familiarize myself with the girls and young women who took action in times like these instead of wallowing and going down #KateGate conspiracy rabbit holes.

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