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Month: April 2011

40 Years of Tax Changes

40 Years of Tax Changes

Few laws are as important as the federal tax law. It affects most of the 215 million adults who live in the United States, as well as millions of for-profit businesses and nonprofit entities. How has tax law changed since 1971? Let’s count just a few ways. In 1971 the top individual income tax rate was 70%. In 2011 it is 35%. In 1971, the average income tax rate for a typical family of four was 9.27%. In 2011, it…

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Immigration: A brief history

Immigration: A brief history

Nolo’s founding happens to have coincided with a quantum leap in the numbers of immigrants coming to live permanently in the United States (with a green card). Back in the white-picket-fence 1950s, typical annual immigration to the U.S. was about 250,000 people. That number doubled in the 1970s, largely reflecting new laws that scrapped quotas favoring immigrants from Europe. The numbers of immigrants doubled again by the 1990s, and now over a million people receive U.S. green cards every year….

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The Brief Story of Texas vs. Nolo

The Brief Story of Texas vs. Nolo

When 19th century pioneers rode west, many carried a bible in one saddlebag and the bestselling Everyman His Own Lawyer, by John Wells in the other. But by 1998, when a Committee of the Supreme Court of Texas sought to ban Nolo’s books and software from the state, this frontier tradition of legal self-help had obviously been forgotten. Claiming that only lawyers could provide legal information and that Nolo’s publications were guilty of practicing law without a license, the Supreme…

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Consumer Scams: 1971 & 2011 Comparison

Consumer Scams: 1971 & 2011 Comparison

Consumer fraud has come a long way in the last 40 years. Although scams thrived in the 1970s, the Internet brought the scamming trade to new heights in the 21st century. Let’s take a look at what the scam scene looked like in 1971 and what it looks like today – and how you can protect yourself. 1971: Spam was canned meat that looked (and some say, tasted) like cat food, phishing was something you did with your grandfather, a…

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