“Trump should be removed from office ASAP, whether by 25th Amendment or impeachment. It is a threat to US democracy and to the world for him to remain,” CEPR posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in the aftermath of the deadly storming of the US Capitol Building last week.
Are Republicans planning to sabotage economic recovery under the Biden administration? Mark Weisbrot looked at this, and other reasons political polarization is likely to increase after Trump leaves office, in an op-ed for MarketWatch. Related to this, the Georgia Senate elections could have profound implications for the US economy for a decade, Weisbrot told Upfront (KPFA in Berkeley, CA) on the day of the elections.
Dozens of international humanitarian, development, health, labor, faith-based, and policy organizations are urging President-Elect Joseph Biden to act swiftly on a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular by directing the US Treasury Department to support an allocation of two trillion Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) by the International Monetary Fund. Organizations signing the letter include the AFL-CIO, Global Citizen, the American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International USA, Bread for the World, the Iowa Farmers Union, Jobs With Justice, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Oxfam America, Partners in Health, CEPR, and many others. CEPR played a key role in organizing this effort, as well as the two bills supporting two trillion in SDRs that passed the House last year.
Referring to the nearly $1 billion in federal funding for development and trials of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, Dean Baker was quoted in The Los Angeles Times, saying, “We totally paid Moderna’s research and testing costs … If Moderna ends up selling 500 million doses, say, at an average price of $15, they are pocketing $7.5 billion on a project where they effectively put up no money and took no risk.”
The rich are taking advantage of the pandemic to get richer at the expense of the poor, so too it is with wealthy hospitals. After collecting billions from the CARES Act, wealthy hospitals now get FEMA aid. Eileen Appelbaum tells Reuters, “These are very financially successful hospitals that have already received a huge amount of taxpayer money to help with COVID-19.” The Cleveland Clinic was singled out last fall by Appelbaum and Rosemary Batt as one of the wealthy, so-called nonprofit, hospital systems that received major government bailouts intended for struggling hospitals to offset financial losses caused by the pandemic. Crain’s Cleveland Business put the spotlight on the greedy clinic again, once news broke of the additional FEMA aid.
Dean Baker monitors the irregular fluctuations of economic indicators in the Pandemic Economy. Regarding yesterday’s Consumer Price Index, Baker notes, “The pandemic has led to a real flip in price trends. Rent, medical care, and education had been sectors with higher inflation. This is no longer the case; now food and cars see the highest inflation. This will likely flip back when the pandemic fades, although slower rental inflation could last.” Regarding last week’s jobs data, Baker laments, “The pain from the recession is heavily concentrated among the long-term unemployed.”
“To increase spending on family benefits to the 2018 Canadian level, the United States would have to provide roughly $221 billion more for families; to reach Swedish levels, benefits would need to increase by $594 billion,” Simran Kalkat and Shawn Fremstad write in a new post.
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Reuters, quoting Eileen Appelbaum, Wealthy Hospitals Rake in US Disaster Aid for COVID-19 Costs
The Los Angeles Times, quoting Dean Baker, Pfizer, Moderna Expect Billions in Profits From COVID Vaccines. That’s a Scandal
The New Republic, quoting Mark Weisbrot, Stop Comparing the Capitol Riot to Banana Republics. It’s Lazy—and Wrong.
CNBC, quoting Eileen Appelbaum, New Relief Deal Doesn’t Mandate Paid Sick Or Family Leave for Covid-19
MarketPlace Radio, quoting Dean Baker, Long-Term Unemployment Rose Slightly in December
La Razón, quoting David Rosnick, ‘Causa penal’ contra Luis Almagro
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