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Tag Archives: Banana republic

Daunte Wright’s Killing Makes the Case for Shrinking Police Budgets

Yves here. I don’t pretend to have any good answers for what to do about police brutality, particularly towards people of color. During the Presidential campaign, Biden backed even more police spending, no doubt to clam the nerves of the Dem’s professional-managerial class base. More unequal societies are lower trust societies, so the K-shaped recovery is only going to increase the perception of risk among the well off. Two things to keep in mind. First is that the most troubling form of...

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Pricey Learning Pods Are Now Helping Vulnerable Students. Will the Trend Survive the Pandemic?

Yves here. I wish someone could provide a range of guesstimates as to what various interventions in schools would cost to improve ventilation, as opposed to learning pods at $13,000 a semester. The problem, as anyone who has spent much time in NYC or other East Coast cities knows, most schools are old, and some are even antiques. But older schools would have windows that were originally designed to open, and one would assume could be or in most cases were fitted with screens. In any event,...

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Whither AOC?

Yves here. Tom Neuburger gives a hard look at AOC’s recent donations to corporate Democrats and tries to ferret out what she intended to accomplish. Tom is at a loss to understand why AOC chose the party members she did. I am at a loss to understand why she thought $5,000 donations would have made any difference to the recipients even if they had been on board with taking funds from her. As I am sure readers know, there’s a dark art as to how heavyweight bundlers and donors work around formal...

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Slaughter Central: The United States as a Mass-Killing Machine

Yves here. Tom Engelhardt tries to get his arms around US weapons sales and use. The figures are depressing, particularly in comparison to those of our nominal peers. And the intensity of our fixation with killing has only grown only over time. Just look at TV. In its early, tamer days, frontier shows like The Rifleman and Gunsmoke gave weapons top billing. Now in our post-Vietnam, post Archie Bunker of greater realism, police shows have gory gunplay as their prime offering, with big side...

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Michael Hudson Asks Our Readers: If Democracy Winds Up Creating Financial Dominance, What Do We Call China?

Yves here. I hope readers will take Michael Hudson’s query to heart. His work has demonstrated how the financial sector tends to gain power and increase inequality if unchecked via debt jubilees or other methods to keep it from acting as a rentier and creating debt peonage. He wonders what would be the most fitting label for countries that like China have adopted substantial elements of a modern market economy but are taking steps to restrict the influence of financiers. By Michael Hudson, a...

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Trump Remains at the Heart of the Republican Party

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. To those who may have thought the absence of Trump tweets means the Republican Party has finally got over him,  I have one word: ha. Two developments during the past week suggest that Trump remains a key – if not the key – player in the Republican Party. Is that due to his charm, his grace, his savoir faire? Uh no. Read on. Texas Voter Law Change:...

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FTC, Where Art Thou?: Appliance Manufacturers Routinely Invalidate Warranties if Customers Use Third-Party Repair Services

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Appliance repair is on my mind at the moment. Why? The dishwasher at our winter rental beach hideaway, where my husband and I have sequestered ourselves to avoid the pandemic, died last Friday. Leaving us to do the dishes. I know, I know, a first world problem. And a task I’ve done before, and no doubt will do many times again. We didn’t have a...

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Stock Buybacks Stand in the Way of Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and climate proposal has a lot of people excited, and no wonder. Americans are sick of being stuck with frazzled electric grids, foul drinking water, falling bridges, far too many left out of prosperity, and feeling that the country’s global status is suffering. On March 31st, President Biden...

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FBI Investigating Reporting Fraud at $62 Billion Pennsylvania Public Pension Fund, PSERS; Returns Allegedly Falsified to Avoid Increased Worker Contributions

Frankly, it’s surprising that it’s taken this long for an investigation of a public pension fund over allegations that it lied about its returns. But it’s not a surprise that it took Federal investigators, as in the FBI, to saddle up, in this case against a Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, aka PSERS. Readers regularly lament how CalPERS regularly and obviously runs roughshod over the law and board members openly violate their fiduciary duty by not even pretending to...

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Martin Luther King’s America Redux: “The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World”

Yves here. Comparatively few recall that Martin Luther King fell into disfavor in the US when he became an early critic of the War in Vietnam. King described how the cost of the conflict fell disproportionately on young black men and that military spending drained resources from social programs. But he also stated that as an advocate of non-violence, he had to stand for it in all settings, which included opposing US aggression abroad. We’re fans of Liz Theoharis, and we hope you appreciate...

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