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Tag Archives: The destruction of the middle class

Michael Hudson: America’s Neoliberal Financialization Policy vs. China’s Industrial Socialism

Yves here. Michael Hudson said he both enjoyed and very much appreciated the robust discussion among members of the commentariat last weekend about what to call China’s economic model. He’s keen to continue the discussion. To advance that end, Michael has graciously given us a lecture being subtitled in Chinese for release in a few weeks. It summarizes a series of talks and will also be included in his my book to be published later this summer, “The Destiny of Civilization: Industrial...

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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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Why Work at Home Is Not Likely to Thrive After the Covid Era

Many white collar workers seem to be enthusiastic about the work from home trend, now freed of time-eating commutes, office politics, and hovering bosses. It’s hardly a secret that Covid-induced fear of commuter trains, busses and elevators has led CEOs to revamp operations and allow employees who can to work remotely. It has already radically reshaped the residential real estate market, with professionals who have extra cash hoovering up houses in exurbs or other states with lower costs of...

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Lessons from the First New Deal for the Next One

Yves here. While this article has a lot to recommend it, I have to voice some reservations. The first is that it jumps on the “Biden as FDR” bandwagon, which Lambert debunked yesterday. The second is the New Deal brand expropriation by Green New Deal advocates. As we’ve stressed repeatedly, the Green New Deal proponents will not acknowledge, let alone promote, far and aways the most important and urgent measures we can take to combat climate change: radical conservation. They aren’t even...

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Need Amid Plenty: Richest US Counties Are Overwhelmed by Surge in Child Hunger

By Laura Ungar, Kaiser Health News Midwest Editor/Correspondent. Originally published at Kaiser Health News. Alexandra Sierra carried boxes of food to her kitchen counter, where her 7-year-old daughter, Rachell, stirred a pitcher of lemonade. “Oh, my God, it smells so good!” Sierra, 39, said of the bounty she’d just picked up at a food pantry, pulling out a ready-made salad and a container of soup. Sierra unpacked the donated food and planned lunch for Rachell and her siblings, ages 9 and 2,...

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Incomplete and Indecisive USPS Board Flounders and Awaits Direction

Yves here. Sorry to be the bearer of less than cheery tidings on the USPS front. Despite Biden moving to fill empty USPS board seats and achieve more party-balanced oversight, true to Biden’s branding, nothing fundamental will change, at least anytime soon. Sadly, it does not look like pressure from “progressives” or even the general public is having much impact. Contrast the sober piece below with the #2 story at Common Dreams: Senator Demands Postal Board Fire DeJoy Over ‘Pathetic 10-Year...

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The Bullshit Economy Part 2: Payday Loans 2.0, aka Early Paycheck Apps

Yves here. It’s disheartening to see an abuse like payday loans back in the form of a cute app with a misleading name, early paycheck, that finesses that the user owes the party who advanced the dough, including a hefty premium. But the need it fills is the same. IBy Jared Holst,  the author at Brands Mean a Lot, a weekly commentary on the ways branding impacts our lives. Each week, he explores contradictions within the way politics, products, and pop-culture are branded for us, offering...

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How Employers Punish Workers for Forming Unions

Yves here. Think forming unions gets workers better deal with their employers? As Yogi Berra said, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” As Tom Conway explains, companies have a boatload of tricks to stymie sitting down with new unions. By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW). Produced by the Independent Media Institute Workers at Solvay’s Pasadena, Texas, plant voted overwhelmingly to join the United...

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We May Be Living in a Moment of Misplaced Optimism

Yves here. Richard Murphy is writing from a UK vantage, and the UK has reasons to curb its cheer. Even if the Covid front looks oh so much better, it’s still awfully close in geographical terms to the EU, which is undergoing yet another surge. And there’s Brexit to dampen the economy too. But the optimism in the US seems to be running ahead of events too (although Lambert’s one-stop Greed & Fear index was only at a mildly elevated 58 yesterday). Remember that the US is 8th in vaccination...

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Scoring the $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Plan and Earlier Covid Relief Programs

Yves here. The tone of this piece is understated and it’s written in layperson English as opposed to economese. But don’t be deceived. It take a hard look at the stimulus plan just passed, more formally called the American Rescue Plan, and finds a lot not to like about it and the earlier Covid relief packages. The headline, that they were poorly designed and missed or under-targeted many groups that suffered economically, should come as no surprise. But it does a good job in explaining why....

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