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Tag Archives: The destruction of the middle class

An Introduction to Family Offices (and Generational Wealth)

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. “We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.” –Ursula Leguin The United States, it is said, is an oligarchy; it is ruled, by the rich. Hence it behooves us, as a simple matter of self-preservation, to study the habits of our oligarchs, especially those who have achieved dynastic wealth. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists those habits as...

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Manchin Takes Aim at Build Back Better, but His Real Focus is on West Virginia

Yves here. This post performs the useful service of trying to explain Manchin’s position on Build Back Better (which is such an awful name that it suggests Team Dem never had its heart in it). The author also believes a deal can be had. But that may ignore whether House progressives will swallow further concessions to Manchin. By Samuel Workman, Professor of Political Science, West Virginia University. Originally published at The Conversation Joe Manchin isn’t averse to taking a shotgun to...

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Subway Service Delays Feared as Omicron Hits the Express Track

Yves here. This post describes yet another Covid stress point that may get worse under Omicron. It’s acute in New York City due to the dependence of the city on its subways and busses, but other cities are likely having similar headaches, albeit presumably not to the same degree. And like so many Covid disruptions, this one hits low and middle income workers disproportionately. By Jose Martinez. Originally published by THE CITY on December 22, 2021 Riders take a southbound 1 train on...

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Build Back Better Verges on Collapse as Manchin Attempts to Kill Child Tax Credit

Yves here. As indicated in Links, this outcome comes as no surprise, even if the particulars of Manchin’s machinations might be. If Manchin could be moved by any bribes or threats or punishments that Biden were willing to deliver, this bill would have been passed months ago. And not passing this bill doesn’t just mean that the Biden Administration is prematurely in lame duck territory. It also means less spending just at Omicron is about to give a big pounding to travel, hospitality and brick...

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Thomas Ferguson: Is the U$A a Democracy?

Yves here. Political scientist and expert on money in politics, Thomas Ferguson, returns to his “Golden rule of politics” theme, that elections in America are determined not by what average voters want but by the spending of well heeled, mainly corporate, interest groups. Ferguson describes how the pattern has been made worse by the explosion in wealth inequality. He also has some choice words about the rest of the world having caught on to American-style democracy as free-market...

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Being Rich Does Not Make You More Generous. It Makes You Meaner.

Yves here. Too many who ought to know better depict charity by the rich as a viable alternative to a decent level of social services and safety net. The sorry record of late Soviet era America should scotch any such delusion. Our average height, a measure of population-wide nutrition levels, used to be tops in the world. No longer. From Vox in 2016: Recently [Mariachiara] Di Cesare [a public health researcher with Imperial College London], along with several hundred researchers around the...

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How To Compare Incomes Across Countries

Yves here. Americans outside the private-jet-using class have no idea how poor they are compared to the middle classes of most other advanced economies. They are not overpaying for lousy health care. They have solid social safety nets and an at least adequate level social services (child care, elder care, public transportation). And they generally prefer to have less housing and more vacation. Matt Bruenig explains how the comparisons of incomes that the US is wont to use conveniently...

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Why Amazon Is Terrified of Its U.S. Workers Unionizing

Amazon continues to abuse its warehouse workers, both in its day-to-day treatment of them and in its thuggish, law-breaking campaign to prevent unionization in the US. By Sonali Kolhatkar, the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations and a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute. Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media...

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How Would the Left Treat an Illegitimate Election?

Yves here. Tom Neuburger pokes at the posturing of the Team Dem-aligned over their uproar over Trump and his allies questioning US elections….when the US has a poor election system and has had elections stolen, starting with Kennedy’s win over Nixon and Gore’s failure to mount an effective contest in 2000. And that’s before we get to all sorts of shenanigans that the Democrats tend to play more in primaries than in general elections, such as moving polling stations in low income neighborhoods...

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Ohio Jury Finds Three Pharmacy Chains Liable in Opioids Trial; Judge to Decide on Damages Award in Spring

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Last week, in the first opioids jury verdict, to be handed down an Ohio jury found CVS, Walgreen’s, and Walmart liable for contributing to the opioids epidemic. The lawsuit is part of the opioids Multidistrict Litigation  (MDL) presided over by federal district court Judge Dan Polster, which consolidates cases filed by more than 3000 communities...

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