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Tag Archives: The destruction of the middle class

Why New Infrastructure Is a National Imperative

Yves here. Notice that what Tom Conway calls “infrastructure” is  “deferred maintenance,” hence the urgency. By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW). Produced by the Independent Media Institute Rich Carmona spent decades upgrading his 1970s ranch home in Midland, Michigan. He lovingly installed new flooring and doors and remodeled the bathrooms. After finishing the kitchen 18 months ago, he finally had the house the way he liked it. Then the...

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Political Scientist Tom Ferguson on Big Money and Social Conflicts in the Covid-19 Era

Below we’ve embedded an important, high-level presentation on the political reverberations of the Covid-19 crisis by Tom Ferguson, who is one of the top experts on money in politics. I wish we had a transcript, but it’s not as daunting as it looks. Ferguson’s remarks take only the first 45 minutes; the rest is Q&A. It’s worth your time because Ferguson looks at the official responses to the Covid-19 crisis and explains things that might seem nonsensical, above all, why so many governments...

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Michael Hudson: Debt, Liberty and “Acts of God”

Yves here. Michael Hudson recaps the logic of debt jubilees and other forms of debt relief, as practiced in ancient times, when borrowers through circumstances outside their control were unable to make good. Monarchs recognized the danger of letting creditors create a permanent underclass. This is a short, high-level treatment and makes for an easy-to-digest introduction to Hudson’s research and ideas. By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas...

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Food Security: Prince Charles Calls for Furloughed Workers to Pick Berries; My Thoughts as a Former Tomato Picker

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Prince Charles has turned his attention to food security: “If we are to harvest British fruit and vegetables this year, we need an army of people to help.” The Prince of Wales has shared a message in support of the #PickForBritain campaign. 🍓🍏🍅@DefraGovUK pic.twitter.com/a7WIDYo7E0 — Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) May 19, 2020 The Washington Post)...

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Bernie Sanders Says It Is ‘Nauseating’ to See Corporations Praise Frontline Workers as ‘Heroes’ While Refusing to Pay Them More

By Jake Johnson, staff writer at Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams Jerrri-Lynn here. I too share the disappointment many members of the commentariat have expressed over the collapse of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.  But leaving that aside, that doesn’t mean I cease to support him when he speaks out and draws attention  to issues such as the failure of large corporations to pay their workers a living wage – especially while hypocritically lauding them as heroes....

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Wolf Richter: Week 9 of the Collapse of the U.S. Labor Market: Still Getting Worse at a Gut-Wrenching Pace

By Wolf Richter, editor of Wolf Street. Originally published at Wolf Street The moment the unemployment crisis stops getting worse and bottoms out would signal the beginning of a recovery of the job market. But instead, it’s still getting worse at a gut-wrenching pace. In the week ended May 16, state unemployment offices processed 2.438 million “initial claims” for unemployment insurance under state programs, bringing the total number of initial claims over the past nine reporting weeks since...

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Department of Justice, State AGs to Target Google for Antitrust Violations, WSJ Reports

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. The Wall Street Journal broke a story this past Friday, reporting that the Department of Justice and several state attorneys generals were about to file an antitrust case against Google, Justice Department, State Attorneys General Likely to Bring Antitrust Lawsuits Against Google. Both the Justice Department and a group of state attorneys general are...

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The Economics and Politics of Social Democracy: A Reconsideration

Yves here. This history of the decline of social democracy comes from a vantage that might strike readers as novel: that of economic policy and how that played out in politics. By Servaas Storm, Senior Lecturer of Economics, Delft University of Technology. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website Social democracy, the political force that shaped post-1945 Western Europe more than any other political movement, is in terminal decline—or so it appears. In recent...

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Trump CFPB Appointees Use COVID-19 Crisis as Rationale to Weaken Consumer Protection

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. As a long time observer of American politics, I must give reluctant credit to Republicans for the skill with which they play the game. The COVID-19 crisis provides ample opportunity to practice their talents. A recent article in Politico, Consumer bureau draws fire for pro-business tilt during crisis caught my eye. This area joins policies on...

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Reopening Isn’t Reopening—It’s Cutting Off Unemployment

Yves here. This post illustrates why the propaganda misrepresenting both the death rate cost and the poor economic performance of Sweden, which has imposed few coronavirus restrictions, is being weaponized. The spin is that workers are suffering economically. While that is true, reopening won’t restore old normal levels of activity, and many enterprises will still be struggling. Nor will reopening necessarily lead employers to make conditions safer for their workers. But as this article...

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