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Tag Archives: The destruction of the middle class

The Race to Slash ‘Red Tape’ in Post-Brexit Britain Has Begun. How Can It Be Resisted?

Yves here. Even though this piece describes how Brexit is a useful tool for advancing neoliberal aims, the techniques need to become more widely known here as well. For instance, “impact assessments” are a particularly nasty bit of business. It also goes without saying that the Brexit deregulation push isn’t going to endear the UK to the EU in trade talks. By Emily Scurrah, an Assistant Researcher at the New Economics Foundation and Christiane Heisse, a quantitative researcher at the New...

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Michael Hudson: The Democrats’ Quandary – In a Struggle Between Oligarchy and Democracy, Something Must Give

Yves here. Importantly, further down in this post, Hudson suggests how Sanders could address the false dichotomy between capitalism and socialism posted by Democrats aligned with the super wealthy. By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is “and forgive them their debts”: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year...

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Is Bloomberg Buying the DNC? If So, What Does He Plan to Do With It?

Yves here. We are a little heavy on the “state of the DNC/Dems” posts today, but both pieces look at the escalating fight over who owns the party through a class warfare/income inequality perspective. Openly buying a party is Third World behavior (and reader in better run emerging economies will no doubt say that that’s not a feature of their political landscape). But the US crossed that Rubicon with the intel-security state acting as if it has the authority to approve who sits in the White...

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Legacy Admissions: Johns Hopkins Drops Preferences, Other Institutions Consider Changes

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Johns Hopkins University just announced that it’s abandoned the practice of legacy admissions – preferences for children and relatives of an alumnus or alumna. In fact, Johns Hopkins ended the practice in 2014 – and only got around to announcing the change in January. The percentage of legacy students in its 2019 freshman class has now fallen to 3.5%,...

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Wolf Richter: Subprime Credit Card Delinquencies Spike to Record High, Past Financial-Crisis Peak, as Other Consumers Relish the Good Times. Why?

By Wolf Richter, editor of Wolf Street. Originally published at Wolf Street The rate of credit card balances that are 30 days or more delinquent at the 4,500 or so commercial banks that are smaller than the top 100 banks spiked to 7.05% in the fourth quarter, the highest delinquency rate in the data going back to the 1980s (red line). But at the largest 100 banks, the credit-card delinquency rate was 2.48%, which kept the overall credit-card delinquency rate at all commercial banks at 2.7%...

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To Tackle Inequality, We Need To Start Talking About Where Wealth Comes From

Yves here. While it was refreshing to see some Democratic presidential candidates depict inequality as an important political and economic issue, it would help if they sharpened their critique of why concentrated wealth is suspect. Too much inherited money lead to the creation of dynasties. As Bloomberg is so vividly demonstrating, the rich can buy politicians (just listen to the complicated rationalizations of his black endorders); Charles Keating boasted he owned five senators. Having the...

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Not All Keynesian Spending Is Equal

Yves here. Richard Murphy makes an extremely important point about how Keynes’ belief in the importance of well-functioning, cohesive societies and how sound economic policy could promote them. However, he skips over the fact that Keynes did not approve of much of Keynesian thinking, particularly the American Keynesianism developed and promoted by Paul Samuelson. Samuelson had done his PhD thesis on neoclassical economics and admitted he had difficulty wrapping his mind around Keynes. An...

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A Full Scale Attack on Medical Debt

Yves here. Even if you don’t agree with Bob Hertz’s prescription for medical debt, his typology of various types of debtors and the political and practical problems they pose provides a good foundation for further analysis. By Bob Hertz, a health care essayist The recent proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders to cancel $81 billion of medical debt is a very good start – but it is only a start. The RIP Medical Debt group–which buys  old medical debts  ,and then forgives them– is absolutely in the...

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Progressives to Voters Skeptical of Bernie Sanders: This ‘Big Tent’ Movement Is a Winning and Practical Choice

Jerri-Lynn here. You can read this as a companion piece to yesterday’s post by Ferguson, Chen, and Jorgensen, outlining one key element of the Sanders demographic: lower income towns in New Hampshire voted heavily for Sanders; richer towns did the opposite (Lower Income Towns in New Hampshire Voted Heavily for Sanders; Richer Towns Did the Opposite).Progressives are now reaching out to voters who remain skeptical of the self-described democratic socialist. By Jon Queally, staff writerg for...

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Developing Countries Showing America Up

A cynical school of thought holds that one reason America makes borders so unpleasant is to deter US citizens from traveling so as to preserve our sense of exceptionalism in the face of countervailing evidence. For instance, one colleague, a former city planner, came back from a vacation in the south of France and raved about how terrific the roads were. The Gilet Janues would assure him that in rural areas, they were neglected, but my contact’s point was that even in affluent parts of the...

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