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Tag Archives: The destruction of the middle class

The John Deere Strike: Organized Labor’s Turning Point?

There’s a lot of excitement, at least among those of the pro-worker persuasion, about employees rejecting poorly paid jobs and oppressive bosses via not taking up open positions or demanding change via strikes. A partial list: Volvo. Kellogg’s. Frito-Lay. Nabisco. Alabama coal miners. Health care staffers in New York and Massachusetts, along with bus drivers and telecom workers. Even though they are highly visible signs that the serfs are rebelling, these labor actions are still a strong of...

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Insurance Focused on Virtual Visits? The Pros and Cons of a New Twist in Health Plans

Jerri-Lynn here. During the pandemic, I’ve done some telemedicine sessions, but only with doctors I’ve seen in person before. So I don’t know exactly how I view this trend, especially as so many medical ‘innovations’ are more focused on making profits, at the expense of patient care. So what may seem to be a good thing in theory, on reflection turns out to be just another vehicle for profit extraction. Because that’s what our neo-liberal health care system is designed to do. Readers? What’s...

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10 ,000 John Deere Workers Reject Contract, Strike 14 Plants

By Lambert Strether of Corrente Let’s start with the press. In olden times, newspapers used to have a labor beat. Somewhere near the beginning of the neoliberal dispensation, labor coverage got folded into the Business Section and then more or less vanished. Today, there’s not an awful lot of labor reporting going on: Kim Kelly (@GrimKim), late of Teen Vogue, Jonah Furman (@JonahFurman) of Labor Notes, Michael Sainato (@msainat1) at the Guardian, and Mike Elk (@MikeElk) of PayDay Report seem...

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Michael Hudson: Super Imperialism, 3rd Edition

Yves here. Congrats to Michael Hudson for reissuing Super Imperialism. How many writers have books that have withstood the test of time? Hudson bought back the rights from his publisher and revised and updated it. If you haven’t read Super-Imperialism, now is the time to make up for that lapse. Or you can donate at Hudson’s Paetron page. The updated and expanded 3rd edition of Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire is now available. This highly respected study of U.S....

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The Supply Chain Crisis: How We Got Here

Advanced economies are in the throes of what can, without exaggeration, be called a global supply chain crisis. Car makers unable to meet demand and even in many cases produce full featured cars due to chip shortages. Shipping rates spiking then collapsing due to a lack of containers and truckers at ports. Petrol and food shortages in the UK. Warnings even in the US to buy Christmas gifts now because they might not be available later. And there are also increasing reports of shortfalls of...

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The Neverending Brexit: Flailing Johnson Set to Try to Renege on Commitment to Respect Good Friday Agreement

Our Brexit brain trust (Clive, Colonel Smithers, David, PlutoniumKun and vlade) have had an extended and very informative discussion of an impending Brexit spat in the Telegraph, over the unresolved sore point of the Northern Ireland protocol, as in the irritant of the promise to respect the Good Friday Agreement. Even though they have important nuances in their views, they are largely on the same page and I hope to give a recap that doesn’t offend any of them. Note that this sighting may...

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Why America Needs a National Program of Paid Sick and Family Leave

Yves here. I haven’t seen much in the way of details as to how the proposed 12 week paid family leave program would work. Obviously this is subject to negotiation, but below are some main points from the initial draft, per Health Affairs: Biden’s American Families Plan proposes to phase in, over 10 years, 12 weeks of paid leave for: parents, including same-gender couples, caring for a newborn, adopted or foster child; workers addressing their own or a loved one’s serious illness; workers...

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Reallocation Effects of the Minimum Wage

Yves here. Classic studies by Andrew Card and Alan Krueger on the impact of minimum wage increases on the income and employment levels of fast food workers came to similar conclusions as this paper: increasing minimum wages does not in fact produce unemployment, and so winds up in a net increase in the income of low wage workers. From Vox after Krueger committed suicide: In introductory economics courses, students are typically taught that setting price floors — on milk, oil, or, perhaps most...

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‘This Is a Battle Between What People Need & What Money Wants.’ How’s That Going to End?

Yves here. The protracted struggle over Biden’s spending plans, particularly between the business stooges moderates and progressives, is putting a spotlight on whose interests are being served by government. It’s become a little too obvious that ordinary people are getting the short end of the stick. But since there’s been no open revolt, expect the beatings to continue. By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at God’s Spies “The news media are not independent; they are a sort of...

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Why Does Congress Fight Over Childcare But Not F-35s?

Yves here. Of course we know the answer to how Congress sets its priorities. No one wants to lose donations or cause their friends in Virginia to lose sleep wondering how they’ll pay for their kids’ college tuition. Even so, the New York Times has finally deigned to notice that the US is an outlier, in an obviously bad way, on childcare spending. Gee, one wonders why. In fairness, this post gives useful detail on America’s over the top military spending and how it manages never to come up for...

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