Tag: Social policy

Why COVID-19 Will Strain the Safety Net for Homeless Vets to the Breaking Point

By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW). This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute. Under normal circumstances, Jerry Porter would be spending his time helping the veterans he finds in tent camps and run-down housing. But the escalating threat of COVID-19 forces the community activist and retired Steelworker […]

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The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Is a $2 Trillion Slush Fund for Washington Cronies

Yves here. The financial crisis was such a successful exercise in looting the public purse that our oligarchs are at it again, this time via the “stimulus” bill. By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute When historians look back on our current […]

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Covid-19 Hits the Dual Economy: Incomes Destroyed at the Bottom, Profits Supported at the Top

Yves here. Those of you well schooled in MMT will no doubt react to the fact that this post expresses concerns about “government debt” and does not differentiate between debts of states and local governments, which are currency users, versus Federal debt, when the Federal government as a currency issuer could extinguish its debt at […]

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Can the Intra-Party Rift Be Healed, At Least For Now? Or Must the Fight Be Fought in 2020?

Yves here. I think Tom is being unduly polite. Can the Democratic Party be diverted from its current controlled flight into terrain? By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny! I’ve written before about the wide and deep rift that splits all three layers of the Democratic “party”*. Today, that split within these layers — office-holders […]

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What the Government Needs to Do Next to Tackle the Crisis

Yves here. What the government needs to do to address the medical system and real economy needs created by the coronavirus crisis. By James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government and Business Relations, University of Texas at Austin. Originally published at the Institute of New Economic Thinking website/strong> Tax rebates, tax cuts […]

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Debt and Power: An Interview With Michael Hudson

Yves here. Yet another informative talk with Michael Hudson on one of his key topics: why debt that can’t be paid won’t be paid. Here, he gives another riff on how ancient societies dealt with this issue and how modern lenders have gone off the rails. Originally published at Digital Finance Analytics [embedded content] Martin: Today […]

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Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Could Weaken the School Privatization Agenda

Yves here. Coronavirus is throwing a wrench into the public school politics, not necessarily to the advantage of charter school advocates. By Jeff Bryant, a writing fellow and chief correspondent for Our Schools, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He is a communications consultant, freelance writer, advocacy journalist, and director of the Education Opportunity […]

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Low-Cost Ventilators Could Be Available Next Year. But Will It Happen?

Yves here. In a bit of synchroniticy, at a press conference on Thursday, Trump fielded questions about the shortage of critical medical supplies, with ventilators at the top of the list. Trump blew off the notion that this was his problem. From New York Magazine: Trump [at the Thursday press conference] argued the pandemic was […]

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Prisons and the COVID-19 Pandemic: What Must Be Done NOW to Prevent Catastrophe

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Back in January, before most mere mortals had heard about COVID-19, I attended the wedding in Hong Kong of Dr. Sarah Borwein, an old Oxford friend and travel companion. That led to […]

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Triggering a Global Financial Crisis: Covid-19 as the Last Straw

Yves here. I hope readers won’t get sidetracked from this post’s discussion of how to implement a debt jubilee by quibbling with its set-up. Some (in particular Lambert) take issue with the notion that COVID-19 is a black swan, since epidemiologists had been warning of the risk of a pandemic for well over a decade. […]

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Harvard’s “Let Them Eat Veritas”: Richest University’s Poor Students Shafted as School Provides Spotty, Inadequate Help as It Throws Them Out of Dorms and Jobs

Harvard University should be ashamed of itself. It has dumped the problem of its sudden closure due to coronavirus largely on the students themselves and their families. While most of them are affluent enough to handle the financial fallout of buying airfare at the last minute and storing or shipping their clothes, book, and other […]

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Mr. Market Loses It Over Coronavirus Risk: Oil Tanks, S&P Futures Trades Halted on Limit Down Overnight, Gold Jumps

It looks like a bloodbath is coming Monday for Europe and the US based on overnight trading in Asia. Coronavirus is showing that financial instruments can’t trump the real world. Mr. Market has finally digested that the world isn’t prepared for coronavirus and the US is particularly poorly set up to cope, thanks to our […]

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Revillaging: Looking to Our Roots as We Redesign Towns and Cities

Yves here. A mental health break, in the form of a piece on “revillaging”. By April M. Short, an editor, journalist and documentary editor and producer. She is a writing fellow at Local Peace Economy, a project of the Independent Media Institute. Previously, she served as a managing editor at AlterNet as well as an […]

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Coronavirus: Kids About as Likely as Adults to Become Infected; What Happens When School Closures Become Widespread?

Early on, I repeated an assumption about coronavirus that proved to be incorrect, that children weren’t very susceptible to becoming infected and hence weren’t prime transmitters the way they were for seasonal flus. A preprint of a paper based on a study of coronavirus incidence and transmission in Shezen found that children do contract coronavirus, […]

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Chief Justice John Roberts Denounces Chuck Schumer’s ‘Threatening’ Remarks About Gorsuch and Kavanaugh

Yves here. When Alternet and a sane conservative like Jonathan Turley agree on something, you know it’s a real issue. Chuck Schumer grandstanding about Roe v. Wade on the Supreme Court steps wasn’t just a stunt: Schumer’s threat to the Court that “you will pay the price” is a direct attack on the integrity of […]

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Let’s Crush the Woke Plutonomy! An Interview + Review of The Populist’s Guide to 2020: A New Right and New Left are Rising by Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti

Yves here. For the record, the word plutonomy became part of the lexicon (and may even have been coined) by Citigroup in a series of reports to its asset management clients in 2005. They argued that a world ordered to suit the whims of the top 1% was well underway. The only thing that might […]

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Housing Insecurity, Homelessness, and Populism: Evidence from the UK

Yves here. When citizens have trouble paying for basic needs like housing, it should come as no surprise that they get unhappy and correctly blame the people in charge. But even worse, look at the spending impact. The Conservative policy largely failed even by its own warped standards. However, one might argue vote suppression of […]

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New Deal, New Patriots: How Roosevelt’s Welfare Programmes Made America Great Again

Yves here. This finding on New Deal spending might make some Republican heads explode. By Bruno Caprettini, SNF Ambizione Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Zurich and Hans-Joachim Voth, UBS Professor of Macroeconomics and Financial Markets, Department of Economics, Zurich University. Originally published at VoxEU Governments of modern states need to convince men and women […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Breakdown or Breakthrough? Degrowth and the Great Transition

Yves here. While most people respond better to positive messaging, I find “degrowth” to be far too sanitized a term for the sort of consumption cutbacks we all have to make to have any hope of averting the worst climate and species loss outcomes. A big problem is most of us depend economically on infrastructure […]

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