Tag: Economic Inequality

Tech Giants’ Obscene Pandemic Profits Are Begging to Be Taxed

America’s economic overlords offered their first quarter earnings reports yesterday, and the news is, as expected, good for Silicon Valley. Beyond good, in fact. The country’s tech industry is taking in unprecedented amounts of money—“bonkers dollars,” as The New York Times described it. Facebook doubled its profits; Microsoft increased its cloud business revenue by 50 […]

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If Corporations Are People, Tax Them Like People

As if by magic, corporations were rendered human by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United and 2014 Hobby Lobby decisions. They may now exercise free speech rights through unlimited political spending and enjoy freedom of religion by denying employee health care coverage for birth control pills, diaphragms, and IUDs. As Mitt Romney famously chided a […]

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Is Biden Ditching His Promise to Protect Workers From Covid-19?

Remember meatpackers? Berkowitz testified before Congress last month that “as of mid-February 2021, at least 57,000 meatpacking and poultry workers have been infected with Covid-19, and over 280 have died.” The honor system doesn’t seem to work any better under Biden than it did under Trump. Last week the United Food and Commercial Workers filed […]

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Starbucks, Goldman Sachs, ACLU and Others Pledge to Tackle Racial Wealth Gap by Boosting Black Employment and Business Investments

Photo: Shutterstock Some of the biggest companies in America say they will put their considerable might behind a mission of closing the massive wealth gap between Black people and white people in this country. Advertisement According to analysis by Brookings Institute, the median wealth held by Black households in the U.S. is not even 15 […]

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Prince Harry’s New Fake Mental Health Care Job Is a Farce

Having dramatically exited one country’s putrescent ruling class, the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex have officially leapt into another: After landing multiyear content deals with both Netflix and Spotify, celebrity content merchant Prince Harry announced that he would be grabbing two more ersatz fiefdoms, each befitting his new American celebrity: a role as commissioner […]

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How the Top 0.01 Percent Became America’s Criminal Class

But as capital grows, it finds its way into all sorts of dark crevices: complex partnerships and abstruse financial structures that third parties such as banks don’t report properly to the government, and offshore accounts that don’t get documented at all. And not surprisingly, when there’s no third-party reporting, people cheat. Less than half such […]

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Saving the Climate in a Triple Crisis

The Apollo mission was directed at the Cold War challenge represented by Sputnik—the first satellite launched by the Soviet Union. Today’s missions should focus on global challenges, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set 17 key thresholds of green and equitable development. So far, 193 countries have signed on to the SDG agenda. […]

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The Covid Relief Bill Also Raises Taxes on the Rich

Taxes have all sorts of purposes. Some taxes—most, actually—are intended to raise revenue. Other taxes, say on booze and cigarettes, are intended to alter behavior. The taxes in the latter group, known as “sin taxes,” usually end up doing some combination of both things—they discourage consumption of alcohol and tobacco a bit, but because the […]

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The FinTech Industry Wants to Give Desperate Workers an Advance on Their Next Paycheck. It’s a Trap.

Consumer advocates are very alarmed by the underlying power imbalance between wage-access providers and the low-income workers they serve, exposing once again Silicon Valley’s penchant for dressing up in utopian visions the dystopian brutality of its desire to make money. “If you think about someone working at Walmart, Target, someone like that,” says Keith Corbett, […]

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The Retrograde Quest for Symbolic Prophets of Black Liberation

Race reductionism is also fundamentally corrosive to more focused efforts to reckon with this new era of inequality, thanks to its constitutional failure to recognize change and the workings of historical processes, both on and among black people. One plain rhetorical tic in the world of race-reductionist scholarship is the casual referencing of black American […]

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Don’t Let Amazon and Airbnb Get Their Tentacles in Vaccine Distribution

Even if Amazon were a paragon of ethical capitalism—bear with me, really—it would be unfit for this task. Amazon is already trying to corner the market on prescription deliveries, a $500 billion domestic market that would make the company even more of a political juggernaut than it already is. But the fact that the firm […]

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Don’t Believe the Bad Press About the Economic Impact of a $15 Minimum Wage

Overall, the minimum-wage hike would increase the cost of Medicaid by about $16 billion because the program depends on an army of low-wage health care workers employed by doctors, hospitals, or the patients themselves. I was shocked to learn, in reading the CBO report, that there are even a few people employed directly by the […]

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Can There Ever Be a Working-Class Republican Party?

This strategy may, indeed, explain Hawley’s recent escapades. When you get close to Republican voters, you discover one of the cultural issues they are maddest about is electoral fraud—and this has been true for a long time. Perhaps stolen elections have a symbolic, emotional resonance to people who feel power has been stolen from them […]

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OneUnited Bank Creates OneTransaction Campaign to Help Black Americans Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Image: OneUnited Bank You’ve likely heard of the racial wealth gap, and you may have already seen its impact on your own family’s ability to accrue generational wealth. It’s the phenomenon of the average white family having about 10 times the net worth of the typical Black family in America. That gap has persisted due to […]

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Democrats Shouldn’t Just Restore American Democracy. They Should Reinvent It.

The supposed stewards of democracy in our government have made basic civic participation something closer to a luxury good than a universal right. Poverty and racism are clear barriers to voting and running for office; lack of transportation, the fact that elections aren’t national holidays, outright voter suppression, a dearth of public campaign finance laws—all […]

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The Case Against the $2,000 Checks

Unemployment has rebounded, too, but by much less, and in November it was still 6.7 percent. (We’ll get December’s unemployment rate on January 8.) The same Cares Act that sent $1,200 checks to most American households allocated $600 per week in additional unemployment benefits, lifting 7.2 million people out of poverty, according to the EPI. […]

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This Year’s Underground Sensation: Modern Monetary Theory

And even the more strictly defined theory of government spending power has its ardent left wing critics: Doug Henwood, a longtime left-wing commentator on economics and finance, wrote in Jacobin that MMT amounted to little more than magical thinking: “A few computer keystrokes and everyone gets health insurance, student debt disappears, and we can save […]

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The Year of Magical Thinking in American Politics

Never in living memory has late December been so welcome; 2020, the year that lasted centuries, is nearly done. A lot of us didn’t make it. But for all the anxiety that mounted throughout the summer and fall as the presidential election drew nigh, Trump’s attempts to bring about the worst-case scenario—a stolen election or […]

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The Urgent Case for Shrinking the Economy

Attaining the benefits of the post-growth economy would, however, require what the present consumer society considers “sacrifices.” Even as polls show majorities around the world growing skeptical of capitalism, it’s not clear how many of them are ready to give up its superficial pleasures enabled by consumer debt. When Hickel turns to the details of […]

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Operation Santa Is a Horror Story About American Poverty

Thanks to Operation Santa, Vicky, the girl who asked for a new power wheelchair, may be connected with a charitable organization that can help her. Many thousands of poor people will be helped in this way by holiday-season generosity. But the needs of impoverished children can’t be met by charity alone; the scale of poverty […]

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Labor Power Is the Key to Racial Equity

At the end of the post-New Deal period, the celebrated management guru, Peter Drucker, a conservative, wrote The Unseen Revolution: How Pension Fund Socialism Is Transforming America, which described how collectively bargained ERISA funds were going to transform the nature of capitalism. Indeed, ERISA was passed in anticipation of that very thing. Working people effectively owned […]

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The Case for Giving Workers Ownership Rights

Full worker cooperatives comprise a small portion of the American economy today. An annual survey by the Democracy at Work Institute and the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, in 2018, estimated that there are around 800 of them, and those that were verified by researchers employed fewer than 7,000 workers. But around 14 million workers […]

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Republicans for Recession

In March, a partisan Republican calculus on whether to assist state and local governments might have been screw ’em, it’s only the blue states. That’s what Trump would be saying out loud the following month. But there was also much reason to fear that a second Great Depression was brewing, for which Trump would be […]

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NBA Foundation Announces First Recipients of Grants to Empower the Black Community

Members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz kneel before a Black Lives Matter logo before the start of their game at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on July 30, 2020 in Reunion, Florida.Photo: Ashley Landis-Pool (Getty Images) On the same day that the NBA Foundation named Greg Taylor […]

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HUD Deserves Better Than Marcia Fudge

But the chronic disinvestment in HUD carries over to its leadership. The position of HUD secretary has historically been treated by Republican and Democratic presidents alike as a reward for good behavior—more like an ambassadorship doled out to political loyalists than a post for subject-area experts at the peak of a long career. Former San […]

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Will Democrats Get Suckered Into Mitch McConnell’s Corporate Indemnity Scheme?

Meanwhile, a framework that McConnell proposed on December 1 didn’t bother even with that. McConnell’s proposed stimulus consisted mostly of business subsidies—including, in a nice touch of self-parody, an expansion of the business-meal deduction to 100 percent, up from the CARES Act’s already hard-to-defend increase to 50 percent in March. Before Covid, the so-called three-martini […]

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Who Gets to Recover From the Pandemic?

But the dip in municipal incomes didn’t have to be a long-term problem. The federal government can run deficits that local governments can’t, and there was a moment in 2011 when the scale of the stimulus package was debated among technocrats in the Obama administration and things could have gone the other way. But the […]

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My Quest for a Job at the Trump White House

My qualification? What if I were to tell you that Michèle Flournoy, reportedly the front-runner for the job in the Biden Cabinet, went to my high school? If Trump named me, he could boast truthfully that his SecDef was three classes ahead of Biden’s choice. While I romped at the beach on Senior Ditch Day, […]

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How the Stock Market Betrayed Donald Trump

It could be that, for investors, a coronavirus reckoning is finally at hand. It could be that, for investors, a coronavirus reckoning is finally at hand. Covid-19 cases are at an all-time high, and all the president does in response is tell a rally full of maskless followers, “With the fake news, everything is Covid, […]

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The Media’s Both-Sides Brigade Is Wrong About the Covid-19 Stimulus Deal

One of the more irritating manifestations of both-sidesism in the political press in recent days has been the vilification of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for refusing to accept the compromises that the Trump administration has, thus far, been willing to offer on a second Covid stimulus bill. Let’s review the story so far. In May, […]

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The Media’s Both-Sides Brigade Is Wrong About a Covid-19 Stimulus Deal

One of the more irritating manifestations of both-sidesism in the political press in recent days has been the vilification of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for refusing to accept the compromises that the Trump administration has, thus far, been willing to offer on a second Covid stimulus bill. Let’s review the story so far. In May, […]

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