Tag: Income disparity

Why Canceling Student Debt Is a Matter of Racial Justice

Yves here. Lambert pointed out in Water Cooler yesterday that the idea that the main student debt borrowers were from well off families is all wet, that they are typically from modest backgrounds. This article adds to that profile. However, I must add that even though people of color are hit hard, due also to […]

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Texas GOP Governor Considers Challenging 1982 Ruling Requiring Free Public Education

Yves here. The widely-anticipated Roe v. Wade reversal is bringing out all sorts of punitive impulses on other fronts. The big reason for resentment of undocumented immigrants is the assumption that they don’t pay taxes. But they do, even Social Security taxes. From the Columbus Dispatch last year: A report from the office shows that […]

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Biden Makes America’s Militarized Southern Border Wall Even Bigger Business

Yves here. Even without images, this article gives a vivid picture of how the Biden Administration has continued and extended the Trump border wall project…not with brick and razor wires and searchlights but with high tech surveillance and hardware, including those horrid robot dogs. They’ll be perfected on illegal migrants before they are turned loose […]

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The Washington Quid Pro Quo and a Comment on Roe v. Wade

Yves here. On the one hand, it’s good to see the fact that Congressional committee chairmanships are bought and paid for finally starting to get some traction. On the other hand, we are hardly Washington insiders, yet we wrote about this back in 2011 in Tom Ferguson: Congress is a “Coin Operated Stalemate Machine”. An […]

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Out of Africa: Rich Continent, Poor People

Yves here. Those of you who read Nicholas Shaxxon’s Treasure Islands may recall that one of his opening chapters discussed the extent of looting of Africa via the fact that its poor countries are capital exporters. It isn’t due solely to corrupt leaders pilfering official coffers and sending their ill-gotten gains to tax havens. It’s […]

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How Outsourcing Threatens America’s Safety

Jerri-Lynn here. Neoliberalism fetishizes outsourcing – which inevitably leads to deterioration in the quality of services. School bus drivers in Bay City, Michigan, are not going quietly, and have pushed back  – so far, successfully – to try and rescue their union jobs. By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW). […]

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How Young Workers Are Unionizing Starbucks

Yves here. It’s a welcome development, but not exactly a surprise, to see that young Starbucks staffers are leading its union charge. Generally speaking, teens and young adults have provided a lot of energy and muscle to change efforts. Many, including many of our readers, have pointed out how student debt has served as a […]

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Public Schools Fray as Pentagon Gets More Pork

Yves here. I suspect many readers will be surprised to learn that some (many?) public schools have “wellness interventionists,” which are teachers who manage behavior problems. This post gives a window into a Connecticut school system that skews toward low income children (think the townies in New Haven) and describes a distressingly high level of […]

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Will Pfizer’s Paxlovid Be the Game-Changer that Saves Biden’s “Test to Treat” Program?

By Lambert Strether of Corrente. Paxlovid — “Peace and love,” dig? Or even just “Pax,” as American’s Chief Pharmaceutical Salesman White House Covid response coordinator Ashish Jha dubs it — is the key treatment in the Biden Administration’s “Test to Treat” program. As readers know, I’m all for treatment — indeed, I can’t understand why […]

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Climate Migration: What Do We Really Know?

By Klaas Lenaerts, a Research Analyst at Bruegel, and Simone Tagliapietra, a Senior fellow at Bruegel. Originally published at Bruegel. How Can Climate Change Affect Migration? Migration comes in many forms – temporary or permanent, local, rural-urban or international, forced or voluntary – and happens for many reasons – economic or political, or because people […]

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An Unexpected But Welcome Call to Cap CEO Pay Comes From France

Jerri-Lynn here. Neo-liberal Emmanuel Macron won yesterday’s French presidential election, defeating his right-wing rival, Marine le Pen. During the campaign, Macron endorsed some populist economic themes, including capping CEO pay – an idea originally floated in the 2017 French presidential election by candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who that year failed to reach the voting’s final round.  This […]

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Minneapolis Teacher Strike Brought Unity, Victory and a Reminder of the Threats Facing Public Education in the U.S.

Yves here. One issue that is seldom mentioned in the context of public school teacher strikes is that public schools have been subjected to adminisphere bloat, which various minders who are typically as well or better paid than teachers but add no value to front line instruction pork school budgets. And this situation is not […]

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Court Should Consider Taking Over Dept. of Correction, Warns Manhattan U.S. Attorney

Yves here. New York City’sRikers Island has long been a national disgrace, which is a remarkable status given the generally awful conditions in city jails. Filthy, overcrowded and dangerous pre-trial detention wards have also served as a strong argument for bail reform. Nasty holding tanks, where the accused can languish for months before their case […]

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Sri Lanka Economic Crisis Inflicted by Self-Serving Elite

Yves here. This piece is important not simply for presenting the details of how Sri Lanka went from being a development success story to a train wreck, but also for debunking the notion that Sri Lanka’s woes are the result of a Chinese debt trap. Even though the IMF’s record gives countries on the receiving […]

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Book Review: An Urgent Plea for Mental Health Care Reform

Yves here. I don’t know whether to be cheered or depressed to learn that there are sound and often successful approaches for treating severe mental health problems. But for the most part, we don’t do them due to how we do medicine. By Joshua C. Kendall, a Boston-based journalist and author. His reporting on psychiatry, […]

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Abortion Foes Played the Long Game, And They Are Winning

Yves here. The leaders of the feminist movement of my youth bear culpability for the failure to secure abortion rights. They wasted their time and Peak Feminism tail winds chasing a never-gonna-pass Equal Rights Amendment instead of nailing down key protections via legislation. And not caring about funding was another big fail. Richard Nixon was […]

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The Impact of Fox News on the US COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

Yves here. Even though the authors of this study depict Fox News as having reduced vaccination levels, I doubt that this relationship is as strongly causal as they suggest. First, even though the authors attribute significance to cable viewing, it’s been in sharp decline. In May 2021, according to Statista, only 44% of American households […]

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Healthcare Expert Greg Travis Speaks About the Official Disappearing of COVID-19 Pandemic

Yves here. As much as I strongly prefer video presentations with transcripts, this long talk on Covid with Greg Travis, organized by WSWS, is very much worth your time (and you can listen at 1.25x time). Readers may remember Greg Travis from the Boeing 737 Max debacle. Travis, a software developer/technologist with a strong interest […]

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Yanis Varoufakis: Cloudalists: Our New Cloud-Based Ruling Class

Yves here. Since many if not most readers here tend to be techo-skeptics (“Why is the new thing enough better than the old thing to justify tossing an item that works and paying up for a premature replacement?”), doubts about algos, snooping devices, and voice controls for low-difficulty activities like turning on a light go […]

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The Amazon Labor Union’s Fight With Amazon Is Far From Over

Yves here. With its profits dependent on crushing labor, and having the deepest imaginable pockets, it’s no surprise that Amazon is throwing as many spanners as it can into the epoch-making pro-union vote in its Staten Island warehouse. By Josefa Velazquez. Originally published at THE CITY on April 11, 2022. Additional reporting by Claudia Irizarry […]

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The French Election Is All About Imperialism. Here’s Why

Yves here. Yours truly is not in a position to say much about the coming French elections, except to make a few pedestrian observations: Macron’s reelection bid look hopeless until the Ukraine war rescued him. The left goes from bad to worse for reasons I cannot fathom, except from afar that it seems as if […]

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Sanders Hails Growing Union Movement as Threat to ‘Oligarchy and Corporate Greed’

Yves here. Although it has become fashionable for some readers to bash Sanders, the Vermont Senator has continued to stump to improve the betterment of working people, such as continuing to press for a $15 wage and supporting union drives. This article mentions some of the crybaby responses from squillionaires. Those of us who are […]

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Business Groups Thwart Senate Confirmation of David Weil to Key Labor Department Post

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans. Last week business lobbyists, led by the International Franchise Association (IFA), succeeded in in thwarting confirmation of David Weil to head the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division. Weil’s transgression: his previous […]

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Letter to SEC: How Stock Buybacks Undermine Investment in Innovation for the Sake of Stock-Price Manipulation

Jerri-Lynn here. Grab a cup of coffee. William Lazonick’s latest on stock buybacks – which Biden promised to address during the presidential campaign (see for further context,  Where Did You Go, Vice President Joe? Biden Retreats from Bashing Looting, Um, Buybacks). In this post comprehensive post, Lazonick and co-author Ken Jacobsen analyse how: “ Rule […]

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Housing Is a Human Right—Here’s How to Make It a Reality

Yves here. While I applaud the sentiment of making sure that everyone has at least adequate housing, class stratification has become so deeply embedded in America that it’s hard to see how to make it happen. There is default housing in New York City, called shelters, and most homeless avoid them due to regimentation, lack […]

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‘Their Inflation Strategy Is Working’: Corporate Profits Soared to Record High in 2021

Yves here. We’ve regularly described how the corporate profits as a share of GDP has been at close to 12% for years, which is twice the level Warren Buffet deemed to be unsustainably high in the early 2000s. These egregious profits are at the expense of low and mid level worker. We’ve seen how top […]

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War or Peace, Barbarism or Hope: War Threatens World with Stagflation

Yves here. The odds of stagflation already looked high before the immediate effects of war (shutdown of Black Sea shipping hurting wheat and fertilizer transport) plus the sanctions row, both formal sanctions and self sanctioning. As we’ve said repeatedly, higher energy prices cycle through to all products. Stagflation hurts investment two ways. The first is […]

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Corporations Are Suppressing Wages—There’s a Fix for That

Yves here. What is depressing about the debate over the need to increase wages is that so many have been brainwashed into parroting the claim that small businesses can’t afford it. If a small business can’t survive without paying abusively low wages, maybe it should not exist. And the people who benefit are not the […]

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Meet Christian Smalls and Derrick Palmer, the DIY Duo Behind the Amazon Labor Union’s Guerrilla Bid to Make History

Yves here. This profile of the team taking on Amazon in Staten Island is a refreshing contrast to stories that too often show that little guys don’t win, even more so than in recent memory. It’s also a reminder that the hard slog of grass roots organizing, if you can keep at it, does pay […]

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Stagflation Threat: Be Pragmatic, Not Dogmatic

Yves here. As we’ve mentioned, even some orthodox economists are questioning whether raising interest rates is a good tool to use against commodities scarcity/supply chain disruption induced inflation. The idea looks even worse in the Global South, where smaller/emerging economies get whipsawed by interest rate moves in the US. Given the potential severity of dislocations, […]

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Sanders Opposes America COMPETES Act Over Billions in ‘Corporate Welfare’

Yves here. The COMPETES Act is a glaring example of why the US has become too corrupt and lazy to do proper industrial policy. Mind you, we do have industrial policy by default. You can see which sectors are favored by virtue of the combination of subsidies, including tax breaks, and sustained high growth with […]

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