Socio-economic

Walden Bellow – From the Battle of Seattle to the Financial Crisis

I had many lessons from the Battle of Seattle, and one of them was that policewomen can deal it out as good as any policeman. I got beaten up, badly, by one of Seattle’s best.  Yesterday, I decided go down memory lane and visit the scene of the crime.  I remember seeing Medea Benjamin of Code Pink being treated fairly roughly and I rushed forward to try to get the police to stop. At that point, a policewoman rushed me ...

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Nadia Prupis – Public Cost of Fukushima Cleanup Tops $628 Billion and Is Expected to Climb

The public cost of cleaning up the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster topped ¥4.2 trillion (roughly $628 billion) as of March, and is expected to keep climbing, the Japan Times reported on Sunday.

That includes costs for radioactive decontamination and compensation payments. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) will sell off its shares to eventually pay back the cost of decontamination and waste disposal, but the Environment Ministry expects that the overall price of those activities ...

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DIRK BEZEMER – MICHAEL HUDSON – Finance is Not the Economy

Why have economies polarized so sharply since the 1980s, and especially since the 2008 crisis? How did we get so indebted without real wage and living standards rising, while cities, states, and entire nations are falling into default? Only when we answer these questions can we formulate policies to extract ourselves from the current debt crises. There is widespread sentiment that this crisis is fundamental, and that we cannot simply “go back to normal.” But deep confusion remains over the ...

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The Obamacare Death Spiral

Obamacare is in big trouble. Major insurers—Aetna, Humana, and United Health (the nation’s largest)—are pulling out of most exchanges. Remaining companies are seeking double-digit premium increases (at least 25% in 20 different states, some over 60%), while increasingly offering only “narrow network” plans that severely restrict available doctors and hospitals. With these developments, the scam of Obamacare, and its inevitable failure, are becoming too obvious for even the mainstream media to ignore.

The scam of Obamacare ...

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Deirdre Fulton – In Major Ruling, Grad Students Win Right to Unionize at Private Universities

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said Tuesday that graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants at private colleges are employees—a ruling with “big implications” for both higher education and organized labor in the United States.

Inside Higher Ed explains:

The NLRB said that a previous ruling by the board—that these workers were not entitled to collective bargaining because they are students—was flawed. The NLRB ruling, 3 to 1, came ...

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KENNETH J. SALTMAN – Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success

Investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and J.P. Morgan, philanthropies such as the Rockefeller Foundation, politicians such as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Massachusetts former governor and now Bain Capital Managing Director Deval Patrick, and elite universities such as Harvard have been aggressively promoting Pay for Success (also known as Social Impact Bonds) as a solution to intractable financial and political problems facing public education and other public services. In these schemes investment banks pay for public ...

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Elizabeth Schulte – She’ll keep America not so great for workers

HILLARY CLINTON is having a lot of fun taking shots at Donald Trump’s economic plan to make America “great” again. She calls it an extreme version of the Republicans’ failed theory of trickle-down economics [1].

The Trump plan would, of course, be a disaster for working people–and another windfall for the rich, with its proposals for eliminating the estate tax and opening up new tax loopholes for the wealthy.

But Clinton’s own economic plan isn’t very new, much less positive for ...

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Scott Klinger – Where Has All the Money for Our Schools Gone?

As fall approaches, millions of moms and dads are scrambling to prepare for the first day of school, excited to support their children’s success.

But are schools ready to receive our kids and foster that success? Increasingly, the answer is no.

In at least 18 states, local government funding levels are declining, according to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. And as a result, many schools will open with fewer teachers than last year, among other detrimental ...

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JACK RASMUS – Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism

This week marks the first anniversary of the 2015 Greek debt crisis, the third in that country’s recent history since 2010. Last Aug. 20-21, 2015, the ‘Troika’—i.e., the pan-European institutions of the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), plus the IMF-imposed a third debt deal on Greece. Greece was given US$98 billion in loans from the Troika. A previous 2012 Troika imposed debt deal had added nearly US$200 billion to an initial 2010 debt deal of US$140 billion.

That’s ...

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How work can lead to suicide in a globalised economy

A Paris prosecutor recently called for the former CEO and six senior managers of telecoms provider, France Télécom, to face criminal charges for workplace harassment. The recommendation followed a lengthy inquiry into the suicides of a number of employees at the company between 2005 and 2009. The prosecutor accused management of deliberately “destabilising” employees and creating a “stressful professional climate” through a company-wide strategy of “harcèlement moral” – psychological bullying.

All deny any wrongdoing and it is now up to ...

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