How momentum is growing to tax the rich and reduce inequality

In the middle of the last century, there was a large and secure working class. Then, changes to the tax structure distributed more and more of the wealth to the richest and hollowed out the middle class. Now, levels of inequality in the United States are unsustainable as the top one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) has wealth equal to the …

Investors are pushing companies to reckon with their environmental impacts.

Carl Segerstrom, High Country News, March 27, 2019 Imagine a Walmart semi-truck rolling down the interstate with its back doors open, plasma-screen televisions tumbling out onto the highway, crashing through windshields and causing chaos. “It would be ridiculous,” said Jonas Kron, a senior vice president for Trillium Asset Management, a socially responsible investment firm. Company ownership would demand better trucking practices, …

Air quality health benefits easily pay for cities to be green: international firms prefer locating there

International firms prefer to invest in greener cities because of their increasing commitment to employees’ wellbeing. Living in industrial areas has a negative effect on people’s (psychological) health; air quality is also explicitly mentioned in relation to low(er) rankings for expat quality of life in various cities. Second, by choosing greener cities, international firms aim to bolster their reputation and show their …

Short book highlights from Concrete Economics, a New Consensus recommendation

Central to Hamilton’s view was protecting America’s infant industries, so up went the tariff, about 25% in 1816  Given the huge costs of shipping in the early 1800s, this was a formidable exercise in protectionism as well as a major source of federal government revenues.  And up it stayed, over the opposition of agriculturalists who were buyers, not producers, of …

Are oil companies responsible for climate change? A group of senators thinks so

The filing in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco supported appeals by the two cities to reinstate the suit that U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco dismissed. Besides Feinstein and Harris, the brief was signed by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Edward Markey of Massachusetts. Senators …

Could Walmart Be a Model for a Socialist Future? Do megacorporations—although odious—demonstrate the massive central planning we need

BY PETER FRASE  If Walmart is already more or less a planned economy…why not just nationalize it so everyone can save money and live better? Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski want you to know that their new book, The People’s Republic of Walmart, is not a socialist defense of Walmart, a company they call “execrable.” Rather, they use the megacorporation as a …

Cory Booker’s Plan to Return Some Profits from Stock Buybacks to Workers. Also, whatever happened to overtime? The threshold used to cover 65 percent of workers, now it is only 7 percent.

Posted on March 12, 2019 Pitchfork Economics Download Episode () The overtime threshold used to be the minimum wage for the middle class—but where did it go? Labor experts Sharon Block and Chris Lu join Nick and Jasmin to explain why the overtime threshold, which used to cover 65 percent of workers, today covers only 7 percent. That’s craziness! And surprise, surprise—employers love …

Sen. Warren’s proposal would designate large digital platforms as platform utilities. It would require large tech companies to choose between maintaining ownership of a platform utility and being a participant or competitor on that same platform

If we’re going to restore competition and protect the free exchange of goods and ideas, then we cannot allow Amazon and other big tech companies to continue to use their control of this infrastructure to privilege their own goods and services at the expense of their competitors. In response to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up Amazon, Facebook, and Google, the …

Creating conditions conducive to life: Why sustainability is no longer enough, yet still very important on the road to regeneration

Daniel Wahl: “We need to learn to design as nature, engage in regenerative design and development, and create diverse regenerative cultures elegantly adapted to the bio-cultural uniqueness of place. Such cultures would design as nature understanding themselves as healers of local ecosystems and humble caretakers of the community of life — biodiversity — that shares a unique place with us.” “Allied with the community of life …

Zillow and others bringing mass insta-sales into housing market

By Patrick Clark, Bloomberg Business Week February 14, 2019 With its tan stucco exterior and red tile roof, the Rittenhouse home on South Star Canyon Drive looks a lot like the other houses in Power Ranch, a large planned community southeast of Phoenix. Mark, a meat buyer for a grocery chain, and Anne, a nurse, bought the house for $293,000 …