Puerto Rico’s hurricane damage, crisis and opportunity

Excerpt from https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/puerto-rico-hurricane-maria-damage-722570/ Stafford Act, 1988 legislation that requires all infrastructure funded with FEMA money to be rebuilt more or less as it had been before the storm. That means if an inefficient, old oil-burning power station is destroyed in a storm and you want to use FEMA funds to rebuild it, you have to build another oil burner.  The scale …

Data from the Federal Reserve show that over the last decade and a half, the proportion of family income from wages has dropped from nearly 70 percent to just under 61 percent

Excerpt from The Recovery Threw the Middle-Class Dream Under a Benz,  By Nelson D. Schwartz, Sept. 12, 2018, NYTimes.com Data from the Federal Reserve show that over the last decade and a half, the proportion of family income from wages has dropped from nearly 70 percent to just under 61 percent. It’s an extraordinary shift, driven largely by the investment profits of the …

Public banking must build and take power from finance

By Matt STANNARD on Occupy.com TUE, 7/17/2018 This is Part 10 in a 10-part series on public banking and economic justice. Read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 If Los Angeles voters choose to lift the city’s ban on government-run banking services this November, the battle for a public bank in that city won’t be over. It will just be getting started, and the barriers will be enormous. Los Angeles …

End Stock Buybacks, Save the Economy

By William Lazonick and Ken Jacobson, Aug. 23, 2018, nytimes.com Since the 1980s, corporate boards in the United States have embraced as dogma the position that companies should be run primarily for the benefit of their shareholders. The stranglehold of this doctrine of “shareholder-value maximization” over corporate decision making has been a leading cause of inequitable incomes, unstable employment, and sagging productivity. The principal …

The Big, Dangerous Bubble in Corporate Debt

By William D. Cohan, a former investment banker and the author of four books about Wall Street.  Aug. 9, 2018 NYTimes.com Illustration by Mike McQuade; Photographs by Carol M. Highsmith and Alfred Harrell, via Library of Congress The $30 trillion domestic stock market seems to get all the attention. When the stock market sets new highs, we instinctively feel things are good …

Failed Economic Policies Have Contributed to Asylum Seekers: Many of the families detained at the U.S.-Mexico border have lost their livelihoods as the result of reforms that benefit elites in the United States and Latin American countries

By Manuel Perez-Rocha, Inequality.org, As a Mexican American and a father of two young children I am horrified to see the cruelty being inflicted on thousands of families that haven’t been as lucky as mine and have been separated at the US-Mexico border. Feeling the heat from all sides, the president has reversed his separation policy and signed an executive order …

Digital nomadism

Marx and Engels said that the bourgeoisie could not exist “without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society;” Tony Blair told us that the world of globalisation has “no custom or practice”, and gives rewards only to those “swift to adapt, slow to complain, open, willing and able to …

What’s a public bank? States or municipalities use reserves for a public mission and the needs of the public it represents, such as local investments and local businesses

https://youtu.be/xiYaEIwbwbg VIDEO: An Introduction to Public Banking, by In Context Report (7:23) A Public Bank is a chartered depository bank in which public funds are deposited. It is owned by a government unit — a state, county, city, or tribe — and mandated to serve a public mission that reflects the values and needs of the public that it represents. In existing and proposed US …

Social Cost Of Coal Must Now Be Considered By Washington Utilities

June 1st, 2018 by Steve Hanley  Originally published on Planetsave. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has issued a directive to three utility companies in the state telling them to include the social cost of coal in their future planning. Under the new guidelines, the cost of coal calculation will be $42 per metric ton by 2020 and rise to $60 per metric ton …

What if School Lunch Programs Promoted Public Health, Good Jobs, and the Environment? From LA to Cook County, local governments are using their purchasing power to transform the food system.

By Anna Lappé and Jose Oliva in The Nation, 25 May 2018 Students eat lunch at the cafeteria at Marston Middle School in San Diego, California, March 7, 2011. (Reuters / Mike Blake) Eleven billion dollars. That’s the total tally of the national school-food program in the United States and just a small fraction of what public institutions in this country spend every year in …