Capitalism: Hiring Gig Workers to Evict Others

“SINCE COVID-19 MANY AMERICANS FELL BEHIND IN ALL ASPECTS,” reads the website copy. The button below this statement is not for a GoFundMe, or a petition for calling for rent relief. Instead, it is the following call to action, from a company called Civvl: “Be hired as eviction crew.” 

Helena Duncan, a Chicago-based paralegal who also participates in housing activism, saw a Craigslist post from Civvl while searching for jobs. The ad alarmed her. 

“It’s fucked up that there will be struggling working-class people who will be drawn to gigs like furniture-hauling or process-serving for a company like Civvl, evicting fellow working-class people from their homes so they themselves can make rent.”

Vice

This is Why People Like the Kochs Promote “Free Market Economics”

Just how far has the working class been left behind by the winner-take-all economy? A new analysis by the RAND Corporation examines what rising inequality has cost Americans in lost income—and the results are stunning.

A full-time worker whose taxable income is at the median—with half the population making more and half making less—now pulls in about $50,000 a year. Yet had the fruits of the nation’s economic output been shared over the past 45 years as broadly as they were from the end of World War II until the early 1970s, that worker would instead be making $92,000 to $102,000. (The exact figures vary slightly depending on how inflation is calculated.)

They say the blame lies, in large measure, with decades of failed federal policy decisions—allowing the minimum wage to deteriorate, overtime coverage to dwindle, and the effectiveness of labor law to decline, undermining union power. They also cite a shift in corporate culture that has elevated the interests of shareholders over those of workers, an ethos that took root 50 years ago this week with the publication of an essay by University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman.

Many of these developments, Rolf points out, have been driven by the belief that an unfettered free market would generate wealth for everyone. Thanks to the RAND study, he says, “we now have the proof that this theory was wrong.”

Fast Company

Related:

The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90%—And That’s Made the U.S. Less Secure

Federal report warns of financial havoc from climate change

A report commissioned by federal regulators overseeing the nation’s commodities markets has concluded that climate change threatens U.S. financial markets, as the costs of wildfires, storms, droughts and floods spread through insurance and mortgage markets, pension funds and other financial institutions.

“A world wracked by frequent and devastating shocks from climate change cannot sustain the fundamental conditions supporting our financial system,” concluded the report, “Managing Climate Risk in the Financial System,” which was requested last year by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and set for release Wednesday morning.

New York Times via St.Louis Tribune

Sheer Stupidity and Greed: Deregulating the Banks

The financial crisis of 2008 resulted in the establishment of new rules for banks–to help protect against another crash.

Now, those rules are being loosened…as we’re in possibly the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The changes, set to take effect on Oct. 1, will make it easier for big banks to devote more of their resources to investments in venture capital funds and other vehicles—the kind risky of speculation that sent the entire U.S. financial system into a tailspin in 2008.

Regulators on Thursday also eliminated a requirement that banks set aside a certain amount of financial cushion to protect against trading losses. The rollback could free up tens of billions of dollars for Wall Street banks.

Common Dreams

In a Time of Financial Crisis, What Does the Fed Do? It Bails Out the Rich and “Investors”

From Wolf Richter (Wolfstreet.com):

America Convulses in Pain, Fed Bails Out the Wealthy

“We’re in an economic meltdown like I’ve never seen before. Tens of millions of people have lost their jobs – and so suddenly, that the government data to track them has fallen into chaos, with different agencies reporting data that is all over the place and contradicting each other. None of these systems were designed to track this type of sudden collapse of the labor market during a pandemic.”

So what is the fed doing to alleviate the pain?

Bill Clinton, Then the Republicans, Helped Move American Pharmaceutical Companies Overseas

Before 1996, the tax code gave makers of drugs and medical devices favorable treatment for manufacturing products in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico. At that time, Puerto Rico was the American engine of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing. Many, if not most, domestic companies had a presence there. In an effort to curb “corporate welfare,” however, the Republican Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, which phased out the tax exemption. The results were predictable.

The manufacturers reduced or eliminated their operations in Puerto Rico, moving them to China, India and Ireland, which welcomed their presence with favorable economic policies.

Another law passed in 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, further discouraged manufacturing on the island [Puerto Rico]. Under the act, income generated from the Puerto Rican operations of U.S. companies is treated as foreign income and subjected to double taxation.

The Hill

Pictures of boxes, all marked “Made in China” at a Kroger pharmacy:

Newspaper Editor Fired, Starts “Homeless Editor” Blog

On Wednesday he was laid off. On Friday he was living in a Motel 6.

Rich Jackson, a 54-year-old journalist who worked as the top editor of The Herald-Times, a Gannett-owned newspaper in Bloomington, Ind., received the bad news in the parking lot next to the paper’s headquarters. He was also told he would have to vacate the apartment in the same building, where he had been living for 10 months.

Unable to go the newsroom, Mr. Jackson started a blog. He called it The Homeless Editor.

WaPo

[Publ. note: This is what #capitalism looks like.]