Pope Francis Laments Failures Of Market Capitalism In Blueprint For Post-COVID World

As Francis writes, the pandemic “unexpectedly erupted” and his focus widened, and the document became a treatise on the lessons that must be learned from the global health crisis.

Once the pandemic passes, the pope writes, “our worst response would be to plunge even more deeply into feverish consumerism and new forms of egotistic self-preservation.”

Picking up on some of his favorite themes, Francis says the marketplace cannot resolve every problem, and he denounces what he describes as “this dogma of neoliberal faith” that “resort[s] to the magic theories of ‘spillover’ or ‘trickle.’ “

A good economic policy, he says, creates jobs — it doesn’t eliminate them.

NPR

Trump trade wars have led to lost US jobs and factories.

Trump is making false claims about his record in struggling states like Ohio and Michigan. The jobs haven’t come back. They’ve been offshored to China.

In manufacturing-heavy Ohio, Trump’s tit-for-tat tariff battle with China was a major factor in the drop in annual job growth from 36,200 in 2016 to 3,700 in 2019, according to a new report I co-authored. Average weekly earnings for Ohio manufacturing workers also declined during this period. 

But Trump also bears personal responsibility for encouraging offshoring because of the corporate tax cuts he pushed through Congress in 2017. U.S.-based companies no longer owe Uncle Sam anything on offshore profits up to a certain threshold. Above that level, they owe a federal tax rate that’s just half of what they’d pay for domestic profits. 

As a result, corporations can save on their IRS bills by shipping jobs overseas. Big companies like General Motors took their tax break and then shipped thousands of jobs out of Ohio, Michigan, and other states.

USA Today

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

Trump’s Tariffs Failed Miserably. (Like Everything Trump Touches.) More Jobs Go Overseas.

“Trump pledged to eliminate the trade deficit and end job outsourcing, but the overall 2020 deficit is on track to be larger than when he took office, and his Labor Department has certified more than 300,000 American jobs were lost to outsourcing and imports during his presidency.”

new figures released by the Commerce Department on Thursday—nearly four years after Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election—show that the trade deficit soared to a 12-year high in July due in large part to a surge in imports, bringing the total negative trade balance in the first seven months of 2020 to $340 billion.

Common Dreams

Turning Farmers Into Welfare Queens: Will it Ever End?

Trump was already spending double his predecessor to spare farmers the cost of his trade war. Now the price is reaching unsustainable levels.

Direct farm aid has climbed each year of Trump’s presidency, from $11.5 billion in 2017 to more than $32 billion this year — an all-time high, with potentially far more funding still to come in 2020, amounting to about two-thirds of the cost of the entire Department of Housing and Urban Development and more than the Agriculture Department’s $24 billion discretionary budget, according to a POLITICO analysis. But lawmakers have taken a largely hands-off approach, letting the department decide who gets the money and how much.

Politico

Trump’s Solution to Record Unemployment? “Find Something New”

As businesses shut down, declare bankruptcy, and lay off or fire employees, the Trump administration offers a solution: Find a new job.

Led by “genius” daughter Ivanka Trump and Sleepy Wilbur Ross:
The campaign is a product of the White House’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, which President Donald Trump created in 2018. The board is co-chaired by Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

With 22 million unemployed Americans, Ivanka and Wilbur offer a solution that, apparently, nobody else has thought of: Find a new job.

NBC News

Related:
Amid Pandemic and Recession, Ivanka Trump-Led ‘Find Something New’ Campaign Denounced as ‘Stunningly Tone Deaf’

Related:
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Number of unemployed persons per job opening:

#ChinaChinaChina Propaganda by Republicans Could Result in Serious Consequences for the United States

Republicans have been engaged in a propaganda attack against China regarding the coronavirus, working to lay blame on China and divert attention, and blame, from the moron in the White House.

It could backfire.

China is extremely dissatisfied with the abuse of litigation by the US against China over the COVID-19 epidemic, and is considering punitive countermeasures against US individuals, entities and state officials, such as Missouri’s attorney general Eric Schmitt, who filed a lawsuit against China,  seeking compensation for the coronavirus pandemic, sources close to the matter told the Global Times exclusively. At least four US Congress members, including Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton, and two entities will be put on China’s sanctions list, analysts said. 

China won’t just strike back symbolically, but will impose countermeasures that will make them feel the pain, analysts said. 

Some US lawmakers and state governors as well as attorneys who are also GOP hawks have filed lawsuits against China, alleging that the Chinese government mishandled the epidemic and it caused severe economic consequences in the US.

“While the Chinese government makes adjustments to business relations between China and states like Missouri or Mississippi, local economies would likely be under pressure, or special interests of certain officials might be affected,” Diao [Daming, a US studies expert at the Renmin University of China in Beijing] said.

Missouri, together with other states like Michigan, South Carolina and Texas, had taken measures to make it easier for Chinese investment to come in and boost local job growth years ago. For example, in 2013, one week before Chinese company Shuanghui purchased Smithfield Foods, the Missouri legislature amended a law clearing the way for approval.

Hong Lei, then Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, said in a speech in 2017 that Chinese companies invested more than $1.1 billion in Missouri, creating 4,500 jobs.

Global Times