Harm through the market 2021

This tree has stood here for 500 years. Will it be sold for $17,500? Juliet Eilperin Photos and video by Salwan Georges Washington Post December 31, 2021

The worker revolt comes to a Dollar General in Connecticut Greg Jaffe Washington Post December 11, 2021
A call to a union triggers one of the most lopsided battles of the ongoing low-wage-worker revolt.

Starbucks baristas are on the verge of forming a union. The company is pushing back. Joanna Slater Washington Post November 23, 2021

The dirty secret of America’s clean dishes Max Blau and Lylla Younes ProPublica December 20, 2021

The most detailed map of cancer-causing industrial pollution in the United States Al Shaw and Lylla Young ProPublica November 2, 2021

Mounting problems in global economy and financial system Nick Beams World Socialist Web Site November 9, 2021
Amid the turbulence in the short end of the bond market last month…there is a longer-term issue. This concerns the operation of the $22 trillion Treasury market and the meltdown it suffered in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic. This market, which forms the basis of the global financial system, is supposedly the most liquid and safest in the world. However, at the start the pandemic, it virtually froze when no buyers could be found for US government bonds. Rather than seeking a “safe haven” in purchases of government debt, there was a “dash for cash.” The universal opinion in financial policy circles is that such an event, which had the potential to set off a crisis going beyond that of 2008, must never be allowed happen again….But so far, no plan has been developed. One of the problems is the increased involvement of hedge funds.

Moral policy = Good economics: Lifting up poor and working-class people—and our whole economy Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Shailly Gupta Barnes, Josh Bivens, Krista Faries, Thea M. Lee, and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis Economic Policy Institute October 27, 2021

The most detailed map of cancer-causing industrial air pollution in the U.S. Al Shaw and Lylla Younes ProPublica November 2, 2021

Five points for anger, one for a ‘like’: How Facebook’s formula fostered rage and misinformation Jeremy B. Merrill and Will Oremus Washington Post October 26, 2021

The case against Mark Zuckerberg: Insiders say Facebook’s CEO chose growth over safety Elizabeth Dwoskin, Tory Newmyer and Shibani Mahtani Washington Post October 25, 2021
The SEC has been asked to probe whether his iron-fisted management style, described in newly released documents and by insiders, led to disastrous outcomes.

In secret tapes, palm oil execs disclose corruption, brutality Desmond Butler Washington Post October 9, 2021 See full Global Witness report.
Global Witness, an environmental and human rights organization, sent undercover investigators to get the scoop.

Almost 2 million people die from work-related causes each year WHO/ILO September 17, 2021 Access the full report.

Renaissance executives agree to pay around $7 billion to settle tax dispute with IRS Reuters September 2, 2021

Climate change widespread, rapid, and intensifying Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change August 9, 2021 Access full report.

Part of the AMOC ocean current system. Credit: Wikipedia/ R. Curry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

A critical ocean system may be heading for collapse due to climate change, study finds Sarah Kaplan Washington Post August 5, 2021
This system, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, is a large system of ocean currents, like a conveyor belt, driven by differences in temperature and salt content which affect its density. Disruption of this system could bring make Europe and eastern Canada much colder, raise water levels along the U.S.east coast, and disrupt seasonal monsoons. The Gulf Stream is part of this system.

Siberia’s wildfires are bigger than all the world’s other blazes combined Robyn Dixon Washington Post August 11, 2021
Russia is fighting more than 170 wildfires in the Arctic region, but has left dozens of others to burn unhindered.

CEO pay has skyrocketed 1,322% since 1978. CEOs were paid 351 times as much as a typical worker in 2020 Lawrence Mishel and Jori Kandra Economic Policy Institute August 10, 2021 Access full report (21-page PDF file).
CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay and because so much of their pay (more than 80%) is stock-related, not because they are increasing their productivity or possess specific, high-demand skills.

Boeing hijacked by shareholders and execs Marie Christine Duggan Dollars & Sense July/August 2021
How Boeing workers are battling against perverse corporate incentives and what their story tells us about our financialized economy.

Revealed: The true extent of America’s food monopolies, and who pays the price Nina Lakhani, Aliya Uteuova and Alvin Chang The Guardian July 14, 2021
The Guardian and Food and Water Watch investigation into 61 popular grocery items reveals that the top companies control an average of 64% of sales. For 85% of the groceries analyzed, four firms or fewer controlled more than 40% of market share. It’s widely agreed that consumers, farmers, small food companies and the planet lose out if the top four firms control 40% or more of total sales.

The insect apocalypse: ‘Our world will grind to a halt without them’ Dave Goulson The Guardian July 25, 2021
Insects have declined by 75% in the past 50 years – and the consequences may soon be catastrophic. Biologist Dave Goulson reveals the vital services they perform.

The Department of Yes. How pesticide companies corrupted the EPA and poisoned America Sharon Lerner The Intercept June 30, 2021

The modern food industry in the United States: A case of industrial sabotage Geoffrey E. Schneider Journal of Economic issues June 17, 2021 (A PDF copy of the article can be downloaded from the paragraph below.)
The U.S. food industry displays the ugly side of capitalism, manifesting numerous examples of what Thorstein Veblen termed “industrial sabotage.” The evolution of agricultural production from small family farms to huge industrial agribusinesses has been accompanied by toxic pesticide and herbicide use, unsafe industrial meat, and unsustainable farming practices. Meanwhile, industrial food production shifted diets from primarily whole foods to mostly ultra-processed food-like substances. Ultra-processed food is designed to be addictive by incorporating copious amounts of sugar, salt, fat, and flavorings, fueling the obesity crisis in the process. The solutions to our food problems lie along the lines suggested by Veblen, and involve putting the productive people of society, especially farmers, back in charge of production, while empowering the common people and their communities. Furthermore, government agencies with teeth and a series of targeted regulations can deliver on the promise of countervailing power suggested by John Kenneth Galbraith.

Federal officials look to crack down on deceptive subscription marketing practices at broad range of firms Yeganeh Torbati Washington Post June 2, 2021
Use of automatic subscriptions has exploded in recent years. Some companies make it easy to sign up but very difficult to cancel, and consumer complaints have piled up.

‘Government money that’s gone into vaccine development is being privatized by a handful of companies’ CounterSpin interview with James Love on Bill Gates & vaccine patent politics Janine Jackson Counterspin May 12, 2020

‘No one wants to work anymore’: the truth behind this unemployment benefits myth Amanda Holpuch The Guardian May 7, 2021
US employees are concerned about safety, others have caregiving responsibilities and some are using their job loss as an opportunity to find other work.

The hedge fund set to buy Tribune Publishing mismanaged employees’ pensions, federal investigators found Jonathan O’Connell Washington Post April 23, 2021
Alden Global Capital admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pull employees’ pension money out of its own funds and pay them $20.7 million, the Labor Department said in a 2019 decision.

55 Corporations paid $0 in federal taxes on 2020 profits Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy April 2, 2021

In a first, Uber agrees to classify British drivers as ‘workers’ Adam Satariano New York Times March 13, 2021
The new legal classification, which follows a U.K. court ruling last month, will entitle the workers to more pay and benefits, but stops short of making them employees.

A Kansas bookshop’s fight with Amazon is about more than the price of books Casey Cep New Yorker March 12 , 2021
The owner of the Raven bookstore, in Lawrence, wants to tell you about all the ways that the e-commerce giant is hurting American downtowns.

Facebook strikes deal to restore news sharing in Australia Mike Isaac and Damien Cave New York Times February 22, 2021
The agreement means users and publishers in Australia can once again share links to news articles, after Facebook had blocked the practice last week.

After hundreds of meatpacking workers died From COVID-19, Congress wants answers Bernice Yeung and Michael Grabell ProPublica February 4, 2021

Amazon’s anti-union blitz stalks Alabama warehouse workers everywhere, even the bathroom Jay Greene Washington Post February 2, 2021
The stakes couldn’t be higher for the e-commerce giant, which is fighting the biggest labor battle in its history on U.S. soil.

Drugs and global capitalism Sasha Breger Bush Dollars and Sense January/February 2021
The sheer size of the drug economy suggests its overwhelming centrality to the global economic system.

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