Monday, February 18, 2019

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Dion Rabouin examines the U.S.' unprecedented level of inequality and wealth concentration. And Orsetta Causa, Anna Vindics and James Browne highlight how worsening inequality around the globe has been the result of avoidable policy choices.

- But David Dayen writes that Amazon's failed attempt to extract billions of dollars as the price of setting up a headquarters in New York represents needed pushback against corporate handouts. And Jamie Merchant is optimistic that communities elsewhere will follow the precedent:
The absurdities of the Amazon deal, which enraged New Yorkers and motivated them to fight back, are globalized absurdities present in every factory, every office, every farm, and every export-processing-zone across the planet in which people are treated like cattle, offered by their governments to Amazon and other world-striding corporations as a cheap resource to be exploited. This outward looking, supranational view is already implicit in New York’s anti-Amazon movement, which, much to the company’s displeasure, broadened its perspective to encompass Amazon’s general attitude toward unionization, corporate welfare, and immigration policy. In other words, the movement’s was a holistic critique: rejecting Amazon’s values for a wholly different idea of the kind of world we want. 

Labor rights, tax justice, and the free movement of people are issues that go far beyond not just Queens, but also beyond U.S. national borders, potentially linking together communities who are struggling for the same goals in similar conditions across the world. By tying the local fight against Amazon to bigger structural problems, the Queens activists opened a window onto a transnational, anti-corporate politics in which laborers everywhere recognize their shared stake in a common fight against the corporate domination and crushing inequality of the present order.
- Susan weighs in on Jason Kenney's attack on people of "modest human capital" and the standard of living they can apparently expect - while noting the irony that Kenney himself is lacking in what his party claims should justify a higher minimum wage.

- Finally, Megan Mayhew Bergman questions why so much money is being spent purchasing and developing property which will be underwater if climate change continues on its present course. Will Bunch comments on the folly of pouring public resources into fracking which destabilizes land while polluting our planet. Christof Ruhl writes that the reduced use of plastic only adds to the foreseeable economic trends which are making oil development generally into a sucker's bet. And John Funk notes that even conservative voters in the U.S. strongly support investing in renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.

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