Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday Morning Links

 This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Robert Reich points out that the most significant political divide is the one between the wealthiest few and the rest of the population:
In reality, the biggest divide in America today runs between oligarchy and democracy. When oligarchs fill the coffers of political candidates, they neuter democracy.
The oligarchs know politicians won’t bite the hands that feed them. So as long as they control the money, they can be confident there will be no meaningful response to stagnant pay, climate change, military bloat or the soaring costs of health insurance, pharmaceuticals, college and housing.

There will be no substantial tax increases on the wealthy. There will be no antitrust enforcement to puncture the power of giant corporations. There will be no meaningful regulation of Wall Street’s addiction to gambling with other peoples’ money. There will be no end to corporate subsides. CEO pay will continue to skyrocket. Wall Street hedge fund and private equity managers will continue to make off like bandits.

So long as the oligarchy divides Americans – split off people of color from working-class whites, stoke racial resentments, describe human beings as illegal aliens, launch wars on crime and immigrants, stoke fears of communists and socialists – it doesn’t have to worry that a majority will stop them from looting the nation.
Divide-and-conquer allows the oligarchy free rein. It makes the rest of us puppets, fighting each other on a made-up stage.
- Paul Krugman writes about the Trump administration's dangerous coupling of additional incarceration and corporate corruption. And Bidesh Sarma and Jessica Brand rightly challenge the criminalization of poverty and homelessness.

- Josh Rubin interviews Jim Stanford about the reality that precarious work and stagnant wages are the result of policy choices. And David Madland offers some suggestions to move toward sectoral bargaining and broader labour power in the U.S.

- Finally, Gregory Shill laments the imposition of car culture as a matter of government decision-making. And Jonathan Cote and Peter Ladner write that a shift toward modernized transit to reduce the harms of excessive traffic should be a key election issue.

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