Trump Department of Labor pick is a foreign labor exec who's brought "over 40,000" cheap workers to the USA

050-056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8

Veronica Birkenstock is Practical Employee Solutions, a company that boasts of having brought "over 40,000" cheap H-2B workers from 80 countries to the USA to work in "hospitality, landscaping, welding, and construction" for companies like Marriott and Starwood Hotels, for whom it is the "preferred vendor." Read the rest

Italy's referendum: a vote against neoliberalism and authoritarianism

050-056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8

Soon-to-be-former Italian PM Matteo Renzi just lost a referendum he called on a set of reforms to Italy's constitution, promising to resign if he lost, which he did; many of Italy's far-right, trumpist and berlusconian elements latched onto the No side of the referendum and pitched it as a kind of Italian version of Brexit, a poll on whether Italy would be another stronghold of gamergate-inflected neo-fascism. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders: Trump just used your taxes to reward Carrier for offshoring American jobs

7997190843_5c9137e4e3_b

Last February, Carrier announced that it was offshoring its US air-conditioner manufacturing jobs to Mexico, despite having made a $7.6B profit that year, despite having received more than $6B in US military contracts, despite having recved a $50M tax-break, despite having paid its retiring CEO a $172m bonus, despite having spent $12b on stock-inflating accounting tricks. Read the rest

Uber is running scared of Juno, a NYC competitor that's kicking its ass

050-056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8

Juno is a "driver-friendly" rideshare service that competes with Uber by paying its drivers more and giving drivers the ability to pick up a fare, get them to install the Juno app, and give them a discount. Read the rest

France's next President could be an Islamophobic "Thatcherite" who wants to dismantle the social safety net

050-056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8

The Trump election gave real legitimacy to Europe's fascist parties, including France's Marine Le Pen of the National Front; and in the absence of real, left-win alternatives for populist discontent, the only real opposition to these authoritarians is coming from the hard right parties, which are swinging even further to the right to try to gain back some of their supporters. Read the rest

Giving companies more money (loans, tax-breaks) only increases investor payouts, not expansion

13551689_1087276911342909_2027

Before the deregulation bonanza of the 1980s, corporations were expected to use debt and the public markets as the capital of last resort: they would pay "normal" dividends, then use the left over money to increase pay and fund expansion; but after the birth of "shareholder management," companies have acted like homeowners before the financial crisis: borrowing heavily to pay investors, at the expense of expansion and wages -- but unlike homeowners, corporate management gets to duck the bill when it comes due. Read the rest

If blue-collar workers want better jobs, they need unions, not Trump

gjc1czu

Even though the majority of American workers would like to join a union, America's anemic labor laws scare them away from it -- after all, if you're fired for attempting to unionize, all your boss owes you is back pay, a sum so trifling that business groups call it a "hunting license." Read the rest

Tax Inspectors Without Borders: poor countries send each other ninja tax collectors to nail looting multinationals

maxresdefault

This week on the Tax Justice Network's podcast (previously), they profile (at 20:40) the OECD's Tax Inspectors Without Borders, through which poor countries loan each other their most effective tax collectors to help catch the tax-dodging multinational corporations who drain the countries' economies -- and the organization transfers tax enforcement expertise in the process. Read the rest

Walmart smears worker-based chat app with lies and scare tactics

workitwalmartgrabs

Workit is an Android app from OUR Walmart, a pro-labor/pro-union organization: it allows Walmart workers to ask questions about Walmart policy and employee rights, which are answered by a database compiled by using IBM's Watson to come up with answers to hundreds of frequently posed questions; questions can also be answered by other users. Read the rest

US foreclosure map predicts US battleground states map

realtytracforeclosure

Tom Adams, a lawyer and 20-year veteran of the securitization business, compares a map of America's largest foreclosure inventories with a map of key battleground states. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders wants Keith Ellison to run the DNC

tenzin_gyatso_14th_dalai_lama

The Democratic Party establishment's insistence on fronting a more-of-the-same establishment candidate cost them the election and cost America its sanity: now it's time to start planning for the 2018 midterms and a Congress that can roadblock Trump's mass deportations, torture, spying and censorship. Read the rest

Trump Administration: a climate denier for the EPA, a Goldman-Sachs banker for Treasury

goldman_sachs-svg-png

Donald Trump, who once claimed that climate change was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese has indicated that his EPA transition team will be led by Myron Ebell, who claims that accession to the Paris Climate Accord is unconstitutional, that global warming is "modest" and "nothing to worry about" and even that "a warming trend would be good for other people" because "more people die from blizzards and cold spells than from heat waves." Read the rest

Rebecca Solnit's open letter to Trump: You should really visit New York some time

915tsgq0wwl

Rebecca Solnit (previously), one of my favorite writers, has published an open letter to Donald Trump, "New York City Is a Book Conservatives Should Read," which celebrates the city's teeming, messy, multicultural vigor -- something she delves into deeply with Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, a book about the "innumerable unbound experiences of New York City [with] twenty-six imaginative maps and informative essays" (just ordered mine). Read the rest

Donald Trump weaponized fine-print to make it impossible to sue Wall Street for fraud

trump_taj_mahal_2007

In 1993, Donald Trump won a lawsuit brought by his investors that alleged he had defrauded them by lying in a prospectus; his defense was that his "perfect prospectus" contained lies, but it also contained enough fine-print cautioning investors about the possibility of lies that it was their own fault that he cheated them. Incredibly, the judge (a pre-Supreme Court Samuel Alito!) bought this. Read the rest

Nebraska's billionaire governor couldn't preserve the death penalty through the law, so now he's buying a ballot initiative

redhatsexecutionchamber-1

Nebraska's hereditary billionaire GOP governor Pete Ricketts is furious that the state legislature keeps overriding his vetos -- that is, the elected lawmakers pass laws, he tries to block them, and they overturn him -- so he's made an election issue of the state's dormant death penalty, spending $400K to put it on the state ballot next week. Read the rest

Wells Fargo blackballed employees who refused to commit fraud, forcing them out of the industry forever

blackball_01

Earlier this month, Planet Money aired an interview with a Wells Fargo whistleblower who was fired for trying to alert the bank to the millions of criminal frauds being committed against its customers, and we learned that the whistleblower had been added to a confidential blacklist used by the finance industry, preventing her from ever getting work in the industry again. Read the rest

How Minnesota's governor performed an economic miracle by raising tax on the rich and increasing minimum wage

minnesota_1990

By every measure, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton's five year run as governor has been a stellar success: while Tim Pawlenty, his tax-slashing, "fiscally-conservative" Republican predecessor presided over a $6.2B deficit and a 7% unemployment rate (the mere 6,200 jobs added under Pawlenty's 7-year run barely registered), Dayton added 172,000 new jobs to the Minnesota economy, brought Minnesota down to the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in the country, and brought the average Minnesotan income up to $8,000 more than the median US worker, while posting a $1B budget surplus. Read the rest

More posts