The Numbers Trump Can’t Spin

Total Deaths and Job Loss By Les Leopold As November nears Trump will continue to bombard us with a dizzying array of statistics that he hopes will demonstrate how great a job he and his administration are doing. We do the most testing in the world. We’re making the most ventilators. We build the most hospital beds. And we will soon again have the best economy in the history of the world. But there are two numbers Trump can’t explain away: total deaths and job loss.  He and his handlers had hoped that the final toll would follow from the …

Read moreThe Numbers Trump Can’t Spin

Is Wall Street Killing Grandma?

As we scramble to locate hospital beds and life-saving equipment during this pandemic, remember that we are fighting two diseases. By Les Leopold If you or your loved ones become seriously ill during this pandemic crisis, either with Covid-19 or for any other reason, there may not be a hospital bed or life-saving equipment available for you. How can that be given that we spend twice as much on health care than any other country on Earth? Maybe that’s just the way things go when a massive unexpected healthcare problem strikes. Yes, surely the government could have been better prepared …

Read moreIs Wall Street Killing Grandma?

Jeff Bezos is a Whole Lotta Rich. How Rich?

Amazon proudly claims that from 2010 to 2018 it contributed $168B to the US domestic gross product. Amazon, as we all know, is a big company owned by Jeff Bezos (he actually owns 12 percent of Amazon’s stock, the controlling interest). So a $168B contribution to the GDP sounds like a lot. According to Forbes magazine, however, in 2010 Jeff Bezos was worth $12.3B. By July 16, 2018, not coincidentally Amazon Prime Day, his fortune had increased to $151.4B. So, while Amazon (by its own account) was boosting the US GDP by $168B, it was also boosting Jeff Bezos’s personal …

Read moreJeff Bezos is a Whole Lotta Rich. How Rich?

Public Banking in New Jersey is For Real!

One of the prime goals of the Reversing Runaway Inequality program has been to advocate for public banking. While the details have to be ironed out, New Jersey is now moving forward with the creation of a public bank. You can read the news here. The San Francisco Chronicle also covered the event. Here is a video:

Public Banking in California Is For Real

California governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law on October 2, allowing city and county governments to set up publicly owned banks to accept tax and other revenue and fund infrastructure and other programs with lower costs than those offered by commercial banks. You can read the story in the Guardian here..

As California Considers a Public Bank, The Story of North Dakota’s

View this post on Instagram In 1945, the first transfer of the Bank’s profits to the general fund was made—$1,725! The next time this occurred was in 1949 and 1951, a veterans’ fund received $1.5 million. Learn more in The Bank of North Dakota, From Surviving to Thriving – The First 100 Years hardcover book. Now available at bnd.nd.gov/store and Amazon.com. #BankND #TheBNDStory #100Years #OldTownRoad A post shared by Bank of North Dakota (@bankofnd) on May 24, 2019 at 8:45am PDT North Dakota’s bank is 100 years old, and this Vox story tells its story and how that is influencing …

Read moreAs California Considers a Public Bank, The Story of North Dakota’s

Readings in Inequality. September 2019 Links

Each Sunday Tony Wikrent posts a list of links at Real Economics and Ian Welsh. Some are political, many lead to news about runaway inequality. This post borrows a few that seem to fit together very well. The New York Times reported that inequality is getting worse, which for poor people means more sickness and an earlier death. Peter Turchin, at Evonomics, discusses what it is that sometimes (like in the post World War II era) decreases inequality. Namely policy changes when disenchantment with inequality reaches a boiling point. Bloomberg takes a look at the growing disenchantment with capitalism in the US and …

Read moreReadings in Inequality. September 2019 Links

About the Business Roundtable’s Mission Change

The Business Roundtable was formed in 1972 with the goal of undermining New Deal-forged worker rights and corporate regulation by the federal government. The Roundtable worked to weaken antitrust regulations, undermine labor protections and stopped Ralph Nader’s attempt to create a consumer protection agency in 1977. This was a group of hundreds of the country’s top companies working to escape federal regulations, decrease taxes, and promote the better business environment. And free trade. But last week they issued a letter that said (from the NY Times): “Breaking with decades of long-held corporate orthodoxy, the Business Roundtable issued a statement on …

Read moreAbout the Business Roundtable’s Mission Change

Elizabeth Warren Announces Her Plan to Stop the Financialization of the US Economy.

You can read her ideas and plans here. Key quote: Here’s the problem with the belief that helping Wall Street always helps the economy: it isn’t true. In recent decades, Wall Street has grown bigger and financial sector profits have gone from 10% to 25% of total corporate profits, but everyone else in America has lived through a generation of stagnant wages and sluggish economic growth. Even today, big banks are making record profits and handing out huge bonuses as average wages barely budge. The truth is that Washington has it backwards. For a long time now, Wall Street’s success hasn’t helped the broader economy — it’s come at …

Read moreElizabeth Warren Announces Her Plan to Stop the Financialization of the US Economy.