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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #500 on: January 02, 2020, 12:32:40 AM »
Without comment:

" a homeless woman gave birth to twins outside Cambridge University’s historic Trinity College."

" born at 29 weeks, which is 11 weeks premature"

"Cambridge’s richest college, Trinity—a bastion of wealth and privilege that has educated the scions of the ruling class for centuries—is a case in point as it sits on assets totalling £1.34 billion."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/31/birt-d31.html

sidd

blumenkraft

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #501 on: January 02, 2020, 05:38:23 PM »

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #502 on: January 06, 2020, 06:11:33 AM »
Screw the kids, what have they done for us lately ? In fact, lets screw the teachers too.

"nine in 10 educators spend an average of nearly $649 a year on supplies"

“We are literally collecting pop tabs to recycle so we can buy more stuff"

"The majority of teachers who responded to the Post said they could not be identified by name or even district because they feared retaliation"

"paper and pencils and pens, erasers, markers and notebooks, tissue, furniture, books, menstrual pads, clothes, shoes, musical instruments, paint and clay, crayons, books, scissors, bulletin boards, food."

"school budgets do not include enough money for supplies — and administrators and policy-makers concede that this has been baked into the funding process for decades."

"Asked to do the work of counsellors, social workers, librarians, security officers and coaches, teachers earned on average 21.4 per cent a week less than other comparably educated professionals in 2018"

"Yet they still are expected to buy supplies. "

"they pay for supplies because families can’t."

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/us/2020/01/05/teachers-in-the-us-do-desperate-things-to-get-the-classroom-supplies-they-need.html

sidd





kassy

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #503 on: January 06, 2020, 11:51:41 AM »
Something slightly cheerful...

3 legal challenges could derail out-of-network surprise medical bills

Surprise medical bills have become the bane of many Americans who are seen in emergency departments. These bills arise because hospital-based physicians, who are mostly employed by private equity-owned staffing firms, decline to join insurers’ provider networks.

These doctors double dip by getting paid by insurers and then collecting a balance from patients. They also use their ability to bill out of network to negotiate higher fees when they do sign contracts.

Business and consumer advocates have focused on legislative solutions to this problem, but efforts in Congress have stalled.

...

Opening a second front with targeted legal challenges might shift momentum in the legislative fight against surprise medical bills.

Burden of providing evidence

The validity of medical debt can be questioned in two distinct forums: collection lawsuits, and debt disputes under Section 611 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Both impose on the party collecting a debt the burden of substantiating that debt. That erects legal hurdles for physician staffing firms.

details see
https://www.statnews.com/2020/01/06/3-legal-challenges-derail-surprise-medical-bills/
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sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #504 on: January 07, 2020, 02:16:53 AM »
Slavery in the USA: undocumented farm labor may see wage controls, indetured farm servitude

"freezing their wages next year, and allowing increases of no more than 3.25 percent over the next decade. "

" the requirements to stay in farm work for several years may come to resemble a form of indentured servitude."

“They’ll be tied to farm employment for either, depending on how long they’ve been working, for four or eight years.”

Moreover, for undocumented workers, the requirements to stay in farm work for several years may come to resemble a form of indentured servitude.

“They’ll be tied to farm employment for either, depending on how long they’ve been working, for four or eight years"

" keeps them in agriculture, and gives the employer more power over them"

" co-sponsored by 37 Democrats and 25 Republicans"

"We need these people … If you deport them, we close down, and we can’t just replace them"

https://newfoodeconomy.org/house-authorizes-path-to-legal-status-for-undocumented-farm-workers/

Pick your own damn crops.

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #505 on: January 07, 2020, 01:04:36 PM »
^^
Bracero Program Mark 2020?


Complete with reverse wage controls & supported by every agro-business lobbyist in Washington!


37 Democratic Politicians who deserve a second look this November.


Who will we get to mop our floors, mow our grass & trim our trees?
Terry


Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #506 on: January 07, 2020, 01:38:22 PM »
^^
Bracero Program Mark 2020?


Complete with reverse wage controls & supported by every agro-business lobbyist in Washington!


37 Democratic Politicians who deserve a second look this November.


Who will we get to mop our floors, mow our grass & trim our trees?
Terry
Robots will get to mop the floors, now the grass and trim the trees.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #507 on: January 07, 2020, 04:34:18 PM »
^^
Bracero Program Mark 2020?


Complete with reverse wage controls & supported by every agro-business lobbyist in Washington!


37 Democratic Politicians who deserve a second look this November.


Who will we get to mop our floors, mow our grass & trim our trees?
Terry
Robots will get to mop the floors, now the grass and trim the trees.
YeaBut
Robots don't eat burgers, take vacations or wear out their jeans.
Only a fool would pay for the labor of machines that are effectively boycotting his business. ;)
Terry


Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #508 on: January 07, 2020, 04:55:26 PM »
^^
Bracero Program Mark 2020?


Complete with reverse wage controls & supported by every agro-business lobbyist in Washington!


37 Democratic Politicians who deserve a second look this November.


Who will we get to mop our floors, mow our grass & trim our trees?
Terry
Robots will get to mop the floors, now the grass and trim the trees.
YeaBut
Robots don't eat burgers, take vacations or wear out their jeans.
Only a fool would pay for the labor of machines that are effectively boycotting his business. ;)
Terry
Plenty of fools in the world.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #509 on: January 10, 2020, 12:11:18 AM »
Sturgeon at the Baffler: hell in Bloomington, Indiana

"Indiana was left to ruin. The city of Bloomington, long a mirage of progressivism in a desert of rightist folly, was now steeped in Mad Max vibes: its parks teemed with anonymous drifters, who mixed uneasily with a professoriate and its attendant underclass of adjunct instructors and students. The edges of the burg blurred into a wilderness of mobile homes populated by a growing number of rural poor ... "

"G— seemed to be negotiating the state of his soul on a momentary basis, and the more I worked with him, the more I realized that his constitution could not bear the onslaught of human misery brought down on him during his transactions with the rural poor."

"I had unwittingly exited the realm of New York leftism where Marx ruled as an absent godhead, poised forever to vengefully return. Here in the land of Weber, like a good American Protestant, I would suck at the scum of petty usury, unredeemed yet restored to my unfortunate roots. I had entered the pawnshop that day a broke and desperate person; when I left, I was a subprime lender."

"the pawnbroker is not mainly a buyer and seller of secondhand goods, though that’s part of it; instead, he makes most of his money from the interest collected on loans given to clients who offer their own stuff as collateral."

"if a pawnbroker sees value in your item, he will try to dissuade you from selling it, and he will offer you a loan instead."

"If this first principle fails him, he will simply look your item up on eBay and offer you a fraction of its resale value."

"capital was replenished during two boom periods: tax return season and student loan disbursement. The first of these is obvious: the rural poor did not to earn enough income to yield tax refunds that would allow them to go on vacation or conspicuously consume."

"the pawnshop is where sentimental value goes to die."

"student loan payday would bring in a throng of newly cash-rich students, usually mothers, who often matriculated at scam technical colleges. Caught in a double debt-cycle, these student mothers would have to pay their loans eventually, but in the meantime, without steady access to day care, they spent cash on expensive distractions for their children, only to pawn these items when the loans ran dry."

"The last time I saw her, though, she had cracked. She arrived silently, without her gaggle of children; I turned to the pawn counter to find her waiting, absurdly, in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt. After a few moments of silence, she set a gold ring on the counter and asked for a substantial loan. Her eyes flashed with a basic craziness, as if daring me to challenge the ring’s authenticity. I took the ring and pressed it against a magnet. It was real, and I knew it to be valuable, but I didn’t want to give her the loan: she could never pay it back. When I told her as much, she silenced me. “My granddaddy will pay it, you may have heard of him.” She pointed to her shirt. I then noticed that the pawnbrokers had gathered behind the jewelry display on the other side of the shop. They were red-faced, swallowing their laughter. “Walt Disney,” she said. For the next couple of minutes, she abrogated her family history. Knowing that I had reached the limits of interpersonal reason, I gave her half of what she asked for. She thanked me and turned to leave the shop. It was then that I saw she was naked from the waist down."

"Ten years later, I can hardly see through my rage: rage at the unpunished hubris of those heisters, crapulous with greed, who hijacked the zeppelin of the economy and crashed it into those of us living below, whether we were in a hedge-fund-owned trailer park or a McMansional subdivision or, in my case, a rent-stabilized Brooklyn apartment building. Still, I found the same subprime manipulations, the same moral hazard disguised as honorable lending, carried out by a family of pawnbrokers who professed to hate the bankers most of all. There is no cultural divide between the coastal financial elite and the petty usurers in flyover states; there is only the capitalism of small differences, the scalability of exploitation"

https://thebaffler.com/salvos/afternoon-of-the-pawnbrokers-sturgeon

I have been thru Bloomington many, many time over the decades, winding down from Indy on 69 or up from evansville and i have watched as it fell. Along with so many, many other towns, long before the crash of 2008.

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #510 on: January 10, 2020, 12:20:22 AM »
Wolfe and Liu at the Marshall project on modern day slavery in Mississippi:

"A judge sentenced Husband to the restitution center in 2015 to pay off almost $13,000 she owed from an embezzlement conviction in 2009. The corrections department would not release her until she earned enough money at her $7.25-an-hour part-time job to clear her debts and cover $11 a day for “room and board” at Flowood. "

"They didn’t usually owe a lot of money. Half the people living in the centers had debts of less than $3,515. One owed just $656.50."

"people spent an average of nearly four months—and up to five years—at the centers, working for private employers to earn enough to satisfy the courts"

"Between 2016 and 2018, workers at the centers made an average of $6.76 an hour "

“Debtors prisons are an effective way of collecting money—as is kidnapping,”

"Black people are overrepresented at restitution centers, accounting for 49 percent of inmates"

"When they can’t get jobs, sometimes for medical reasons, they sit in the centers, accruing $330 a month in room and board costs."

"Just a quarter of all money earned by the inmates went to pay restitution, with the remainder going to the corrections department and the courts"

“It’s a form of penal labor, there’s no question about it.”

"Today, employers benefit from access to cheap and reliable labor from the restitution program. “If it weren’t for the restitution center, I would seriously have trouble running my business,”  "

"the sentences—for a dollar amount rather than a period of time—that make the restitution center program so unusual, and so onerous"

"the state didn’t call her an inmate (it uses the word “resident”) "

"when they’re at work, people in the restitution program are not allowed to see friends or family, talk on the phone or smoke cigarettes."

"had been in the center for two years, trying to pay off $2,000. "

"he wants to see those employees locked up. “Just for the sake of justice.”  "

"she was punished for being poor, saddled with debts she could never repay."

“" You’re there without an end. You do not know when you’re getting out, when you’re going to be finished,” she said. “That’s torture.” "

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/01/09/think-debtors-prisons-are-a-thing-of-the-past-not-in-mississippi

sidd


TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #511 on: January 10, 2020, 10:22:01 PM »
^^
Only a handful of decades ago it was possible to escape. Identity could be changed, borders were porus, fingerprints were manually sorted & accessed, and credit histories could be built on bare skeletons of hubris and audacity.


I'd written quite a personal history, then trashed it. Why invite investigation(s)?


My point was that with computerization at its present level, vanishing into the crowd is increasingly unlikely, and its increasingly difficult to fly under the radar.


What do you say to a young mother that forgets to put her pants on when she's out conducting business? What do you say of a person who takes advantage?


Survival is difficult enough without the government multiplying your problems, and they are "your" problems because they'll hone their practices on the poor and powerless, then move inexorably up the financial / social ladder until you and yours are direct victims.


Flee the county, the state, or the country. Foment a revolution or vote the bastards out. The choice is yours, but the status quo isn't tenable.


Sidd's snapshots from the Land of the Deplorables should give pause to those favoring Republican or Republican-Lite candidates. The depictions are hard to look at, the results of generations of stomping on the next rung down has lowered everyone's standing.


This hasn't ended and it won't end well.
Terry


vox_mundi

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #512 on: January 11, 2020, 06:52:48 PM »
The Free Market at Work...

Boeing's fired CEO got his $62 million payout confirmed the same day 2,800 people in the 737 Max supply chain were laid off
https://amp.businessinsider.com/boeing-muilenburg-payout-same-time-thousands-layoffs-2020-1

Dennis Muilenburg, the recently-ousted CEO of Boeing, is leaving with a $62 million payout, the company said Friday.

The substantial award comes despite being fired for poor handling of the fatal crashes, aftermath, and continued suspension from service of the 737 Max.

Also on Friday other workers lost their jobs because of the 737 Max: 2,800 employees of Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems.

Spirit said the workers had to go because there was no work for them in light of Boeing suspending production of the 737 Max while it is grounded.

Unlike Muilenburg, they did not get large exit packages, and will instead receive 60 days' pay.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #513 on: January 11, 2020, 09:23:11 PM »
Even the dreaded IRS is being defanged:

"A conservation easement, in its original, legitimate form, is granted when a landowner permanently protects pristine land from development. In that scenario, the public enjoys the benefit of undeveloped land and the taxpayer gets a charitable deduction. By contrast, the syndicated form, created and packaged by profit-seeking middlemen known as “promoters,” involves buying up land, finding an appraiser willing to declare that it has huge development value and thus is worth many times the purchase price, then selling stakes in the deal to wealthy investors who extract tax deductions that are often five or more times what they put in."

"experts cite several reasons for the stubborn survival of this tax-avoidance scheme. The first is that the IRS, which Congress has starved for funding, chiefly wields its clout through individual audits and tax court cases, which invariably take years. And even the dozens of tax court cases the IRS is pursuing target only a fraction of syndicated deals."

"the syndicated deals are structured in a way that insulate the wealthy individual investors, leaving the promoters and outside lawyers to do battle with the IRS. Their fight is fueled with “audit reserves” of as much as $1 million that are set aside as part of every syndication partnership. Some deals even offer “audit insurance” from Lloyds of London to offset disallowed write-offs."

"Promoters of syndicated conservation easements have long been at war with the supporters of traditional easements, who worry that abusive deals will prompt Congress to eliminate the tax break altogether. The traditional conservation community, embodied by the Land Trust Alliance, the Washington, D.C., association of nonprofit land trusts, began pressing the IRS to crack down nearly a decade ago."

"promoters have fought back fiercely. In 2016, they formed a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, called Partnership for Conservation, which has spent more than $3 million to date on lobbyists. EcoVest has spent another $2.5 million."

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-irs-tried-to-crack-down-on-rich-people-using-an-abusive-tax-deduction-it-hasnt-gone-so-well

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #514 on: January 11, 2020, 09:57:36 PM »
Brown explains Fed intervention in repo markets:

"Under the Federal Reserve Act, the central bank’s lending window is open only to licensed depository banks; but the Fed is now pouring billions of dollars into the repo (repurchase agreements) market, in effect making risk-free loans to speculators at less than 2%."

"The financialized economy – including stocks, corporate bonds and real estate – is now booming. Meanwhile, the bulk of the population struggles to meet daily expenses."

"Business owners say, “Why should I take the risk of more productivity, when I can just invest in the real estate, stock or corporate bond market and make risk-free money?” "

"Repos work like a pawn shop: the lender takes an asset (usually a federal security) in exchange for cash, with an agreement to return the asset for the cash plus interest the next day unless the loan is rolled over."

"repo rates shot up to 10% on Sept. 17. Yet banks were refusing to lend to each other, evidently passing up big profits to hold onto their cash. Since banks weren’t lending, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York jumped in"

"they were instead spooked by overexposure by other hedge funds, who have become the dominant marginal – and completely unregulated – repo counterparty "

"Repo markets redistribute liquidity between financial institutions: not only banks (as is the case with the federal funds market), but also insurance companies, asset managers, money market funds and other institutional investors. In so doing, they help other financial markets to function smoothly. Thus, any sustained disruption in this market, with daily turnover in the U.S. market of about $1 trillion"

"Repo trades are supposedly secured with “high-quality collateral” (usually U.S. Treasuries). But they are not risk-free, because of the practice of “re-hypothecation”: the short-term “owner” of the collateral can use it as collateral for another loan, creating leverage – loans upon loans. The IMF has estimated that the same collateral was reused 2.2 times in 2018, which means both the original owner and 2.2 subsequent re-users believed they owned the same collateral. This leveraging, which actually expands the money supply, is one of the reasons banks put their extra funds in the repo market rather than in the fed funds market. "

"U.S. Treasuries are … the most rehypothecated asset in financial markets, and the big banks know this. … U.S. Treasuries are the core asset used by every financial institution to satisfy its capital and liquidity requirements – which means that no one really knows how big the hole is at a system-wide level."

"hedge funds are the most heavily leveraged multi-strategy funds in the world, taking something like $20 billion to $30 billion in net assets under management and levering it up to $200 billion. "

“some hedge funds take the Treasury security they have just bought and use it to secure cash loans in the repo market. They then use this fresh cash to increase the size of the trade, repeating the process over and over and ratcheting up the potential returns.”

"not only was Fed Chair Powell facing an LTCM [Long Term Capital Management] like situation, but because the repo-funded [arbitrage] was (ab)used by most multi-strat funds, the Federal Reserve was suddenly facing a constellation of multiple LTCM blow-ups that could have started an avalanche that would have resulted in trillions of assets being forcefully liquidated as a tsunami of margin calls hit the hedge funds world."

"The Fed has been forced by its own policies to create an avalanche of speculative liquidity that never makes it into the real economy. As Gammon explains, the central banks have created a wall that traps this liquidity in the financial markets"

"that will bring on MMT or helicopter money. Why? Because it’s the only way that the Fed can get the liquidity from the financial economy, over this wall, around the banking system, and into the real economy. It’s the only solution they have."

"Helicopter money, on the other hand, involves a direct distribution of printed money to the public."

"it won’t get the parasite of financialization off our backs; and Gammon is probably right that the Fed lacks the tools to fix the underlying disease itself."

"Congress itself has been captured by the financial markets, and it may take another economic collapse to motivate Congress to act. "

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-feds-latest-gamble-imperils-the-whole-economy/

For more technical takes, see wallstreetonparade.

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #515 on: January 12, 2020, 09:01:22 AM »

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #516 on: January 12, 2020, 09:10:38 AM »
Thanks for the repo explanation sidd!!
Terry

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #517 on: January 16, 2020, 08:42:20 AM »
gjohnsit at caucus99percent on IMF hypocrisy:

"The IMF has the data. They know what is the right thing to do for everyone involved.
They choose to pander to the wealthy ruling elites at the expense of the economy and society anyway."

 https://caucus99percent.com/content/ruling-elite-really-dont-care-what-best-economy-and-society

“the emperor insisting he is wearing new clothes.”

https://inequality.org/great-divide/new-leadership-for-the-imf-same-old-hypocrisy/

sidd


kassy

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #518 on: January 16, 2020, 02:31:07 PM »
Not surprising since their usual economic advice is ´get exploited´.

One more quote from above:
This is proof that the ruling elites are sociopaths. They will continue to enforce policies that ultimately hurt everyone for no other reason than short-term greed. This is also an indictment of the capitalist system that it is unable to reform itself even when all the facts are known.

Sadly too many people can´t or won´t see this.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #519 on: January 17, 2020, 01:59:54 AM »
Regulatory capture: In depth, worth reading.

Briefly: Accounting firms take over regulator for accounting firms.

https://www.pogo.org/series-collections/your-financial-security-on-the-line/

sidd

kassy

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #520 on: January 20, 2020, 12:17:25 PM »
Corruption is really easy after clearing the admittedly hard step 1 (daddy has to be the president of some country).

Isabel dos Santos: Africa's richest woman 'ripped off Angola'

....

One of the most suspicious deals was run from London through a UK subsidiary of the Angolan state oil company Sonangol. ... The leaked documents show that as she left Sonangol, Ms Dos Santos approved $58m of suspicious payments to a consultancy company in Dubai called Matter Business Solutions.

She says she has no financial interest in Matter, but the leaked documents reveal it was run by her business manager and owned by a friend.

Panorama understands that Matter sent more than 50 invoices to Sonangol in London on the day that she was fired.

Ms Dos Santos appears to have approved payments to her friend's company after she was sacked.

...

Much of her fortune is based on her ownership of a stake in the Portuguese energy company Galp, which one of her companies bought from Sonangol in 2006.

The documents show it only had to pay 15% of the price upfront and that the remaining €63m ($70m) was turned into a low-interest loan from Sonangol.

Under the generous terms of the loan, her debt to the Angolan people didn't have to be repaid for 11 years.

Her stake in Galp is now worth more than €750m.

...

It's a similar story in the diamond industry.

Ms Dos Santos's husband, Sindika Dokolo, signed a one-sided agreement in 2012 with Angolan state diamond company Sodiam.

They were supposed to be 50-50 partners in a deal to buy a stake in the Swiss luxury jeweller De Grisogono.

But it was funded by the state company. The documents show that 18 months after the deal, Sodiam had put $79m into the partnership, while Mr Dokolo had only invested $4m. Sodiam also awarded him a €5m success fee for brokering the deal, so he didn't have to use any of his own money.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-51128950

etc etc

And some building projects which required some deplorables to move
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #521 on: January 22, 2020, 02:07:10 AM »
This could fit in many threads: A book review by Siman and an article by the author, Stoller:

Siman:

"My only criticism of brilliant Matt Stoller at this point in his career is that he is not Jonathan Swift. "

" “The impeachment saga,” he tweeted on the morning the Articles were lugubriously cortèged over to the Senate, “like every other panicky nonsense that doesn’t touch real money or power, is not about going after Trump. It’s about disciplining [italics mine] wayward Democrats who don’t share the collective delusion that everything was fine until Trump showed up.”  "

"Democrats as the party of America’s smug anti-populist liberal/creative/professional class into an even more exquisite focus. For, as Stoller observes, this class is, increasingly, a disciplinary class, defining itself by both its adherence to and its enforcement of certain articles of faith — certain indisputable narratives — certain collective delusions."

“But I loved economics because there was this really rational way to understand the world — it was completely false, but it was like a perfect religion for a smart kid.”

“The point is to hide the governing decisions from the public,”

 “The current discipline of economics seeks to displace people who believe in democratic mechanisms for governing.”

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/01/the-lords-and-ladies-of-discipline-an-interview-with-matt-stoller.html

Stoller:

" The point of economics as a discipline is to create a language and methodology for governing that hides political assumptions from the public.  "

"The actual goal of economics as a discipline is to embed itself as a governing language in our institutions of power. "

"doing useful work is only incidental to the discipline of economics, whose real institutional goal seems to be the development of an exclusionary language and methodology, and then the embedding of economists into policymaking positions where they have a good chance of overriding the judgment and authority of elected officials"

"with economists arrogating policymaking authority is that our government has become weak and unresponsive to the concerns of its citizens. "

https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/what-is-the-point-of-economics

Read both. When you control language, as Orwell saw, you control the mind.

sidd

kassy

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #522 on: January 22, 2020, 02:58:39 PM »
I like Stollers take economics. Thx!
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #523 on: January 23, 2020, 01:00:05 AM »
Kiel at propublica on tax avoidance by microsoft: how the fix goes in

"Microsoft had shifted at least $39 billion in U.S. profits to Puerto Rico, where the company’s tax consultants, KPMG, had persuaded the territory’s government to give Microsoft a tax rate of nearly 0%. Microsoft had justified this transfer with a ludicrous-sounding deal: It had sold its most valuable possession — its intellectual property — to an 85-person factory it owned in a small Puerto Rican city."

"the company’s allies succeeded in changing the law, removing or limiting tools the IRS team had used against the company. "

"the factory subsidiary would send the parent company about $31 billion over 10 years — and receive almost $70 billion in profits in return over the same period. Instead of being taxed in the U.S., where the rate was 35%, the $39 billion difference between those figures would be taxed in Puerto Rico at a rate near 0%. It was a long-term plan that could continue indefinitely."

 “effectively saying a company that was worth nothing or a nominal amount on June 30th, 2005, was worth $30 billion one day later.”

“we [the IRS] hammer the little guys and we let the big guys go.”

" Microsoft had used a growth rate of 4% for tax purposes while publicly reporting to investors expected growth of 10% to 12%. One error in their calculations, he said, had “understated revenues by approximately $15 billion.” "

"The company also turned to its friends in Congress for help. In May 2015, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, then the chair of the committee that oversees the IRS, and who counted Microsoft as one of his top campaign contributors, fired off a letter to the IRS commissioner"

"Republicans in Congress had cut the IRS’ budget by $1.5 billion from its 2010 peak. "

" the company and its allies went to work on Capitol Hill to make sure something like this never happened again."

" lobbyists stalked the halls of Congress, urging reforms in response to the IRS’ newfound aggression. They found a ready audience."

"The bill passed overwhelmingly and was signed into law"

"For corporations with assets over $20 billion, the audit rate has declined from about 100% in 2010 to under 50% in 2018."

" In 2017, the last year before the new tax law cut the corporate rate from 35% to 21%, Microsoft paid $2.4 billion in taxes on $29.9 billion in income, a rate of 8%. By that point, Microsoft had stored $142 billion in profits offshore"

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-irs-decided-to-get-tough-against-microsoft-microsoft-got-tougher

sidd

Aporia_filia

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #524 on: January 23, 2020, 12:32:54 PM »
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 08:58:18 PM by Aporia_filia »

blumenkraft

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #525 on: January 23, 2020, 01:36:03 PM »

nanning

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #526 on: January 23, 2020, 04:26:09 PM »
Hi Aporia_filia, that link of yours transfers all people who click on that link to google.com. Google.com then redirects you to wikipedia.
The link should start with en.wikipedia.org/
"Stay away from large (non-open source) software and Internet companies from the U.S.A." is very sound advise.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #527 on: January 25, 2020, 12:13:14 AM »

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #528 on: January 25, 2020, 03:52:17 AM »
Research shows cops picking on non white people: Cops shut down research

https://whyy.org/articles/the-pa-state-police-was-warned-about-possible-racial-bias-in-car-searches-the-agencys-answer-end-the-research/

sidd


If thy right eye offend thee ...
Damn near a Biblical response!
God, Guns & Bubba
Terry

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #529 on: January 29, 2020, 07:55:51 AM »
Kill the sick, no good to us rich folk anymore:

"uninsurance decreased by 2.1 (95% CI, 1.6-2.5) percentage points (from 16.9% to 14.8%). However, the adjusted proportion unable to see a physician owing to cost increased by 2.7 (95% CI, 2.2-3.8) percentage points overall (from 11.4% to 15.7%, unadjusted); by 5.9 (95% CI, 4.1-7.8) percentage points among the uninsured (32.9% to 39.6%, unadjusted) and 3.6 (95% CI, 3.2-4.0) percentage points among the insured (from 7.1% to 11.5%, unadjusted). The adjusted proportion of persons with chronic medical conditions who were unable to see a physician because of cost also increased for most conditions."

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2759743

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TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #530 on: January 29, 2020, 06:05:05 PM »
sidd
Any idea what the "out of pocket" is for a Deplorable wanting to have his family checked for Coronavirus?
.............




'Tis the season for coughs and sniffles & I'd imagine anyone involved in foodservice, from grocery store stock boys to pool parlor barmaids would want a clean bill of health. The annual deductibles come so soon after Xmas splurging that many may be tempted to ride out what feels much like a common cold.


Can the barmaid afford a night without her tips? Has the stock boy saved to pay his deductible, his co-pay, and testing costs?


My bet is that they show up for work until they can't, then they stay home in bed until someone drops them at the ER.


Pandemic? Hell, we can't afford an epidemic.
Terry


sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #531 on: January 29, 2020, 10:01:21 PM »
Re: Any idea what the "out of pocket" is

no clue

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #532 on: January 29, 2020, 10:25:35 PM »
Want medicine ? You shouldn't live in flyover country, mebbe you can die there.

"hundreds of Ohio pharmacies have closed, creating more than a dozen areas with no easy access to medicine and a pharmacist's care"

"more than 400 pharmacies that have closed since 2013, 14 left no other pharmacy within 2.5 miles"

"These are the people at the lowest socioeconomic level,"

" One man broke down crying," librarian Betty Carpenter said of an elderly resident. "He said, 'I can't walk to Mount Vernon.' He could walk to Lonsinger's." "

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190707/pharmacy-deserts-appear-in-ohio-as-stores-close-amid-drug-pricing-debate

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #533 on: January 30, 2020, 01:57:02 AM »
-
Re: Any idea what the "out of pocket" is

no clue

sidd


20 yrs ago, with good insurance in Nevada an office visit copay was $26, a blood test copay was $20+, and the annual deductible was $300/patient.
Mom, Pa & Jr. would normally cost ~$80+ and perhaps an additional ~$200 if the deductible hadn't been paid.


I doubt that prices have decreased since the '90s.


I suppose what I'm driving at is that, unless the Feds step in, Americans will be expected to pay out of pocket to find out if they are carriers that need to be isolated. Few will be eager to spend the bucks until the symptoms have been building for some days - days in which they may have been spreading the bug to friends, family, co-workers and strangers.


It's far from an ideal system for dealing with communicable disease, but simply providing free testing might do something to slow the (possibile) spread of the disease.
Terry

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #534 on: January 31, 2020, 06:05:09 AM »
Jeanotte interviews Hudson at naked capitalism:

"barter wasn’t the key to money or credit."

" the barter theory was made up by right-wing Austrian economists who hated governments acting in the public interest ... Their conclusion is that money is best without government, and should be left to the private banks ...advocate a highly centralized economy – much more centralized than Soviet Russia, much more centralized than China. They want everything centralized in Wall Street or the City of London, that is, in the banks. They want the banks to be in charge of everything."

" whenever a financial oligarchy has taken power, it has created a depression – a disaster and an economic collapse. "

"That’s why the free-enterprise boys today in the United States have stopped teaching economic history in the economic curriculum. If you go to get an economics degree in the United States, you no longer study history. It’s out of the curriculum. You don’t even study the history of economic thought. "

"in the time Jesus spoke, there was a fight over the debt issue ... That is what Jesus’s first sermon was about, and that is what the Lord’s Prayer was about. That is what the original Judaism had been about, before the rabbinical class, the Pharisees – basically from the wealthy creditor class – took over and subverted the older Jewish religion that Jesus came to try to revive."

"Earlier civilization in the Near East had an idea that the economy always tends to get out of balance, always polarizing between the rich and the poor and causing poverty and ultimately depopulation and military loss as a result of creditors enslaving their debtors. Reducing debtors to clientage or bondage in the Near East was different. They had a different economic model, a much better economic model, much more mathematically sophisticated than any model that I’ve seen in modern academia."

"you have the financial economy growing at the expense of the real economy of goods and services. The population is being impoverished. Yet economists say that we’re getting richer, meaning that theirclass, the financial class, is getting richer."

" the right-wing economic fashion in the United States is ... saying that civilization progresses if there is a sanctity of contracts. A contract is a contract, and you need enforcement, even if the contract is unfair. Therefore, you must not cancel debts, because that would cheat the wealthy people who’ve made the contract to get their money, even if enforcing the debt contract means that the rest of the economy has to starve. Suicide rates go up. The economy impoverishes itself. But a contract is a contract, and that’s called progress"

"In Bronze Age antiquity, by contrast, rulers put economic balance as being the key consideration. They recognized that you have to have a palatial or civic authority come in to cancel the debt contracts"

"For five centuries you had economic revolts of the plebeians and the poor wanting debt cancelation. In every case the right wing, the creditors won – not by argument, but by assassinating populist political leaders"

"The basis of Chicago School economics is you cannot have a free market if you’re not willing to assassinate your major critics."

"Central banks work for the commercial banks and their creditors."

"Their job is to bail out the banks and to make the banks solvent, even when that impoverishes their customers ... banks were saved despite the fact that this was the largest bank fraud that been seen in American history. They were saved, andthe fake fraudulent debts were imposed on the hapless mortgaged homebuyers"

" the European Community said that the Greek people have to pay the debts that the wealthy class had crookedly avoided paying. It stood up for the crooks."

" It is an asset grab ... what the central bankers of Germany intended was to reduce Greece’s population, to increase the suicide rate, to shorten life spans, to collapse its economy to the point where Germans could come in and insist that Greece buy expensive submarines and military hardware, and that Greece would have to sell to German investors its electric utilities and other assets. Germany made this a power grab that it had its eyes on for over 50 years, ever since it backed the colonels and the assassinations of the Greek communists after World War II."

" The right-wing program in Germany and Europe is to get rid of pensions, to lower them, to financialize and privatize the pension system "

"Bankers realize that if the government doesn’t provide the economy with money – by spending deficits into the economy to promote employment – then people will have to borrow from the banks."

"90 percent in Americans are paying debt service to the top 10 percent. That is the key to today’s economic warfare. It’s not the kind of class warfare that the socialists talked about a century ago. It’s the old-fashioned financial warfare between creditors and debtors that’s been going on for thousands of years. "

"Your disposable personal incomes would have to fall by 50 percent in order to let the banks make the German real estate market look like the U.S. market."

"The bank models predict that Germany’s population must fall, living standards must fall by 20 or 30 percent and your lifespans must shorten, your suicide rates must go up and your skilled labor must emigrate in order for your real estate market to provide the revenue to the keep banking system solvent"

" Germany will end up looking like Greece ... Your economic leaders of all your parties except the Linke want Germany to end up looking like Greece.. They say that that’s progress, but it’s only progress for the banking class. This is the implicit war, which somehow is not being discussed in Germany."

Read the whole thing:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/01/michael-hudson-on-the-history-of-debt-cancellation-austerity-in-europe-january-2020.html

or watch:

 

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #535 on: January 31, 2020, 06:11:36 AM »
The precarity of the 10% :

"Part of why the legalized corruption that is the vast bulk of the (dollar-weighted) US economy is so immovable is that the people whose lobbyists have cornered markets to ensure they stay overpaid are desperately frightened of not being overpaid, because if they were not overpaid they would become unable to make all the absurd overpayments that are now required to live what people of my generation (and race, and class) understood to be an ordinary life."

"The result is a strange precariot, objectively wealthy, educated and in a certain sense well-intended, who justify as a matter of defensive necessity participation in arrangements whose ugliness they cannot quite not see. In aggregate, they are predators, but individually they are also prey, and they feel embattled. So long as the intensity of stratification endures, they will feel like they have little choice but to participate in, even to collude to entrench, the institutions that secure their market power and their relatively decent place."

"Did I say they? I mean we, of course."

https://www.interfluidity.com/v2/7263.html

I recognize, of course, that many on this forum are part of precisely the 10% class he is talking about ...

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #536 on: January 31, 2020, 06:34:27 AM »
Counting the homeless: literally hidden

"sleeping by walking paths or in ditches, or nested in gravel patches by the road."

"the data doesn’t include homeless people crashing at motels or with friends, and it’s widely considered to be an underestimate. "

"in Maricopa County  ... with 4.4 million residents and a glittering hotspot for real estate investors — unsheltered homelessness has risen a staggering 200% since 2014."

"homelessness in Phoenix had increased by a whopping 18% since 2017"

“We get people who say they just couldn’t afford rent anymore,”

“I don’t like the shelters. I’d rather be out here,”

"The region’s largest emergency shelter ... is nearly always full. "

"a blue tarp draped over a shopping cart near the side of the road. A pair of blue jeans hung off a nearby fence"

"Women can be more difficult to find ... especially if they have kids — an extra incentive to hide: Child welfare services might separate family members if they’re found to be homeless."

"“Have a good day!” Jackie said as she dipped back under her tarp. "

“Trying to do it on my own,”

" He began folding his many blankets into perfect squares and packing up his belongings ... He wasn’t there when Joseph returned. "

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxejzq/theyre-going-to-be-hidden-heres-what-happens-when-cities-try-to-count-their-homeless

sidd

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #537 on: February 02, 2020, 10:38:46 PM »
Got a month to live ? Spend it in prison.

" sentence was handed down hours before the woman was scheduled for an oncology appointment"

https://papost.org/2020/01/30/her-parents-said-she-had-a-month-to-live-the-judge-put-their-daughter-in-jail-anyway/

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #538 on: February 03, 2020, 10:22:52 AM »
Powerful stuff sidd.
I had no idea that indeterminate sentences (7 mo. to 10 yrs.) were still being handed out.


California ended the practice decades ago, but not until they'd sentenced me to a 1 to 10 yrs. for "possession with intent", a popular sentence in the '60's when all they had for evidence was a baggie of dope.


I was out in 90 days thanks to a very expensive lawyer. 90 days with a 5 yr, "tail". I'd never heard of anyone completing a 5 year parole without finishing their sentence after years in prison. Thanks to that same high priced lawyer after 5 years I was "out of the system".


I empathise with this particular girl and her parents of course, but the presumably far larger pool of kids facing indeterminate sentencing needs to be looked at. It may not be unusual, but it's certainly unnecessarily cruel.


Terry

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #539 on: February 05, 2020, 09:16:31 AM »
Webster at the guardian: Jailing the poor, especially if they're black

"The judge, a registered Democrat, has been repeatedly accused by civil rights attorneys and public defenders of setting excessive bail "

"a federal court, one year later, struck down his bond-setting practices as unconstitutional"

"Cantrell continues to set excessive bonds in defiance of the federal order,"

" In New Orleans, African American families pay 88% of bail"

"For many people living in poverty, however, any amount of bail can mean incarceration. "

"Cantrell routinely ignores two of the ruling’s basic requirements: that he ask people about their ability to afford bail; and consider alternatives to bail"

"He’s 72 years old and set in his ways."

" “He represents the majority of the folk who operate in the justice system when it comes to bail,” Johnson said. “If you get outside New Orleans … you’re going to find people just like him.” "

"Fallon ruled it unconstitutional and a conflict of interest for Cantrell to set bail while, at the same time, using a portion of that money to pay for his staff salaries and benefits, as well as travel and other expenses. Bail revenue, in addition to fines and fees, accounts for nearly 25% of the court’s finances."

"Cantrell has twice appealed this ruling to the fifth US circuit court of appeals and was rejected each time. He has asked the US supreme court to review the lower court’s decisions."

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/03/the-judge-whose-bail-requirements-leave-cash-strapped-defendants-in-jail

With democrats like these, who needs republicans ?

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #540 on: February 10, 2020, 07:29:25 AM »
Another insurance ripoff: retrospective denials

"insurer, Moda Health Plan, approved a genetic test ... the insurer declined to pay after the test was performed."

"no recourse for the patient"

"Moda had denied five claims and appeals"

"no penalty for insurance companies that play games with prior authorizations ... denials and delays integral to their business model."

" “I wish people would understand that they are one illness away from totally losing everything they worked for,” Markley said. “I lost it all in a day.” "

https://khn.org/news/prior-authorization-revoked-patients-stuck-with-bills-after-insurers-dont-pay-as-promised/

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #541 on: February 10, 2020, 07:34:19 AM »
Found not guilty ? Still gotta pay for jail time

"Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a lower court’s ruling allowing Kentucky jailers to take booking fees and daily charges from inmates and keep the money even if the person is found not guilty."

"under the law, jailers are allowed to take money from "prisoners," meaning anyone charged with a crime and taken to jail."

" Jones was jailed for 14 months as he awaited his trial, paying an initial $35 booking fee and then $10 a day. While he paid more than $250, the jail billed him about $4,000 he owed for his stay after the charges were dismissed"

"A person unjustly jailed – upon his release – can look forward to becoming an instant debtor through no fault of his own."

"Jeffrey Mando, an attorney representing the Clark County jailer. “We’re pleased that the court validated the statutory process  ... Those fees save tax payer money and help offset the operation of jails.” "

"Almost every state allows inmates to be charged room and board fees. Kentucky has made millions of dollars since the law went into effect; about half of Kentucky jails use a collection agency to go after inmates who owe fees."

https://www.wdrb.com/in-depth/kentucky-appeals-court-rules-jails-can-force-inmates-to-pay/article_af7c175c-49c1-11ea-b949-a354beb1f88b.html

sidd

blumenkraft

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #542 on: February 10, 2020, 10:14:36 AM »
Americans in a nutshell


blumenkraft

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #543 on: February 10, 2020, 02:51:45 PM »
No, everything is fine...

oren

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #544 on: February 10, 2020, 07:27:07 PM »
Found not guilty ? Still gotta pay for jail time
Seriously, the USA is Fucked UP Beyond All Recognition.

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #545 on: February 11, 2020, 09:04:09 AM »
Dystopian torturous measures by the Australian government unleashed on unemployed poor people to make them suffer and despair.

"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

kassy

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #546 on: February 11, 2020, 01:58:34 PM »
That is pretty ugly.

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #547 on: February 13, 2020, 06:07:47 AM »
Johnson at blackagendareport: shitting on the poor: especially if they're black.

"South of East St. Louis, down in the broad flood plain of the Mississippi known as the American Bottom, there is a little town that is gradually sinking in a flood of human waste. "

"signs of the floods everywhere: abandoned houses surrounded by swampy yards, drainage ditches filled with brackish water, little wads of toilet paper hanging waist-high from the bushes"

" a moderate rain can flood the intersections and lowlands of Centreville. When it rains heavily, much of the town is submerged in two or three feet of water. "

"Almost all of the water that surrounds the houses and floods the roads is dangerously contaminated. The sewer system in Centreville works as poorly ... many of them run backward. Small fountains of raw sewage bubble up into the yards twenty-four hours a day, flowing into fetid sluiceways that run between the houses. Some days, especially in the summer, the whole town smells like an outhouse. And when it rains, and the water begins to rise, the sewage follows the water, out into the drainage ditches and the roadways, across the yards, into the houses.Many of the houses in Centreville ... bow in the middle, where the foundations are gradually sinking into swampy ground."

"Centreville looks like the future—a future unfolding at the confluence of climate catastrophe, structural racism, infrastructural deterioration, and widespread indifference to black suffering."

"By the late 1980s, the city’s sewer system was failing"

"Cornelius Bennett, showed me a sheaf of receipts from a plumbing company that, after repeatedly cleaning out the pipes running under his yard, finally told him they would not take any more of his money."

“After the white folks moved, they stopped doing stuff out here,”

" the 1986 completion of Interstate 255, which looped traffic around the southern edge of the Metro East region, and was eventually (in 2002) declared by the Army Corps of Engineers to be impeding the flow of water "

"Water and sewer service in Centreville and several of the surrounding municipalities is (and has been since the 1970s) provided by Commonfields of Cahokia ...   In a 2012 federal court case, Commonfields general manager, Dennis Traiteur, Sr., testified in court that “everyone” at Commonfields was “hired for political reasons.” The practice apparently extended to his own son, Dennis Traiteur, Jr., who was hired by Commonfields in 2009 as assistant superintendent, though he was found by the court to have “no experience with wastewater or supervisory skills.” Public watchdogs have documented a litany of other abuses at Commonfields, including the failure to make board meeting accessible to the public and threatening to sue members of the public who attend the meetings."

"Many of the huge emergency pumps that are scattered throughout the township show no signs of having functioned for years: their machinery is covered with dust and cobwebs, and water pools around their bases when it rains. In 2009 the Illinois state EPA declared that the Harding Ditch, which drains the American Bottom, contained hazardous levels of fecal coliform. It has become, effectively, an open sewer."

"The repeated floods have left behind a residue of black mold that comes up through the floor of the Greenwoods’ house. It rots away the windowsills, tints the glass yellow, and stains the curtains as it crawls up the walls. Mrs. Greenwood washes the curtains with Clorox, but the mold comes back again and again. She’s gone to the Red Cross office in nearby Belleville, and brought home flood cleanup kits. They work for a couple of weeks, and then the smell comes back."

" Last April her bathroom backed up—sewage coming out of toilet, sink, and shower—and would not clear. Mr. Greenwood, who was recovering from quintuple bypass surgery, nevertheless cut a hole in the floor of the bathroom and tried to dig down under the house in a futile effort to clear the area around the inundated sewer pipes. Today, the hole in the bathroom floor is covered with a piece of plywood, and there is a constant backwash of sewer water in their shower."

" will not say anything more about the smell than that it smells really bad—they are too polite to name the odor that haunts their lives, as if they are worried that visitors might be offended by the words."

"Mrs. Greenwood answers that it comes “from the people above us”—the people who live on the higher ground that surrounds Centreville: the more prosperous suburbs of Belleville, O’Fallon, and Collinsville. In Centreville, the flow of social power, storm water, and even human waste all follow the same course."

" “Bring us back some help,” Mrs. Greenwood told me when I last said goodbye to her, standing in her front yard, “tell them we’re still here.” "

https://www.blackagendareport.com/american-bottom

sidd

blumenkraft

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #548 on: February 13, 2020, 06:19:16 AM »
America, the country with an asterisk.

America, the land of the free. *

* Freedom in this country is only available for white rich guys.

sidd

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Re: Economic Inequality
« Reply #549 on: February 13, 2020, 07:00:23 AM »