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Author Topic: Money  (Read 22481 times)

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AGelbert

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Authored by Benn Steil and Benjamin Della Rocca via The Council on Foreign Relations

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 12:35 


  Agelbert NOTE: The following is a reality based 👍 comment:
Quote
Harry Lightning
Add to this the effect on balance sheets when all the corporations that did buybacks over the last ten years will have to start showing losses on the stock they bought and now hold at prices below where they paid. This will be an even bigger problem for ratings agencies to quantify if the stock market continues to feed the bear.

All of the stupid excesses of the last 11 years and longer will now come back to bite companies in their hind quarters, and that will destroy the economy.

Also look at the debt levels and maturities of debt owed in the financial reports of most all big companies.

How will they fare when they have to re-finance in a world where the yield curve will stand on its head in the face of unprecedented government borrowing and the debasing of national currencies to finance recovery or bail out programs? 

How does a WalMart or Amazon finance bulging inventories when customers stop buying?

The next year will be shocking to say the least as some companies with great histories will be unable to finance their businesses except at rates of interest they cannot afford.

The next day delivery will end and the companies that made their name on rapid delivery will fall. And fall they will, in at least one case I know of we're talking about perhaps 2000 points if what happened in the great Depression repeats.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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March 29, 2020 | EDUCATE!

By J. E. Karla, HamptonThink.org.

The Wall Street Journal's Pitch For Mass Murder


SNIPPET:

Not even two weeks into an extraordinary response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the upper echelons of capital are wondering whether saving millions of lives is really worth the damage being done to their investment portfolios. According to reports, the debate among the ruling class is over whether or not to walk back some of the measures taken to slow the spread of the virus -- efforts already considered tardy and inadequate by public health experts -- in order to minimize business losses. Like many elite 👹 notions, this idea was first launched in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal.

Full article:

Quote
Capitalism has always involved a “how many deaths are acceptable” calculus, and the answer has almost always been “the number of deaths at which people start rising up” minus one — All Cats Are Beautiful (@Vicky_ACAB) March 23, 2020
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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EcoWatch


DeSmog Mar. 31, 2020 09:51AM EST

SNIPPET:

But the world is in the midst of dual supply and demand shock — too much drilling has produced a substantial surplus, and the global coronavirus pandemic has led to a historic drop in consumption. Oil demand could fall by as much as 20 percent, according to the International Energy Agency, by far the largest decline in consumption ever recorded.

Consumption of jet fuel around the world has plunged by 75 percent. Average retail gasoline prices in the U.S. are dropping below $2 per gallon nationwide and have already fallen below $1 per gallon in some places. They will fall further still.

In fact, margins even fell into negative territory, meaning that the average refiner was losing money on every gallon of gasoline produced. Refiners now find themselves facing a painful financial squeeze.

Full article:



Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Panama Canal Sends Thousands of Workers Home

By Bloomberg on Apr 01, 2020 11:53 am
Panama Canal tugboat

By Matthew Bristow and Michael McDonald (Bloomberg) — The gatekeepers of global trade routes are trying to keep goods moving through a wounded world economy while trying to minimize health threats to their own workers. A prime example is the Panama Canal Authority, which has sent thousands of employees home and rolled out contingency plans to keep trade […]  Read full story...


U.S. 🦕 LNG Behemoth Tests Slump in Sign it May Curb Production

By Bloomberg on Mar 31, 2020 04:37 pm

By Naureen S. Malik, Anna Shiryaevskaya and Stephen Stapczynski (Bloomberg) — One of the world’s biggest 🦕 liquefied natural gas exporters is signaling it may throttle back production. Cheniere Energy Inc. has tendered to buy six shipments for delivery to Europe later this year, a rare step for a company that’s fundamentally a seller of the fuel. […]  Read full story...



Congestion Looms at U.S. Ports

The paralysis of factories and stores has led to concerns that the wave of imports set to hit US ports could cause huge congestion. Manufacturers and retailers are reportedly not picking up cargo from ports, evoking the spectre of terminals – many already sitting on large numbers of empty containers – clogging up.

By The Loadstar on Mar 31, 2020 02:55 pm
Port of Los Angeles

By Ian Putzger in Toronto (The Loadstar) – The repercussions of Covid-19 have begun to hit US imports. As retail outlets, as well as many manufacturing operations, in North America are shuttered, anticipation of a surge of imports to compensate for China’s extended lunar new year hiatus are quickly disappearing. Instead, as more containers arrive, there are […]  Read full story...
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Amid Pandemic, Workers Walk Out, Building Momentum Toward General Strike  
CANDICE BERND, TRUTHOUT

Instacart, Whole Foods and Amazon workers are walking off the job to demand better pay and protections amid COVID-19.
Read the Article →




🦀 Trump to Hold In-Person Meeting With 🦕🦖🐍 Big Oil CEOs to Discuss COVID-19 Relief

JAKE JOHNSON, COMMON DREAMS

It looks like the administration is planning, in plain sight, to push a massive bailout for the fossil fuel industry.
Read the Article →



Stock Sales by 🐘 GOP Sen. 😈 Kelly Loeffler Trigger Allegations of Insider Trading

MATTHEW ROZSA, SALON

A report reveals Loeffler unloaded millions of dollars in stocks from industries hit hard by the fallout from COVID-19.
Read the Article →




Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Boeing Gets Up To $17 Billion In Loans From Coronavirus Stimulus
April 1, 2020

Economist Dean Baker explains how the $2.2 trillion stimulus quietly provides up to $17 billion in loans for Boeing with almost no strings attached.


Story Transcript
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors. It will be updated.

ark Steiner: Welcome to The Real News. I’m Mark Steiner. Great to have you all with this. It’s important to begin to examine what’s this coronavirus $2.2 trillion bailout package really means and what it doesn’t. Let’s start with a $17 billion bailout of Boeing that our guest Dean Baker did, and talked about in his blog for the Center for Economic and Policy Research. What strings were attached or were never even tied to it? And speaking of that, was Trump’s statement that he said he didn’t have to be overseen by the Inspector General and Congress, as how to spend the trillion dollars and where it would go.

Other countries have suspended student loans, mortgages, utility payments. And Spain is going even further and nationalized its hospital system. Now are we making much to do out of nothing here, or are we missing something really important? That’s why we’re about to talk to Dean Baker. And Dean, welcome back to The Real News. Good to have you with us.

Dean Baker: Thanks for having me on.

Mark Steiner: And just once again, let me remind you, Dean Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, author of numerous books. His latest is Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured. And he writes the blog of Beat the Press, where he discusses the media’s coverage of economic issues. Let’s start what you started, which is this $17 billion loan to Boeing and what that really means, and what we’re missing in that conversation.

Dean Baker: Well, a couple of points here. First off, it is a loan, and I tried to be fair on this in my blog post. It’s, we aren’t handing them $17 billion. We’re lending them $17 billion. And presumably, they’ll pay it back. But the point here is, we’re lending it at well below the market interest rate. This is a common trick. As you could be sure that if people start to complain about this one, two, three years out, I don’t know how long Boeing will take to repay their loan… we’re going to hear, “Oh, we got paid back with a profit.” Well, that’s fine.

But the point here is, we’re giving it to them at below market interest rate. Every business person knows that’s a big concession. And a really big concession when we’re in a crisis as we are today. I just said, let’s assume that they’re getting a loan at five percentage points less than the market rate. I don’t know whether that’s right or wrong. Could be higher, could be lower, but good place to start. It’s in effect handing them $850 million. That’s a lot of tax payer dollars. But the main point I’d like to make there is that we are giving this to them at below market rate, and that’s often missed or will be missed when people say it got paid back with interest.

Now the other point is that, what are the conditions? Do they have to keep their workers on the payroll? Are they being prevented from paying out dividend share buy backs? Do they give their CEO $15 million? Their last CEO was a disaster, walked away with over $60 million. So the conditions aren’t very tough. The conditions in hearsay, they have to keep workers on and as much as practical. Well, that’s essentially meaningless. People know how to write binding language. That’s not binding, that’s basically a joke.

Mark Steiner: See, that’s really interesting. I was thinking of another issue that actually connects. We look at this $2.2 trillion bailout, and you look at the $17 million given to… Not given as you say. According to the article, it’s not given. Loaned to Boeing, with almost no strings attached in terms of how they can spend the money. And then you heard Trump say the other night that he no longer… he didn’t have to abide by the Inspector General, for the special Inspector General for the pandemic recovery. Tracking loans and guarantees and reporting to Congress. I mean, to me these are really tied together. When we look at this bailout, even though people are in a panic about the pandemic we’re facing, we can miss the point, the fine print that the public doesn’t see and what it could mean for us.

Dean Baker: Yeah. Well, we have an interest in protecting workers. Obviously, it’s not the workers at Boeing’s fault or the other businesses that are having to lay off workers. I’ve seen their markets just collapse in some cases, because they’re literally restaurants. They’re literally prohibited from being open. Many, perhaps in most states. So yeah, it’s not the workers’ fault here. We have a real interest in protecting the workers. We have no particular interest in protecting Boeing’s shareholders or that the CEO gets their $15 million or whatever that pay is, probably something like that. I’m not pulling it out of the air.

The point in putting in these restrictions, having a special Inspector General, was to try to make sure that as much as possible the money went to the workers. This is something, when Trump made a signing statement that he’s not going to cooperate, this was not a surprise. I mean, it was one of these things like, it was the least surprising thing I’ve probably seen in the last five years. He’s been spitting in the face of Congress for the last three years. How could they possibly think he was going to suddenly become a good citizen and cooperate with Congress?

I mean in a certain sense, I was glad he had this signing statement, because I was literally joking. I go, “How long after Congress passes this bill? Will it be before Trump and Mnuchin, in the Treasury Secretary, tell Congress to get lost?” Well, answer, as soon as they passed it. So nothing to argue about. It was not the least bit surprising. Many of us were yelling, you have to put anything in here, any bailout money has to be absolutely locked down. Here’s what it’s for. It can only be used for this. You go to jail if you use it for anything else. And they didn’t do that. And surprise, surprise, surprise. Donald Trump’s not cooperating.

Mark Steiner: I’m curious. You’ve been working at this for so long now. I’m just curious, your analysis of what could have been done instead? What could Democrats and others in opposition in Congress have done, and where does that lead us? Because it’s really easy to say, “Look. You shouldn’t be attacking me.”, says Donald Trump or any of the people around him, “Because we’re trying to fight this coronavirus, and you’re getting in our way of rebuilding the economy.” I mean, they have a really strong kind of PR point.

Dean Baker: Well-

Mark Steiner: Go ahead. Yeah.

Dean Baker: They have a strong PR point, because the Democrats are just… It’s joking. It’s like, it’s easy to win a football game if the other team doesn’t show up. The Democrats could have written this so that money went to workers. In Denmark and the U.K. I suspect in other countries as well, I know those two. The government is basically paying companies to pay their workers. They’ll pay Denmark’s case, 75%. U.K., I think it’s 80%. I mean, we want most of it. We could fight over the exact amount, but the money is paid to the companies to pay to their workers. Again, that’s very clear. So they could have done something along those lines. That was not done here.

Also, I don’t want to go into great length all the problems with this bailout a bill, but an obvious one is just that it doesn’t give anywhere near enough money to sustain local governments, who are seeing their revenue streams just totally collapse. There’s no sales tax revenue, income tax revenue. It’s plummeting. At the same time, demands for their services, particularly healthcare services, are growing through the roof. So there is money there. I think it was $175 billion, but that’s going to be nowhere near enough. They’ll probably need at least twice that to cover the hit to their economies.

Mark Steiner: Where do you think this kind of political economic struggle might go? I mean, it… I’m sorry. Go ahead.

Dean Baker: It would really depend on the ability of the Democrats to make hay of this. Again, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the Trump administration didn’t cooperate. They can go the other way. For example, what basically Trump has been saying throughout his administration, they don’t have any obligation to cooperate with Congress. And the courts play footsie. Yeah, we’ll decide this in five years when it’s moot.

But what they can do is, they could subpoena. They can get Boeing’s CEO, and they say, “Hey, we want to know exactly what you did.” So they can go the other way. But it really does require the Democrats to be aggressive and challenging priorities here. And while many Democrats, we know Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez… There are certainly progressive Democrats, Elizabeth Warren. Obviously, it’s a long list that might be prepared to do that. I worry very much. You have many in the more center swing of the party who don’t really mind seeing a lot of money going to Boeing with fewer, no strings attached.

But that’s really what the battle is going to be. Are you going to be able to challenge Trump on misusing public money? And of course, on larger crisis, it’s I have to say… I mean I’ve been following this fairly closely as I’m sure many people have, but it’s all we can do right now.

This is a disaster, and it’s Trump’s fault. And the idea that he would get up there and say we’re doing a great job, this is like the captain of the Titanic going, “Oh, yeah. Sure, the ship sank and however many people died. But we did get a lot of people off on lifeboats.” I mean, yeah. Good, you got them off on lifeboats, but it was your fault those people died. And that’s the story here with Donald Trump. So it’s good that he’s finally organized his task force, and they are doing some things to counter. That’s what they’re there for, that’s what the federal government exists for. But they’ve done an absolutely horrible job, and many more people are going to get sick and die because of his failures. And of course the economic consequences as we see, are enormous.

Mark Steiner: Maybe think of the… is, include this. What this might mean in a larger, broader sense longterm. I mean, the pandemic, you’re right. The United States had not jumped into a quickly enough to do the right things to ensure it didn’t spread the way it’s spreading at this moment. And then on the other hand, we look at the economy. In the American mindset and the press especially, when people think of the economy, they think of the stock market. They think of the larger GDP and not about workers’ lives and what happens in their lives, small businesses. How are we keep the economy floating and alive? I think that’s what’s missing here. There can be a double disaster, because it could be a health disaster. It also could kind of unfold into an economic disaster.

Dean Baker: Yeah. Well, a few things there. I mean, first off, this shows very much the problems with our healthcare system. I mean, first and foremost of course, this is a problem of failing to take the pandemic seriously. Which we did have people, certainly in the Obama administration, that that was their job to be on the lookout for pandemics. Trump has been saying no one could know. Well no, actually, people did know. You fired them. That has to be… everyone has to understand. Reasonably, we have this massive crisis here.

Trump fired the people whose job was to prevent this crisis. Yes, people did know. When he says no one could have known, he means, “I did know.” I, meaning, Donald Trump. The United States differs from basically every other wealthy country, in that people here don’t have insurance. Or if they do have insurance, they often have expensive copays. And that’s different than France, Canada, pick your country. Where they don’t have to worry that if they go to the hospital and get testing, they can’t afford the test or they can’t afford the treatment if they turn out positive. That’s at least not an issue for people everywhere else. That’s a really big deal.

Again, your point about the stock market. The stock market, it’s not that it’s an incomplete measure of society’s wellbeing. It’s not a measure at all. The stock market, this is economic orthodoxy. The stock market in principle is a measure of future corporate profits, and anything that increases corporate profits or is expected to increase corporate profits, should make the stock market go up. So when you have Donald Trump give a big corporate tax cut, well, that means future after-tax profits will be considerably higher. And that should make the stock market go up, which of course, it did. It doesn’t mean we’re better off. It just means that companies are going to have higher profits.

This idea that somehow we get a measure of the economy or people’s wellbeing by looking at the stock market, it’s not telling us that at all. I mean, it’s like looking at a baseball score and going, “Oh, the Yankees got 18 runs yesterday. Everyone’s doing real well.” Well, that doesn’t make any sense. And seeing the stock market go up doesn’t mean everyone’s doing well, and seeing it go down doesn’t mean we’re doing poorly.

Mark Steiner: Very quickly here at the end, tell us what would be a progressive alternative to what we are seeing happening now when it comes to dealing with this Covid-19, from the economic perspective? What could be proffered? There’s not being proffered?

Dean Baker: Well, a few things. As I said before, the key issue is keeping people employed. That’s got to be front and center. Secondly, dealing with healthcare. That is the problem right now. So making sure… One, that the people on the front lines, the providers, the doctors, the nurses, that they have the protective gear, the ventilators, the basic medical equipment. Also, we probably need more medical staff. I think it’s been kind of a tragedy. No one’s taken steps. We can’t train someone to be a nurse or doctor in two weeks. We could train someone to do basic tasks like changing bed and cleaning surfaces. We have people who are exhausted there. That seems to me, that would have been a really good thing to do.

And third point I’ll make, and I’m seeing some of this, and I think it’s just an incredible model. You’re seeing people around the world doing things like designing ventilators that they could make from simple materials, and they’re cheap and they’re putting it up on the web. We’re seeing advances on treatments and on vaccines that people are open sourcing. Incredibly important. Because the reason drugs and medical equipment are expensive, is because we have patent monopolies. If we open source this, we would both see quicker developments, because everyone would be sharing everything. And then when they did have a new ventilator, we did have a new drug in the public domain, they’d be cheap. I often say this, that drugs are cheap. People look at me like I’m a lunatic. The point is, they’re cheap to manufacture, cheap to distribute. We make them expensive by giving patent monopolies. That’s an incredibly foolish way to finance the research. So if we can make progress in that out of this disaster, that would be a really, really great thing.

Mark Steiner: Dean Baker, I appreciate the work you’ve done over the years. And joining us today, bringing us some light onto this for people to kind of wrestle with. We’ll stay on top of all this together, and I appreciate you taking the time on The Real News.

Dean Baker: Thanks for having me on, and stay safe there.

Mark Steiner: You, too. Always a pleasure to have you with us. And I’m Mark Steiner here for The Real News Network. Let us know what you think. Give us some ideas as well. Take care.

https://therealnews.com/stories/boeing-billions-loans-coronavirus-cares-act-stimulus

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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6.6 Million People 😲 Filed For Unemployment Last Week
April 2, 2020

The $2.2 trillion stimulus did nothing to help working people . Even before the new data was released, writer Brendan O'Connor said tenants were facing eviction and organizing rent strikes to help each other survive the economic crisis of COVID-19.


Story Transcript
This interview was recorded before the Department of Labor’s April 2 news release showing 6,648,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance.

This is a rush transcript and may contain errors. It will be updated.

Trump: We’re also announcing that the department of housing and urban development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April. So we’re working very closely with Dr. Ben Carson and everybody from HUD.

Marc Steiner: Welcome to Real News. I’m Marc Steiner. Great to have you with this. As you can see, Donald Trump made it seem like he was stopping all foreclosures and evictions. Well, he didn’t do that and can’t do that unless they are federally insured home loans or affect people in public housing, which has shrunk to almost nothing. White sheets are flying outside houses across the country as a symbol of resistance, people saying we won’t pay the rent. The problems of working people where half of us live paycheck to paycheck and spend too much of our money on rent is that rent and housing issues are local, and historically when you had a rent strike like the ones I led many years ago as a tenant organizer, you put your money into escrow, fought the landlord, changed the local laws.

Now what working people are facing is a much deeper dilemma. How do you build that movement? What should we tell the federal government that they must do? How do you fight that? Well, that’s what we’re going to wrestle with now with our guest, Brendan O’Connor, who wrote the article, Rent Is Due for the Jewish Currents just a few days ago. He’s also writing a book for Hey Market about immigration capitalism and the far right. And Brendan, welcome to Real News. Good to have you with us.

Brendan O’Connor: Thank you. Good to be here.

Marc Steiner: So you heard Trump, what he said. Let’s talk about the mythology that they’re creating about what they’re actually doing and what people are facing on the ground here in our country.

Brendan O’Connor: Sure. Yeah. My response is I’ll believe it when I see it. I think that what’s been interesting about a lot of Trump’s and some sectors of the Republican party’s response to the coronavirus crisis is that they are sending signals that they are sensitive to these kinds of social needs and demands, and even gesturing towards making an effort to address them. But as ever, there’s no reason to believe that that is ever actually going to happen. Trump is historically… By his trade he’s a landlord and a “slumlord” at that. And so I don’t think that there’s any reason to take his word that he’s going to to look after the interests of tenants in this moment.

Marc Steiner: And his son-in-law’s a “slumlord” right here where we were broadcast in Baltimore. It’s a family of “slumlords” trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. I mean, there are only 8 million [inaudible 00:02:48] back mortgages in this country, and 43 million rental households. The vast majority of whom are not even covered by anything because, as you write about, state by state the laws are different. Right?

Brendan O’Connor: Exactly. Yeah. And even what protections do exist for tenants in places like New York are really very limited and very circumscribed because the real estate developer lobbies and landlord lobbies have spent years, decades doing everything that they can to roll those protections back.

Marc Steiner: So talk a bit about some of the people you’ve talked to across the country, from the Philadelphia Tenants Union to Stomp Out Slumlords. We talk about them for a bit. The Ridgewood Tenants Union. And the differences that these struggles face and why it’s so hard it seems to be able to build a national movement for rent strikes. I think they have to get to the underbelly of this and why it’s so hard to build this, why they’re having such a hard time.

Brendan O’Connor: Sure. I mean, I think that the tenant organizing and housing organizing is really difficult work under the most favorable of circumstances, which we are not in right now, or really even before the coronavirus hit. People’s housing and living situations are precarious and there is a lot of fear that doing anything to disrupt their relationships with their landlords is going to result in retaliation and eviction. Building support for a rent strike, building a campaign around housing issues, whether that’s targeting an individual landlord, targeting a bigger developer or targeting state legislatures is long, slow, difficult work. Where we are now, however, as you mentioned, is that all of a sudden there is an unprecedented number of people who this month and next month are simply not going to be able to pay rent. Not as a matter of political choice or as a matter of struggle, but just as a matter of their material circumstances.

Marc Steiner: There’s something really deeply missing in this conversation. There’s missing between most of the Democrats in Congress, and the reality of what Trump said. As you wrote, 3.3 million people applied for unemployment. Many more are going to be unemployed before this is over. Let’s take a couple of examples that you raised. Both in Queens and out in Washington state and in North Carolina, in Durham, North Carolina, they’re all very different in what they have to face. I mean, talk about how differently these struggles are and what’s being done to bring them together, if anything.

Brendan O’Connor: Well, what’s being done to bring them together is… I don’t know that there is really anything yet. But as you say… I mean all of them are really different, but also fundamentally the situation is the same is that people are living in unstable housing situations. The differences are the political terrain on which people have to organize. As I said, tenants in New York enjoy certain protections that don’t exist in other places. For example, the right to organize at all in New York. We can meet with our neighbors in public spaces and talk about shared grievances, and that is a protected activity. Whereas in a place, even as a sensibly progressive as California, you can be evicted for that.

The the obstacles to organizing are very different and require different tactics and different strategies in different places, which is one of the things that makes building a movement around a singular national demand, for example canceling rent all over the country, very difficult. Even though ultimately canceling rent is what everybody needs right now.

Marc Steiner: Two things I was shocked by. Even in California there are no laws to protect tenants when they organize. That was pretty shocking that they’re that far behind. People on the east coast where tenants have been fighting for their rights and have made New York and other places in Baltimore pass certain laws that actually help renters when they’re fighting collectively. That doesn’t take place in California or Washington state, right?

Brendan O’Connor: Correct.

Marc Steiner: So when you take those things and you fold those things in together, and this white sheet movement that seems to be taking place across the country that’s kind of catching on, and they can’t have rent strikes because they don’t have the money to put in escrow to fight the landlord with. Then what are people telling you about where they think there’s movement has to go? What are they describing to you as what has to happen?

Brendan O’Connor: Right. So I think that there are two different broad tendencies that have emerged among people who are involved in housing organizing in this moment. One is a really rapid… One advocates for a really rapid escalation and acceleration of the struggle, which is to say that because the crisis is already upon us and demands an immediate radical response, so basically everyone should go on rent strike. The way that one of the organizers in Durham, California put it to me I thought was a very distinct articulation of this, which is that, “If some of us can’t pay, all of us won’t pay.” And this is a really compelling articulation of solidarity, I think.

The difficulty is, and this is what let’s say the more cautious minded organizers that I’ve spoken to have pointed out and that you alluded to, is that when you go on strike, whether it’s a rent strike or a labor strike, what you are doing is withholding something that is of value to your landlord or your boss, in this case your rent or your labor. If you don’t have the money to pay rent it’s kind of harder to think through how the threat to withhold it translates into leverage. But that’s where the call for solidarity comes in for the people who right now are still unable to afford rent, to lend their leverage to protect the people who are not.

Marc Steiner: We’ll see how this rolls out with coronavirus and the pandemic because as you write of what other people who said, that one of the issues here is it’s very difficult to organize when you have to organize… Virtually when you organize tenants it’s sort of door knocking on doors, sitting in people’s living rooms, bringing your brothers and sisters with the same landlord with you sitting down to organize this rent strike to take on a landlord. But you can’t do that now. That makes it even more difficult for the tenants to organize for their rights. I mean that’s what many people were telling you, right?

Brendan O’Connor: Yeah, that’s right. And I think that is something that people who are involved in social movements on all different fronts are grappling with right now and trying to think creatively and imaginatively about. And a lot of people are. But one of the obstacles is that even if you are able to get everybody onto the same email thread or into the same chat room or onto a video call meeting regularly, again, how do you translate that into leverage and into pressure? Because you can’t necessarily march on your landlord or on your boss’s office if we’re all working from home or occupy a state house. Because the correct and good thing to do right now is to maintain distance from each other and that is ultimately what solidarity is calling for. This is a very tough, very difficult situation for organizers to be in.

I think folks are putting a good faith effort into, like I said, thinking creatively and trying to imagine ways around this. But ultimately I think a lot of the work that’s right now is also geared towards laying the groundwork and the foundation for what comes next so that these movements can come out swinging essentially when these restrictions are lifted.

Marc Steiner: And let me just say that this is the beginning of this story. Brendan O’Connor wrote an incredibly good story here for the Jewish Currents and really happy to have him come on. You should check this story out. There will be links to our conversation here today. You don’t want to miss that story.

But also over the course of the next weeks as the coronavirus envelops this nation and we deal with this pandemic, I and my colleague Kim Brown and Justin Moore will be bringing your stories of tenants across the country who are fighting their landlords and fighting the state and fighting the city to say we’re not paying our rent until this is over, until we get back to work where you guarantee our income. That’s a national movement growing that he wrote about in this article. And we’ll be talking to many people in that article and others over the coming days. Kim Brown will bring another story this week as well from some of those organizers and as I will as well. So you want to stay tuned for that and keep tabs on what we’re doing. We can help connect you all. So the towns across the country can organize together to stop these slumlords and landlords from taking away our right to live.

Brendan O’Connor, I want to thank you first of all for the article you wrote. I’m looking forward to reading much more that you write for Jewish Currents everywhere else. And thank you for being part of all this.

Brendan O’Connor: Thank you for having me on, Marc. I appreciate it.

Marc Steiner: It’s my pleasure. I’m Marc Steiner here for the Real News Network. Send us your stories about your rent struggles in your communities, what you’re facing, what you’re doing so we can talk about those as well. So I’m Marc Steiner here with the Real News Network. Take care.

https://therealnews.com/stories/6-million-unemployment-insurance-claims-coronavirus
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

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🚨 Economies Are on Life Support and All Prisoners Are on 🏴 Death Row 😞
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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Mr. Fish Catch of the Day 👉 FOLLOW THE MONEY
« Reply #821 on: April 03, 2020, 04:15:47 pm »

Time Of Plague And Meltdown: Mass Murder By Corporate Duopoly

April 2, 2020

By Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report. Tens of thousands of people, disproportionately Black and brown, are marked for death by coronavirus in the coming weeks and months because the United States political system allows only corporate parties to govern. By ensuring that the Dictatorship of Capital is immune to effective electoral challenge, the duopoly system has made the people of the United States less healthy than the rest of the developed world, and far more vulnerable to epidemics of all types. As dutiful servants of Capital, the Democratic and Republican parties have for more than 40 years facilitated a Race to the Bottom (austerity) that has steadily lowered working people’s living standards and slashed social service supports, including the number of... -more-

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

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Prof. Richard Wolff ✨ On Why the System Failed
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The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow
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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

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On Market Solutions To The Covid-19 Crisis
By Jack Rasmus, Z Net. In 2008 the Federal Reserve provided more than $4 trillion to bail out the banks. Now it is providing more than $6 trillion (thus far)—and this time the banks haven’t even failed yet! The Fed has opened a free money spigot to investors, bankers, and to big business of all types, and has simply declared ‘come on in and take it’. And if the $6 trillion to date isn’t enough, we’ll provide more. For the first time ever the Fed is now providing free money not only to bankers, but to credit card companies, mortgage companies, corporate bondholders, and even to investors in derivatives like Exchange Traded Funds, or ETFs.


The High Price Of US Militarism Comes Due
By MikeFerner, the Indypendent. Our national priorities have displayed much the same logic as the person who jumped off a 50-story building and observed, “This isn’t so bad,” as they hurtled past the 20th floor. But just like that fool, denial works for only so long. Then splat. For decades, our leaders have invested handsomely in death, spending the majority of our annual tax payments on armaments and empire, leaving humanity and the planet to fend for themselves. Now, in a real crisis, we’re freaking out. It’s not like there weren’t warnings, either. They even came in writing — on banners, picket signs, leaflets, newspapers, even a few on TV. 


Brazil's Ex-President Lula Speaks Out On Venezuela
By Ben Norton, The Grayzone. The far-right government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is one of Washington’s closest allies in Latin America. It has played a major supporting role in the Donald Trump administration’s coup attempt against Venezuela, even supporting a terror plot against the government of President Nicolás Maduro. This March, the Bolsonaro administration signed a historic military agreement, bringing Brazil directly into the US imperial sphere of influence, essentially merging the country’s defense industry with Washington’s military-industrial complex. Days before the deal was finalized, howeve...
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Conservative Media’s New Coronavirus Plan: Reopen The Country, No Matter Who Dies


There Is No Plan For the End of the Coronavirus Crisis


After The Coronavirus Passes, Your World Will Not Go Back To Normal

Read more Doomstead Diner Daily 4/6/20

ALL TRUE.

It's the CAPITALISM, stupid.
Quote
"Capitalist ideology claims that the world is perfectly ordered and everybody is in their place (i.e. everybody gets what they deserve). This self legitmating aspect of Capitalism is Socially Catastrophic. This is the Victorian view of the world." Rob Urie - Author " Zen Economics"

Mon, 04/06/2020 - 11:38

SNIPPET:

Blaming everyone but herself, 🎩🐍 Yellen said that "non-financial corporations entered this crisis with enormous debt loads, and that is a vulnerability. They had borrowed excessively” and they did it not so much for productive purposes like investment, but for buying back stocks and paying dividends to shareholders. And while these firms borrowed, investors also let their guards down in their hunt for high yields, the former central bank official said, shocking oblivious of the Fed's role in permitting all of this behavior to continue for years and years, building up massive imbalances which are now finally being unleashed and forcing the Fed to do absolutely everything in its power to prevent true price discovery which would take place... about 60% below current S&P levels.


This blameless narrative continued, with Yellen having the gall to go so far as saying that the corporate borrowing binge - which she helped unleash - “creates risk to the economy. And I’m afraid we’ll see that in spades in the coming months, because it may trigger a wave of corporate defaults. Even where a company avoids default, highly indebted firms usually cut back a lot on investment and hiring, and that will make the recovery more difficult,” the former central banker said, once again hoping to never be named in the list of antagonists whose actions led to the biggest US depression in a century

Full article:


« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 02:27:01 pm by AGelbert »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

 

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