Since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, Caterpillar has suspended operations at two plants and a foundry, Levi Strauss has closed stores, and toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker is planning layoffs and furlough. While thousands of their workers are filing for unemployment benefits, these companies rewarded their shareholders with more than $700 million in cash dividends
While much of the world moved swiftly to lock down crucial medical supplies used to treat the coronavirus, the U.S. dithered, maintaining business as normal and allowing large shipments of American-made respirators and ventilators to be sold to foreign buyers.
Heather Waldron and John Hawley are losing their four-bedroom house in the hills above Blacksburg, Va. A teenage daughter, one of their five children, sold her clothes for spending money. They worried about paying the electric bill. Financial disaster, they say, contributed to their divorce, finalized in April. Their money problems began when the University of Virginia Health System pursued the couple with a lawsuit and a lien on their home to recoup $164,000 in charges for Waldron’s emergency surgery in 2017
The staggering rate of store closures that has rocked the retail industry over the past couple of years is expected to continue in 2019, with roughly the same level of closures expected this year. Retailers closed a record 102 million square feet of store space in 2017, then smashed that record in 2018 by closing another 155 million square feet, according to estimates by the commercial real-estate firm CoStar Group.
The left never had a dog in this race. This was always an in-house squabble between different wings of the establishment. Late-stage capitalism is in terminal crisis, and the biggest problem facing our corporate elites is how to emerge from this crisis with their power intact. One wing wants to make sure the pig’s face remains painted, the other is happy simply getting its snout deeper into the trough while the food lasts.
As we've reflected on the events of the past week, one of my colleagues came across this speech made by Robert F. Kennedy at the Cleveland City Club on April 5, 1968. She encountered it on a recently published blog post and, at first, didn't realize that it was nearly 40 years old. Many of us have been remembering the events of 1968 and feeling an uncomfortable familiarity over the course of the past few days. Continue reading