Category Archives: Economics

Debunking Trump’s Racist Myth, Study Shows Immigrants Boosting US Healthcare, Not Draining It

“The Trump administration’s narrative is not based in fact but is simply part of a much broader attempt to penalize and disparage immigrants.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-8-2018

“Recent immigrants are substantially healthier than native-born Americans, which benefits the American healthcare economy. But to maintain their health over the long-term, new immigrants—and all Americans—need access to good healthcare,” said Lila Flavin, a medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine. (Photo: OverpassLightBrigade/Twitter)

With the Trump administration reportedly close to unveiling a xenophobic proposal that portrays immigrants as leeches who exploit government healthcare programs at tremendous cost to U.S. taxpayers, a new study published on Wednesday shows that—contrary to the White House’s narrative—immigrants effectively subsidize the care of native-born Americans by paying more into the healthcare system than they receive in treatment.

“Overall, immigrants almost certainly paid more toward medical expenses than they withdrew, providing a low-risk pool that subsidized the public and private health insurance markets,” researchers from Harvard Medical School and Tufts University write in a summary of their findings, which were published in the International Journal of Health Services. “We conclude that insurance and medical care should be made more available to immigrants rather than less so.” Continue reading

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In Bid for ‘Dystopian’ Surveillance Power, Facebook Asking Big Banks for Customer Data

“How much more of your personal existence are you willing to give up to continue to be a sieve of your data for a multi-billion dollar corporation?”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-6-2018

Screenshot: CNN

Apparently not satisfied with access to its users’ call history, text messaging data, and online conversations, Facebook has reportedly asked major Wall Street firms like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo to hand over their customers’ sensitive financial data as part of the social media giant’s ongoing attempt to become “a platform where people buy and sell goods and services.”

And according to the Wall Street Journal—which first reported on Facebook’s plans on Monday—the social media behemoth isn’t the only tech company that wants access to Americans’ financial data. Google and Amazon have also “asked banks to share data if they join with them, in order to provide basic banking services on applications such as Google Assistant and Alexa,” the Journal pointed out, citing anonymous sources familiar with the companies’ ambitions. Continue reading

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#MeToo movement finds an unlikely champion in Wall Street with the new ‘Weinstein clause’

 

 

Elizabeth C. Tippett, University of Oregon

If you were worried that the #MeToo movement might fade away, fear not. It has been carved into one of the most immovable objects in human history.

Legal boilerplate.

And not just any boilerplate. But the language in giant merger agreements, used when one company is buying out another company. Continue reading

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‘Insidious’: Emails Show Trump White House Lied About US Poverty Levels to Discredit Critical UN Report

With its attempt to falsify statistics and whitewash uncomfortable facts about poverty in America, the White House once again demonstrated its “contempt” for the poor, one critic argued

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-3-2018

Photo: Storify archive

Infuriated by a scathing United Nations report estimating that over 18 million Americans are living in “extreme poverty” and accusing the Trump administration of “deliberately” making such destitution worse with its tax cuts for the rich, the White House insisted in its June response to the U.N. analysis that the United States is overflowing with “prosperity” and that claims of widespread poverty are “exaggerated.”

But internal State Department emails and documents obtained by Foreign Policy and the non-profit journalism website Coda Story show that the Trump administration ignored advice of White House economic analysts and knowingly lied to the public about the severity of American poverty, which the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston described as “shocking.” Continue reading

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‘An Insult to Our National Wildlife’: Trump Reverses Ban on GMOs and Bee-Killing Pesticides in Refuges

“Industrial agriculture has no place on public lands dedicated to conservation of biological diversity and the protection of our most vulnerable species.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-3-2018

The Trump adminstration just reversed a ban on using bee-poisoning pesticides in wildlife refuges. (Photo: Amy Whitehead/Flickr/cc)

While regulators in other regions of the world have recently worked to ban bee-poisoning pesticides called neonicotinoids that scientists have long warned could cause an “ecological armageddon,” the Trump administration just reversed an Obama-era policy that had outlawed the use of neonics and genetically modified crops in the nation’s wildlife refuges.

Defenders of Wildlife CEO and president Jamie Rappaport Clark, who served as director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) during the Clinton administration, called the move “an insult to our national wildlife refuges and the wildlife that rely on them.” Continue reading

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As Corporate Media Looks the Other Way, US-Backed Saudi Bombing Campaign Kills Dozens in Yemen

“Instead of providing healthcare to sick Americans or education, this is what your tax dollars are going towards. Enough is enough.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-2-2018

Results of a coalition airstrike in 2017. Photo: Human Rights Watch

As some of America’s most prominent corporate media outlets continued their lengthy blackout of Yemen’s deepening humanitarian crisis—a catastrophe made possible by the U.S. government’s enthusiastic military and political support for Saudi Arabia’s years-long assault on the starving nation—the Saudi-led coalition on Thursday reportedly killed as many as 50 people and injured dozens more in a massive bombing campaign targeting the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah.

Horrific images, videos, and witness accounts of the bombing quickly began circulating on social media after airstrikes pounded the vicinity of al-Thawra, Hodeidah’s main public hospital. Continue reading

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Koch-Funded Hit Piece Backfires: Shows Medicare for All Would Save ‘Whopping $2 Trillion’ Over Ten Years While Covering Everybody

“If every major country on Earth can guarantee healthcare to all, and achieve better health outcomes, while spending substantially less per capita than we do, it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the United States cannot do the same.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-30-2018

If the billionaire Koch brothers really want to undermine the economic case for Medicare for All, they have a funny way of showing it.

Judging by the headlines alone, it would appear that the newly published study projecting that Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) widely popular Medicare for All plan would cost $32.6 trillion over the next decade was conducted by an official, neutral body seeking the facts, not pushing an agenda.

Read a bit further, though, and you’ll discover that the analysis—released Monday morning—was produced by the George Mason University-based Mercatus Center, which has received millions of dollars in funding from the right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch, who have previously expressed support for abolishing Medicare and Medicaid entirely. Continue reading

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Hottest Four Years Ever? 2015. 2016. 2017. 2018?

“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle”

By Common Dreams. Published 7-28-2018

The Carr fire. Screenshot: ABC News

According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2018 is on pace to be the fourth hottest year on record. Only three other years have been hotter: 2015, 2016 and 2017.

“The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle,” Michael Mann, a climate scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, told CNN.

“We are seeing them play out in real time in the form of unprecedented heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires. And we’ve seen them all this summer,” he said. Continue reading

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“You Can’t Eat GDP”: Reminder That Most Workers Are Struggling as Trump and Corporate Media Tout Economic Growth

“Any administration would tout a strong GDP report like today’s, but if it’s not reaching workers’ paychecks, which it isn’t, then cease the applause.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-27-2018

Photo: SEIU/Twitter

As President Donald Trump and corporate media outlets on Friday enthusiastically touted new GDP figures showing that the U.S. economy grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, many economists and progressive commentators were quick to counter the glowing headlines by pointing out that corporations and the rich are feasting on most of the growth while workers see their wages fall.

“What the president won’t talk about is that there is slow—and even negative—growth in real wages adjusted for inflation. So if GDP is rising, but wages [are] falling, the money is going to the top,” Timothy McBride, a health economist at Washington University in St. Louis, noted in response to Trump’s celebratory speech on the White House lawn on Friday. Continue reading

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In ‘Victory for Women,’ Appeals Court Upholds Ban on Pence’s Indiana Law Requiring Ultrasounds Before Abortions

“This is another repudiation of the unnecessary and unconstitutional attempts by Indiana politicians to interfere with women’s reproductive rights.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-26-2018

Reproductive rights advocates in Indiana protested then-Gov. Mike Pence’s anti-choice legislation in April of 2016. (Photo: @MaureenHayden/Twitter)

Reproductive rights groups celebrated “a victory for women” after a federal appeals court upheld a ban on a provision in an Indiana law—signed by former governor and current Vice President Mike Pence—that forced any woman considering an abortion to undergo an ultrasound 18 hours before the procedure.


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