BlackRock says we’re all doomed. It’s being optimistic.

by James Meadway The working assumption, for governments and central banks across the world, is that at some point soon everything will get back to ‘normal’—our economies will return to either pre-pandemic or, sometimes, even pre-2008 crash levels. These beliefs are reinforced by media economics commentary and across political parties. But what if they’re wrong? The world’s largest asset manager, overseeing $10trn in assets across the globe, thinks we are, instead, entering a period of increased risk and uncertainty, defined by unavoidable recession and much higher inflation. BlackRock—a well-connected, influential and hugely profitable pillar of global capitalism—made the predictions in its ‘2023 Global Investment Outlook’ …

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Our Cash and Carry Court

Two weeks ago the New York Times published a story headlined “A Charity Tied to the Supreme Court Offers Donors Access to the Justices.” The story describes in detail the previously-obscure Supreme Court Historical Society [SCHS]. This entity is “ostensibly independent of the judicial branch of government,” the Times writes, but “in reality the two are inextricably intertwined.” Judging from the facts presented by the Times, SCHS provides a critically important societal function: it gives important people—those who have money to burn, and cases before the court—with a dignified way to put their manicured thumbs on the scales of justice. Annual dues start at a …

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Why Workers Are Up in Arms Over the Rail Strike Intervention

by Sonali Kolhatkar, Independent Media Institute The United States Senate acted in a show of rare unity recently in voting 80 to 15 to pass a bill forcing rail workers to accept their employers’ contract offer without a strike. There was no such unity to pass an amendment introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that would have given rail workers seven paid sick leave days. That bill did not pass even though 52 senators voted for it, as it failed the requisite 60-vote threshold. According to the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, “Almost every elected member of Congress campaigns on being ‘for the working class.’” But, …

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Break Out the Crutches—Here Come the Lame Ducks

Charles “Sparky” Schultz, whose 100th birthday was recently celebrated, was a mensch with remarkable talents. Never what you would call a flashy draftsman, he was able nevertheless to draw humor out of the unlikely raw material of existential dread, using children as his medium. Perhaps the most lasting image he inserted into our national imaginarium was that of Charlie Brown lying flat on his back after trying to kick a football which has been whisked away at the last moment by Lucy van Pelt. Charlie Brown’s chagrin is compounded annually. He knows he’s been through all this before. Maybe he’s smarter than Congressional Democrats. We’ll …

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Covid Inaction Leaves U.S. Facing “Major Storm Without Even an Umbrella in Hand”

by Kenny Stancil Refuting President Joe Biden’s recent claim that “the pandemic is over,” a group of physicians, epidemiologists, and other experts warned in an open letter published last month that Covid-19 remains a deadly and disabling threat, including in the United States, which is ill-prepared for a possible winter surge “fueled by the emergence of new Omicron strains.” “We know from our clinical and research experience that the pandemic is far from over, and that national efforts to secure the health and well-being of the American public are far from complete,” the scholars wrote in the esteemed British Medical Journal. “We are deeply concerned …

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Nation Spared Colossal Tragedy

Judging from the news reports, it could have been tragic: “Rainbow fentanyl,” produced by evil drug lords, handed out like candy to unsuspecting children from coast to coast. Halloween, 2022 was threatening to become the most tragic holiday since…. Well, since New Years Day, 2000, when, after months of breathless reporting and endless speculation about civilization grinding to a halt. When 1999 ended and 2000 began, as cable TV anchors held their breath…computers kept running and the world kept spinning. It turns out the programmers running the mainframes knew their jobs and how to do them. The true catastrophe of the year 2000 came in …

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