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Corporatism

Global Climate Talks Spark Action Against Investment Treaties

In advance of the global climate negotiations taking place in Egypt, several countries announced important actions to curb the power of the fossil fuel industry. For decades now, a global web of international investment agreements has given corporations excessive powers to block government policies they don’t like. Through “investor-state dispute settlement” mechanisms, these agreements grant corporations the right to sue governments in unaccountable supranational tribunals, demanding huge payouts in retaliation for actions that might reduce the value of their investments. Corporations are able to file such lawsuits over a wide array of government actions — including actions designed to protect people and the planet.

The Truth About Cargill, The World’s Most Evil Company

The biggest supervillains in the world are not human: they’re corporations. And one of those corporations owns nearly our entire food system. This year, food prices have soared and Americans are feeling it. For example, egg prices have doubled since last year to nearly $3 a dozen, which is especially difficult if you make your living as an egg-juggling busker down by the condemned jungle gym. But the supervillain companies that set those prices aren’t struggling at all. The largest one is Cargill. And this year, Cargill’s revenue jumped to a record $165 billion. That’s $30 billion more than the year before. Let’s learn a little more about Cargill. Known to friends as the evilest company in the world – and to enemies as even worse than that – Cargill Inc. is the biggest privately owned company in the U.S., and they own a large chunk of every portion of the food that ends up on your plate.

US Pressuring New Left-Wing Honduras Government

Honduran President Xiomara Castro, who took office in January, promised on the campaign trail to abolish special economic zones known as ZEDEs (“Economic Development and Employment Zones” in English), where private investors have outsized power to shape labor laws, judicial systems, and local governance. These zones have garnered fierce opposition in Honduras for undermining the basic tenets of democracy. In April, she achieved a major win when the Congress of Honduras unanimously voted to repeal the law that allows for ZEDEs, and to abolish the current ones, though the latter has to be ratified next year. But the forces who want to keep ZEDEs in operation are retaliating, and they’ve found allies on Capitol Hill.

$11 Million Per Minute!

The world’s governments subsidize the fossil fuel industry with a mind-blowing amount of money. Lee Camp reports on an IMF study from 2021 that found that Big Oil receives $11 million per minute in subsidies. In other words, we’re all paying for ExxonMobil, Shell, British Petroleum, and their peers to continue doing business by polluting the land, water and atmosphere. The public deserves to know that their governments are paying for corporations to risk the future of humanity.

‘We’ve Incentivized Corporations To Go After This Price-Gouging Strategy’

Janine Jackson: In a section labeled “Core of the matter,” the Economist declared: “Despite rosier figures, America still has an inflation problem. Is higher unemployment the only cure?” I guess we’re meant to find solace in the idea that the magazine thinks there might conceivably be other responses, in addition to what we are to understand is the proven one: purposely throwing people out of work, with all of the life-changing harms that come with that. CNBC‘s story, “Inflation Fears Spur Shoppers to Get an Early Jump on the Year-End Holidays,” encouraged us to think that “inflation is a Scrooge.” So—an abstraction that is somehow stealing Christmas, to which the healthy response is to make more people jobless while corporate profits soar. It makes sense to corporate media, but if it doesn’t make sense to you, you are far from alone.

I’m A Railroad Worker

As I think about generations gone by, the values people held, the moral compasses that guided them, I can’t help but wonder what our ancestors would say about the mess this country is in today. Somewhere along the line, I think, a paradigm shift occurred: We stripped this country down and sold every scrap of society and community to the highest bidder, while the things that we used to hold near and dear withered and rotted like old fruit. We’ve forgotten what the Constitution of this great nation says, we hate each other for our differences rather than embracing them, and our leaders—the purported champions of the oppressed, the self-styled protectors of all things fair and just—have become our enemies. The corporations controlling next to every facet of our daily lives are well aware of this, and they are actively capitalizing on the chaos at our expense.

Healthcare Profits: Montefiore Hospital Closes Bronx Center

Montefiore Hospital System is set to close its Family Health Center (FHC) at 1 Fordham Plaza which has provided primary care to a community in the Bronx for over 30 years. At the same time, Montefiore is slated to open a large, upscale primary care clinic for wealthy patients living around Hudson Yards. This is healthcare under capitalism: shut down primary care in poor areas serving patients of color and instead open more profitable centers in wealthy areas serving predominantly white patients. The FHC has been providing primary care services to over tens of thousands of low-income residents in the surrounding community, most of whom are Black and Brown/Latinx. The center also is one of the primary training locations of the Family Medicine department’s Family and Social Medicine Residency outpatient training program.

‘Value-Based Care’ Is A Pretext For Privatization

Later this month, right before Medicare’s 57th birthday on July 30, corporate health care and the government players who facilitate their lucrative businesses, will gather for a summit on value-based care.   They will speak of driving health equity, of reaching underserved communities, of coordination of care, and accountable care.  They will insist that physicians share in risk just like insurance companies.  They will advocate the transformation of health care to value-based care, supposedly founded on payment for quality rather than quantity, value instead of volume, and outcomes not fee-for-service.  They will assert that this transformation brings equity, improves care, and saves money. They have no evidence to back up their assertions. 

Max Blumenthal And Aaron Mate Slam Corporate Media Disinformation

At the Collision tech conference in Toronto on 6/21/22, before a hostile audience filled with members of the corporate press, The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate explain how the mainstream media is the most prolific source of disinformation on the planet, working closely with the national security state to cultivate public support for war while deflecting scrutiny from the oligarchy that controls it.

SCOTUS EPA Ruling Signals Court Will Strike Down Rules Limiting Profits

On the last day of its term, the Supreme Court handed down a case no less impactful than its shameful ruling a week earlier that overturned Roe v. Wade. In West Virginia v. EPA, the court’s right-wing members confirmed they are in the pockets of the fossil fuel companies. The 6-3 majority sided with coal companies and Republican-led states to restrain the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) power to regulate carbon emissions. “Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,’” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote on behalf of himself, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

Beware The Corporate Appropriation Of ‘Sustainable’ Farming Practices

Global food systems are at a breaking point. Not only are they responsible for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, they are also the top contributors to water pollution and biodiversity collapse. On top of that, many aspects of our food systems are extremely vulnerable to disruptions from climate change and other shocks, as we saw in the first months of the pandemic. Agroecology — an approach to farming long practiced by Indigenous and peasant communities around the world — could transform our food systems for the better. And agribusinesses in the Global North are actively looking to agroecology to rebrand and build new markets under the banners of carbon farming and regenerative agriculture.

It’s Time To Challenge The Corporate University

Bill Readings, a late Université de Montréal professor noted the move towards corporatization of universities in his 1997 study, The University in Ruins. While the 1990s were certainly not the golden age of higher education, there were aspects of them that were palatable compared to the current moment. At that time, tuition was lower and more affordable. Technological incorporation in teaching and internet accessibility had just begun. Google and Wikipedia were nonexistent, and living accommodations for students on college and university campuses were modest. Universities relied on shared governance (faculty participation in the governance of an institution) for decision-making.

Single Payer Docs Now Want National Health Service

In an article in The Nation magazine last week, doctors David U. Himmelstein, Steffie Woolhandler, Adam Gaffney, Don McCanne and John Geyman called for a National Health System in the United States. “We have long advocated for single-payer national health insurance,” the doctors wrote. “By eliminating private insurers and simplifying how providers are paid, single-payer would free up hundreds of billions of dollars now squandered annually on insurance-related bureaucracy. The savings would make it feasible to cover the uninsured and to eliminate the cost barriers that keep even insured patients from getting the care they need. And it would free patients and doctors from the narrow provider networks and other bureaucratic constraints imposed by insurance middlemen. We still urgently need this reform.”

Amazon Gets Huge Contract Despite Biden’s Union Pledge

The Biden administration has re-awarded a massive $10 billion federal contract to Amazon, even as the president is facing mounting pressure to fulfill his promise to halt such contracts to companies that refuse to remain neutral in union elections. The contract decision came as Amazon responded to its workers’ first successful union drive by busting the organizing drive that followed. At issue is Biden’s 2020 promise to “ensure federal contracts only go to employers who sign neutrality agreements committing not to run anti-union campaigns.” Amid revelations of Amazon’s aggressive efforts to shut down a union drive among its workers, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ind.-Vt.) last month sent a letter to Biden “asking you to fulfill that promise… to make sure that federal dollars do not flow into the hands of unscrupulous employers who engage in union-busting, participate in wage theft, or violate labor law.”

Price Controls Could Tame Inflation

Though corporate America would like us to believe otherwise, the retail prices of essential goods like food and energy are not set by simple supply and demand. In large part, they’re determined by the corporate cartels that have vanquished their competitors — and Wall Street speculators who place bets on the future availability of commodities. With price hikes for energy, gas, and food remaining stubbornly high, it’s time to do something about it. That’s why some experts now support a fix that was long considered taboo: limiting what corporations can charge for certain goods. In other words, price controls. Price controls tend to outrage many economists and business-friendly politicians. But curbing excess profits and making essentials more affordable would be politically smart — and effective.
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