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Inflation

‘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.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Inflation Reduction Act’s Effects on US Agriculture

The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, passed on August 11, 2022, includes more than $370 billion in investments towards conservation, environmental, and agricultural programs. This landmark bill was heralded by President Joe Biden as “the most aggressive action ever…in confronting the climate crisis.” In a letter to House colleagues, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi even proclaimed that the bill is “life-changing legislation”. The Inflation Reduction Act is certainly an important piece of legislation, with many far-reaching impacts on the US food and agriculture sector. Not all of these impacts are good, however, and some are downright ugly.

Protests Across Austria Demand Solution To Cost Of Living Crisis

On Saturday, September 17, trade unions and other working class sections hit the streets across Austria protesting the government’s inefficiency in tackling the ongoing cost of living crisis. The protests called by the Austrian Trade Union Federation (OGB) saw the participation of various groups including the Party of Labor of Austria (PdA), Youth Front, Communist Youth of Austria (KJO), Communist Party of Austria (KPO), and Links, among others. Marches were held in cities in all federal States including Vienna, Eisenstadt, Bruck an der Mur, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Bregenz, Lower Austria, and Upper Austria. According to the organizers, over 30,000 people participated in the protests, with 20,000 people having marched in Vienna alone. The protesters called on the politicians to take concrete actions to tackle the current crisis.

The Fed’s Secret Plan To Suck Workers Dry

We’re still getting over a pandemic. Healthcare costs are totally out of control. Everyone’s in debt and hates their job. The insects are disappearing, which feels like a bad sign. I have to watch a Jeff Bezos interview just to see bug eyes anymore. On top of all that, the bankers at the Federal Reserve have decided they’re going to make things way worse. As reported in Common Dreams, “Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said… that the U.S. central bank is ready to inflict ‘pain’ on households as it continues to fight inflation, remarks that drew widespread backlash from experts who warned the Fed appears poised to spark a devastating recession and mass layoffs.” The Federal Reserve – the privately owned central bank of the U.S. – wants to screw us all some more. So the Fed claims it’s raising interest rates to fight inflation, but that isn’t why they’re doing it.

Economist Richard Wolff: Sanctions Against Russia, Inflation

European countries, as well as the United States, continue to be imperiled by an economic crisis following the imposition of sanctions on Russia. The policy has backfired spectacularly and has had worse economic ramifications on those levying the sanctions, than those being sanctioned. In this week’s episode, Lowkey speaks to respected U.S. economist Dr. Richard Wolff, discussing the links between the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the class war at home. Before exploring the people’s definition of inflation, Dr. Wolff contextualizes the economic crisis currently unfolding across the West. In the conversation, Lowkey and Dr. Richard Wolff expose ways economic policy can be a code term for class war. They delve into the way the cost of enmity towards Russia is being placed on the shoulders of the working class in the West, which recently experienced one of the worst crashes of capitalism in its history.

Michael Hudson On Debt Relief, Inflation, Ukraine And More

This is Ben Norton of Multipolarista. I’m joined by one of my favorite guests today, the brilliant economist Michael Hudson. And there are a lot of things that we plan on talking about today. We’re going to address the partial student debt relief in the United States, and the problem of debt, which is something that Professor Hudson has written a lot about. We’re going to talk about the inflation crisis, and some of the history of responses to the inflation that we’ve seen in the US. For instance, I’m going to pick Professor Hudson’s brain about Richard Nixon’s response. Nixon imposed price controls and froze wages for the first time since World War Two. We’re also going to talk about the history of the Volcker shock, when Paul Volcker, who was the head of the Fed, raised interest rates to a level never seen before.

We In Appalachia Are Done With Being A Sacrifice Zone

Appalachia won’t be thrown under the bus in a side deal to climate legislation. That’s why we’re going to the capital this week, for the “Appalachian Resistance Comes to DC“ rally, on September 8. Our message: we’re done with being a sacrifice zone. If you care about climate, you’ve got to care about us too. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s also the only way we can get better climate policies going forward. The wheelers and dealers who negotiated the Inflation Reduction Act need to work with those of us on the ground who lead this fight, rather than against us. The side deal proposed by Senator Joe Manchin includes the undermining of laws that protect us from the fossil fuel industry.

We’ve Effectively Taken A Pay Cut’: How Inflation Is Impacting Retail Workers

At the beginning of the year, a West Coast Target-based worker was excited to hear they would be getting a raise. The worker — – who uses they/them pronouns — has worked in retail for about five years, and couldn’t recall getting a raise at any of the other companies they’ve worked at. Their excitement evaporated, however, when they learned the raise was only $0.15. Thanks to decades-high inflation, the worker is finding it harder and harder to get by on Target wages, even with a small raise. But they are no longer able to afford all of their groceries on EBT, as they previously were able to. Inflation is crushing workers across all industries.

Manchin Side Deal Would Fast-Track Controversial Pipeline

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 16, is the biggest investment the U.S. government has made to date in fighting the climate crisis. Yet in order to persuade West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to support the landmark legislation, party leaders made a side deal with the pro-fossil-fuel Senator to pass additional legislation facilitating the permitting process for energy projects, including the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). The Mountain Valley Pipeline would carry fracked natural gas 303 miles through West Virginia and Virginia, according to the project website.

Strikes Across The UK As Regulator Lifts Energy Price Cap By 80%

A new wave of strikes are underway across the UK. From postal workers to barristers, organised labour is turning out on picket lines against the backdrop of looming energy cost hikes. Workers across the UK are fighting back by withdrawing labour, sharing their experiences and, on one occasion, surfing around ports at high speed! The strikes come as Don’t Pay, which is campaigning to encourage people to refuse to pay extortionate energy bills, reported an 80% hike had been nodded through by regulator Ofgem. Don’t Pay’s East London branch also announced a protest at Canary Wharf for Saturday 27 August. Postal workers are striking as part of the Communication Workers Union over pay. Royal Mail bosses have been paying themselves massive bonuses, even as the cost of living crisis has ramped up

Dockers At England’s Largest Cargo Port Strike Against Inflation

Things are heating up in the United Kingdom’s “summer of discontent” — the name that’s been given to the wave of strikes against falling wages resulting from inflation. London’s public transit network is paralyzed, and across the country only one train in five is running. Massive strikes in the transportation sector are playing out as walkouts —sometimes wildcat ones — erupting at refineries and Amazon facilities. Meanwhile, a growing number of unions in other sectors are voting to authorize strikes. The English bourgeois press reports that inflation is 10.1 percent (the same figure the French press reports), but that’s just what the bosses say. It doesn’t account for rent increases; adding rents, one of the key costs for the working class, inflation has hit 12.4 percent in August. And as prices rise, so too does the general combativeness of workers and the will to strike.

Argentinian Unions Mobilize Against Runaway Inflation

August 18 - Argentinian unions and social movements are marching today towards the National Congress to protest against runaway inflation and ‘speculators’. The march has been organized by the two largest union confederations; CGT and CTA. Their joint statement said; “Our country demands firm commitments to mitigate the social injustice that is suffocating us today (..) political actors must abandon petty electoral confrontation for the benefit of individual interests. Inflation has reached intolerable levels and is pulverizing the purchasing power of workers.” Sergio Palazzo, lawmaker for the ruling Frente de Todos (Front for All’) has backed the march and stated that “the intolerable action of the financial corporations have threatened the food rights of millions of Argentinians as well as the process of reactivating the productive economy”.

Why The Inflation Reduction Act Is Less A ‘Climate Bill’

The brother El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (aka Malcolm X) once explained, “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” The tale of two narratives associated with the recent signing into law of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) accentuates his words at a critical moment.   Communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis find themselves entrapped in a cycle of climate cataclysms and cumulative pollution derived from legacy and systemic environmental racism and classism. While attending a meeting in Bogota, Colombia with the newly elected Vice President, Francia Marquez, one of her advisors expressed to me that she was questioning why the demographics of those celebrating passage of a bill purported to address the climate crisis don’t match the demographics of those most impacted by the crisis?

Is The US Inflation Reduction Act A Case Of Too Little Too Late?

Eugene Puryear of BreakThrough News analyzes the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act which seeks to address inflation, climate change, and healthcare. The US Senate (and subsequently the House of Representatives) passed the Inflation Reduction Act that seeks to tackle issues of inflation, climate change and health care. Will the provisions in the law actually help address these issues? Will the Democrats gain an electoral advantage in the October mid-terms due to this law? Eugene Puryear of BreakThrough News explains.

NDN Collective Responds To House Passing Inflation Reduction Act

Rapid City, South Dakota – In response to today’s news that the House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, NDN Collective released the following statement: “To say this moment is bittersweet is an understatement,” said Jade Begay, climate justice director at NDN Collective. “On one hand, the IRA – which puts us on track to meet national climate goals by 2030 and will provide much-needed support around health care, jobs, and infrastructure – was only made possible by the tireless organizing of frontline and Indigenous communities, young people, and climate justice advocates. On the other hand, the IRA dismisses fundamental, decades-long demands by Indigenous, Black, Brown, and low income communities to end fossil fuel expansion and invest in a just transition to renewable energy."
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