A note from Michael D. Yates

MR Online | April 09, 2020

Michael D. Yates in Santa Fe, NM on March 10, 2020.

I am worried, shocked, sad, angry. At 74 and with a pre-existing condition, Covid-19 certainly could mean death. I am more afraid than I have ever been in my life. And while I have been chronicling society’s ill for years, the current moment astounds me; it is well beyond my prior imagining. Every day brings news more awful than the day before. I find it hard to cope, to do anything but hypnotically read one sad story after another. A sometimes-incoherent rage follows. Not only at the obvious targets but at so many whom I thought would have more sense, less ego, more insight. It is hard to be hopeful now. I am not.Read More »

The pandemic will unleash worst recession since Great Depression, says IMF chief

| April 10, 2020\

The coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world will turn global economic growth “sharply negative” in 2020, triggering the worst fallout since the 1930s Great Depression, with only a partial recovery seen in 2021, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.

Georgieva painted a far bleaker picture of the social and economic impact of the new coronavirus than even a few weeks ago, noting governments had already undertaken fiscal stimulus measures of $8 trillion, but more would likely be needed.

There is “tremendous uncertainty around the outlook” and the duration of the pandemic, Georgieva said.Read More »

Coronavirus Pandemic: Rice and wheat prices surge may threaten global food security

  | April 10, 2020

Increased panic buying of food due to coronavirus lockdowns has led to price spikes for the world’s two staple grains – rice and wheat. Reuters data showed, rice prices are now the highest since late April 2013.

Importers have rushed to stockpile the goods, while exporters have curbed shipments.

The price of rice has hit seven-year highs, while wheat futures have risen by around 15 percent since the second half of March.Read More »

COVID-19 Could Plunge Half a Billion People Into Poverty: Oxfam

teleSUR | April 09, 2020

The worst-case serious scenario would be a 20 percent contraction in income, resulting in a rise by 434 million in the number of people living in extreme poverty

The worst-case serious scenario would be a 20 percent contraction in income, resulting in a rise by 434 million in the number of people living in extreme poverty | Photo: EFE

The report warned that the economic crisis would be “deeper than the 2008 global financial crisis.”

As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc across the world, with over 1.5 million reported cases and over 95,000 deaths, the international organization Oxfam warned Thursday that the economic fallout could push around half a billion people into poverty.

Read More »

Nearly 17 million have lost their jobs, overwhelming state unemployment agencies

by Mark Gruenberg

People’s World | April 09, 2020

Nearly 17 million have lost their jobs, overwhelming state unemployment agencies

A worker, right, hands out paper unemployment applications, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at Babcock Park in Hialeah, Fla. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said it is working to expand online capacity with additional servers after its system crashed, even as it began accepting paper applications to accommodate more claims while getting staffing help from other state agencies. | Wilfredo Lee / AP

WASHINGTON—Total unemployment claims since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic have now topped 16.8 million. For the week ending April 4, an additional 6.6 million new claims were filed. New information in March exceeded 15 million, total, the federal government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis said on April 9.

The only reason the number did not set a new record is because the BEA recalculated the prior week’s total upward to 6.87 million.

“16.8 million apply for unemployment benefits in three weeks! The labor market has been upended,” said Elise Gould, the policy director of the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute on Twitter.

Read More »

INTERNET MARKET: U.S. allows Google Internet Project to advance only if Hong Kong is cut out

A Journal of People report

Major efforts are going on in the global internet market. Google subsidiary agrees to pursue internet “diversification” in Asia to block China access to U.S. market. The global internet continues to disintegrate into regional internets.

The Wall Street Journal reported on April 8, 2020:

U.S. officials granted Google permission to turn on a high-speed internet link to Taiwan but not to the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, citing national-security concerns in a ruling that underscores fraying ties between Washington and Beijing.Read More »

Ghebreyesus: ‘Africa Will Not Be Testing Ground for Any Vaccine’

teleSUR | April 09, 2020

Read More »

U.S.: “Who’s Going to Pay For it?” A Dying Patient’s Last Words Before Being Placed on a Ventilator

by Alan Macleod

MintPress News | April 06, 2020

Coronavirus healthcare feature photo

Who is going to pay for it? Those were the last words a patient dying of COVID-19 asked Derrick Smith, a certified registered nurse anethetist in New York City. The man appeared more concerned about the potential cost he and his family might incur than the loss of his own life. Smith shared his experience in a now viral Facebook post about what he described as the worst experience of his professional career.Read More »

Introduction: The Intersections of Capitalism and American Empire

by James Parisot

Journal of Historical Sociology | March 08, 2020

1 INTRODUCTION

There was a time when many American white politicians and settlers loved empire. They embraced empire. They knew they were building an empire and took pride in it. William Henry Drayton, for instance, stated in 1776, as the idea of an independent United States was forming, “the Almighty setteth up; and he casteth down: He breaks the Sceptre, and transfers the Dominion: He has made Choice of the present Generation to erect the American Empire.”1 Yet by 2003, as bombs began to drop on Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld famously claimed “We don’t seek empires. We’re not imperialistic. We never have been.”2 Of course, Rumsfeld was highly criticized, as it seemed clear that no other words than ‘imperialism’ and ‘empire’ were appropriate to make sense of American intervention abroad as the ‘war on terror’ began.3 But this suggests that by this time the memory of empire had faded. This is also seen in, for example, a recent book titled How to Hide an Empire which argues that the US appears to be, in fact, an empire, although it is often not perceived to be one.4 While the US began as an empire and continues to be an empire, from this perspective, the self‐image of the United States which was cultivated through an anti‐imperial political revolution against the British and through the categorization of western land as ‘territory’ rather than ‘empire’ hid the darker history of imperialism constitutive of the US. But this analysis misses the fact that for the first half of its existence or so, up through at least the mid‐to‐late 1800s, many Americans did in fact embrace ‘empire’ with self‐assurance: they knew what they were doing and felt no need to hide it.5Read More »