The New York Times has just prominently featured an analysis of the week since the racist riots in Charlottesville that salutes “a surprising group of Americans” for taking “the risk to speak truth to power.” And what “surprising group” did the Times have in mind? The Charlottesville locals who stood up to the hate groups?

No, the Times salute went to America’s CEOs for affirming, as JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon put it, that the “equal treatment of all people” must remain “one of our nation's bedrock principles.”

We’re pleased that Dimon and other CEOs who stepped down from Donald Trump’s business advisory councils feel that way. We’d be even more pleased if they began acting that way and stopped profiteering, as Dimon’s bank does, off practices — like mass incarceration — that deepen the unequal treatment of all people. Dimon took home $28 million last year, over 1,800 times the take-home of a minimum-wage worker.

We have lots more on the inequalities that drive horrors like the Charlottesville riots in this week’s

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
Street Heat and the Trump CEO Council Shutdown
The CEOs who made up two White House advisory councils have fled like rats on a sinking ship. Their exodus — a dramatic rebuke of Donald Trump — came within 48 hours of the incendiary August 15 press conference where the President praised some of the participants of last week’s white supremacist rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia. But many of the CEOs on these councils had been under heavy pressure, well before Charlottesville, to disavow Trump’s agenda of hate and racism. That pressure came from a range of grassroots activists. co-editor Sarah Anderson has that story.
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A ‘Passionate’ Billionaire Plays the KKK Card
Billionaires don’t like to be contradicted, particularly on the public policies they’ve chosen to champion. Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb has been championing charter schools, the controversial education “reform” that many critics see as a danger to quality free public education for all. Those critics include New York state senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Loeb earlier this month lashed out against her, charging that “hypocrites” like Stewart-Cousins, an African American, “do more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.” The resulting public revulsion against Loeb’s comments forced a quick backtrack. Noted the billionaire: “I regret the language I used in expressing my passion for educational choice.” But Loeb should be regretting even more, say education activists, his “passion” for charters, a backdoor to school privatization that has only gained political traction because billionaires like him have been so “passionate” in support.
On Sarah Anderson leans into summer’s heat with a timely piece on how air conditioning unites and divides us. Sarah also probes the efforts of three behind-the-scene billionaires working to help boost the alt-right into the mainstream.

Also on Josh Hoxie looks at an insightful study on the impact of the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality on children born to economically marginalized families, and Jessicah Pierre reminds readers that, yes, we still do desperately need affirmative action and a whole lot more to put families of color on a fairer footing.

On the national legislative front, Bob Lord breaks down the latest Republican tax gambit, a predictable and altogether ruthless giveaway to the ultra wealthy. Topping off the latest offerings: A new Chuck Collins study explores practical solutions to rising inequality.

Elsewhere on the web, writers are tying America’s growing economic divide to the rise of emboldened white supremacists. Bethany Moreton examines, in the Boston Review, the racist roots of the market fundamentalism that has helped turbocharge the concentration of America’s wealth and income. In Jacobin, Michael Phillips traces the racism and elitism of the alt-right’s Richard Spencer to a worldview common among the rich in Spencer’s native Dallas. Vox analyist Matt Yglesias shows how Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric is distracting his base from a plutocratic agenda — and the rich CEOs who benefit from it.

In broader economic inequality news, Thomas Piketty and his team have released a brilliant new study on the huge share of national wealth that billionaires in Russia have gained over recent years. Economist Dean Baker reflects on how wealthy America’s richest would be without rich people-friendly patent and copyright protection, and British blogger Chris Dillow explains why we need to think less about how to increase social mobility and more about how to abolish class divisions.
The Big Winner in Wisconsin’s Foxconn Deal
People who’ve followed the career of the Taiwanese billionaire Terry Gou used to see him as a one-trick pony. Gou made his billions, observers felt, simply by squeezing workers making electronics at the enormous factories he ran in China. But Gou doesn’t just squeeze workers. He squeezes taxpayers, too, and his biggest squeeze ever — a Donald Trump-backed deal with Wisconsin governor Scott Walker — has just cleared its first big legislative hurdle. If Gou gets his way, the Foxconn corporation he chairs could eventually collect some $3 billion from Wisconsin taxpayers. co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more on Gou and the U.S. politicians playing giveaway footsie with him.
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