People around the world are mounting up to fight back against the corporate interests that have rigged the global economy for far too long.
Plutocracy scored a major win last week. The U.S. Supreme Court dealt organized labor a long-expected blow with Janus v. AFSCME, a decision that climaxes a generation-long attack on the worker right to effective union representation. But our plutocrats shouldn’t be getting too excited. People around the world are rising up against the corporate interests that have rigged the global economy with cases like Janus.

Last week saw this movement generate two dramatic victories. In a New York City congressonal primary, Latina democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat an entrenched, well-funded political-machine incumbent by arguing that “in a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live.”

In Mexico, a new citizen’s movement has just propelled Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the presidency. One major reason for this progressive success: his promise to take on Mexico’s vast economic divide.

Grassroots triumphs like these should give our plutocrats pause. We’ll have more on the opposition they face in the weeks ahead.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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Toys 'R' Us Workers Take on Private Equity Vultures
Toys ‘R’ Us turned off the lights in its remaining stores for the last time on Friday. The private equity predators that saddled the company with billions in debt walked away with hefty bonuses. But workers, including many who had spent decades at the iconic toy store, received far less. Those workers aren’t letting their stores close without a fight for fair severance — and consequences for the Wall Street firms that put them out of a job. co-editor Negin Owliaei has the story.
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A Big Bond Trader with a Serious Inability to Bond
Billionaire bond market guru Bill Gross used to manage $222 billion in assets. This past May, a big bet on German bonds that bounced the wrong way brought the assets in the bond fund he currently manages down to $2.2 billion. But Gross has an excuse. The 74-year-old has a distraction: an incredibly bitter divorce. He and his ex-wife Sue have each had restraining orders issued against the other. Bill has accused Sue of threatening him with a knife. Sue has charged that Bill has deployed “an army of spies” to surveil her and harass her visitors. How nutsy has this divorce become? Sue won custody of the couple’s three cats, but Bill has visitation rights. The lesson from this lunacy? A Los Angeles Times account suggests one: Watch out when two disputants each “have virtually unlimited wealth at their disposal.” The couple return to court this week.
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Why Janus Figures to Juice U.S. Income Inequality
The U.S. Supreme Court’s just-announced decision in Janus surprised no one who pays attention to America’s highest judicial panel. Every analyst following the case expected the Supremes to rule against America’s public sector unions. And that’s exactly what the high court did. The impact from the decision? That will surprise no one who pays attention to how modern economies work: Janus will leave the United States still more unequal. Any decision that weakens our unions’ capacity to bargain on behalf of workers, even mainstream economists now recognize, inevitably concentrates wealth at our economic summit. co-editor Sam Pizzigati, author of The Case for a Maximum Wage, has more.
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This week on 

Sarah Anderson, Unions Have Survived Tough Times Before. My ancestor’s 19th century story is a reminder of how labor unions have bounced back from even bigger hits than the recent Supreme Court ruling.

Manuel Perez-Rocha, Failed Economic Policies Have Contributed to Asylum Seekers. Many of the families detained at the U.S.-Mexico border have lost their livelihoods as the result of reforms that benefit elites in the United States and Latin American countries.

Todd Larsen, The Public Has Been Ignored for Too Long on Pipelines. The government’s own watchdogs agree: Regulators have been ignoring local communities and siding with industry way too often.

Juliette Legendre, Emmanuel Macron’s ‘Extreme Centrism’ Is a Threat to Democracy. Hiding behind appeals to ‘rationalism,’ the French leader seeks to ‘fix’ the French economy by cozying up to a tiny, binge-eating wealthy elite.

Elsewhere on the web 

Nick Hanauer, Want to Expand the Economy? Tax the Rich! American Prospect. A wealthy American argues that if Democrats want to win big in November, they need to do more than just denounce trickle-down.

Chuck Collins, How to Restore Taxes on Inheritances, American Prospect. With the estate tax weakened, this may be the moment to pivot to an inheritance tax.

Sam Pizzigati, Minimum wage? It's time to talk about a maximum wage, Guardian. Conservatives may laugh off the idea of capping income. But the idea has a distinguished history.

Josh Hoxie, What Ocasio-Cortez’s Win Says About the Rise of the Left, Fortune. Progressive candidates ready to make change are winning elections and changing the dynamic of electoral politics.

Chuck Collins, A Lost Opportunity to Help Small Business, American Prospect. For small businesses, the benefits of the Tax Act are peanuts. Nearly half of the savings go to people making over $1 million a year.

Katrina vanden Heuvel, Trump’s tax-cut scam will only deepen racism and inequality, Washington Post. Americans deserve better than a tax scam that exacerbates structural racism and inequality.

Paul Gleason, How Higher Taxes Can Fight Inequality While Promoting Growth, Pacific Standard. Two new books on economic history and theory suggest the vital importance of progressive taxation.

Stephanie Savell, How America's Wars Fund Inequality at Home, TomDispatch. In wars past, Congress raised taxes on the rich to pay for its conflicts. Not so since 2001.

Trillion Dollar Inheritance: The World’s Biggest Family Fortunes, Bloomberg News. The three richest clans globally all hail from the United States: the Walton, Koch, and Mars families.
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The Case for a Maximum Wage!
Modern societies set limits on everything from how fast motorists can drive to how many ducks hunters can shoot. But we don’t limit incomes. Should we? Would limiting income address the inequality that ails us more effectively than conventional approaches to narrowing our vast economic divides? Could a cap on income — a “maximum wage” — ever become politically practical?

All these questions deeply matter. That some people are making far too much has become not just a problem. This inequality has become the problem, a social cancer that’s coarsening our cultures, distorting our democracies, and even limiting how long we live.

This is a cancer we can conquer. Egalitarians worldwide, Sam Pizzigati details in The Case for a Maximum Wage, are exploring promising new approaches to capping income. They’re leveraging the power of the public purse, fighting to deny government contracts, subsidies, and tax breaks to enterprises that pay their top executives more in a morning than their workers can earn in a year — or even a career.

These grassroots struggles point us toward a grander goal: a world with income ceilings set as a multiple of income floors. A world without the super rich. A better world for us all. readers who order before July 31 can get 30 percent off the cover price. Just use promo code PIZ18.