Americans simply do not want monied interests profiting off illness.
“Sorry not sorry.” That’s how Rep. Pramila Jayapal responded when reporters pointed out that her newly introduced Medicare for All bill has the share prices of our health insurance giants tumbling — and their CEOs scrambling. These health industry execs have come together under the innocuously titled “Partnership for America’s Health Care Future” in a desperate attempt to derail single-payer health care.

Those execs have good reason to worry. Their gravy train has hit a rough patch. Just think about how far our ideas about health care have advanced over the last few years. A decade ago, single-payer seemed politically unimaginable. Now, thanks to years of organizing, the biggest players in the industry fear single-payer may have become inevitable.

Americans simply do not want monied interests profiting off illness. That strikes me as a wonderfully healthy attitude — and another sign of the progress we’re making in our offensive against inequality.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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Teachers Urge Divestment from Private Prisons
Just over one year ago, West Virginia teachers began their historic state-wide strike, in the process kicking off a new era of education organizing. Educators around the country are continuing to strike for better teaching and learning conditions, but their fight for social justice has gone beyond bargaining with school boards and state lawmakers. Negin Owliaei has more on the push from teachers to divest their pensions from private prisons and detention centers — and the hedge funds that fund them.
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Don’t Try to Bulldoze Those Who Drive Bulldozers
In politics, money talks, and those with lots of money — like hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin — can get mighty peevish when anyone else tries to join the conversation. Griffin gave $1 million to Chicago mayoral candidate Bill Daley early last month, but then the Chicago union local that represents heavy equipment operators shelled out $714,000 for a series of anti-Daley TV ads. Griffin promptly dropped another $1 million on a grateful Daley, who promptly assured voters that “Ken Griffin doesn’t want anything from me.” The voters last week disagreed. Daley, the son of former Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley and the brother of former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, pulled in only 15 percent of the vote and didn’t even make the run-off in the 14-candidate field. Even so, Bill Daley remains grateful. His concession speech, one reporter notes, “most notably” thanked Griffin, the richest man in Illinois.
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A New Statistical Shell Game: Justifying Billionaires
America’s billionaires have suddenly realized they just may be facing an existential crisis. A good chunk of the American people, they now understand, would rather billionaires not exist. Our more pugnacious super rich have greeted this growing anti-billionaire sensibility with predictable right-wing scorn. But some daring conservatives are venturing into new ideological territory. They’re using the successes of Scandinavian nations — egalitarian pace-setters like Sweden and Norway — to justify America’s grand private fortunes. These nations, they point out, actually have more billionaires per capita than the United States. How can that be? Sam Pizzigati, author of The Case for a Maximum Wage, has the scoop on the right’s latest rationale for riches.
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This week on 

Max Moran, The Big Wall Street Giveaway the 115th Congress Hopes the 116th Won’t Notice. Despite shifting political tides in the house, Wall Street still has plenty to celebrate.

Tanya Wallace-Gobern, Black Workers Break Through Corporate Silence. Despite corporate censorship, Black workers are collectively challenging racism in the workplace and fighting silence with action and organizing.

Nanette Senters, GM Is Closing My Plant. What Are Politicians Going to Do About It? Senters gave GM 20 years of her life. In return they took her job — and the government keeps rewarding them for it.

Chuck Collins and Jessicah Pierre, The Role of Family Wealth in Reinforcing Generational Divides. An examination of one of the biggest financial riddles of the 30-something years: how can anyone afford to live in increasingly expensive cities?

Elsewhere on the web 

Gillian Tett, How income inequality affects our mental health, Financial Times. Drastic disparities of wealth hurt rich and poor alike.

Joe Pinsker, The ‘Hidden Mechanisms’ That Help Those Born Rich to Excel in Elite Jobs, Atlantic. The “bank of mom and dad” and much more.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield, Skilling Released from Prison After a Decade of Doing Time, Naked Capitalism. Former Enron CEO Jell Skilling paid for his crimes. But the CEOs who brought us the Great Recession remain at large. A financial industry veteran explains why.

David Leonhardt, How the Upper Middle Class Is Really Doing, New York Times. A counter to the distracting narrative that positions the top 10 percent and not the top 1 percent as the new American aristocracy.

Greg Sargent, An election all about our Gilded Age levels of inequality, Washington Post. An interview with economist Gabriel Zucman.

Christopher Petrella, Anand Giridharadas: What wealthy people do is rig the discourse, Guardian. In an age of extraordinary plutocratic philanthropy, we risk forgetting that this same class of people is also undermining the greater good on an ongoing basis.

Nomi Prins, Survival of the Richest, TomDispatch. America has become great again — at minting millionaires.
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