The case of PG&E shows us yet again how dangerous it is when goods that should be public are sold for profit.
The Washington Post reported last week on a private phone call between writer Anand Giridharadas and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, an unlikely conversation between two people with quite different takes on capitalism. How might Dimon feel in private about the new Business Roundtable position that corporations should work to create value for all their stakeholders, not just shareholders?

“I think he really thinks he’s changed capitalism…it was beyond his understanding that voluntary virtue does nothing on its own,” Giridharadas said about the CEO and Roundtable chair.

Fortunately, we’re seeing plenty of movements demanding more than voluntary virtue. From the schoolyards of Chicago to the streets of Santiago in Chile, people are revolting against a world order that concentrates riches at the top and leaves everyone else to fend for themselves. More on Dimon and the divides he clearly doesn’t understand in this week’s issue.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
Facebook Twitter
A Journey Through an Unjust Health System
Breast cancer affects about one out of eight American women. Andrea Flynn became one of those women, diagnosed in May after seeing her doctor for some pain. From there, she went through a long and challenging process of treatment. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Flynn reflects on the reality of the U.S healthcare system and questions how all kinds of structural inequalities shape the experiences of patients who enter an American hospital.
Read More
Facebook Twitter
A CEO’s Defense: His Scientists Made Him Do It!
Late last year, Reuters reported that the global Big Pharma powerhouse Johnson & Johnson “knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder” — and kept that knowledge from consumers. J&J immediately disputed those charges in a series of full-page newspaper ads. But that didn’t stop lawsuits from thousands of cancer victims. Earlier this month, J&J CEO Alex Gorsky sat for a full-day deposition in one of those suits and emphasized that his company stands by the safety of its talc powders “unequivocally.” Two weeks later, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revealed that new FDA testing had discovered asbestos in a Johnson’s Baby Powder bottle. J&J the next day recalled 33,000 bottles. J&J flacks have since insisted that Gorsky deserves no blame in this entire Baby Powder situation since, as a lay person, he has to depend on scientists “to advise him.” What Gorsky does still apparently deserve: his $20.1 million 2018 compensation.
Facebook Twitter
How Much in ‘Inequality Tax’ Are You Paying?
What nation ranks as the world’s richest? A simple question to answer, right? Well, not so much, suggests the just-released tenth annual Global Wealth Report from the banking giant Credit Suisse. Everything turns out to depend on how we define “richest.” The nation that sports the world’s highest average wealth may not be the nation with the world’s richest average people. co-editor Sam Pizzigati, author of The Case for a Maximum Wage, has more.
Read More
This week on 

Lance Compa, When High-Road European Corporations Take the Low Road in the U.S. South. European multinationals have brought major investments to southern U.S. states. But they don’t always bring the labor rights standards they abide by in their home countries.

Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, The Racial Wealth Divide Hurts the Entire Middle Class. By bridging the racial wealth divide, we can reduce the inequality that’s holding down our entire country.

Elsewhere on the Web

Pam Martens and Russ Martens, WeWork’s Unraveling Is Another Indictment of Wall Street’s Universal Bank Model, Wall Street on Parade. More evidence that Wall Street banking has become little more than a thinly disguised wealth transfer system from the pockets of average Americans to the 1 percent.

Josh Boak, Meet the uber-rich who want a wealth tax, Associated Press. A new challenge to the mainstream economic narrative.

Jeff Bryant, How Charter-School Billionaires Corrupt School Leadership, Our Future. The ultra rich have turned school administration into a profession that helps create higher profits for private enterprises.

Eduardo Porter, Estate Tax Can Pay Off for States, Even if the Superrich Flee, New York Times. A new cost-benefit analysis.

Chile Learns the Price of Economic Inequality, New York Times. The basic reality behind massive protests in Santiago: Chile has the highest level of post-tax income inequality among the world's developed economies.
Facebook Twitter