This week we’re launching a “Care Economy Facts” hub, where you can find all the latest data on the intersection between the care crisis & economic, race, & gender disparities.
A nation in mass upheaval: Another name, Jacob Blake, we need to say. The vigilante murder of two protestors against police violence. Sports teams on wildcat strikes for racial justice, winning concessions from owners, as isolated “bubble” environments become hotbeds for activism. All this as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on toward 200,000 U.S. dead.

This same pandemic has exposed, among so much else, the flaws in our elder care system, with for-profit nursing homes particularly ill-equipped to handle the crisis. This week we feature a nursing home activist who’s mobilizing fellow caregivers to demand greater accountability and public investment for a care system that will help all of us age in dignity.

This week we’re also launching a Care Economy Facts online hub, a place where you can find all the latest data on the intersection between the care crisis and economic, race, and gender disparities. Read on for more from our team.

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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The Emerging Struggle to Put Caring Over Profit
In Plover, Wisconsin, Ann Klosinski became a volunteer legal guardian to vulnerable individuals in assisted living and nursing institutions after caring for her own mother for 14 years. She’s watched nursing homes prioritize profit over people, a prioritization particularly toxic during a pandemic that has overworked and underpaid care workers grappling with the risks of infection. Through the advocacy group Caring Across Generations, Klosinski and other caregivers are mobilizing to push elder care into this year’s election debate. As she notes: “We need more leaders who are committed to investing in care for all stages of our lives, so that we can live and age with dignity.”
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For Billionaires, Virtue-Signaling Ever So Difficult
Software CEO Larry Ellison — current net worth: $69 billion — can’t understand why the rest of us haven’t exactly been applauding the nobility of his philanthropy. A year ago, a peeved Ellison essentially asked for a do-over. He relaunched his charitable foundation and graced its website with a stirring personal pledge “to make sustainable change and to not be satisfied with results that fall short.” But we mere mortals, notes a new Vox analysis, have ample reason to be skeptical. Ellison now has his biographer — a fellow with no nonprofit experience — running his foundation. And Ellison’s current charitable rhetoric echoes what he was pledging decades ago — and never delivered. Instead Ellison has “basked in positive publicity for promises to donate millions and then retracted offers with little explanation.” He’s used his philanthropy, Vox adds, “to pursue everything from backing idiosyncratic pet projects to smoothing over disputes with angry shareholders.” In short, his track record amounts to “a case study of the shortcomings, loopholes, and lack of accountability that define Big Philanthropy.”
Wall Street Moving to Make a Mint Off the Mail
On top of all the other postal drama, now this: JPMorgan Chase has reportedly offered to lease space from USPS in exchange for the exclusive right to solicit postal banking customers. Americans for Financial Reform’s Raúl Carrillo is calling the JPMorgan bid a total distortion of what postal banking can and should be: a reliable, affordable financial alternative to profit-driven Wall Street banks and other predatory financial firms. JPMorgan’s move to run postal banking could hardly be more inappropriate, given the banking giant’s sorry record of racial discrimination. Activists have worked into the Democratic Party platform a proposal to create low-fee individual Federal Reserve accounts accessible through post offices, a colossally better approach than letting a Wall Street megabank hawk its wares within public infrastructure.
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Saving Aviation Without Enriching Airline Chiefs
The next economic calamity of the Trump regime’s Year Four? That will come October 1 when the federal coronavirus aid deal brokered last March for the airline industry expires. That deal poured $25 billion in emergency grants to the nation’s airlines. In return, the airlines agreed not to lay off any workers before October 1. At the time, that deal seemed to make sense to most everyone involved. By October 1, most industry players assumed, the pandemic would be fading. That, of course, hasn’t happened, and airline execs have begun announcing massive layoffs come October. So now what? More tax dollars for restoring the pre-corona aviation status quo? Or a new path to corona relief that helps us, to borrow a phrase, build back better? co-editor Sam Pizzigati has more.
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This week on 

Sarah Anderson, All the Latest on Trump’s War on Our Public Postal Service. The House has passed legislation to defend the Postal Service, but unless the Senate takes action, the postmaster general will be free to continue policies that have slowed the mail and raised concerns about mail-in voting.

Bama Athreya, The Future for Uber and Lyft Drivers if Their Employers Win the California Fight? Listen to Their Cambodian Counterparts. Gig workers the world over face false arguments about app-based business models providing “flexibility” and “independence.”

Elsewhere on the Web

Chuck Collins and Helen Flannery, In a Pandemic, We Need Democracy — Not Billionaire Charity, Inside Sources. How an emergency charity stimulus could move $200 billion off the sidelines to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Katy Lederer, A Gen-X Adviser to Biden Argues Equality Is Good for Growth, New York Times. The Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Heather Boushey sees extreme inequality as a direct threat to democracy.

Richard Wilkinson, How do we ‘build back better’ after coronavirus? Close the income gap, Guardian. Chronic stress lies at the heart of our vulnerability to poor health. The larger our income differences, the deeper the stress.

Darrick Hamilton and Naomi Zewde, Truth and Redistribution, Yes! How to fix the racial wealth gap, end plutocracy, and build Black power.

David Sirota and Andrew Perez, Under Neal, A Wall Street Tax Break Survives To Keep Enriching His Donors, TMI. A distressing case study that shows just how Wall Street’s financial giants get ostensibly “liberal” pols to bless their greed grabs.

Madison Darbyshire, The financial therapists helping wealthy people cope with change, Financial Times. The coronavirus pandemic has been especially unsettling for high net-worth clients, psychologists say, because money normally insulates the wealthy from life’s assaults.

Amy Hanauer and Lorena Roque, Missed Opportunity: Flimsy Paper Touts Flawed Program, Just Taxes. Giving enormous tax breaks to wealthy investors won’t relieve poverty. Having a competent government that ensures the basics like child care will.

Matt Grossman, How the Plutocrats Win from the Populist Right, Niskanen Center. An interview with political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pearson on the centrality of racial cleavages and racial resentment to plutocratic populism.

George Monbiot, Population panic lets rich people off the hook for the climate crisis they are fueling, Guardian. Rising consumption by the affluent has a far greater environmental impact than the birth rate in poorer nations.

Kate Kelly, ‘The Big Short 2.0’: How Hedge Funds Profited Off the Pain of Malls. New York Times. Wall Street is celebrating still another case of rich people getting fantastically richer off someone else’s misfortune.

Ben Phillips, Covid is a Great Unequalizer, But the Crisis Could Enable us to Build a More Equal Future, Inter Press Service. On the inverse relationship between the concentration of wealth and social contribution.
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We’re Hiring an Managing Editor!
The Inequality team at the Institute for Policy Studies works with partners to reverse the maldistribution of income and wealth that is undermining our democracy, fraying our social fabric, and destroying our planet. We’re looking for a new managing editor for the website and weekly newsletter, ensuring that the content stays fresh and meets high-quality standards for a broad, general audience. This full-time, full-benefit position will operate out of our office in Washington, D.C., pandemic permitting.