Daily Digest 6/24 – The Second Great Depression, Boomers Struggle To Save Enough For Retirement

Economy

The Second Great Depression (KV)

What will the recovery look like? At this fraught moment, no one knows enough about consumer sentiment and government ordinances and business failures and stimulus packages and the spread of the disease to make solid predictions about the future. The Trump administration and some bullish financial forecasters are arguing that we will end up with a strong, V-shaped rebound, with economic activity surging right back to where it was in no time. Others are betting on a longer, slower, U-shaped turnaround, with the pain extending for a year or three. Still others are sketching out a kind of flaccid check mark, its long tail sagging torpid into the future.

Over 700 cash-strapped cities halt plans to repair roads, water systems or make other key investments (TourGuideDC)

Cities had already predicted they would need about $500 billion from Washington to help cover the massive, unanticipated declines in tax revenue and other costs incurred from the pandemic, which has shuttered businesses and left millions of Americans out of work. But federal lawmakers have been unwilling to authorize such a cash infusion, forcing many cities to take drastic steps to balance their budgets for fiscal 2021, which for many governments begins on July 1.

Revealed: millions of Americans can’t afford water as bills rise 80% in a decade (Sparky1)

Millions of ordinary Americans are facing rising and unaffordable bills for running water, and risk being disconnected or losing their homes if they cannot pay, a landmark Guardian investigation has found.

Exclusive analysis of 12 US cities shows the combined price of water and sewage increased by an average of 80% between 2010 and 2018, with more than two-fifths of residents in some cities living in neighbourhoods with unaffordable bills.

Fed isn’t fueling U.S. inequality, Daly says (Cade D.)

Critics say those moves benefit the rich by boosting the price of assets like stocks, even as millions of the working poor lose their jobs and income. Increased national attention to racism after the killing of George Floyd in police custody last month has sharpened the public focus on the Fed’s role in exacerbating inequalities in the economic sphere.

Daly said the Fed’s policies are indeed saving jobs by repairing the “plumbing” of the financial system and helping companies maintain access to the financing that is critical to their operations.

Top US health official Fauci warns of ‘disturbing’ new US surge (tmn)

The White House has said the president’s comment about slowing testing was “in jest”. But on Tuesday the president appeared to contradict that, telling reporters: “I don’t kid.”

About 2.3 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus and at least 120,000 have died – more than any other nation.

Trump touts court ruling upholding push to require hospitals disclose secret rates (thc0655)

“Hospitals may be affected by market changes and need to respond to a market where consumers are more empowered, but the possibility that the nature of their negotiations with insurers might change is too attenuated from the compelled disclosure to make the Rule unlawful,” Nichols, who was appointed by Trump to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2019, wrote.

AHA General Counsel Melinda Hatton said in a statement that the organization would appeal the decision and seek an expedited review.

As The Next Wave Of Covid Hits (westcoastjan)

So there’s little incentive for Covid-19 to be handled properly: the rich are fine and pretty much safe, they just have to stay home a lot, in their big houses and multi-bedroom condominiums. They’re fine financially. What happens to other Americans is of little concern to them, so why not make them go back to work?

Something like a quarter to a third of small businesses are likely to be destroyed by this crisis. Whatever’s worth buying will be bought up for cents on the dollar by the rich, and they’ll consolidate further control over US real-estate.

‘Alarming number’: Boomers struggle to save enough for retirement, survey finds (TourGuideDC)

Employer-based 401(k) plans didn’t become readily available until the late 1990s, according to Collinson, and therefore younger generations had an advantage.

“Baby boomers were well in their careers when 401(k)s were invented,” Collinson said. “The overall retirement landscape has changed from defined benefit plans to 401(k) plans [and] boomers are the closest generation to retirement.”

The Paradox Of The Sudden Recession (LCM)

“I’m not totally sure we’re seeing a huge resignation as it relates to value—yet,” Short said during the June 11 event, hosted by The Food Institute. “Prior to going into the COVID-19 recession, what I started seeing from a conventional retail perspective was that conventionals were trying to emphasize the fact that they were fresh, and they were convenient, and they had a better offering than Walmart. So I think there had been kind of a psychology shift, well before COVID, to not necessarily be so competitive on price. There was this view that conventional operators didn’t need to match Walmart tit for tat, or within a certain price gap.”

Initial COVID-19 infection rate may be 80 times greater than originally reported (Chris M.)

“We analyzed each state’s ILI cases to estimate the number that could not be attributed to influenza and were in excess of seasonal baseline levels,” said Justin Silverman, assistant professor in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology and Department of Medicine. “When you subtract these out, you’re left with what we’re calling excess ILI – cases that can’t be explained by either influenza or the typical seasonal variation of respiratory pathogens.”

US nurses at for-profit hospital chain to strike over cuts and PPE shortages (Sparky1)

Erin McIntosh, a nurse in the code blue/rapid response department at the HCA-owned Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, California, for six years, is one of around 1,000 nurses represented by SEIU Local 121RN who are going on strike starting 26 June in protest of hospital understaffing during the pandemic, which they say violates California’s nurse-to-patient ratio laws.

Seattle mayor proposes $20M in cuts to police to help budget (TourGuideDC)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan will propose $20 million in cuts to the police budget in the remainder of 2020, the most of any department as the city attempts to fill a hole of about $400 million caused by the coronavirus. Durkan proposes slashing about 5% of the Seattle Police budget this year with an officer hiring freeze until a new plan is developed “reflecting community priorities for public safety,” The Seattle Times reported. Many of the protests that have dominated Seattle for weeks have demanded a 50% cut to the police department’s budget as a key goal. Durkan has asked the department to prepare models of what 20%, 30% and 50% budget cuts would look like. Also on Tuesday police were investigating the third shooting incident near a neighborhood protest zone in Seattle that has been occupied since a police station was largely abandoned after clashes with demonstrators over a week ago.

Residents Of Seattle’s CHOP District Are Being Denied Their Constitutional Rights (TourGuideDC)

The lawfully elected government of Seattle has turned the governance of the zone over to private parties. The Mayor describes herself as being in partnership with various private groups controlling CHOP: “[the city] will continue to make changes on Capitol Hill in partnership with Black-led community organizations, demonstrators, small businesses, residents, and trusted messengers who will center de-escalation.”

Pentagon War Game Includes Scenario For Military Response To Domestic Gen Z Rebellion (Sparky1)

Gen Z are often described as seeking independence and opportunity but are also among the least likely to believe there is such a thing as the “American Dream,” and that the “system is rigged” against them. Frequently seeing themselves as agents for social change, they crave fulfillment and excitement in their job to help “move the world forward.” Despite the technological proficiency they possess, Gen Z actually prefer person-to-person contact as opposed to online interaction. They describe themselves as being involved in their virtual and physical communities, and as having rejected excessive consumerism.

Oregon county issues face mask order that exempts non-white people (thc0655)

“For many black people, deciding whether or not to wear a bandanna in public to protect themselves and others from contracting coronavirus is a lose-lose situation that can result in life-threatening consequences either way,” ReNika Moore, director of the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, told CNN.

Trevon Logan, who is black, said orders to wear face coverings are “basically telling people to look dangerous given racial stereotypes that are out there.”

Authorities Transferred Hundreds Of People Between Shadowy Immigration Prisons, Ignoring Coronavirus Threat (Sparky1)

People transferred from Taft and family members who spoke with The Intercept described packed airliners flown out of Bakersfield airport with hundreds aboard. Many were sent to the North Lake Correctional Facility in Michigan, run by the private prison giant GEO Group. According to people inside, the prison administration was wholly unprepared to deal with the influx.

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