subject: Wolff: "Economic Update: Signs of System Decline".
My take-away from the first part of this:
1. Something I think we all know, but it bears repeating (the numbers can be difficult to remember sometimes): The United States, a very wealthy country with a very sophisticated and well-equipped medical system, has maybe 4.5% of the world's population -- and 20% of the world's COVID-19 deaths.
I'd just add that this mainly happens because of our profit-driven mass media system. As the size of a business scales up, exploitation *always* becomes more profitable than quality of service.
2. Capitalists love to pretend that climate change isn't real, or it won't be that bad, or we can't do anything about it.
HOWEVER: One of the largest finance firms in existence just paid $2 billion to acquire a company whose expertise is helping companies deal with climate change -- including how to profit from it.
Shorter capitalism: don't ever *solve* systemic problems; there's no money in that. What you do is figure out how to be a better parasite, how to stay on top of the garbage heap you're helping the world to become.
3. The Build Back Better plan costs a lot for the same reason that car maintenance costs you more if you skimp on basic maintenance. It's the new brake-drums you need because you didn't want to have the pads replaced. It's the engine work you need because you didn't get the oil changed.
4. White Republicans are afraid that nonwhite people, if their incipient voting majority is able to express itself electorally, will treat them the same way they've treated those nonwhite people since the country was founded.
I'd say they're wrong, but I suppose they can be forgiven for thinking everyone is as terrible as they are. (They cannot, however, be forgiven for destroying the democratic process in response to those fears. That's just straight-up selfishness.)