America – land of massive inequality

The top 1% of Americans have taken $50 trillion from the bottom 90%.  This has been done by way of unemployment, scant benefits, unfair tax laws, and lopsided investment and political give-aways of our money. Now, the RAND Center has put a number on just how much wealth the top 1 percent has stolen from …

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Addendum to yesterday’s post: Unhappy teenagers

Britain has the least happy teenagers in Europe,  at least that’s what a new survey by The Children’s Society tells us. Why might this be? The charity’s chief executive, Mark Russell, believes he knows the reason. It’s down to “the increase in child poverty”, he says. There are two big problems with this explanation. The …

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The holocaust was not only about Jewish people

When you read about the Holocaust consideration is mainly given to anti-semitism.  Added is often the information that “millions of others” were also killed. In reality Nazi racism extended to Roma and Sinti people, (Gypsies, as they are otherwise known).  In the former Czechoslovakia 90% of the Roma and Sinti people were murdered, and those …

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The death of menswear

The middle market is the toughest part of every industry, not just fashion.  Even so, it’s striking how much pain is being felt in the “middle stratum” of US menswear, where “bankruptcies are piling up like pawed-over pairs of trousers at a clearance sale”. Names like Barneys, Brooks Brothers and J.Crew are all in “very …

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Too many people going to university?

This year, in the US, 30.2% of 18-year-olds have university places. Almost any sort of professional job requires a degree these days, and the graduate premium (the earning difference between those who did and didn’t go to university) is £10,000 a year on average. The trouble is, however, that “most people aren’t average” and, according …

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Conspiracy theories

The modern conspiracy theory is usually traced back to Augustin Barruel, a former Jesuit who argued in the 1790s that the French Revolution was the result of a clandestine intrigue dating back centuries, carried out by secret societies: Freemasons, Templars, Bavarian Illuminati, and so on. Barruel later expanded his theory to include the Jews, giving …

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London: Embracing tech distancing

Commuters, as a tribe, tend to be “unloved”.  Victorians called them “the dark horde”. T.S. Eliot compared them to the souls in hell. But now suddenly we need them, desperately. “Come back, commuters. Rally to your city. It needs your fares, your rents, your Starbucks, your Prets, your nights on the tiles.” Without them, cities …

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US universities are charging full fees for ‘virtual’ class this fall. This is absurd

Universities with huge endowments are pretending remote learning is the same experience as in person teaching.  Harvard, for instance, is offering the bulk of their courses online, as are the University of California system, Yale, and Princeton. What they all are not doing is reducing tuition, even though a significant portion of the value these …

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Entering the country

“The Trump administration is reportedly considering  blocking US citizens and permanent residents from re-entering the US if an official “reasonably” believes they could have Covid-19. Once upon a time, an American passport let you cross borders with ease – now it makes you persona non grata around the world. Not only are most Americans banned …

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US universities are charging full fees for ‘virtual’ class this fall.

Schools with huge endowments are pretending remote learning is the same experience as learning together with your fellow students. Excuse me?  Harvard is one of the colleges who will offer the bulk of their courses online. But they refuse to reduce the cost of tuition. Colleges and universities are in a bind. Coronavirus continues to rage …

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Police violence Is enabled by massive spending

The Black Lives Matter protest movement shows again why America needs to defund bloated and militarized police departments. The brutal videotaped killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, has pushed Americans to the limit of what they will tolerate from police.  While many of the problems can be laid at the feet …

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Fertility rate: ‘jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born”

Falling fertility rates mean that nearly every country could have shrinking populations by the end of the century. 23 nations – including Spain and Japan – are expected to see their populations halve by 2100.  Countries will also age dramatically, with as many people turning 80 as there are being born. The fertility rate – …

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Oxford is tying itself in knots over racism

Oxford University apparently has plans for “trauma dispensation” and the “decolonisation of science degrees”. ( Excuse  me!  What on earth is trauma dispensation and when was science “ colonized”?  Ed.) ”Stepford students! Snowflakes! Students are mocked but in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests, it is vice-chancellors who spot trauma everywhere and want to …

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Taking advantage of the crisis

Foreign cities are taking advantage of the crisis to re- think their cities.  Mayors from Bogota to Budapest are exploiting the lack of parked cars by installing bike lanes in every likely spot.  Athens is widening its sidewalks, enlarging public squares and  banning traffic beneath the Acropolis. Melbourne is trying to put shopping , leisure …

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Fake news

Fake news may not be as widespread as thought. An analysis of the daily media consumption of people in the US found fake news made up 0.15 per cent of time people spend consuming media. The study found traditional news outlets may be a greater source of misinformation than fake news (Science Advances, advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/14/eaay3539  (New …

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