MR Daily Review
1. Some call recession official as U.S. GDP growth falls for second quarter in a row.
Earlier this week Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated he felt calls of recession were too early. The very next day (today) the business press lit up with calls of recession as U.S. gross domestic product has fallen for the second quarter in a row. These calls miss the fact that the economy has been increasingly unlivable for working people for decades, but particularly post-2008 and post-COVID, especially now that any and all COVID support is firmly in the past (as though the pandemic were which it very much is not). Like the stock market, which according to the same business press “rallied despite recession concerns”, the GDP is not an accurate measure of how the economy treats working people. However, a broader recession which it may indicate clearly hurts working people far more than capital. Workers just can’t win.
2. Biden-Manchin “climate bill” dubbed “all in energy bill” by Manchin thanks to friendly posture toward the fossil fuel industry.
One thing we’ve said here at Millennial Review for a long time during the Manchin-Schumer-BBB-Current bill saga, is that anything that passes muster with Manchin is inherently not worth passing. Not because of Manchin as a personality but because of his toxic pro-billionaire, pro-fossil fuel industry politics. Joe Manchin attached federal wind and solar investments to proportionate fossil fuel investment. Specifically calling for increased off-shore drilling and drilling on federal land. Manchin’s allegiance has always been with the fossil fuel industry and calling this a climate victory is insulting in many ways. It’s a symbolic victory for a party that consistently struggles to provide anything substantive in a positive way. There is pretty of substance when it comes to catering to corporate America (in this case the fossil fuel industry), the people who really call the shots in D.C.
3. Massive flooding in Kentucky, Missouri, and elsewhere shows climate catastrophe is already here.
Deadly floods in Eastern Kentucky, the St. Louis Missouri area, and elsewhere, have left at least 8 dead and hundreds of homes destroyed. These are early estimates and the floods are ongoing. They are also historic, once in a lifetime surely to be matched numerous times in our lifetimes. That’s the reality of climate catastrophe. It’s not something that’s coming years from now, it’s something that’s destroying lives right now. It’s quite literally ending lives. The floods were caused by massive rains breaking records and causing floods to do the same. Hundreds of people have been rescued and evacuated from their homes. It’s devastating and words don’t quite capture how awful it truly is. Especially considering the broader trajectory of massive climate fueled disasters we’ve seen in recent years. Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, they’re all an increasingly devastating part of modern life and this is just the latest.
4. Gas prices fall 19 cents in a week, inching closer to $4.00 nationally.
Gas prices are still $4.44 nationally but have dropped over 50 cents in the last few weeks as they make their way closer to $4. Gas is most expensive on the West Coast with California clocking in at over $6.00 a gallon still and most affordable in the South East with prices below $4.00 a gallon once again. Gas prices in many ways set the tone for the rest of the economy and by many accounts are the main driver of inflation as well. They’re also controlled by a cartel of oil companies and a literal cartel in the form of OPEC that leave consumers at the whims of the powerful yet again. Years ago crude oil prices were similar to where they sit today but they didn’t push gas prices through the roof as we’ve seen in the last few months. That increase is due to corporate greed and conglomerated corporate power that allows the greedy to squeeze the rest of us. Prices going down is a good thing but if that was happening on the back of strict antitrust enforcement it would be even better.
5. Trump calls for execution of drug dealers in D.C. speech.
On the campaign trail in 2016 Donald Trump referred to former president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous drug policies longingly and vowed to do something similar in the United States. Specifically calling for the death penalty for drug trafficking. In 2017 he called Rodrigo Duterte, to praise the country’s insane drug policy that resulted in the killing of more than 12,000 people. Axios reported that he suggested executing drug dealers in the U.S. on numerous occasions. This week in a speech in Washington D.C. Donald Trump renewed that call, just in time for rumors of his 2024 campaign. Trump has flirted with authoritarianism up to and including a coup attempt. We should take him at his word and appreciate his ability to bring the Republican Party along with him. This is a disaster rhetorically, lets hope it doesn’t become a disaster in policy.