MR Daily Review
1. Republicans prevent $35 private insurance cap on insulin from final version of Inflation Reduction Act.
Republicans are ghouls who don’t care if the average American lives or dies and they make that clear everyday. Most recently they highlighted their disdain by ripping an insulin price cap from the final version of the Inflation Reduction Act. Unfortunately not just Republicans are to blame, on Sunday the Senate parliamentarian decided a cap on private insurers was not allowed under the rules and was subject to a 60 vote threshold instead of the 50 allowed under the budgetary process known as reconciliation. Seven Republicans crossed party lines to vote for the measure but ultimately the measure came 3 votes short. It’s almost blase to attack Republicans for this sort of thing, but it’s important to highlight how depraved they are for absolutely no reason. There is no political support from any average voter for not voting for this. But there is plenty from capital that wants to keep extorting people who depend on insulin for as long as possible.
2. Monkeypox is a national disaster while Biden administration considers further action to stretch current vaccine supply.
Last week, the Biden administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency. They are now ‘preparing to move forward with a plan’ to stretch the limited supply of monkeypox vaccine doses by allowing providers to use a fraction of a dose per shot. Meanwhile, local authorities are declaring their own emergencies as cases rise, and they continue to face vaccine shortages. Hopefully the administration corrects course, and takes the necessary steps to address this health crisis. However, far too many have already gotten sick and have had little guidance on how to treat the illness. It is another reminder of the desperate need for federal level coordination and production of medical care, treatments, and other supplies that would facilitate a single-payer system, like Medicare for All. In addition, because of the expensive cost of healthcare in this country, many do not have a doctor they can go to when they are sick, increasing individual and population level risk of illness and high levels of spread.
3. Ukraine caused series of explosions to key Russian air-base in Crimea.
Explosions rocked the Russian air base located on the strategically important peninsula of Crimea, and forced an evacuation, said Russian officials. The blasts initially caused confusion, until the Ukrainian military confirmed they were responsible as part of their counteroffensive aimed at taking back southern Ukraine from Russian control. This marks the first offensive on a Crimean target of this stature and importance since Russia annexed the territory in 2014. Yahoo reported, “officials in Moscow have long warned that any attack on Crimea would trigger massive retaliation, including strikes on ‘decision-making centers’ in Kyiv.” At the beginning of the war, a common speculation was that Ukraine could end the conflict quickly be formally repudiating Crimea. Crimea is not only important because of its access to the sea, but also because of its heavy oil reserves. This attack highlights the importance of the area to Russia who has long been focused on the peninsula.
4. Tennessee Judge and DA who jailed a woman for voting are told GTFO by constituents.
In Shelby County, DA Amy Weirich subjected her constituents to an egregiously draconian criminal punishment system. On August 4, voters ousted Weirich and other similar officials, including Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael, that were known for jailing black and young residents at alarming rates. Here at the Millennial Review, we are of the firm opinion that all lawyers/prosecutors are bad, while some are much worse than others, and Weirich was particularly heinous. Despite there now being an abortion ban in effect in Tennessee, Weirich openly campaigned for a “fetal assault” bill which would have allowed for an even greater prosecution of pregnant people for any damage to a fetus. Her opponent, a Democrat named Steve Mulroy, vowed to make prosecuting abortion a “low priority” and defeated Weirich by a margin of 56 to 44 percent. In a further win, Mark Ward, a local judge who sentenced Pamela Moses to six years in jail for trying to vote, also lost his reelection bid. Weirich office had sought the outlandish sentence, even though Moses did not know her prior criminal conviction made her ineligible to vote. While the decision was overturned and charges were later dropped, it remains a disgusting abuse of office from both prosecutor and judge. Ultimately, voters in Shelby County turned out last week to hold their officials accountable, and chose candidates proposing a new way forward.
5. Wages up 5.2% in July prompting ghouls at the Fed and elsewhere to sound the alarm.
The Department of Labor announced Friday that wages grew by 5.2% in July and growth has exceeded 5% every month this year. These wage hikes give the Fed a useful tool – even though wage increases have nothing to do with price inflation, the Fed likes to use it this to fuel fears of the dreaded “wage-price spiral.” The discredited argument, championed by Milton Friedman, friend of mass murderer Augusto Pinochet, says that as prices rise, wages rise to meet them, so prices rise again, thus trapping us in an infaltionary cycle that eventually crashes the economy. This has never actually happened. Moreover, our current inflation is a result of market concentration of monopoly power – not workers wages that have not even kept up with inflation. In any case, the Fed will continue to use evidence of worker gains to bolster its argument that it must raise interest rates. This is the same play the Fed ran during the Volcker shocks, which derailed the economy and allowed capital to discipline labor back into submission. Another sign of the strength of labor in our current moment is Jerome Powell and others who have credited a “white hot labor market” with shaping their thinking on inflation. However, instead of being encouraged by these signs in the labor force, the Fed and other economists have vowed to nip the burgeoning labor re-awakening in the bud. Interest rate hikes directly impact workers and are directly aimed at stopping the wage growth trend in its tracks. Not only are workers impacted because they are more likely to need loans to pay for necessities like cars or houses precisely due to the failure of wages to keep up with the costs of living, but also because as soon as loans become more expensive employers usually start announcing layoffs. With inflation on the rise, we are getting a truly mask off moment with economists blatantly saying wage gains for the bottom earners are a bad thing. They aren’t doing it for genuine economic arguments, they’re doing it to because capital has got to discipline labor if they are going to continue to see exponential increase in profits.