Author: Bryce Covert

Meet the women going on strike to protest Donald Trump

“Women have the power to disrupt systems, outside the home and inside the home.” Women protesting outside of Trump Tower in October. CREDIT: AP Photo/Richard Drew The election made Ann want to do something big and bold. As a working mother who is also a first-generation Muslim immigrant — and who declined to give her full name for fear of President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to create a Muslim registry — she has much to be concerned about. “The recent election and just all the negative commentary and hateful remarks around immigration, immigrants, and Muslims and people of color really has impacted me,” she said. “All the rhetoric around taking away women’s reproductive freedoms, even such basic freedoms as access to contraception, the thought of not having that is frightening.” “Even the thought of the Muslim registry…the thought of registering my child, it gives me goosebumps even just saying it,” she added. So on January 20 and 21, inauguration weekend, she will not just be joining a March in Seattle that’s affiliated with the Women’s March on Washington. She is also committed to going on strike. While she works in health care and says she can’t leave her patients for a day, she’s going to go on strike from all the unpaid labor she does. For those two days, she plans to refuse to do all the housework and will step back from primary parenting for her four-year-old...

Read More

What both Sprint and Trump get out of his false claims about creating jobs

Sprint has reason to be hopeful that the Trump administration will let it get away with a failed mega merger. President-elect Donald Trump speaking to reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump made a huge announcement: because of his presidency, Sprint has decided to bring back or create 5,000 jobs in the United States, while satellite startup OneWeb will create another 3,000. The claim, however, was false. Those jobs are part of a $50 billion investment from SoftBank, which owns 80 percent of Sprint and has made a large investment in OneWeb, that was previously announced as part of a deal with a Saudi investment fund before Trump won the presidency. Meanwhile, not all of the jobs promised by Sprint will be at the company itself, but instead at contractors. But it’s in both the company’s interests and Trump’s to create glowing, if misleading, headlines about cooperation between the administration and the corporation. For Sprint, cozying up to Trump is almost certainly related to the hope that it can get approval of its previously failed attempt to merge with T-Mobile. Sprint was in the process of making a bid to buy T-Mobile in 2014, and thus combining the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the country, but ended up abandoning the plan in the face of regulatory opposition from the Department of...

Read More

Headlines on Carrier deal reflect Trump spin, ignore reality

President-elect Donald Trump speaking at Carrier on Thursday. CREDIT: (AP Photo/Darron Cummings The media handed Trump a PR victory on Carrier by focusing on his words and not his actions. On Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump held an event in Indiana to tout a deal he had just finalized with United Technologies, the parent company to air conditioning and heating giant Carrier. The company had announced plans to move all of its Indiana production to Mexico starting next year, eliminating 2,100 American jobs. On the campaign trail, Trump had promised harsh retribution for such a move, pledging to levy a big tariff on its imports. But that promise disappeared in the actual deal. United Technologies and Carrier will suffer no penalties, according to all reports on the deal, even though 1,300 jobs are still moving to Mexico. Instead, the company has been given a state economic incentive package worth $7 million over ten years and a promise from the Trump administration to lower the corporate tax rate and undo “most” business regulations, in Trump’s words. Yet the day after his speech, prominent media outlets ran with headlines saying that Trump is threatening to crack down on companies that move production offshore. They focused on his threat of “consequences,” despite the deal he actually struck with Carrier that includes no such consequences and despite other parts of his speech where he promised...

Read More

Get to know the incoming Treasury Secretary’s ‘foreclosure mill’ bank

Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci Steve Mnuchin ran a bank that foreclosed on tens of thousands of people, many who tried to stay in their homes. President-elect Donald Trump officially picked his man to be the next Treasury Secretary on Wednesday: Steve Mnuchin. Mnuchin’s most recent background is in Hollywood, and he’s also an alumni of Goldman Sachs — making him an interesting pick for a man whose closing campaign ad railed against the “global establishment” and featured images of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Manhattan’s Wall Street. But Mnuchin’s heaviest baggage may be from his tenure as owner and chairman of the bank OneWest. A “foreclosure machine” Along with other Goldman Sachs bankers, Mnuchin helped to buy what was left of mortgage lender IndyMac in 2009 after it had collapsed amid the mortgage meltdown. The bank had been taken over by the FDIC after its binge on subprime mortgages went toxic. Mnuchin and his colleagues subsequently named the bank OneWest. And under their supervision, the bank foreclosed on 36,000 home loans, according to the California Reinvestment Coalition, which has called the bank a “foreclosure machine.” Meanwhile, the bank was getting payments from the FDIC to cover a portion of the bank’s business losses that came to $1 billion. In particular, the bank’s Financial Freedom unit, which issued reverse mortgages mostly to elderly...

Read More

Tens of thousands of low-wage workers flood the streets demanding higher pay

Fast food workers, Uber drivers, childcare providers, home health aides, airport workers, healthcare employees, and adjunct protested on Tuesday. Starting in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, a flood of low-wage workers joined the pouring rain on the streets of New York City, marking four years to the day since fast food employees first went on a day-long strike in the city and launched a movement. The movement, which now calls itself the Fight for 15, is demanding a minimum wage of at least $15 as well as the right to unionize. And Tuesday’s day of action proved just how massive it has now become. Strikes and protests weren’t limited to New York City — they reached 340 cities. Fast food workers were joined by a variety of low-paid people, including childcare providers, home health aides, airport workers, healthcare employees, adjunct professors, and, for the first time, Uber drivers. Uber drivers went on strike in more than two dozen cities. They were joined by striking hospital workers in Pittsburgh as well as a number of fast food employees across the country. Many airport workers, including baggage handlers and cabin cleaners, also went on strike for the first time. A group walked off the job at Boston’s Logan International Airport, while more than 500 went on strike at Chicago O’Hare. They were backed up by protests at nearly 20 other major airports. A...

Read More

Trump ditches penalties for outsourcing, promises tax giveaways instead

Donald Trump speaks during an April campaign stop in Indianapolis, not far from Carrier’s operations. CREDIT: AP Trump ditches penalties for outsourcing, promises tax giveaways instead Donald Trump is offering sweet incentives to stop Carrier from outsourcing jobs. Bernie Sanders is promising strict penalties. Everyone is trying to stop Carrier from moving jobs to Mexico. Earlier this year, the air conditioner and furnace giant, along with its parent company United Technologies, announced that it planned to relocate operations currently headquartered in Indiana to Mexico over the next three years, potentially moving more than 2,000 American jobs in the process. If the company were to move, it would epitomize the very economic harms that Donald Trump campaigned against. He called Carrier out by name on the campaign trail, arguing that its plans to shift jobs out of the United States is an example of the failure of trade agreements like NAFTA. So the president-elect is now in the middle of negotiations with the corporate giant in an effort to keep the jobs on U.S. soil. He’s not the only lawmaker interested in halting Carrier’s plans: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has also promised to take action. But the two men are considering very different strategies when it comes to halting the offshoring of American jobs, and Trump appears to be backing away from striking promises he made during the campaign. Both...

Read More

Trump’s infrastructure plan is a big-business boondoggle

There is little for Democrats to get behind in the details of his plan. In adjusting to the next four years of a Donald Trump presidency, some Democratic lawmakers are looking for places where they might be able to work with him on issues they already care about. One area in which some see such opportunity is infrastructure, given that they have long pushed for the government to spend more on these projects to boost the economy. Trump has promised he wants to do the same. In fact, Trump’s team has already laid out exactly how it would invest in infrastructure, in a paper authored by advisers Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro. But if Democrats were to read the details, they would quickly see there is little worth endorsing. In short, rather than have the government raise or borrow money at incredibly low interest rates and then grant the money to state and local governments to build or maintain infrastructure, Trump’s plan would give private investors tax credits for construction projects. Those private firms would then raise the rest of the money needed for those projects, recouping the costs in profits. Such projects would address very few of the country’s most dire infrastructure needs, end up costing some Americans a lot more money, and generate little to no economic boost. However, the plan would be a major windfall for private...

Read More

Trump’s tax plan will enrich investors and do little for workers

Donald Trump giving an economic policy speech in Detroit in August. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci A tax holiday on overseas profits will almost certainly flow straight to wealthy shareholders. Donald Trump giving an economic policy speech in Detroit in August. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci American companies have an estimated $2.6 trillion in profits sitting untaxed overseas. As part of his tax proposal package, President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to entice them to bring that money back and invest it in production and jobs here at home. In August, while laying out his economic agenda, he promised his administration would “bring back trillions of dollars from American businesses that is now parked overseas” so that it can be “re-invested in states like Michigan.” But there is a very slim chance that companies will use that money to invest in jobs or the economy. To get that money back into the United States, Trump has pledged to impose a one-time 10 percent tax rate on the profits corporations hold overseas. Currently, American companies can hold off on paying American taxes on the money they make abroad until they repatriate it, and can thus delay the tax bill indefinitely by keeping it overseas. Giving them a window where they can pay a lower tax rate could theoretically incentivize them to bring it back. But when Bloomberg News recently asked some top CEOs...

Read More

Right Now in Politics and Opinion