Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
23 DAYS UNTIL JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS TAKE THE OATH OF OFFICE
At the Brookings Institute, Molly Kinder and Laura Stateler write—Amazon and Walmart have raked in billions in additional profits during the pandemic, and shared almost none of it with their workers:
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated record profits for America’s biggest companies, as well as immense wealth for their founders and largest shareholders—but next to nothing for workers. In a report published last month, we found that many of America’s top retail and grocery companies have raked in billions during the pandemic but shared little of that windfall with their frontline workers, who risk their lives each day for wages that are often so low they can’t support a family.
This is especially true of Amazon and Walmart, the country’s two largest companies. Together, they have earned an extra $10.7 billion over last year’s profits during (and largely because of) the pandemic—a stunning 56% increase. Despite this surge, we ranked Amazon and Walmart among the least generous of the 13 large retail and grocery companies studied in our report. The two companies could have quadrupled the extra COVID-19 compensation they gave to their workers through their last quarter and still earned more profit than last year. [...]
Through the end of 2020, the total additional COVID-19 compensation Amazon and Walmart will have provided their frontline workers represents only a small fraction of the companies’ extraordinary earnings, and an even smaller percentage of the stunning, pandemic-fueled wealth created for their richest shareholders. Stock prices for Amazon and Walmart have soared 70% and 36%, respectively, since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, worker wages will have grown only 7% and 6% by the end of the year, even after the new December bonuses that the two companies announced earlier this month.
Since March, the fortune of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (the richest person on the planet) has increased by $75.6 billion—42 times the cost of all pandemic hazard pay that Amazon will have given its roughly 1 million workers through the end of this year. The wealth of Alice, Jim, and Rob Walton (billionaire heirs to the Walmart fortune and the country’s richest family) has grown by $40.7 billion since the start of the pandemic—26 times the total amount of pandemic hazard pay Walmart will have provided its more than 1.5 million associates by the end of 2020. [...]
THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING
The Year Inequality Became Less Visible, and More Visible Than Ever, by Emily Badger. Even as shared public spaces emptied out, the gap between the economically privileged and the precarious became impossible to ignore.
Trump’s impact on Indian Country over four years, by Anna V. Smith. From legal decisions to on-the-ground policies, Indigenous lawyers describe the administration’s tactics as an “onslaught” removing federal protections of land and wildlife.
Reeling From Trump-Era Chaos, Watchdogs Seek Greater Protections, by Carrie Johnson. The federal government's 75 inspectors general, as they're known, are reeling from chaos in the Trump era, including firings and pressure campaigns from the White House and its allies. In response, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency is asking lawmakers for greater job protections in the year ahead.
“It takes the average American four years of doctors' visits to spend as much time with their physician as they spend with their phone in a single day.”
~~Emmanuel Fombu, The Future of Healthcare: Humans and Machines Partnering for Better Outcomes, 2018
At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—Why did Congressional Black Caucus invite Scott and West?
This past election day, two new Republicans who happen to be black were elected to serve in the 112th Congress: Allen West from Florida's 22nd district and Tim Scott from South Carolina's 1st Congressional District. Both West and Scott's districts are overwhelmingly white, with West's district coming in at just 3.8 percent black and Scott's district coming in a much more respectable 21.1 percent black. Both men were endorsed by Sarah Palin and numerous other national and local conservatives, but not the Congressional Black Caucus. However, both men were invited to join the CBC, although Scott has declined membership. Needless to say, according to exit polls neither man received any significant share of the black vote in their respective districts.
Meanwhile, as I pointed out earlier this year, Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis has still received no invite from the CBC, even though he represents a district that is 60 percent black and where he routinely receives the lion's share of the black vote even when he has black primary challengers. Even though he was endorsed by Obama. Even though he was endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus!
Does this make any sense at all?