What’s important in American politics and power doesn’t always make the headlines. It’s the behind-the-scenes enforcement of an executive order, or the email correspondence of an unwilling plaintiff, or the handshake agreements that help build a country. It was this year that I focused on more than 179 articles and newsletters. Here are some of my favorites:
McCarthy’s 21 Republican defectors didn’t get much
15 votes dominated the early years until Kevin McCarthy became speaker, which he later lost. I argued that the arrests of that fight had no substance other than the ability to kick out a speaker they didn’t like. The pathetic record of this Congress, which has mostly dealt with major legislation and has yet to cut a single dollar of spending, has confirmed this.
The ongoing battle for corporate power
In July 2021, President Biden issued a sweeping executive order to promote competition in the U.S. economy. Eighteen months later, I set out to understand how the order’s 72 different operations were progressing. I found a bumpy process with some restraint amid corporate backlash. But the ship of state is turning away from corporate dominance and toward justice.
Spam fees Biden hasn’t talked about
This was a good example of that Prospectus at its best. The White House junk pay campaign focused mostly on travel and entertainment fees, which doesn’t show the big picture. I wrote about a series of garbage charges that affect working class people in their everyday lives, especially in rented accommodation. The government had taken this into its own hands within a few months, trying to limit and even ban certain rental fees. It’s called making a difference.
The Silicon Valley Bank bailout didn’t have to happen
One of the big business stories of the year was the collapse of regional banks, an entirely predictable outcome given the way Congress deregulated the sector during the Trump years. I recounted that history and the incompetence of the same bank officials who lobbied for less oversight, not to mention the Silicon Valley Banks venture capitalists.
Big Tech lobbyists explain how they took over Washington
A fascinating hidden history was told in a research paper where the Technology Industry invented the concept of digital commerce and then embedded this perspective in the Office of the US Trade Representative. The author of the paper was in an excellent position because he had previously worked at USTR as a special assistant.
Unwilling participant in student loan cases
The Supreme Court’s decision in the student debt relief case is an overwhelming example of how law and truth are practically at odds in this day and age. The only injured party in the case did not submit an application, did not request and did not want to have anything to do with the case. That a bogus plaintiff could be used as the basis for a judgment denying debt relief to tens of millions of student borrowers should fundamentally shake our notion of equal justice.
Liberalism that builds power
When the Biden administration began its industrial policy agenda, I challenged the argument of the supply-side progressivism crowd, explaining that you can’t separate domestic supply chains, carbon reduction, good jobs, and public input, or your political project will collapse. I received a lot of resistance to this claim and responded to the responses. But I think the year-long series Building Back America, which visited eight states to watch this project in action, solidified my perspective.
Barbenheimer reveals the radical choices made by Hollywood executives
I like to stretch sometimes to write about culture, and this was the perfect opportunity to combine that with thoughts about the economy and the workforce. At a time when Writers and Actors were struggling for their own survival, the cultural phenomenon showed that the way Hollywood executives had run their business for years was completely backwards. People want original work and shared experiences, not another superhero movie and streaming video.
This was my contribution to our special series The Business of Health Care, one of my favorite projects I’ve done Prospectus. Tom Scully’s career was looked at here. He was a Zelig-type figure in the privatization of US health care. He worked in both Bush administrations to bring market forces to Medicare and Medicaid and prescription drug benefits. He then became a venture capitalist who used his knowledge of the system for profit.
A chance to talk
I wanted to get more attention on this. It features Katie Anderson, an Aflac independent contractor who was raped in a hotel room while on a business trip. This story sat at the intersection of worker misclassification, workplace sexual assault practices, forced arbitration and secret settlements, and more. And it was a privilege to tell Katies moving story.
#Bank #rescue #building #power #privatization #healthcare
Image Source : prospect.org