fresh voices from the front lines of change








Sarah Anderson

The Reality Behind the ‘Surging’ U.S. Economy

Recent economic reports have President Donald Trump crowing, and the big headline numbers do sound encouraging. And yet most of the gains from our growing economy are still going to those who least need a boost. For ordinary Americans, the slight uptick in wages is not enough to make up for many years of stagnation: Average hourly pay rose just 6 cents in April 2019, while the amount Americans spend on prescription drugs is up 7.1 percent, while the average house price rose 5.7 percent, and childcare costs jumped 7.5 percent. Unless workers have more power to negotiate for their fair share of economic awards, even a real economic boom will have limited benefit for those who need it most.

Stocks Sink $1t In One Day On Trade War

$1.1 trillion in stock market value lost so far from trade war sell-off with more expected. CNBC: "Stocks plunged Monday on fears the trade war will now last longer and escalate further, damaging the global economy and crushing corporate profit growth. Large cap stocks, or those in the S&P 500, have now lost $1.1 trillion since President Donald Trump surprised markets with the May 5 weekend tweets that said he was thinking of raising tariffs on Chinese goods. As China retaliated against the latest U.S. tariffs Monday, the Dow and S&P 500 were both down more than 2% in their worst day since Jan. 3. Market strategists predict more pain for stocks ahead, as the market prices in a more extended view of the trade battle that looked to be just a skirmish a week ago. Since his weekend threat, President Donald Trump forged ahead with higher tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods and says he will move forward with new tariffs on all China imports, goods totaling about $325 billion more. China retaliated by raising tariffs on $60 billion in goods. As of June 1, Beijing will increase tariffs on more than 5,000 products to as high as 25%. Duties on some other goods will increase to 20%. Those rates will rise from either 10% or 5% previously. Products hit by the 25% tariffs include animal products and frozen fruits and vegetables."

Farmers Fed Up With Trump Tariffs

Farmers get impatient with Trump's trade war. CNN: "American farmers are running out of patience with President Donald Trump's trade war with China. Farmers have long stood behind Trump's mission to get a better trade deal with Beijing that addresses long-standing issues with what they say are unfair trading practices. But after weeks of optimistic statements by Trump and members of his administration about how trade talks were progressing, Trump abruptly escalated tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods last week and opened the door to even more -- prompting Beijing to hit back Monday by raising the tariff rate on $60 billion of US items. The escalated tariffs don't hit agricultural products directly, since most were already facing a 25% tariff imposed by China last year. But the news still sent commodity prices plummeting. 'The President of the United States owes farmers like myself some type of plan of action,' John Wesley Boyd Jr., a soybean farmer in Baskerville, Virginia, told CNN's Brianna Keilar on Monday. "Farmers were his base. They helped elect this president ... and now he's turning his back on America's farmers when we need him the most," he added. Soybean, corn, and wheat growers have been battling tariffs from China for nearly a year now. Beijing imposed those duties in retaliation to tariffs put on Chinese products by the Trump administration. The tariffs made those American agricultural products more expensive for Chinese importers, and private buyers have mostly stopped buying American-grown soybeans or wheat."

NYPD's Pantaleo On Trial For Eric Garner's Death

5 years after Eric Garner's death, NYPD officer faces administrative trial. NPR: "Five years after Eric Garner died in an altercation with New York City Police, a disciplinary trial began today for the officer accused in his death. Officer Daniel Pantaleo was never charged criminally. This trial will determine whether he used a chokehold banned by the NYPD decades ago to cause Garner's death. If Pantaleo is found guilty, he could lose his job. Prosecutors had to prove that Officer Pantaleo used a chokehold and, by doing so, that he acted recklessly. And they also had to prove that he intended to restrict Garner's breathing. So during opening statements, prosecutor Jonathan Fogel said that Eric Garner didn't pose a threat to the public or to the officers. He pointed out that Garner was unarmed, that there was no urgency to the situation, that he was selling loose cigarettes, which is a misdemeanor. Backup was on the way, and Pantaleo could have waited, but instead he used a chokehold in what he called an act of brutal lethal force. And he accused Pantaleo of locking his fingers together to intentionally squeeze Garner's throat and restrict his breathing. Fogel called it a death sentence over loose cigarettes."

HUD Wants To Evict 55,000 Children

HUD says 55,000 children could be displaced under Trump plan to evict undocumented immigrants. WaPo: "The Department of Housing and Urban Development acknowledged that a Trump administration plan to purge undocumented immigrants from public housing could displace more than 55,000 children who are all legal U.S. residents or citizens. The proposed rule, published Friday in the Federal Register, would tighten regulations against undocumented immigrants accessing federally subsidized housing to “make certain our scarce public resources help those who are legally entitled to it,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said last month. But the agency’s analysis of the rule’s regulatory impact concluded that half of current residents living in households potentially facing eviction and homelessness are children who are legally qualified for aid."

CA Gov. Newsom Shields Immigrants Facing Deportation

In a rebuke to President Trump, Gov. Newsom pardons refugees facing deportation. LA Times: "California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday pardoned seven former felons, including two Cambodian refugees the Trump administration wants to deport, in his first acts of clemency since the Democrat took office in January. Newsom adopted a policy of his predecessor, former Gov. Jerry Brown, to use his state constitutional authority to issue pardons to shield immigrants targeted by federal immigration officials. The pardons are an unmistakable rebuke to President Trump, whose fiery anti-immigrant rhetoric and demands for giant wall along the U.S.-Mexico border have been central to the escalating political feud between Newsom and the White House. Newsom took another shot at Trump just hours before announcing the pardons while speaking to members of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Assn., a national nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Sacramento. Newsom compared Trump to the anti-immigrant 'demagogues' in San Francisco who championed the federal Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — the nation's first immigration ban on a specific group of people. 'I’m constantly trying to understand the moment we’re living in, the xenophobia, the nativism that marks the populism of this moment,' Newsom said. 'Any of us who are students of history know that it’s not without precedent. It’s not novel. It’s hardly new. It’s very familiar.'"

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