Wednesday, December 12, 2018

"French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new gas tax earlier this year that will increase the price of fuel by about 30 cents per gallon and will continue to rise over the next few years. ...

But Macron, a former investment banker, isn’t using the tax to support or expand social welfare benefits — quite the opposite, in fact. It’s part of his broader plan to reform the French economy to make it more pro-business.
He’s been cutting spending to popular, longstanding social welfare programs and has been scaling back labor protections. For instance, he’s made it easier for companies to hire and fire employees and fought unions to end subsidies for certain sectors. ...

So, to recap, the protesters are mostly working-class folks who are angry at what they see as an out-of-touch elitist president whose policies favor the wealthy and corporations at the expense of working-class French people."

-->But a recent front page headline in the NYT tells a different story. "French Protests Reveal Clash: Heathy Climate vs. Lower Tax." Gone are the cuts in social programs and labor rights. Gone is Macron's favoring the rich and corporations over the working class. Our "newspaper of record" is blind to the working class and chooses to reframe issues to protect the corporate elite.   


Common Dreams:
"One of the best parts of Ocasio-Cortez's arrival in D.C. as a new leader is that she notices, and is revolted by, the corrupt, corporatist rituals that are so embedded in D.C. culture that most politicians and journalists barely notice them. ...

Pulling back the curtain on the ostensibly 'bipartisan' orientation for newly elected members of Congress at Harvard's Kennedy School in Boston, Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) informed the public through live social media updates on Thursday that—contrary to the ideologically neutral advertising—the private conference featured a heavy dose of speeches by corporate CEOs and completely shut out organized labor and members of the progressive community.

'Our 'bipartisan' congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group,' Ocasio-Cortez noted, likely referring to the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute, which is co-sponsoring the event. 'Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn't told to us in advance. Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where's labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?' "

-->Where indeed is the NYT? Corporate influence oozing from the seams of Congress, yet the NYT decided not to carry this story. 


The Guardian UK:
"She sings. She sparkles. And she’s made by women paid just 1p [about 1.3 cents] for each doll that shimmers off shop shelves. This Christmas, tens of thousands of children the world over will excitedly tear the wrapping paper off an Ariel doll – Disney’s Little Mermaid – secure in the knowledge that it was made for them by Santa’s happy elves at the north pole.

The reality would come as a cruel surprise. For elves, read Chinese factory workers. For the north pole, read the city of Heyuan. And for happy, read miserable – from illegally long working hours and exhaustion to wages too low to support a family.

An investigation published on Thursday by rights groups Solidar Suisse and China Labor Watch, in partnership with the Guardian, found evidence of excessive and illegal overtime, basic pay rates as low as 85p [a little over a dollar] an hour, no holiday or sick pay and high levels of exhaustion among the largely female workforce making Disney toys and products for other international toy companies including Mattel’s Fisher Price brand."

-->The NYT and most of the US media rarely carries stories about Disney and Fisher Price abusing workers in foreign countries. Hey, it's not befitting the holiday spirit of unfettered greed.

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