I hope they’re right that “A Four Day Work Week is Closer Than You Think,” though I hasten to point out that most of the studies done on the matter get done outside the United States, and that those studies tend to concentrate on white-collar work (blue-collar work still exists, you know!). But I also hasten to point out that a four-day work week is also a job creation scheme, since (again, more so in blue-collar jobs) there’s still going to be the same amount of work to do. (In case you were wondering, workers made the same pay for fewer work days in these studies.)
Ho hum, our Fed Reserve Chair, having lately justified bailouts for Silicon Valley Bank because of the “systemic risk” its failure supposedly poses, approved a merger between SVB and Boston Private Bank and Trust by claiming the resulting behemoth posed no “significant risk” to our banking system. Of course now he’s promising a “thorough, transparent, and swift review” of the whole issue, but I presume the resulting review will only be swift. At least we have anti-monopolists at our Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for as long as Congress allows us to have that.
French President Macron tries to unilaterally raise that nation’s pension age from 62 to 64 – a matter the good citizens of France have been protesting in the streets for two months now – and as a result faces a no-confidence vote in Parliament. He thought he had a hostage situation ready to spring on them: don’t oppose my will, or you’ll get a Le Pen government! And it may work, but his actual duty – to adhere to the people’s very obvious will – remains undone.
From the “What an Understated Headline” file: ProPublica reports that “Wealthy Executives Make Millions Trading Competitors’ Stock With Remarkable Timing.” I can see why a major news organization would put it that way – the information comes from that leaked trove of IRS files ProPublica acquired in 2021, which won't alone prove to a judge and/or jury that the timing was more than “remarkable” – but we’re not schmucks, and we also realize that stronger laws against insider trading and executives serving on multiple corporate boards would help stop this, ah, remarkable phenomenon. So would not worshiping at the altar of the stock market the way we’ve done for the last 40-odd years.
The Iraq War turns 20 today, and Jon Schwarz at The Intercept asks, of the war’s architects, “Where Are They Now?” Short answer: doing quite well, just like they don’t deserve, even Judith Miller, who I guess is the Useful Idiot of this clown car since her water-carrying couldn’t keep her out of jail. You’ll also learn that Donald Rumsfeld’s last vacation home was once the home of Edward Covey, “notorious for breaking unruly slaves for other farmers,” and that Ms. Miller’s last piece for the New York Times had a hilarious title – hilarious, at least, until you remember how many people it helped kill, maim, or torture.
Finally, and this also risks being a ho-hum, right-wing “activist” who dressed up as Julius Caesar at school board meetings to make some kind of point about transgender kids actually had a long, long history of bad and criminal behavior. Much as I want to say he’s paid his debt to society and that arrests and accusations aren't convictions, I also want to say that his trajectory from armed-standoff-with-cops (for which he served 17 years in the big house) to incoherent transgender protestor suggests that he's spent most of his time on Earth lapping up whatever the right’s dealers of masturbatory rage serve up at the moment. In a civilized society, you have to pay your debts and you have to do better in the future.