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posted by martyb on Monday May 27 2019, @06:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-all-the-millennials'-fault dept.

The World Socialist Web Site, publication of record of the ICFI (SEP), on May 24th released a report about the grim situation many millennials face:

The stock market is booming, and President Donald Trump is boasting at every turn that the unemployment rate is lower than it has been in five decades.

However, the working class, the vast majority of the population, is confronting an unprecedented social, economic, health and psychological crisis. The same processes that have produced vast sums of wealth for the ruling elite have left millions of workers on the brink of existence.

Perhaps no segment of the population reflects the devastating consequences of these processes so starkly as the generation of young people deemed the "millennials," those born roughly between the years 1981 and 1996. More than half the 72 million American millennials are now in their 30s, with the oldest turning 38 this year.

A recent exposé by the Wall Street Journal noted that millennials are "in worse financial shape than prior living generations and may not recover." The article, "Millennials Near Middle Age in Crisis," [paywalled] concludes by stating that people born in the 1980s are at risk of becoming "America's Lost generation."

Selected bullet points from the WSWS article:

  • Millennials have taken on 300 percent more student debt than their parents' generation. [Source: The College Board, Trends in Student Aid 2013]
  • By 2014, 48 percent of workers with bachelor's degrees are employed in jobs for which they're overqualified. [Source: Labor Economist Stephen Rose, published by Urban Institute.]
  • The number of workers in the United States participating in the gig economy is expected to triple to 42 million workers by 2020, and 42 percent of those people are likely to be millennials. [Source: Freshbooks]
  • Between 1978 and 2017, according to the EPI, CEO compensation rose in the US by 1,070 percent, while the typical worker's compensation over these 39 years rose by a mere 11.2 percent.
  • In the 40 years leading up to the recession, rents increased at more than twice the rate of incomes. [Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.]
  • One in 5 millennials say they cannot afford routine healthcare expenses. Many of these millennials are uninsured because of the cost. An additional 26 percent say they can afford routine health-care costs, but only with difficulty. [Source: Harris Poll]
  • Men and women in their thirties are marrying at rates below every other generation on record. [Source: The Atlantic, "The Death (and Life) of Marriage in America"]
  • It is predicted that most millennials will not be able to retire until age 75. [Source: NerdWallet analysis of federal data]

The report concludes, "Far from becoming the 'Lost Generation' predicted by the Wall Street Journal, this generation of workers carries within it an enormous source of revolutionary potential."

[Ed. Note. I debated whether or not to run this story given the partisan source for the article, but the list of references suggested it was more than a simple opinion piece. So, are things really as grim as portrayed here? I'm too old to be a millennial, but have both personally experienced as well as witnessed many others facing the same trends listed here. Where do things go from here?]

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday May 24 2019, @02:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the May-won't-any-more dept.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May Will Resign, Pass the Brexit

Theresa May has announced that she will resign as UK's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party:

Mrs. May announced on Friday that she would be stepping down as leader of her Conservative Party and then as Britain's prime minister, after repeatedly failing to win Parliament's approval for a deal to withdraw the country from the European Union.

A successor to Theresa May will be chosen before Parliament's summer break, the Conservative Party chairman said. She will continue as prime minister until the leadership contest is finished.

[...] Standing in front of 10 Downing Street, Mrs. May said it was in the "best interests of the country for a new prime minister" to lead Britain through the Brexit process. She announced plans to step down as the leader of the Conservative Party on June 7, with the process to replace her beginning the following week.

Previously: Theresa May: UK's Next Prime Minister?

UK PM Theresa May announces resignation amid fury over Brexit handling

May spoke outside 10 Downing Street after a meeting with Graham Brady, the head of the 1922 Committee of Conservative Party backbenchers. She said she will step down on June 7. Her resignation will trigger a party leadership contest, and whoever wins that contest will take over as prime minister.

[...] Her announcement could complicate the upcoming June 3 state visit by President Trump to London to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, where he will also meet with Queen Elizabeth II.

May will still be in office during that visit, meaning it will nix the chance for a new prime minister to forge ties with the American president at a time where such relations are vital. A U.S.-U.K. trade deal is a top priority for the U.K. as it looks to depart from the European Union and begin making its own trade agreements -- and Trump has said "the potential is unlimited" for such a deal.

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday May 08 2019, @10:19AM   Printer-friendly
from the next-up-is-the-unicorns-pooping-skittles-act dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Search engine and consumer privacy advocate DuckDuckGo has announced the "Do-Not-Track Act of 2019," a piece of draft legislation that would legally require sites to honor users' tracking preferences.

[...]If the act picks up steam and passes into law, sites would be required to cease certain user tracking methods, which means less data available to inform marketing and advertising campaigns.

The impact could also cascade into platforms that leverage consumer data, possibly making them less effective. For example, one of the advantages of advertising on a platform like Google or Facebook is the ability to target audiences. If a user enables DNT, the ads displayed to them when on browsing[sic] those websites won't be informed by their external browsing history.

[Ed Note: By proposed they mean "That's why we're announcing draft legislation that can serve as a starting point for legislators in America and beyond. "]

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday May 07 2019, @11:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the full-of-electric-eels dept.

Amsterdam's head of transport has announced plans to ban petrol and diesel cars in the city by 2030.

The clean air action plan aims to make the Dutch capital a "world leader in emission-free transport".

Transport chief Sharon Dijksma said residents "live a year less on average due to dirty air" and that the plan should "prolong the health of the average Amsterdammer by three months."

But the plan has already incited strong reactions in the Netherlands with one motoring organisation branding it "bizarre" and wondering how normal people would afford electric cars.

The plan, which would be applied 20 years before the Paris Agreement aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions, would require up to 23,000 electric charging points by 2025. The city currently has 3,000.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday May 01 2019, @06:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the no-comment dept.

Venezuela Crisis Live Updates: Clashes Erupt After Opposition Leader Calls for Uprising

• Clashes between anti-government protesters and law enforcement officers erupted in Caracas on Tuesday after the Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, appeared alongside soldiers at a military base and called for the population to rise up against the president, Nicolás Maduro.

• Mr. Guaidó has urged the Venezuela military to join his side since he declared himself interim president more than three months ago. But it was a new step for him to make the declaration with men in uniform by his side. Still, it is unclear how much of the military supports him.

• The Trump administration, which has backed Mr. Guaidó since he first declared himself interim president in January, expressed immediate support for his latest move. President Trump tweeted, "The United States stands with the People of Venezuela and their Freedom!"

• Video and photos showed at least one instance where an armored vehicle rammed protesters. It was not immediately clear how many people were injured.

See also: Venezuela's Guaidó accused of coup attempt by government

Previously: Turmoil in Venezuela Surrounding Aid Deliveries

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Sunday April 28 2019, @01:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the sense-no-makes dept.

As lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom supported a 2017 bill increasing the state's gas taxes. When running for governor in 2018, he opposed a ballot initiative that would have repealed that same increase. It's 2019, and Newson, now the state's governor, is demanding an investigation into why the state's gas prices are so high.

On Tuesday, the governor sent a letter to the California Energy Commission (CEC) asking that the state agency investigate the Golden State's roughly $4.03 per gallon gas prices, currently the highest in the country (and well above the national average of $2.86 per gallon).

"Independent analysis suggests that an unaccounted-for price differential exists in California's gas prices and that this price differential may stem in part from inappropriate industry practices," wrote Newsom in his letter to the CEC. "These are all important reasons for the Commission to help shed light on what's going on in our gasoline market."

[...] California currently imposes the second-highest gas taxes in the country. A state excise tax currently adds $.417 per gallon, a rate that will increase to $.473 come July. On top of that, the state imposes a 2.25 percent gasoline sales tax.

In addition, California has adopted a low-carbon fuel standard and a cap-and-trade scheme for carbon emissions which together increase the state's gas prices by $.24 per gallon above the national average, according to a 2017 state government report.

That same report maintained that, even after all these state-imposed costs were tallied up, California's gas prices remained above the national average, a finding that both those 19 state legislators and Newsom are using to justify their demands for an investigation.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Monday April 22 2019, @01:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the Happiness-is-mandatory.-The-social-credit-system-is-your-friend dept.

China's courts have now added 13.5 million individuals to the social-credit punishment list.

People deemed untrustworthy in China have been blocked from the purchase of more than 25 million plane and train tickets, as the country works to build the massive social-credit system designed to monitor and shape the conduct of its citizens

The system covers "19 key areas of dishonesty" such as failing to make court-ordered payments (China has no personal bankruptcy statutes), spending habits, turnstile violations, and filial piety, as well as

spreading online rumours and false information, committing financial fraud, delivering unlicensed medical treatment, evading taxes, cheating on tests and fixing sports matches.

Chinese officials are careful to point out that this is only the beginning of the process of implementing a social-credit system. There are also multiple blacklists involved, not one big blacklist like the United State's 'No-Fly' list.

In total, the number of blacklists in China now likely numbers in the hundreds, said Dai Xin, a professor at Ocean University of China School of Law. But it remains experimental, he said, like many initiatives in China, where "governments just go ahead with some vague assumptions of what may happen if a measure is adopted."

Critics call the system the beginning of a "digital panopticon", while other Chinese scholars and officials defend the system as one that will ease life for those who display good conduct and integrity even as it deprives the untrustworthy of access to services.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Monday April 22 2019, @10:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the Just-kidding? dept.

Ukraine election: Comedian Zelensky wins presidency by landslide

Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has won a landslide victory in the country's presidential election, exit polls suggest.

The polls give the political newcomer, who dominated the first round of voting three weeks ago, more than 70% support.

Mr Zelensky, 41, challenged incumbent president Petro Poroshenko who has admitted defeat. The apparent result is being seen as a huge blow to Mr Poroshenko and a rejection of Ukraine's establishment.

"I will never let you down," Mr Zelensky told celebrating supporters on Sunday. "I'm not yet officially the president," he added. "But as a citizen of Ukraine I can say to all countries in the post-Soviet Union: Look at us. Anything is possible!"

See also: Ukrainian Presidential Debate Sparks Envy Among Russians And Belarusians – OpEd

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday April 17 2019, @12:17PM   Printer-friendly
from the even-SN-is-vulnerable dept.

From the insides of Business Insider

As a huge fire took hold of Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday evening, alt-right figures were in no time spreading rumours and disinformation on social media linking the blaze to Muslims and hinting at a sinister cover up.

French officials on Monday night were quick to say that arson was unlikely to be the cause of the blaze as it engulfed the roof of the 12th century cathedral, but far-right activists and propagandists were already all over social media channels pushing conspiracies.

Conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec compared the blaze to 9/11, despite no link having made to terrorism by French officials, while alt-right activist Faith Goldy falsely claimed that three days previously "a Muslim jihadis [sic] in Paris was arrested for planning a terrorist attack at Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Funny, there was this little AC scurrying about here on SN yesterday, saying things like this.

...but well countered here, also by an AC:

See Also:

Police have begun questioning workers who were carrying out renovations at the cathedral. The Paris prosecutor's office has opened an inquiry into "involuntary destruction by fire", indicating they believe the cause of the blaze was accidental rather than criminal.

The Paris prosecutor's office said it was treating the fire as an accident, ruling out arson and possible terror-related motives, at least for now.

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Monday April 15 2019, @11:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the you're-my-only-hope dept.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang will use 3D holograms for remote rallies

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang revealed this week that he's planning to use a 3D hologram to hold campaign rallies in multiple cities at the same time. Yang discussed the hologram during an appearance on TMZ Live. The segment showed off a hologram version of Yang dancing and performing with the famous Tupac hologram that appeared at Coachella in 2012.

[...] Yang plans to use the hologram, broadcast from the back of a truck, to deliver a recorded version of his stump speech to crowds in battleground states. Yang would set up in a studio and remotely beam into the rally to answer questions live and in real-time after the speech finished. The technique could save Yang, a longshot for the Democratic nomination at this point, a considerable amount of travel costs while helping to rally supporters and generate interest in key areas.

In the future, all politicians will attend events exclusively as holograms, beamed from their studios in Elysium.

Andrew Yang.

Original Submission

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