Martin Hart-Landsberg: Back to normal is not good enough; we need a new economy (Street Roots)
Rarely mentioned is the fact that our economy was heading into a recession before the coronavirus hit. Or that living and working conditions for the majority of Americans were declining even during the past years of expansion. Or that the share of workers in low-wage jobs was growing over the past 15 years. Or that Americans are facing a retirement crisis. Or that life expectancy fell from 2014 to 2017 because of the rise in mortality among young and middle-aged adults of all racial groups due to drug overdoses, suicides and alcoholism. If existing patterns of ownership and production remain largely unchanged, we face a future of ever greater instability, inequality and poverty.
Brian X. Chen: ‘Parasite’ and South Korea’s Income Gap: Call It Dirt Spoon Cinema (NYT)
The movie is the latest South Korean film to pit the haves against the have-nots: see this year’s No. 1 movie there, “Extreme Job,” as well as recent titles like “Burning” and 2013’s “Snowpiercer.” It’s no coincidence that income inequality is a recurring theme in the nation’s cinema. Experts say the films, for the most part big hits at home, capture the essence of Korean sentiments at a time when the country’s income gap continues to widen.
South Korea’s income distribution is remarkably lopsided. In 2015, the top 10 percent of South Koreans held 66 percent of the nation’s wealth, while the poorer half of the population held only 2 percent.
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