13. February 2024 · Comments Off on Civic Action Tapback – February 13, 2024 · Categories: Announcements


There’s something both compelling and maddening about Adam Neumann, the founder of WeWork. It’s not just that his story combines that peculiar combination of inexplicable charisma and extraordinary failure which makes for a good Hollywood adaptation. It’s also the fact that he somehow managed to raise $13 billion for his co-working company from some of the world’s wealthiest and most sophisticated investors, led it to financial collapse, and somehow emerged from it all as perhaps the only person to make a dime from the adventure, getting a massive payoff to exit the company and landing on his feet with a $2.2 billion personal fortune.

So it’s hard to know how to process the latest chapter in Neumann’s saga: absurd as it sounds, he is currently attempting to purchase the remains of WeWork now that the company has gone through a few rounds of restructuring that followed his leadership of the company. Credit for the gall required by Neumann to return to the scene. But what’s truly extraordinary is the fact that he nailed down investors! That’s right: just a few years after destroying billions of dollars of wealth on WeWork, there are still banks, hedge funds, and venture capitalists still willing to lend the guy a few hundred million, cross their fingers, and give it all another try.

Make it make sense.

worth of agricultural products were produced by prison labor in the US and sold to private businesses over just the past six years. One of the largest providers of prison labor is the Angola correctional facility in Louisiana, which was formerly a plantation where hundreds were enslaved.

was paid out by a finance employee to a fraudulent account after the employee followed specific instructions from what he believed was his company’s Chief Financial Officer. The employee had been initially suspicious, but made the payment after attending a Zoom meeting whose other attendees turned out to be AI-generated deepfakes.

in additional economic activity would be generated if US women worked at the same rate as women do in similar countries which provide paid family leave. Only 14 states currently provide paid family leave benefits.

One of the standard moves of anti-immigrant politicians has always been to create fears around the idea that people are coming from other countries to take jobs and consume resources. In addition to the obvious racism involved, the underlying economic assumption here is that jobs and the economy are a zero-sum game: anyone who gets a job can only get that job because they’re taking it from someone else. This might even sound somewhat logical if you think that there are a fixed number of jobs available at a time, created by rich people and corporate profits.

But a recent analysis from the CBO underscores the extent to which this kill-or-be-killed logic is simply false. They found that the increasing rate of immigration to the US is substantially increasing the size of the labor force, by about 5.2 million people. And contrary to xenophobic fears — but just as middle-out economics argues — more people with more jobs means more demand, which means a stronger economy. In fact, the CBO predicts that our economy will be $7 trillion larger over the next decade than it would have been with lower rates of immigration. In other words, people coming to the US for a better life aren’t taking jobs — they’re creating them.

American unions are generally built on a workplace-by-workplace basis. Typically, workers at your specific location of your specific employer in your specific industry have to organize and negotiate a contract before you get the full representational benefits of being in a union. That can make building a union extraordinarily tough in highly fragmented industries — there are so many different workplaces and so many different employers in the fast food industry, for example, that it’s tough to even imagine how workers could organize on the scale necessary to have the power to raise standards in the industry.

But fast food workers just launched a whole new kind of union aimed at addressing this very problem — and the implications could be extraordinary. Last year, the state of California passed a law that created a new structure for fast food workers to organize unions. Workers are now able to organize on an industry-wide basis across the entire state. The union can lobby for local-level labor protections, and representatives of workers will serve on a statewide council which is empowered to set standards throughout the industry. This model — often known as “sectoral bargaining” — is common in parts of Europe, but it’s essentially brand new in the US and has massive potential to serve as a whole new model to rebuild worker power in a whole new way.

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