Vox, 2019, 10:07… For a long time, it was off-limits for a corporation to buy back its own stock. Not anymore. American companies today spend billions on stock buybacks. So what does that mean for the US economy? And how did it help make American CEOs so unbelievably rich?
Adam Ruins Everything, 2019, 4:44… Americans subscribe to the individualistic fantasy that hard work results in success, and the “American Dream” can loosely be interpreted as climbing the social ladder. Sociologists call that (upward) social mobility, a concept describing how individuals can change their socioeconomic status. While mobility is possible in open class systems, increasing structural inequalities are making this ever more difficult in the United States.
The Atlantic, 2019, 5:33… Should a job provide a paycheck or a purpose? Traditional religion lends some people meaning, community, and self-actualization. For many Americans, work has stepped in to fill that role. But this all-encompassing worship of work is setting us up for mass anxiety and inevitable burnout, says Atlantic staff writer Derek Thompson.
60 Minutes Australia, 2019, 25:03… For the so-called “sugar daddies”, the equation is simple: the wealthier they are, the more attractive they are. But as Sarah Abo finds out, it’s not hard to read between the lines here. The term sugar baby is often code for sex worker, and the male moneybags are often crinkled-up creeps. And that leads to a very important question: is this sugar baby phenomenon about empowering women or exploiting them?
Vice News, 2019, 5:46… A Miami-based startup called Papa provides what they call a “grandkid on demand” service, where they send a vetted college-age person or young adult for companionship and transportation to seniors in need. Clients can use the app, but Papa’s average customer is 75 years old, so most people just call in for the service.
Vox, 2019, 8:37… Carlson’s show is meant to distract Fox News viewers from Republican economics, channeling their frustration and anger at groups that don’t deserve it. That kind of misdirection produces what Marxist theorists call “false consciousness”: when workers are tricked into accepting their own exploitation.
PBS Newshour, 2019, 9:51… UC Berkeley sociologist Arlie Hochschild traveled to Louisiana, the second-poorest state, to explore why its neediest populations simultaneously rely on federal aid and reject the concept of “big government.” As Paul Solman reports, the author and professor discovered many residents feel betrayed by their state's government for failing to protect them from toxic pollution that risks their health.
The Verge, 2019, 4:48… Amazon announced plans in November for a $2 billion headquarters in New York’s Long Island City, also known as HQ2. Almost from the beginning, New Yorkers were skeptical. In the days after the deal was announced, there were a ton of protests. But three months later, the company is abruptly pulling out, chased out by local activists and politicians. How did it go so wrong so fast?
NowThis, 2019, 14:00… Prince believes that raising the minimum wage will increase consumption and we're better off putting money into the hands of people who will spend it in the economy than those at the top who already have plenty of money. Prince also says that the wealthy people in charge do not care if the economy improves just if they're making more money.
Vice News, 2019, 4:49… In October, New York University hosted “On Your Marx” — a two week long jubilee to celebrate this bicentennial with a broad, eccentric slate of panel discussions and performances. In the spirit of camaraderie, tickets to all events were priced pay-as-you-wish — from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. VICE News went to sample several of the festival’s unique offerings, including a choral rendition of the Communist Manifesto, a Marxist party with DJs AndrewAndrew, and a contemporary dance performance "ritualizing the labor of its dancers."
Vice, 2018, 30:55… Manisha Krishnan travels to Poole's Land, an anarchist commune on the western edge of Canada to figure out what exactly is drawing young people to live on the periphery of society. She ventures into the rainforest and confronts a variety of her deepest fears, but ultimately finds enlightenment in the spirit of the people who inhabit this mysterious place.