Life in Late Stage Capitalism
“It’s much easier to imagine the end of all life on earth than a much more modest radical change in capitalism.”– Slavoj Žižek
- Cocaine use doubles in Britain in five years. Analysis suggests more than one in every 50 Londoners take drug every day.
- Texas mother denied food stamps shoots her two children, then kills herself in a state welfare office.
- NYC taxi medallion prices artificially inflated then sold to unwitting drivers:
Over the past year, a spate of suicides by taxi drivers in New York City has highlighted in brutal terms the overwhelming debt and financial plight of medallion owners. All along, officials have blamed the crisis on competition from ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft.
But a New York Times investigation found much of the devastation can be traced to a handful of powerful industry leaders who steadily and artificially drove up the price of taxi medallions, creating a bubble that eventually burst.
- Homeless population jumps by thousands across the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco saw a 17% jump in the number of homeless residents over the last two years. 8,011 homeless people living in shelters and on the streets in the city of roughly 880,000.
- Britain’s opioid crisis takes on US dimension. The number of prescriptions in England and Wales had risen from 14 million in 2008 to 23 million last year. 113,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed by general practitioners every day.
- UK private jails more violent than public ones.
- Monsanto compiled enemy list:
The list of some 200 people included politicians, journalists and scientists who had raised concerns about Monsanto’s activities, including French MEPs and the environment minister at the time, Ségolène Royal.
- 4 million Britons in poverty despite having jobs.
- A San Francisco teacher on extended sick leave due to breast cancer has had to pay for her own substitute. The average cost for a substitute in the city is $200 (£150) per day, which gets deducted from the sick teacher’s salary.
- Heiress to German business behind Leibniz biscuits defends family’s Nazi-era slave labour:
Verena Bahlsen has come under fire over comments she made claiming the company treated forced labourers well during the Nazi era and “did nothing wrong”.
“I’m a capitalist. I stand to inherit a quarter of Bahlsen, and I’m looking forward to it,” she told the conference. “I want to make money and buy yachts.”
- German politicians outraged after Daimler announced to stop campaign donations:
- “Stopping party donations irresponsible.” – Thomas Bareiß (CDU)
- “Daimler contributes to weakening of democracy.” – Thomas Bauer (CSU)
- “Donations intended by constitution.” – Otto Solms (FDP)
- UK man is fined £90 for hiding face from police facial recognition cameras.
- U.S. school cafeteria worker fired for giving food to student who couldn’t pay.
- As suicides rise, insurers find ways to deny mental health coverage:
The U.S. is in the midst of a mental health crisis. In 2017, 47,000 Americans died by suicide and 70,000 from drug overdoses. And 17.3 million adults suffered at least one major depressive episode.
Failures of the mental health system contributed to trends that have lowered U.S. life expectancy over the past three years. From 2008, when Congress passed the parity act, to 2016, the rate at which Americans died by suicide increased 16%. The rate of fatal overdoses jumped 66% in the same period.
- Delta Air Lines told employees to buy video games instead of forming a union.
- Every year, Amazon destroys about three million unused products in France alone. Unsold goods that have spent too much time in the distribution centres are thrown away.
- Millions of people uploaded photos to cloud storage app, while the company behind it used them to develop facial recognition tools:
Ever AI promises prospective military clients that it can “enhance surveillance capabilities” and “identify and act on threats.” It offers law enforcement the ability to identify faces in body-cam recordings or live video feeds.
- Ethiopians are being paid world’s lowest wages to make clothes. Workers are being paid $26 a month, almost a quarter of the $95 a month minimum wage in Bangladesh.
- Leading U.S. drug companies conspired to inflate prices of common medicines by up to 1000%, according to lawsuit filed by 44 states.
- The mental health crisis among Canadian youth has seen an alarming increase in youth suicide in recent years:
Researchers found rates had doubled between 2007 and 2015.
[S]tress could be a reason rates are going up. “Kids are feeling more pressure to achieve, more pressure in school, and are more worried about making a living than in previous years”.
- Nearly half of U.S. college students are going hungry:
A survey […] indicated that 45 percent of student respondents from over 100 institutions said they had been food insecure in the past 30 days. […]
[E]fforts have recently expanded to include redistributing leftover food from dining halls and catered events, making students eligible for food stamps and other benefits.
- Boeing fires workers who organise, as an effort to prevent unionisation.
- Private Equity is turning public prisons into big profits,
after U.S. corporations have privatised almost every part
of the public prison system.
Today, a handful of privately held companies dominate the correctional-services market, many with troubling records of price gouging some of the poorest families and violating the human rights of prisoners. […] These companies are often controlled by private-equity firms, which through financial alchemy transform the prison-industrial complex into lavish returns for pensions, endowments, and charitable foundations.
- One French police officer commits suicide every four days.
Since the beginning of 2019, a total of 24 suicides committed by police officers […]
In 2000, 54 officers committed suicide, in 2005 50 police officers took their own lives, in 2008 there were 49 and in 2014 there were 55.
- More than 270 election workers in Indonesia have died, mostly of fatigue-related illnesses caused by long hours of work counting millions of ballot papers by hand.
- Medical bills and illness linked to nearly two-thirds of bankruptcies in U.S.: 50% increase from 2001. Most of those bankrupted were middle class and had insurance.
- Amazon’s automated system tracks warehouse worker productivity and automatically fires them.
- At least 21 Indian students commit suicide after exam results.
While the boy jumped in front of the train and ended his life in Warangal, another student—a girl from Mahabubnagar burnt herself to death in the past 24 hours.
According to the police and the parents, both the students were depressed after not performing well in the examination.
- Potholes epidemic on UK roads. It would cost nearly £10 billion to restore the roads.
- More than 300 overworked NHS nurses have died by suicide in just seven years.
The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, show 305 killed themselves over the seven-year period. Data revealed 32 suicides were recorded in 2017. This was down from 51 nurses aged from 20 to 64 in 2016.
But the highest total was 54, recorded in 2014. And a recent study has shown female nurses are more at risk of suicide than other professions.