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This Valentine's Day, Occupy the Romantic-Industrial Complex

Sex & Relationships

Let's find a way to honor relationships that does not rely on buying stuff.

Samhita Mukhopadhyay, The Nation

I_Want_YouIf you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

February 13, 2012 | This Valentine’s Day, enthusiasts are expected to spend approximately $17.6 billion on romance-related goods—jewelry, cards, flowers and chocolates—a ten-year high, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s not even the whole picture, when you include all the other things that go along with the “perfect” romantic experience: heart shaped doohickeys, sexy lingerie, bikini waxes, fancy dinners, candle lit romantic massages for two, romantic getaways, puppies and couples counseling. Clearly, the economics of love is serious business.

But despite evidence of how much love costs these days and cultural norms that are evolving away from traditional gender roles in romantic relationships, the commercialization of Valentine’s Day continues to communicate traditional and conventional fantasies about gender and love. It’s what theorists call heteronormativity: the structures and norms that privilege heterosexual monogamy, while simultaneously stigmatizing behavior that deviates from this model. How is it that heteronormativity still has such a stronghold on the public imagination, despite the fact that more and more people are choosing to delay or forgo marriage or despite the fact in more and more states across the country, marriage is no longer limited to people who are straight? How has it still intact after the Kim Kardashian marital disaster saga, or the notorious marital flameouts between Kevin Federline and Britney Spears or Katy Perry and Russell Brand? How has it weathered scandal after scandal in which the most ardent supporters of “marriage between a man and a woman” are unable to stay faithful?

Samhita Mukhopadhyay is a digital strategist at Purpose. 

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Truth to Tell | Minimum Wage in Minnesota

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  • Who has it right? Can anyone really know for sure until these changes go into effect? Can a wage increase in absence of any other corporate regulation at the federal level to reign in greedy profit margins really do more good than harm? TruthToTell’s Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi ask these questions and more of our guests.
  • Falling Behind. How High Should It Go?

Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi, Truth to Tell, KFAI-FM | MN

Thank_YouThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

TTT_SMFeb 2, 2014 | "Americans overwhelmingly agree, nobody who's working full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty…and that is why I firmly believe it is time to give America a raise.” This was the proclamation of President Obama in his recent 2014 State of the Union address. The President even gave some credit to higher wage renegades at the St. Paul-based chain Punch Pizza (though he caught some flack for saying they were based out of Minneapolis) for voluntarily raising their starting wage to $10 an hour because it was the right thing to do for employee morale. But the president’s comments on Tuesday night weren’t the first we’ve heard about raising the minimum wage in America.

5_state_region_minimum_wage_2014_modified.jpg The debate over whether or not raising the minimum wage will help or hurt already struggling low-wage Americans has been raging on for decades, particularly in the wake of the great recession.

Guests: 

Broadcast: in Minneapolis/St. Paul KFAI-90.3/106.7/Streamed @ KFAI.org<http://www.kfai.org/truthtotell> 9-10AM, Monday, February 3.

Archived: Click here

Watch us in Studio 5! TruthToTell is now seen live on Livestream and later on Blip.tv.

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Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan

  • The first installment in a four-part series 
  • The Super Bowl of Subsidies

Jason Novak and Mike Duncan, theguardian.com

Thursday 30 January 2014 | 

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The Super Bowl of Subsidies, Kristen Steele, The Economics of Happiness Blog

  • As one journalist wrote: “(Having a pro sports team) is about the intangibles of identity and pride, which are far harder to value.”  I, for one, think that’s a useful metric for more than just the NFL. Are we prouder of ravaged landscapes and emptied oceans than we are of clean air and waters full of life?  Do we want to identify with a society that puts people and livelihoods first or one that idolizes corporate profits?
  • The NFL and other corporate subsidies

The Super Bowl of Subsidies

Corporate Accountability and Workplace Banner

  • As one journalist wrote: “(Having a pro sports team) is about the intangibles of identity and pride, which are far harder to value.”  I, for one, think that’s a useful metric for more than just the NFL. Are we prouder of ravaged landscapes and emptied oceans than we are of clean air and waters full of life?  Do we want to identify with a society that puts people and livelihoods first or one that idolizes corporate profits?
  • The NFL and other corporate subsidies
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan

Kristen Steele, Economics of Happiness Blog

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editors Jim Fuller and Lydia Howell.

I%20Want%20You.jpg If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Saturday, February 1, 2014 | What comes to mind when you think of the Super Bowl? The Bronco’s stunning offense? The glitzy halftime show? Chicken wings and Clydesdales? Call me a spoil sport, but I can’t help thinking subsidies. That’s because even though the NFL (National Football League) generates $51 million a year in ticket sales, $2.1 billion in merchandising revenue, and an estimated $2.8 billion a year for television rights, they also receive about $1 billion each year in state and federal subsidies to cover their capital costs. Many teams also take a page from the playbook of the biggest global corporations by blackmailing local governments:  unless taxpayers pony up for a new stadium or major improvements to the old one, the team will simply pack up and head elsewhere. The NFL also gets a tax break through a convenient loop-hole that deems it a non-profit organization [1].

I work for a very different size of non-profit in which all these millions and billions of dollars are impossible-to-fathom sums. However, the NFL’s ability to fleece the public is nothing compared to most of the big—and even more dubious—subsidies out there. The International Society for Ecology and Culture has been tracking corporate subsidies for more than two decades and these are some of the worst we’ve found.

Kristen Steele is Associate Programs Director at the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC). She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and an MS in Wild Animal Biology.

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Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan, Jason Novak and Mike Duncan, theguardian.com

  • The first installment in a four-part series 
  • The Super Bowl of Subsidies

Regulations Don't Kill Jobs, They Save Lives

Corporate Accountability and Workplace

  • Opponents of regulation often suggest that regulations create uncertainty and therefore stymie growth, but in truth they do the opposite.
  • NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

Sean McElwee, Huffington Post

12/03/2013 | It's one of the oldest right-wing claims: "Excessive" regulation will harm job creators and kill the economy. But is it based on sound economics?

One new study, which examines this particular argument, finds it absurd on its face. Taylor Lincoln, who authored the report for Public Citizen, tells Salon the goal was to "point out hypocrisy and contradictions and the chasms between rhetoric and reality." To that end, the report cites one Heritage Foundation study which asserted that a more efficient regulatory system could create 9.6 million jobs. The problem, as Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein noted: "there are only 7 million unemployed Americans."

Sean McElwee: His work has been featured in The Day, New Politics and the Norwich Bulletin and on TheModerateVoice.com WashingtonMonthly.com, Alternet.org, Reason.com, Antiwar.com, Policymic.com and Salon.com.

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NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster, Jeff Faux, Huffington Post

  • By any measure, NAFTA and its sequels has been a major contributor to the rising inequality of incomes and wealth that Barack Obama bemoans in his speeches. Yet today -- channeling Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton -- the president proposes two more such trade deals: the Trans-Pacific Partnership with eleven Pacific Rim countries and a free trade agreement with Europe.
  • Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Revealed

Matt Taibbi | Jamie Dimon's Raise Proves US Regulatory Strategy Is a Joke

  • This is a little like trying to rein in a class bully by halving his school's budget. It doesn't work. Crimes are committed by people, and justice has to target people, too. Or else the whole thing is a joke, as we found out last week.
  • The Rumored Chase-Madoff Settlement Is Another Bad Joke

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

Jamie_DimonJamie Dimon Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

January 30, 2014 | If you make a big show of punishing someone, and when you're done they still don't think they have a behavior problem, you probably picked the wrong punishment. Every parent on earth knows this implicitly – but does the Obama White House finally get it, too, now, after Jamie Dimon's raise?

When the board of JP Morgan Chase gave its blowdried, tirelessly self-regarding CEO a whopping 74 percent raise – after a year in which the Justice Department blasted the bank with $20 billion in sanctions – it was one of those rare instances where Main Street and Wall Street were mostly madoff-600-1387214956.jpgin agreement.

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary.

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Related:

The Rumored Chase-Madoff Settlement Is Another Bad JokeMatt TaibbiRolling Stone

December 16, 2013 | Just under two months ago, when the $13 billion settlement for JP Morgan Chase was coming down the chute, word leaked out that that the deal was no sure thing. Among other things, it was said...

Harry Reid Effectively Kills Obama's TPP and TTIP International Trade Deals

Corporate Accountability &Workplace

  • It's back to the drawing boards for President Obama, on one of his top priorities as the U.S. President. And, given how late this is happening in his very unpopular Presidency, that means there almost certainly won't be any TPP or TTIP, at least not while he is leading this country.
  • NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

Eric Zuesse, OpEdNews

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Stop TPP1/30/2014 | One of President Barack Obama's top priorities ever since he entered the White House has been to achieve two international trade deals, one with Europe, and the other with Asia, that will enable international corporations to override the laws in participating nations and thus to provide ultimate corporate control over regulations concerning pesticide-use, food-safety, global-warming abatement, collective bargaining, and other such matters.

On Wednesday 29 January 2014, the leader of congressional Democrats, Harry Reid -- the U.S. Senate Majority Leader -- came out publicly saying, "I'm against fast track." This means that unlike the international-trade treaties that were rammed through Congress under George W. Bush, Obama's trade deals won't be -- and that they are thus now practically dead. 

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  Christ's Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity

Full story…

Related:

NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A DisasterJeff Faux, Huffington Post

  • By any measure, NAFTA and its sequels has been a major contributor to the rising inequality of incomes and wealth that Barack Obama bemoans in his speeches. Yet today -- channeling Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton -- the president proposes two more such trade deals: the Trans-Pacific Partnership with eleven Pacific Rim countries and a free trade agreement with Europe.
  • Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Revealed

 

 

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