Outside Reading — Stronger Where It Healed edition

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Restoring the Economy Is the Last Thing We Should Want by Douglas Rushkoff

Writing for GEN, Douglas Rushkoff is the latest to make the persuasive case that getting “back to normal” should not be our national goal, especially in the case of our fiscal operations. There are flatly better ways to approach the work and investment that undergirds the economy, and the pain being felt right now exposes what’s fundamentally ill-conceived about the modern version of U.S. capitalism, warped into thinly disguised feudalism by forty-plus years of pernicious assaults on the institutions that redress ills and preserve fairness in society. It’s time to start ignoring the greedy corporate fiends on their ad hoc battalion of proudly subservient. rifle-brandishing buffoons screaming at state houses. Their voices can and should be replaced by sensible people who believe in tested policies and approaches for improving the lives of working people.

 

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Hotelier’s Push for $126 Million in Small-Business Aid Draws Scrutiny by Jeanna Smialek and Kenneth P. Vogel

And the front page of today’s New York Times, in an article written by Jeanna Smialek and Kenneth P. Vogel, identifies one of the culprits behind our current woes: a grotesquely, unduly rich hotel chain chairman who has made a side career of whining about taxes and used a deliberate loophole — that he himself lobbied for, of course, to suck up relief funds meant for small businesses and has unashamedly implied that he has no particular intention to use the money for its intended purpose, which is to keep his employees solvent. Monty Bennett isn’t a villain for what he’s done in recent weeks. His immorality precedes and, left unchecked, will well outlast the pandemic. Building a better economy for everyone begins with halting the influence of people like Bennett. If he had to actually work for a living in one of his hotels, he wouldn’t last a week.

 

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Beer Baron: Ale Asylum has some choice words for COVID-19 by Chris Drosner

I offered my humble reflections about the colorfully named new beer from Ale Asylum, a favorite local brewery, just a couple weeks ago. The person on the beer beat for the local newspaper goes deeper, offering genuine reportage from the brewers and others behind the delectable libation. The skirting-the-profane name of the product is delightful, of course, but it’s no mere novelty; the beer is also a pleasure to drink. And Chris Drosner’s article informatively touches on the genuine challenges current being faced by craft brewers, many of them highly dependent on tasting room business.

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