This Week’s Under-reported News Summary Feb. 13, 2019

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Mexico's new progressive president says he has a just immigration plan
  • OxyContin maker explores expansion into “attractive” anti-addiction market
  • Why Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax would work

• In his first days as Mexico’s President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known affectionately as “AMLO,” proposed a Marshall-like aid plan for the impoverished and violence plagued nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. AMLO committed to investing $30 billion in the three Central American nations over five years.

(“Will AMLO Respond to the Central American Exodus With Compassion—Or Militarization?” In These Times, Jan. 29, 2019; “Can El Salvador’s New President Fix What’s Driving Citizens Out,” Foreign Policy, Feb. 4, 2019)

• ProPublica reports executives at pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, which helped to trigger the U.S. opioid crisis, considered capitalizing on the addiction treatment market – while at the same time trying to boost sales of their controversial opioid drug.

(“OxyContin Maker Explores Expansion Into ‘Attractive’ Anti-Addiction Market,” ProPublica, Jan. 30, 2019) 

• In launching her presidential campaign, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has revived the idea of a wealth tax on America’s super-rich. The progressive Democrat calls for imposing a 2 percenttax on households worth over $50 million, and a 3 percent tax on assets over $1 billion, affecting 75,000 households. The proposal provoked an outcry from billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Howard Schultz, both of whom have presidential aspirations. In contrast to discussion of a wealth tax, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to repeal the already weakened federal estate tax, that impacts fewer than 2,000 of the nation’s wealthiest families a year.

(“Why Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Would Work,” New Yorker, Jan. 31, 2019)

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