• 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)