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Democrats Need to Tame the Facebook Monster They Helped Create

Date Published: May 20, 2019

If you are thinking about Facebook or questions of political economy, an important and telling hearing took place recently in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Democratic leaders Frank Pallone and Jan Schakowsky did an oversight review of Facebook’s regulator, the Federal Trade Commission, with all five commissioners, including Chairman Joe Simons, advancing ideas on how to address privacy rules in America today.

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We’re getting closer to stopping tech giants like Apple from abusing their power

Date Published: May 15, 2019

Of the big four tech giants, Facebook, Google and Amazon have been taking heat for abusing their market power, while Apple has been flying under the radar. That’s because Apple’s business model, unlike that of Facebook and Google, doesn’t depend on closely tracking your data, and it has been more restrained than Amazon in the number of markets it muscles into. But thanks to a US Supreme Court decision on Monday, Apple is finally getting the attention it deserves.

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When American Capitalism Meant Equality

Date Published: May 14, 2019

American capitalism used to mean economic equality and security. When I mention this in speeches or talks today, this observation prompts laughter, or outright disbelief. But it’s true. Americans used to believe economic equality was foundational to our political system. That America—at least for those considered citizens—carried with it an implicit promise of rough commercial equality. How did this notion change so radically?

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Noncompete clauses trap #MeToo victims in abusive workplaces. The FTC should ban them.

Date Published: May 14, 2019

After decades of virtual silence, the #MeToo movement has publicized the epidemic of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. The recent New York Times investigation of Sterling Jewelers exposes the depth of the problem and shows how long and hard women’s fight for justice remains. Since women who complain about harassment face retaliation and even termination, often the only way to escape it is to find a new job. Yet for many women, continuing their careers with a new employer turns out to be impossible.

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A Charter for a Clean, Democratic Future

Date Published: May 12, 2019

While the world has failed to make significant progress in combating climate change over the past decade, the prospect for real action looks very promising today. Proponents of a Green New Deal aim not to nudge the current energy economy toward carbon neutrality but to restructure the production, distribution, and use of energy. Even as it represents a break from the impoverished political imagination of the (still ongoing) neoliberal era, the Green New Deal draws on a rich legal and historical template for transforming our energy economy and deepen democracy.

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Facebook is violating our privacy. Where are the cops?

Date Published: May 8, 2019

n 2011, the Federal Trade Commission settled charges with Facebook that the social networking giant “deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public”. Today, the company is again in hot water for, among other things, misusing private user data, failing to stop the spread of fake news and enabling the distribution of toxic and violent multimedia.

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