Daily Digest - July 15: When Patents Increase Inequality

Jul 15, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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How Intellectual Property Reinforces Inequality (NYT)

Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist and Senior Fellow Joseph Stiglitz applauds the Supreme Court's decision in the Myriad Genetics case. He says Myriad's patent on the BCRA genes was a horrible manifestation of inequality of healthcare access and thus economic inequality.

The Feds are Finally Cracking Down on Ratings Agencies. What Took so Long? (WaPo)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal explains how ratings agencies became so deeply tied into our financial system over the past thirty years. Reform is clearly necessary after their involvement in the financial crisis, but systemic change moves very slowly.

The Food Stamp-Out (TAP)

Monica Potts says that food stamps were tied to farm subsidies because it would force Congress to consider the poor at the same time as big agriculture. Splitting the two puts the long-term future of this successful program at risk.

Yes, You Should Be Totally Outraged By the Farm Bill (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson argues that the reason the House can pass a Farm Bill without SNAP is because it has no time to think about the poor. Elected officials in both parties spend so much time fundraising that they rarely speak to constituents on food stamps.

Hunger Games, U.S.A. (NYT)

Paul Krugman shows that it is impossible to tie SNAP to our continued unemployment problems. With that claim debunked, he struggles to understand why the House Republicans wants to make things even more difficult for people in poverty by cutting food stamps.

Every Day, Low Wages (Working Economics)

David Cooper discusses why Wal-Mart's of bullying Washington, DC over their living wage bill is particularly offensive. Wal-Mart has massive profits, and could maintain them and pass this cost on to the consumer by increasing prices by only 1%.

A Deeper Dive into Sequestration’s Impact on Head Start (On the Economy)

Jared Bernstein sees three immediate impacts: kids whose early education is interrupted, faculty members who lose jobs, and parents who have to find new childcare arrangements or risk losing their jobs.

Meet The People Who Lost Their Housing Thanks To Budget Cuts (ThinkProgress)

Bryce Covert reports on the struggles of those seeking and administering Section 8 housing vouchers under sequestration. So far, authorities are slowing their waiting lists, but cuts to voucher amounts and the overall number of vouchers could be coming.

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