Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:
• America Is Now in the Hands of the Vaccine-Hesitant A subset of Americans haven’t yet made up their mind about getting a COVID-19 shot. Whether they turn out in the coming weeks will determine the future of the pandemic. (The Atlantic) see also U.S. Vaccine Hesitation Could Mean 4.6 Million More Covid Cases An estimated one-quarter of Americans will opt out of coronavirus vaccinations this year. If activities involving personal contact surpass 70% of pre-pandemic levels, an additional 4.6 million people could catch the virus this year. (Bloomberg)
• US sinks to new low in rankings of world’s democracies The US has slipped 11 points in a decade – below Argentina and Mongolia – according the latest report by a democracy watchdog. Extreme partisan gerrymandering – the manipulation of electoral district lines to boost one party over the other – has contributed to dramatic polarization in the US, threatening its democratic foundations. Gerrymandering, the report says, “has the most corrosive and radicalizing effect on US politics.” (The Guardian)
• Preachers and their $5,000 sneakers: Why one man started an Instagram account showing churches’ wealth: Serious questions about wealth, class and consumerism, including whether it’s appropriate to generate massive revenue from selling the gospel of Jesus. The fuzzy line” between successful ministry and booming business. (Washington Post)
• The Coal Plant Next Door: Near America’s largest coal-fired power plant, toxins are showing up in drinking water and people have fallen ill. Thousands of pages of internal documents show how one giant energy company plans to avoid the cleanup costs. (ProPublica)
• Hundreds Of Far-Right Militias Are Still Organizing, Recruiting, And Promoting Violence On Facebook A new report identified more than 200 militia pages and groups on Facebook as of March 18, more than two months after the insurrection at the Capitol. (Buzzfeed)
• Four Numbers That Show the Cost of Slavery on Black Wealth Today: The Pay Check podcast does the math on moments in U.S. history that led to the racial wealth gap. (Bloomberg)
• Abuse of Force For years, a tactical police unit in Mount Vernon, New York, reigned with impunity—protecting drug dealers, planting evidence, brutalizing citizens. Then one of its own started covertly documenting the abuse. (Esquire)
• Rich Countries Signed Away a Chance to Vaccinate the World Despite warnings, American and European officials gave up leverage that could have guaranteed access for billions of people. That risks prolonging the pandemic (New York Times)
• Poor Service at the Top: What Louis DeJoy’s Changes to USPS Will Do to the Mail What the coming changes to the U.S. Postal Service really mean for the mail. (Slate)
• Dear news media, Fla. Gov. DeSantis’ COVID record isn’t a success, but a failure Florida hasn’t done better than California despite different policies — in the parts of each state that resemble each other demographically, the challenge is similar, and so is the weaponry. And when you put it all together, Florida still does worse overall than California. (Los Angeles Times) See also Orlando Sentinel sues Florida Department of Health to force release of COVID variant data Gov. Ron DeSantis and his office refused to provide weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force reports in a timely manner. “No public records law exemption exists that would prevent the inspection or copying of data” a recent lawsuit stated. “FDOH’s delay in providing the requested records is unreasonable, unjustified and amounts to an unlawful refusal to provide the records.” (Orlando Sentinel)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Gary Chropuvka, President of World Quant. The firm was spun out of Millennium Management in 2007, and manages about $7 billion dollars. Previously, Chropuvka was co-head of the Quantitative Investment Strategies (QIS) team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM).
How much of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food?
Source: Our World In Data
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.