4/17 The Fairytale That Is Economics; The Looming, Massive UPS Strike w/ Jon D. Erickson; Justin Alo & Matt Leichenger

April 17, 2023

Happy Monday! Sam is back from vacation! He and Emma speak with Jon D. Erickson, professor of sustainability science and policy at The University of Vermont, to discuss his recent book The Progress Illusion: Reclaiming Our Future from the Fairytale of Economics. Then, they’re joined but Justin Alo of Teamsters Local 542 and Matt Leichenger of Teamsters Local 804 to discuss UPS workers’ campaign for a new contract. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on the freezing of Mifepristone, the Fox-Dominion case, the Supreme Court hearing a case on Christians having to work on Sundays, the success of the faculty union at Rutgers, continuing gun violence across the US, the GOP Primary, and Macron’s assault on the French working class, before parsing through the absences of Sam Seder and Dianne Feinstein. Jon D. Erickson then dives right into his concept of “progress illusion,” as capitalism’s fairytale of market-driven, hyper-privatized progress, defined by marginal benefits and hyper-individualized choices that completely ignore the biophysical realities of our planet and who we are as humans. Next, he steps back to discuss the ideological nature of economics, and why that must be understood in searching for who and what economic systems are built for, diving into the statistic of Gross Domestic Product as a symbol of neoliberal progress, and how it emphasizes privatized profits while ignoring the social costs. After tackling the idea of economic systems as our servants (rather than masters), Professor Erickson walks Sam and Emma through his view of a statistic that is conscious of public costs, as put into practice in Vermont, and where such a system still falls short. Wrapping up, Jon, Emma, and Sam debate the role of capitalism and degrowth in a future that doesn’t exclusively value private profits. Justi Alo and Matt Leichenger then dive into the recent UPS teamsters’ strike, what the Teamsters for a Democratic Union caucus represents, and how a new generation of union organizers is stepping up. They also discuss UPS’ massive profits over the pandemic, alongside diminishing working conditions, and what the teamsters’ demands for this strike entail.

And in The Fun Half: Sam and Emma cover the Right-Wing jumping at the chance to defend Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat, Kevin McCarthy’s visit to Wall Street to let them know that the working class will be punished soon, and the Good Liars return to the NRA Conference. Glenn Beck and Ben Shapiro each dive into their own brands of historical revisionism (transphobic holocaust denial and the race of Cleopatra, respectively), which Brendan from San Diego analyzes, and Rob from Boston asks Emma and Bradley to please stop the Taibbi impressions. Catfish James from Portland (Oregon) dives into the Greater Idaho Movement, and Greg Gutfeld gets woke on the Five, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Jon’s book here: https://islandpress.org/books/progress-illusion

Check out Justin’s piece in Labor Notes about the impending contract negotiations here: https://www.labornotes.org/2023/04/strike-force-building-ups-contract-campaign-one-breakfast-time

Get more info on Teamsters For A Democratic Union (TDU) here: https://www.tdu.org/donate

Check out the TDU Store!: https://tdustore.myshopify.com/

Donate to the New York City DSA’s Union Power Campaign here!: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/unionpower

Become a member at JoinTheMajorityReport.com: https://fans.fm/majority/join

Subscribe to the ESVN YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/esvnshow

Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here: https://am-quickie.ghost.io/

Join the Majority Report Discord! http://majoritydiscord.com/

Get all your MR merch at our store: https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/

Get the free Majority Report App!: http://majority.fm/app

Check out today’s sponsors:

Sunset Lake CBD: sunsetlakecbd is a majority employee owned farm in Vermont, producing 100% pesticide free CBD products. Starting today, all CBD products will be 30% off with coupon code “420”. Orders over $150 will get one FREE 20-count jar of gummies-Sour bears, good vibe gummies, or sleep gummies! 5% of all proceeds will be donated to the Last Prisoner Project-and The Majority Report will match those donations! Also, use code Leftisbest and get 20% off when you shop at http://www.sunsetlakecbd.com.

Cozy Earth: One out of three Americans report being sleep deprived, and their sheets could be the problem. Luckily Cozy Earth provides the SOFTEST, MOST LUXURIOUS and BEST-TEMPERATURE REGULATING sheets. Cozy Earth has been featured on Oprah’s Most Favorite Things List Four Years in a Row! Made from super soft viscose from bamboo, Cozy Earth Sheets breathe so you sleep at the perfect temperature all year round.  And for a limited time, SAVE 35% on Cozy Earth Bedding. Go to https://cozyearth.com/ and enter my special promo code MAJORITY at checkout to SAVE 35% now. Hurry, holiday offer ends soon.

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:







Check out Matt’s show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/leftreckoning

Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/

Check out Ava Raiza’s music here! https://avaraiza.bandcamp.com/

The Majority Report with Sam Seder – https://majorityreportradio.com/

Past Episodes

It's Hump Day! Sam speaks with Sarah Jaffe, fellow at the Type Media Center  based in New Orleans, to discuss her recent piece for In These Times entitled “In Tough Loss, the High-Profile UAW Campaign at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama Falls Short.” Then, Sam checks in on some news stories he’s been ...
It's News Day Tuesday! Sam and Emma break down the biggest headlines of the day. But first, they speak with Mark Joseph Stern, senior writer at Slate, to discuss some of the recent developments at the Supreme Court. First, they run through updates on Biden’s criticism of the ICC’s Israeli ...
It's ESVN Week #84 and it is a solemn one. Emma & Bradley break down the NBA playoffs now that it's down to the final 4 teams (sans Knicks). They also check in on the NHL playoffs and Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker's week of controversy! Follow Emma and Bradley on ...