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The Myth of Labor Shortages

The chief executive of Domino’s Pizza has complained that the company can’t hire enough drivers. Lyft and Uber claim to have a similar problem. A McDonald’s franchise in Florida offered $50 to anybody willing to show up for an interview. And some fast-food outlets have hung signs in their windows saying, “No one wants to work anymore.”

The idea that the United States suffers from a labor shortage is fast becoming conventional wisdom. But before you accept the idea, it’s worth taking a few minutes to think it through.

Once you do, you may realize that the labor shortage is more myth than reality.

Let’s start with some basic economics. The U.S. is a capitalist country, and one of the beauties of capitalism is its mechanism for dealing with shortages. In a communist system, people must wait in long lines when there is more demand than supply for an item. That’s an actual shortage. In a capitalist economy, however, there is a ready solution.

The company or person providing the item raises its price. Doing so causes other providers to see an opportunity for profit and enter the market, increasing supply. To take a hypothetical example, a shortage of baguettes in a town will lead to higher prices, which will in turn cause more local bakeries to begin making their own baguettes (and also cause some families to choose other forms of starch). Suddenly, the baguette shortage is no more.

solve the problem by offering to pay a higher price for that labor — also known as higher wages. More workers will then enter the labor market. Suddenly, the labor shortage will be no more.

a lot of evidence to suggest that the U.S. economy does not suffer from that problem.

If anything, wages today are historically low. They have been growing slowly for decades for every income group other than the affluent. As a share of gross domestic product, worker compensation is lower than at any point in the second half of the 20th century. Two main causes are corporate consolidation and shrinking labor unions, which together have given employers more workplace power and employees less of it.

has declined in recent decades. The country now has the equivalent of a large group of bakeries that are not making baguettes but would do so if it were more lucrative — a pool of would-be workers, sitting on the sidelines of the labor market.

Corporate profits, on the other hand, have been rising rapidly and now make up a larger share of G.D.P. than in previous decades. As a result, most companies can afford to respond to a growing economy by raising wages and continuing to make profits, albeit perhaps not the unusually generous profits they have been enjoying.

announced Tuesday that it would raise its minimum hourly wage to $25 and insist that contractors pay at least $15 an hour. Other companies that have recently announced pay increases include Amazon, Chipotle, Costco, McDonald’s, Walmart, J.P. Morgan Chase and Sheetz convenience stores.

Why the continuing complaints about a labor shortage, then?

They are not totally misguided. For one thing, some Americans appear to have temporarily dropped out of the labor force because of Covid-19. Some high-skill industries may also be suffering from a true lack of qualified workers, and some small businesses may not be able to absorb higher wages. Finally, there is a rollicking partisan debate about whether expanded jobless benefits during the pandemic have caused workers to opt out.

For now, some combination of these forces — together with a rebounding economy — has created the impression of labor shortages. But companies have an easy way to solve the problem: Pay more.

That so many are complaining about the situation is not a sign that something is wrong with the American economy. It is a sign that corporate executives have grown so accustomed to a low-wage economy that many believe anything else is unnatural.

became a top spokesmodel.

Up in the air: A kite-building tutorial that doubles as a meditative experience.

Too big: Why this Nobel laureate economist has soured on Big Tech.

A Times classic: See what kids around the world eat for breakfast.

Lives Lived: Lee Evans was one of several Black athletes who threatened to boycott the 1968 Summer Olympics. Instead, he smashed two world records and raised his fist at the medal ceremony. Evans died at 74.

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos to executives. The spicy puffs were a huge success, and Montañez worked his way up the company’s ranks to become an executive himself.

It’s the kind of inspiring story made for a biopic — one that the actress Eva Longoria is set to direct. And yet, the details may not be entirely true, according to an investigation by The Los Angeles Times.

While Montañez did make valuable contributions to Frito-Lay, the company stated that he did not create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Lynne Greenfeld, an employee at Frito-Lay’s corporate office, did. “That doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate Richard, but the facts do not support the urban legend,” Frito-Lay said.

Montañez has disputed Frito-Lay’s claims, with some support from another executive, and said his low job status explained the lack of documentation of his role. “I wasn’t a supervisor, I was the least of the least,” Montañez told Variety. He retired from the company in 2019.

As for the movie, Frito-Lay told its producers about the story discrepancies in 2019. “I think enough of the story is true,” Lewis Colick, a screenwriter for the project, recently said. “The heart and soul and spirit of the story is true. He is a guy who should remain the face of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.” — Sanam Yar, a Morning writer

this recipe features greens, beans and a Parmesan crust.

play online.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Regrettably …” (four letters).

If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.


Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

P.S. The Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin will host an event at 1:30 p.m. E.T. today with Dame Ellen MacArthur about how to reduce our carbon footprint. R.S.V.P. here.

You can see today’s print front page here.

Today’s episode of “The Daily” is about Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu. On the Modern Love podcast, a man returns to the orphanage he tried to forget.

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New Political Pressures Push US, Europe to Stop Israel-Gaza Conflict

BRUSSELS — A diplomatic flurry from the White House and Europe added pressure on Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza on Wednesday to halt their 10-day-old conflict before it turned into a war entangling more of the Middle East.

President Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel — their second phone call in three days — telling the Israeli leader he “expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire,” administration officials said. Although they portrayed the call as consistent with what Mr. Biden had been saying, his decision to set a deadline was an escalation.

And in Europe, France and Germany, both strong allies of Israel that had initially held back from pressuring Mr. Netanyahu in the early days of the conflict, intensified their push for a cease-fire.

French diplomats sought to advance their proposed United Nations Security Council resolution that would call on the antagonists to stop fighting and to allow unfettered humanitarian access to Gaza. It remained unclear on Wednesday if the United States, which has blocked all Security Council attempts to even issue a statement condemning the violence, would go along with the French resolution.

Twitter post afterward, he said, “I especially appreciate the support of our friend @POTUS Joe Biden, for the State of Israel’s right to self-defense.”

confronted Mr. Biden during his trip to a Ford plant, and pleaded with him to address the growing violence in the region and protect Palestinian lives.

Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan, who witnessed that interaction, said in an interview on Wednesday that Mr. Netanyahu’s reluctance to negotiate a cease-fire had made it harder for Democrats across the political spectrum to defend Israel’s actions.

Some saw the second phone call between Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu as messaging to placate domestic constituents.

Democrats have been pushing Mr. Biden “to take a tougher line and this was his opportunity to demonstrate that he is doing so,” said Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington group that supports Mr. Netanyahu’s policies. He also said Mr. Netanyahu “does not want to give the impression that he’s been told to end this conflict before it’s the right time to do so.”

For European nations, the intensified push for a cease-fire also is based partly on political calculations.

pro-Palestinian demonstrations have sometimes turned into anti-Israeli protests and anti-Semitic attacks, including assaults on synagogues. Governments fear such protests and internal violence will worsen the longer the conflict lasts.

France is on alert for acts of Islamist terrorism, often from French-born Muslims outraged by events in the Middle East. Germany, which welcomed a million mostly Muslim migrants in 2015, is struggling to contain their anger about Israel.

At the same time, the election of Mr. Trump in 2016 also encouraged a right-wing European populism that is anti-immigration and often anti-Islamic, with a clear political identification with “Judeo-Christian values” and strong support for Israel. That is clear in France, with the far-right party of Marine Le Pen, as well as in Germany, with the far-right Alternative for Germany party.

Hugh Lovatt, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Up until now at least, there also had been a gradual de-emphasis of the Palestinian issue by governments, said Kristina Kausch, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund.

She attributed that de-emphasis partly to Israel’s shelved plans to annex the occupied West Bank, which Palestinians want as part of their own ambitions for an independent state, and to the 2020 Abraham Accords, Israel’s normalization of ties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, all big defenders of Palestinian rights. Ms. Kausch said there had been a sense that “the Palestinian cause can be put on the back burner, that Arab countries and people don’t care anymore.”

But this new outbreak, Ms. Kausch said, had shown “that the Palestinian cause is alive and kicking.” And no longer ignorable, at least for a while.

Julien Barnes-Dacey, director of the Middle East and North Africa program for the European Council on Foreign Relations.

At the beginning of this conflict, he said, the United States and Europe had been “largely sympathetic to the Israeli narrative, willing to give them some space to accomplish their military ambitions.”

similar two-page resolution passed by the Security Council during another fierce Gaza war in January 2009, and on which the United States abstained.

The draft resolution seeks a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access to Gaza, the condemnation of the rocket barrages and any incitement to violence, the official said.

In Germany, traditional support for Israel and patience with its military campaign appears to be waning.

After speaking with Mr. Netanyahu on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel “sharply condemned the continued rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel and assured the prime minister of the German government’s solidarity,” said her spokesman, Steffen Seibert.

But given the many civilian lives lost “on both sides,” Mr. Seibert said, “the chancellor expressed her hope that the fighting will end as soon as possible.”

Mr. Maas, the German foreign minister, said on Tuesday that “ending the violence in the Middle East is the first priority,” followed by political negotiations. But he also blamed Hamas for the escalation.

He appeared to be responding to domestic criticism that the government has been too lenient in the face of pro-Palestinian and sometimes anti-Semitic protests.

The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung commented that Germany should “concentrate on internal affairs and reflect that the ‘welcome culture’ extended to refugees was astoundingly naïve when it came to anti-Semitism.”

The question for Germany now, the paper said, “is how do we teach those for whom a hatred of Israel is in their DNA that Israel’s security is part of their adopted homeland’s raison d’être?”

Steven Erlanger reported from Brussels, and Jim Tankersley and Katie Rogers from Washington. Michael Crowley contributed reporting from Washington.

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New Political Pressures Push U.S. and Europe to Stop Israel-Gaza Conflict

BRUSSELS — A diplomatic flurry from the White House and Europe added pressure on Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza on Wednesday to halt their 10-day-old conflict before it turned into a war entangling more of the Middle East.

President Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel — their second phone call in three days — telling the Israeli leader he “expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire,” administration officials said. Although they portrayed the call as consistent with what Mr. Biden had been saying, his decision to set a deadline was an escalation. .

And in Europe, France and Germany, both strong allies of Israel that had initially held back from pressuring Mr. Netanyahu in the early days of the conflict, intensified their push for a cease-fire.

French diplomats sought to advance their proposed United Nations Security Council resolution that would call on the antagonists to stop fighting and to allow unfettered humanitarian access to Gaza. It remained unclear on Wednesday if the United States, which has blocked all Security Council attempts to even issue a statement condemning the violence, would go along with the French resolution.

Twitter post afterward, he said “I especially appreciate the support of our friend @POTUS Joe Biden, for the State of Israel’s right to self-defense.”

confronted Mr. Biden during his trip to a Ford plant, and pleaded with him to address the growing violence in the region and protect Palestinian lives.

Representative Debbie Dingell of Michigan, who witnessed that interaction, said in an interview on Wednesday that Mr. Netanyahu’s reluctance to negotiate a cease-fire had made it harder for Democrats across the political spectrum to defend Israel’s actions.

Some saw the second phone call between Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu as messaging to placate domestic constituents.

Democrats have been pushing Mr. Biden “to take a tougher line and this was his opportunity to demonstrate that he is doing so,” said Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington group that supports Mr. Netanyahu’s policies. He also said Mr. Netanyahu “does not want to give the impression that he’s been told to end this conflict before it’s the right time to do so.”

For European nations, the intensified push for a cease-fire also is based partly on political calculations.

pro-Palestinian demonstrations have sometimes turned into anti-Israeli protests, including attacks on synagogues. Governments fear such protests and internal violence will worsen the longer the conflict lasts.

France is on alert for acts of Islamist terrorism, often from French-born Muslims outraged by events in the Middle East. Germany, which welcomed a million mostly Muslim migrants in 2005, is struggling to contain their anger about Israel.

At the same time, the election of Mr. Trump in 2016 also encouraged a right-wing European populism that is anti-immigration and often anti-Islamic, with a clear political identification with “Judeo-Christian values’’ and strong support for Israel. That is clear in France, with the far-right party of Marine Le Pen, as well as in Germany, with the far-right Alternative for Germany party.

Hugh Lovatt, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Up until now at least, there also had been a gradual de-emphasis of the Palestinian issue by governments, said Kristina Kausch, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund.

She attributed that de-emphasis partly to Israel’s shelved plans to annex the occupied West Bank, which Palestinians want as part of their own ambitions for an independent state, and to the 2020 Abraham Accords, Israel’s normalization of ties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, all big defenders of Palestinian rights. Ms. Kausch said there had been a sense that “the Palestinian cause can be put on the back burner, that Arab countries and people don’t care anymore.”

But this new outbreak, Ms. Kausch said, had shown “that the Palestinian cause is alive and kicking.’’ And no longer ignorable, at least for a while.

Julien Barnes-Dacey, director of the Middle East and North Africa program for the European Council on Foreign Relations.

At the beginning of this conflict, he said, the United States and Europe had been “largely sympathetic to the Israeli narrative, willing to give them some space to accomplish their military ambitions.’’

similar two-page resolution passed by the Security Council during another fierce Gaza war in January 2009, and on which the United States abstained.

The draft resolution seeks a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access to Gaza, the condemnation of the rocket barrages and any incitement to violence, the official said.

In Germany, traditional support for Israel and patience with its military campaign appears to be waning.

After speaking with Mr. Netanyahu on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel “sharply condemned the continued rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel and assured the prime minister of the German government’s solidarity,” said her spokesman, Steffen Seibert.

But given the many civilian lives lost “on both sides,” Mr. Seibert said, “the chancellor expressed her hope that the fighting will end as soon as possible.”

Mr. Maas, the German foreign minister, said on Tuesday that “ending the violence in the Middle East is the first priority,’’ followed by political negotiations. But he also blamed Hamas for the escalation.

He appeared to be responding to domestic criticism that the government has been too lenient in the face of pro-Palestinian and sometimes anti-Semitic protests.

The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung commented that Germany should “concentrate on internal affairs and reflect that the ‘welcome culture’ extended to refugees was astoundingly naïve when it came to anti-Semitism.’’

The question for Germany now, the paper said, “is how do we teach those for whom a hatred of Israel is in their DNA that Israel’s security is part of their adopted homeland’s raison d’être?”

Steven Erlanger reported from Brussels, and Jim Tankersley and Katie Rogers from Washington. Michael Crowley contributed reporting from Washington.

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How Abortion Views Are Different

For nearly 50 years, public opinion has had only a limited effect on abortion policy. The Roe v. Wade decision, which the Supreme Court issued in 1973, established a constitutional right to abortion in many situations and struck down restrictions in dozens of states.

But now that the court has agreed to hear a case that could lead to the overturning of Roe, voters and legislators may soon again be determining abortion laws, state by state. This morning’s newsletter offers a guide to public opinion on the subject.

Americans’ views on abortion are sufficiently complex that both sides in the debate are able to point to survey data that suggests majority opinion is on their side — and then to argue that the data friendly to their own side is the “right” data. These competing claims can be confusing. But when you dig into the data, you discover there are some clear patterns and objective truths.

Here are five.

Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans — 60 percent to 70 percent, in recent polls by both Gallup and Pew — say they do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. Similarly, close to 60 percent of Americans say they favor abortion access in either all or most circumstances, according to Pew.

restrictions that Roe does not permit.

Roe, for example, allows only limited restrictions on abortion during the second trimester, mostly involving a mother’s health. But less than 30 percent of Americans say that abortion should “generally be legal” in the second trimester, according to Gallup. Many people also oppose abortion in specific circumstances — because a fetus has Down syndrome, for example — even during the first trimester.

One sign that many Americans favor significant restrictions is in the Gallup data. Gallup uses slightly different wording from Pew, creating an option that allows people to say that abortion should be legal “in only a few” circumstances. And that is the most popular answer — with 35 percent of respondents giving it (in addition to the 20 percent who say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances).

This helps explain why many abortion rights advocates are worried that the Supreme Court will gut Roe without officially overturning it. Yes, the justices are often influenced by public opinion.

Opinion on some major political issues has changed substantially over the last half-century. On taxes and regulation, people’s views have ebbed and flowed. On some cultural issues — like same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization — views have moved sharply in one direction.

barely budged. Here is Gallup’s four-category breakdown, going back to 1994:

stretching back to the 1970s, just after the Roe ruling.

A key reason is that abortion opinion differs only modestly by age group. Americans under 30 support abortion rights more strongly than Americans over 50, but the gap is not huge. The age gaps on marijuana legalization, same-sex marriage and climate change are all larger.

Abortion remains a vexing issue for large numbers of Americans in every generation — which suggests the debate is not likely to be resolved anytime soon.

Gender plays a major role in American politics. Most women voted for Joe Biden, while most men voted for Donald Trump. On many issues, like gun control and the minimum wage, there is a large gender gap.

But the gap on abortion is not so large. If anything, it seems to be smaller than the partisan gap. That suggests, perhaps surprisingly, that there are more Democratic-voting women who favor significant abortion restrictions than Republican-voting women who favor almost universal access — while the opposite is true for men.

tilted toward college graduates and the Republican coalition is going in the other direction.

Both advocates and opponents of abortion access believe the issue is too important to be decided by public opinion. For advocates, women should have control over their bodies; after all, no major decision of men’s health is subject to a veto by politicians or other voters. And for opponents of abortion access, the life of an unborn child is too important to be subject to almost any other consideration.

If the Supreme Court overrules or substantially weakens Roe, this intense debate will play out state by state. Many states are likely to restrict abortion access substantially.

For more: Pew’s Jeff Diamant and Aleksandra Sandstrom look at opinion in each state. And The Upshot looks in detail at how and where laws may change if Roe falls.

and they’re still alive.

A Times classic: Eight things worth your time.

Lives Lived: With deadpan comedy and Everyman good looks, Charles Grodin first drew notice on Broadway. He went on to star onscreen in “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Midnight Run” and “Beethoven.” He died at 86.

contemporary songs.

Gina Cherelus writes in The Times.

Today, Shrek-related content is ubiquitous in memes and on social media, introducing the film to a new generation. At a sushi restaurant years ago, Jenson was delighted to overhear nearby diners talking about it. “One of them says, ‘Have you seen “Shrek”?’ And the other one is like, ‘No, no, I don’t go see kids’ stuff,’ and they go: ‘No, no, it’s not for kids. You have to go see it.’” — Sanam Yar, a Morning writer

play online.

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Facebook Ducks the Big Issue

Facebook’s suspension of Donald Trump will continue for now, the company announced yesterday. But it still has not resolved the central problem that Trump has created for social media platforms and, by extension, American democracy.

The problem is that Trump lies almost constantly. Unlike many other politicians — including other recent presidents, from both parties — he continues to make false statements even after other people have documented their falseness. This behavior undermines the healthy functioning of American democracy, particularly because Trump has such a large following.

His lies about the 2020 election are the clearest example. They have led tens of millions of people to believe a made-up story about how Joe Biden won. They have become a loyalty test within the Republican Party.

In Congress, Republicans are moving to oust Liz Cheney as one of their leaders after she said that people who repeated Trump’s “big lie” were “turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.” In several states, Republican legislators are using Trump’s made-up story to justify new laws that make voting more difficult, especially in heavily Democratic areas. There is a direct connection between Trump’s lies about the election and the weakening of voting rights.

justified its suspension of Trump in January not based on his lies but instead on his incitement of violence, before and during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters. Facebook continues to allow politicians to spread many falsehoods, saying it does not want to police truth. Distinguishing among truth, opinion and falsehood can indeed be tricky — but Trump’s claims about electoral theft are not a nuanced case.

The issue here isn’t the enduring philosophical question of what constitutes truth; it’s whether Facebook is willing to tolerate obvious and influential lies. So far, the company has decided that it is. It has drawn a line somewhere between blatant untruths and incitement to violence.

“Facebook’s approach to Trump’s attempts to undermine confidence in the integrity of the election was weak and ineffective,” Richard Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, told me. When Trump last year falsely described mail-in voting as corrupt, for example, Facebook left up the post and instead added a link to a website where people could find general election information, as Hasen describes in his forthcoming book, “Cheap Speech.” Twitter, he notes, has taken a more aggressive position.

Yesterday’s decision officially came from a Facebook-appointed panel of speech experts that the company calls its Oversight Board. The board has no actual power to regulate the company, but it may have some influence on Facebook executives. In their statement, board members criticized Facebook for levying an indefinite suspension on Trump and said it should choose in the next six months between a permanent ban and a time-limited one: “In applying a vague, standardless penalty and then referring this case to the Board to resolve, Facebook seeks to avoid its responsibilities,” the board wrote.

points out in her latest newsletter). The board wrote:

… context matters when assessing issues of causality and the probability and imminence of harm. What is important is the degree of influence that a user has over other users. When posts by influential users pose a high probability of imminent harm, as assessed under international human rights standards, Facebook should take action to enforce its rules quickly.

That passage highlights the crux of the issue. Facebook has evidently decided that undermining the credibility of democratic elections does not violate international human rights standards. If it maintains that position, Trump may be back on Facebook six months from now.

For more:

Jim Geraghty and the political scientists Frances Lee and James Curry in The Atlantic.

  • Biden’s economic plans address one of the New Deal’s glaring omissions: women, Binyamin Appelbaum writes in The Times.

  • Lost and Found: His ship vanished 176 years ago. DNA offered his descendants a clue.

    A Times Classic: What happened to Bob Ross’s paintings? We found them.

    Lives Lived: Tamara Press was a dominant Soviet shot-putter and discus thrower in the 1960s. But amid questions about her physique, she pulled out of a major event that required sex testing. She died at 83.

    Amanda Hess writes in The Times: The former “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings infused shows with a Trebek-like intellect, while the Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers brought an outsider’s earnestness. Others, like Dr. Mehmet Oz, have worked less well, trying to outshine the show with stories and jokes.

    petition calling for LeVar Burton, the former star of “Reading Rainbow,” to be the next host received more than 250,000 signatures — and helped get him a guest spot beginning July 26.

    One strategic wrinkle: Contestants seem to be struggling to adapt to the variation in the hosts’ speaking styles and aren’t sure exactly when to buzz in, Claire McNear notes in The Ringer. That has created a randomness that has prevented any long winning streaks.

    Regardless of who gets the permanent job, Hess argues that the clues, “which are precisely written and briskly dealt,” are the show’s real draw.

    play online.

    today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Vuitton of fashion (five letters).

    If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.


    Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

    P.S. Tuesday night’s episode of “Jeopardy!” featured an answer about The Times. (Scroll to the bottom for the solution.)

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    For One Young Migrant, a Family Separation Nightmare

    For the past three years, David and his son, Adelso, have communicated only by phone. Adelso is just one of about 5,500 children who was taken from a parent, as a result of the Trump administration’s family separation policy. They’re among more than 1,000 families who have been waiting for the Biden administration to follow through on a promise to reunify them. Now there is a new sense of hope as the Biden government starts to reunite a handful of families. But David and Adelso’s story — split between Guatemala and Florida — offers a firsthand look at the continuing psychological effects of separation … … and how the delay in reuniting families has in some cases encouraged people to make a desperate trek back to the U.S. David and his son spoke with us on condition that we not use their full names and conceal their identities. Since he was jailed and deported, David has kept a low profile in the countryside, evading the gangs he says extorted the trucking business he worked for and threatened his family before they fled to the U.S. David was deported to Guatemala after serving 30 days in U.S. prison for the crime of illegal reentry. Neither David, his wife or their other children have seen Adelso since. “We can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world.” Days after he took office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to reunify families separated under the Trump administration. “The re-establishment of the interagency task force and the reunification of families.” This week, as migrant apprehensions approached the highest level in 20 years, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would bring four mothers to the U.S. to reunite with their children. The U.S. will reunify another 35 or so families in the coming weeks as part of a pilot project, which David and Adelso might be a part of. But this is just a start, and the process for reunifying all families could take months, and even years. In David’s town of several thousand people, I found three other parents who were forcibly separated from their children under “zero tolerance.” Melvin Jacinto and his 14-year-old son tried to enter the U.S. to look for work that would pay for, among other things, his daughter’s hip surgery. Melvin and his wife, Marta’s son Rosendo, now lives with a relative in Minneapolis. They, too, rely on video calls to stay connected. The reality is that work is really scarce here. Melvin takes what jobs he can find, but the family relies on money sent from Rosendo, their teenage son, who’s now working in the U.S. We visited the homes of two other fathers who were separated from their kids at the border and were told they’d already made the return trip to reunite with them. She allowed me to speak with her husband on her phone. He said he reunited with his son in Fort Lauderdale, and was staying in a house with other migrants. We heard of other parents as well, deported to Guatemala and Honduras, who’d already made the perilous journey to reunite with their children. According to immigration lawyers, about 1,000 separated kids have yet to see their parents again. They’ve had to grow up fast, placed in the care of foster families or relatives. For the last three years, Adelso has been living with his aunt, Teresa Quiñónez, in Boca Raton, Fla. He’s been attending school, and plays soccer in his spare time, but he still struggles with the trauma of what happened in Guatemala and at the border. Unlike some of the separated kids, Adelso does have support. “Yes, definitely, I would go there in the morning, too Yeah —” His aunt Teresa came to the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor, and later became a legal resident. She stepped in to give Adelso the care she didn’t have when she came to the U.S. as a teenager. “I can say that I understand his pain, not being with mom and dad. Living with someone familiar, somehow — still, it’s not the same.” Once a month, Adelso talks with a child psychologist at Florida State University’s Center for Child Stress and Health. The service is paid through a government settlement for families separated under the “zero tolerance” policy. Adelso is one of several children affected by “zero tolerance” that Natalia Falcon now works with in South Florida. “I’ve been working with Adelso and his family for a little bit over six months. We see a lot of sleeping issues. You know, they can’t sleep, they can’t fall asleep or the nightmares, right. We have to look at nightmares very delicately, Those recurring memories, flashbacks of that traumatic event as one of the main symptoms of P.T.S.D. Studies show that childhood trauma, left unaddressed, can negatively affect health and relationships long into adulthood. “I don’t want him to get depressed, taking him to that place, like, ‘Oh, I just want to be alone.’ That’s why I try to bring him out and do things with him.” After being separated from his dad, Adelso spent two months in a New York shelter with other separated kids before Teresa finally won his release. “I still remember seeing him coming out of the airport. His little face, like — it’s heartbreaking, and sometimes I see him now, he has grown so much in this, in this time that he came here, he has become so mature and that’s hard to see too because it’s like life pushing you to be that mature. You are not enjoying your being a child.” For now, Adelso and David continue to work with their lawyers and hope to be part of the first wave of reunions. As for David, he told us that he can only wait so long, and that he has also considered paying a smuggler to cross back into the U.S. and claim asylum again.

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    Vacunar a todo el mundo no es fácil. Esta es la razón

    Más de 600 millones de personas en todo el mundo han sido vacunadas, al menos parcialmente, contra la COVID-19, lo que significa que más de 7000 millones aún están sin vacunar. Es un logro sorprendente a la sombra de un reto asombroso.

    La mitad de todas las dosis suministradas hasta ahora han ido a parar a los brazos de personas de países donde vive una séptima parte de la población mundial, principalmente Estados Unidos y naciones europeas. Decenas de países, especialmente en África, apenas han comenzado sus campañas de inoculación.

    tener todas las cartas en la mano.

    Pero gran parte de la cuestión se reduce a la mera logística.

    Inmunizar a la mayor parte de la humanidad en poco tiempo es una tarea monumental, nunca antes intentada, y que, según los expertos, el mundo no estaba preparado para afrontar. Señalan que las cosas ya se han movido con una velocidad sin precedentes: hace un año y medio, la enfermedad era desconocida, y las primeras autorizaciones de vacunas ocurrieron hace menos de seis meses.

    Pero queda mucho camino por recorrer. He aquí un panorama de las razones del déficit de vacunas.

    Sarah Schiffling, experta en cadenas de suministro farmacéutico y ayuda humanitaria de la Universidad John Moores de Liverpool, Gran Bretaña. “Estamos añadiendo esto al otro trabajo. Básicamente estamos duplicando la producción. Las cadenas de suministro de esta magnitud suelen tardar años en llevarse a cabo”.

    El mayor fabricante de vacunas del mundo, el Serum Institute de India, fabrica la vacuna para la COVID-19 desarrollada por AstraZeneca y la Universidad de Oxford, y prevé una producción de mil millones de dosis este año, además de los aproximadamente 1500 millones de dosis que fabrica anualmente para otras enfermedades. Pero ha tardado meses en alcanzar ese ritmo.

    Con una fuerte inversión de los gobiernos, las empresas han revisado las fábricas, han construido otras nuevas desde cero y han formado a nuevos empleados, un esfuerzo que comenzó el año pasado y que aún está lejos de completarse.

    Covax, el esfuerzo global para suministrar vacunas al mundo en desarrollo a bajo costo o de forma gratuita.

    Pero algunas de las promesas aún no se han cumplido. Y, en cualquier caso, suponen una pequeña fracción de lo que las naciones ricas han gastado en sí mismas, y una pequeña fracción de la necesidad mundial.

    La campaña Covax también perdió algo de terreno cuando surgió la preocupación de que la inyección de AstraZeneca —que se esperaba que fuera la columna vertebral del esfuerzo— podría estar relacionada con efectos secundarios muy raros pero graves. Esto provocó cierta desconfianza en el público respecto a su uso.

    compartir sus propios procesos patentados con el resto del mundo. Ningún productor de vacunas lo ha hecho voluntariamente, y ningún gobierno ha indicado que vaya a avanzar en esa dirección.

    Dada la limitada capacidad de producción del mundo, y lo recientes que son estas vacunas, es posible que compartir las patentes no aumente significativamente la oferta en este momento. Pero más adelante, a medida que la capacidad se amplíe, podría convertirse en un factor importante.

    La gestión de Joe Biden anunció apoyo financiero a una empresa india, Biological E, para que aumente la producción en masa de la vacuna de Johnson & Johnson destinada a personas de otras partes del mundo. Y el gobierno dijo esta semana que enviaría hasta 60 millones de dosis de la vacuna de AstraZeneca —que Estados Unidos compró, pero no está usando— a otros países.

    Pero Estados Unidos sigue muy por detrás de China y Rusia en este tipo de “diplomacia de las vacunas”.

    covid hace estragos en ese país a una escala que no se ha visto en ningún otro sitio. El propio gobierno de India ha prohibido las exportaciones de vacunas, lo que obstaculiza los esfuerzos de inmunización en África.

    La semana pasada, el gobierno de Biden dijo que relajaría los controles de exportación para India.

    controla una patente crucial sobre un proceso utilizado en la fabricación de vacunas, y sus Institutos Nacionales de Salud ayudaron a desarrollar la vacuna de Moderna.

    Todo ello da a los gobiernos un enorme poder para obligar a las empresas a trabajar más allá de las fronteras, tanto corporativas como nacionales, pero se han mostrado reacios a utilizarlo. En Estados Unidos, esto ha empezado a cambiar desde que el presidente Biden asumió el cargo en enero.

    “El gobierno tiene una enorme influencia, en particular sobre Moderna”, dijo Tinglong Dai, profesor asociado de la escuela de negocios de la Universidad Johns Hopkins, especializado en gestión de la salud.

    Las patentes son un área en la que los gobiernos podrían ser más agresivos a la hora de utilizar su influencia. Pero a corto plazo, dijo Dai, lo que habría tenido un mayor impacto es que los funcionarios hubieran actuado antes y con más fuerza para insistir en que las empresas que desarrollan vacunas lleguen a acuerdos con sus competidores para aumentar la producción en masa.

    Ese tipo de cooperación ha resultado ser esencial.

    Varias empresas indias aceptaron fabricar la vacuna rusa Sputnik. Sanofi, que ya participa en la producción de las inoculaciones de Pfizer-BioNTech y Johnson & Johnson, llegó recientemente a un acuerdo con Moderna para trabajar también en su vacuna. Moderna ya tenía acuerdos con otras tres empresas europeas.

    El gobierno de Biden presionó a Johnson & Johnson para que en marzo reclutara a su competidor, Merck, para producir su vacuna, y el gobierno se comprometió a destinar 105 millones de dólares para acondicionar una planta de Merck en Carolina del Norte con ese fin.

    El expresidente Donald Trump se negó a invocar la Ley de Producción de Defensa para dar a los fabricantes de vacunas un acceso preferente a los materiales que necesitaban, un paso que Biden ha dado.

    AstraZeneca como Johnson & Johnson, dos de las mayores empresas farmacéuticas del mundo, se encontraron con graves problemas de producción con sus vacunas para la COVID-19, lo que supone una lección de los retos que supone pasar de la nada a cientos de millones de dosis.

    Además, las vacunas de Pfizer-BioNTech y Moderna se basan en un fragmento del código genético del coronavirus llamado ARN mensajero o ARNm. Hasta el año pasado, este proceso nunca se había utilizado en una vacuna de producción masiva. Requiere equipos, materiales, técnicas y conocimientos diferentes a los de las vacunas estándar.

    Las vacunas de ARNm encierran el material genético en “nanopartículas lipídicas”, burbujas microscópicas de grasa. Pocas instalaciones en el mundo tienen experiencia en la producción en masa de algo comparable. Las vacunas también requieren temperaturas ultrafrías, lo que, según los expertos, limita su uso —al menos por ahora— a los países más ricos.

    Muchas empresas farmacéuticas insisten en que podrían asumir esa producción, pero los expertos afirman que probablemente necesitarían mucho tiempo e inversión para prepararse, algo que Stéphane Bancel, director ejecutivo de Moderna, señaló en febrero en una audiencia del Parlamento Europeo.

    Incluso contratando a empresas muy avanzadas para hacer el trabajo, dijo Bancel, Moderna tuvo que pasar meses esencialmente desbaratando sus instalaciones, reconstruyéndolas según las nuevas especificaciones con nuevos equipos, probando y volviendo a probar ese equipo y enseñando a la gente el proceso.

    @perezpena • Facebook


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    Joe Biden to hold first cabinet meeting as he pitches $2tn infrastructure plan – live

    Yesterday in Minneapolis, another prosecution witness, Charles MacMillian, told the court that he spoke directly to George Floyd as he lay in the street under Derek Chauvin’s knee.

    “Get up and get in the (police) car. You can’t win man,” he said to Floyd.

    Floyd responds that he cannot get up.

    MacMillian, in highly emotional testimony, said he appealed to Floyd to cooperate with the police because he was worried about his condition as he was pleading that he could not breathe. “I was trying to help him,” he said.

    MacMillian broke down and wept in court as he was shown video of his interaction with Floyd.

    Chris McGreal reports:

    The cashier who served George Floyd in a Minneapolis store immediately before his arrest and death last May told a court on Wednesday of the ‘disbelief and guilt’ he felt for allowing Floyd to pay with a suspected fake $20 bill when he later saw the police kneeling on him.

    Testimony on the third day of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial continued in an atmosphere of tense emotions and harrowing evidence about Floyd’s death.

    The cashier, Christopher Martin, 19, said Floyd appeared to be high on drugs but was not threatening and was ‘very approachable, talkative’.

    https://t.co/mIpXTnLBwA

    April 1, 2021

    “The filibuster stands in the way of a lot of legislation and whether or not it can be either reformed and amended or eliminated is what we will find out in next weeks,” Clinton told Palmieri.

    She added, “It certainly should be lifted for constitutional matters, and I would put election law matters at the top of that list.”

    Many Democrats have called on Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer to eliminate the filibuster, thus allowing bills to pass the upper chamber with 51 votes, rather than the 60 required with the filibuster in place.

    But currently, Schumer does not have the votes to eliminate the filibuster, as at least two of his caucus members — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — have signaled opposition to the idea.

    @SecretaryPete tells @SRuhle he’s not giving up on earning GOP support for @POTUS’s newly-unveiled $2 trillion infrastructure package.

    “Bottom line is, we’ve got to get this done.”@MSNBC pic.twitter.com/1aL4tIH7tv

    April 1, 2021

    The former Democratic presidential candidate said he has had many meetings with lawmakers of both parties, and he noted Joe Biden has encouraged Republicans to offer ideas on the proposal.

    But Buttigieg was tight-lipped when pressed on which specific members of Congress he has been talking to about the infrastructure package.

    “Bottom line is, we’ve got to get this done,” Buttigieg said. “The American people can’t wait for good infrastructure.”

    The transportation secretary will be attending Biden’s cabinet meeting at the White House later today.

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    Biden announces ‘once-in-a generation’ $2tn infrastructure investment plan – video

    Joe Biden unveiled what he called a ‘once-in-a-generation’ investment in American infrastructure, promising the nation his $2tn plan would create the ‘strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world’. Biden’s proposal to the nation still struggling to overcome the coronavirus pandemic would rebuild 20,000 miles of roads and highways and repair the 10 most economically significant bridges in the country. Biden added other projects would confront the climate crisis, curb wealth inequality and strengthen US competitiveness

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