10/5/20 Power Five

1. Pope Says Free Market Policies Fail Society – In the Pope’s latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, (Brothers All) he “took direct aim at trickle-down economics, the theory favoured by conservatives that tax breaks and other incentives for big business and the wealthy eventually will benefit the rest of society through investment and job creation…He repeated calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the death penalty, positions which have been assailed by conservative Catholics, particularly in the United States.” Full text here.

2. Meet the Customer Service Reps For Disney and Airbnb Who Have to Pay to Talk to You – As more and more companies shed lower wage workers and hire contract companies to fulfill the same work, horror stories like this become more and more prevalent.

3. Let Me Explain This Amazingly Petulant Chess Drama To You – How often do you read Chess news? Not enough, I imagine. “Armenian chess grandmaster Tigran L. Petrosian took part in and won the Chess.com Pro Chess League Championships last week for the Armenia Eagles. Last Thursday, his team’s win was overturned and he was banned for life by both Chess.com and the Pro Chess League for as-yet “unspecified fair play regulations.”

4. Chuck Feeney, Hero to Gates & Buffett – Billionaire founder of the duty free shops around the world, Feeney dissolved his foundation due to one small detail – there’s was nothing left to give away. From a net-worth of $8 billion to now $2 million, Feeney and his wife now live in a rented apartment in San Francisco while his philanthropy continues to inspire the billionaire class try to give away all their amassed wealth.

5. The Collectors Who Spend Thousands on Rare Hot Wheels – “In 2019, Hot Wheels brought in a record-high $926m in gross sales for Mattel. Every second, 16 cars roll off the production line — and since 1968, the company has released more than 6B cars in 20k different models. Mattel says there are some 15m “avid collectors” who average 1,550 cars each. Around 90% of these collectors go after the newer models, or “mainlines.” The remaining 10% — almost exclusively made up of men in their 50s and 60s — is focused on the lucrative “redline” cars produced between 1968 and 1977.”