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LEVEL
Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Economy

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

Just Rankin’ Sh!t

This list does not constitute financial advice. Just wanted to make that clear.

Photo: Icon Sportwire/Getty Images

Retail stocks are all the rage in the Reddit community known as WallStreetBets, in part because of the upside of shifting to e-commerce as a means of getting through pandemic-related store closures. (Well, that and the fact that big hedge funds love to bet on these stocks’ demise — that’s what fueled the insane story around GameStop over the past couple weeks.) You know who finally started selling their shit online after decades of resisting? T.J. Maxx’s parent company. And you know what investing is about? Getting the maxximum for the minimum. We’re all fashionistas now, baby!

A Canadian oil…


Now that Trump is out, it’s time to shift focus to the one man responsible for the ongoing economic crisis

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

It’s robbing season, but Americans reeling from the economic crisis — a crisis spurred by the nation’s horrific handling of the Covid-19 pandemic — aren’t stealing items typically coveted during the holiday season.

In a recent Washington Post article, reporters Abha Bhattarai and Hannah Denham highlight that shoplifting has been up since the pandemic began earlier this year. According to the retailers, security experts, and police departments they spoke to, however, this isn’t like previous economic downturns. Instead, people are reaching for items to help satisfy the barest necessities.

“We’re seeing an increase in low-impact crimes,” said Jeff Zisner, chief…


The coronavirus pandemic has left the U.S. economy in shambles. And while President-elect Joe Biden has a plan to provide relief to U.S. citizens, some are worried he won’t go…


You really want to restore the soul of the nation? Free everyone of their six-figure albatross.

President- elect Joe Biden answer questions from the press at the Queen in Wilmington, DE on November 10, 2020.
President- elect Joe Biden answer questions from the press at the Queen in Wilmington, DE on November 10, 2020.
Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post/Getty Images

As much as I have talked about my private student loans over the course of two books and countless articles, you’d think I would be a lot happier about finally reading the words, “Congratulations! Your private student loan is paid in full.”

Up until 2020, there hadn’t been a single year in which the burden of the debt attached to those loans didn’t reduce me to anger and tears of frustration at least once. In several of those years, those moments took place on multiple occasions — and were followed by dark, depressive periods. I could not have predicted that…


The financial toll of racial bias is in the trillions

Racism costs lives, mental health, trauma, unethical wage gaps — and trillions of dollars.

In a 104-page-report, Dana Peterson — a global economist for Citi Group — quantifies the cost…


Corner Store Chronicles

The sisters who’ve carried on the store their parents built, Cardenas Grocery, adapt and adapt in a community that often forgets them

Illustration: Derrick Dent

When 2020 is said and done, it’ll likely become known as the year of massive uncertainty. But with so much instability (from Covid-19 to crimson skies on the West Coast), corner store culture remains familiar. LEVEL’s “Corner Store Chronicles” series pays homage to the power of the store that delivers the warmth and care that ACME will never replicate. Whether known as bodegas, tienditas, or another term of endearment where you’re from, our hoods would be nothing without them.

In 1949, it was just a fruit stand window.

Linda Cardenas is standing near the same window over seven decades later…


Between the economy and the bungled Covid response, more people than ever are living with their folks again

Photo: Granger Wootz/Getty Images

Anyone with sense could have foreseen that a racist con man whose opinions are largely shaped by the bullshit he watches on Fox News would be a disaster as president — but almost none of them could have predicted the degree of chaos contained in one year alone. Yet, of all the awful things that have happened this year due to America’s failure to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, one ongoing worry of mine has been how so many young people have had to move back home through no fault of their own.

This month, a new analysis from the Pew…


I lived through this in 2008. Now I’m living through it again — and so are my students.

Photo: LumiNola/Getty Images

“So, there’s no salary, per se. It’s more of a… well, it depends on how hard you work.”

I was in a nigh-abandoned office building somewhere in some unknown corner of New Jersey, 2,000 miles from home, looking at this greasy fortysomething White man whose cheeks looked like they were full of yarn balls and who wore tiny, pointed bangs over his forehead trying to compensate for his bald spot. “This is it,” I thought. “Rock bottom.”

It was the summer of 2008. The Great Recession wouldn’t hit until August, but it was certainly looming large enough that by the…


Post-pandemic, will we still be able to create a vibe?

The reality of the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly sunk in now. The first couple of weeks felt like a bad dream. Now it’s Groundhog Day every day.

It was a little weird for me when things started to evaporate. I was taping a show with Jamie Foxx in L.A. called Beat Shazam. We’re doing the live audience, the whole thing, and finished that show on March 5. While I was there taping the show, I started getting cancellation emails — CNN, T-Mobile — all my corporate events began to cancel.

We finished shooting the show on a Thursday, and Jamie…


A monstrous wave of evictions and slashed unemployment benefits threaten to put millions of Americans on the street — and Republicans don’t seem to care

Photo: Erik McGregor

Few things can terrify a person who’s struggling more than the first of the month. Some bills can be negotiated with, but when someone falls short on their rent or mortgage, the consequences are far more dire. How can they not be when what’s at risk isn’t cable TV, but having a place to lay your head?

No one deserves to worry about joining the already too high homeless population in America. But as exhausted as many of us might understandably be given the number of crises currently wreaking havoc nationwide, we’re currently on the verge of yet another. …

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