Amazon, Digital Yuan, and AstraZeneca

Amazon

Amazon workers in Alabama decided to vote against unionization after a long battle for better working conditions and job security. The employees were fed up with how easily Amazon can hire and fire employees and fears of automation via robotics and artificial intelligence to replace them were also starting to materialize.

After voting to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Amazon workers voted against unionization with over 70% of the employees voting no. Workers were unconvinced that the union would be able to significantly add to their wages or improve the benefits that Amazon already has in place.

It’s worth noting that the Alabama facility already pays more than double the minimum wage set by the state of Alabama at $7.25 an hour. Amazon currently pays them $15.

“I work hard for my money and I don’t want any of it going to a union that maybe can get us more pay, or maybe can get us longer breaks,” said one employee.

Digital Yuan

The pressure is on for the Biden administration to try and create a digital dollar as the Chinese government has launched the world’s first government-backed digital currency, the Digital Yuan.

There are many reasons for the launch of the digital currency such as the expenses associated with printing and storing physical cash and coins, fast and efficient transfer and payments, security such as catching illegal activities like money laundering, and to try and challenge the U.S. dollar as the leading currency for business and trade around the world.

According to the International Monetary Fund, around 60% of all foreign reserve exchanges are in U.S. dollars and the creation & distribution of the digital yuan has the potential to disrupt its dominance.

“To me it’s an existential crisis,” said Chief Executive of Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz during an interview with MarketWatch. “We need a digital dollar.”

Novogratz added that before the U.S. can shift its attention to digitizing the dollar, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will have to first see all of the spending from the Covid-19 pandemic settle down.

The digital yuan could have an expiration date so that citizens are encouraged to spend their earnings. The digital yuan could also withdraw government fees directly from one's account (think traffic and parking violations.)

AstraZeneca

After rare side effects of blood clotting in the brain, many Europeans are choosing not to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. In Italy, the Sicilian President reported that at least 80% of the people are turning down the AstraZeneca vaccine and the government has recommended it be avoided by those under the age of 60. Regardless, the Sicilian President does urge that the citizens have a duty to fulfill and insists that they chose to believe in the science behind the vaccine.

In the U.K. shipments of Moderna are arriving to act as an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine so that its citizens have the opportunity to choose between their preferred vaccine.

So far, there have been seven deaths in the U.K. associated with AstraZeneca blood clotting. There have been four deaths in Norway. There have been two reported blood clot cases linked to AstraZeneca in Australia.

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