World War II couldn’t do it. An industry crash in the 1990s couldn’t do it. Now, for the first time in the history of the medium, monthly comics are grinding to a halt due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are teaming up to ask important questions about Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s role in the collapse of retail empire Sears. More than 175,000 Sears employees lost their jobs while a handful of billionaires, including Mnuchin, walked away with billions. And Warren and Ocasio-Cortez want answers.
Mnuchin and his old pals sucked everything out of the company and left employees high and dry, without even a penny of severance pay. This is happening across the nation as investment firms buy up, raid, and tear down retail outlets.
The first industrial revolution began in the late 1700s when British inventor James Watt fed blocks of coal into a steam-engine boiler, catapulting Great Britain into a global power. On May 1 of this year, lawmakers in the country where it all began declared a “climate emergency,” essentially saying the experiment has run its course.
There can be few bleaker testaments to the beleaguered condition of US retail than the Sears department store in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Once a flagship of the world’s largest retailer, the landmarked art deco building was opened in 1932 by Eleanor Roosevelt, who made the first purchase ever in this location, “a pair of baby booties”, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. There’s little of that historic legacy on display today.
There is just one entrance open at the store now. The walls are a dirty beige and much of the merchandise sub-discount. Yet many of the shoppers said they were pleased to come and browse. Unlike hundreds of shuttered stores across the country, it is at least still in business.