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The ugly truth about the US economy

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer asked financial historian Adam Tooze: Did the US really have the greatest economy in the world?

There are pockets of incredible affluence, of great success, of technological prowess of world conquering corporate ambition. Think of the tech firms, think of the way in which American banks have swept European competition out of the way. America, corporate America, elite America is one of the great winners of globalization, unsurprisingly, since they were the architects of that project. Have acquired other people along the way. The Chinese now are major contributors.

But that just doesn't capture the reality of middle America, let alone the bottom 20% to 30% of the American income of wealth distribution who have seen barely any real income growth. There's a huge argument about the statistics, but there's very little real dispute about the fact that the real incomes of those at the bottom third have seen barely any progress since the Bicentennial. American history divides into two epochs. Moment of the American dream up to 1976 and the period since. What this crisis does is of course hit precisely the weakest communities. It hits those who are most fragile, whose health insurance is precarious, who are working part time jobs in the service sector. It hits women as well. And it turns out from a medical point of view, it's the African American population, all of which are groups also which have minimal financial resources. We know that 40% plus of American households can't basically cover expenses for more than a few months without a paycheck and have precious little financial reserve, basically no net wealth. So those people are going to suffer a fundamental shock here. And this idea of rebuilding, really or making them whole begs the question of what it is that we would plan to return to because they weren't whole in the first place.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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They call it Einstein. It's the multibillion-dollar digital defense system the US has used to catch outside hackers and attackers since 2003. But it was no match for what's looking like one of the biggest cyber breaches in US history. Ian Bremmer breaks it down.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Cyber attack: an act of espionage or war?

Since Martin Luther King Jr delivered his iconic "I have a dream" speech in August 1963, the number of Black Americans elected to the United States Congress has dramatically increased. Still, it wasn't until 2019, more than half a century later, that the share of Black members serving in the House of Representatives reflected the percentage of Black Americans in the broader population —12 percent. To date, only six states have sent a Black representative to serve in the US Senate (recent runoff elections will make Georgia the seventh state), and many states have never elected a Black representative to either house of Congress. Here's a look at Black representation in every US Congress since 1963.

More than 32 million COVID shots have now been administered globally, raising hopes that the light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight.

The US has vaccinated 3 percent of its total population, while the UK is nearing a solid 5 percent inoculation rate. In Israel, which has been hailed as a vaccine success story, almost 24 percent of people have already received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

But while many countries are able to glimpse the outlines of a post-COVID world, there is a huge population of people who are being left out entirely. Refugees, as well as displaced, undocumented, and stateless people around the world remain ineligible for inoculations and vulnerable to the coronavirus.

We take a look at three case studies where powerless populations are being left in the lurch.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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