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The Critical Hour
The mainstream news outlets play it safe by parroting the perspectives of their corporate benefactors. The Critical Hour uses clear, cutting edge insight and analysis to examine national and international issues impacting the global village in which we live.

Shake Shack Returns $10 Million in Loans While Real Small Businesses Struggle

Shake Shack Returns $10 Million in Loans While Real Small Businesses Struggle
On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Dr. Linwood Tauheed, associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

"Shake Shack will give back its $10 million small business loan from the federal government, the company’s senior leadership said Sunday, following criticism that large restaurant chains were able to obtain funds before the loan program had been depleted — seemingly shutting out much smaller restaurants," Forbes reported Monday. What does this tell us about the program and the process?

"Stocks sank Monday morning as oil prices plunged to the lowest level in nearly two decades, reflecting doubts over how soon the global economy can recover from the coronavirus pandemic," The Hill reported. At closing on Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 592 points, the Nasdaq had lost 89 points, and the S&P 500 had dropped 51 points. The price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil to be delivered in May dipped into the negatives, as oil producers were running out of places to store supply amid the stalled global economy. What does this mean or how does this translate to the average American? Oil prices have plunged throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as demand for fuel has dried up amid stay-at-home orders, quarantines and social distancing measures, among other causes. Second, there’s been a production fight between Saudi Arabia and Russia, correct? "The June contract for West Texas Intermediate futures, considered the benchmark for US crude prices, dropped 18% to $20.43 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, fell 8.9% to $25.57 a barrel," the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. What’s the correlation between oil prices and stock process?

The US Supreme Court decided Monday by a 6-3 vote to require unanimous jury verdicts to convict defendants in state criminal trials for serious offenses. The court sided with Evangelisto Ramos, who was convicted of murder in Louisiana by a 10-2 jury vote in 2014 and sentenced to life in prison without parole, Reuters reported. He will likely be given another trial. Louisiana and Oregon were the only US states that didn't previously require unanimous convictions in such trials, though Louisiana changed its laws to require unanimous verdicts last year. What does this mean going forward?

COVID-19 is being weaponized, but against whom and by who? Miko Peled says in a Monday MintPress News article that the Israeli government has targeted "Palestinians living under occupation in the large ghettos erected by Israel, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and those who languish in Israeli jails. In addition, there are the Ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi Jews who live in segregated communities and are despised by the Israeli state." Why are the Haredi Jews despised by the state? The stereotype that we have here is that it’s Jews against Palestinians. This sounds a lot like George Orwell’s "Animal Farm": “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Is there any relationship or commonality between the Ultra-Orthodox Jews and Palestinians?


Dr. Linwood Tauheed — Associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  

Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics and politics at St. Mary’s College in California and the author of the new book "The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump."

David Schultz — Professor of political science at Hamline University.

Miko Peled — Israeli-American activist and author of "The General's Son: The Journey of an Israeli in Palestine."  

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