In the United States, “The Big Five” denote the largest five publishing houses. These publishing empires print everything from medical textbooks to children’s books and together control over eighty percent of the publishing market. The Big Five includes Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan. In November of 2020, Viacom announced the sale of Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2.175 billion. A year later on November 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a lawsuit challenging the acquisition to ensure “fair competition in the U.S. publishing industry.”
The way we construct our buildings, parks, and communities are reflective of our collective interests and values. Often when constructing public spaces, contractors and city officials employ deliberate methods of design that discourage their use by homeless people, this is known as hostile architecture. From bifurcated city benches to boulders being placed under city overpasses, hostile architecture is an affirmative policy action that is used by cities to discourage and eliminate use of public spaces by those who are unhoused. Collectively, these actions amount to another weapon in the arsenal of government actors in their war against homeless people, instead of homelessness. In order to stop these harmful building and design policies, cities around the United States, including Chicago, should implement regulatory policies banning their use with public funds or through governmental contractors.
Collectively, four countries make up the United Kingdom (U.K.), including England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In 2016, an overwhelming number of Scottish citizens voted to remain in the European Union (E.U.) during the U.K. referendum, which resulted in a 51.89 percent vote in favor to leave. After departing from the E.U. in January of 2020, Scottish industries suffered economic losses due to the ‘red tape’ policies imposed by the U.K., making it more difficult to sell Scottish products to E.U. member countries. As a result, Scotland’s independence and nationalist movement grew exponentially, with forty-five of the fifty-nine Scottish seats in the House of Commons going to the Scottish Nationalist Party, with strong support of seceding from the U.K. Additionally, in 2019, Scotland’s Parliament reconvened for the first time since 1707, signaling the Scotland’s desire for self-autonomy and sovereignty. The possibility of seceding poses questions over the future of economic and social regulatory policies for an independent Scotland.