Economic and Social Justice

Economic and Social Justice (86)

Thursday, 28 May 2015 00:00

The Cost of an Adjunct

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The plight of non-tenured professors is widely known, but what about the impact they have on the students they’re hired to instruct?

Imagine meeting your English professor by the trunk of her car for office hours, where she doles out information like a taco vendor in a food truck. Or getting an e-mail error message when you write your former biology professor asking for a recommendation because she is no longer employed at the same college. Or attending an afternoon lecture in which your anthropology professor seems a little distracted because he doesn’t have enough money for bus fare. This is an increasingly widespread reality of college education.

The party of the rich is now doing everything in its power to make sure those without money live in misery

Last week my colleague Simon Maloy caught us up with the latest on Kanses Gov. Sam Brownback’s famous Arthur Laffer “petri dish” experiment, in which he slashed taxes and government programs in order to usher in a Republican free market economic utopia. The experiment looks like it’s blowing up the lab:

While technically Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) stand against the NSA yesterday wasn't a filibuster, any time a member of Congress talks for over ten hours without a bathroom break, it's close enough in our book.

'Together we will end the Patriot Act, and the sun can rise on a new day filled with freedom and privacy for all.'

With the fate of the USA Patriot Act still hanging in the balance late afternoon Friday—and lawmakers eager to leave Washington, D.C., for Memorial Day barbecues and campaign stops in their home states—the chance to see the sun go down on the controversial spying bill is still on the table. 

When I graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1990, students were graduating from college with an average of about $12,000 in debt. Today, the average student debt for undergraduates in Minnesota is more than $31,000 — the fifth-highest in the nation. 

Because of irresponsible reporting by conservative sources, many Americans have been led to believe that social programs are bankrupting our nation. The mainstream media fawningly concurs, with statements like this from USA Today: "The massive deficits...[and] chronic underfunding...are largely the result of Washington's habit of committing too much money to benefit programs." States are now beginning to attack imagined safety net abuses, such as the use of food stamp funds to pay for fortune tellers and pleasure cruises.

Despite what the New York Times would have you believe, Americans have said over and over that they want the wealthy to pay more.

The New York Times has a post by Neil Irwin headlined “Why Americans Don’t Want to Soak the Rich.” Irwin suggests a couple of different answers to this question, depending on your ideological point of view:

Monday, 27 April 2015 00:00

The 99% Isn’t Enough

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We can’t fight the rich without fighting our own privileges.

Last night, I asked my mom if she’d heard ever heard the term, “We are the 99%.” After we spent a frustrating few minutes of her repeatedly asking, “But 99% of what?” she admitted that she’d heard tell of Occupy Wall Street back in 2011, but the phrase was foreign to her. I explained that it refers to the whole of society, anyone outside of and subjected to the power of the ruling class.

New report details perverse policies that are driving more people into hopeless, inescapable poverty.

While a self-serving and bought-off Conservative majority in Congress -- along with its DINO ("Democrat In Name, Only") enablers -- remains mired in the sludge of their own "agenda" of destructive and inane policy proposals, out in the world beyond D.C., activists and everyday folks are marshaling and growing a populist Progressive movement with teeth. Clearly it is the passionate and inspiring work from SenatorsElizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN 5) and others who are showing the nation what real leadership looks like, while helping to move forward a Progressive agenda that is already bringing to the national debate real issues of concern to the people of our nation.

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