Economic and Social Justice

Economic and Social Justice (145)

A response to my critics and the case for a guerrilla war within the Eurozone.

When my essay on Greece after the referendum “The Courage of Hopelessness” was republished by In These Times, its title was changed to “How Alexis Tsipras and Syriza Outmaneuvered Angela Merkel and the Eurocrats.” The substance of what I wrote however, was far less optimistic. Yet I have been attacked by many on the Left because I refuse to think of Tsipras’s acceptance of the EU terms as a simple defeat, because I refuse to condemn Tsipras’s “treason.”

Civil-rights pioneer Julian Bond died this week at the age of 75. In 1960, as a student at the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, Bond led nonviolent protests against racially segregated facilities like restaurants, movie theaters and parks. He co-founded SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and spent years organizing and registering African-Americans to vote in the Deep South. In 1965, he was elected to the Georgia state Legislature, where legislators blocked him from being sworn in because of his opposition to the war in Vietnam. It took a U.S. Supreme Court decision to get him seated.

I first learned about the history of the “unworthy poor” when I pursued my Master of Social Work degree. I read about the social movements in the early 20th century and how they tended to divide people in need into people whose poverty was outside of their control – for example, widows or orphaned children – who were deemed deserving of help from society; and people whose poverty could be blamed on their own bad decisions or laziness – they were written off as unworthy of assistance, or the unworthy poor. The implication in the history books was that this bias was a thing of the past.

Birthright citizenship is enshrined in the 14th Amendment, but Donald Trump and other candidates are keeping alive the idea that some Americans should not have equal rights at birth.

Thursday, 20 August 2015 00:00

The War on Women in Israel

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Sexist laws and institutions threaten all women in Israel, but Arab women are beset from all sides.

In 2009, a couple from the village of Taybeh in central Israel were in the midst of a bitter separation. Their marriage had already dissolved in acrimony, with various legal battles under way, when the husband turned to the Islamic court and sued for arbitration.

Life in a low-wage job — at a restaurant or retail store, for example — has never been easy. You spend hours on your feet and deal with angry customers. And for parents, finding affordable child care can be a struggle.

A recent management trend has made the lives of low-wage workers even more difficult. In an effort to save on labor costs, many employers have made employees' schedules more erratic and less predictable.

Poverty touches all races in Chicago, but it's more visible among blacks and Latinos. Here's why that happens and why it matters.

WASHINGTON—Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement celebrating the 80th anniversary of Social Security.

“For 80 years, the promise of Social Security has delivered a secure retirement and vital disability support to countless Americans. This is an investment that we all share, and it ensures that every American is treated with the dignity they deserve after a lifetime of work.

If the people who prepare your lunch deserve a living wage, the people preparing our toddlers for school do too.

Is the most precious thing in your life worth more than a poverty wage?

Activists are pushing for a $15 hourly base wage for preschool teachers and childcare workers. Many are currently college grads earning poverty wages, which have basically stagnated for nearly twenty years. 

Why it’s a mistake for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.

When the Federal Reserve considers raising interest rates on July 28—and then again every six weeks after—MyAsia Reid, of Philadelphia, will be paying close attention. Despite holding a bachelor’s degree in computer science, completing a series of related internships, and presenting original research across the country, Reid could not find a job in her field and, instead, pieces together a nine-hour-per-week tutoring job and a 20-hour-per-week cosmetology gig. The 25-year-old knows that an interest-rate hike will hurt her chances of finding the kinds of jobs for which she has trained, and earning the wage increase she so desperately needs.

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