Hurricanes hit the poor the hardest

Eleanor Krause and Richard V. Reeves. Brookings Institute, Sept 18, 2017 Hurricane Harvey displaced more than 30,000 people, was responsible for at least 70 deaths, and is expected to cost between $70 and $108 billion. The economic damages from Hurricane Irma might be even higher.  As hurricanes and other extreme weather events become more commonplace (and as coastal population density grows), so too do the costs associated with …

How slavery became America’s first big business

Historian and author Edward E. Baptist explains how slavery helped the US go from a “colonial economy to the second biggest industrial power in the world.” Of the many myths told about American slavery, one of the biggest is that it was an archaic practice that only enriched a small number of men. The argument has often been used to …

Why It’s Immigrants Who Pack Your Meat

What Trump has called an “invasion” was actually a corporate recruitment drive. All three books reached the same conclusion: What Trump has described as an immigrant “invasion” was actually a corporate recruitment drive for poor, vulnerable, undocumented, often desperate workers. Eric SchlosserAuthor of Fast Food Nation, in The Atlantic, Aug 2019 More than a century ago, when Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, …

Blue collar jobs not paying enough to attract workers

The US economy doesn’t have enough workers. For a record 16 straight months, the number of open jobs has been higher than the number of people looking for work. The US economy had 7.4 million job openings in June, but only 6 million people were looking for work, according to data released by the US Department of Labor. This is not normal. …

Close the Camps. A World without ICE

We Dare Defend Our Right To A World Without ICE Last week, I dropped my kids off for their first day of school in our small Alabama town. The kids were excited, but I was a nervous wreck. Like every dad, my mind raced through a million scenarios – but none came close to what families faced just a few …

Environmental Damage Is a War Crime, Scientists Say

Jordan Davidson Jul. 25, 2019 Two dozen prominent scientists from around the world have asked the UN to make environmental damage in conflict zones a war crime. The scientists published their open letter in the journal Nature. The letter, titled “Stop Military Conflicts from Trashing the Environment,” asks the United Nations’ International Law Commission to adopt a Fifth Geneva Convention when it meets …

Now is the time for a World Carbon Bank

The Guardian, July 2019 excerpt It is high time to create a new, focused agency, a World Carbon Bank, that provides a vehicle for advanced economies to coordinate aid and technical transfer, and that is not simultaneously trying to solve every other development problem. Yes, I fully understand that the current US administration is reluctant to fund even existing international …

Citizen question blocked from the census even as political Supreme Court declines to weigh in on partisan gerrymandering

“We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts. Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions.” That was Chief Justice Roberts explaining the 5-4 decision in …

Youngest child separated from family at the border is 4 months old

The youngest child separated from his family at the border was 4 months old. NYT: “The text messages were coming in all day and night with only two data points: Gender and age. With each one that arrived, the on-call caseworker at Bethany Christian Services in Michigan had 15 minutes to find a foster home for another child who was …