Other bad periods: Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’

By Ann GibbonsNov. 15, 2018 , 2:00 PM Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he’s got an answer: “536.” Not 1349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, “It was the beginning …

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and other congressional progressives want to tax companies that overpay their CEOs. Most Republicans would go even further: A Harvard Business School study found that Americans think the right CEO-worker pay ratio is no higher than 7 to 1

All this could mean bipartisan traction for a new bill introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Barbara Lee earlier this month. It would raise the federal corporate income tax rate on companies that pay their CEOs more than 50 times their median workers’ pay.The bigger the gap, the bigger the hike. At a …

The End of Neoliberalism and Rebirth of History

By Joseph E. Stiglitz, Project-syndicate.org November 14, 2019 | CREATE! For 40 years, elites in rich and poor countries alike promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. Now that the evidence is in, is it any wonder that trust in elites and confidence …

When Anti-Immigration Meant Keeping Out Black Pioneers and Keeping Blacks from Voting in the Midwest

In the 1850s, Midwestern states used harsh laws to deny free African-Americans wealth and property. By Anna-Lisa Cox, a fellow at Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research. Sept. 20, 2019, NYTimes.com William Brown managed to get across the river safely, finding work in a small rural Illinois community close to the state’s border with Indiana. He would have known …

The Illegal Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government

By Keanu Sai, PhD, NEA Today.August 31, 2019 | EDUCATE! NOTE: This is the first of three articles we are publishing by Dr. Keanu Sai, a member of the Hawaiian Kingdom Subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild. The articles were written to provide accurate information to Hawaiian (and other) students about Hawaiian history. Status Of The Hawaiian Kingdom Under International Law In 2001, …

From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes

JONATHAN ENGLISH, AUG 29, 2019, City Lab In 1994, Cesare Marchetti, an Italian physicist, described an idea that has come to be known as the Marchetti Constant. In general, he declared, people have always been willing to commute for about a half-hour, one way, from their homes each day. This principle has profound implications for urban life. The value of land …

‘Prisoners—especially Blacks, Chicanos and Puerto Ricans—are increasingly advancing the proposition that they are political prisoners. They contend that they are political prisoners in the sense that they are largely the victims of an oppressive politico-economic order’

Though that definition of political prisoner is unorthodox, it illustrates the political and economic nature of criminalization. This is why observers of Black August connect the fight to free “revolutionary” political prisoners to the broader struggle against US prisons. Mass incarceration is a symptom of the same system that political prisoners have dedicated their lives towards fighting. According to a new …

What does a traffic jam in Atlanta have to do with segregation? Quite a lot.

By Kevin M. Kruse, NYTimes, Aug 14, 2019 Atlanta has some of the worst traffic in the United States. Drivers there average two hours each week mired in gridlock, hung up at countless spots, from the constantly clogged Georgia 400 to a complicated cluster of overpasses at Tom Moreland Interchange, better known as “Spaghetti Junction.” The Downtown Connector — a 12-to-14-lane …

1619: Four hundred years ago this month, the first enslaved people from Africa arrived in Virginia. Enslaved labor created the backbone for America’s capitalistic economy

Although slavery officially ended in 1865, the unequal treatment of African Americans continued through Jim Crow, red lining, and mass incarceration, among many public policies. Our country’s historic racial wealth disparities continue to be perpetuated and increased by the trend towards extreme inequality in the United States. To further paint a dire picture, a report released earlier this year by the Institute …