US Catholic Bishops Are Following the Path of Bob Jones University

By: Saturday June 21, 2014 9:09 am

When it comes to Supreme Court cases involving the freedom of religion, one of the biggest cases is Bob Jones University v US from 1983. The presenting political issue was the segregationist practices of the school, but the specific legal issue before the court was the school’s tax exempt status. Congress had passed laws that cut off federal education money from any school that practiced racial discrimination, and the school tried to claim that the first amendment gave them an exemption from such laws. SCOTUS laughed loudly. You can discriminate all you want in the way you run your school, said the justices, but you can’t expect society to subsidize it.

And now, in the wake of President Obama’s executive order granting LGBTs protection from discrimination by federal contractors, the USCCB is upset because without an exemption from this on religious grounds, they will not be able to engage in the kind of “just discrimination” to which they have become accustomed. I’d love to hear what happens when their attorneys read them the relevant parts of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bob Jones v US.

 

The Myth Of A ‘Skills Gap’ And Our Phony ‘Education Crisis’

By: Monday March 31, 2014 11:33 am

Ask a neoliberal why trickle down economics is not working in America and there are a few standard excuses offered. The excuses range from the fringier “inner city people are lazy” to the boilerplate “government is distorting markets” to the more establishment friendly “it’s a lack of education.” Let’s put racial dog whistles and reactionary ideology aside for a second and focus on the last excuse, education.

When Job Creators Create Lousy Jobs

By: Saturday March 8, 2014 9:00 am

One of the most interesting links I found while researching last week’s post on Teach For America was the item on how TFA hiring in Connecticut was denying job opportunities to local residents. It occurred to me that the author was getting an on-the-ground look at a similar phenomenon I’ve observed with the oil and gas industry in Ohio (and presumably elsewhere): both TFA and fracking rely on short term, out of state labor.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Dean Baker, Getting Back To Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People

By: Sunday January 19, 2014 1:59 pm

In 2009 there was the Keynesian moment. With the economy shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, with the financial system imploding and GDP crashing, the US government stepped in with a stimulus bill designed to get spending started, to boost the states, and to invest for the long-term. At a spending level nowhere near the challenged, President Obama still managed to oversell what it would deliver. By 2010, with unemployment still high, Democrats would silently walk away from the entire endeavour.

This lead to the counter-Keynesian assault of 2011-2012, politically lead by the Tea Party in Congress.

So what about the rest of your workforce?

By: Sunday August 18, 2013 8:55 am

These last few years, I have occasionally found myself watching the TV show Undercover Boss.

Most of the shows I’ve seen have the “undercover” person meeting front line workers and being shown how the person does the job. As the worker and undercover boss do the task(s), they talk together and we hear the stories of the workers. It may be how the worker is a single mother worrying about how she will pay for her children’s education. It may be the story of how the worker volunteers at a homeless shelter. Whatever the story the worker has to tell, it is usually some variation on heart warming to heart wrenching.

At the end of the episode, the workers the “undercover boss” has met are brought to the headquarters where they then meet the boss in his/her real life. Sometimes they recognize the person they knew as a worker, sometimes they don’t .

From Field to Table: Rights for Workers in the Food Supply Chain

By: Thursday May 23, 2013 5:45 am

The Food Chain Workers Alliance has a goal of nothing less than full rights and fair wages for the 20 million workers who grow, harvest, process, pack, ship, cook, serve, and sell food in the US. Founded in 2009, the Alliance brings together 11 organizations representing workers throughout the food supply chain. It is organizing across sectors, building solidarity between workers in different industries. It is pushing for policy changes and educating and activating consumers so that we can all better align our food purchases with our principles. The Alliance also draws attention to the ways in which institutional racism in the US and around the world has produced a food system reliant on the exploitation of immigrants and people of color.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes L. Randall Wray, Modern Money Theory: A Primer on Macroeconomics for Sovereign Monetary Systems

By: Saturday January 5, 2013 1:59 pm

I am hosting the Firedoglake discussion of my colleague Randy Wray’s new “Primer” on macroeconomics. Macroeconomics is the study of the overall economy – economic growth, recessions, depressions, inflation, unemployment, and employment are big issues that macroeconomics studies. The key policies it addresses are usually divided into fiscal (tax and spending) and monetary policies (the growth of the money supply and setting interest rates).

The concept of monetary tools has broadened as we have seen the Federal Reserve change what had been a severely constrained “lender of last resort” function of the central bank into the most massive bailout program in history. Similarly, the central bank’s interest rate setting function that was long focused on short-term rates has expanded into large experiments that attempt to lower long-term interest rates (“quantitative easing”).

The Formula for ‘Equal Opportunity’: Why Affirmative Action Isn’t Enough

By: Friday October 26, 2012 5:00 pm

Once again, affirmative action is on trial in the Supreme Court. The pending case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, challenges U.T. Austin’s admissions policy, which aims to bring in more students of color by considering race among other factors. The case is driven by the misplaced racial anxieties provoked by affirmative action, but it might offer a platform for truly grappling with the nature of institutional racism and the oft-politicized, seldom-understood concept of “equal opportunity” in schools and workplaces.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Paul Krugman, End This Depression Now!

By: Saturday May 19, 2012 1:59 pm

It is an honor and a pleasure to have Paul Krugman at the Lake this afternoon for a conversation on End This Depression Now! Dedicated “To the unemployed, who deserve better,” the book is a condemnation of the policies and mind-set that have produced the worst economic depression since the 1930s. And unlike the Great Depression, which contemporaries did not understand, we know what to do; the current depression is entirely self-inflicted. The broken homes and ruined lives are not attributable to acts of God or the inscrutable logic of the market, but are the direct consequence of public decisions that have amplified the inherent risk of private credit by deregulating financial operations and the attempt to balance the budget when aggregate private demand is collapsing. The central message is that none of this suffering is necessary, and none of it is justified.

Stop the Obamapologists Before They Kill the Data

By: Saturday May 5, 2012 10:00 am

Peter Coy is ordinarily a pretty good reporter, but he really misses the boat with this chart, with the comment, “this jobs recovery is weak, all right, but right in line with the past two recoveries.”

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