To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage and to call attention to the fact that the federal wage floor has not risen in five years, the U.S. Department of Labor has declared July 24th to be a "Day of Action."
Over the past two months, my team at Significance Labs has investigated how and why first generation community college students in New York City start to run into trouble. We confirmed that there are a plethora of barriers which prevent first generation students from earning a degree.
Prof. Thomas Piketty's book, Capital for the Twenty-First Century, certainly has stirred up plenty of debate and political posturing. It is unfortunate, however, that no one has considered the demographic backdrop behind the economic trends.
The rise of the U.S. was very much tied to innovation and creation. This conservative propensity of arguing for antiquated occupations to save menial jobs instead of embracing the sort of change that made the U.S. the world power it is today is dangerous.
As my partner and I are both attorneys who work on and in support of public education, private school was not an option for us, so we decided to look for homes further out but with highly rated public schools. At the risk of sounding naïve, I was wholly unprepared for the reality that came with prioritizing high-quality public schools in my home search.
There are steps we can take right now to address this growing gap. The first is to raise our minimum wage to a living wage. No one who works full time should have to live in poverty. Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 would lift millions out of poverty, ease some of the burden on our social safety net, and put more money into our local economy.
Higher education today embodies individualistic, hypercompetitive achievement norms which contribute to inequality in a number of ways. And it has enormous, if often unacknowledged, power shaping career plans of its students and helping to authorize "what counts" in the intellectual life of the nation.
Low income households that are already spending a significant portion of their income on household energy costs shouldn't be saddled with additional financial burdens because of their wealthier neighbors' decision to install rooftop solar systems.
The battle to increase the minimum wage is everywhere, from global fast food worker protests and new local minimum wage laws to executive orders and passionate speeches from President Obama. It's worth considering whether minimum wage policies are sufficient to substantively address rising inequality and the broad decline of the middle class.
The American Dream now costs $130,000 a year. At least that's the figure USA Today came up with. Rethinking my money-based version of the American Dream helped me discover there is more to life than checking boxes.
It is striking to see how the establishment types are willing to throw out all their rules and principles in order to secure re-authorization. Given their power, they will almost certainly win, but the rest of us should at least enjoy the show.
No matter how long some of the most onerous provisions are delayed, the TPP in its current form will be a terrible deal for all countries involved. Negotiating countries must not be fooled by this so-called compromise from U.S. negotiators.
Cities 3.0 mayors are not sitting on our hands, waiting for the feds or someone else to solve our problems. We're embracing good ideas no matter where they come from, innovating to provide better services and building strong economies for the global marketplace.
This heist by the rich has finally drawn the attention of the media, academics and politicians. But the fact that their politics is also taking away the non-elite's access to culture has barely drawn notice.
Whatever holes one may pick in Picketty and other economists, plutocracy is rooted deeply and rules the world. If this is indeed inevitable, what's to be done?
The ability for ordinary working people to organize and collectively bargain over their wages and working conditions is a fundamental human right. It is a right just as critical to a democratic society as the right to free speech and the right to vote. Over the last 30 years many in corporate America and the big Wall Street banks have conducted a sustained attack on that human right. Unionization dropped from 20.1 percent of the workforce in 1983 to 11. 3 percent in 2013 -- and the results are there for everyone to see. The simple fact is that absent government regulation and collective bargaining agreements, the market by itself does not assure that everyone shares in the fruits of society's increased economic productivity. In fact, we know that just the opposite is true.