Working families haven't seen much of an economic recovery, and we definitely can't afford to lose more manufacturing and service jobs to yet another free trade agreement written by the State Department and multinational corporations. But that's exactly where we're headed if the Trans-Pacific Partnership moves ahead unchallenged.
Do you think the damage from the pending bankruptcy of the city of Detroit will be limited to Detroit? Think again. Detroit is partly the victim of economic trends far beyond its control, the downsizing and outsourcing of the auto industry and the collapse of the sub-prime bubble, to name just two. And yes, the city has suffered from corrupt and inept local government. But leaving Detroit to a bankruptcy process that favors investment bankers over local pensioners will neither provide a fair outcome nor contain the damage. It is a travesty that the federal government and the Michigan state government are not sending Detroit a lifeline. Other cities and states stand to lose both public services and pension benefits as this trend spreads. Chicago, which just suffered three levels of bond-downgrading, looks to be next.
Israel's Haredi Schools Get Standardized Testing? As YNet reports, Israel's ultra-Orthodox religious schools, which receive public money, will have to take standardized tests -- as ordered by the Supreme Court. A judge said that such schools "should start taking things seriously, or face the consequences." Why, you ask, do I bring you news from across the planet? It's an interesting parallel to an ongoing debate on our own soil. In the U.S., there has been much talk over whether private schools that receive public-school vouchers or tax credits should be held to the same standards as their public school peers. Obviously the structure is different, and in Israel there's no public-private distinction between the schools. But it's still fascinating to watch.