News, Opinions & Events
“Immigration policies enacted after January 2017 contributed to the decline in immigration prior to the sharp drop due to the COVID-19 border closures. Lower net international migration led to a slowdown in the foreign-born population and labor force growth. This contributed to the tightening in the U.S. labor market. Reopening of borders in 2022 and easing of immigration policies brought a sizable immigration rebound, which in turn helped alleviate the shortage of workers relative to job vacancies. The foreign-born labor force grew rapidly in 2022, closing the labor force gap created by the pandemic. This analysis suggests that, if the pickup in immigration flows continues, it could further ease overall labor market tightness, albeit by a modest amount.”
“Nearly 327,000 people in the United States experiencing homelessness lived in shelters, a small proportion (0.1%) of the U.S. population from 2018 to 2022 but higher than from 2013 to 2017, according to American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates released in a working paper today. The 2013-2017 ACS, the previous 5-year ACS with no overlapping years, showed there were approximately 267,000 people (0.08% of the U.S. population) in shelters during that period…
“Among the sheltered population experiencing homelessness: 40% were female; 8% were under the age of 18; 8% were age 65 or over; 32% were non-Hispanic White; 37% were non-Hispanic Black; and 35% had a disability…
“The sheltered population ranged from a low of 173 people in Wyoming to a high of 83,550 people in New York. In fact, four states accounted for over 50% of the total U.S. sheltered population experiencing homelessness: New York (83,550); California (57,700); Texas (15,340); and Florida (13,260). While 10 out of every 10,000 people lived in a shelter nationally, this rate ranged from a low of 1.5 in Mississippi to a high of 61.5 in the District of Columbia.”
“The question looms large as Denver breaks ground on its first affordable housing project for Indigenous people.“
“Indigenous people comprise 2.6% of America’s population, but in 2023, they accounted for 3.9% of those experiencing homelessness. The inequity is acute in Western cities: Indigenous people make up only 1% of the population of King County, Washington, home to Seattle, but 9% of those experiencing homelessness. In Denver, they are overrepresented in the unhoused population by 400%.”
“Like many cities across the country, Cambridge is facing an affordable housing shortage. Cuts in federal funding have significantly slowed the construction of affordable housing in the last decade. The costs of both land and buildings are soaring, and affordable housing developers often cannot compete with for-profit developers. Prior to 2020, the zoning in Cambridge did not allow multifamily housing in a third of residential neighborhoods, limiting the supply of affordable units. Taken together, these factors have priced many residents out of the city.”
“While the final results won’t be available for days, what was already clear in the minutes after the last polls closed Tuesday was that the effort to send Biden a message would work. In fact, when all the votes are tallied, the campaign in Michigan to get Democrats to vote “uncommitted” might even send former President Donald Trump a message.
“The “uncommitted” campaign said it hoped to get 10,000 votes in the Michigan primary. That threshold was so easily cleared Tuesday that “uncommitted” looked like it would get 10,000 votes in the Republican primary alone. In the Democratic primary, the message was far stronger.
“Soon after polls closed Tuesday, “uncommitted” looked like it would even surpass 100,000 Democratic votes, perhaps even 150,000 votes—a clear rebuke of the president’s unconditional support for Israel and a major sign of trouble for Biden in a state that was decided by less than 11,000 votes in 2016.
The so-called Listen to Michigan campaign was led by—and targeted toward—Muslim, Arab-American, young, and progressive voters who have grown disillusioned with Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza. Perhaps no state was a more fitting venue for this challenge than Michigan, which is home to the largest Arab-American population in the United States.”
Just a few months ago:
“I can’t believe I have to say this but Palestinian people are not disposable. We are human beings,” Tlaib said…”
“With the world’s focus on Gaza, settlers have used wartime chaos as cover for violence and dispossession.”
Read this New Yorker article carefully. It describes in detail the Netanyahu government’s long-run strategy toward the Palestinian population: Displace it through settlements, contain it, discriminate against it, imprison it, provoke it, and, when there are violent reactions, “mow the lawn.” Repeat this cycle while gaining military dominance.
Discusses how the WaPost and NYT filter reporting to project pro-Zionist views.
Excerpt: “Many of the most lurid claims that mobilized public opinion in support of Israel’s attack (e.g., 40 beheaded babies, babies cooked in ovens, etc.) have since been debunked and disproven (Mondoweiss, 2/1/24). In fact, Haaretz (11/18/23) revealed that Hamas had no prior knowledge of the festival they were accused of targeting.
“Israeli and US officials repeatedly attribute all civilian deaths to Hamas, even though this is certainly false. Clearly, then, some Israeli civilian casualties have been “blame[d] on another party.”
“How many Israeli civilians were actually killed by Hamas, and how many by Israel? Was the Al Aqsa Flood a terrorist attack designed to kill as many civilians as possible? These are important questions that have yet to be conclusively and independently answered, but the Washington Post seems to want to dissuade people from even asking them. In evoking the specter of Holocaust denial, Dwoskin and the Post are not defending the truth, but attempting to protect readers from it.”
Policy analysts arguing that US income inequality hasn’t changed much equate the estimated value of government programs to the low-income people with the salaries and capital gains for those with higher incomes. This article is a reminder that many government benefits cancel each other out and are much harder to access for people at the bottom of the economic pyramid than income for those at the top.
“These are the strongest set of workplace heat protections in the United States. They were not put in place by local, state or federal regulators, but by the workers who spent years organizing to push companies to adopt them.
“Created in 2011 by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a nonprofit that represents farmworkers, the Fair Food Program (FFP) certifies farms that follow a strict set of workplace safety rules. In exchange, participating farms are first in line to sell their wares to 14 big produce buyers that include Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and McDonald’s…
“Every year, the organization sends auditors to participating farms, where they interview at least half the workers about labor conditions. So far, organizers say they’ve done more than 30,000 interviews. Auditors also check companies’ payroll records for evidence of wage theft.
“That’s more oversight than most government regulators can manage. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has 1,850 inspectors for 130 million U.S. workers, can’t inspect every job site every year. Last year, it conducted 34,267 inspections for the country’s 6 million employers.”
“For Vázquez, the solution involves both legal obligations and tax incentives. But she stresses, ‘When things are banned, that doesn’t mean the need for the product has gone … so bans have to be accompanied with reflections on how to meet the need.’
“‘Producers (of plastics) have to be held responsible, and as the Global North has greater liability, it has to contribute to the solutions proportionately,’ said Leopold.”
As with life expectancy, there is a linear relationship between access to a university education and income in the United States.
“The most striking fact about the increase of inequality in the United States is the collapse of the share of total national income going to the bottom 50 percent, which fell from about 20 percent in 1980 to a little more than 12 in 2018. Such a dramatic collapse from an already low level can only be explained by a multiplicity of factors. One such factor was the sharp decrease in the federal minimum wage (in real terms) since 1980. Another was significant inequality of access to education. It is striking to discover the degree to which access to a university education in the United States depends on parental income.”
– excerpt from Thomas Piketty’s Capital and Ideology.
“Depending on who’s doing the estimating, America is short anywhere from 2 million to 6 million homes. If you’ve tried to buy or rent a place in the past year, or you know anyone who has, then you didn’t need me to tell you that. Hardly anything’s on the market, and none of us can afford what is. The question is: Why?”
McMansionization of Sarasota
“Mid-priced, working-class housing would expand with light-touch density in the city’s urban mixed-use areas.”
“The problem: Sarasota faces increasing housing pressure as home prices vastly outstrip wage growth. Where will our children, grandchildren and the workers who provide us the services we all rely on live? …
“The solution: Create Live Local Urban Villages (LLUVs) by allowing light-touch density (LTD) in walkable areas within a half-mile of urban mixed-use areas. This includes duplexes, single-family attached homes, accessory dwelling units and other homes compatible in scale with single-family detached homes. These homes would be within walking distance of growing numbers of service jobs in the urban mixed-use areas. Without this change, McMansions will spread throughout Sarasota.”
“Northern California and Virginia top the list, where the maximum lower middle class income range goes from $128,964 to $152,652, among the top five most expensive cities…
“‘Most notably, Arlington, Virginia, which is located just outside of Washington, D.C., has the highest median household income studywide, at nearly $140,000,’ he added. ‘Meanwhile, Seattle and Gilbert both have a median household income above $115,000. It’s worth noting that all three Arizona cities that ranked in the top 25 are in the Phoenix metro area.’ California dominated the list with seven out of 25 of the top spots due to its housing implications.”
“What we saw between 2022 and 2023 is deeply troublesome overall the homeless population increased by 12%. That’s the largest increase since HUD has started tracking these numbers in 2,007, and it was across all populations…(S)heltered numbers are up. Unsheltered numbers are up, families, individuals, veterans, youth.”
More hollow words from the Biden Administration on Israeli aggression? Are premeditated killing and land theft against the law or “inconsistent with the law”? Would Moses honey his words to describe worshiping an idol as “inconsistent” with the 10 commandments?
“The underlying theory is simple: More income and wealth allow people and governments to support more years of life. Fewer resources put them at a disadvantage. Some politicians who see the connection may be leery of talking about it. Doing so would lead to awkward questions about improving working and living conditions for millions of Americans and dealing with growing economic inequality.
“The strong relationship between income and longevity is clear when comparing states… (E)ight of the nine states with the lowest median household income also are among the bottom nine in longevity. Similar clustering occurs comparing the highest ranked states across the two categories. Seven of the nine states with the highest median household income also are among the top nine in life expectancy.
“Realizing they are rowing in the same economic boat could prompt states to join forces on policy changes, particularly Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, New Mexico, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and others ranking at or near the bottom…
“Presidential candidate and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley strongly proposes raising the program’s retirement age on the premise that increased life spans are undermining Social Security’s long-term solvency. If long-held assumptions about longevity were challenged, and potential losses to low-income workers and low-income states caused by raising the eligibility age came to light, would she change her position? Republican candidate Donald Trump, by the way, opposes cuts in Social Security as do most Democrats…”
Thanks to the Washington Examiner for running this op-ed:
For longer version with references, see:
Previous work on this issue:
“More Americans are rightly asking if Israel could neutralize Hamas without massive destruction and loss of civilian life. Indiscriminate air attacks by the Netanyahu regime already have killed and injured tens of thousands of Gazans with no end to the violence in sight. To put this in perspective, imagine how Washington, D.C., would look if a foreign government with the power to fence in the District of Columbia dropped a comparable number of bombs here while shutting off access to water and food and destroying most of the capital area’s housing and medical system. UN officials say conditions in Gaza are catastrophic.”
Thanks to the Washington Post for publishing our letter to the editor:
“Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) told reporters he is ‘concerned about the cost of living in Virginia and we’re continuing to evaluate how best to address that,’ as reported in the Nov. 26 Metro article ‘Budget battle looms in Virginia. Facing a tighter fiscal environment and Democratic control of the legislature, Mr. Youngkin and fellow Republicans could help working families without denting the budget by making an expected Democratic push for a higher minimum wage a bipartisan affair.
“The GOP has been trying to attract more minority and working-class voters. However, party leaders have stopped short of addressing core economic issues, such as supporting higher wages and better benefits, and mainly stress cultural issues…”
Thanks to the Washington Post for running our letter:
“How can House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), President Biden and Senate leaders claim to represent the working class and poor when Medicaid work requirements are a focal point in the debt ceiling standoff and the Trump-era tax cuts are not? According to the Congressional Budget Office, the work requirements in the Limit, Save, Grow Act would have a tiny impact (about $5.6 billion in fiscal 2025) on the nation’s $31.4 trillion national debt, but they would increase the number of uninsured and state costs and have no effect on hours worked by Medicaid recipients.
“In contrast, ending the Trump-era tax cuts, which disproportionately benefit the wealthy, could put a major dent in the national debt….”
Because most of this site’s readers won’t be able to get through the newspaper’s pay gate, here’s the draft of the letter sent to the Post:
Debt ceiling negotiators focus on a ‘speck’ in benefits for the poor, ignore the ‘logs’ in their own eyes.
Statement of Karl Polzer, Center on Capital & Social Equity,
U.S. Senate Budget Committee hearing: “Protecting Social
Security for All: Making the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share”