Category Archives: Basic Human Decency

All Right We Are Two Nations

The right-hand (green) bar represents people in the top 1 percent, the red is the rest of us: Guess which policies our political system responds to more favorably?

Posted in Basic Human Decency, Bidness | 4 Comments

There Aren’t Enough ‘Good’ Jobs

A while ago, I noted what should be obvious about poverty-level wages: as long as there is a job that does not pay a living wage, one of us will have to fill it. There’s a flip side to that … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency, Economics, Jobs | Leave a comment

When the Belt Can Be Tightened No Further: Is There No Balm in Gilead?

Is there no physician for the sin-sick soul? I’ll never forget the first time I sat down with a nurse’s aide who was struggling financially, confident that with some commonsense “belt-tightening,” I could get her budget back on track. Just … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency | 1 Comment

I Would Hate School Today

This would have screwed me up as a kid (boldface mine): Because the state’s exams are predictable, they’re deemed easy to game with test prep. But in contrast to their drill-and-kill competition, Moskowitz says her teachers prepped their third-graders a … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency, Education | 7 Comments

As Long As an Unlivable Wage Exists, Someone Will Be Forced to Earn It

Image by Bettmann/CORBIS In a society that lacks solidarity, misfortune, except that of the most random kind, is viewed as the fault of those who suffer from it. If we believe that poorly compensated workers somehow deserve lousy wages, then … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency | 4 Comments

It Is Not For Economists To Decide If Unions Are Bad

Image by Bettmann/CORBIS Evan Soltas writes (boldface mine): So there are two ideas here, the potential and the uniqueness of unions. Wasser says unions still have potential and that labor’s gains from unionization are unique. I disagree on both. I … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency, Civil Liberties, Economics, Unions | 5 Comments

People Who Oppose a Living Wage Think Flirting For Food Is an Acceptable State of Affairs

Neo-liberal America–love it or leave it, baby (boldface mine): Once again managers also forced Claudia to report more tips than she actually earned. They didn’t want to have to pay her the difference between $2.13 and the minimum wage of … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency | 3 Comments

Why We Need to Prioritize Employment: It’s the Fear, Stupid

In moments of anger, I’ve written that tenured economists talking about jobs is like celibate priests talking about sexuality: they don’t live in the same world the rest of us do. This is unfair to some economists: a fair number … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency, Economics, Jobs | 3 Comments

When Big Data Goes Awry: This Is Worse Than the “Rape Sufferers” List

Yes, some scumbag marketing company really does distribute–for money–a mailing list of probable rape survivors. One might think you can’t get much lower than that, but that’s just demonstrating a lack of imagination (boldface mine): An off-and-on customer of OfficeMax, … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency, Bidness, I For One Welcome Our Silicon Valley Overlords

This Is Entirely the Teachers Union’s Fault

Not really. Welcome to PS 106 in Far Rockaway, New York City (boldface mine): Students at PS 106 in Far Rockaway, Queens, have gotten no math or reading and writing books for the rigorous Common Core curriculum, whistleblowers say. The … Continue reading

Posted in Basic Human Decency, Education