Nov. 14: FDR is still, unfortunately, relevant

“Enforced idleness, embracing any considerable portion of our people, in a nation of such wealth and natural opportunity, is a paradox that challenges our ingenuity. Unemployment is one of the bitter and galling problems that now afflicts man-kind. It has been with us, in a measure, since the beginning of our industrial era. It has been increased by the complexity of business and industry, and it has been made more acute by the depression. It has made necessary the expenditure of billions of dollars for relief and for publicly created work; it has delayed the balancing of our national budget, and increased the tax burden of all our people. …” [Read more...]

Collection plates, the economy and the 99 percent


The Dow Jones index has come roaring back to record highs after the Great Recession. Church-giving has not rebounded because employment and wages have not rebounded. Church-giving corresponds with the fortunes of the 99 percent, not with the fortunes of the 1 percent. [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war


Even Capuchin monkeys demand equal pay for equal work (and Capuchins, remember, have taken a vow of poverty). Plus other links involving the ongoing war on the poor, including: Fast food workers who can’t afford fast food, care workers pay shows what we really think of the elderly, banks still stealing houses with a shrug — and no legal repercussions, unknown ingredients, chemical accidents and what we don’t know because of who isn’t allowed in the room. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (8.14)

Richard Rohr explains his hermeneutic, which is about Jesus, not literalism; Kiese Laymon on “The Worst of White Folks;” Helaine Olen on the victim-blaming “tyranny of personal finance;” Erik Loomis on outsourcing slave-wages and poison; and Cheryl Overs on how dehumanizing sex workers dehumanizes us all. [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war (8.14)


House Republicans plan to double cuts to nutrition aid to $40 billion. Every year, 700,000 Americans go bankrupt due to medical bills. GOP plans to fight Obamacare by convincing everyone not to buy health insurance. Student loans as a Ponzi scheme. Walmart vs. jobs. The disease of viewing colleagues as nothing more than “costs” to be minimized. Two companies thriving by disproving the Walmart/McDonald’s model based on that disease. [Read more...]

Raising minimum wage would create jobs

Felix Salmon: “A higher minimum wage would be good for employment. A $450 billion stimulus, delivered directly into the hands of the Americans most likely to spend it, can’t help but create jobs across the economy.” [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war (7.30)


CEOs pay themselves 273 times what they pay their average workers. Teaching your kids how to fight slumlords. The invisible poor. Kicking seniors out of their homes. Steal from the boss, go to jail; steal from your workers and you won’t even have to pay them back. Does it matter if Paul Ryan hurts poor people because he hates them or if he hurts poor people because he doesn’t know any better? What happens to an 18-ton wall of used clothing? Cuts to SNAP asks every food bank to supply an additional 4 million meals every year. [Read more...]

It’s corporations, not killer robots


The singularity has already happened. We’ve been slow to notice because we were worried about a technological singularity and what we got instead was a legal singularity. It wasn’t the rise of artificially intelligent machines, but of artificially intelligent legal entities. The corporations were created by humans. They were granted personhood by their human servants. They rebelled. They evolved. There are many copies. And they have a plan. [Read more...]