Showing posts from September 8, 2015

No GoFundMe For Kim Davis: Crowdfunding Puts the Brakes On the Disturbing Bigots-Get-Rich-Quick Trend

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[Good news! or, Mike Huckabee has a sad. If the plan was to fundraise, more platforms aren't going to play along. *RON*]

By Mary Elizabeth WilliamsSalon, 6 September 2015

It’s a narrative so familiar by now that we can all recite the script. As Sarah Thyre laid it out Thursday: “1. Jail 2. Book deal/Fox News guest 3. jillion dollar @gofundme page w/donations from fellow bigots.” And with the developments this week in the case of Kim Davis, who was indeed jailed not for being a Christian but being in contempt of court, many presumed that this was the jackpot the $80,000-a-year-earning Kentucky county clerk was headed toward. But not so fast, partner.

As US News reported Thursday, “ACLU attorney Heather Weaver, who is working on the case, said there was testimony about fundraising efforts on Davis’ behalf, apparently a factor in the judge’s decision not to impose financial penalties.” And DailyKos noted that “Plaintiffs in the case had asked…

America's Poorest Are Getting Virtually No Assistance

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[What happens to the unemployable poor in America, and how this came to be. *RON*]

Jared Bernstein, The Atlantic, 6 September 2015

People who pay attention to poverty, including the poor themselves, know one thing all too well: Over the past few decades, anti-poverty policy in this country has evolved to be “pro-work.” This means that if you’re a low-income parent who’s well connected to the job market, the government will help you in a variety of ways. But, if you’re disconnected from the job market, public policy won’t help you much at all.

How do people in that second group survive? That’s a question that Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, a sociologist and a social-work professor, answer in their new book, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America. It is, as the title suggests, a devastating portrait of families struggling to get by on impossibly low incomes.

A few of their strategies: availing themselves of charities and public spaces …

If You Ever Wondered Whose Side The Federal Reserve Is On...

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[The Federal Reserve denies reality and replaces it with Koch Brother talking-points. *RON*]
Tim Duy, Tim Duy's Fed Watch, 5 September 2015

Catching up with Richmond Federal Reserve Jeffrey Lacker's speech. His dismissal of low wage growth numbers:
Some argue there must be excessive slack in labor markets if wage rates are not accelerating. But real wages are tied to productivity growth, and productivity growth has been slow for several years now. Wage growth in real terms has at least kept pace with productivity increases over that time period, which is perfectly consistent with an economy from which labor market slack has largely dissipated. Real wage growth is consistent with productivity, thus there is no excess slack in the labor market. If you think this is some crazy hawk-talk, think again. Fed Chair Janet Yellen in July:
The growth rate of output per hour worked in the business sector has averaged about 1‑1/4 percent per year si…

How on-call and irregular scheduling harm the American workforce

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[On the human impact of the kind of crappy McJobs that are now the main sort being crated in the 'new economy'. *RON*]

Lonnie Golden, The Conversation, 5 September 2015

As we head into the holiday weekend, many of us know with certainty what days and hours we’ll be working over the coming week. We’ll enjoy September 7 in honor of Labor Day and then return to our offices first thing Tuesday morning to begin a shortened workweek.

A significant share of the workforce, however, isn’t quite so fortunate. Millions of employees awake every morning without knowing what time they’ll start work, how long their shift will last or even if they’ll be working at all, regardless of what the company schedule says.

Whether it will truly be a “labor day,” and compensated accordingly, remains up in the air for these workers until they get a call confirming that they need to come in to work and for how long.

This type of on-call scheduling has always been a …

Meet the Flexians

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[An interesting older piece I ran across on Naked Capitalism. On "Shadow Influence" and the structure of the corporatocracy: a new professional class of movers and shakers—people who serve overlapping roles in government, business, and media with smiling finesse—is controlling the flow of power and money in America. The anthropologist Janine Wedel is bent on making us understand just how dangerous this new normal can be. *RON*]

Lisa Magonelli, Pacific Standard Magazine, 9 September 2013

One Sunday last May, anthropologist Janine Wedel was standing in the security line at Washington’s Reagan National Airport, about to embark on a few days of field research among members of an enigmatic modern tribe. She was, to be precise, on her way to a hedge fund industry conference in Miami Beach. A petite woman in her early 50s with large, hazel eyes, Wedel wore a pink dress, heels, elaborately coiffed hair, and conservatively thick makeup. She was …