The Symposium in Review: #CellBlocks and #Borderstops… #Human Beings

Re-Posted from the Institute for Pragmatic Practice (www.pragmaticpractice.org)

In the last four decades, mass incarceration and immigration control in the United States has skyrocketed. Our nation has become an engine thatIPPImage pulls people from their communities, removing them from the very fabric that gives them their humanity. Over-policing of everyday lives has made the simple act of walking down one’s street a criminal act. The criminalization of communities is evermore presenting itself as a system of violence against them.

The Institute for Pragmatic Practice held an incredible symposium October 17-18, that brought voice to those affected by incarceration.  Cell Blocks and Border Stops: Transformation in the age of dehumanization brought faces to those who have been invisible behind walls and in communities that are left behind. Read more

Caldwell, ID City Council Asked to Move Payday Lenders Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Community and ICAN Push Council to Limit Industry From Preying on the Poor

 

“With the average payday loan in Idaho carrying an interest rate of 350% and with the average borrower taking out 7 payday loans to pay off the initial loan”, 20131004_101226predatory loan businesses continue to swarm into our state.  Last year alone, payday loans accounted for a negative economic impact of $1 BILLION! http://www.insightcced.org/uploads/assets/Net%20Economic%20Impact%20of%20Payday%20Lending.pdf  This is money that our communities lost, nationwide.

Volunteers and members of Idaho Community Action Network went into the neighborhoods of Caldwell and gathered 400 signatures from families who both see and personally experience the impact of payday and title loan businesses.  The canvassers met families; families who have lost their only vehicle; families who lost their home; their job and even their children, because they needed help.  They learned about loved ones who died owing a debt to a predatory lender.   Read more

Daley’s View: OK, WE SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT NOW WHAT?

f853fe3dfcbb6dce_sex-government-shutdown-flirting-ecards-someecards I must confess that I did not think that they were actually going to shut it down.

The night of the shutdown I sat in a favorite Capitol Hill Italian restaurant and watched the few republican Senators who are not total fruitcakes come in and dine in a private room – McCain, Cornyn, Alexander, Graham, Fluke.

As I was leaving I stopped across the street to buy (ahem) nicotine and a motorcycle cop pulled up in front of me followed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s limo.

I figured they were cooking up a deal. Alas, the cooking apparently did not get much further than the linguini. No deal ever materialized. Read more

Work, Productivity, Play and Compensation in America

Americans work longer and harder than our peers in almost every industrial nation.

On average Americans are working 1800 hours per year, beating out Germany, France, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia and Finland. http://blogs.salleurl.edu/emprendedores/files/2011/02/work.jpgAccording to The International Labour Organization American released a report stating that “workers in the United States on average produce $63,885 of wealth annually; compared to other industrialized countries of Europe, only Norway’s workers produce more wealth per hour ($37.99 in U.S. dollars) than do American workers ($35.63.)” Read more

There’s Only One Cliché Coming Out of DC That Seems to Fit

First They Sentenced Us to Death By A Thousand Cuts.

Now They Threaten us With Death By a Thousand Clichés.

I am largely mystified by the apparently widespread support for further austerity. The leadership of the House of Representatives continue to manufacture governmental crises to force draconian cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, in the face of totally lousy economic news.http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dAbK_N0SYoY/T89IKE2JknI/AAAAAAAAATs/E_01in9ExBY/s1600/cliche.png

The latest jobs news out Friday the 6th gives us further reason to pause and reflect on just how ruinous the Great Recession has been for the people of the country. There was overall job growth of about 169,000 new jobs, but the unemployment rate is still at 7.3%. Overall job growth for the year was revised downward from previous estimates. Read more

Higher Wages Are Really an Economic Win-Win

Part 4 in Our Series on Wages and Work.

A common concern in the movement for fair wages is that employers who want to pay better are convinced they cannot afford to. But a look at the big picture reveals living wages are actually good for business. It adds to their competitiveness, workers who are paid well spend more. Spending more means more business.  In essence, better wages enable workers to better provide for their families, while strengthening our economy and leveling the playing field for small businesses that find themselves competing against large corporations.

living.wage.feature Read more

Profiles of Poverty: Who Benefits from Fair Wages?

living.wage.featureSingles Moms, Children, the Elderly and Students Have Much at Stake in the Living Wage Debate

Opponents of raising the minimum wage frequently argue that low-wage jobs are transitional, for teenagers seeking experience before life in the “real world.” Granted, many teenagers work to contribute money desperately needed for their family, or are raising families themselves. And many teens are trying to save up for college.

But, like young people, these facts apparently don’t seem to matter to profit-at-all-costs corporations. Nor do actual statistics of minimum wage workers and people in poverty. Read more

McGimmick Budgeting No Substitute for Living Wage

living.wage.feature

Making Ends Meet: Part 2

We’ve certainly seen some sobering statistics regarding low-wage jobs out there. But — lucky us — one of the most profitable companies in the history of the world has kindly stepped up with tips for how its employees can manage their embarrassingly inadequate minimum-wage salaries.

McDonald’s recently launched a handy-dandy website that includes a wide variety of resources to help the average low-wage worker manage his or her finances. The homepage provides an informative video, asking viewers, “Do you ever wonder where all of your money goes?” The site also provides an informative workbook for workers to budget their monthly expenses and “plan for the future.” Read more