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The Spiritual Crisis of the Modern Economy

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  • The modern economy privileges the well-educated and highly-skilled, while giving them an excuse to denigrate the people at the bottom (both white and nonwhite) as lazy, untalented, uneducated, and unsophisticated.
  • Related: The Meaning Americans Find in Their Jobs

Victor Tan Chen, the Atlantic

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http://dy00k1db5oznd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/GettyImages-590028618-1280x720.jpg What is happening to America’s white working class?

The group’s important, and perhaps decisive, role in this year’s presidential election sparked a slew of commentary focused on, on the one hand, its nativism, racism, and sexism, and, on the other, its various economic woes. While there are no simple explanations for the desperation and anger visible in many predominantly white working-class communities, perhaps the most astute and original diagnosis came from the rabbi and activist Michael Lerner, who, in assessing Donald Trump’s victory, looked from a broader vantage point than most. Underneath the populist ire, he wrote, was a suffering “rooted in the hidden injuries of class and in the spiritual crisis that the global competitive marketplace generates.”

Victor Tan Chen is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy.

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The Meaning Americans Find in Their Jobs, Bourlee Lam and Adrienne Green, the Atlantic

  • Conversations with 100 people about their work and how it shapes who they are
  • "Work is “a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.” --Studs Terkel book, Working
  • Conversations with 100 people about their work and how it shapes who they are.

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Section(s): 

Special Report | More Confessions of an Economic Hitman: This Time They’re Coming for Your Democracy.

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It used to be all we had to worry about was our local community, maybe our country. But we didn’t have to worry about the world. But what we know now is that we can’t have peace anywhere in the world, we can’t have peace in the U.S., unless everybody has peace.

Sarah van Gelder, Yes! Magazine / Siasat

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April 30, 2016 | Twelve years ago, John Perkins published his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it rapidly rose up The New York Times’ best-seller list. 

In it, Perkins describes his career convincing heads of state to adopt economic policies that impoverished their countries and undermined democratic institutions. These policies helped to enrich tiny, local elite groups while padding the pockets of U.S.-based transnational corporations.

Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and editor-at-large of Yes! Magazin. Sarah writes articles and conducts interviews for YES! Magazine, and speaks regularly about solutions journalism, grassroots innovations, and social change movements. She is the editor of several books.

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Divest From Prisons, Invest in People—What Justice for Black Lives Really Looks Like

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Photo by Joe Brusky / Flickr. 

  • Instead of addressing the roots of drug addiction, mental illness, and poverty, we’ve come to accept policing and incarceration as catch-all solutions. It’s time for a change.
  • We’ve come to accept policing and incarceration as catch-all solutions.
  • Related: A Former Police Chief: Put Down the Big Stick

Liza Bayless, Yes! Magazine

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg Yes! Magazine Editor's Note: This article is the second part of a series of conversations with contributors to the demands of the Movement for Black Lives. Part One was on reparations.  

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/01/11/opinion/justice190v.jpg  Oct 11, 2016 | In July 2015, more than 2,000 members of The Movement for Black Lives—a group composed of more than 50 racial justice organizations—convened in Cleveland to recognize the violence committed against Black people in this country and around the world. At the assembly, participants decided the Movement needed to form a coalition that articulated concrete ways to build a more equitable society. Six legislative platforms emerged that covered issues like economic justice, reparations, political empowerment, and divestment from policing and incarceration. In their Invest-Divest platform, the authors called instead for investment in programming, like restorative justice initiatives, that would decrease incarceration and strengthen communities.

According to the Brookings Institution, White Americans are equally likely to use and more likely to deal drugs, while African Americans are more likely to be arrested, convicted, and sentenced harshly. For U.S. residents born in 2001, the Bureau of Justice Statistics predicts that 1 in 111 White women will go to prison in her lifetime, while 1 in 18 Black women will. For White men, the likelihood is 1 in 17; for Black men, 1 in 3.

Liza Bayles is an editorial intern at YES! Liza wrote this article for YES!.  

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A Former Police Chief: Put Down the Big Stick, David C. Couper, the Progressive 

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There is a long and difficult road ahead of us. We know what it is because we have heard it before for so many years. The 1968 Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (Kerner Commission) identified the problem: we are becoming two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal. It’s the same today.

 

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