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Series | Outclassed: Part 1: Why do we think poor people are poor because of their own bad choices?

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‘ Among the wealthy, biases allow society’s winners to believe that they got where they are by hard work alone’. Illustration: Rosie Roberts

  • If an unexpected medical emergency bankrupts you, you view yourself as a victim of bad fortune – while seeing other bankruptcy court clients as spendthrifts. Why?
  • Outclassed: The Secret Life of Inequality is our new series about class. This installment is Part 1. 
  • Related: Kurt Vonnegut Ponders Why “Poor Americans Are Taught to Hate Themselves” in a Timely Passage from Slaughterhouse-Five

Maia Szalavitz, Guardian

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https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/11/ij_banner/lead_960.jpg?1480521355Wednesday, 5 July, 2017 | Cecilia Mo thought she knew all about growing up poor when she began teaching at Thomas Jefferson senior high school in south Los Angeles. As a child, she remembered standing in line, holding a free lunch ticket. But it turned out that Mo could still be shocked by poverty and violence – especially after a 13-year-old student called her in obvious panic. He had just seen his cousin get shot in his front yard.

For Mo, hard work and a good education took her to Harvard and Stanford. But when she saw just how much chaos and violence her LA students faced, she recognized how lucky she had been growing up with educated parents and a safe, if financially stretched, home.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2017/05/26/Maia-Szalavitz.jpg?w=140&h=140&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=640caefbc099a7fde21144d984959c18 Maia Szalavitz is the author of Unbroken Brain:  A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, which will be published in April. She is a 2015-16 Soros Justice Fellow and has covered addiction and neuroscience for major publications for nearly 30 years.

Full story … 

Related:

Kurt Vonnegut Ponders Why “Poor Americans Are Taught to Hate Themselves” in a Timely Passage from Slaughterhouse-Five, Josh Jones, Open Culture 

http://cdn8.openculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/17225426/vonnegut-drawing.png Image by Daniele Prati, via Flickr Commons

  • For all his (Campbell's) outlandish presentation, he is a complicated figure---something of an amalgam of the far right’s showmen and hucksters and its cynical intellectuals, who often understand very well how the stark divisions of race and class are maintained in the U.S., and exploit that knowledge for political gain.
  • Related: From the Archives | Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

 

Pence Leads GOP's Under-the-Radar Attack on Unions

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Pence leans over an executive order in the Oval Office. Pence leads the assault on workers in the Executive Branch. | AP

  • Part 1: Pence leads under-the-radar attack on unions

Pence working hard on a strategy to make “right to work” national law.

  • Part 2: Things Are About to Get Really Ugly for the Labor Movement

Unions were finally on an upswing. Now, they’re staring down the barrel of the GOP’s gun.

  • Related: Time to Build a Resistance in More Than Name Only 

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Pence leads under-the-radar attack on unions

As of today 28 states, a majority of the states in the country, have “right to work” laws on the books. And we have Vice President Pence working hard on a strategy to make “right to work” national law.

John Wojcik, People's World

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Money%20Pie.jpg May 22, 2017 | Since he took office, Vice President Pence has been working with high-level Trump backers to develop a comprehensive strategy to weaken labor unions. The strategy he is developing revolves around so-called “right to work” laws that have already been rammed through numerous state legislative bodies. Among the GOP bright lights attending the closed-door sessions with Pence have been Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Pence’s role as architect of a new federal assault on unions is one of the topics tackled recently in an excellent article* in the March/April issue of The Voice of the ILWU, published by the union’s local 142 in Hawaii. The article, entitled “Trump backs attack on union,” delves into the history of “right to work” and how it has been used to bash workers and their unions.

http://www.peoplesworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/jwojcik-200x200.jpg John Wojcik is editor in chief at Peoplesworld.org. He started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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Part 2: Things Are About to Get Really Ugly for the Labor Movement

Unions were finally on an upswing. Now, they’re staring down the barrel of the GOP’s gun. 

Justin Miller, The American Prospect

http://prospect.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/ap_16314337997058.jpg?itok=3wWTs6sy Vice president-elect Mike Pence watches as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during an election night rally in New York. (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)

November 15, 2016 | The nation’s union movement is suffering from collective whiplash. As the Rust Belt states fell late last Tuesday night, so too did labor’s hopes for a Democratic president who had promised to lift up working people. Instead it was forced to confront the reality of an explosive faux-populist taking power in tandem with a pro-business GOP Congress that has been waiting for its chance to dismantle a beleaguered, but recently rising, labor movement. The promising signs of a rejuvenation for workers’ interests and rights in recent years have all come under a dark cloud of uncertainty and dread.

For starters, with Trump promising to be a regulatory “reformer,” Republicans and their business lobbyist colleagues hope to roll back every single one of President Obama’s labor initiatives that were, slowly but surely, tilting the regulatory system more in favor of worker power. “This is going to be a president who will be the biggest regulatory reformer since Ronald Reagan,” Trump economic advisor Stephen Moore, told The New York Times. “There are just so many regulations that could be eased.”

http://prospect.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/fullsizerender1_4.jpg?itok=Vte87Cw_Justin Miller is a writing fellow for The American Prospect

Full story … 



Related:

Time to Build a Resistance in More Than Name Only, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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  • Part 1: The So-called Resistance, by James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler asks a critical question: what would a real resistance (as opposed to the crybaby resistance currently wailing) look like?

  • Part 2: Time to Build a Real Resistance! 

The mass protests against (Trump's)  reactionary policies have been inspiring, but they will inevitably ebb and flow because ultimately, protests will not be enough to stop him and the class he represents.

 

 

 

 

 

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Kurt Vonnegut Ponders Why “Poor Americans Are Taught to Hate Themselves” in a Timely Passage from Slaughterhouse-Five

http://cdn8.openculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/17225426/vonnegut-drawing.png

Image by Daniele Prati, via Flickr Commons

  • For all his (Campbell's) outlandish presentation, he is a complicated figure---something of an amalgam of the far right’s showmen and hucksters and its cynical intellectuals, who often understand very well how the stark divisions of race and class are maintained in the U.S., and exploit that knowledge for political gain.
  • Related: From the Archives | Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

Josh Jones, Open Culture 

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May 25th, 2017 | Amidst what is now an ordinary day’s chaos and turmoil in the news, you may have noticed some outrage circulating over comments made by erstwhile brain surgeon, former presidential candidate, and current Secretary of HUD Ben Carson. Poverty, he said, is a “state of mind.” The idea fits squarely in the wheelhouse of Carson’s brand of magical thinking, as well as into what has always been a self-help tradition in the U.S. since Poor Richard's Almanac.

Consider, for example, the immense popularity of a book written during the Great Depression, Napoleon Hill’s 1937 Think and Grow Rich, which has increased every year since its publication. By 2015, the book had sold around 100 million copies worldwide. Hill’s prolific self-help cottage industry occupies a prominent place in a distinctly American genre, and an economy unto itself. Books, videos, seminars, and megachurches promise the faithful that they need only to change themselves to change their economic outcomes, in order not only thrive but to “grow rich.”

http://www.zuccottiparkpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/occupy.jpgJosh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. 

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Related:

From the Archives | Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor, Chris Steele, AlterNet  / Zuccotti Park Press 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jeff Nygaard <>.

Sat, 03/29/2014 | 

  • Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky on our country's brutal class warfare -- and why it's ultimately so one-sided.
  • This is an excerpt from the just released second edition of Noam Chomsky’s  “Occupy: Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity,” edited by Greg Ruggiero and published by Zuccotti Park Press.
  • Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 
  • The global plutocracy

 

 

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Section(s): 

Sold for Parts: Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?

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  • Part 1: Sold for Parts
    • One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.
  • Part 2: Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?
    • Case Farms’ history shows how many sectors like meatpacking depend on immigrants and refugees. Now business leaders fear President Trump’s policies will create a labor shortage.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Sold for Parts

One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.

Michael Grabell, ProPublica

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/generated/story-opener-A-8x10-1200*960-9a4cdc.jpgMay 1, 2017 | By late afternoon, the smell from the Case Farms chicken plant in Canton, Ohio, is like a pungent fog, drifting over a highway lined with dollar stores and auto parts shops. When the stink is at its ripest, it means that the day’s 180,000 chickens have been slaughtered, drained of blood, stripped of feathers and carved into pieces — and it’s time for workers like Osiel López Pérez to clean up. On April 7, 2015, Osiel put on bulky rubber boots and a white hard hat, and trained a pressurized hose on the plant’s stainless steel machines, blasting off the leftover grease, meat and blood.

A Guatemalan immigrant, Osiel was just weeks past his 17th birthday, too young by law to work in a factory. A year earlier, after gang members shot his mother and tried to kidnap his sisters, he left his home, in the mountainous village of Tectitán, and sought asylum in the United States. He got the job at Case Farms with a driver’s license that said his name was Francisco Sepulveda, age 28. The photograph on the ID was of his older brother, who looked nothing like him, but nobody asked any questions.

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/michael-grabell-200x200.jpg Michael Grabell covers economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 30 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times and on Vice and NPR. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and an IRE Medal for investigative reporting and is a three-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

Full story … 



Part 2: Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?

Case Farms’ history shows how many sectors like meatpacking depend on immigrants and refugees. Now business leaders fear President Trump’s policies will create a labor shortage.

Michael Grabell, ProPublica 

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/generated/case-farms-spot-illo-02-900*549-3952a8.pngMay 5, 2017 | One afternoon this fall, I knocked on the door of a redbrick apartment building in Akron, Ohio, looking for a Bhutanese refugee who’d lost the tips of his fingers at a Case Farms chicken plant in a vacuum-pressure machine known as a “fat sucker.”

In the apartment’s tiny living room, a young man told his story in halting English. As he spoke, I realized that his name was different from the one I had, and, instead of losing his fingertips in a fat sucker at the company’s Canton plant, he’d lost his pinkie to a saw at its plant in nearby Winesburg. I had the wrong guy, but I’d stumbled on yet another Bhutanese refugee who’d sacrificed part of his body for the company.

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/michael-grabell-200x200.jpg Michael Grabell covers economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 30 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times and on Vice and NPR. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and an IRE Medal for investigative reporting and is a three-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

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Section(s): 

Empire of the Sun

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Solar Jobs Are Booming

 

Nathanael Johnson, Grist

 

 

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Feb 7, 2017 | The number of people employed by the solar power industry in the U.S. surged 25 percent last year, to 260,000 workers, according to a count by the Solar Foundation, a pro-industry group. Twenty-five percent is huge. For comparison, the rest of the economy added jobs at a rate of 1.45 percent.

This stratospheric trend will probably start to level off this year: The Solar Foundation predicts the industry will add another 25,000 jobs in 2017. That’s about a 10 percent growth rate — a lot less than 25 percent, but still freaking impressive.

Nathanael Johnson is Grist's food writer and the author of All Natural: A Skeptic's Quest to Discover If the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier.

Full story … 

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