There is simply no doubt anymore that this is a fact. In our society, we pass laws demanding welfare recipients pass drug tests that they pay for out of their own pockets before we will provide them with financial assistance; we cut off unemployment benefits at 26 weeks or less despite the continuing difficultly many have at finding full time, living wage jobs in that amount of time; we put caps on the number of children a parent can have while on public subsidies while at the same time cutting off funding to groups that will help those parents prevent pregnancy if that is what they wish to do; and many states spend more money on prisons than schools.
The prison system has always been a place of inequality fueled mostly by race, class and economics. Now, just as the income gap is getting even wider between the rich and poor, we are seeing the divide between those who end up prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and those who walk with just a slap on the wrist increasing, too.
Here are 4 instances where the perpetrators served no time in jail, in comparison to Taylor, who was trying to find a way to get her family out of a hopeless situation. […]
In an era when almost all economic gains are going to the very top, when poverty is increasing, and when median household incomes are dropping even with two wage earners, to be in favor of raising taxes on the wealthy and providing better schools to everyone else should not be considered “left.” I’d call this pragmatic. By the same token, to be against raising the minimum wage — as is Chris Christie — is not a sign of “pragmatism.” I’d call this ideological.
Robert Reich (via azspot)
When Bayard Rustin addressed the March on Washington in 1963 he said this: “We demand that there be an increase in the national minimum wage so that men may live in dignity.” The crowd cheered in response.
But after fifty years of commemorating that march, after thousands of reverent re-readings of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, that dream remains deferred - and worse. The minimum wage is lower today than it was in 1963.
(The minimum wage, when adjusted for inflation, was $8.37 in 1963.)
Of the people who speak reverently about that march this week, how many will fight for a higher minimum wage so that all people can live in dignity? How many people will remember the full name of that gathering - “the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”?
Without decent work at decent pay, “freedom” is an empty and hypocritical promise. It’s the selfish and false freedom which the powerful offer to the powerless. The word merely invokes the state which a French writer described over a century ago, in which “a poor person is as free to starve under a bridge as a rich person is to ride over it in his carriage.”
That’s why the marchers of 1963 called for both jobs and freedom. They knew how to distinguish false promises from true justice. […]
Fast food and retail workers to walk out nationwide Aug. 29
If you go to your local McDonald’s, or Wendy’s, or KFC or Burger King on August 29, you may find something unusual: A picket line. And as one New York Times food columnist wrote last month, “If you want to show support, don’t cross it.”
And the same caution applies if you drop in at a major retailer - Macy’s is prominently mentioned - to take advantage of a “pre-Labor Day sale.” More pickets.
That’s because hundreds of thousands of fast food and retail workers nationwide, fed up with minimum-wage jobs with no benefits and no advancement, plan to strike that day. And they’re drawing enthusiastic support from the nation’s unions. […]