Author David Pepper argues that state governments have become a key reason for the erosion of rights and America’s drift from democracy.
“We just don’t have the luxury to be despondent.”
A three-part series of interviews about the influence of neoliberalism on our politics and economics.
California looks to ease the strain put on its vulnerable undocumented workforce.
The view from Lemon Hill, a working-class community where stress and anxiety rule the day.
Major hotel chains are considering making daily room cleaning an exception rather than the norm.
Alberto Carvalho, a proponent of school choice, oversaw a growth of magnet and charter schools in Miami.
Cervantes, a progressive policy expert, explains what has and hasn’t changed for immigrant workers under the Biden administration.
Democratic Assemblymember Ash Kalra is proposing a bill to jump-start the process, but Big Medicine will fight to kill it.
The oil and gas industry could jeopardize federal funding to clean up the state’s thousands of abandoned and leaking wells.
Whenever a friend visits from out of town I take them for a stroll down Venice Beach where the diversity of Los Angeles is on brilliant display – tattoo diversity, mental health diversity, “beachwear” and performance diversity, amongst many forms of human heterogeneity. Often we’ll pick up a $5 ring or necklace from one of the vendors, or a salt-and-pepper shaker shaped like lovers in a big hug — or beaded wind chimes that seem so charming in the light of a bright Southern California afternoon.
But on a stroll last weekend I learned that the times are a-changing on Venice Beach. This Friday a card table jewelry seller with 14 years seniority told me that every non-artist will be denied a sellers permit, in order to limit economic competition with nearby permanent stores.
The debate about who should be able to sell their wares on Venice Beach has been going on for decades.
Odds are good that right now, you are using a product that was manufactured in a way that would make you uncomfortable. Not necessarily your tennis shoes (maybe you wear one of the few brands still made in the U.S.). Not your food (though no one wants to know how the sausage is made). No, if you’re reading this blog on a computer, a tablet or a smart phone, that device was probably made in China under conditions that you may have studiously avoided knowing about.
Most tech companies are only too happy to keep you in the dark. (Apple has recently made an announcement on this front—more on that in a moment.) On a recent episode of This American Life,* one man decided to try to do his own investigation. The entire episode told the story of Mike Daisey,
This past Sunday The New York Times devoted a 2700-plus-word feature to humanizing one of America’s most maligned, despised minorities – the rich. “One Percent, Many Variations” was billed as “a nuanced portrait” of the rich and super-rich. Its authors, Shaila Dewan and Robert Gebeloff, seemed genuinely surprised to discover that America’s wealthy do not only live “in New York and Los Angeles, but also in Denver and Dallas,” and that they are a surprisingly diverse group of fellows whose ranks included “podiatrists and actuaries, executives and entrepreneurs, the self-made and the silver-spoon set.”
The piece is basically divided among interviews and statistics about the rich – lots of statistics. For example, the authors write, “Studies show that whites have more upward mobility than blacks.” (Who knew?) And that more vote Republican than Democratic. (Didn’t see that one coming.) Not only that,
I am generally no fan of shopping. Not for fear of being tased or pepper-sprayed, and not even because of my disdain of spending money; I just find the whole shopping experience kind of soul-crushing. To minimize crowds, I time my grocery-shopping to be either early-morning or late-evening, and if I ever have to go to the mall, I truly have to steel myself against the horror.
The main exception to my reluctance to shop is going to the marijuana dispensary to pick up my medicine. When I step past the security area into the display room, I generally feel like a kid in a, well, a marijuana shop. But now, according to a recent article in the L.A. Business Journal, this rare shopping joy may be threatened.
A former manager of law offices and pot dispensaries has invented the MedBox,
Last year, we wrote a few articles about college football, one recommending that the NFL Players Association should join forces with the National College Players Association to organize college football workers. And now, in a way, they have, or at least so the NFL thinks.
This Saturday, the NFLPA is organizing its Astroturf Collegiate Bowl at Carson’s Home Depot Center, wherein some of the top college prospects expected to enter the NFL next year will battle each other in one of several college all-star games.
Though this seems wholly positive for the league, apparently they are in a bit of a snit owing to the fact that the NFLPA has invited not just seniors with no college eligibility left, but also underclassmen. As such, the NFL has said it will prohibit scouts from attending the game.
It’s official: Frightwing Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) will have the newly redrawn 25th District all to himself, since fellow conservative Elton Gallegly announced January 7 that he will not contest the seat – which swallows up Gallegly’s home in the old 24th District. While perhaps not as big a news item as the retirement of the party’s state Congressional delegation leader Jerry Lewis (R-Redlands), Gallegly’s surrender means McKeon, 73, will inherit the cop suburb of Simi Valley (home also to the Reagan Library) and one of the most entrenched conservative strongholds in Los Angeles County.
Buck McKeon’s fiefdom has always been something of an anomaly. The old configuration of his 25th District was a gerrymander-shaped creature that began at the eastern Ventura County Line and stretched across forest and desert to the Nevada border, then swung up along the state line all the way north to a position almost parallel with Sacramento.
By Jim Hightower
(This feature first appeared on Truthout.org)
“USA: We’re No. 1!”
Oh, wait — Iceland is No. 1. But we did beat out Poland and Slovakia, right? Uh . . . no. But go on down the rankings and there we are! No. 27, fifth from the bottom. So our new national chant is, “USA: At Least We’re Not Last!”
A foundation in Germany has analyzed the social justice records of all 31 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ranking each nation in such categories as health care, income inequality, pre-school education, and child poverty. The overall performance by the United States — which boasts of being an egalitarian society — outranks only Greece,
“There are forty million poor people here. And one day we must ask the question, Why are there forty million poor people in America? And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society.
We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. You see, my friends, when you deal with this, you begin to ask the question, Who owns the oil? You begin to ask the question, Who owns the iron ore? You begin to ask the question, Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that is two-thirds water?
In recent weeks the more poetically inclined of us at Frying Pan News have borrowed inspirations ranging from Doctor Seuss to Clement Clarke Moore to express their hopes for the environment and the economy. Now, Jessica Goodheart and Trebor Healey borrow a leaf from Bashō and squeeze green sentiments into a trio of haiku.
(Photo credits: Port of L.A., Brian Ferguson, Louise Rosskam)
For 25 years, Manuel Pastor has been writing and teaching with keen insight about the economy and how it shapes our lives. Trained as an economist, Professor Pastor serves as the director of USC‘s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and co-director of the university’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. In recent years, his research has focused on the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities in the U.S. His writing has appeared in dozens of academic and popular publications, and he is the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller, Ford and National Science foundations, among others.
This is the first installment of an ongoing conversation with Professor Pastor about our economy, our politics and the future of Los Angeles.
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