Structured as a radio play, Pang! is made up of three stories of struggle and survival distilled from real-life accounts of impoverished families, including one from Los Angeles.
At a time when the income chasm between California’s wealthiest and poorest residents continues to be one of the widest in the nation, 2016 might become a watershed year in California’s ongoing struggle to achieve income equity for the state’s nearly 4.8 million low-wage households.
Americans don’t like inequality. We like to think of ourselves as a middle-class country where the top is not out of reach and the bottom doesn’t pose such a grim, cautionary specter that people fear for their livelihoods. We like to think that’s what makes us different from other societies. Or at least that’s the […]
Robert Reich stepped down from his post as Labor Secretary in 1996 to spend more time with his teenage sons, Adam, now a sociology professor at Columbia University, and Sam, a writer and director who heads the video department at the popular comedy site CollegeHumor.com. (Reich and Clare Dalton divorced in 2012; he […]
It’s two weeks before Thanksgiving, and a crowd of 500 people has filled the Silicon Valley Commonwealth Club to hear former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich discuss a decidedly less than festive topic: How the economy is leaving most Americans behind. The subject, which inspired Reich’s latest book, Saving Capitalism, hits particularly close to […]
When Jared Bernstein recently sat down with Capital & Main, he had just been chosen as chair of the National Employment Law Project’s board of directors, while continuing his roles as a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and as a frequent commentator on MSNBC and CNBC. Picked in 2009 by […]
Emeryville, California is more than a brief Amtrak stop across the bay from San Francisco. On Tuesday evening all five Emeryville City Councilmembers approved an ordinance that increases the minimum wage for workers employed at small firms to $12.25 an hour, effective July 1. Employees at Emeryville companies with more than 55 employees, such as Home Depot […]
Charles Gladden has held his current job for eight years. The 63 year old sweeps floors, cleans dishes and mops bathrooms. His take-home pay is about $360 a week and he is currently homeless, moving between shelters and occasionally a Metro stop next to the White House. Bertrand Olotara is a college graduate and a […]
Sunday’s extreme heat didn’t prevent some 200-plus Angelenos from gathering in the Ann and John Nickoll Family Sanctuary at Temple Isaiah for an informal economic summit. The audience for this Westside event, partly sponsored by Bend the Arc, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, included District […]
Forget, for the moment, downer news stories coming out of Midwestern statehouses, Southern auto plants and sundry federal courts. A new book edited and co-written by three Bay Area researchers optimistically chronicles what can be accomplished when progressive politicians and a determined electorate, backed by an energetic union movement, tackle income inequality, health care, labor […]
The Partnership for Working Families Summit kicked off Tuesday in Los Angeles as activists from around the country convened at the Biltmore Hotel for three days of workshops and talks focused on creating good jobs, sustainable industries and strong unions. The Partnership includes such groups as the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), […]
There was something tantalizing about Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech last night. When was the last time an American president talked about the simple human cruelty of our Dickensian sick leave and maternity policies? Or told CEOs to just do the right thing and raise wages for their workers? What made Obama’s speech […]
Common wisdom says that the subject of economic inequality, while temporarily in vogue, is still a rhetorical minefield. In the half-century since Lyndon Johnson announced the beginning of a war on poverty, presidents have avoided even using the word “poverty,” for fear of turning off voters. And just as perilous as talking about poverty, apparently, […]
Rich and poor — two sides of the same coin. That “coin” meaning money and how much you have. While Americans seem to love money and idolize those who possess it, having it isn’t so good for you. That’s right. Not only does money not buy happiness, it can be downright hurtful to those who […]