The press tends to cover the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. Readers get heroic stories, viewers see great visuals, and if they are lucky, the victims get help while people are paying attention. Then comes the long road to recovery.
The basic bomb shelter has had an upgrade in the form of $3 million condos where the ultra-wealthy can insulate themselves from Armageddon.
For-profit water corporations see America’s crumbling infrastructure as a business opportunity. Either they buy struggling water systems or market their services to cities like Pittsburgh that need the help.
We are suffering a period of extreme weather patterns that a German insurance company says could only happen because of climate change. Last year was the hottest year ever – tracking on 14 months in a row of record-breaking temperatures.
Earlier this month our team from Jobs to Move America (JMA) attended the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco. We were there to learn the latest in transit trends, from sustainability planning to high-speed rail. We were also an outspoken advocate on behalf of American labor and taxpayers amongst 1,500 attendees. […]
If there were still any doubt about Eli Broad’s desire to gut traditional public education, it has been erased by his much-discussed “Great Public Schools Now” initiative, a draft of which LA Times reporter Howard Blume obtained last month. Broad’s 44-page proposal outlines plans to replace half of LAUSD’s existing public schools with charter schools. […]
The recently ratified agreement between the City of Los Angeles and the Coalition of LA City Unions, representing 20,000 City workers, is much more than a deal on wages and benefits. And the road to getting there included much more than a series of meetings with two sides passing proposals across a table. This process […]
Last week, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released striking data about the rapid turnover of charter schools. CMD’s state-by-state list of closed charters shows that, since 2000, these schools have failed at a much higher rate than traditional public schools. And over this time, millions of federal dollars went to groups planning to […]
Sometimes religious people tend to be slower to adapt to changes coursing through the culture, especially with concerns about human-caused climate change. Even though polling shows Catholics, for example, to be slightly ahead of the national curve of global warming awareness, further inspection reveals that only 53 percent of white Catholics think climate change is […]
Two court orders and the most expensive wrongful death settlement in California history should be enough. But not for Corizon, a corrections health care company owned by a private equity firm. For seven months earlier this year, Mario Martinez, a prisoner in Corizon’s care at the Dublin, California Santa Rita Jail, suffered from asthma that […]
He’s been a pope of many firsts already. The first to invite Catholics to forgive women who have had abortions, and the first to refrain from judging gay people to cite just two that have made headlines. But he’s also arguably the first pope to press hard against not just the reality of poverty, but […]
I hope the oil lobbyists in Sacramento broke out some high-priced Champagne this weekend. They deserve it. They just scuttled the biggest and most likely-to-succeed effort in the history of California to save the planet. Oil industry ad decrying what it called the “California Gas Restriction Act of 2015” Senate Bills 350 and 32 […]
Next spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a case that could threaten the economy and American democracy. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association asks the justices to consider overturning a 1977 Supreme Court unanimous ruling (Abood v. Detroit Board of Education) that protected the right of teachers, nurses, librarians, firefighters and other public workers to form unions. The Abood case emphasized […]
Like a charismatic politician whose flaws have yet to be exposed, the so-called sharing economy enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame and success. Uber, Lyft, Airbnb — these companies emerged seemingly from nowhere to become economic and cultural powerhouses, and to challenge the prevailing structure of their respective industries. But 2015 has not been as […]
In 1936, during the throes of the Great Depression, FDR addressed a deeply divided and economically insecure nation on the eve of Labor Day: “There are those who fail to read both the signs of the times and American history. They would try to refuse the worker any effective power to bargain collectively, to earn […]
As the edge of summer burns into early autumn, students across the country are going back to school. Most are returning to friends and meeting teachers, but students at Illinois’ Barrington High School are arriving this year to signs that read, “Can’t live on $8.50,” and shouts of “Devuelvenos nuestros salarios!” (Give us back our […]
I’ve always thought that if the various Protestant denominations can be said to represent a socio-economic sector of American culture, then the people who made up the United Methodist Church (UMC) were the middle of the middle. I mean that across the country and particularly in this region, which includes Southern California, Methodists never wanted […]
Last week, in a powerful affirmation of the common good, commissioners in Tennessee’s Johnson County unanimously opposed the privatization of the state prison within their county’s limits. A response to fears that the state government could soon outsource management of the Northeast State Correctional Complex, the resolution reads like a checklist of what democracy and public […]
As public officials across the country continue to manage shrinking budgets, experiments for funding public services are emerging. One new idea, the Social Impact Bond, has been advertised as a “win-win” for private investors and the public, but the reality is beginning to look a little different. The results are in from the first SIB […]
Here’s the good news: The percentage rate of change in global carbon emissions in 2014 was zero. It didn’t go up. That’s the first time in the record books that the world economy grew but carbon emissions didn’t. Here’s the bad news: The average global temperature has been hotter every month since February of 1985 […]
We hear so much about “big government” burdening “job creators” with excessive “red tape” and “bureaucracy,” but that rhetoric isn’t new. Even in the decades after the New Deal, when workers had more power than they do today, and the government was seen as society’s protector, private profit too often conflicted with the public interest. […]
I’ve always believed that democracy was the best form of government because people can change it. And like a lot of us, I was taught that the American form of democracy was the model that should be imitated by nations across the planet. Especially ingenious was the system of “checks and balances.” This arrangement means […]
If you take your kids to the beach this summer, expect a gritty ride home. California has turned off most of the showers that people use at state beaches to clean the sand off their kids before the long ride home. Then, of course, you get to clean the sand out of your car. All […]
Every year, every quarter, every month, the conventional economists either praise the increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or anxiously wring their hands because the economy has not expanded enough. Expansion requires two key elements: a constant search for the lowest possible wages and an unending supply of raw materials – particularly fossil fuels, but […]
More Americans believe in angels than in climate change. Still, a poll released earlier this year indicated that more Americans than ever now think that climate change is happening, that it is caused by human activity and that world leaders have a moral obligation to do something about it. So why are we getting so little action? […]
My wife Susan and I have just returned from a three-week trip to the East Coast. The journey included a week or so in Washington, D.C., which Susan had never seen and which I have not visited in a couple of decades. Our purpose was to witness the graduation of a nephew, but we also […]
The religious spring festivals of Passover and Easter are behind us. We’ve paid our taxes. Congress has passed another bill to give the top two-hundredths of one per cent another windfall. I think a big-picture look at the structure of this economy might help us all take a deep breath. If my guess is correct, […]
Sometimes the conventional narrative the media tell about a news story feels so wrong I can’t stand it — but I don’t know why until the story’s over. The recent coverage of the labor dispute at the West Coast ports — including Los Angeles and Long Beach — is a case in point. News […]