class, Economy, Minimum Wage, poverty, Social Problems

Opinion: Double the Federal Minimum Wage. State and local governments are proving that higher minimum-wage standards are good for workers. Congress should take the lesson. By The Editorial Board The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom. Dec. 30, 2019

Opponents of minimum-wage laws have long argued that companies have only so much money and, if required to pay higher wages, they will employ fewer workers. Now there is evidence that such concerns, never entirely sincere, are greatly overstated. Over the past five years, a wave of increases in state and local minimum-wage standards has pushed the average effective minimum wage in the United States to the highest level on record. The average worker must be paid at least $11.80 an hour — more after inflation than the last peak, in the 1960s, according to an analysis by the economist Ernie Tedeschi.

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class, Housing, Social Problems

Opinion Only Washington Can Solve the Nation’s Housing Crisis. The federal government once promised to provide homes for every American. What happened? By Lizabeth Cohen Dr. Cohen is the author of the forthcoming “Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age.” July 10, 2019

In recent months America’s affordable housing crisis, a long-simmering issue for people of low and moderate incomes, has burst onto the front page. Rents are rising much faster than income, while the median home price in some 200 cities is $1 million. After a decade of decline, the number of homeless Americans is ticking back up. The private market is clearly failing. Although many city and state governments are motivated to take action, they have limited tools at their disposal, and few of them equal to the task. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, at least under its current leadership, is hardly stepping up.

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Healthcare, Social Problems, Social Safety Net

Medicaid Covers a Million Fewer Children. Baby Elijah Was One of Them. Officials point to rising employment, but the uninsured rate is climbing as families run afoul of new paperwork and as fear rises among immigrants. By Abby Goodnough and Margot Sanger-Katz . Oct. 22, 2019

HOUSTON — The baby’s lips were turning blue from lack of oxygen in the blood when his mother, Kristin Johnson, rushed him to an emergency room here last month. Only after he was admitted to intensive care with a respiratory virus did Ms. Johnson learn that he had been dropped from Medicaid coverage.

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Banks, Economy, poverty, Social Problems

Opinion: Changing Rules to Help Bankers and Hurt Poor Neighborhoods. The Community Reinvestment Act needs a renovation. The Trump administration instead is proposing a partial demolition. By The Editorial Board. The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom. Jan. 10, 2020

Banks don’t like lending in lower-income neighborhoods, even as they profit from deposits taken from those same communities. Since 1977, the Community Reinvestment Act has forced the issue, requiring banks to provide mortgages, small-business loans and other services in all areas where they operate. The current crop of federal banking regulators, picked by President Trump, is now proposing to let banks pump less money into lower-income communities, and even to claim credit for lending that does not benefit those communities. One egregious example: Banks could count loans for improvements to stadiums that happen to sit in poor neighborhoods. Yes, you read that right: Under the proposal, the banks that financed the new sound system at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore could claim credit for investing in the community.

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class, Family, Social Problems, Social Safety Net

What Happened When a State Made Food Stamps Harder to Get. In West Virginia, tougher work requirements for receiving food stamps complicated life for poor people, but did not result in increased employment. The most visible impact in the changes in work requirements for the food stamp program in nine West Virginia counties was at homeless missions and food pantries, which saw a substantial spike in demand that has never receded. By Campbell Robertson Jan. 13, 2020 MILTON, W.Va.

— In the early mornings, Chastity and Paul Peyton walk from their small and barely heated apartment to Taco Bell to clean fryers and take orders for as many work hours as they can get. It rarely adds up to a full-time week’s worth, often not even close. With this income and whatever cash Mr. Peyton can scrape up doing odd jobs — which are hard to come by in a small town in winter, for someone without a car — the couple pays rent, utilities and his child support payments. Then there is the matter of food. “We can barely eat,” Ms. Peyton said. She was told she would be getting food stamps again soon — a little over two dollars’ worth a day — but the couple was without them for months. Sometimes they made too much money to qualify; sometimes it was a matter of working too little. There is nothing reliable but the local food pantry.

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African-Americans, Healthcare, inequality, Social Problems

The New Health Care. Race and Medicine: The Harm That Comes From Mistrust. Racial bias still affects many aspects of health care. In 1997, President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore helped Herman Shaw, 94, a Tuskegee Syphilis Study victim, during a news conference. Mr. Clinton apologized to black men whose syphilis went untreated by government doctors. In 1997, President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore helped Herman Shaw, 94, a Tuskegee Syphilis Study victim, during a news conference. Mr. Clinton apologized to black men whose syphilis went untreated by government doctors. By Austin Frakt Jan. 13, 2020. Racial discrimination has shaped so many American institutions that perhaps it should be no surprise that health care is among them. Put simply, people of color receive less care — and often worse care — than white Americans. Reasons includes lower rates of health coverage; communication barriers; and racial stereotyping based on false beliefs. Predictably, their health outcomes are worse than those of whites.

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African-Americans, criminal justice, Police, Social Problems

Opinion: The Injustice of This Moment Is Not an ‘Aberration.’ From mass incarceration to mass deportation, our nation remains in deep denial. By Michelle Alexander Opinion Columnist Jan. 17, 2020. Ten years have passed since my book, “The New Jim Crow,” was published. I wrote it to challenge our nation to reckon with the recurring cycles of racial reform, retrenchment and rebirth of caste-like systems that have defined our racial history since slavery. It has been an astonishing decade. Everything and nothing has changed.

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