African-Americans, Healthcare, poverty, Race, Stratification, Wisconsin

Opinion: Social Distancing Is a Privilege. The idea that this virus is an equal-opportunity killer must itself be killed.

By Charles M. Blow Opinion Columnist April 5, 2020

People like to say that the coronavirus is no respecter of race, class or country, that the disease Covid-19 is mindless and will infect anybody it can. In theory, that is true. But, in practice, in the real world, this virus behaves like others, screeching like a heat-seeking missile toward the most vulnerable in society. And this happens not because it prefers them, but because they are more exposed, more fragile and more ill. What the vulnerable portion of society looks like varies from country to country, but in America, that vulnerability is highly intersected with race and poverty.

Early evidence from cities and states already shows that black people are disproportionately affected by the virus in devastating ways. As ProPublica reported, in Milwaukee County, Wis., as of Friday morning, 81 percent of the deaths were black people. Black people make up only 26 percent of that county.

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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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Economy, inequality, Social Problems, Stratification

Opinion: How the Upper Middle Class Is Really Doing Is it more similar to the top 1 percent or the working class? By David Leonhardt Opinion Columnist Feb. 24, 2019 Since 1980, the incomes of the very rich have grown faster than the economy. The upper middle class has kept pace with the economy, while the middle class and poor have fallen behind.

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class, Economy, inequality, Social Problems, Technology

Tech Is Splitting the U.S. Work Force in Two. A small group of well-educated professionals enjoys rising wages, while most workers toil in low-wage jobs with few chances to advance. Image: Taser assembly at Axon in Scottsdale, Ariz. While some jobs are changing or being eliminated because of automation, many positions at Axon still require the dexterity of human hands. By Eduardo Porter Feb. 4, 2019

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class, Economy, inequality, Social Problems

Opinion: What’s Really Radical? Not Taxing the Rich It’s time to reverse the extreme upward redistribution of the last 40 years. A house is the biggest asset that most families own. If middle-class families can pay an annual tax on their main source of wealth, wealthy families can, too, says David Leonhardt. by David Leonhardt. Opinion Columnist Feb. 3, 2019

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