Economic Justice

Economic Justice

Articles and Reports on Economic Justice, 2012
(Also see Articles and reports from 2010 and before2011, 2013, Inequality, and Poverty)

After Recession, More Young Adults Are Living on Street by Susan Saulny, New York Times, December 18, 2012.

Consumers being blocked from courts by Sheryl Harris, Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 21, 2012. Some of the article focuses on Ohio law, but most of it deals important changes in federal law. 

The Opiate of Exceptionalism by Shane Scott, New York Times  October 21, 2012. The U.S. ranks behind most major industrialized nations on many measures but our candidates don’t address this.

Economic health? It’s relative by Eduardo Porter, New York Times, October 17, 2012. Compared with other countries that failed to stimulate their economy or, worse, but back on government spending, the U.S. is doing well.

Income inequality may take toll on growth by Annie Lowery, New York Times, October 17, 2012. (Also see Inequality: It is even more destructive than we thought)

Europe’s austerity madness by Paul Krugman, New York Times, September 28, 2012. Crisis in Spain is made worse by “austerity,” that is, but cuts in government spending.

Nation’s choices needn’t be painful by Robert H. Frank, New York Times, September 23, 2012. What to do about the economy.

Life spans shrink for least-educated whites in the U.S. by Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times, September 21, 2012. Longevity, a key indicator of wellbeing, is falling among less well educated whites.

Segregation prominent in schools, study finds by Motoko Rich, New York Times, September 20, 2012.

Segregation Prominent in Schools, Study Finds by Motoko Rich, New York Times, September 19, 2012.

The iPhone stimulus by Paul Krugman, New York Times, September 13, 2012. An increase in spending, whether by households to buy a new iPhone or by government for infrastructure or teachers, helps the economy.

The Brawl over Fair Trade Coffee by Scott Sherman, The Nation, September 10, 2012

When capitalists cared by Hendrick Smith, New York Times, September 3, 2012. Henry Ford was different from today’s captains of industry.

As California Warehouses Grow, Labor Issues Are a Concern, by Jennifer Medina, New York Times  July 22, 2012. A report about working conditions in the hundreds of large warehouses in southern California.

For black Americans, financial damage from subprime implosion is likely to last by Ylan Q. Mui, Washington Post, July 10, 2012. 

Who will save the middle class? by Jeff Faux, American Prospect, June 2012. The conflicts within the economy.

The Austerity Agenda by Paul Krugman, New York Times, June 12, 2012. This is not the time for government austerity (spending cuts) in either the U.S. or Europe.

Lost in Recession, Toll on Underemployed and Underpaid by Michael Cooper, New York Times, June 18, 2012.  The median hourly wage was lower in 2011 than it was a decade earlier.

Family Net Worth Drops to Level of Early '90s, Fed Says by Binyamin Appelbaum, New York Times, June 11, 2012. Net worth fell from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010, mainly due to a decline in the value of homes. 

More young Americans out of high school are also out of work by Catherine Rampell, New York Times, June 6, 2012. High school grads: jobless and poor; only 27% have full-time jobs.

House bill takes a scythe to spending by Jonathan Weisman, New York Times, June 6, 2012. Under guise of deficit reduction, U.S. House of Representatives proposes to slash or eliminate spending for regulating Wall Street, improving energy efficiency in federal building, supporting renewable energy, and implementing the new health care law, etc.

Evolution's sweet tooth an op-ed by Daniel E. Lieberman, a Harvard professor of human evolutionary biology, in the New York Times, June 6, 2012. Why large sodas and other unhealthy foods should be regulated.

Job recovery is scant for Americans in prime working years by Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post, May 29, 2012. The very best measure of joblessness shows little improvement since worst point of the recession. 

U.S. Winds Down Longer Benefits for the Unemployed by Shaila Dewan, New York Times, May 28, 2012. Even as unemployment continues to be tragically and unacceptably high, Congress and many states are reducing unemployment benefits.

In remote Alaska, financing puts a rare refuge at risk by Timothy Williams, New York Times, May 23, 2012. Cuts in state and federal funding put important women's shelter out of business. Also see related article about the need for this shelter. Follow-up on July 6, 2012: An emergency grant plus donations are keeping the shelter open.

Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer writes we need to Raise Taxes on the Rich to Reward True Job Creators, Bloomberg, November 30, 2011.  Also see Responsible Wealth, a project of United for a Fair Economy. If your income puts you in the top five percent of wealthholders in the U.S. (over $200,000 in household income and/or over $1 million net assets) and you care about economic justice, then Responsible Wealth would like you to consider becoming a member.

Why we regulate by Paul Krugman, New York Times, May 16. Why we need to regulate the banks.

A generation hobbled by college debt by Andrew Martin and Andrew W. Lehren, New York Times, May 13, 2012. Excellent overview of this problem. "For all borrowers, the average debt in 2011 was $23,300, with 10 percent owing more than $54,000 and 3 percent more than $100,000." Cuts in public support for higher education means students take on more debt, and many students miss out on the chance for higher education all together.

Habitat for Humanity ties a large-scale approach to housing in Oregon by Kirk Johnson, New York Times, May 12, 2012. Taking advantage of depressed housing prices, H for H is able to greatly expand its impact.

Capitalism v. the climate by Naomi Klein, the Nation magazine, November 2011. Excellent article.

Wasting our Minds by Paul Krugman, New York Times, April 30, 2012. Why the best thing we can do for young adults is not reducing the deficit reduction but stimulating the economy so they can begin their careeres on a sound footing.

A number of recent articles address the question of whether, at a time when an economy is weak and the government deficit is large, is it better for a government to 1) cut spending (engage in "austerity") to reduce the deficit or 2) continue to spend in order to to put people back to work (and paying taxes), thus strengthening the economy and reducing the deficit. Many countries in Europe enacted austerity policies and the impact of those decisions is now becoming apparent. The U.S. initially engaged in stimulus policies (spending) with positive impacts. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the 2009 Stimulus Bill created 1.3 to 3.5 million jobs. It wasn't large enough to turn around our weak economy, but it helped. Since then, U.S. government policy has been all about cuts in spending. But the evidence from Europe shows that austerity policies have exacerbated unemployment, prolonged economic downturns, and worsened government debt.  

  • Europe in Recession, an interactive map. The United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus are all in recessions and most of the countries are in a "double-dip" recession -- a recurrence of negative economic growth in recent months after an initial fall in 2008 and/or 2009. Even Germany and Sweden had declines in economic growth last quarter. If the falls continue another three months, then both those countries will also be in recessions).

How Wealth Reduces Compassion by Daisy Grewal, Scientific American, April 10, 2012. (Maybe Jesus was onto something)

Don't blame corporate personhood, Garrett Epps, The American Prospect, May. An excellent article about the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United.

Antipoverty tax program offers relief, though often temporary, Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times, April 17. The Earned Income Tax Credit has significantly reduced poverty and income inequality.

Coming: "Taxmageddon," David Leonhardt, New York Times, April 15. Before the end of the calendar year, Congress must make multiple important decisions about taxes. Includes gread graphics ("whose taxes rose and fell" and "who gains most from tax breaks.")

Food stamps helped reduce poverty rate, study finds, Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times, April 10. Social programs work.

Raising the floor on pay, Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, April 10. Legislators across the country face pressure to increase in the minimum wage.

Funds to train jobless in U.S. are drying up, Motoko Rich,  New York Times, April 9. Federal money to train the jobless is 18% lower today than in 2006, even though there are six million more people looking for work.

Still crawling out of a very deep hole, Teresa Tritch, New York Times, April 8. "Without a revival in jobs, incme and home equity, other indicators of recovery -- like a rising stock market and more consumer spending -- largely reflect gains among the top echelon of earners."

Welfare limits left poor adrift as recession hit, Jason DeParle, New York Times, April 7. The social program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ("welfare") has not expanded to cover more people during the economic downturn -- leaving many in deep poverty. This is an example of a "reformed" social program that is failing. 

The destruction of black wealth, Bob Herbert, The American Prospect, March. The economic crisis of the past few years has been especially destructive of wealth owned by African Americans.

In fuel oil country, cold that cuts to the heart, Dan Barry, New York Times, February 24. The real-world impact of cuts in social programs, in this case, in programs that cover the costs of heating oil.

Audit uncovers extensive flaws in foreclosures, Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times, February 16. An audit by San Francisco county officials finds 84% of foreclosures appear to have "clear violations of the law" and two-thirds had at least four violations or irregularities.

How not to revive an economy, Michael Grabell, New York Times, February 12. The important role of the government in creating jobs.

Money and Morals, Paul Krugman, New York Times, February 10. Challenges the theory that moral decline is responsible for our widening income gap.

Even critics of safety net increasingly depend on it, Binyamin Appelbaum and Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, February 9. Increasingly, families in the middle class and higher are the main beneficiaries of the safety net. The lowest-income fifth of families received just 36% of benefits in 2007, down from 54% in 1979. Over nine-tenths of entitlement benefits go to elderly, disabled, or working households. More about who benefits from the safety net.

Education gap grows between rich and poor, studies say, Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times, February 10. The achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly while the gap in test scores between affluent and low-income students has widened markedly and is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.

Things are not O.K., Paul Krugman, New York Times, February 6. Despire improvement in the unemployment rate, things are very much not O.K.

Since 1980s, the kindest of tax cuts for the rich, David Kocieniewski, New York Times, January 18. Tax rates for the wealthiest have fallen over the past 30 years.

Harder for Americans to rise from economy's lower rungs, Jason DeParle New York Times, January 5. In the U.S., it is very difficult for children to rise above their parents’ economic station in life, and it is more difficult in the U.S. than in Western Europe or Canada.   

Contact Info

Edith Rasell, Ph.D.
Minister for Economic Justice
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115