Summers: Economic Inequality a Problem, but not the Fed Chair's Responsibility

Well, OK, I'm summarizing. I was startled to read at Agent Orange that Summers was a progressive thinker because Summers recognizes the massive increase in economic inequality that has taken place over the past three or four decades:

It would be, however, a serious mistake to suppose that our only problems are cyclical or amenable to macroeconomic solutions. Just as evolution from an agricultural to an industrial economy had far reaching implications for society, so too will the evolution from an industrial to a knowledge economy. Witness structural trends that predate the Great Recession and will be with us long after recovery is achieved: The most important of these is the strong shift in the market reward for a small minority of persons, relative to the rewards available to everyone else. In the United States, according to a recent CBO study, the incomes of the top 1 percent of the population have, after adjusting for inflation, risen by 275 percent from 1979 to 2007. At the same time, incomes for the middle class (in the study, the middle 60 percent of the income scale) grew by only 40 percent. Even this dismal figure overstates the fortunes of typical Americans; the number unable to find work or who have abandoned the job search has risen. In 1965, only 1 in 20 men between ages 25 and 54 was not working. By the end of this decade it will likely be 1 in 6—even if a full cyclical recovery is achieved.
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There is no issue that will be more important to the politics of the industrialized world over the next generation than its response to a market system that distributes rewards increasingly inequitably and generates growing disaffection in the middle class. ...

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US Senate IP Caught Defacing Edward Snowden's Wikipedia Entry

156.33.241.5 is registered to United States Senate

Usually the only wiki we associate with Edward Snowden is WikiLeaks. However, in a hilarious turn of events, an IP address linked to the United States Senate was caught defacing Edward Snowden's Wikipedia article last evening. The "less than neutral" edit was to change the lead sentence from this:

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Hellraisers Journal: The little fellow cried, "Don't make me scab! I'll die first!"

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Sunday August 2, 1903
From The Comrade: Part II of "Child Slaves of Philadelphia" by John Spargo

One of the effects of child labor, the illiteracy of adults, I have observed here and in the surrounding towns and villages to a much greater extent than anywhere else in this country. It is by no means an uncommon thing to meet native born Americans of twenty-five years of age, or over, unable to read or write even their own names! What a terrible price to pay for the folly and crime of child labor!

Of course, the first break in the ranks of the strikers took place among the children. Poor children! they entered upon the strike with light hearts. To them it meant a chance to rest; to straighten their little backs. But they were in most cases easily browbeaten by the brutal bosses or their agents. I heard of several cases where mothers took their children — literally dragged them — to the mill gates and forced them inside to "scab." One little fellow I heard of was dragged and beaten by his mother right up to the mill door when he was roughly pulled inside by a bully of a foreman who hurled a volley of curses at the cowering child.. And the burden of the little fellow's cry was "Don't make me scab! I'll die first! Don't make me scab!"

Morally Philadelphia seems to be quite dead. There seems to be no means of rousing it to a sense of shame. "Corrupt and content" in political affairs, it is cruel and content in industrial affairs. Only now, among the textile workers themselves, is there any sign of moral revolt against the infamy of robbing the children of their childhood for profit. There are numerous "reform" societies in the city; there is no dearth of churches or preachers; there is an oversupply of "charitable institutions." But here, as elsewhere, only a small, but happily growing, band of workers — a few Socialists and others whose consciences have been quickened by Socialist propaganda — dare protest against the ruthless slaughter of the children. They alone affirm the right of every child to a free, unhindered access to life's riches of health and joy.

One morning recently I saw a group of small children gazing with awed reverence at the old "Liberty Bell" in the historic "Independence Hall." One little girl of perhaps nine or ten summers had evidently been telling the story of the famous old bell to her younger friends. "So now we's free," I overheard her say. Poor little child! Not yet is Freedom even for babes like you. Not till the brain and heart of the world declares for the Co-operative Commonwealth will there be anything worthy of the holy name. Socialism alone can make the world free and gladsome and beautiful — a fit dwelling for such as you.

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The anti-transgender violence goes on and on

Heavy Sigh.

Having not yet recovered from the murder of Diamond Williams, Philadelphia's trans community was rocked again on Tuesday night. A 26 year-old transwoman is reported to be in critical but stable condition at Hahnemann University Hospital after being pistol whipped and shot in the back of the head in her apartment in Northern Liberties. She is expected to survive.

The victim was found at the front door to the apartment building, having crawled there from her third floor apartment. She was able to communicate with police when they arrived after being called by neighbors. She reported that she was waiting for a family member when she heard a knock on the door. She opened it to discover a man with a gun who she did not know.

There is video here. That's the CBS coverage, which describes the victim as a woman. Early ABC coverage described the victim as a "man dressed like a woman." I saw video yesterday that identified the victim and had some interviews with family members, but it appears today to have been scrubbed from the internet.

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Hellraisers Journal: "Child slavery's awful curse eats at the vitals of the nation," John Spargo

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Saturday August 1, 1903
From The Comrade: Part I of "Child Slaves of Philadelphia" by John Spargo

John Spargo, editor of The Comrade, accompanied the Children's Crusade for the first few days of the journey. This article is included in the August edition of the magazine:


John Spargo in 1902

Child slavery's awful curse eats at the vitals of the nation. But nowhere to a more alarming extent than in the City of Philadelphia. The great textile industries rest upon the enslavement of children and women. Not even in the South are conditions worse than here. At present the majority of the mills are idle owing to a strike for shorter hours of labor, and the children, or those of them who have not been cowed into submission, being on strike they are free to enjoy the fresh air. But when the mills are working the boys and girls are caged up for sixty hours a week in the unhealthy atmosphere common to these industrial hells.

The present strike in an effort on the part of the textile workers to obtain a reduction of the working hours to fifty-five per week. Although wages are miserably low they are willing to forfeit five hours' pay if only they can obtain the desired reduction of hours. In 1892, the year of the great panic, wages in the textile industry fell enormously. The Dingley Tariff of 1894 was to restore wages and improve conditions all round. So the workers voted for "Protection." They continue to vote for "Protection" despite the fact that wages are still lower than in 1892, and that women and children — especially children — are employed in ever increasing numbers... (Click link to article to continue reading)

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Transgender Hero #5: Ashton Lee

Manteca High School junior Ashton Lee hand-delivered petitions. with nearly 6000 names to Governor Brown, urging him to sign AB 1266, which would give transgender students equal access to school programs and facilities.

Lee is a young transman. He testified in Sacramento during the legisiative hearings on the bill. Manteca High School has 5 openly transgender students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California law already prohibits discrimination in education, but transgender students are still unfairly excluded from physical education, athletic teams, and other school activities and facilities.  This exclusion negatively impacts students' ability to succeed in school and graduate with their class.

--Melissa Goodman, an attorney with the ACLU of California

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Hellraisers Journal: "Children..yielding up their lives for the commercial supremacy of the nation."

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Friday July 31, 1903
New York City, New York - Letter from Mother Jones to President Roosevelt

Landscape

New York
July 30
The Hon. Theodore Roosevelt
President of the United States
Oyster Bay, Long Island
Your Excellency-
Twice before have I written to you requesting an audience, that I might lay my mission before you and have your advice in a matter which bears upon the welfare of the whole nation.
I speak of the emancipation from the mills and factories of the hundreds of thousands of young children who are yielding up their lives for the commercial supremacy of the nation.
Failing to receive a reply to either of the letters, I went yesterday to Oyster Bay, taking with me three of these children that they might plead to you personally. Secretary Barnes informed us that before we might hope for an interview with you we must first lay the whole matter before you in a letter. He assured me of its delivery to you personally, and also that it would receive your attention.
I have espoused the cause of the laboring class in general, and of suffering childhood in particular . It was for them that our march of principle was begun. We sought to draw the attention of the public to these little ones, so that sentiment would be aroused and ultimately the children freed from the workshop and sent to schools. I know of no question of to-day that demands from those who have at heart the perpetuity of this republic more attention.
The child of to-day is the man or woman of to-morrow, the one the citizen and the other the mother of still future citizens. I ask, Mr. President, what kind of citizen will be the child who toils twelve hours a day in an unsanitary atmosphere, stunted mentally and physically, and surrounded with often immoral influences. Denied education, he cannot assume the duties of true citizenship, and enfeebled physically, he falls a ready victim to the perverting influences which our present economic conditions have created.
I grant you, Mr. President, that there are State laws which should regulate these matters, but results have proved that they are inadequate. In my little band are three boys, the eldest 11 years of age, who have worked in the mills a year or more, without interference from the authorities. All efforts to bring about reform have failed.
I have been moved to this, Mr. President, because of actual experience in the mills. I have seen little children without the first rudiments of education and no prospect of acquiring any. I have seen little children with hands, fingers and other parts of their bodies mutilated because of their childish ignorance of machinery.
I feel that no nation can be truly great while such conditions exist without attempted remedy.
It is to be hoped that our crusade on behalf of enslaved childhood will stir up a general sentiment and secure the enforcement of the present laws.
But that is not sufficient as this is not alone a question of separate States, but of the whole nation. We come to you as the chief representative of that nation. I believe Federal laws should be passed and enforced governing this evil and including a penalty for violation.
If this is practicable, and I believe you will agree that it is, surely you can advise me of the necessary steps to pursue.
I have with me three children who have walked one hundred miles, serving as living proof of the truth of what I say.
If you decide to see these children, I will bring them before you at any time you may set.
Secretary Barnes has assured me on an early reply, and this should be sent care of the Ashland House, New York City.
Very respectfully yours,
Mother Jones

emphasis added

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Palm Center awarded $1.35 million grant to study transgender military service

The Palm Center has received a $1.35 million grant from the Tawani Foundation over the next three years to study the feasibility of service by transgender people in the military. The Tawani Foundation, which was founded by Col. James Pritzker, cousin of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, aims "to affect significant transformation of organizations and educational programs that enrich knowledge, preserve military heritage, improve health and wellness and conserve uniquesites for enduring positive impact on individuals, communities and societies."

The Palm Center coordinated research into the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy for ten years.

The project director for the Palm Center's Transgender Military Initiative is Indra Lusero. Lusero has commissioned 16 scholars to conduct 11 studies investigating "whether and how the US Armed Forces could include transgender troops without undermining military readiness." Subjects will range from privacy and medical accommodations to the experiences of foreign militaries and sports programs.

Public dialogue based on state-of-the-art scholarship is critical in so many areas of civic life, and it is particularly vital when it comes to military policy. As one of the largest employers in the world, and certainly the country, US military policies have far reaching effects. We are looking forward to bringing some solid research to this topic in the coming months.

--Indra Lusero

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