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By Rachel Goldfarb, originally posted on Next New Deal

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New York Aims to Treat Underage Models as Child Performers (NYT)

Eric Wilson reports that the New York State Legislature has approved a measure that changes labor laws affecting fashion. It's possible that this could force an aesthetic change on the industry, which produces clothes for women and shows them on girls.

Congress Turns Its Back on Rural America (Bill Moyers)

Greg Kaufmann continues to examine the effect of sequestration across the country, this time with an emphasis on rural areas. If the only Head Start center in a small town in Kansas is closed, the nearest option will be many miles away.

The Student Debt Crisis Is Everyone's Problem (The Nation)

Robert Applebaum reminds us that higher education is not a product to be sold but a public good and an investment in the country's future. The entire economy is dragged down when graduates lack disposable income due to their loan payments.

The Two Centers of Unaccountable Power in America, and Their Consequences (Robert Reich)

Robert Reich compares the powers of the intelligence community to that of Wall Street and the big banks. He doesn't trust either of these groups with the power they have, but the law provides little accountability for any of their actions.

Fortress Unionism (Democracy)

Rich Yeselson lays out a history of private-sector unions in the United States, with suggestions for what unions can do today to maintain their work despite an unfriendly legal climate and low union participation.

Are unpaid internships illegal? (WaPo)

Dylan Matthews discusses this week's ruling that Fox Searchlight violated minimum wage and overtime laws with its interns, and questions how it will affect for-profit versus non-profit sectors. Media coverage of current cases already has many companies reviewing their internship programs.

Sympathy for the Luddites (NYT)

Paul Krugman argues that as disruptive technologies eliminate jobs at all levels of skills and education, we must question whether education is still a solution to inequality. He says no, and that a stronger social safety net is needed to maintain the middle class.

Court: Human genes cannot be patented (CNN)

Bill Mears reports on yesterday's Supreme Court ruling, which concerned one of the ultimate cases of patent trolling: a company patenting a human gene. In this case, it was the breast cancer gene, which Myriad developed the first test for but certainly did not create.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 06:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Underpaid child labor (3+ / 0-)

    ..and undernourished waifs parading in lingerie masquerading as fashion, too expensive for 90% of the female citizens of the country and wouldn't fit 95% of them anyway -and  that almost no-one of them could even dream of affording at a high fashion show in New York City.

    What could possibly be wrong with this picture?

    Overly large paychecks. Of course.

    Yeah, that's the ticket.

    Define "Freedom," Rand. Without the "dumb." It must be hard - living a life named after a sociopathic sophomoric moron. Let's vote him into the Senate!

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:18:32 PM PDT

    •  Well an overly large paycheck… (1+ / 0-)

      …is better than no check at all. After reviewing the Deoartment of Labor's checklist for unpaid internships:

      The tests being hinted at there—of whether an internship provides valuable training and whether it benefits the firm or the intern more—reflect the reasoning of a 2010 fact sheet put out by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Divison, which enforces these laws. That fact sheet sets up six criteria to determine if an internship is legal or not:

      1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
      2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
      3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
      4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
      5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
      6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

      Pauley cites that fact sheet, reproduces all six points, and then proceeds to determine if the internships in this case satisfied all six requirements. Perhaps the most important result of the ruling is that it treats that fact sheet, effectively, as a binding interpretation of federal law around internships.

      I think the Department of Labor is missing four important other tests as to whether an internship can be unpaid.
      7. The intern receives credit for their time in an accredited college, university, or apprenticeship program;
      8. The hours worked are reflective of the credit received;
      9. The hours should not exceed 20 hours in a given week;
      10. If an intern is paid for any of their time, they should be paid for all of their time.

      Union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone:

      by DemSign on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 01:26:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kudos to New York. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm actually amazed that they weren't already considered performers or something of the sort.  I sure as hell can't see something like fashion to be so important that we should abuse children on its altar.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 04:33:42 AM PDT

  •  The "student debt crisis" (0+ / 0-)

    Never mind the rant I could have on student loans -- those boat anchors that can destroy people's efforts to get an education if they have to interrupt their studies for family emergencies, etc, those loans that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy no matter how desperate your circumstances.

    I object to the notion of a student debt crisis.

    Not that the situation facing students with big piles of debt isn't real, but that it sidesteps the issue. The real problem is that college educations cost the freakin' earth and don't deliver value for money spent.

    I graduated college back in the bad old days $700 in debtl.
    That was pretty manageable.

    Tuition has gone through the roof since then, taking a trajectory matched only by health care costs.

    If secondary education were affordable and delivered the goods, we might still have a student debt problem, but proabably no crisis.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 04:39:47 AM PDT

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