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By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal

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Turning Personal Tragedy Into Activism (Melissa Harris-Perry)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren discusses how tragedies like the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis have pushed so many to take part in activism. He uses the public pressure to cancel George Zimmerman's celebrity boxing match as a prime example.

Sex Workers' Rights are Just Workers Rights (WaPo)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal considers the policy arguments on sex work presented in Melissa Gira Grant's new book, Playing the Whore. He sees the need to conceptualize sex work as labor as the most important takeaway, regardless of individual opinions on that labor.

Liberals Should Question Obama’s ‘Opportunity Agenda’ (AJAM)

Mike Konczal argues that shifting the discussion from inequality to opportunity could leave out key items on the progressive agenda. If opportunity isn't defined beyond legal equality of opportunity, or if acceptable policy outcomes aren't made clear, the progressive agenda won't advance.

The Case for a Higher Minimum Wage (NYT)

The New York Times editorial board calls for an increased minimum wage, emphasizing its purpose in reducing power imbalances between workers and employers. The accompanying interactive graphic from Jeremy Ashkenas and Bill Marsh shows the insufficiency of $7.25 per hour.

January Jobs Report: Hard to Read (MoJo)

Erika Eichelberger says that the jobs report released on Friday is hard to interpret. Unemployment is at its lowest point in five years, and the labor force participation rate increased slightly, but that could change without an extension of unemployment benefits from Congress.

The Spectacular Myth of Obama's Part-Time America—in 5 Graphs (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson pulls data on part-time job growth, part-time workers as a share of the labor force, and part-time work for non-economic reasons to demonstrate just how wrong certain slices of the financial media are when they insist that the president is creating a part-time economy.

Obamacare: It's a Net Gain for the Economy (LA Times)

Jonathan Gruber writes that the Congressional Budget Office report shows that the Affordable Care Act in fact creates a more efficient job market in the U.S., by allowing people leave jobs when they want to and increasing job mobility.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 07:52 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Opportunity's all good and well... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But the person who said this is right. If inequality and a unlevel playing field isn't addressed, nothing and I mean NOTHING will get accomplished. About the most we've gotten from President Hopey Changey is platitudes about inequality, nothing substantial reaching the level of policy.

    Speaking of economics, Mrs. JP and I are in a bit of a spot and part of it is my doing (damned liberal bleeding heart). Any help would be immensely appreciated.


    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:14:02 PM PST

  •  Not everything can be nice and positive. (0+ / 0-)

    The iniquity of inequity is one of them. Trying to shift the conversation to some bullshit "opportunity" talk is one of them. It's nothing more than an evasion.

    Marx was an optimist.

    by psnyder on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:28:38 PM PST

    •  Gosh -- And I always thought opportunity was a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      good thing.

      Still do.

      The problem is owning up to what it requires, starting from childhood.

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

      by dinotrac on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 04:40:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point isn't that (0+ / 0-)

        opportunity isn't a good thing. My point is that using it to displace the more uncomfortable discussion of inequality is a political evasion. As a complement to that discussion it's fine, but when it simply displaces it, that's an evasion.

        Marx was an optimist.

        by psnyder on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 08:43:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is, but opportunity is part of the same (0+ / 0-)

          discussion because opportunity is the natural enemy of rampant inequality.  Part of the current problem is that the government would rather reinforce the power of the big and rich than look out for the opportunity of everybody else.

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

          by dinotrac on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 08:51:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  opportunity agenda (1+ / 0-)

    The opportunity agenda is another attempt to blame the workers of America rather than an economic system designed to create a two class society. 1%ers haves and have nots.

    The middle class is slowly melting away as the American empire self destructs from its own arrogance and belief in its exceptional ism.

    Most Americans that buy into that exceptionalism have never been out of the united states.

    The politicians say it to get votes as they know most Americans eat it up.

    Make no mistake those in charge of controlling the gov with their lobbyist money know full well what it takes to create a society of haves.

  •  Psst.. Linky no worky (0+ / 0-)

    Liberals Should Question Obama’s ‘Opportunity Agenda’ (AJAM)

    Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies, We were roaring drunk on petroleum -Kurt Vonnegut

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 10:59:24 PM PST

  •  Still baffles me why that benefit of ACA wasn't (0+ / 0-)

    pushed harder.

    Don't get me wrong -- as I have from the law's inception, I still think it's a bad law that does some good things, but this is a very big good thing that should have been thrown in the face of every GOP mouthpiece talking repeal.

    The old status quo put free-lancers at a disadvantage vis-a-vis wage slaves, small companies at a disadvantage vis-a-vis large companies, and just about anybody who worried that they might not be able to get insurance on their own at a disadvantage, period.

    Large companies not only got tax breaks that were long denied to individuals, but large pools of employees made for better deals from insurance companies.  Health care, an item that should be orthogonal to an enterprise's economic fitness, created an power multiplier.

    None of that is good for the economy.  It stifles movement of resources and increases the power of the already powerful for no good reason.

    With ACA, and even more so with a rational health care system that we can still dream about, health care is just a dollar item.  If a potential employer offers health insurance and another does not, just make sure that salary or other benefits make up for the difference because you can always buy your own.

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

    by dinotrac on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 04:38:31 AM PST

  •  If Dems had gone to the CBO before the report (0+ / 0-)

    was released, and warned them that the 'Pubs were going to twist their words... THAT would have become the scandal.

    We cannot pre-empt the 'Pubs prevarications, but the White House really ought to have a better "swift reaction force" on duty to respond to them.

    "Conflict" stories are catnip for the news media. What's going to attract more viewers... a straight-up story on a complicated report by government economists? Or a dramatic accusation from Congressional leaders  that "Obama Lied!"?

    The CBO bean-counters are a lot like climate scientists, they use dense, technical language with full disclosure of probabilities and margins of error - and they feel that "dumbing it down" for the lay audience is unprofessional and puts them at risk for charges of bias.

    The 'Pubs are very good at delivering drama, because they aren't constrained by honesty.

    So, we're always going to be playing catch-up in this game. At this time, with the damage done and the story receding, we need to go beyond "explaining" the situation to our Facebook friends and make a point about how unethical the 'Pubs are for twisting the facts as they did.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 07:52:59 AM PST

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