Attacking the Stream

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By Sydette Harry

For many social media critics, the “stream” and its never-ending rush of information are getting overwhelming. But as these critics pine for a return to a calmer, more curated media world, they fail to consider the voices that the old-guard media left out—women of color, for example. People like me. {…}

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From the War on Poverty to the War on the Poor

By Joseph M. Schwartz ·  April 15, 2014 ·  Online Articles

Some 47.1 million people, or 15.1 percent of the U.S. population, now live in poverty—the highest number in fifty-two years, up from 11.7 percent of the population in 2000. It’s time to stop blaming the victims and wage a new war on poverty. {…}

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Let Them Eat Code

In the tech community, the plight of homeless people has gone from being an unnoticed barnacle of urban life to a cause at once mourned, criticized, and celebrated. For many in Silicon Valley, homeless people are the “noble savages” of today. {…}

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Taiwan’s Sunflower Protests: A Q&A with Shelley Rigger

By Jeffrey Wasserstrom ·  April 11, 2014 ·  Online Articles

Yesterday, students ended a three-week occupation of Taiwan’s legislature. To help explain the causes and meaning of the protests, and place them in historical perspective, Jeffrey Wasserstrom speaks with Shelley Rigger, a political scientist, Taiwan expert, and author of Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse. {…}

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Who Pays? Taxes and American Inequality

By Colin Gordon ·  April 10, 2014 ·  Online Articles

The tax system offers us a detailed and damning description of American inequality and, just as importantly, promises to do something about it. But the American system of public finance has always been weak and fragmented, and three decades’ worth of tax cuts haven’t helped. {…}

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A Generation’s Call: Voices from the Student Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement

By Kate Aronoff and Chloe Maxmin ·  April 9, 2014 ·  Online Articles

On the heels of last weekend’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence, we hear from two students active in campus and national divestment efforts. Chloe Maxmin sketches the contours of a rapidly growing movement and examines the case of Harvard. Kate Aronoff argues that students must situate themselves carefully within social movement strategy if they are to effectively leverage the power of their institutions. {…}

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Introduction: Our Technology and Theirs

It is hard to resist a technology that is also a tool of pleasure. The Luddites smashed their power looms, but who wants to smash Facebook—with all one’s photos, birthday greetings, and invitations? New digital technologies, particularly social media, make money by encouraging us to spend our lives on their platforms; they try to turn labor that was previously paid, from drone development to sex work, into play for unpaid amateurs. To what end? {…}

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Belabored Podcast #48: Athlete-Students’ Big Win

By Sarah Jaffe and Michelle Chen ·  April 4, 2014 ·  Blog

Is the era of the student athlete over? This week on Belabored, Lee Adler joins us to discuss the groundbreaking NLRB decision that Northwestern University’s football players are employees and thus eligible to form a union. Plus: a growing campaign to opt out of standardized testing, the difference between unemployment and retirement, the struggle against Amazon in Europe, and more.  {…}

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A Tattered Safety Net: Social Policy and American Inequality

By Colin Gordon ·  April 3, 2014 ·  Online Articles

The American welfare state is widely regarded as a poor cousin to those of its democratic peers. As the most unequal wealthy country, the United States also does the least to address that inequality through public policy—despite strong historical and international evidence that social spending programs can drastically reduce inequality. {…}

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The Anti-Mafia Movement in Milan

By Nando dalla Chiesa ·  April 2, 2014 ·  Online Articles

Increasingly complicit politicians, businessmen, and professionals have allowed mafia groups to conquer significant sections of the market economy in Milan—far afield from their traditional base in southern Italy. But a growing anti-mafia movement, led by young people and championed by municipal politicians, is pushing back. {…}