Government

Government plays a critical role in the conscience and well-being of its citizens. If government and laws don’t embody our American democratic, humanitarian values, they stress individuals, families and communities and turn us into a different kind of country than the “land of the free” and “home of the brave.” In the current climate, many people are angry, many are afraid and many feel left out of America’s promise of social mobility. Instead of blaming each other, or looking for scapegoats, we need to understand how systems, policies and laws affect us and make them our target.

Democracy

Who Turned My Blue State Red?
by Alec MacGillis
It is one of the central political puzzles of our time: Parts of the country that depend on the safety net programs supported by Democrats are increasingly voting for Republicans who favor shredding that net. Why?

The Power of Ordinary People Facing Totalitarianism (essay)
by Kathleen B. Jones
Hannah Arendt’s “The Origins of Totalitarianism” discusses the rise of the totalitarian movements of Nazism and Stalinism to power in the 20th century. Jones says the book is relevant to our current political climate, offering signals to which we should be alert in order to act.

100 Days of Deconstruction-Part One (essay)
by Steven Harper
The Trump administration policies reveal a strategy to plunder the government of what is profitable to Trump’s family and minions and leave what remains smoldering in the ruins.

Economic Inequality

Why Inequality is the Most Important Economic Challenge Facing the Next President (essay)
by Steven Pressman
Reducing income inequality is critical for preventing the disappearance of the U.S. middle class.

Are We Having the Right Discussion About Inequality? (essay)
by Kevin Leicht
Given the nature and extent of economic inequality in the United States today, scholars and policymakers should address it directly rather than emphasize its social and educational dimensions.

Stop Cutting Taxes for the Wealthy (essay)
by Harry Stein
The wealthiest Americans and big corporations do not need any more tax cuts. Trickle-down does not improve the financial status of middle class Americans.

Left Behind: How the Trump Budget Fails Rural Communities

Despite promises to the rural and small-town voters who supported him President Trump’s new budget blueprint delivers a massive blow … cutting or eliminating essential services for rural Americans.

Communities of Color Cannot Afford a Weakened Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau works to protect all consumers but its value is particularly significant for communities of color, in light of historical practices that disadvantaged them. Why then is the Trump Administration trying to destroy it?

Co-ops Can Make Infrastructure Great Again (essay)
by Nathan Schneider
If the Trump administration is serious about bringing jobs and pride back to rural America, they should take a lesson from cooperatives of the 1930s.

Safety Net & Protections

The Human & $$$ Cost of Taking Care (essay)humantarian essays
by Christina Leimer
With the persistent and severe problems that plague most of our human services systems, there is good reason to worry that these systems will not adequately help us when we need them. For several years, I worked in community mental health, until the pressure of its collapse drove me out. This is what it’s like and why we must fix it.

The U.S. Lags Behind World in Temp Worker Protections
by Michael Grabell
Permatemping, the gig economy – the realities of work are changing for a growing number of Americans. We need our labor laws to keep up.

Social Equity & Nondiscrimination

The Face of Latin American Migration is Rapidly Changing. U.S. Policy Isn’t Keeping Up
by Jonathan Hiskey
Immigration patterns are changing but the Trump Administration’s rhetoric is not. What is really happening and how should we be planning for immigration reform?

Violence Prevention & Justice

How “Raising the Age” is Transforming Youth Justice
By Marcy Mistrett & Marc Schindler
Prosecuting minors in the adult criminal justice system creates the legal fiction that these children are adults and should be treated as such. But this strange bit of wordplay doesn’t change the reality. Some advocates for youth justice are working for a return to more accurate labeling and fairer treatment.

Hate Crime Law Results in Few Convictions and Lots of Disappointment
by Ryan Katz
A Supreme Court Justice once sidestepped defining pornography by saying “I know it when I see it.” Most people would feel the same about hate crimes. Yet controversy remains and hampers enforcement of these laws.

America’s Mass Incarceration Problem in 5 Charts – or, Why Sessions Shouldn’t Bring Back Mandatory Minimums
by Tanya Golash-Boza
Today, the United States is a world leader in incarceration, but this has not always been the case. Why are so many Americans in prison?

Arkansas Executions: Death in a Bottle (essay)
by Martin Clancy
The battle to stop the executions scheduled in Arkansas before the lethal injection drugs expire is really about challenging the death-penalty.