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Lack of paid sick leave is unhealthy for America (WaPo)
Katrina vanden Heuvel writes that after the success of local paid sick leave laws that have shown it's easier to keep one's business healthy when one's employees aren't forced to shuffle through the office with walking pneumonia, national standards could follow.
Sequestration Effects: Cuts Sting Communities Nationwide (HuffPo)
Sam Stein and Amanda Terkel note that the conventional wisdom is that sequestration is a big dud, but for Americans who are losing their jobs, being kicked out of Head Start, or waiting longer for emergency services, the experience isn't quite so underwhleming.
Help shrinks as poverty spikes in the US (AP)
With 50 million Americans living below the poverty line, including 20 percent of the nation's children, we're worse off now than at any time since LBJ launched the federal government's War on Poverty, and sequestration cuts look a lot like a white flag of surrender.
Tennessee to poor students: Improve your grades, or else! (MSNBC)
Ned Resnikoff highlights a new measure working its way through Tennessee's state legislature that would cut TANF payments to families whose kids aren't keeping their grades up, though these lawmakers don't seem like a bunch of rocket scientists themselves.
Do Americans still not get Reaganomics? (Salon)
Tim Donovan notes that polls show Americans are nostalgic for the Reagan years and believe Republicans are good fiscal managers no matter how many economic crises they cause, which is like giving compliments to the chef for only poisoning half his diners.
What Immigration Reform Could Mean for American Workers, and Why the AFL-CIO Is Embracing It (Robert Reich)
Reich argues that union leaders support immigration reform because they recognize they won't be able to organize and improve conditions for fast-growing, low-wage jobs while employers have a steady supply of exploitable workers to replace the annoying talky ones.
What It's Like to Lose Your Job While Pregnant (Buzzfeed)
Anna North writes that despite existing legal protections, many pregnant women still face discrimination from employers who view them as liabilities. Always with the whining and complaining and "Can I sit down, I'm literally growing another human inside me."
Senses of Entitlement (New Yorker)
Hendrik Hertzberg argues that liberals have lost a major semantic battle by allowing "entitlements" to become the mainstream euphemism for social insurance programs, making them sound more like a rich kid's demand for a new car on his 16th birthday.