Why Unions are Essential to Tackling the Technology Challenge to Good Jobs

Aug 29, 2013Richard Kirsch

New technology is keeping more and more workers stuck in low-wage jobs, and it's society's responsibility to make sure those jobs still have dignity and fair wages.

New technology is keeping more and more workers stuck in low-wage jobs, and it's society's responsibility to make sure those jobs still have dignity and fair wages.

With robots taking over factories and warehouses, toll collectors and cashiers increasingly being replaced by automation and even legal researchers being replaced by computers, the age-old question of whether technology is a threat to jobs is back with us big time. Technological change has been seen as a threat to jobs for centuries, but the history tells that while technology has destroyed some jobs, the overall impact has been to create new jobs, often in new industries. Will that be true after the information revolution as it was in the industrial revolution?

In an article in The New York Times, David Autor and David Dorn, who have just published research on this question, argue that the basic history remains the same: while many jobs are being disrupted, new jobs are being created and many jobs will not be replaceable by computers. While there is good news in their analysis for some in the middle-class, their findings reinforce the need to organize workers in lower-skilled jobs to demand decent wages.

The authors’ research found that while routine jobs are being replaced by computers, the number of both “abstract” and “manually intensive” jobs increased. In their article in the Times, the authors describe the new jobs:

At one end are so-called abstract tasks that require problem-solving, intuition, persuasion and creativity. These tasks are characteristic of professional, managerial, technical and creative occupations, like law, medicine, science, engineering, advertising and design. People in these jobs typically have high levels of education and analytical capability, and they benefit from computers that facilitate the transmission, organization and processing of information.

On the other end are so-called manual tasks, which require situational adaptability, visual and language recognition, and in-person interaction. Preparing a meal, driving a truck through city traffic or cleaning a hotel room present mind-bogglingly complex challenges for computers. But they are straightforward for humans, requiring primarily innate abilities like dexterity, sightedness and language recognition, as well as modest training. These workers can’t be replaced by robots, but their skills are not scarce, so they usually make low wages.

As the authors conclude, “This bifurcation of job opportunities has contributed to the historic rise in income inequality.”

When it comes to addressing this attack on the middle-class, the authors offer some hope, but not for those low-wage workers. They argue that a large number of skilled jobs, requiring specialized training – although not necessarily a college education –will not be replaceable by computers. These include people who care for our health like medical paraprofessionals, people who care for our buildings like plumbers, people who help us use technology (I was on chatting on-line just yesterday to get tech support), and many others. Because these jobs do require higher levels of skills, they should be able to demand middle-class wages.

But what about those housekeepers, delivery truck drivers and fast food workers, like those who are taking actions around the country today against fast food chains to demand better pay. The authors do not offer a path to the middle-class for them.

If history is an example here as well, we should remember that lower-skilled work does not have to come with low pay. The workers who stood on assembly lines in the 1930s did not have a college education or years of specialized training; they fought for the right to organize unions and demanded high enough wages to support their families.

This Labor Day, as more and more workers are stuck in the growing number of low-wage jobs, causing enormous stress for their families while keeping the economy sluggish, we need to look to the examples of new ways of organizing workers who can not be replaced by technology. There’s the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, who organized drivers to successfully win living wages and a health and disability fund. Or the successful boycott of Hyatt Hotels, leading to an agreement with UNITE HERE to not fight organizing campaigns in their hotels.

We need to support organizing by modernizing our labor laws to account for the large number of workers not currently or adequately protected, the new ways that work is organized, and the global economy.

The lesson from the Autor-Dorn research is that technology doesn’t have to destroy the middle-class. What will destroy the middle-class is our failure as a society to provide dignity to all workers. That’s what fast-food workers and their community-labor supporters are fighting for across the country.

Richard Kirsch is a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, a Senior Adviser to USAction, and the author of Fighting for Our Health. He was National Campaign Manager of Health Care for America Now during the legislative battle to pass reform.


Robotic arms in factory banner image via Shutterstock.com 

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Fifty Years After the March on Washington, Equality Remains a Dream

Aug 28, 2013Jim Carr

We've made progress on addressing many blatant injustices since 1963, but people of color still don't have an equal opportunity to succeed.

We've made progress on addressing many blatant injustices since 1963, but people of color still don't have an equal opportunity to succeed.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s electrifying speech at that event was inspiring and unforgettable. Those remarks, combined with hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall marching for jobs and freedom, seemed to electrify American society to its core. As President Bill Clinton recently remarked, “I remember thinking that, when it was over, my country would never be the same.”

Over the five decades since the March on Washington, much has changed. No longer do black students require National Guard escorts to enter the school of their choice. No longer are protesters for civil or human rights at risk of being beaten or attacked by dogs for exercising their constitutional right to challenge unfair or otherwise unwise laws.

No longer are jobs and opportunity blatantly denied on the basis of an individual’s race or ethnicity, gender, physical appearance, or sexual preference. No longer are America’s cities burning. And perhaps most significantly, no longer is the office of the President of the United States off-limits to an African American.

Yet in spite of these and many other successes that have been achieved over the past five decades, much of the forward momentum seems unsustainable, or old problems are replaced with new ones that continue to deny opportunities disproportionately to people of color.

Take, for example, the fact that our cities are no longer burning in protest to blatant acts of discrimination and denial of civil rights. While that’s true, the city of Detroit has never recovered from the tumultuous days of the 1960s. In fact, Detroit has continued to decay, literally, into bankruptcy. The city’s official unemployment rate was a staggering 16 percent in April 2013, with a black unemployment rate over 20 percent. And Detroit is not alone among cities with exceptionally high black unemployment rates.

The acceleration of the exodus of non-Hispanic white families from the nation’s inner cities, in part to avoid integration after passage of the major Civil Rights laws, combined with the relocation of manufacturing jobs first to the suburbs and later overseas, has created urban economic deserts that deny opportunities as powerfully as any segregationist policies.

National Guard troops no longer stand in front of school houses to block admission—they do not have to. Racial and ethnic residential segregation in many of the nation’s largest cities is so high that black and Latino students do not live within physical proximity of isolated non-Hispanic white suburban enclaves in sufficient numbers to achieve meaningful school integration.

Furthermore, the cost of college tuition is so high these days that no armed presence is needed to prevent young African Americans or Latinos from entering. The majority of African American and Latino students cannot afford access the nation’s major universities even where they meet the academic standards.

In fact, economic deprivation is so great among blacks and Latinos that race is used as a reliable proxy for exploitation by financial firms. Leading up to the recent collapse of the housing market, subprime lenders disproportionately targeted African American and Latino communities for their reckless and irresponsible high-cost loans. They generated huge profits while originating loans that were designed to fail.

The subsequent loss of homeownership among African Americans and Latinos has been the largest contributor to a staggering loss of wealth for African American and Latino households during the Great Recession. Latino and black households have lost two-thirds and more than half of their net wealth, respectively. The result is that today, the racial wealth gap between blacks and non-Hispanic whites, and Latinos and non-Hispanic whites, is greater than it was two decades ago.

Over the next decade, seven of ten new households will be headed by a person of color. In fact, already, the majority of babies born in America are of color. Yet the majority of their economic futures are not promising.

This dramatic shift in the composition of the nation’s population gives even greater impetus now than was the case a half century ago for America to become a more economically inclusive society. Today, economic equality is as much an issue of economic competitiveness and national security, for example, as it is social justice. After all, how can America maintain its economic and military leadership role in the world if the fastest growing segments of the population, i.e., people of color, remain economically marginalized?

In spite of the success we have achieved as a nation in breaking down the barriers to opportunities based on racial or ethnic bias, we remain far from Dr. King’s dream and vision of a just and equitable society.

Jim Carr is a Distinguished Scholar with The Opportunity Agenda and Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress. He is also co-editor of Segregation: The Rising Costs for America.

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Daily Digest - August 26: Unemployment Here or There?

Aug 26, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Helping the Unemployed Move Might Not Help Them Find a Job (WaPo)

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Helping the Unemployed Move Might Not Help Them Find a Job (WaPo)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal thinks that relocating the long-term unemployed to areas with lower unemployment will result in their being unemployed in a new place. It would be better to concentrate on improving the economy as a whole.

Cable Monopolies Hurt Consumers and the Nation (LA Times)

Michael Hiltzik speaks to Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford about how much the lack of competition is harming Americans' access to high speed Internet. She suggests that genuine oversight is needed, by treating Internet access as a utility rather than a luxury product.

Full Time, Part Time, Good Jobs, Bad (NYT)

Nancy Folbre suggests that part-time work needs to include jobs of the same quality as full-time work. Part-time jobs that pay the same hourly wage and offer pro-rated benefits could increase gender equity in our economy.

Who Are the Long-Term Unemployed? (The Atlantic)

Matthew O'Brien examines data from the Urban Institute comparing the long-term unemployed, newly unemployed, and discouraged workers. The long-term unemployed are generally older, and are primarily out of work due to lay-offs.

This Week in Poverty: '90 Percent of Workers Aren’t Getting Bupkis' (The Nation)

Greg Kauffman looks at a report from the Economic Policy Institute, which finds that wage stagnation has the same causes from minimum wage workers all the way up. An economy that is geared toward corporate profits isn't going to lift people out of poverty.

Wal-Mart’s Newest Scheme to Ruin the Middle Class (Salon)

Stacy Mitchell says that Wal-Mart's new plan to increase their purchases of U.S.-made goods is a hollow marketing campaign. Most of that increase will be in their growing takeover of the grocery industry, and won't create new jobs.

New on Next New Deal

Can President Obama's New Metrics Curb College Costs?

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal thinks that the new rankings will be helpful if they can reduce the costs of private schools, expose administrative bloat, and bring accountability to for-profit schools. Otherwise, they could just be a waste.

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New Orleans's Youth Unemployment Problem Demands a Government Solution

Aug 22, 2013Jeff MadrickNell Abernathy

The federal government has let New Orleans down in the past, but it can still provide equal opportunity for the city's next generation.

The federal government has let New Orleans down in the past, but it can still provide equal opportunity for the city's next generation.

Our federal government has failed New Orleans more dramatically than any other U.S. city, and the growing number of unemployed and undereducated young adults is one more example of our failure to deliver on the promise of equal opportunity for all. With 23 percent of 18-24 year olds neither working nor in school, New Orleans’s rate of youth disconnection from social institutions far exceeds the national average. Nevertheless, cynicism is not a solution. Creating new opportunities for young Americans will require us to use every tool at our disposal, and that includes active and effective government.

These “opportunity youth," ages 16-24, are more likely than their peers to be poor and unemployed as adults. Neglecting these young people costs New Orleans taxpayers hundreds of millions in lost income annually and billions over a lifetime.

Maybe more important, these young people are deprived of the fundamental dignity of work and education. Still, most remain motivated to succeed. 85 percent say that it is extremely important to have a good job or career in order to live the life they want,and most opportunity youth are willing to work toward their goals, with 77 percent agreeing that getting a good job or good education is their personal responsibility, according to a 2011 survey conducted by Civic Enterprises.

With government missing in action, a network of effective non-profit organizations is leading the effort to equip these young people with the skills and support they need. In just seven years, New Orleans’s Youth Empowerment Project has grown from a small program serving 25 children to a locally renowned organization helping close to 1,000 at-risk youth a year. The Urban League of Greater New Orleans is expanding mentoring and training programs designed to connect teens with trade or college education. And Partnership for Youth Development, which coordinates over 180 local programs to better serve these opportunity youth, was selected by the Aspen Institute in June to pilot strategies that could be employed nationwide.

By contrast, consider how derelict the federal government has been. Funding cuts from sequestration have cut education by $3 billion and decimated early education and after-school programs. Congress has dithered over reducing interest rates for student loans and cut eligibility for critical Pell grants, specifically barring around 65,000 of the most at-risk students. The government has failed to fund its 2009 commitment to expand the successful AmeriCorps programs from 75,000 to 250,000 by 2017, resulting in 85 percent of the 2012 applicants being turned away. 

Tonight, the Roosevelt Institute is hosting a public panel with local organizations in New Orleans to help formulate a policy that will serve young people nationwide. Because as effective as private funders, local non-profits, and national organizations are, the scale and breadth of the challenge demands public solutions.

Disappointment with our government’s past failures is understandable, but the anti-government movement too often blinds Americans to our shared goals and responsibilities. We forget our history of achieving great works together. As a nation, we decided way back in the 1800s to support our young people by outlawing child labor and establishing free primary school. We tackled youth unemployment during the Great Depression with the Civilian Conservation Corps, a government program that directly employed nearly 3 million young men over nine years. We sent 2.2 million veterans to college on the G.I. Bill and gave our young people opportunities through national service programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and the Job Corps. These are but a few examples.

We must now, once again, use our government as a tool to restore the promise of equal opportunity to our youth. Join us as we seek solutions to one of our nation’s most pressing challenges.

In New Orleans? Join the Roosevelt Institute tonight at 6 p.m. at the Contemporary Arts Center for "Tackling Youth Unemployment: Strategies That Work in New Orleans." The event is free and open to the public.

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick is the Director of the Roosevelt Institute’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government initiative and author of Age of Greed.

Nell Abernathy is a Research Initiative Associate for the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative.


New Orleans at sunset banner image via Shutterstock.com

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The Jobs Emergency Continues. Here’s How the Experts Think We Can Solve It.

Aug 22, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

The Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative's conference, "A Bold Approach to the Jobs Emergency," which now has transcripts and video online, was just the first step.

The Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative's conference, "A Bold Approach to the Jobs Emergency," which now has transcripts and video online, was just the first step.

When the Roosevelt Institute’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative, led by Senior Fellow Jeff Madrick, started planning a conference on the jobs emergency, we knew a problem so complex demanded a wide range of perspectives and potential solutions. “A Bold Approach to the Jobs Emergency: Setting the Political Agenda for 2014 and 2016,” which was held in Washington, D.C. on June 4, touched on everything from the roles of government and Wall Street in job creation to education to what good jobs really look like. Economist Alan Blinder said that we need to stop worrying about the deficit, and Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin shared her concerns about low quality jobs after a visit to a local job fair. If you missed out the first time, we’ve now uploaded proceedings from the conference along with full transcripts and video.

As the summer draws to a close and the fall budget debates approach, we’ve continued to see difficult news relating to jobs. North Carolina may join the ranks of states that ban cities and counties from enacting local paid sick leave requirements. We’ve seen just how few jobs in big cities pay the wages needed to actually live in that city. Formerly good jobs are turning into part-time and contract work without benefits or stability. The policies that were suggested at the conference aren’t being implemented yet, but they are sorely needed.

Rediscovering Government’s work on jobs continues. If you missed the conference, I encourage you to check out the panel summaries and transcripts. There’s so much to learn from our speakers and panelists. Jeff Madrick will be joining Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline in New Orleans tonight to discuss youth unemployment, and more events are coming!

Rachel Goldfarb is the Roosevelt Institute Communications Associate.

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Daily Digest - August 22: Doing Better Than Student Loans

Aug 21, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Four Ideas For How Obama Could Really Transform The Cost Of College (ThinkProgress)

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Four Ideas For How Obama Could Really Transform The Cost Of College (ThinkProgress)

Bryce Covert presents four truly transformative ideas, which would have far more effect than keeping student loan interest rates low. She pulls from Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konzcal for her fourth suggestion: make public colleges and universities free.

  • Roosevelt Take: In the piece referenced, Mike looked at how much the government spends on loans and related tax breaks, and suggested that the same funds could cover the cost of public higher education outright.

Elderly More Likely to Be Employed Than Teens (WSJ)

Ben Casselman reports that while ten years ago, a teenage boy was twice as likely to have a job as his 70 year old grandfather, today, the grandfather is more likely to be employed. The decline reflects the jobless recovery of the early 2000s and today's tough market.

How Low Can You Get: The Minimum Wage Scam (The Guardian)

Heidi Moore thinks that the problem isn't just a too-low minimum wage, but a too-low total compensation, including benefits. The nonexistent benefits of low-wage jobs are costing the American government big bucks, while corporate profits skyrocket.

For Retailers, Low Wages Aren’t Working Out (WaPo)

Harold Meyerson looks at the change in how the owners of big retailers consider labor since the 1920s. Back then, retail supported the minimum wage, five-day work weeks, and unions, and retail and labor thrived together.

Two Graphs Showing, Decisively, That Obamacare Is Not Creating a Permanent Part-Time America (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson examines the data, which proves that part-time work has actually decreased since the Affordable Care Act was passed. The big increase began, rather intuitively, with the Great Recession.

Warren Asks DOJ to Explain 'Timid' FHA Settlement (The Hill)

Peter Schroeder reports that Senator Warren finds the settlement between mortgage servicers and the Federal Housing Authority to be shockingly low. The settlement is less than one percent of the maximum liability, and the Senator wants the DOJ to explain their math.

This One Photo From 1998 Includes Everybody Involved in the Fed Chair Decision (WaPo)

Neil Irwin uses a photo of Bill Clinton talking about the economy to demonstrate just how little the Democratic economics team has changed over the years. The only people missing from the photo are Tim Geithner and a certain then-Illinois state senator.

New on Next New Deal

New Rule: Your Financial Advisor Should Actually Work for You

I wrote on the proposed changes to ethical standards for the financial services industry, and why it's necessary for more advisors to be fiduciaries. Under current rules, most advisors only need to provide "suitable" investment products, and suitable doesn't been best.

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Daily Digest - August 21: How to Plan for the Future In Today's Economy

Aug 21, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Working Class Millennials Have Extra Challenges in Tough Economy (Daily Circuit)

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

Working Class Millennials Have Extra Challenges in Tough Economy (Daily Circuit)

Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz talks about the precariousness of the American Dream in today's economy on Minnesota Public Radio. Many young people see the traditional markers of adulthood as unreachable with such an uncertain future.

The High Probability of Being Poor (TAP)

Matt Bruenig examines more detailed data that refutes some critiques of last month's AP report on economic insecurity. The aggregate life span poverty experience in this country is surprising, and in some demographics, poverty touches almost everyone.

Freelance Nation: When Good Jobs Turn to Bad (Salon)

Barbara Garson examines how jobs that used to provide a solid middle-class lifestyle have lost wages, benefits, and long-term security. Employers have turned many jobs into part-time or contract work, which takes away everything that made a job good.

Should White House Interns be Paid? (The Week)

Carmel Lobello speaks to organizers who are campaigning to get political interns in Washington wages. They see a disconnect between calling for a higher minimum wage and running the administration with unpaid workers.

North Carolina Could Be Next To Throw A Wrench Into Paid Sick Leave (Think Progress)

Bryce Covert reports on the preemption bills popping up across the country that prevent cities and counties from enacting local paid sick leave laws. ALEC, which pushes this bill, doesn't seem to care that paid sick leave saves employers the cost of lost productivity.

Women Shortchanged In Retirement Earnings (NPR)

Celeste Headlee and guests discuss how policy contributes to the gender gap in retirement funds. When women leave the workforce to have children, even temporarily, they reduce their personal contributions to retirement and have fewer work years to base Social Security on.

Why the White House is Uneasy with Picking Janet Yellen as Fed Chair (WaPo)

Neil Irwin sees Janet Yellen as an independent thinker who is methodically prepared in her work. That style and her emphasis on unemployment instead of financial bubbles may be what is keeping her off the top of the White House short list.

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Daily Digest - August 20: Everyone Loses These Policy Debates

Aug 20, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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Breaking Out of a Cramped Economic Policy Debate (NYT)

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Breaking Out of a Cramped Economic Policy Debate (NYT)

Jared Bernstein questions the continued false choices presented by our partisan policy debates. These arguments can't be about who wins, because then our policy is focused on winners and losers instead of fairness, opportunity, and growth.

Stop Worrying about Food Stamp "Fraud" (TAP)

Matt Bruenig points out that when we give a family SNAP, we're giving them dollars to spend, not Monopoly money. The fraud in question involves swapping SNAP money for dollars, and he thinks we should accept that we were already giving them money.

Sequestration Cuts Head Start for 57,000 Children (MSNBC)

Suzy Khimm explains the extent of the cuts that Head Start has to make. They were advised not to "compromis[e] the quality of [their] services," but that's not easy when Head Start already ran on a bare-bones budget.

Fast-Food Workers Call for Nationwide Walkout Aug. 29 (WaPo)

Michael Fletcher reports on the planned next steps for fast food strikes around the country. Organizers expect the August 29th protests, which will continue to call for a living wage, to include at least 35 cities.

Why Jobs Go Unfilled Even in Times of High Unemployment (The Atlantic)

Amy Sullivan talks to René Bryce-Laporte of Skills for America's Future about the supposed skills gap, and community college partnerships that are trying to fill it. Of course, these programs have tuition that usually falls on the unemployed person, not the employers.

Obama to Meet with Regulators Over Stalled Dodd-Frank Reform Act (The Guardian)

Heidi Moore discusses the coming meeting of the financial stability oversight council, where they are expected to discuss Dodd-Frank. The big question is why so many rules are still unwritten after three years of work.

New on Next New Deal

Why Carried Interest Reform Should Be a No-Brainer

Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network alumnae Lydia Austin thinks that it's time for the tax code to recognize that carried interest, the share of profits received by private equity fund managers, is income, and should be taxed accordingly.

Roosevelt Institute Event

How Chicago Attracts Millennials in a Tough Economy

Tonight, join Roosevelt Institute | Pipeline Fellow Nona Willis Aronowitz and local stakeholders for a discussion on how Chicago has made itself a "land of opportunity" for Millennials, and how we can make that opportunity accessible to all.

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Daily Digest - August 16: Even Federal Jobs Aren't Always Good Jobs

Aug 16, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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How President Obama Could Move Millions Into The Middle Class (Our Future)

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How President Obama Could Move Millions Into The Middle Class (Our Future)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch presents a simple solution for shifting over two million workers into living wage jobs. By executive order, the President could require that workers on federal contracts get better wages and paid sick days.

The Light And Dark of Social Entrepreneurship (CSRwire)

Francesca Rheannon interviews Roosevelt Institute Fellow Georgia Levenson Keohane about the challenges of using private money for social needs. Georgia is concerned with scale, and whether a social mission can stay in the forefront as an enterprise grows.

ALEC Convention Met With Protests in Chicago (The Nation)

Micah Uetricht reports on protests against the ALEC convention, organized by a coalition of labor, community, and environmental groups. They hope that the protesters will shine a brighter light on ALEC's far-right austerity agenda and influence on legislators.

New Conservative Plan: Repeal Obamacare or We'll Default on the National Debt (Slate)

Matt Yglesias looks at the various ways the GOP has created debt ceiling crises in recent years. He doesn't think there's much to worry about in the current threat, but won't dismiss the possibility of this debt ceiling crisis turning into something nasty.

Dems Defy Obama on Mortgage Protections (MoJo)

Erika Eichelberger critiques the thirteen Democrats who joined Republicans to cosponsor bills that would demolish new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau mortgage rules, but cannot explain why they want to allow sub-prime mortgages to continue.

Houston Rockets Pre-K to Top of the Priority List (TAP)

Abby Rapoport examines a new plan in Houston to expand early childhood education. Proponents are pushing a ballot initiative to increase property taxes by one hundredth of one percent to fund daycare teacher training and they're finding broad support.

The Many, Many Jobs That Won't Earn You Enough to Live in Your City (The Atlantic Cities)

Emily Badger thinks that many of these jobs are necessary for a city's function, including bank tellers, fire fighters, janitors, and school bus drivers. If these workers can't afford rent in their cities, who is going to do these jobs?

Why Are Walmart Stores Underperforming? Blame Their Terrible Wages. (The Daily Beast)

Daniel Gross questions why Walmart's same-store sales fell this quarter. He suggests that Walmart pays such low wages that their employees can't afford to shop there as much, and recent protests against Walmart and other low-wage employers can't help.

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Daily Digest - August 14: Disrupting Cable Not So Simple

Aug 14, 2013Rachel Goldfarb

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The Future Of Television (Diane Rehm Show)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford discusses the limits of how web-based models like Netfix can disrupt traditional cable television. Without high-speed internet access, none of these models work, and the cable companies control most broadband.

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

The Future Of Television (Diane Rehm Show)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford discusses the limits of how web-based models like Netfix can disrupt traditional cable television. Without high-speed internet access, none of these models work, and the cable companies control most broadband.

Bash Brothers: How Globalization and Technology Teamed Up to Crush Middle-Class Workers (The Atlantic)

Derek Thompson explains a new study that found that the monolith "globalizationandtechnology" is actually two forces working in tandem. Globalization increases unemployment overall, while technology increases inequality by replacing middle-class jobs.

U.S. Budget Cuts Hitting Long-Term Unemployed Hard (Reuters)

Paige Gance reports on the struggles facing the long-term unemployed as their benefits are cut due to sequestration. A study shows that callbacks for job interviews dramatically decrease after long stretches of unemployment, which doesn't help her interview subjects.

Parents Losing Jobs a Hidden Cost to Head Start Cuts (Bloomberg)

William Selway reminds us that Head Start exists to provide preschool to low-income kids, so now that sequestration is cutting spots, the parents have no where else to turn. Without the means to pay for childcare, they can't go to work.

Paying It Forward on Student Debt (TAP)

Monica Potts reports that following Oregon's new pay-it-forward plan for college tuition, a number of other states are proposing similar plans. The plans are becoming more sophisticated, and begin to address the critiques of Oregon's model.

Don’t Take My Pension!: The Looming Public Worker Nightmare (Salon)

Adam J. Levitin suggests that public pensions ought to be insured, just like private guaranteed-benefit pension plans. That would solve the problems facing municipalities like Detroit as they face difficult decisions regarding retirees during bankruptcy.

Best-Paid Women in S&P 500 Settle for Less Remuneration (Bloomberg)

Carol Hymowitz and Cécile Daurat look at the compensation of top female executives, and find that even on that level, women are being paid less than men. Their 82 cents to men's dollar can't be explained by levels of experience or skill.

The Justice Department is Blocking the US Airways-American Merger. Here’s Why. (WaPo)

Brad Plumer says that the Department of Justice lawsuit claim that the merger would reduce competition in several key markets is probably true. The merged airline would have absolutely no nonstop competition on seven routes.

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