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Each Night, 193,000 Homeless Human Beings

by Allan Lichtenstein Photographs by the author   IN EDWARD ALBEE’S play, The Zoo Story, Peter, an executive in a small publishing house who lives in a comfortable apartment on the Upper East Side with his wife, two daughters and two parakeets, meets Jerry, a self-described “permanent transient,” in Central Park. When Jerry suddenly declares that he wants […]

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Some Jews No Longer Qualify . . .

by Allan Lichtenstein   SINCE I AM an Israeli citizen, Israel’s recent decision last March to ban entry to members of certain Jewish activist groups will not affect me. When the ban passed the Israeli Knesset, therefore, taking aim at the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS), I did not pay much attention. The law forbids “granting entry visas […]

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STAT$: Guess How Much Museum Guards Are Earning

THE WORKING POOR AND THEIR FUTURE by Allan Lichtenstein   I HAVE BEEN READING Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here. Early in the book, Doremus Jessop, the lead character, stops for gasoline at a garage at which Karl Pascal works. Pascal remarks: “[W]hat burns me up is the fact that even before this Depression, in what you folks called […]

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STAT$: Poverty Looms Large in the U.S., 2016

FIFTY YEARS OF CENSUS POVERTY STATISTICS by Allan Lichtenstein   THE CENSUS BUREAU’S release of the official poverty statistics for 2016 in mid-September highlighted a return of the overall poverty rate to its pre-Great Recession level, as well as noticeable reductions in poverty rates across the board, including for blacks, Hispanics, children, females, and single mothers with children. […]

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STAT$: “A Better Deal for American Workers” — Not Without Unions

by Allan Lichtenstein   AT THE TUFTS Medical Center in Boston, 1,200 nurses recently walked off the job, initiating “the largest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts’s history and the first in Boston for 31 years.” In New York, lawyers representing farmworkers recently argued in the State Supreme Court that they have a constitutional right to organize. In […]

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A Homecoming, with Apartheid in Tow

by Allan Lichtenstein OFTEN WITH FRIENDS, when they learn that I grew up in South Africa, lived sixteen years in Israel, then moved to the United States thirty years ago, I joke that with each move, political conditions took a far-reaching change for the worse. Little did I know, until early Wednesday morning November 9, […]

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Stat$: The State of America — Racial Disparities in Income

by Allan Lichtenstein AFTER THE RECENT unrest in Charlotte, Robert Pittenger, a Republican Congressional Representative whose district includes parts of Charlotte, said of the black protestors: “The grievance in their mind is the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not. I mean, yes, it is, it is […]

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Stat$: The State of America, Income Inequality

by Allan Lichtenstein WITH ABOUT eight weeks before the presidential election, the conversation has changed radically from that heading into the Democratic Party’s convention a few weeks back. Many had hoped that Bernie Sanders “revolution” would pull the Democratic Party to the left, paving the way for a progressive agenda if Hillary Clinton is elected. […]

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Stat$: Hillary and Bernie on Israel

Comparing Their AIPAC Remarks by Allan Lichtenstein WITH THE DEMOCRATIC presidential candidate still not established, I thought it could be revealing to compare the speech Hillary gave at the recent AIPAC conference with the one Bernie Sanders said he would have given. What follows is commentary referencing verbatim text that pairs Hillary’s and Bernie’s remarks […]

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Socialism in Cuba?

by Allan Lichtenstein I RECENTLY RETURNED from a visit to Cuba more confused, although more knowledgeable, than before I set out. Cuba presents itself not only as enduring constant pressure from an illegitimate and self-defeating American embargo (or blockade, as they call it), but also as an alternative economic and social model to the United […]

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Racial Equality Is Still a “Dream”

by Allan Lichtenstein The Negro today is not struggling for some abstract, vague rights, but for concrete and prompt improvement in his way of life. What will it profit him to be able to send his children to an integrated school if the family income is insufficient to buy them school clothes? What will he […]

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The Safety Net, the Poor — and the Democrats

NEARLY 50 MILLION AMERICANS LIVE IN POVERTY. WHAT IF THEY VOTED? by Allan Lichtenstein AFTER THE DEMOCRATS lost seats in both houses of Congress last November, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), in a speech to the National Press Club blamed the losses on Obamacare. “Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them (in 2008),” […]

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The Undeserving Poor

by Allan Lichtenstein WITH THE REPUBLICAN TAKEOVER of the Senate and their augmented majority in Congress, cuts in safety net programs are now a real possibility. Yet the little discussion that has occurred on the subject of poverty has come, perhaps surprisingly, from the Republicans — from Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, in particular. Earlier in […]

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Whither the Poverty Rate?

by Allan Lichtenstein In September, the U.S. Census Bureau will release updated income and poverty data for 2013. Since 2000, the Census Bureau has annually collected demographic, social, and economic data, which allows for a more timely tracking of changes in the demographic and social make-up of the U.S. population than the old “long form,” […]

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