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From Job Loss to Guaranteed Basic Income

AUTOMATION AND THE POST-SCARCITY ECONOMY by Dusty Sklar From the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Currents   THE IDEA of providing a universal basic income (UBI) to all families has begun to take root in the U.S. among both conservatives and liberals. For the former, it’s a way actually to shrink the welfare state by folding […]

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Levinsky Park — on African Refugees in Tel Aviv

AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR BETH TONI KRUVANT AND EDITOR CINDY KAPLAN ROONEY ABOUT THE FILM, LEVINSKY PARK (2016) by Esther Cohen SOUTH TEL AVIV is home to one of Israel’s underserved populations, Sephardic Jews, some barely earning a living. In the midst of this neighborhood, home since 2005 also to more than 60,000 African refugees from Sudan, Eritrea, […]

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February 3: The Tormented Umpire

Dolly (Albert) Stark became the first Jewish umpire in Major League Baseball when he was added to the National League roster on this date in 1928. Stark was born poor and lost his father at a young age; his mother then went blind, and he ended up on an orphans’ home. He became a semi-pro […]

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The Peasants Are Revolting!

WHY THE LIBERAL ELITE DOESN’T TALK TO THE DEPLORABLES by George Salamon “The calculus of material well-being…hinges on an historic assumption that between the world of culture and the realities of life for the masses there is an unbridgeable gulf.” —Richard Sennett and Jonathan Cobb, The Hidden Injuries of Class (1972) THE LIBERAL elite supporting […]

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Profiting from Poverty

Discussed in this essay: The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens, by Daniel L. Hatcher. NYU Press, 2016, 288 pages. UNLIKE SOME INDUSTRIES in America, the poverty industry is thriving. It’s not a pretty story. The human service agencies of state and local governments, in collusion with private companies, are siphoning off […]

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Why We Can’t Afford the Rich

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Why We Can’t Afford the Rich, by Andrew Sayer. Policy Press at the University of Bristol (reissued by Policy Press, c/o University of Chicago Press), paperback edition, 2016, 448 pages. WHO ARE THE RICH, and why can’t we afford them? It’s a long story, according to Andrew Sayer, […]

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Kicked Out

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond. Crown, 2016, 432 pages. AMERICA HAS BEEN transformed into a country of shrinking opportunity for all except the smallest proportion of fortunate ones. Despite the 14 million jobs and radical lowering of the unemployment rate in the […]

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April 19: The Tenement

A five-story tenement building at 97 Orchard Street on New York’s Lower East Side was given National Historic Landmark status on this date in 1997. The building now houses the Tenement Museum, which notes at its website that between its construction in 1863 and being boarded up in 1935, some 7,000 tenants from some twenty […]

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