Wage Stagnation

What happens to the wages of American workers may not seem like a topic we want to spend time on but it is important. For example, according to some experts it was a contributing factor to the election of Donald Trump. Although the last jobs report showed some wage increase, overall that increase was very flat and shows that in the long run wages will continue to be flat. Wage stagnation is not new, it has basically been around for the last 40 years and has puzzled economists. That’s why the Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution has now issued an e-book discussing the issues, making proposals and recommendations. One of the proposals which the authors seem to Continue reading “Wage Stagnation”

Rape in South Sudan

South Sudan is not a country we often think about. One of the poorest countries in the world, it has been undergoing a vicious civil war for 5 years, a war that is as brutal as any war. As is often the case in these kinds of conflicts, rape is a daily occurrence, mass rape wielded as a weapon to intimidate, conquer, punish, instill fear. Rare is the woman who has not been raped, in a culture where the shame and stigma rape brings is enough for many to be thrown out of their home and Continue reading “Rape in South Sudan”

Teaching Slave History

Which was the reason the south seceded from the union, a test asked 1000 high schoolers: To preserve states’ rights, to preserve slavery, to protest taxes on imported goods or to avoid rapid industrialization? While nearly half chose to protest taxes, only 8% chose the correct answer, to protect slavery. And only a third identified the 13th amendment as the law that officially ended slavery.  The test was given as part of Continue reading “Teaching Slave History”

Midwives and Racial Implications

People who do not belong to minorities often have difficulties understanding why people of color see discrimination when they see none. Here is an example that I hope can be helpful in bridging that gap. It used to be that midwives in the US delivered all babies. During slavery they were black or Native American women. Around the turn of the 19th century as the medical profession changed with what is Continue reading “Midwives and Racial Implications”