Colorlines

Economy

Unions Waning, but Holding Edge on the Color Line

by Michelle Chen on February 4 2010, 12:53AM

The portion of the U.S. workforce that belongs to a union has fallen to historical lows. The latest data from the feds show that unionization dwindled to 12.3 percent in 2009 (about 15.3 million), basically the same as the…

Topics: Economy

State of the Union Places Entitlement Above Equity

by Michelle Chen on January 27 2010, 7:59PM

Wrapped up in tonight’s stream of glossy oratory was a familiar sense of entitlement. The State of the Union address emphasized rebuilding the middle class, supporting small businesses, boosting financial markets—in other words, soothing the anxieties of people who…

Topics: Economy, News Items, Politics

One in Four Black, Latino Workers Shut Out of Withered Job Market

by Michelle Chen on January 8 2010, 11:51PM

The new labor statistics released today show more of the same: official unemployment was about level. Some economists insist that we’re still on track for a steady recovery; left-leaning analysts like the Economic Policy Institute say the hole is much…

Topics: Economy, Schools & Youth

The Great Recession: What’s Race Got to Do with It?

by Guest Columnist on December 16 2009, 1:29PM

By Tram Nguyen Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to appear with Chris Rabb on the ARC/LinkTV collaboration for an upcoming show called ColorLines: Race and Economic Recovery. The dialogue we began there—as Chris and I tried to unpack the…

Topics: Economy, Race and Recession

Copenhagen and Us

by Rinku Sen on December 16 2009, 1:24PM

Originally published on The Huffington Post Negotiations have resumed in Copenhagen after a walkout by the African delegation on Monday. African governments were concerned with the lack of commitment by rich country governments to reducing their own emissions. This follows…

Topics: Economy, Environment, Global Affairs, News Items, Race and Recession

Obama Plans to “Shame” Banks, But Offers No Help for People Drowning In Their Mortgages

by Dom Apollon on December 9 2009, 3:36PM

Unsatisfied with all the foot dragging this country’s major mortgage lenders have been doing with its beleaguered home loan modification program, the Obama administration last week announced that it plans to begin “shaming” lenders who aren’t being responsive enough to…

Topics: Economy

Congressional Black Caucus Protests Obama’s Recovery Plan

by Leticia Miranda on December 3 2009, 2:47PM

It seems Obama’s relief and recovery plan isn’t fooling everyone in Washington. Yesterday, ten Congressional Black Caucus members, led by California Representative Maxine Waters, withheld their votes on a financial reform bill that would add new consumer protections, create…

Topics: Economy

The Food Stamp Belt: Race, Politics And Poverty in The South

by Guest Columnist on December 1 2009, 12:25PM

By Chris Kromm This post originally appeared on Facing South. The New York Times ran an eye-opening story this weekend about the 36 million people in this country who depend on food stamps: With food stamp use at record…

Topics: Economy, Race and Recession

Black Unemployment Crisis: “Social Catastrophe” in the Making

by Michelle Chen on November 25 2009, 11:47PM

The latest employment figures sadly unsurprising: with about 35 percent of black men aged 16 to 24 unemployed, the epidemic of joblessness in Black America encapsulates a nationwide crisis. Although high unemployment and deep racial disparities are nothing new,…

Topics: Economy, Race and Recession

NPA Steps Up Demands on Treasury Secretary Geithner Today for More Action on Foreclosure Crisis

by Terry Keleher on November 16 2009, 1:47PM

Today, National People’s Action, a network of grassroots community groups from around the country, is organizing a gathering outside the Department of Treasury to demands that Secretary Geithner take more action to provide relief to households and communities hardest hit…

Topics: Economy

Food Stamp Distribution Rushing to Keep Pace with Rising Poverty Levels

by Guest Columnist on November 10 2009, 3:21PM

By Juell Stewart As America faces the fastest-growing poverty levels since the Great Depression, Democracy Now! reports that the number of families receiving food stamp assistance are on the rise: [N]early half of all US children and 90 percent of…

Topics: Economy, Race and Recession

Report Shows Asian Business Owners Really Do Face Discrimination

by Leticia Miranda on November 6 2009, 2:11PM

Oh yes, it’s true. A group of fancy researchers have now said it: Asians face race discrimination in government business contracts. A UCLA study found that Asians get the fewest local, state and federal contracts through government minority business…

Topics: Economy

Stimulus Provides a Boost but Falls Short on Equity

by Michelle Chen on October 31 2009, 6:38AM

It’s easy to see that communities of color and women are facing unique and disproportionate impacts from the recession. It’s much harder to figure out what the government is doing about it. The Recovery.gov site has presented masses of data…

Topics: Economy

Legal Dissonance: Immigration Policies Clash with Worker Protections

by Michelle Chen on October 27 2009, 6:55PM

It’s hard to make sense of the news headlines about immigrant workers these days.A police sweep in Maricopa County, Arizona, home of the famously anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio, snatched up 66 people in the latest “crime-suppression sweep.” After figuring…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Economy, Immigration

Facing the Kool-Aid Recovery with Columbia U. Prof. Dorian Warren [VIDEO]

by Channing Kennedy on October 15 2009, 11:21AM

The AP reports that “more than 80 percent of economists believe the recession is over.” But they don’t face up to the much higher unemployment and poverty in communities of color across the US. “The last full employment program…

Topics: Economy, Video & Multimedia

Poor, Facing Foreclosure, and On Their Own in Court

by Michelle Chen on October 9 2009, 9:23PM

Now that the dust has started to settle on the foreclosure crisis, it’s clear that the dysfunctional legal framework of the financial system underwrote the heist of the nation’s wealth by Wall Street’s profiteers. Now, victims of the subprime…

Topics: Economy

Rinku Sen and Billy Parish: Young, Green, and Broke

by Rinku Sen on October 6 2009, 8:08AM

This piece was coauthored with Billy Parish of the Energy Action Coalition; it originally appeared at the Huffington Post. Last week, the Labor Department reported that youth unemployment stands at 18.2%, nearly twice the national average of 9.8%. The percentage…

Topics: Economy, Environment

Florida: No Job Creation, No Stimulation

by Debayani Kar on October 2 2009, 8:09AM

Today, Vice President Joe Biden announced specific benchmarks that the federal government will use to determine whether the Recovery Act has been a success. But none of his benchmarks include numbers of jobs created. October will see the roll out…

Topics: Economy, Environment

Ben Jealous: Personal Responsibility Alone Won’t Fix Structural Inequalities

by Guest Columnist on September 23 2009, 10:12AM

by Ben Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP. Originally published at theGrio.com. Over the weekend I had the opportunity to share the stage with America’s legendary television dad, Bill Cosby. In a town hall forum titled “About Our Children,”…

Topics: Economy

Immigrant Workers at Home: Hired Hands Hold Family Bonds

by Michelle Chen on September 4 2009, 9:24PM

In American households, the divide between the home and the workplace is always evolving, and immigrants are shaping that evolution more than we know. Immigrant women workers today form a pillar of the middle-class family. As nannies, housekeepers and…

Topics: Economy, Immigration