Judith Levine Talks Trust and Single Mothers on MSNBC

Judith Levine, author of Ain’t No Trust: How Bosses, Boyfriends, and Bureaucrats Fail Low-Income Mothers and Why It Matters, joined MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry for a panel on the challenges facing single mothers from low-income backgrounds, and what can be done to provide more support. Levine explains how trust (or the lack thereof) undermines policy goals designed to help low-income women.

Watch the video below: 

Black Against Empire Goodreads Giveaway

Balack Against Empire

Follow the link and register for your chance to win a free copy of the paperback edition of Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin.

In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the U.S., the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with offices in 68 U.S. cities and powerful allies around the world.

Ethan Elkind Pushes for Transit-Oriented Development in the L.A. Times

Railtown coverEthan N. Elkind has some advice for the city of Los Angeles, currently underway on the construction of a multibillion-dollar rail network project. “Rail is expensive to build, operate and maintain compared with other forms of transit,” writes Elkind in an op-ed for Monday’s L.A. Times. “It only becomes cost-effective with high ridership. And the best way to boost ridership is to locate new jobs, housing and retail near stations.” Elkind is the author of the new book, Railtown: The Fight for the Los Angeles Metro Rail and the Future of the City, and has been studying the way the city has started to reinvent itself by developing compact neighborhoods adjacent to transit. Read the article to learn the three policy changes “Angelenos should insist on” in order to avoid past mistakes of rail development.

When Obama and O’Reilly Agree: The Case for Raising the Minimum Wage

San Francisco was also one of the first cities to increase the minimum wage beyond the federal level and mandate better benefits for low-income workers. The wage increase went into effect in 2004, long before the notion of one percenters and the recent wave of wage protests by fast-food and retail workers. And now everyone from President Obama to Fox News star Bill O’Reilly is talking about raising the federal minimum wage.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports on the growing movement to increase the minimum wage, citing findings from the new book, When Mandates Work: Raising Labor Standards at the Local Level. Using San Francisco as a case study, the book’s editors found no evidence that a higher minimum wage harmed the local economy. In fact, they found that “from 2004 to 2011 overall private employment grew 5.6 percent in San Francisco and 3 percent in Santa Clara County.” While San Francisco did see a small increase in food prices compared to other companies, one of the book’s editors Ken Jacobs points out that most businesses saved money because they were able to retain employees for longer.

Read the full article at Businessweek, then check out an excerpt from When Mandates Work at the Huffington Post.

Dig Deeper into Labor Relations with UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

When Mandates Work looks at the public policy experiments of San Francisco in the 1990s to improve wages and benefits for thousands of local workers. Although opponents predicted a range of negative impacts, the evidence tells a decidedly different tale. The book book brings together that evidence for the first time, reviews it as a whole, and considers its lessons for local, state, and federal policymakers.

The book’s editors, Michael Reich, Ken Jacobs, Miranda Dietz, all come from the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) at UC Berkeley. IRLE’s website is a great resource for anyone interested in labor and employment relations in California. They host an extensive online library of faculty research, as well as working papers on a wide range of labor topics.

Judith Levine On the Economics of Trust

Women who do not trust employers to treat them fairly quit their jobs. Women who do not trust the fathers of their children to be reliable financial and emotional supports do not marry them. Women who do not trust child-care providers to keep children safe do not keep their children in child care (and often lose their jobs as a result). Women who do not trust their family members do not expose themselves to risk by asking for their help. And women who do not trust their caseworkers do not respond to the voluntary incentives designed to move them into the labor market.

Ain't No TrustJudith Levine wrote a powerful article for the Boston Review about how issues of distrust among low-income women can wreak havoc on their economic stability, working conditions, health, and family life. Levine’s book, Ain’t No Trust: How Bosses, Boyfriends, and Bureaucrats Fail Low-Income Mothers and Why It Matters, presents richly detailed evidence from in-depth interviews about our welfare system and why it’s failing the very people it is designed to help. Read the article for a comprehensive look at why low-income women are reluctant to trust and how our current welfare system feeds into that destructive cycle.


Remembering JFK

November 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Few American figures are as iconic as JFK, and UC Press joins the millions of Americans today in remembering our admired president.

Shooting KennedyTwo related books have garnered headlines around the anniversary, helping analyze the legacy and controversy around JFK and the Kennedy family.

David Lubin’s Shooting Kennedyexamines the allure of iconic images of the Kennedys, using them to illuminate the entire American cultural landscape. The author has been cited in the past week in the The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, and BagNews.

Lubin is also a contributor to the catalog for Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, which runs until January 12, 2014.


Deep PoliticsPeter Dale Scott’s Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, is a well researched inquiry into the shadowy world of politics that so characterized the Cold War and, especially, the Kennedy administration. Scott argues that JFK’s death was not just an isolated case, but rather a symptom of hidden processes within the deep politics of early 1960s American international and domestic policies.

Scott’s book was listed as required reading in the recent Salon article titled JFK Assassination: CIA and New York Times are Still Lying to Us.

Other excellent resources to learn more:

JFK exhibit at the Newseum in Washington D.C., on display through January 5, 2014

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, MA

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, TX

Arin Dube Answers Elizabeth Warren on Wage Gap

Watch Arin Dube, contributing author to When Mandates Work, respond to Elizabeth Warren’s statements on increasing the minimum wage. Dube discusses why minimum wage has not kept pace with productivity over the last 50 years, particularly as it relates to restaurant workers.

Robert Reich, whose work on income disparity is featured in the new documentary, Inequality for All, gave this endorsement of the book: “As this important work shows, a decent society requires standards of minimal decency—and they can be designed in a way that improves rather than distorts markets. Mandatory reading for anyone interested in smart mandates.”

Nicholas Kristof on Lead and Other Dangerous Chemicals

In an op-ed for the New York Times yesterday, Nicholas Kristof shared a story from Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner’s Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children. He recounts the story of Sam, who chewed on lead paint as a baby and suffered permanent brain damage as a result. Kristof compares “the monstrous irresponsibility of companies in the lead industry” chronicled in the book to today’s chemical industry, in which “companies like Exxon Mobil, DuPont, BASF and Dow Chemical… [churn] out endocrine-disruptor chemicals that mimic the body’s hormones.” Read the full op-ed now.

Notes from the Third General Assembly: A Look Back at Occupy’s Origins

Thank You, Anarchy To mark the 2nd anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, we’re revisiting the origins of the General Assembly with this excerpt from Nathan Schneider’s Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse. The book is an up-close, inside account of OWS’s first year in New York City, written by one of the first reporters to cover the phenomenon. Schneider chronicles the origins and explosive development of the Occupy movement through the eyes of the organizers who tried to give shape to an uprising always just beyond their control. Read an excerpt below, then head over to the book’s webpage to read all of Chapter One.


Some Great Cause

#A99 #Bloombergville #Jan25 #solidarityWI #nycga #OCCUPYWALLSTREET #October2011 #OpESR #OpWallStreet #S17 #SeizeDC #StopTheMach #usdor

Under the tree where the International Society for Krishna Consciousness was founded in 1966, on the south side of Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, sixty or so people are gathered in a circle around a yellow banner that reads, in blue spray paint, “GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NYC.” It is Saturday, August 13, 2011, the third of the General Assembly’s evening meetings.

“No cops or reporters,” someone decrees at the start of the meeting. Others demand a ban on photographs.

From where I’m sitting in the back, my hand inches up, and I stand and explain that I am a writer who covers resistance movements. I promise not to take pictures.

Just then, a heavyset man in a tight T-shirt, with patchy dark hair and a beard, starts snapping photos. He is Bob Arihood, a fixture of the neighborhood known for documenting it with his camera and his blog. People shout at him to stop; he shouts back something about the nature of public space. Soon, a few from the group break off to talk things through with him, and the discussion turns back to me.

The interrogation and harrowing debate that follow are less about me, really, than about them. Are they holding a public meeting or a private one? Is a journalist to be regarded as an agent of the state or a potential ally? Can they expect to maintain their anonymity?

After half an hour, at last, I witness an act of consensus: hands rise above heads, fingers wiggle. I can stay. A little later, I see that Arihood and the people who’d gone to confront him are laughing together.

Those present were mainly, but not exclusively, young, and when they spoke, they introduced themselves as students, artists, organizers, teachers. There were a lot of beards and hand-rolled cigarettes, though neither seemed obligatory. On the side of the circle nearest the tree were the facilitators-David Graeber, a noted anthropologist, and Marisa Holmes, a brown-haired, brown-eyed filmmaker in her midtwenties who had spent the summer interviewing revolutionaries in Egypt. Elders, such as a Vietnam vet from Staten Island, were listened to with particular care. It was a common rhetorical tic to address the group as “You beautiful people,” which happened to be not just encouraging but also empirically true.

Several had accents from revolutionary places-Spain, Greece, Latin America-or had been working to create ties among pro-democracy movements in other countries. Vlad Teichberg, leaning against the Hare Krishna Tree and pecking at the keys of a pink laptop, was one of the architects of the Internet video channel Global Revolution. With his Spanish wife, Nikky Schiller, he had been in Madrid during the May 15 movement’s occupation at Puerta del Sol. Alexa O’Brien, a slender woman with blond hair and black-rimmed glasses, covered the Arab Spring for the website WikiLeaks Central and had been collaborating with organizers of the subsequent uprisings in Europe; now, she was trying to foment a movement called US Day of Rage, named after the big days of protest in the Middle East.

That meeting would last five hours, followed by working groups convening in huddles and in nearby bars. I’d never heard young people talking politics quite like this, with so much seriousness, and revelry, and determination. But their unease was also visible when a police car passed, and conversation slowed; a member of the Tactics Committee had pointed out that, since any group of twenty or more in a New York City park needs a permit, we were already breaking the law. […]

Want to read more? We’re holding a book giveaway for Thank You, Anarchy over at Goodreads. Enter now to win one of 5 copies!