Category Archives: Economics

NFL Halts Anthem Policy

By Free Radical

Tennessee Titans player Jurrell CAsey intends to continue his protests despite the threat of fines.

Tennessee Titans player Jurrell Casey intends to continue his protests despite the threat of fines.

In a joint statement released Thursday, the NFL and the NFL Players Association announced that the league will delay implementation of its controversial policy. The policy would require players to not protest on the field during the US national anthem or remain in the clubhouse until it concluded. Teams who had players that violated the policy would be subject to penalties. However, the teams could also impose their own sanctions on recalcitrant players.

In their about face on Thursday, the NFL said that owners and the union “have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.”

The announcement came after news leaked earlier in the week that the Miami Dolphins submitted an anthem policy to the NFL that included a four game suspension. The blowback was immediate, causing the league joint agreement and even a capitulation from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. In an official statement, Ross offered that the policy was a set of rules that he and other owners were required to submit to the league prior to the start of training camp. A final decision however had not been made.

News of the NFL’s new position on the policy attracted the attention of President Donald J. Trump who has been the subject of intense scrutiny over his groveling to Russian leader Vladimir Putin and revelations that he paid money to cover up an extramarital affair. Trump insisted that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell must “make a stand. First time knelling, out for a game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”

Unbowed, Tennessee Titan defensive lineman, said he would continue to protest regardless of the penalties. “I’m going to protest during the flag. That’s what I’m going to say now,” Casey said while at an NFL promotion event in London last week. “I’m going to take a fine this year, why not?”

Any attempts at the NFL to muzzle protest will likely result in more resistance from players, many of whom still seek criminal justice reform.  There is also still unrest in the league resulting from the blackballing of Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid who remain unsigned after their protests. Many believe that owners have refused to sign both players as retribution. Both Kaepernick and Reid have sued the league for collusion.

Minimum Wage Not Enough for Housing Anywhere in US

By Free Radical

Even raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as many in this country have pushed to do, will still make housing unaffordable for most Americans.

Even raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as many in this country have pushed to do, will still make housing unaffordable for most Americans.

There is no state in the country where a minimum wage income will pay for a modest two bedroom apartment. This is according to a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Even the national “Fight for 15” which advocates that the minimum wage be raised to $15 per hour across the US would not cover the costs of most apartments.

Arkansas has the cheapest housing in the country where someone would have to make $13.84 for a two bedroom apartment. However, the state’s minimum wage is only $8.50 per hour. In Hawaii, where housing is most expensive, a resident would have to make at least $36.13. Yet the state’s minimum wage is only $10.10 per hour.

The commonly held standard is that individuals should not spend more than 30% of their total income on housing. Of course, people actually spend more than this quite frequently. Consequently, they have to cut costs elsewhere in other critical areas such as health care, child care, and nutrition.

Whereas construction has somewhat rebounded since the Great Recession’s housing crisis, newer living quarters have been dominated by high-end developments. Poorer Americans have largely been priced out of these residential areas.

Radical critics have argued that this is the logical consequence of a housing market driven by capitalism where profit rather than human need is the deciding factor of the industry’s trajectory.

White Nationalist Pleads Guilty in Attack of Black Man at Charlottesville Rally

By Malcolm Speaks

The Charlottesville, VA race riot resulted in one death in 2017.

The Charlottesville, VA race riot resulted in one death in 2017.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018, a third white nationalist has been found guilty in the brutal garage beating of a Black man at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA.

Daniel Borden of Ohio entered an Alford guilty plea on Monday to a charge of malicious wounding in the attack of twenty year-old DeAndre Harris in the Market Street Parking Garage near the University of Virginia-Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, as reported by news outlets. By entering the Alford plea, Borden admits that the evidence against him would likely yield a guilty ruling beyond a reasonable doubt, but asserts his innocence in the matter.

As a result of this attack, Harris suffered from a concussion, abrasions and a gash on his head that required staples.

Borden is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

Other white nationalists Alex Michael Ramos and Jacob Goodwin were also found guilty of malicious wounding in the attack. Both face up to 20 years in prison and are scheduled to be sentenced in August. Three other white men also have pending trials for the assault on DeAndre Harris.

Deandre Harris was previously charged in his own beating after a white nationalist told a magistrate that Harris struck him with a flashlight in a separate incident at the rally. However, those charges were later dropped.

Nearly Half of All Americans Can’t Make Ends Meet

By Free Radical

A new study shows that 43% of Americans cannot make basic ends meet.

A new study shows that 43% of Americans cannot make basic ends meet.

Almost half of all families in America are not able to pay for basic necessities, according to a new study by the United Way Alice Project.

Nearly 43% of households cannot afford housing, food, child care, health care, transportation, and a cell phone. Though 16.1 million homes belonging to this group are impoverished, the vast majority, 34.7 million, are employed yet are considered “asset strained.”

The report was done at the county level to determine what an average household would need to make in each locale. The report’s authors say that they took this approach because they believe the federal poverty rate of $25,100 does not accurately portray the true costs incurred by most American households.

The United Way Alice Project hopes that their configurations are used more regularly than the federal poverty rate when policymakers consider which programs to help the poor. The report’s authors assert that far too many  initiatives are not ambitious enough and often neglect families that are not technically impoverished, yet are in dire financial straits.