Daily Digest – December 2: Pushing Back on Low Wage Norms

By Rachel Goldfarb |

Click here to receive the Daily Digest via email.

Will Low-Wage Jobs be the Norm? (Melissa Harris Perry)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Dorian Warren discusses low-wage work following Black Friday protests at Walmart and other retailers. As low-wage work grows, he says American social mobility has fallen to its lowest point in decades.

The Spyware That Enables Mobile-Phone Snooping (Bloomberg View)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Susan Crawford explains how mobile phone companies’ refusal to upgrade infrastructure leaves openings for private espionage. But since law enforcement uses these same weaknesses in the network, no one is rushing to solve this problem.

Colleges are Teaching Economics Backwards (WaPo)

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal argues that the perfect models of microeconomics give students in introductory economics courses the impression that markets should work. Why not start with the macroeconomic problems that affect them?

We’re Not Broke — We’ve Been Robbed (Other Words)

Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch points out just how important it is to remember that the government is not a household, and in fact should spend beyond its means during recessions. More budget cuts will just make our children’s futures worse.

Forget “Double Down.” Here’s the Real Story of the 2012 Election (Salon)

Elias Isquith suggests that the data-driven analysis the 2012 election presented in a recent Roosevelt Institute working paper provides the most exciting take on the story. The surveillance state’s support of the Obama campaign is the real surprise.

  • Roosevelt Take: Read “Party Competition and Industrial Structure in the 2012 Elections” by Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Thomas Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen, and Jie Chen here.

Activists Are Arrested Protesting Walmart’s Low Wages (The Nation)

Alison Kilkenny reports on Black Friday protests at Walmart, where workers and activists called for higher wages. For some, there was real risk in this protest: according to a charge from the National Labor Relations Board, Walmart has threatened and punished striking workers before.

A New Day, A New Danger: Temporary Workers Face Safety Hazards at Work (In These Times)

Michelle Chen writes about the particular challenges faced by temporary workers who may not even know what work they will do on a given day, let alone what safety precautions they should take. Meanwhile, no one seems to be accountable for their safety.

New on Next New Deal

Two Simple Reasons to Not Fight Bubbles With Higher Interest Rates

Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal argues against raising interest rates to fight financial instability. Using one instrument for two targets is a bad idea, and it isn’t clear that higher interest rates would actually work against instability.