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First Published: September 24: 2015
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California: Prop 22 Strips Gig Workers of Minimum Wage: Time For the Workers of the World to Rise For a Second May Day For a Living Wage For All Workers of the World

Time For the World's Workers to Fight For the Building-Block Foundational Human Rights

A: Absolute Right to Live in Clean, Healthy, Safe and Natural Environment
B: Absolute Right to Breathe Natural, Fresh, Clean and Safe Air
C: Absolute Right to Necessary Nutritional Balanced Food and Drink
D: Absolute Right to Free Medical Care at the Point of Need
E: Absolute Right to an Absolute Home
F: Absolute Right to Free Degree-Level Education and Life Long Learning
G: Absolute Right to Guaranteed Social Care
H: Absolute Right to a Universal Income
I: Absolute Right to a Job
J: Absolute Right to Dignified Civic and Human Funeral Paid Through by Universal Income

This is part of Munayem Mayenin's Works on Humanics and Humanical Society: Humanics: The Foundation: Published: The Second Volume of This Work, Humanics: The Humanicsonomics: Pseudonomics and Its Laws and Lawlessness, Soon to Be Published: No State, Government, Public Bodies of Any and All Kinds and Types Nor Any Person, Persons or Agency Can Pursue a Course Nor Can They Justify Any of It, That Leaves the Vast Majority of Humanity Suffering and Perishing Away in Miserable Agony of a Live-In-Life-Sentence in This Horrendous State of a Waste of Human Existence Across the Earth Because They Do Not Have These Building-Block Foundational Human Rights, Absence of Which, Literally, Wipes Out and Away All the Existing Human Rights


|| Wednesday: November 11: 2020 || ά. The passage of Proposition 22 in California is a blow to the rights of gig workers, effectively, stripping them of the state’s minimum wage guarantee, paid sick leave and other protections, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said in a joint statement. Proposition 22, a ballot initiative, that was approved by a majority of voters in California in the US general election on November 03, 2020, permits companies to continue treating app-based ride-share and delivery drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, who are entitled to critical wage and labour protections under state law.

Five large gig companies spent over US$200 million to pass Proposition 22, the largest amount ever spent on a ballot initiative campaign in California. “Prop 22 threatens to create a permanent underclass of workers in California, forced to endure poverty wages and substandard working conditions with little recourse.” said Mr Amos Toh, senior Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights Researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The fight now is to stop this dangerous effort to normalise worker exploitation from spreading across the United States and around the world.”

Human Rights Watch has documented the impact of the lack of minimum wage and labour rights protections on app-based workers in the online grocery industry, which has caused severe financial hardship for some workers. Human Rights Watch had, also, urged Californians to vote No on Prop 22. “App-based companies have used their financial power and leverage to influence and shape regulations without regard for their responsibility to respect human rights.” said Ms Lena Simet, senior Poverty and Inequality Researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, business enterprises have a responsibility to ‘avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through their own activities’. Gig companies should bring their wage and labour policies and practices in line with international human rights and labour standards, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said. The governments of California and the United States should, also, protect the rights of gig workers through legislative and regulatory action, that would ensure a living wage, paid sick and family leave and workers’ compensation for illness and injury.

“Prop 22 is a huge blow for the rights of app-based workers in California but, must, spur greater efforts to protect labour rights in the gig economy in the US and globally.” said Mr Joe Westby, Researcher and Adviser on Technology and Human Rights at Amnesty International. “App-based companies must ensure that their business model does not rely on undercutting the labour rights of their workforce.”

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US COVID-19 Cases Reported to the CDC in the Last Seven Days: The American Botched Approach and Response to the Pandemic by the Trump Administration May Become the Determining Factor As to Who Wins the Presidential Election: Total Cases 8,387,047: Cases Last Week 428,795 With 74,380 New Cases and 222,447 Deaths Including 1009 New Deaths: Hospitalisations Up 40% in the Last Month: More Than Half a Million More Lives Will Be Lost by February 2020 by This Pandemic: New Study


|| Friday: October 23: 2020 || ά. || Oh Captain My Captain what do I do for the ship is a-fire|| Oh worry not about it for it’s going to just go || For everything’s burning and my life a-peril || Oh worry not about it for it’s going to just go and do know || That the fire service of Martian Gogoland is coming with the fireccine || Well, this is pretty much what the Trump Administration has been telling the American people. Despite the surging tides of the virus spreading and making more people ill and taking more and more lives and, thus far, it has taken 222,447 lives and, if, the latest Study is to be taken into account, by the end of February 2021 the pandemic will cause the loss of more than half a million human lives in America. Add to that, the latest situation is this that in the last month hospitalisations of the COVID-19 infected and ills have gone up 40% and it shows no sign of getting weaker. Against these undeniable evidence and reality the Trump Administration keeps on spreading lies that the virus is going to just disappear and that that mythical vaccine is on its way!

US COVID-19 cases reported to the CDC in the last seven days: The American botched approach and response to the pandemic by the Trump Administration may become the determining factor as to who wins the Presidential Election: Total cases 8,387,047: Cases last week 428,795 with 74,380 New cases and 222,447 Deaths, including, 1009 New Deaths: Hospitalisations up 40% in the last month: More than half a million more lives will be lost by February 2020 by this pandemic: New Study. The last debate of the Presidential Election is over and the supporters of both sides claiming victory and the candidates are back on the campaign trail. Americans are left in the mercy of dangerous leadership, that is no leadership but absolute absence of any iota of it, which makes it both dangerous and unacceptable by any standard of valuing human lives.

The Election is only about eight days away. There are much going on in America and in these electioneering and campaigns but, it is becoming clear by the hour that the most defining and determining issue and factor of this election is this desperate situation in which the Trump Administration has misled America and American people and now they are left to the mercy of the virus and they keep telling the country and the people: do not worry, it is going to go away! America and the Americans must vote for themselves in this election: for leadership and for sanity to come back to their land and their lives and that the country and its leadership learns to respect the sanctity, dignity and value of human lives.

According to The New York Times the hospitalisations of COVID-19 infected patients have gone up by 40% in a month. 

According to The Guardian, a Study conducted by academics of the University of Washington found that by end of February 2021 the pandemic will cause more than half a million American deaths.


Cases in Last 7 Days















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 Further details and other factors, such as, rate and number of cases and deaths etc can be found at the CDC website.

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United States of America: Young Workers Are Hit Hard by the COVID-19 Economy: Are the Policy-Makers Willing to Think About Their Plights


|| Thursday: October 22: 2020 || ά. Across the United States, millions of workers of all ages suffered job losses in the coronavirus-driven recession but, the economic impact on young workers has been even more intense. Not only have many young people in this country faced the harsh reality of returning to school without in-person classes at their colleges and high schools, the job prospects for those, seeking employment, have been, particularly, bleak. Historically, young people are disproportionately disadvantaged in many ways during economic downturns but, this recession has been, particularly, acute, given the sectors of the economy, that were hit the hardest.

Furthermore, many have been all but blocked from receiving jobless benefits, even, with meaningful expansions to the unemployment insurance system. This Paper investigates several important questions, regarding young workers, defined as workers ages 16 to 24 years old. Our main findings of the experience of these workers in the labour market are summariseed below. Young workers’ already-high unemployment rates have jumped much higher. The overall unemployment rate for young workers ages 16–24 jumped from 08.4% to 24.4% from spring 2019 to spring 2020, while unemployment for their counterparts ages 25 and older rose from 02.8% to 11.3%.

Spring 2020 unemployment rates were, even, higher for young Black, Hispanic, and Asian American:Pacific Islander:AAPI workers: 29.6%, 27.5% and 29.7%, respectively. Young workers are more likely to be in jobs impacted by COVID-19. Younger workers have had disproportionate job loss, in part, because of their concentration in the industries and occupations, that were hardest hit. About a quarter of young workers are employed in leisure and hospitality, where employment declined by 41% between February and May 2020.

The economic effects of the COVID-19 economy on young workers may persist for years. Absent a much more effective policy response than was undertaken following the Great Recession, today’s young workers may experience serious and long-term labour market repercussions. Young workers have been excluded from certain COVID-19 assistance. The CARES Act provided a vital safety net for many young workers but, others were left out. For example, those, who were seeking but had not yet secured employment were not able to take advantage of the unemployment insurance expansions.

Among workers across the age distribution, young workers have had the largest job losses since February 2020. As a group, they are the most likely to be unemployed or underemployed, least likely to be able to work from home, and more likely to work in industries and occupations with the largest job losses in the COVID-19 labour market. While young workers are historically disadvantaged in weak economies, they have been even more negatively affected by the current recession.

Young workers, ages 16–24, historically, have higher unemployment and underemployment rates compared with their peers ages 25 and older and these rates have spiked, even, higher during the pandemic. Since February 2020, the labour market has deteriorated, as evidenced by massive numbers of unemployment insurance claims and huge net job losses. Even, after job gains in May, June, July, and August, the US economy is still facing a jobs deficit of over 12 million jobs, given recent historical growth and payroll employment is 07% below its February level, Gould 2020.

Although, the economy was still floundering in September 2020, as millions more workers filed unemployment insurance claims and employment growth slowed, our analysis looks at trends between spring 2019 and spring 2020 to get a sense of the devastation experienced at the initial and deepest part of the recession thus far. In this section, we compare average unemployment and underemployment rates for April, May and June combined to allow for sufficient sample sizes among demographic groups. It is, also, important to note that the data we use are not seasonally adjusted, which is why we compare this spring with the same months in 2019 to avoid inconsistencies, based on seasonal fluctuations.

 Furthermore, evidence of non-response may bias our results for this spring toward better reported outcomes than actually occurred, as lower-income and Black workers were less likely to respond to the survey as the pandemic took hold, Rothbaum and Bee 2020. By any measure, the data show that younger workers, historically, have worse labour market outcomes and have experienced disproportionately more job losses in this recession than workers ages 25 and older.

At the height of the coronavirus recession, we see a spike in unemployment for both younger and older workers. About one-fourth of young workers were unemployed, 24.4%, compared with just over one-tenth of older workers, 11.3%. We, also, see spikes for both young men and young women; roughly, one-fourth of each group were unemployed this spring. Although, the unemployment rate for young white workers, also, spiked, young Black, Hispanic and AAPI workers experienced much higher unemployment rates than their white peers: In spring 2020, nearly 30% of young Black and Asian American:Pacific Islander workers were unemployed, 29.6% and 29.7%, respectively.

In the depths of this recession, underemployment for younger workers rose more than for older workers. More than one-third of younger workers were underemployed compared with less than one-fifth of older workers. The underemployment rate does not vary significantly by gender: 34.0% of young men and 36.1% of young women were underemployed. Young white workers have an underemployment rate of 30.5%, which is significantly higher than the rate for older white workers, 15.9%. Young Black, Hispanic and AAPI workers, also, saw big spikes in their underemployment rates. Roughly, two in five young Black, Hispanic and AAPI workers were underemployed this spring. This is bad news, particularly, considering that these groups are already among the most vulnerable workers in the economy. Given historical discrimination, lower incomes, higher poverty and lower wealth, Black and Hispanic workers are, often, the least able to weather job losses, Gould and Wilson 2020; Gould, Perez, and Wilson 2020.

Young workers are among the most vulnerable in this economy. They tend to have high unemployment and underemployment rates compared with older workers; they tend to work in the industries and occupations, that have had the largest job losses due to the COVID-19 shutdown and they are least likely to be able to work from home.

During recessions, young workers experience more sustained and worse labour market outcomes than their older counterparts. This coronavirus-led recession may continue for months, if, not years. Given what we know about the long-lasting effects of recessions on young workers, young workers will likely suffer negative consequences for years to come.

While young workers have a tougher time in weak labour markets, they, also, have the potential to see enormous benefits when the overall unemployment rate is very low and remains that way for a sustained period of time. In a recent statement, Federal Reserve Chair Mr Jerome Powell acknowledged the importance of sustained low unemployment and noted that the full-employment economy of the late 1990s, which led to more broad-based improvements in labour market outcomes, did not lead to spiralling inflation, Powell 2020. When we get back to low unemployment, he argues, it is vital that we allow the labour market to fully develop to benefit those too often left behind.

The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy tools are not the only way policy-makers can improve the labour market outcomes for young workers today. Actions by lawmakers are, also, critical. While the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also, known as the CARES Act, were vital for millions of workers and their families across the country, it, unfortunately, left many young workers wanting. Because many young college students are dependents of their parents for tax purposes, they were not eligible for the one-time $1,200 stimulus checks. Their parents did not receive the $500 check for dependents because that age cut off is 17. Furthermore, the CARES Act made several very important, though, temporary, improvements to the unemployment insurance programme, including, the $600 enhanced benefit, as well as, expanded eligibility. Unfortunately, many young workers, who had yet to secure any employment were ineligible for these benefits. Expanding the unemployment insurance programme to include a job-seekers allowance would provide important support for young workers, who have yet to launch their careers, Georgetown Centre on Poverty and Inequality et al. 2020.

The CARES Act, also, established the Paycheck Protection Programme:PPP, which offered loans to small businesses to use for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities, loans, that are forgivable on the condition that the businesses retain or rehire employees at their pre-pandemic levels of pay, SBA 2020. Given the enormous pressures, faced by sectors, that disproportionately employ young workers, restaurants, other leisure and hospitality and retail, in particular, a well-functioning payroll protection programme, that ensured workers were paid even as business revenues cratered would have been invaluable. Unfortunately, the PPP, as well-intentioned as it might have been, largely failed, for several reasons, Bivens 2020. The most important failure was the initial appropriation being capped at a too-low level, which made the PPP a zero-sum rush to apply for many businesses, with the advantage going to those with stronger pre-existing relationships with banks. While a second round of funding was approved in late April 2020 to cover unmet demand, if, the programme had initially been uncapped and everyone, who qualified, had been guaranteed to get the loans, there may have been less harm in terms of businesses having to wait longer to get an application processed.

Congress has, also, failed to make sufficient investments in state and local governments in their coronavirus response so far, while declining state and local revenues, compounded by increased demand on resources, are inhibiting recovery. Most relevant, perhaps, to young workers is that without substantial federal aid to state and local governments, it is a near certainty that public university tuition will rise significantly in coming years, just as it did when there was state fiscal austerity following the Great Recession. The majority of young workers, who do not have and, may never obtain, a college degree, face an even tougher labour market than their college-degreed counterparts, while those pursuing additional education can find rising tuition and mounting debt insurmountable.

Strengthening and enforcing labour standards would, also, have an outsized advantage for young workers in the economy, particularly, in weaker labour markets when their leverage is acutely diminished. Policy-makers have allowed the federal minimum wage to erode in value over the last 50 years. While increasing the minimum wage would aid workers across the age spectrum, young workers, who are the most likely to be earning very low wages, would see meaningful wage growth, Zipperer and Schmitt 2020. Policy-makers can, also, make it easier for young workers to form unions and can make it more difficult for employers to impede workers’ attempt to organise. Expansive collective bargaining rights benefits workers of all ages, including, setting standards in non-union workplaces, Shierholz 2019. By enforcing and enhancing these labour standards, policy-makers can improve the labour market for young workers while providing a boost to the economy as well. This is all the more important in today’s faltering economy.|| 

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Examining the Risks of New Oil and Gas Production in Canada


|| Thursday: July 02: 2020 || ά. Further investments in oil and gas infrastructure and, particularly, in new oil sands projects, new shale and tight oil fields and new LNG projects, are, increasingly, risky, given the market trends and fundamentals. This Paper, published by the Stockholm Environment Instittute:SEI examines the risks of future Canadian oil and gas development, using an analysis, based on the fundamentals of supply and demand in oil and gas markets.

The Paper, also, considers how this development squares with Canada’s climate commitments and a growing momentum towards a transition away from fossil fuels. It comes amid the COVID-19 outbreak and aims to inform energy planning and economic recovery, especially, in Canada. The authors find that it could be a mistake to hitch Canada’s recovery and future economic prospects too tightly to fossil fuel production, even, in the western provinces where oil and gas remain top of mind.

Canada’s oil and gas industry is, particularly, vulnerable to drops in global oil demand and price, a trend, that, may, persist well into the future and the country’s oil and gas producers, may, face increasing challenges in competing with other, lower-cost producers.

This Paper, also, considers what these market outlooks mean for Canada’s long-term, net zero greenhouse gas emissions targets, which will require the country to untangle itself from dependence on oil and gas production.

Even, in times of economic stability, the workings of oil and gas markets can seem opaque. It can be difficult to understand how a barrel of oil can sell for $100 one year and just $50 the next, as happened in the middle of the last decade. Now, a global pandemic has added to that uncertainty, with oil prices hitting all-time lows of below $20 per barrel. But, even, in the throes of the current economic crisis, policy-makers focused on the long-term health of people and the economy can look to the fundamentals of supply and demand in oil and gas markets to help guide recovery efforts.

After all, those fundamentals will drive the role of oil and gas in our societies for decades to come. In this Paper, we examine the risks of future Canadian oil and gas development, using an analysis based on these fundamentals. We, also, consider how this development squares with Canada’s climate commitments and a growing momentum towards a transition away from fossil fuels. We write as the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada is, hopefully, beginning its long, slow retreat. Our aim is to inform energy planning and economic recovery, especially, in Canada.

Many of the same observations will, also, apply in the United States and across Latin America, Africa and Europe, where extraction costs are higher than those for the lowest-cost producers in the Middle East. In recent weeks, both the Canadian national government and the provincial government in the oil patch of Alberta have announced economic support measures for oil and gas industry and workers. Indeed, people across the country, including, workers in the oil and gas industry, need extraordinary support to make it through this COVID-induced economic crisis.

But as this Paper shows, it could be a mistake to hitch Canada’s recovery and future economic prospects too tightly to fossil fuel production, even, in the western provinces where oil and gas remain top of mind. Oil and gas is a volatile industry, with a long history of boom and bust cycles. Furthermore, around the world, other, lower-cost producers, may well be able to out-compete some Canadian sources of these fuels. This makes further investments in oil and gas infrastructure and expansion risky for Canadian communities, that, might, otherwise, count on those revenues and those jobs.

Furthermore, right before the pandemic, Canada was in the middle of a discussion about its climate action plan. Government planners in climate and energy were preparing details on how to meet the goal of net zero emissions country-wide by 2050, which is the global emissions target consistent with meeting the 01.5°C temperature limit, that Canada helped secure at COP21 in Paris in 2015. While those climate goals are not centre stage for many in mid-2020, they are no less pressing. When the debate about how to meet the net zero emissions goal returns in earnest, Canada will have to further reckon with how to move away from fossil fuels.

As several observers have noted, meeting ambitious decarbonisation targets could require Canada to untangle itself from oil and gas and reduce its production, especially, from the oil sands: Harvey and Miao 2018; Hughes 2018; OECD 2017; Palen et al. 2014; Sherlock 2019. This Paper discusses the oil market, then the gas market and closes with a discussion of what these market outlooks suggest for policy-makers in Canada, especially, those leaders in the administration of Prime Minister Mr Justin Trudeau, who are concerned both with ensuring a resilient economic recovery and minimising the risk of runaway climate change.

In April 2020, the oil market experienced a historic collapse. In some places, oil traders were actually paying to unload their oil, since there were few places left to store it. This example, though extreme, is in line with economic theory. When demand for oil or any commodity product drops rapidly, suppliers aggressively compete to find buyers. They cut prices and cut them again, until they can move their product. And, if, oil traders find themselves with oil on their hands and nowhere to put it, they, may, even, in this rare circumstance, have to pay someone to take it.  The extremely low prices, seen in recent weeks, will resolve over time, as oil producers around the world will take the obvious and necessary step to shut down some oil wells, ceasing production in places where prices cannot cover costs.

This process, along with the natural declining production from existing wells, will, eventually, help demand and supply reach equilibrium. Where will this reshuffling leave Canada’s oil industry? To explore this question, we look at how oil consumption and prices will settle when economies emerge from the effects of the COVID crisis and demand and supply reunite. That landing place for price and quantity will be determined not just by the pace of economic recovery but, also, by trends in technology and behaviour, many of which were already underway pre-COVID.

The future of oil will, also, be affected by policies governments put in place to follow through on their announced intentions to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as, in the Paris Agreement. Oil demand can be described in a similar way, with the relationship to price reversed. For consumers, the lower the price of oil, the higher the demand, as people can afford to drive or fly more and have less incentive to purchase efficient or alternative, e.g, electric vehicles.

Any producer in the chart shown to the left of 105 million barrels of oil per day, including, most already-producing projects in Canada, should be able to compete, based on their cost of production being lower than about $85 per barrel. Indeed, according to fossil fuel companies and oil industry analysts, most existing Canadian oil resources have break-even costs below this price, meaning that they can cover their on-going operations and maintenance costs, if not necessarily pay back investors for the prior, ‘sunk’ capital costs.

Unlike oil production, fossil gas production, often, called natural gas, in Canada has declined modestly, by a few percent, in recent years, from prior highs in 2006. However, the country has plans to expand production, chiefly, from the shale formations, such as, the Montney shale, of Alberta and British Columbia. New wells in these fields have been expected not only to offset recent declines but, by 2030, to eclipse 2006 levels: Canada Energy Regulator 2019.

Regardless of the financial risks of oil, expanding supply is a loss when it comes to the global climate. As described in this Paper, adding more supply decreases the long-term price of oil, thereby, increasing consumption and by inference, carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, under baseline oil market outlooks, research suggests that oil consumption and price levels could be as sensitive to changes in supply as they are to changes in demand: Caldara et al. 2019. That means, the supply and the demand curves would be similarly steep, similar slopes, just in opposite directions. he similar steepness of oil supply and demand curves means that decreasing long-term oil supply can have, under certain circumstances, roughly as much impact on global oil consumption as reducing oil demand: Erickson et al. 2018.

Another way to look at this is that, if, supply decreased in Canada, other global producers would only be able to make up some of the lost production, at higher cost. Global consumption would, thus, decrease by up to half the amount of reduced production. The climate benefits of reducing the production of oil sands could be, even, greater than for most other types of oil, since the oil sands are more greenhouse gas emissions-intensive to extract, refine, and combust than most other oils. This means that whatever oil would, partially, substitute for any reduced Canadian production would likely be less emissions-intensive: Erickson and Lazarus 2014; Israel et al. 2020; Oil Climate Index 2016.

Read the Paper

::: This Analysis, Examining risks of new oil and gas production in Canada, is done by P Erickson and M Lazarus 2020: SEI Report: Stockholm Environment Institute: US Centre: Seattle :::

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United States of America: Utility-Scale Solar Development Remains Off-Limits on Over 99% of More Than 100 Million Federally-Owned Acres Across Solar-Rich Southwest



|| Thursday: June 18: 2020 || ά. The largest property owner in the US, the Bureau of Land Management:BLM, has acreage set aside for utility-scale solar development on only 0.03% of the roughly 100 million acres it manages across the sun-rich Southwest, finds a Report, published today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA. The Report, ‘Federal Land Agency Lags on Solar Development Approvals Across Southwest US’ urges ‘stronger direction from above’ over state and field-level BLM offices, that, may, otherwise be resistant to approving permits for utility-scale solar installations on public lands.

“The BLM for the most part remains an agency, that is behind the curve on responsible build-out of these publicly owned resources, which are ripe for development and which would bring local economic benefits while bolstering national security.” Said Mr Karl Cates, an IEEFA Analyst and Lead Author of the Report. “It is time for the BLM to reconsider its restrictive land-use policies on this front and to even the playing field in a way, that allows renewable energy development to vie on an equal footing with competing interests and to help scale up the new energy economy in communities, that are in dire need of reinvestment.”

The Bureau, which manages lands across Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado, Nevada and Utah, has designated only a small fraction of a percentage of its acreage as Solar Energy Zones:SEZs, even, though, the BLM has millions of acres in its regional portfolio well suited for solar development. The numbers clearly indicate that these lands are not being used to their potential: Of the 119 million acres the BLM manages across the six southwestern states, 100 million acres or, nearly, 84%, are completely off-limits for utility-scale solar development. 

Roughly, 286,000 acres or, less than 0.25% of the total, are approved for utility-scale development. About, 19.4 million acres or, 16% of these lands, are open to variances, that could allow utility-scale solar development. The Report notes, also, that oil and gas account for roughly 70% of all economic activity on BLM lands. 

The Bush and Obama administrations passed laws and issued directives for federal agencies to encourage development of renewable energy projects on taxpayer-owned lands. And, although, the Trump administration is known, generally, for trying to discourage renewable energy development, in January it approved the 690-megawatt:MW Gemini Solar Project, the largest solar farm in US history and one, that could serve as a template for future utility-scale project approvals.

IEEFA Study uses the proposed Shiprock Solar project in the Four Corners area of New Mexico as a case study of obstacles, faced by solar power developers on BLM lands. Shiprock would be built mainly on 1,980 acres of BLM land near the San Juan Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant in its fifth decade of service. The Report notes that the Four Corners area boasts a skilled workforce, rich solar resources and proximity to existing power industry infrastructure and that the Shiprock project is seen as an example of the possibilities for developing a post-coal economy in the region.

The coal-fired 847MW San Juan station is set to be closed in 2022 and the 1,540MW Four Corners Power Plant also is expected to be shelved soon. The Navajo Generating Station in Arizona, once the biggest coal-fired plant west of the Mississippi, closed seven months ago, and the 253MW Escalante Station in New Mexico will be closing later this year.

For Shiprock to proceed, its backers would have to obtain a variance, that is available on roughly 20 million of the bureau’s 100 million acres in the region but that would require a maze-like approval process.  “Projects like Shiprock are more than suitable for timely and prudent use of BLM lands regionally and are a model for how millions of BLM acres in the Southwest could be economically tapped for low-cost utility-scale solar power generation.” Mr  Cates said.

“Stronger direction from above may be required, if, the agency is to, more effectively, leverage its solar-rich resources and tap into the growing utility and corporate demand for this clean, low-cost domestic energy option.” the Report concludes.

About IEEFA: The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA examines issues related to energy markets, trends and policies. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.

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Black Workers Face Two of the Most Lethal Pre-existing Conditions for Corona Virus: Racism and Economic Inequality


|| Sunday: June 14: 2020 || ά. ‘We’re all in this together’ has become a rallying cry during the corona virus pandemic. While it is true that COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way, the magnitude and nature of the impact has been anything but universal. Evidence to date suggests that black and Hispanic workers face much more economic and health insecurity from COVID-19 than white workers.

Though, black and brown communities share many of the experiences, that make them more susceptible, there are, also, important differences between these communities, that need to be understood in order to effectively combat the adverse economic and health effects of the virus. This Report, by the Economic Policy Institute, America, focused, specifically, on black workers, is the first in a series, that will explore how racial and economic inequality leave workers of colour with few good options for protecting both their health and economic well-being. A forthcoming report will highlight conditions for Hispanic workers.

Although, the current strain of the corona virus is one, that humans have never experienced before, the disparate racial impact of the virus is deeply rooted in historic and on-going social and economic injustices. Persistent racial disparities in health status, access to health care, wealth, employment, wages, housing, income and poverty all contribute to greater susceptibility to the virus: both economically and physically.

There are three main groups of workers in the COVID-19 economy: those, who have lost their jobs and face economic insecurity, those, who are classified as essential workers and face health insecurity as a result and those, who are able to continue working from the safety of their homes. Unfortunately, black workers are less likely to be found in the last group. They have suffered record numbers of job losses over the last two months, March 2020-May 2020, along with the ensuing related economic devastation. They, also, are disproportionately found among the essential workers in the economy today, continuing to go to their workplaces, risking their health and that of their families because they are unable to sustain adequate social distance from their co-workers and customers.

The labour market has continued to deteriorate, as evidenced by massive numbers of unemployment insurance claims through the middle of May, Shierholz 2020. As of May 16, nearly, one in four workers have applied for unemployment insurance benefits, either in the regular programme or through the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programme, since stay-at-home orders first went into effect.

Furthermore, in the first month of job losses, for every 100 workers, who were able to file for UI, 37 additional workers tried to apply but could not get through the system to make a claim: Zipperer and Gould 2020. While many of those, who initially couldn’t get through have likely been able to in subsequent weeks, it is, also, likely that would-be applicants face on-going challenges and that the reported number of applicants understates the magnitude of the problem.

The latest national data available to assess the impact of job losses for black and white workers separately is the Current Population Survey for April 2020. The labour market started deteriorating in March but fell off a cliff in April. While the losses have certainly continued, the April data gives us a first look at how black and white workers are faring.

February provides a benchmark for the pre-pandemic economy. As will be described in greater detail later, the black unemployment rate has, even, in the tightest of labour markets, been persistently and significantly higher than the white unemployment rate. Both began rising in March and, then, skyrocketed in April. As of the latest data, the black unemployment rate is 16.7%, compared with a white unemployment rate of 14.2%.

And while these differences are notable, they mask, even, greater disparities, that are apparent when we look at unemployment rates by race and gender. White men experienced a large but, relatively smaller, rise in unemployment. Still, the white male unemployment rate is now higher than the highest point the overall unemployment rate reached in the depths of the Great Recession: 10.0%, in October 2009. White women experienced the largest increase in unemployment, while black women now have the highest unemployment rate of the four groups analysed. It should be noted that across race, gender and ethnicity, Hispanic women actually have the highest unemployment rate as of April 2020, about one in five Latina workers are unemployed.

Black workers are more likely to be in front-line jobs, that are categorised as ‘essential’, forcing them to risk their own and their families’ health to earn a living. Not only are black workers losing their jobs at an incredible pace, those, who aren’t losing their jobs are more likely to be found on the front lines of the economy in essential jobs. Rho, Brown, and Fremstad 2020 conducted an important and useful study of six sectors of the economy, that are considered essential and in which most workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 labour market. Their results show that black workers make up a disproportionate share of these essential workers, who are forced to put themselves and their family members at additional risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 in order to put food on the table.

Black workers make up about one in nine workers overall; they represent 11.9% of the workforce. However, black workers make up about one in six of all front-line-industry workers. They are disproportionately represented in employment in grocery, convenience and drug stores: 14.2%; public transit: 26.0%; trucking, warehouse and postal service: 18.2%; health care: 17.5%; and child care and social services: 19.3%. While, in the near term, this protects them from job loss, it exposes them to greater likelihood of contracting COVID-19 while performing their jobs.

African Americans have disproportionately high COVID-19 death rates and are more likely to live in areas experiencing outbreaks. Given the disproportionate representation of black workers in front-line occupations where they face greater risk of exposure to COVID-19, it is not surprising that illness and deaths are disproportionately found among black workers and their families. African Americans’ share of those, who have died from COVID-19 nationally is nearly double, 01.8 times higher than their share of the US population. The ratios are, even, higher in some states: in Wisconsin and Kansas, the rate of African American deaths is more than four times as high as their share of the population in those states: Meepagala and Romer 2020. By comparison, whites account for a smaller share of deaths than their share of the population. 

The Centres for Disease Control:CDC, also, reports weighted population distributions in an effort to reflect racial:ethnic distributions of the geographic locations where COVID outbreaks are occurring. These weighted population distributions indicate that African Americans represent a larger share of the population in areas where outbreaks are occurring than their representation in the population overall: 18.2% compared with 12.5%. Therefore, one of the reasons for disproportionately higher rates of COVID deaths among African Americans is the fact that they are more likely to live in areas, that have experienced COVID outbreaks. Even, accounting for this fact, African Americans still have higher death rates than their weighted population shares would indicate.

The devastating effects of COVID-19 on the economic and physical well-being of black Americans were entirely predictable given persistent economic and health disparities. In this section, we describe some of the underlying economic and health factors behind the unequal outcomes observed thus far. These same factors will, ultimately, prolong the effects of the pandemic on black workers and their families long after the immediate threat has passed.

Black workers and their families were economically insecure before the pandemic tore through the United States. The pandemic and related job losses have been, especially, devastating for black households because they have historically suffered from higher unemployment rates, lower wages, lower incomes and much less savings to fall back on, as well as, significantly higher poverty rates than their white counterparts. This prior insecurity has magnified the current economic damage to these workers and their families.

Let’s start with the labour market. Historically, black workers have faced unemployment rates twice as high as those of their white counterparts. When the overall unemployment rate averaged 03.7% in 2019, the white non-hispanic unemployment rate was 03.0% and the black unemployment rate was twice as high, coming in at an average of 06.1% over the year. This difference can not be explained away by differences in educational attainment. At every level of education, the black unemployment rate is significantly higher than the white unemployment rate, even, for those workers with college or advanced degrees.

Among the employed, black workers face significant pay penalties. No matter how you cut the data, black workers face significant pay gaps in the labour market and research has shown that these pay gaps have grown since 2000 and in the decades before: Gould 2020a; Wilson and Rodgers 2016. On average, black workers are paid 73 cents on the white dollar. We know from a host of economic research that a person’s wages are not a simple function of individual ability. Instead, workers’ ability to claim higher wages rests on a host of social, political, and institutional factors outside their control: Manning 2003; Card, Devicienti, and Maida 2011. Because of historic and current privilege in the labour market: National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders 2016, white men enjoy exceptionally high wages. Therefore, the gap between white men and black men is, particularly, stark. Black men are paid only 71 cents on the white male dollar. Black women, who face both gender and race discrimination, are paid, even, less: 64 cents on the white male dollar.

Black–white wage gaps persist across the wage distribution, as well as, at different levels of education in the pre-pandemic economy. The black–white wage gap is smallest at the bottom of the wage distribution, where a wage floor, otherwise known as, the minimum wage, keeps the lowest-wage black workers from being paid, even, lower wages. The largest black–white wage gaps are found at the top of the wage distribution and are explained in part by occupational segregation, the under-representation of black workers in the highest-wage professions and over-representation in lower-wage professions and the pulling away of the top more generally.

Similarly, across various levels of education, a significant black–white wage gap remains. Black workers can’t simply educate their way out of the gap. Even, black workers with an advanced degree experience a significant wage gap compared with their white counterparts.

Not only is black worker pay significantly less than that of their white counterparts but,  their benefits are as well. Along with health insurance, discussed in more detail below, two benefits are acutely important at this particular time: paid sick days and the ability to work from home. These two work place benefits help shield workers from economic losses by allowing them to take paid time off to care for themselves or family members and allowing them to stay out of harm’s way and still earn a pay check by working from home. Black workers are less likely than white workers to enjoy these benefits.

The Family First Corona virus Response Act was an important first step in providing vital paid sick days but, somewhere between 06.8 million and 19.6 million private-sector workers were left without paid sick days as a result of the firm-size exemptions in the law: Gould and Shierholz 2020. Obviously, those loopholes need to be closed and workers regardless of race or ethnicity, also, need a permanent fix to this basic labour standard.

Given what we know about job losses and essential workers, it’s not surprising that significantly fewer black workers can telework than white workers. Fewer than one in five black workers in the pre-pandemic economy were able to work from home. This inability to keep their jobs and stay safe makes it, even, harder for black workers to maintain economic and health security during this difficult time.

Significant gaps in both employment opportunities and wage levels translate into lower incomes and higher poverty rates in the pre-pandemic economy. In 2018, median household income for white households was 70% higher than for black households: $70,642 vs $41,692). On top of decades of preferential wealth accumulation for white families versus black families: Rothstein 2017; Darity et al. 2018, lower incomes are one of the reasons that black families haven’t been able to build up savings to weather storms, such as, the one our country finds itself in today.

At the bottom of the income distribution, the black poverty rate is two-and-a-half times the white poverty rate. One in five black people in this country live below the poverty line, that’s below about $26,000 annual income for a family of four. Job loss for those living at such low incomes is absolutely shattering.

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The US Economy Entered Recession in February: The National Bureau of Economic Research


|| Monday: June 08: 2020 || ά. The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research:NBER maintains a chronology of the peaks and troughs of US. business cycles. The Committee has determined that a peak in monthly economic activity occurred in the US economy in February 2020. The peak marks the end of the expansion that began in June 2009 and the beginning of a recession.

The expansion lasted 128 months, the longest in the history of US business cycles, dating back to 1854. The previous record was held by the business expansion, that lasted for 120 months from March 1991 to March 2001. The Committee, also, determined that a peak in quarterly economic activity occurred in 2019Q4. Note that the monthly peak, February 2020, occurred in a different quarter, 2020Q1 than the quarterly peak.

The Committee determined these peak dates in accord with its long-standing policy of identifying the months and quarters of peak activity separately, without requiring that the monthly peak lie in the same quarter as the quarterly peak. A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, normally visible in production, employment and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of economic activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.

Because a recession is a broad contraction of the economy, not confined to one sector, the Committee emphasises economy-wide indicators of economic activity. The Committee believes that domestic production and employment are the primary conceptual measures of economic activity.

In determining the date of the monthly peak, the Committee considers a number of indicators of employment and production. The Committee normally views the payroll employment measure, which is based on a large Survey of employers, as the most reliable comprehensive estimate of employment. This series reached a clear peak in February. The Committee recognised that this survey was affected by special circumstances, associated with the pandemic of early 2020.

In the Survey, individuals, who are paid but not at work are counted as employed, even, though, they are not in fact working or producing. Workers on paid furlough, who became more numerous during the pandemic, thus, resulted in an overcount of people working in recent months. Accordingly, the Committee, also, considered the employment measure from the Bureau of Labour Statistics Household Survey, which excludes individuals, who are paid but on furlough.

This series plateaued from December 2019 through February 2020 and, then, fell steeply from February to March. Because both series measure employment during the week or pay period containing the 12th of the month, they understate the collapse of employment during the second half of March, as indicated by unprecedented levels of new claims for unemployment insurance. The Committee concluded that both employment series were, thus, consistent with a business cycle peak in February.

The Committee believes that the two most reliable comprehensive estimates of aggregate production are the quarterly estimates of real Gross Domestic Product:GDP and of real Gross Domestic Income:GDI, both produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis:BEA. These measures estimate production, that occurred over an entire quarter and are not available monthly. The most comprehensive monthly measure of aggregate expenditures, which includes roughly 70 percent of real GDP, is monthly real personal consumption expenditures:PCE, published by the BEA.

This series reached a clear peak in February 2020. The most comprehensive monthly measure of aggregate real income is real personal income less transfers, from the BEA. The deduction of transfers is necessary because transfers are included in personal income but do not arise from production. This measure, also, reached a well-defined peak in February 2020.

In dating the quarterly peak, the Committee relies on real GDP and real GDI as published by the BEA and on quarterly averages of key monthly indicators. Quarterly real GDP and real GDI peaked in 2019Q4. The quarterly average of employment as measured by the payroll series rose from 2019Q4 to 2020Q1. However, the Committee concluded that the special factor noted above implies that the series should not play a significant role in determining the quarterly peak. The quarterly average as measured by the household survey reached a clear peak in 2019Q4. The Committee concluded that like GDP and GDI, the number of people working, also, reached its quarterly peak in 2019Q4.

The fact that the monthly peak of February occurred in the middle of 2020Q1 while the quarterly peak occurred in 2019Q4 reflects the unusual nature of this recession. The economy contracted so sharply in March, the final month of the quarter, that in 2020Q1, GDP, GDI and employment were significantly below their levels of 2019Q4.

The usual definition of a recession involves a decline in economic activity, that lasts more than a few months. However, in deciding whether to identify a recession, the Committee weighs the depth of the contraction, its duration and whether economic activity declined broadly across the economy, the diffusion of the downturn. The Committee recognises that the pandemic and the public health response have resulted in a downturn with different characteristics and dynamics than prior recessions.

Nonetheless, it concluded that the unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even, if, it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions. 

The Committee members, participating in the decision were Mr Robert Hall, Stanford University, Chair; Mr Robert Gordon, Northwestern University; Mr James Poterba, MIT and NBER President; Ms Valerie Ramey, University of California, San Diego; Ms Christina Romer, University of California, Berkeley; Mr David Romer, University of California, Berkeley; Mr James Stock, Harvard University and Mr Mark Watson, Princeton University.

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An Open Letter to All-American Americans: All Americans Fighting the Unfinished Independence War on All-American Streets Should Work to Create a New Political Movement and Party: All-American Progressive Democrats: To Re-Architecture a New America on Non-Racial All-American Soil




|| Friday: June 05: 2020: Munayem Mayenin || ά. On Friday, June 12, The Humanion Portable Daily will celebrate completing its first year. We will publish a Special All-America Issue on that day as ‘All-American Progressive Democrats’, that must rise from the streets of America as the new third Political Movement and Party in American all-cemented two-party ‘political-corruption-regime’ politics or the Complicity Mechanism of Republicans:Democrats to maintain the olden, outdated, racist, biased and prejudicial system of governance. Tinkering, plastic surgery or gimmicking or the illusion that the Republicans or the Democrats can or will make things better, regardless of who their leader is, nothing of the sort will do.

America, in order to reach, architecture and become a new non-racial and All-American land, country, state and people under the rule of law before which all people of America are All American and all equal. And that equality must be philosophical, political philosophical, political economical and cultural. Americans are now fighting the unfinished War of Independence to rid America of racism, fascism and all kinds of white supremacist filths and this new political movement and political party should exist and work to bring about a monumental constitutional revolution, that the world has never seen before: to re-architecture, rearrange, reshape, re-orientate the entire country: all states, local governance architecture and the entire federal governance system, with a new constitutional arrangement, new governance structures, the legislatures, the executives, the judiciaries, included in it are the law enforcements, for all states and all local governments and the federal governance.

Once these are achieved, get these states with the new constitutional arrangement re-set and let these states to, simultaneously, withdraw from the federal state and, immediately, taking hold of all the powers, duties, responsibilities and sovereignty of the federal state and government on behalf of all Americans, bringing the federal to end and organise themselves as states into a New Constitutional Convention to do three things: a: hold the powers, duties, responsibilities and sovereignty, that the federal state and government did until a new federal state comes into existence once again; b: agree a new constitution for America to replace the old Constitution because the entire governance system, mechanism and apparatus of America are racial, prejudicial and jingoistic in essence. The jingoism is arising out of the whole gun-worshiping in the American constitution and the inner-flow of the racism and racist undertones in the entire system. This new constitution, that all states as Constitutional Convention has agreed and signed up to, is, then, accepted by all these states and they, then, thus, jointly, bring into existence a new United States of America, based on the new constitution.

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Mexico: Amnesty International Requests Meeting With President López Obrador in Light of Human Rights Crisis in the Country




|| Wednesday: February 19: 2020 || ά. Amnesty International has sent an open letter to President Mexican Mr Andrés Manuel López Obrador today, requesting a meeting with him and expressing its concern over the government’s response to the grave human rights crisis, that Country is facing. “Although, the government has taken some action on human rights issues, this action is still not enough to, seriously, address the crisis, that the country has been facing for many years now.

It is worrying to hear disparaging speeches from President López Obrador about the role of human rights defenders or, to see how the National Guard is used to thwart the passage of migrants and refugees or, that, faced with a wave of homicides and femicides, the government would maintain failed strategies of militarisation of public security tasks of previous administrations.” said Ms Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“Rather than evading responsibility and attacking the individuals and organisations, working to highlight the crisis, that Mexico is facing, we urge the President to approach civil society to find solutions to this grave situation and to position human rights as a central focus for the remainder of his presidential term.”

Amnesty International has reported on human rights violations in Mexico for more than four decades. Since the inauguration of the current government, the Organisation has recorded some specific progress on human rights issues, particularly, acknowledging the efforts, that have been made in relation to disappeared persons.

“This request for a meeting with the president is in response to an invitation, that he himself extended to the Organisation, when he was running for office and we issue it with the intention of contributing to addressing the human rights crisis, facing the country.” said Ms Tania Reneaum Panszi, the Executive Director at Amnesty International Mexico.

“It is important for the president to listen to our suggestions from civil society to put a stop to the human rights crisis in the country, that, sadly, implies a high cost in terms of people’s lives and other grave human rights violations every day.”

The Agency is, increasingly, concerned about the President’s statements against civil society and human rights defenders in Mexico, the role of the National Guard in issues, related to migration and the violation of the right to asylum, the lack of results in terms of violence against women and femicides and the need to protect human rights in the public security field.

In December 2019, Amnesty International published a review of the state of human rights during the first year of President Mr López Obrador’s government in its Report, ‘When Words Are Not Enough’. To date, the government has not responded to the appeals, made by the Organization nor has it followed up on the recommendations in the Report.

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And Why Is Mr Trump Proposing Such Devastating Cuts to Critical Services For Seniors and Working Families: To Extend His Tax Handouts to the Wealthy Increasing Them From $01.9 Trillion Over 10 Years to $03.1 Trillion Over 13 Years




|| Wednesday: February 12: 2020: Heidi Shierholz Writing || ά. Mr Donald Trump, may have, run on a promise to defend Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But his latest budget breaks that promise with cuts, that hurt seniors, low-income families and people with disabilities. Mr Trump’s newly released budget would: make deep cuts to Medicaid, threatening the health security of millions; call for $135 billion in cuts to Medicare prescription drug coverage, with no guarantees these cuts would not harm beneficiaries;

Cut Social Security Disability Insurance:SSDI and Supplemental Security Income:SSI, harming people, who are unable to work due to disabilities; cut education funding through privatisation of K-12, encourage states to roll back health and safety protections for children in exchange for one-time child care funding and reduce student financial aid for college by $170 billion over ten years, harming children of all ages and young adults;

Weaken worker safety protections, including, an 11% budget cut to the Department of Labour, putting big business ahead of working people and cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program:SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families:TANF, threatening the food security of hungry children.

And why is Mr Trump proposing such devastating cuts to critical services for seniors and working families? To extend his tax handouts to the wealthy, increasing them from $01.9 trillion over 10 years to $03.1 trillion over 13 years. And greatly increasing military spending on new hypersonic and nuclear weapons.

But that’s not all! Mr Trump’s budget proposal, also, contains cuts to affordable housing, infrastructure, environmental protection and more. Instead of devastating cuts to critical programmes, we need a budget, that invests in our country’s future.

One, that improves the economic well-being of low and middle-income families by making investments, that will generate good jobs, expanding public investments in affordable college and child care and one, that protects and expands social insurance programmes and uses government purchasing power to lower health care costs.

::: Caption: Image: Campaign Against Arms Trade  :::

::: Heidi Shierholz is a Senior Economist and Director of Policy, Economic Policy Institute Policy Centre :::

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Workers’ Rights in America: Why Is the Trump Administration Trying Its Hardest to Erode Away Workers’ Rights




|| Tuesday: February 04: 2020: Heidi Shierholz Writing || ά. Labour rights in the United States are under attack. At every turn, the Trump administration is attempting to undermine unions and weaken collective bargaining rights. Attacks are coming from the states, as well, often, in the form of ‘right to work’ laws.

This month, EPI published updated statistics, detailing that the share of workers in unions throughout the United States is now less than half of where it was 40 years ago. This is bad news for our labour rights and this is bad news for the middle class of the United States. The share of workers in the US, who are represented by a union, slid to 11.6% in 2019 and o7.1% in the private sector. That represents a decline from the prior year and continues a long-term trend: unions are under attack and policymakers have failed to step in to level the playing field. This has led to a steep decline in union coverage in the United States.

In the late 1970s, more than one in four people were represented by a union. That level has now slid dramatically to less than one in eight workers. That is a stunning erosion and has played a major role in the financial uncertainty of America’s middle class. As union coverage declines, so do the prospects of working families throughout our country. Working people are now losing around $200 billion annually as a result of the decline in unions over the last 40 years with that money being redistributed upward, to the people, who, already, have the most.

The rapid erosion of union representation is not because workers don’t want unions anymore. Far from it. In fact, a higher share of non-union workers today say that they would vote for a union in their workplace than was the case 40 years ago. Fierce corporate opposition to union organising is a primary contributor to the rapid decline of unions in the United States.

Although, the National Labour Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to intimidate, coerce or fire workers in retaliation for participating in union-organising campaigns, the penalties are grossly insufficient to provide a meaningful disincentive for such behaviour. In more than two in five union elections, employers are charged with illegal behaviour and in, at least, one in five union elections, employers are charged with illegally firing workers, who are involved in organising.

As union membership falls so do the economic prospects of the middle class. The time is now for Congress to stand up for working people throughout the United States and one of the best ways to do that is by strengthening labour unions. The Trump administration has been working overtime to undermine labour protections and union rights, that have taken a century to build.

Policymakers have introduced legislation, the Protecting the Right to Organise:PRO Act and the Public Sector Freedom to Negotiate Act, which would modernise and reform current labour law. A vote on the PRO Act in the House of Representatives is expected soon, possibly, as early as next week. These bills would help restore union coverage and the right to representation on the job and Congress should pass them immediately.

The EPI Policy Centre is here to fight for the rights of working people throughout the United States. Together, we can enact meaningful legislation to protect working families.

::: Heidi Shierholz is a Senior Economist and Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute’s Policy Centre :::

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Housing Segregation in America: What a Strange Land Is This Land of the Free Where Everything Seems to Stay Stuck in the Rudimentary Prejudice of Colour: Where Is the Colour in the Ideas of Liberty Or Equality Or Humanity


|| Sunday: February 02: 2020: Richard Rothstein Writing || ά. Housing segregation underlies many of our country’s most serious problems: disparities in education and wealth between black and white families and the persistent health issues and high incarceration levels within African American communities. This is no small matter.  

Recently, I described in the New York Times how the Trump administration is set to erode the limited progress we have made toward unwinding government housing policies, that segregated neighbourhoods throughout our nation. The administration now proposes housing rules, that will make it much more difficult to challenge many policies, that reinforce residential racial segregation.  

The social and economic problems, that are a direct result of housing segregation are stubborn and damaging. Educators have not been able to make significant progress in their efforts to close the racial gap in academic achievement in large part because we enrol the most socially and economically disadvantaged children in poorly resourced schools, located in poorly resourced neighbourhoods.

Racial health disparities stem, in part, from so many African American families, consigned to areas where they have less access to healthy air and healthy foods. Black men’s unjustifiable rates of incarceration, partly result from their concentration in segregated neighbourhoods, that lack viable employment opportunities or decent public transportation to access good jobs. Segregation, also, has a direct political impact: further polarisation in our country.  

How can we ever develop the common national identity, essential to the preservation of our democracy, if, so many black and white families live so far from one another that we have no ability to understand and empathise with each other’s life experiences?

In The Colour of Law, I described how 20th century federal, state and local policies, explicitly racial, created, reinforced and sustained racial boundaries in every metropolitan area in the United States. The Civil Rights movement won important victories in the 1950s and 1960s, yet, our failure to redress residential segregation underlies our most serious racial inequalities.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited ongoing racial discrimination in housing but, did little to explicitly prohibit policies, that reinforce segregation where the racial intent is either masked, unconscious or, even, absent. Yet, courts, up to the US. Supreme Court, have consistently found that discriminatory policies, even, if, racial bias is unintentional, that perpetuate segregation are a violation of the Act where non-discriminatory alternatives are available. A proposed rule of the Department of Housing and Urban Development would undermine those court decisions.

“Even, if, federal, state and local officials, along with banks, insurance companies and real estate brokers, no longer intend to discriminate by race, their policies can sometimes have that effect, reinforcing and perpetuating segregation.” I showed in my New York Times piece last month. The Trump administration is poised to make the situation even, worse.

A second rule proposed by the administration removes the requirement that suburban communities have an ‘affirmative’ plan to remove policies and practices, that perpetuate segregation. And yet, a third rule would allow retail banks, that take deposits from residents of low-income neighbourhoods to fail to extend mortgages and other credit products to residents of those neighbourhoods.

In short, the administration’s hostility to justice for racial minorities continues unabated. We should invest in policies, that can reverse the effects of generations of housing segregation and ensure that all Americans have access to essential community resources, regardless of their race and regardless of the neighbourhoods, in which they were born. Redressing segregation is necessary to enhance the economic opportunities of current and future generations.

::: Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow at the Economic Policy Institute and the Author of The Colour of Law :::

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Bankruptcies Multiply For the US Fracking Sector Amid Mountain of Debts


|| Wednesday: January 29: 2020 || ά. Bankruptcies among fracking-focused companies exploded in 2019 and the outlook for the sector is decidedly grim, according to a briefing note released Tuesday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis:IEEFA.

The 42 bankruptcy filings among Exploration and Production companies in 2019 involved nearly $26 billion in debt, double the $13 billion in bankruptcy-related debt filed in 2018. The briefing note, Bankruptcies in Fracking Sector Mount in 2019, attributes the sector’s struggles to over-production, stagnant oil and gas prices and ballooning debt.

“We’ve been watching these companies flounder under mounting debt and negative cash flows for many years.” said Ms Kathy Hipple, an IEEFA Financial Analyst and Author of the Brief. “It’s getting harder and harder for these companies to find investors to keep them afloat and avoid imploding.”

The Key Findings

::: 42 US. EandPs filed for bankruptcy in 2019.