dunnettreader + us_society   52

Alan Patton - Cultural Preservation and Liberal Values: A Reply to William James Booth (2013) | American Political Science Review on JSTOR
William James Booth elaborates three main challenges to my social lineage account (Patten 2011). Conceptually, he finds the proposal to be question-beginning. Normatively, he thinks that it has objectionable implications. And, substantively, he claims that the proposal is unhelpful, that it fails to explain a case of theoretical importance for multiculturalism. In this reply, I argue that each of these challenges misses the target. The social lineage account continues to offer a promising, nonessentialist basis for normative multiculturalism. - Downloaded via iphone
cultural_change  social_theory  US_politics  indigenous_peoples  US_society  culture_wars  political_sociology  cultural_diversity  minorities  identity-multiple  political_culture  culture  essentialism  political_theory  downloaded  liberalism  multiculturalism  national_ID  article  bibliography  nationalism  political_science  jstor  cultural_transmission  community  US_politics-race  cultural_stability  mass_culture 
july 2017 by dunnettreader
Gamm
Do big cities exert more power than less populous ones in American state legislatures? In many m m political systems, greater representation leads to more policy gains, yet for most of the nation's history, urban advocates have argued that big cities face systematic discrimination in statehouses. Drawing on a new historical dataset spanning 120 years and 13 states, we find clear evidence that there is strength in numbers for big-city delegations in state legislatures. District bills affecting large metropolises fail at much higher rates than bills affecting small cities, counties, and villages. Big cities lose so often because size leads to damaging divisions. We demonstrate that the cities with the largest delegations—are more likely to be internally divided—are the most frustrated in the legislative process. Demographic differences also matter, with district bills for cities that have many foreign-born residents, compared the state as a whole, failing at especially high rates. -- Downloaded via iphone
downloaded  political_history  women-in-politics  political_science  states  state_government  jstor  immigration  rights-political  20thC  19thC  US_politics  Catholics-and-politics  US_society  local_politics  urban_politics  urban_rural_divides  state_legislatures  bibliography  US_history  article  political_culture  alliances-political  welfare_state  urban_development  political_participation  US_politics-race 
july 2017 by dunnettreader
Kurt Newman - Reflections on the Conference "Beyond the New Deal Order " Sept 2015 - S-USIH Blog
The impetus for the conference was the anniversary of a classic collection of essays edited by Steve Fraser and Gary Gerstle: The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, published by Princeton University Press in 1989. We learned that this volume came together in the mid-1980s as New Left veterans Fraser and Gerstle surveyed the rise of Reaganism and lamented the poverty of New Deal historiography: dominated as it then was by Whig great man hagiography and toothless stories of cycles of American liberalism and conservatism. We learned, too, that “order” was chosen carefully from a longer list of contenders (“regime,” “system,” etc), and that this choice of “order” was deeply connected to the volume’s stated goal of providing a ‘historical autopsy” for the period that ran from the election of FDR to the PATCO firings.
historiography  US_history  19thC  20thC  pre-WWI  entre_deux_guerres  post-WWII  US_politics  US_economy  political_economy  political_culture  New_Deal  US_politics-race  US_government  US_society  US_foreign_policy  US_military  state-roles  social_order  social_sciences-post-WWII  Keynesianism  Keynes  Reagan  labor_history  New_Left  historians-and-politics 
october 2016 by dunnettreader
Matteo Bortolini - The trap of intellectual success: Bellah, the American civil religion debate, & sociology of knowledge (2012) | Theory & Society on JSTOR
The trap of intellectual success: Robert N. Bellah, the American civil religion debate, and the sociology of knowledge, Theory and Society, Vol. 41, No. 2 (March 2012), pp. 187-210 -- Current sociology of knowledge tends to take for granted Robert K. Merton's theory ofcumulative advantage: successful ideas bring recognition to their authors, successful authors have their ideas recognized more easily than unknown ones. This article argues that this theory should be revised via the introduction of the differential between the status of an idea and that of its creator: when an idea is more important than its creator, the latter becomes identified with the former, and this will hinder recognition of the intellectual's new ideas as they differ from old ones in their content or style. Robert N. Bellah 's performance during the "civil religion debate" of the 1970s is reconstructed as an example of how this mechanism may work. Implications for further research are considered in the concluding section. — Keywords Intellectuals • Success • Cumulative advantage • Robert N. Bellah • American civil religion -- downloaded via AIr to DBOX
article  downloaded  jstor  intellectual_history  sociology_of_knowledge  20thC  US_history  post-WWII  1960s  sociology_of_religion  sociology  social_theory  social_sciences-post-WWII  civil_society  US_society  national_ID  national_tale  exceptionalism  universalism  civil_religion 
august 2016 by dunnettreader
David Hockney - '1. The Arrival' - Rake's Progress, New York-London 1961-3 - Catalogue entry | Tate
The model for Hockney’s work was Hogarth’s set of prints ‘A Rake’s Progress’, published in 1735; the subjects of Hogarth’s prints were (1) The Heir, (2) The Levée, (3) The Orgy, (4) The Arrest, (5) The Marriage, (6) The Gaming House, (7) The Prison, (8) The Madhouse. These themes are still found in Hockney’s work, but he titles them differently and they do not serve to illustrate a moral tale, that of a Rake’s downfall, but a social dilemma, the loss of individuality within a commercial society. He uses etchings to tell a story because he thinks that line can tell a story. He believes that the best etchings are linear in character. Wraight (op. cit.) has noticed that the drawing deliberately parallels the Rake’s decline. ‘A fresh and vital line for the arrival of the young man, a dull stodgy one for the final etching, when the hero has lost his individuality.’

The imagery of the prints derives from both literary and visual sources. Hockney had read both Walt Whitman and Theodore Dreisler before he went to America: many of Dreisler’s novels deal with the experience and subsequent moral corruption of young American men coming from the country into the social and financial world of American cities.

The visual influences on Hockney were of two kinds: that of artists, and that of popular advertising imagery.
20thC  post-WWII  US_society  New_York  cities  prints  Hogarth  Hockney  museums  popular_culture  advertising 
july 2016 by dunnettreader
What It's Worth - Building a Strong Financial Future
Americans everywhere struggle to build strong financial futures for themselves and their families. The new book, What It's Worth, provides a roadmap for what families, communities and our nation can do to move forward on the path to financial well-being.
Collection of essays by people working on financial inclusion, asset-building etc. - downloaded via iPhone to DBOX
gig_economy  education-finance  philanthropy  credit  usury  financial_innovation  US_society  inequality-wealth  local_government  pensions  corporate_citizenship  mobility  banking  wages  health_care  access_to_finance  housing  financial_regulation  report  social_entrepreneurs  poverty  downloaded  welfare  US_economy  US_politics  families  mortgages  segregation  inequality  NBFI  unemployment  US_government 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
Chris Lehmann - In a Big Country, Dreams Stay with You | The Baffler
Would that America were one big frat. Not. / A. Davey Y ou might think that something called “the great unsettling” involved movement of some kind: the abrupt…
US_society  US_politics  US_economy  cultural_change  from instapaper
march 2016 by dunnettreader
Noah Millnan - Fighting Outrage Porn Addiction | The American Conservative - September 2015
Before writing this post, I took a scroll down my Facebook feed, to see what news stories my friends are linking to. Here are the first four stories I…
Instapaper  US_politics  US_society  social_media  social_psychology  partisanship  tribalism  bad_journalism  empathy  norms  emotions-manipulation  public_opinion  from instapaper
september 2015 by dunnettreader
By nearly any measure, sunny South Florida is tops in fraud | CBS News July 2015
Yikes -- 46 times the national average for submitting fraudulent tax returns, plus Medicare scams, identity theft, and in and on
Pocket  US_society  crime  fraud  US_government  from pocket
august 2015 by dunnettreader
Listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates Whilst Snuggled Deep Within My Butthole | Jezebel - July 2015
Dear Ta-Nehisi Coates—how do you pronounce that, by the way? Lately, it has become more difficult to see in here. My intellectual wings have been chafing my… She picks up every piece of passive-aggressive discomfort, weaseling self-justification, feeble attempts to reassert cultural and moral authority without appearing to (wouldn't "do" for the Yale professor of humility to be seen to pull rank), and general intellectual, moral and rhetorical disaster in David Brooks' column. He's given his readers an excuse not to take Ta-Nehisi seriously, since Brooks has publicly performed the discomfort of white privilege for them and has shared with them what he's "learned" from Black Lives Matter and Ta-Nehisi's book, which is that he still believes in fairy tales, and so his readers are encouraged to as well.
Instapaper  US_society  political_culture  racism  pundits  books  elites-political_influence  conservatism  satire  rhetoric-political  rhetoric-moral_basis  American_exceptionalism  racism-structural  identity_politics  from instapaper
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Knowledge, Virtue and the Research University | chad wellmon - September 22, 2014
Published in The Hedgehog Review -- Recently, a broad literature has chronicled, diagnosed, and attempted to solve what many have referred to as a “crisis” in higher education. Some authors tie the purported crisis to an out- of-touch faculty or lackadaisical students, while others blame a conservative or liberal political culture or the public’s general distrust of univer- sities. Amidst all of these anxious arguments, however, we can discern four basic types. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  US_society  21stC  humanities  university  university-contemporary  disciplines  specialization  education-higher  humanities-finance  instrumentalist  knowledge  knowledge_economy  knowledge_workers  human_capital  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Leon Botstein - Are We Still Making Citizens? | Democracy Journal ▪- Spring 2015
Democracy requires a commitment to the public good. But for a long time now, our citizens have been taught to see themselves as only private actors. -- What that experience has taught me is that the purpose, challenge, and substance of education in a democracy are defined by two questions: How ought we to live, side by side, not as lone individuals but as citizens? And how can we, through education, help individuals answer that question? Answering these questions is hard, particularly in the United States, where many seem to view citizenship as a burden and even an unfortunate necessity. The rampant distrust of government and the public sector has become overwhelming. We sidestep the question and defend education in purely economic terms, linking education to work and productivity. Nonetheless, citizenship is more than economic; it is a defining political fact of life, one that even in its neglect can’t be dismissed. And active citizenship, embraced with some measure of critical enthusiasm, may be an indispensable foundation of justice, freedom, and civility. -- Leon Botstein is president of Bard College, music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, and editor of The Musical Quarterly. This essay is adapted from a talk he gave at the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College in fall 2014. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  political_philosophy  political_culture  democracy  political_participation  education-civic  education-K-12  education-training  education-privatization  Arendt  Dewey  individualism  common_good  US_society  US_politics  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Jonathan Chait - Gay Marriage and the Modern Social Revolution -- NYMag - June 2015
The Supreme Court’s decision affirming marriage equality hastens what was already a fait accompli — public opinion has embraced the equal right to marriage at…
Instapaper  US_politics  US_society  US_legal_system  US_constitution  SCOTUS  change-social  equality  civil_liberties  homosexuality  marriage  LGBT  from instapaper
june 2015 by dunnettreader
Bert Useem and Anne Morrison Piehl - Prison State: The Challenge of Mass Incarceration | Cambridge University Press - March 2008
Bert Useem, Purdue University, Indiana -- Anne Morrison Piehl, Rutgers University, New Jersey -- Paperback isbn: 9780521713399 -- Within the past 25 years, the prison population in America shot upward to reach a staggering 1.53 million by 2005. This book takes a broad, critical look at incarceration, the huge social experiment of American society. The authors investigate the causes and consequences of the prison buildup, often challenging previously held notions from scholarly and public discourse. By examining such themes as social discontent, safety and security within prisons, and impact on crime and on the labor market, Piehl and Useem use evidence to address the inevitable larger question, where should incarceration go next for American society, and where is it likely to go? **--** Table of Contents -- 1. The buildup to mass incarceration -- 2. Causes of the prison buildup -- 3. More prison, less crime? -- 4. Prison buildup and disorder -- 5. The buildup and inmate release -- 6. Implications of the buildup for labor markets -- 7. Conclusion: right-sizing prison. -- via Mark Kleiman re after a certain percentage of the population incarcerated, each marginal convict you add actually increases the crime rate, due to both internal factors (prisons breed criminals) and external impacts on the community from which prisoners are being taken -- excerpt downloaded pdf to Note
books  US_history  US_society  US_legal_system  US_politics  social_history  20thC  21stC  crime  criminal_justice  prisons  Labor_markets  racism  discrimination  poverty  inequality  law_enforcement  privatization  police  legislation  judiciary  state_government  urban_politics  cities-governance  downloaded 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
The Legacy of the U.S. Civil War: 150 Years Later - roundtable with historians | Cambridge University Press Blog - April 2015
Participants: Kathleen M. Hilliard  is the author of Masters, Slaves, and Exchange .  She is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Iowa State… Quite interesting, both for their insights and for how the historiography of the US in the 19thC has changed -- not simply looking at social groups (both as actors and victims) who had been ignored, but that historiographical shifts in specialties (e.g. military history, or the connections between legal and political history) have changed or broadened the focus when it comes to the Civil War. Lots of links to CUP books as well as (unlinked) other books and papers. S
US_history  19thC  US_Civil_War  historiography-postWWII  historiography  military_history  social_history  cultural_history  digital_humanities  global_history  global_system  diplomatic_history  legal_history  constitutional_law  US_constitution  Congress  Lincoln  Confederacy  slavery  abolition  African-Americans  Native_Americans  Manifest_Destiny  frontier  industrialization  books  kindle-available  US_society  US_politics  US_government  US_legal_system  bibliography  Instapaper  from instapaper
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Caroline W. Lee - Do-It-Yourself Democracy: The Rise of the Public Engagement Industry (Jan 2015) - Oxford University Press
Citizen participation has undergone a radical shift since anxieties about "bowling alone" seized the nation in the 1990s. Many pundits and observers have cheered America's twenty-first century civic renaissance-an explosion of participatory innovations in public life. Invitations to "have your say!" and "join the discussion!" have proliferated. But has the widespread enthusiasm for maximizing citizen democracy led to real change? Sociologist Caroline W. Lee examines how participatory innovations have reshaped American civic life over the past two decades. Lee looks at the public engagement industry that emerged to serve government, corporate, and nonprofit clients seeking to gain a handle on the increasingly noisy demands of their constituents and stakeholders. The beneficiaries of new forms of democratic empowerment are not only humble citizens, but also the engagement experts who host the forums. Does it matter if the folks deepening democracy are making money at it? How do they make sense of the contradictions inherent in their roles? In investigating public engagement practitioners' everyday anxieties and larger worldviews, we see reflected the strange meaning of power in contemporary institutions. New technologies and deliberative practices have democratized the ways in which organizations operate, but Lee argues that they have also been marketed and sold as tools to facilitate cost-cutting, profitability, and other management goals - and that public deliberation has burdened everyday people with new responsibilities without delivering on its promises of empowerment.
books  kindle-available  US_society  US_politics  US_government  local_government  local_politics  democracy  democracy_deficit  political_participation  firms-organization  hierarchy  decision_theory  NGOs  deliberation-public  public_policy  public_goods  public-private_partnerships  political_culture 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Nicolas Duvoux - Interview with Claude S. Fischer - In the Land of Voluntarism | April 2012 - Books & ideas
Tags : individualism | modernity | solidarity | community | United States of America -- In "Made in America", sociologist Claude S. Fischer develops the idea that voluntarism, not individualism, is the key feature to describe social ties in America and that this notion of voluntarism best helps us understand what makes America exceptional among other Western societies. -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  US_society  US_history  cultural_history  individualism  voluntarism  solidarity  community  modernity  American_exceptionalism  sociology  downloaded 
april 2015 by dunnettreader
Full transcript: President Obama, Dec 4 2013 - Inequality and rolling back Reagan Revolution | The Washington Post
But starting in the late ‘70s, this social compact began to unravel.Technology made it easier for companies to do more with less, eliminating certain job occupations. A more competitive world led companies ship jobs anyway. And as good manufacturing jobs automated or headed offshore, workers lost their leverage; jobs paid less and offered fewer benefits. As values of community broke down and competitive pressure increased, businesses lobbied Washington to weaken unions and the value of the minimum wage. As the trickle-down ideology became more prominent, taxes were slashes for the wealthiest while investments in things that make us all richer, like schools and infrastructure, were allowed to wither. And for a certain period of time we could ignore this weakening economic foundation, in part because more families were relying on two earners, as women entered the workforce. We took on more debt financed by juiced-up housing market. But when the music stopped and the crisis hit, millions of families were stripped of whatever cushion they had left. And the result is an economy that’s become profoundly unequal and families that are more insecure. (..) it is harder today for a child born here in America to improve her station in life than it is for children in most of our wealthy allies, countries like Canada or Germany or France. They have greater mobility than we do, not less.(..) The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life and what we stand for around the globe. And it is not simply a moral claim that I’m making here. There are practical consequences to rising inequality and reduced mobility. -- downloaded as pdf to Note
speech  Obama  inequality  supply-side  labor_share  business-ethics  norms  norms-business  morality-conventional  morality-Christian  utilitarianism  globalization  technology  US_foreign_policy  US_economy  US_politics  US_society  US_government  US_history  common_good  civic_virtue  economic_growth  economic_culture  distribution-income  distribution-wealth  unemployment  health_care  public_goods  public_opinion  public_policy  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Jacob Weisberg, review essay - Bridge Too Far - Rick Perlstein, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan | Democracy Journal - Issue #34, Fall 2014
Rick Perlstein’s account of Ronald Reagan’s rise acknowledges his popularity, but doesn’t take the reasons behind it seriously enough. --
The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan By Rick Perlstein • Simon & Schuster • 2014 • 810 pages -- see Perlstein’s response -- both downloaded as pdf to Note
books  reviews  article  US_politics  US_history  US_society  US_government  US_foreign_policy  Cold_War  20thC  post-WWII  right-wing  Reagan  GOP  public_opinion  public_policy  elections  parties  partisanship  faction  historiography-20thC  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Rick Perlstein - The Reason for Reagan, A response to Jacob Weisberg. | Democracy Journal: Issue #35, Winter 2015
In 1984, the year Reagan won 49 states and 59 percent of the popular vote, only 35 percent of Americans said they favored substantial cuts in social programs in order to reduce the deficit. Given these plain facts, historiography on the rise of conservatism and the triumph of Ronald Reagan must obviously go beyond the deadening cliché that since Ronald Reagan said government was the problem, and Americans elected Ronald Reagan twice, the electorate simply agreed with him that government was the problem. But in his recent review of my book The Invisible Bridge [“A Bridge Too Far,” Issue #34], Jacob Weisberg just repeats that cliché—and others. “Rick Perlstein’s account of Reagan’s rise acknowledges his popularity,” the article states, “but doesn’t take the reasons behind it seriously enough.” Weisberg is confident those reasons are obvious. Is he right? -- downloaded as pdf to Note
books  reviews  article  US_politics  US_history  US_society  US_government  US_foreign_policy  Cold_War  20thC  post-WWII  right-wing  Reagan  GOP  public_opinion  public_policy  elections  parties  partisanship  faction  historiography-20thC  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Michael Hout, Claude S. Fischer - Explaining Why More Americans Have No Religious Preference: Political Backlash and Generational Succession, 1987-2012 | Sociological Science, October 13, 2014
Twenty percent of American adults claimed no religious preference in 2012, compared to 7 percent twenty-five years earlier. Previous research identified a political backlash against the religious right and generational change as major factors in explaining the trend. That research found that religious beliefs had not changed, ruling out secularization as a cause. In this paper we employ new data and more powerful analytical tools to: (1) update the time series, (2) present further evidence of correlations between political backlash, generational succession, and religious identification, (3) show how valuing personal autonomy generally and autonomy in the sphere of sex and drugs specifically explain generational differences, and (4) use GSS panel data to show that the causal direction in the rise of the “Nones” likely runs from political identity as a liberal or conservative to religious identity, reversing a long-standing convention in social science research. Our new analysis joins the threads of earlier explanations into a general account of how political conflict over cultural issues spurred an increase in non-affiliation.
paper  US_history  US_politics  US_society  secularization  religious_belief  religious_culture  20thC  21stC  culture-American  culture_wars  cultural_change  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Mike Konczal, review essay - Selling Fast: Public Goods, Profits, and State Legitimacy | Boston Review - November 10, 2014
Nicholas R. Parrillo, Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780–1940, Yale University Press, $55 (paper) -- Dana Goldstein, The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession, Doubleday, $26.95 (cloth) -- Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces, PublicAffairs, $17.99 (paper) -- Adam Smith was not the first, but he was certainly one of the most eloquent defenders of justice delivered according to the profit motive (..)since courts could charge fees for conducting a trial, each court would endeavor, “by superior dispatch and impartiality, to draw to itself as many causes as it could.” Competition meant a judge would try “to give, in his own court, the speediest and most effectual remedy which the law would admit, for every sort of injustice.” Left unsaid is what this system does to those who can’t afford to pay up. Our government is being remade in this mold—the mold of a business. The past thirty years have seen massive, outright privatization of government services. Meanwhile the logic of business, competition, and the profit motive has been introduced into what remains. But for those with a long enough historical memory, this is nothing new. Through the first half of our country’s history, public officials were paid according to the profit motive, and it was only through the failures of that system that a fragile accountability was put into place during the Progressive Era. One of the key sources of this accountability was the establishment of salaries for public officials who previously had been paid on commission.
books  reviews  kindle-available  US_government  US_society  governance  legitimacy  accountability  inequality  justice  privatization  US_history  18thC  19thC  20thC  21stC  competition  profit  Gilded_Age  Progressive_Era  civil_society  civil_liberties  US_constitution  Evernote  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Home - Path to Full Employment | Project of Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
For most of the last few decades, the U.S. labor market has operated with considerable slack. Periods of full employment have been the exception, not the rule. In response, Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and previously Vice President Biden’s chief economic adviser, and the Center have begun a multiyear project to focus greater attention on the goal of reaching full employment and develop policy ideas to achieve this critical goal. To learn more about the project, visit our events page to watch our April 2 kick-off event at the National Press Club. To read a set of papers on policy ideas to get back to full employment, go to our papers’ page (this event was made possible thanks to a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation). -- Launched with big event and clutch of papers in April 2014 -- downloaded to Note pdf of Jared Bernstein's project overview paper -- as of October 2014 no new activity
US_economy  US_government  US_society  US_politics  Congress  Great_Recession  inequality  unemployment  labor  labor_law  labor_share  wages  wages-minimum  labor_standards  fiscal_policy  state_government  infrastructure  investment  downloaded  EF-add 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
Ylan Q. Mui - How the Fed is trying to fill in the gaps of monetary policy - The Washington Post - Oct 2014
[T]he Fed in recent years has made a concerted effort to incorporate Main Street concerns into their considerations of macroeconomic policy. On Thursday, Yellen will meet with nonprofits and community developers in Chelsea that have received funding through an initiative at the Boston Fed to address some of the economy’s most intractable problems — from long-term unemployment to access to credit — on the ground level. “When you think about maximum employment, monetary policy can deal with the cyclical," Boston Fed President Eric S. Rosengren said in an interview Thursday. "If we were able to change the mindset in some of these cities, the employment picture in these cities would clearly be better.” In Chelsea, Yellen will tour a program called Connect, which focuses on financial security. ....The three-year-old program seems to be gaining traction where monetary policy cannot. Ann Houston, executive director of the Neighborhood Developers, one of the organizations involved in the project, said those in the program see a $400 median increase in monthly net income. The median increase in credit score is 35 points. “Increasingly, there’s this recognition that monetary policy is sort of a blunt instrument,” said David Erickson, director of the Center for Community Development at the San Francisco Fed, which has compiled extensive research on programs and places that have successfully reduced poverty. “In that case, you need a little bit more of a surgical tool, and that’s where community development comes in.”
US_economy  US_government  US_society  Fed  financial_access  inequality  unemployment  community_development  education-training  education-finance  monetary_policy  banking 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
Rebecca Leber - Report: Tidal Floods in East Coast Cities | New Republic - October 2014
Live on the East Coast? Rising sea levels will cause problems for your home and community a lot sooner than you probably think. In a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) forecasts that 30 major cities on the East Coast will face more frequent and extensive flooding in 15 years time. In 30 years, flooding will be a near-daily occurence in nine of these cities. The sea level has risen roughly eight inches globally from 1880 to 2009, largely due to global warming, but the rise has been over 10 inches along parts of the U.S. Atlantic coast. Higher sea level leads to higher tides, which can flood cities' streets, waterfronts, and low-lying properties. As extreme high tides become more common, UCS researchers predict that things like power outages, lost cell phone coverage, and impassable roadways will become challenges of daily life. (..) Climate Central published a report in September that shows many of Washington, D.C.'s low-lying tourist sites, like the National Mall, flooded by the end of the century. Washington D.C. fares the worst in the UCS report as well. Using a moderate model for sea-level rise in the next 15 years, the report says D.C. can expect more than 150 tidal floods a year. By 2045, D.C could expect 400, with the city sometimes flooding twice a day. Most of the 52 places analyzed could see a 10-fold increase of tidal floods. -- 2 reports, downloaded pdfs to Note
climate  ocean  climate-adaptation  US_society  cities  downloaded  EF-add 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
Austin Frakt - Notes on Cutler’s *The Quality Cure* | The Incidental Economist - October 2014
Below are my notes from reading David Cutler’s The Quality Cure. Quote of Cutler’s summary: " ...easiest changes are in the site of care. This involves people who are being hospitalized in expensive institutions when they could be treated just as well in less expensive ones or even on an outpatient basis. [...] The groundwork to affect [this] could be laid within one to two years [by 2016]. [...] Somewhat more difficult are changes that need to occur within institutions, to streamline the pathway of care for patients with various conditions [...] rationalizing who receives stents and who does not, implementing care pathways for routine labor and delivery, [etc.]. [...] My guess is that three to five years of work are required before major savings from these pathways can be realized [by 2021 if these follow after site-of-care changes]. The third tier of savings comes form populationwide prevention and patient engagement. [...] Such experimentation will need at least five years to start bearing fruit and likely a decade before major savings can be realized [by 2031 if this follows prior changes]. [...] All told, therefore, improving health care quality is a fifteen- to twenty-year venture. If we are able to pull out 30 percent of costs in fifteen years, this implies a cost reduction [productivity increase] of 2 percent annually. If the transition takes 20 years, the implication is an average cost savings [productivity increase] of 1.5 percent annually." -- If this productivity growth were entirely achieved by (or translated to) reductions in spending at the same rate, this would probably bring overall health care spending in line with GDP growth. However, as Cutler points out, we see higher productivity associated with more overall spending in other industries.
books  reviews  health_care  US_society  US_government  public_policy  management  productivity  organizations  OECD_economies 
october 2014 by dunnettreader
The US News rankings are terrible for students. Why don't colleges stop them? - Vox
Horror stories re not just gaming the system but the lies and destructive treatment of prospective and enrolled students to say nothing of the distortion of educational values -- lots of links
US_society  college  education-higher  elites  managerialism  corruption  moral_economy 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Libby Nelson - The surprising truth about downward mobility in US higher education - Vox September 2014
In most developed countries, education builds from generation to generation: Adults often have more education than their parents, and they expect their children will be better-educated still — or at least they expect their children won't slip behind. But data released today from the OECD shows this isn't happening in the US nearly as much as it does elsewhere. America has more students falling behind their parents than most other developed countries. Almost 1 in 4 American adults age 25 to 34 has less education than his or her parents. -- worse for men
US_society  US_economy  OECD_economies  education-higher  education-women  college  mobility  gender_gap  inequality  middle_class 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Michael Sallah, Robert O’Harrow Jr., Steven Rich - 3-part WaPo Investigation: "Stop and Seize on America's highways" | The Washington Post September 2014
Part 1: In recent years, thousands of people have had cash confiscated by police without being charged with crimes. -- Part 2: One training firm started a private intelligence-sharing network and helped shape law enforcement nationwide. -- Part 3: Motorists caught up in the seizures talk about the experience and the legal battles that sometimes took more than a year. **--** After the terror attacks on 9/11, the government called on police to become the eyes and ears of homeland security on America’s highways. Local officers, county deputies and state troopers were encouraged to act more aggressively in searching for suspicious people, drugs and other contraband. Dept Homeland Security and DOJ spent millions on police training. The effort succeeded, but it had an impact that has been largely hidden from public view: the spread of an aggressive brand of policing that has spurred the seizure of $100s millions in cash from motorists and others not charged with crimes. Thousands of people have been forced to fight legal battles to get their money back. Behind the rise in seizures is a cottage industry of private police-training firms that teach the techniques of “highway interdiction” to departments across the country. One firm created a private intelligence network that enabled police nationwide to share detailed reports about motorists — criminals and the innocent alike — including their Social Security numbers, addresses and identifying tattoos, as well as hunches about which drivers to stop. Many of the reports have been funneled to federal agencies and fusion centers as part of the government’s burgeoning law enforcement intelligence systems — despite warnings from state and federal authorities that the information could violate privacy and constitutional protections. A thriving subculture of road officers on the network now competes to see who can seize the most cash and contraband, describing their exploits in the network’s chat rooms and sharing “trophy shots” of money and drugs. Some police advocate highway interdiction as a way of raising revenue for cash-strapped municipalities.
US_society  US_constitution  US_foreign_policy  US_legal_system  US_politics-race  national_security  judiciary  local_government  state_government  government_finance  police  privacy  networks-information  power-asymmetric  abuse_of_power  public-private_partnerships  crime  criminal_justice  civil_liberties  terrorism  due_process  property-confiscations  intelligence_agencies  militarization-society  incentives  civil_society  governmentality  government_officials  authoritarian  EF-add 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Reuters - Water's edge: the crisis of rising sea levels - September 2014
Reuters special investigation of totally haphazard, uncoordinated, impossibly expensive problems of dealing with rising oceans and subsiding ground levels (mostly from depleting aquifers) along US shores controlled by state and local governments, driven by a combination of denial and grubbing for federal dollars for piecemeal pet projects. The pace of shore loss (1 beach up to 22 ft a yr) and costs are documented to be accelerating rapidly.
US_government  US_society  climate  ocean  water  Congress  risk  local_government  local_politics  GOP 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
John P. Diggins - Dos Passos and Veblen's Villains | JSTOR: The Antioch Review, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Winter, 1963-1964), pp. 485-500
Explains apparent shift from radical Left to Goldwater Right as consistent champion of productivist classes - craftsmen, engineers, and labor generally - first against Veblen's villains, the captains of finance capital, the PR men, and the managerialist ethos driven by profit at the expense of productive values of quality, know-how etc -- post WWII, Dos Passos added big government and labor bosses to his villains
article  jstor  19thC  20thC  US_history  US_society  entre_deux_guerres  post-WWII  intellectual_history  political_culture  political_economy  social_order  finance_capital  production  labor  industry  profit  craftsmanship  capitalism  Veblen 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
The 10 best New Yorker articles on health care - Vox - July 2014
The New Yorker has recently made its post-2007 archives open to the non-subscribing public for the next several months. (Some pieces published before 2007 are available, as well.) My colleagues Libby Nelson and Brandon Ambrosino have put together collections of the magazine's best education and religion writing, and I am shamelessly cribbing their idea for the health care beat. -- selected articles to Evernote
US_society  health_care  medicine  poverty  neuroscience  public_health  public_policy  welfare  Evernote 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Jeremy Waldron - The Decline of Natural Right [chapter] (2009) :: SSRN in THE CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF NINETEENTH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY, Allen Wood and Songsuk Susan Hahn, eds., Cambridge University Press
NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 09-38 -- What happened to the doctrine of natural right in the 19thC? We know that it flourished in the 17thC and 18thC. We know that something like it - the doctrine of human rights and new forms of social contract theory - flourished again in the second half of the 20thC and continues to flourish in the 21stC. In between there was a period of decline and hibernation - ... in which to invoke natural right was always to invite intellectual ridicule and accusations of political irresponsibility. Thus article asks: How far can the decline of natural right in the 19thC be attributed to the reaction against the revolution in France? How far it was the effect of independent streams of thought, like positivism and historicism? Why was radical thought so ambivalent about natural right throughout the 19thC, and why was socialist thought in particular inclined to turn its back on it? As a framework for thought, natural right suffered a radical decline in the social and political sciences. But things were not so clear in jurisprudence, and natural right lived on to a much riper old age in the writings of some prominent economists. What is it about this theory that allowed it to survive in these environments, when so much of the rest of intellectual endeavor in the 19thC was toxic or inhospitable to it. Finally, I shall ask how far American thought represents an exception to all of this. Why and to what extent did the doctrine survive as a way of thinking in the United States, long after it had lost its credibility elsewhere. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  intellectual_history  18thC  19thC  philosophy_of_law  philosophy_of_social_science  natural_law  natural_rights  human_rights  counter-revolution  historicism  positivism  legal_theory  nationalism  national_interest  conservatism  socialism  social_contract  relativism  revolutions  1848_revolutions  French_Revolution  anticlerical  Bentham  Burke  Hume  Jefferson  Kant  Locke  Marx  Mill  Savigny  Spencer_Herbert  George_Henry  US_society  American_exceptionalism  liberalism  social_theory  social_sciences  Social_Darwinism  social_order  mass_culture  political_participation  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Liberty Matters Forum: Tocqueville’s New Science of Politics Revisited (May 2014) - Online Library of Liberty
Aurelian Craiutu argues that Tocqueville was not just an observer of democracy in America but also a theorist of democracy who wanted to create “a new science of politics” suitable to the new world which was beginning to take shape at that time. Craiutu points out four dimensions of Tocqueville’s new science of politics that might help us better understand his thinking. The first is that Tocqueville’s new science of politics is fundamentally cross-disciplinary, at the intersection of political science, sociology, anthropology, history, and philosophy. He then goes on to discuss the other dimensions such as its comparative, normative, and political dimensions. He concludes that his works must therefore be seen as belonging to a larger French tradition of political engagement and political rhetoric in which the writer enters into a subtle and complex pedagogical relationship with his audience, seeking to convince and inspire his readers to political action. This thesis is discussed by Daniel J. Mahoney of Assumption College, Filippo Sabetti of McGill University, and Jeremy R. Jennings of King’s College London. -- downloaded ebook to Note
etexts  18thC  19thC  intellectual_history  France  social_theory  social_sciences  political_philosophy  political_culture  liberalism  republicanism  human_nature  political_science  rhetoric-writing  rhetoric-political  audience  comparative_history  historical_sociology  US_society  US_politics  social_order  historical_change  Tocqueville  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Equity, Excellence and Inclusiveness in Education: Policy Lessons from Around the World (July 2014) - OECD iLibrary
Excellence in education without equity risks leading to large economic and social disparities; equity in education at the expense of quality is a meaningless aspiration. The most advanced education systems now set ambitious goals for all students, focusing on both excellence and equity. They also equip their teachers with the pedagogic skills that have been proven effective and with enough autonomy so that teachers can use their own creativity in determining the content and instruction they provide to their individual students. The fourth International Summit on the Teaching Profession brought together education ministers, union leaders and other teacher leaders from high-performing and rapidly improving education systems, as measured by PISA (the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment ). Their aim was to discuss equity, excellence and inclusiveness in education by exploring three questions: • How are high-quality teachers developed, and how do schools with the greatest need attract and retain them? • How can equity be ensured in increasingly devolved education systems? and • What kinds of learning environments address the needs of all students? - To underpin the discussions, this publication identifies some of the steps policy makers can take to build school systems that are both equitable and excellent. The analysis is complemented with examples that illustrate proven or promising practices in specific countries. -- Online access but pdf download requires $
education  inequality  poverty  culture  unions  governmentality  central_government  local_government  OECD_economies  US_government  US_society  university-contemporary  public_policy  public_goods 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Why it’s hard for the US to learn from other countries on education - Vox - July 2014
Summary of OECD report re US comparative position on different metrics and what lessons might be drawn from the report -- see other bookmark for OECD link (to read online - pdf requires $) -- New data on poverty, inequality and education are likely to reignite the conversation. But it's easier to point to what other countries are doing right than it is to figure out what lessons they can teach the US. That's evident in the latest education report from the OECD, a group of 34 mostly rich countries and economies. The OECD is a big player in the international-comparison game because it tests students around the world in math, reading and other subjects. Those tests are often used as benchmarks to show that the US is falling behind. The OECD, though, also reports on how different nations handle inequity in education. That data, like the test scores, shows the US has a long way to go.
education  inequality  poverty  culture  unions  governmentality  central_government  local_government  OECD_economies  US_government  US_society  university-contemporary  public_policy  public_goods 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Jesse R. Harrington and Michele J. Gelfand - Tightness–looseness across the 50 united states | PNAS | Mobile
Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD -- This research demonstrates wide variation in tightness–looseness (the strength of punishment and degree of latitude/permissiveness) at the state level in the United States, as well as its association with a variety of ecological and historical factors, psychological characteristics, and state-level outcomes. Consistent with theory and past research, ecological and man-made threats—such as a higher incidence of natural disasters, greater disease prevalence, fewer natural resources, and greater degree of external threat—predicted increased tightness at the state level. Tightness is also associated with higher trait conscientiousness and lower trait openness, as well as a wide array of outcomes at the state level. Compared with loose states, tight states have higher levels of social stability, including lowered drug and alcohol use, lower rates of homelessness, and lower social disorganization. However, tight states also have higher incarceration rates, greater discrimination and inequality, lower creativity, and lower happiness relative to loose states. In all, tightness–looseness provides a parsimonious explanation of the wide variation we see across the 50 states of the United States of America. -- downloaded pdf to Note
culture  culture-American  norms  inequality  discrimination  US_politics  conservatism  liberalism  crime  punishment  deviance  tolerance  social_order  ecology  social_psychology  US_society  creativity  Innovation  happiness  hierarchy  culture_wars  culture-tightness  culture-looseness  prisons  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Fred Clark - Conversion to what? Conversion from what? The unanswered questions of ‘Great Commission Baptists’ | Slacktavist June 2014
-- if you’re not familiar with evangelicalese, you may not immediately recognize “Great Commission” [distinct from Great Commandment] has little to do with the actual content of Jesus’ actual words in Matthew. Jesus charges his disciples to do four things: Go, make disciples, baptize, teach. Funny thing, though, is that this isn’t what white evangelicals usually mean ... What “Great Commission” almost always means, instead, is convert — evangelize, proselytize, saved the unsaved, rescue sinners from Hell. Here is Dockery discussing the Great Commission imperative for the SBC: "Many of us across SBC life have not recognized well the rapidly changing cultural context in which we now find ourselves, perhaps best typified by the Pew study on 'the rise of the Nones.' Secondly, I think, we are all probably unaware of the incipient universalism that dominates the thoughts of many in our congregations. The combination of these two factors means that the reality of the lostness of those all around us has somehow disappeared from our thinking and thus the urgency of Great Commission efforts has taken a backseat." -- Dockery makes this clear when he warns against an “incipient universalism” that undermines the “urgency” of conversionism. Such urgency, “courage and faithfulness” can only exist, he argues, if we truly appreciate “the reality of the lostness of those all around us.” In a word, Hell. This is what he means by “the gospel” — being saved from Hell. This is what people must be converted from and what people must be converted to: to not going to Hell. Dockery cannot imagine any reason that a universalist would find the Great Commission compelling. If no one is really in peril of being eternally “lost” to everlasting torture in Hell, then why should we bother following these final instructions from Jesus?
21stC  religious_culture  US_society  Evangelical  hell  salvation  conservatism  religion-fundamentalism  Christianity 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
Noah McCormack - Friends without Benefits | Blog | The Baffler
Zappos has apparently decided it is no longer good enough to be a qualified hire who is interested in the job. An interested applicant must also spend unremunerated time pretending to engage in virtual social relationships with existing employees. The American economy has become so warped that it now appears reasonable to a subsidiary of a leading public company to require people who may never be hired to spent large amounts of time pretending to be friends with people with whom they may never work. This represents the convergence of at least three disturbing trends in the current American economy: the long-term unemployment of large numbers of people and the consequent power given to any company which is hiring; the technology industry’s revival of old prejudices under catchy new names; and the way that technology increasingly erodes any sense that our work selves are merely a component of our lives, rather than the entirety of our existence.
US_society  unemployment  Labor_markets  social_media  employers  power  labor  inequality  markets_in_everything  discrimination  work  work-life_balance 
june 2014 by dunnettreader
Beryl Lieff Benderly, book review - Academia's Crooked Money Trail | Science Careers Jan 2012
“Follow the money!” -- The strategy also serves Georgia State University economist Paula Stephan extremely well in her illuminating and accessible new book, How Economics Shapes Science. A leading expert on the scientific labor market, Stephan isn’t looking to sniff out high-level government corruption. Rather, using the “tool bag” economics provides for “analyzing the relationships between incentives and costs,” she penetrates the financial structure of university-based science, explaining the motivation and behavior of everyone from august university presidents and professors to powerless and impecunious graduate students and postdocs. Undergraduates also carry an increasing share of the load, she adds: Their tuition, often paid with student loans, rises as more funds go to research. Their teachers, meanwhile, increasingly are cut-rate adjuncts rather than the famous professors the recruiting brochures boast about.
books  reviews  US_society  US_government  scientific_culture  science-and-politics  education-higher  Innovation  Labor_markets  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Charlie Stross - Spy Kids | Foreign Policy August 2013
We human beings are primates. We have a deeply ingrained set of cultural and interpersonal behavioral rules that we violate only at social cost. One of these rules, essential for a tribal organism, is bilaterality: Loyalty is a two-way street. (Another is hierarchy: Yield to the boss.) Such rules are not iron-bound or immutable -- we're not robots -- but our new hive superorganism employers don't obey them instinctively, and apes and monkeys and hominids tend to revert to tit-for-tat strategies readily when they're unsure of their relative status. Perceived slights result in retaliation, and blundering, human-blind organizations can bruise an employee's ego without even noticing. And slighted or bruised employees who lack instinctive loyalty, because the culture they come from has spent generations systematically destroying social hierarchies and undermining their sense of belonging, are much more likely to start thinking the unthinkable.
US_foreign_policy  US_government  US_military  US_society  NSA  civil_liberties  neoliberalism  nationalism  Internet 
december 2013 by dunnettreader
Let Them Eat MOOCs - Gianpiero Petriglieri - Harvard Business Review
Seen from this perspective, the techno-democratization of education looks like a cover story for its aristocratization. MOOCs aren’t digital keys to great classrooms’ doors. At best, they are infomercials for those classrooms. At worst, they are digital postcards from gated communities.

This is why I am a MOOC dissenter. More than a revolution, so far this movement reminds me of a different kind of disruption: colonialism.

Colonialism is a particular kind of socialization. It involves educating communities into the “superior” culture of a powerful but distant center by replacing local authorities or co-opting them as translators. A liberating education, on the other hand, makes students not just recipients of knowledge and culture but also owners, critics, and makers of it.

While they claim to get down to business and focus on training only, MOOCs do their fair share to affirm and promulgate broader cultural trends, like the rise of trust in celebrities’ authority, the cult of technology as a surrogate for leadership, and the exchange of digital convenience for personal privacy.
education  university  MOOCs  US_society 
october 2013 by dunnettreader
What Gets Measured in Education - Alan Kantrow - Harvard Business Review
The Obama Administration in the U.S., for instance, plans to create a new performance-based rating system with teeth. In future, it says, resources will flow only where tangible student-focused outcomes justify their deployment. Those outcomes will be, most likely, improved retention and graduation rates; fewer wasted credits; lower student debt-burdens; easier access to financial support; greater efficiency estimated by linking progress to degrees and demonstrations of competency, not to credit hours or seat times; more students hired within a reasonable period after graduation; higher salary levels for them; and so on. But these are not measures of educational performance; these measure only the efficiency of the educational process. Meanwhile, two great ironies are unfolding. One, while the accuracy of traditional grading stagnates, the ability to carry out true learning-related assessments has advanced with lightning speed. Two, this is also a time when corporations and executives can help create the outcomes they desire as long as they don’t focus only on helping colleges to boost process efficiency or re-shape curriculums. The corporate world knows a lot about how to evaluate the kinds of learning that matter to it.
US_society  education  public_policy  university 
october 2013 by dunnettreader
Why the French are Fighting Over Work Hours : The New Yorker Oct 2013
Bricolage on Sunday - comparisons of working hours trends, US vs European practices post WWII and post Reagan
20thC  21stC  economic_history  Labor_markets  France  EU  US_economy  US_society 
october 2013 by dunnettreader
Measuring Us Against the World - Graphic - NYTimes.com | July 2013
Good, depressing set of comparative stats.

The United States is one of the richest nations on earth, but on a number of social and economic measures, it is more typical of a developing country. Compared with other advanced nations, it ranks consistently among the worst performers in matters of economic equality and child welfare.
US_society  US_economy  political_economy  OECD_economies  inequality  EF-add 
august 2013 by dunnettreader
Claude Fischer: Inequality Update | MADE IN AMERICA June 2013
Good overview on research highlights with pdf links. His observations include:
* Our attention to income inequality sometimes leads us to miss the deeper trends regarding wealth inequality. If we set aside homeowners’ equity in their houses – the bulk of wealth for most Americans – wealth inequality is yet higher and grew yet faster, by 11% over the last 40 years. More strikingly, the One Percent reaped 38% of the growth in the nation’s wealth between 1983 and 2010, while the bottom Sixty Percent of households actually lost wealth.

* Weaker unions, especially in industries that had once been highly unionized, meant a growing wage gap among employees and more of the gains going to the employers.

* Ken-Hou Lin and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey add another factor: the rise of “financialization.” ...The more that an industry turned to finance after 1970, the greater the share of its income that owners, top management, and top workers got, and the less that average workers got.

* Over the last 30 years, jobs calling for computer or quantitative skills did not (other things being equal) see an especially notable rise in wages, as some have suggested, nor did jobs requiring creativity, as others have suggested. Wages rose notably for jobs requiring managerial and nurturing skills and rose especially rapidly for jobs requiring “analytical” skills – reasoning, synthesizing, assessing ideas (for example, scientists, engineers, CEOs, and doctors). Too much attention has focused, Liu and Grusky argue, on computerization as the driver of inequality, when institutional changes in the economy are more important – a point consistent with the findings about financialization. 

* Two recent studies show how inequality is increasingly separating people residentially. One, by Kendra Bischoff and Sean Reardon, I reported earlier here.  They show how American neighborhoods have gotten increasingly segregated – the rich here and the others there – over the last 40 years. More recently, Ann Owens and Rob Sampson showed that the Great Recession exacerbated those trends. Unemployment and other indicators of distress grew most in already disadvantaged neighborhoods, accentuating the spatial inequality of America.

* Hout and Hastings show how experiencing  job loss or financial loss (which, again, hit the worse-off harder) strongly depressed respondents’ feelings of happiness.
US_economy  US_society  inequality  financialization  Labor_markets  technology  plutocracy  links  EF-add 
june 2013 by dunnettreader

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