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Economic Anxiety Is Not Just for White Men
"At some point in his 56 years of life, Cesar Alteri Sayoc—the man charged with mailing explosive devices across the country and who is the mixed son of Italian and Filipino parents—learned to cloak himself in the construct of whiteness and the benefits he likely presumed it would provide.

Among those were the benefit of the doubt—a privilege generally not granted black men in similar economic stations—that being lost, angry and homeless precipitated his descent into violence. This may be true. It is also apparent that Sayoc’s hopelessness could find salvation in bigotry.

He is just one in a spate of white men who found comfort for their white supremacy in America’s highest executive office and sympathy for their socioeconomic conditions in mainstream media over the course of two violent weeks last fall. Soon after Sayoc was identified as the suspect who spent several days sending package bombs to Democratic officials and terrorizing the country, the public learned about his bankruptcy, the house that was foreclosed, and the van out of which he was reportedly living.

In a world where white interests are prioritized, the black lives that they threaten are collateral damage, afterthoughts in the white imagination. And it begs the question: Where is this attention to the systemic failures of capitalism when black people are its victims, let alone if they are criminal perpetrators?"

"Cesar Sayoc bounced around odd jobs and conjured some imagined ones. “He said he worked for the Hard Rock casino booking all their venues,” Debra Gureghian tells me over the phone as she prepares her work at a Fort Lauderdale pizza shop. She supervised Sayoc at the shop for several months, where he drove his infamous white Dodge Ram van on delivery runs. Hard Rock Cafe Inc. denied that it had ever employed him. “I didn’t know any of this was a lie,” Gureghian shares.

When Sayoc wasn’t insulting his boss’ sexuality—“a proud lesbian,” Debra affirms—he was comparing black people to apes and hearkening back to the Hitler regime. Sayoc and others like him, Gureghian observes, “are becoming entrenched in hatred and have become foot soldiers for Donald Trump. The hatred is being bred nightly, daily.”

Gureghian was prepared to defend herself before I had a chance to ask. “I couldn’t fire him. He did his work. Being a non-corporate restaurant, my hands were tied.”

Like Eric Garner and other men dealing with economic insecurity, Sayoc had multiple jobs and no particular career. He, too, became a bouncer. He also had several run-ins with the law. Prior to his gig delivering pizza, Sayoc had multiple arrests. This is about where the comparison ends. As described in a Wired report, Sayoc’s charges “related to fraud, possession of a controlled substance, battery...and more. [He] appears not to have served any jail time in Florida, but was placed on probation in three separate instances.” Sayoc was extended chances in both the legal system and the job market. Despite an extensive record, dating at least as far back as 1986, he kept getting hired.

Unfortunately, that leeway hasn’t been equally extended to black men and women who began falling behind in America’s restructured economy and those still reeling from the devastating blow of the Great Recession. Their rap sheets don’t get ignored by employers. Their anger hasn’t been assuaged by humane news profiles or blessed by America’s high profile public officials.

Black pain, instead, becomes mere background noise. Until it is not. And in those rare moments—when fires rage in post-industrial wreckage—civil unrest is dismissed as rioting. Nonviolent protest framed as extremism. Disillusionment pinned exclusively on Facebook, Russians, and outside agitators instead of our decades of tireless struggle.

When cities no longer provide material comfort and companies abandon us like obsolete machinery, left to rust when we’ve reached our useful life, the pioneers among us engage in a “silent pilgrimage.” From the south to the north and back south again, we search elsewhere in the country’s boundaries looking for a reprieve, searching for a world that has been engineered to never exist. And the cycle continues, as the dreams of our ancestors suffocate, left to die on a concrete sidewalk."
economics  anxiety  malaikajabali  capitalism  2019  race  us  policy  extremism  work  labor  unemployment 
13 days ago by robertogreco
The U.S. job market doesn’t feel so hot despite the low unemployment rate - MarketWatch
Look no further than the frightened, cowered tone with which Fed policy makers have tended to address the prospect of achieving full employment, almost like cardinal sin sure to be punished by the inflationary gods always lurking just around the corner, rather than one half of the central bank’s congressional mandate.
unemployment  centralbank  economics 
4 weeks ago by yorksranter
Why We Should Worry About the Arab Region | Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
The Arab region is fracturing and disaggregating into a small group of wealthy people, a shrinking middle class, and masses of poor, vulnerable, and marginalized people who now account for 2/3 of all Arabs. Some 250 million people, out of a total Arab population of 400 million, are poor, vulnerable, and marginalized, according to important new research by Arab and international organizations.

The most significant new evidence for this trend comes from Multi-Dimensional Poverty studies conducted by Arab and international organizations. They give us a more accurate and complete picture of the actual conditions of our ravaged populations.

The Multi-Dimensional Poverty (MDP) figures indicate that poverty rates are as much as four times higher than previously assumed. This is because the MDP measure of poverty and vulnerability that has been applied by economists at UNDP, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the World Bank, the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, and other institutions has given us a much more accurate picture of poverty than the previous reliance on measures such as $1.25 or $1.90 expenditures per day. The main reason for the greater accuracy is that MDP poverty measures capture the very rich and very poor that previous studies had missed, and also define poverty more accurately in terms of families’ core needs and capabilities.

The political consequence of all this is that many Arabs have become increasingly marginalized and alienated from the economic mainstream, and also, in many cases, from the political and national institutions of their own country. Citizen alienation from the state combines with rising disparities in every dimension of life that are now well measured both quantitatively and qualitatively, such as gender, ethnicity, rural-urban location, education, health, security, wealth and poverty, self-confidence, trust in government, and others.
poverty  middle_east  unemployment 
4 weeks ago by elizrael
GM white-collar job cuts: How layoff process is happening
spending a anxious part of the day monitoring Skype, knowing which of her colleagues weren't so lucky when she read, "Presence unknown" next to their name.
jobs  work  life  unemployment  Economics  GM  Business 
6 weeks ago by amaah
Unemployment is low only because 'involuntary' part-time work is high
"Involuntary" means they're only working part-time because they cannot get a full-time job.

"During early 2018, involuntary part-time work was running nearly a percentage point higher than its level the last time the unemployment rate was 4.1%, in August 2000," according to Rob Valletta, a vice president in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. "This represents about 1.4 million additional individuals who are stuck in part-time jobs. These numbers imply that the level of IPT work is about 40% higher than would normally be expected at this point in the economic expansion."

Mass unemployment — the historic kind, with dole queues, unemployment benefits, and idle workers on street corners — has been replaced by low-paid, part-time, "gig economy" or "zero-hours" contract work.

Business Insider has suggested previously that the part-time "gig economy" has broken a fundamental link in capitalism that was good for workers. Pay rates no longer move upward as unemployment moves downward because companies like Uber, Amazon, Just Eat, and Deliveroo switch their demand for labour on and off, on a minute-by-minute basis. Self-employed folks making a living on Etsy, Airbnb, or eBay know their clients instantly go elsewhere if they raise their prices by even a few pennies.

Having a job is no longer a guaranteed way of getting ahead. Instead, work may keep you poor. You cannot get rich working for Uber. You cannot get rich working for Deliveroo.
economy  statistics  usa  uk  unemployment  workersrights 
7 weeks ago by campylobacter
Beyond Okun’s law: Introducing labour market flows | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal
Simulating the model with a shock to output growth, we find that labour market flows are affected such that the long-run Okun coefficient (the change in the unemployment rate in response to a 1% change in growth) is 0.61 for a negative shock and 0.24 for a positive shock. This result likely reflects the observation that it is easier to lay-off workers in recessions than it is to hire workers in a boom, because employers tend to be hesitant about adjusting their workforce along the extensive margin, and may prefer, in the early stages of recovery, to expand along the intensive margin of labour supply by increasing overtime hours.
okunslaw  economics  unemployment 
7 weeks ago by yorksranter

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