Seymur Slavin: The startling fact is that low wage jobs now constitute 58% of all job growth. The jobs with the fastest growth were retail sales at a median wage of $10.97 per hour. At this salary, workers would be eligible for food stamps.
Caitlin Vega: Decades of weak law enforcement and inadequate penalties has convinced many companies that they can violate labor laws without any consequences. In certain low-wage industries, violating labor law is part of the business model.
Robert Reich: Conservative economists have it wrong. The underlying problem isn’t that so many Americans have priced themselves out of the global/high-tech labor market. It’s that they’re getting a smaller and smaller share of the pie.
Our broken immigration system gives unscrupulous employers an incentive to hire unauthorized workers and exploit them—often resulting in depressed wages and working conditions for all workers in that workplace.
Carole Bartolotto: The problem with concluding that GMOs are safe is that the argument for their safety rests solely on animal studies. These studies are offered as evidence that the debate over GMOs is over. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Margaret Flowers, M.D.: The refinery and export terminal may depress tourism, an important local industry. And the increase in cancer, disease and early deaths from the toxins released by the plant will place a financial burden on local families.
Joe Mathews: California, for all its wealth and advantages, looked to be in a precarious position in the second decade of the 21st century. The state’s government was broken, with its budget and tax systems unable to produce the kind of investments to make every child educated and healthy.