republicans

The Civil Tube: Jon Stewart Takes Over Colbert’s Late Show Desk

The Republican national convention wrapped up last night, and while we’ll be hearing plenty of serious political analysis of the convention in the days to come, it’s also important to put it all into context with some levity and a few laughs.

And that’s exactly what Jon Stewart did in a recent appearance on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. We’ve missed you Jon. Watch below.

Trump Rules

With Donald Trump all but wrapping up the GOP presidential nomination, many voices in the political landscape have already crowned Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States (see here and here).

But after the absolute spectacle we just watched in the Republican primary, I’m much more hesitant to call this one over. Too many rules have been broken in this election season to take anything for granted. Donald Trump has revealed a number of truths about our country — truths that we really already knew but perhaps never realized their full depth or weight. (more…)

Greater Gender Parity in Elected Office

I’ve been doing some more research on gender equity and representation. Out of curiosity I had wanted to compare the United State’s level of gender parity to the rest of the world, but in the process came across a very interesting article in the Guardian (emphasis mine):

In 2010, Senegal’s gender parity law came into force, which requires political parties to ensure that at least half their candidates in local and national elections are women. The law is viewed by many as a necessary step to force change in a country with complex gender dynamics, influenced by traditional customs and beliefs, Islam and French colonialism. More than half of Senegal’s 12.5 million population is female and although women have long organised at a local level, forming co-operatives and associations to improve access to public services, this has not translated easily into power at parliamentary level.

I had never heard of a law like this, but I really think it’s something to watch. The legislation doesn’t require the election of women to a national or local position but does make it a responsibility of the party to find and field women in half of their political campaigns. That’s the opportunity that many capable and dynamic women need and desire. They don’t want you to open the door for them, they just wish you’d stop blocking the way.

And now it appears that laws like these are trying to spread to other African countries. If you have a few minutes (about ten) I recommend you watch the documentary “30%”  — detailing the struggle of female activists in Sierra Leone fighting for 30 percent representation in parliament. You can watch the full documentary on Youtube here. I’ve posted the trailer below.

Black Folks and Social Security

Eugene Steuerle over at the Urban Institute recently issued a new report detailing the impacts of race on who benefits from Social Security. His findings? Since the program’s inception Social Security has systematically redistributed income from people of color to whites.

On its face, there’s nothing intentional going on here. Steuerle and his team find that due to demographic trends and the structure of benefit increases, younger blacks, Hispanics and Asians have been in effect paying for the retirement security of older whites. Steuerle points to why:

…Hispanics and Asians are more likely to have immigrated to the United State relatively recently and thus less likely to have family members in those earlier generations with higher net benefits or returns. Second, blacks and Hispanics have tended to have larger families than whites, thereby creating a larger share of taxpayers receiving lower returns on their contributions relative to parent and grandparent beneficiaries who got higher returns.

(more…)

America’s Three Economies…

I’m reading a pretty interesting book titled ‘The Geography of Jobs’ by Economist Enrico Moretti.  The book details the divergence of American cities, pointing to the vast disparities generated by education, city-level job sector allocations and the migration of skilled labor to innovation hubs.  The interview below does a great job of summarizing Moretti’s findings.