Unions and Strikes in the Age of Austerity?

Fast Food Workers Strike/ Protest in Chicago (Photo credit: danxoneil)

Workers’ unions and strikes are arguably the most powerful collective action tool available to laborers. However, during what has been called the “Glided Age of Austerity”, an age that has seen a huge rise in wealth inequality, unions and strikes seem to be a thing of the past. Over the past year, that trend seemed to reverse.

This summer, thousands of low-wage workers in retail and fast food went on strike to demand a living wage of $15 per hour. The Fight for 15 (FF15) campaign went public in …read more

The Arc of History Bends towards Access for Everyone

For 35 years, “care” has been at the center of Baltimore-based healthcare provider, Chase Brexton’s mission. At their Cathedral Street location, they have served thousands of community members in the areas of medical care, behavioral health, dental care, pharmacy services and specialty services, to name a few.

For months, we have watched as the beautiful old Monumental Life Building on Charles Street was transformed into Chase Brexton Health Services’ new home. The 178,000 square foot building allows the service provider to throw open its doors even wider, and to better honor it’s credo to “to provide compassionate, quality health …read more

Poverty Brain Drain

In American society, we have certain negative associations linked with our poorest citizens. A few sentiments that I’ve heard people say out loud:

“If they try harder, they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps” “No one deserves to live off of welfare” “If I could get out of my bad situation, they can too.”

Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University explains that there is a blame-the-victim mentality, where many Americans believe that poor people continue to be poor because they are lazy, unmotivated or just not that sharp.

In reality, just the opposite is true – poverty saps brainpower. …read more

Bringing Health Care to a New Generation

In order for the new healthcare law (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare) to make health care affordable for all, people of every age and level of health must buy in. Young, healthy consumers must balance out the cost of chronically ill consumers, ensuring that health insurance premiums don’t skyrocket for everyone who has purchased the plans.

However, health reform advocates foresee a challenge in convincing young, healthy people to purchase health insurance – particularly if they are already strapped for money. To persuade this group to buy health insurance, it will be necessary to emphasize the benefits of …read more

Unhealthy Absences

High school students (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When one child misses school, it can have detrimental effects on his or her classmates, and the community as a whole. Attendance Works, an organization dedicated to advancing student success by reducing chronic absenteeism, asserts that all students are more likely to succeed in academics when everyone consistently attends school. It’s difficult for the teacher and the class to build skills and progress in the curriculum if students are frequently absent.Research shows that one in ten students are chronically absent from school – missing nearly a month of school every year, or two …read more