The moral arc of the universe

BossFeed Briefing for May 15, 2017. Last Tuesday a West Virginia reporter was arrested and charged with “willful disruption of governmental processes” after repeatedly asking the Secretary of Health & Human Services if the healthcare bill which passed the House made domestic violence a pre-existing condition. Last Wednesday was national Third Shift Workers Day, intended to honor the contributions of people who work the night shift. Sunday was celebrated as National Mama’s Bail Out Day. And tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the U.S. government issuing a formal apology for the abhorrent Tuskegee Syphilis experiment.

Image 5-15-17_ 8-39 AM.fd004fbc41184a5ba11e74c7dd6490eb.jpeg

Three things to know this week:

The retail industry is attempting to attract fast food workers to their industry in a so-called “war for talent.” Companies are redesigning uniforms & relaxing dress codes to appeal to prospective new employees... but also keeping wages low, and schedules unstable. 

After a portion of a tunnel holding radioactive materials collapsed at the Hanford nuclear reservationthousands of workers were instructed to shelter in place and then sent home until the hole in the tunnel was filled with dirt. Last year, a union local at Hanford said their members had lost out on work because they insisted on putting safety standards ahead of production rates.

Almost a half-million people are in jail any given day simply for lack of cash bail, effectively locked up for being poor. Even a brief detention can directly cause the loss of a job or a home.

Two things to ask:

"Do you really want a doctor who can’t afford a Ferrari?" That’s what one writer asks in the National Review, claiming that high profit margins are needed to achieve a high quality of care… for those who can afford it. The writer also recommends paying for your “very fancy doctor” with your American Express card.

Have you heard that name before? Civil rights and fight-for-$15 leader Rev. William Barber is leaving his post as head of the North Carolina NAACP to launch a national Poor People’s Campaign. He argues we need to bring a deep moral center to the fight for economic justice “to help us become the nation we’ve not yet been.” 

And one thing that’s worth a closer look:

Immigrants and refugees in the Seattle area are increasingly making their homes not in the city itself but in the somewhat-more-affordable suburbs of South King County. In a series of compelling profiles, KUOW follows various families at work, in their communities, and over the course the eight months between their arrival at Sea-Tac and when their small refugee assistance payments run out. Finding good jobs that pay the rent is a key issue for many, as for just about everyone else in the region.


Read this far?

 Consider yourself briefed, boss.


Support the BossFeed Briefing — Donate to Working Washington

The BossFeed Briefing is our look at the world of work, wages, and inequality.