Saturday, May 26, 2018

Schools funding the concern and overwhelmed after drinking

Many schools along with Oklahoma has funding problems.
In that is a concern from many corporations that the kids coming
out of High School will not make it through college.
Having no job skills, making a unhireable labor force.

The term is "Trailer park job candidates" 
(Talking about the group as a whole not the individual person.)
and so is the point is about the funding. Education cost money and 
so you have less funding, is like your education being worth the paper
it's printed on. Now like the books for schools being duct taped
together. The paper is duct taped! Just try to get a job with
duct tape holding together your resume. And so comes the 
point of going to a JR college to pick up their loss but with
the cost and time of doing so. A delay in the future labor force
that many businesses do not want!

To me the line has been crossed a long time ago. Schools are not able
to get their kids out in the markets because of the lack of for their kids.
Low funding makes low kids. Even I had a hard time when I popped
out of High School going to college. My college instructor talking
about how Hoover wore a red dress and so the Coolidge effect. 
No one told me Calvin Coolidge was a perv! I realized I was not in reality
in college and had to work harder to get brought up in college. 
I had a hard time in the 80's so how do you think it is now with so much 
less funding now than ever? Bad! Give we did not have the internet
like we have now but also now is the point of the time to learn things online
like the Old Oklahoma question "How do you know if you don't know."
You can't find it well if you don't know what you are trying to find and so
there is not enough time in the world to do so!

So the line being crossed pushes more and more states striking for better
funding. Oklahoma also has nabobs wanting to cut the taxes that is
meant to fund schools. So in that they want the kids to not be up to speed
when they get out of High School. More of a sadomasochistic Republican
thing is all I can say. Why make it hard to hire people for the job by cutting
the funding of what you will get?

What will we all get with cuts to education?

~~~~~Famous Russian painting of Ivan the Terrible 'seriously damaged' in pole attack
In a video released by the interior ministry, the unnamed suspect appears to confess, 
saying he went to see the painting before drinking vodka and becoming 
“overwhelmed by something”. Some Russian media cited him as saying he had 
attacked the painting because he thought its depiction of Russian history was inaccurate.

~~~~~I work at one of America's underfunded schools. It's falling apart
In my Oklahoma high school classroom, it is not easy to tell where federal funding ends and state funding begins – in fact, most teachers don’t have a clue about where our funding comes from. But what is abundantly clear is that our schools need more funding.

Unless you are in a school every day, you might not see the results of underfunding education. That is because we open our doors no matter what, and my colleagues and I will do everything we can to make sure our students get the education they deserve. But just because the consequences are invisible doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. Isn’t that the definition of privilege? Thinking something isn’t a problem simply because it might not be a problem for you?

You have probably heard about the recent teacher walkout in Oklahoma. While some of that was about teacher salaries, it was more about the conditions in our schools – conditions that resulted from years of underfunding education.

The Oklahoma City public schools district is the largest in the state, serving about 46,000 students. Because of relentless decreases in funding from the Oklahoma legislature, our district has had to cut almost $40m in the past two years. This has resulted in our fine arts budgets being slashed by 50%, our library media budgets being completely eliminated and district officials being forced to end the school year days early.

Our school system also has 58 classrooms that are “split-level”. This means a teacher is required to teach two different curricula to two different grade levels at the same time in the same classroom. And our teachers do this without the help of a teaching assistant.

Cuts would make it impossible to retain qualified teachers instead of losing them at the rate of almost 400 per month. If there are cuts to federal programs for low-income students or students with disabilities, what else will my school have to sacrifice to provide the services they need? How will these cuts help students graduate and take on the world?

~~~~~Students are being prepared for jobs that no longer exist. Here's how that could change. Critics say high schools aren’t doing enough to prepare young people for life after graduation, in-demand jobs and a pathway to the middle class. Underscoring the criticism are sobering statistics: Nationally, just 25 percent of high school seniors are able to do grade-level math and just 37 percent score proficient in reading. Those numbers are egregiously lower among African-American and Hispanic students. And while 93 percent of middle school students say they plan to attend college, only 26 percent go on to graduate from college within six years of enrolling. These indicators, coupled with the staggering cost of higher education and millions of unfilled jobs in skilled trades, are pushing policymakers to rethink America’s bachelor’s-or-bust mentality.

Though the mere mention of college depresses her, Amber knows she will eventually need more education after high school. Workers with bachelor’s degrees now outnumber workers with high-school diplomas, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Even when hiring workers without a bachelor's degree, employers still look for more than a high school diploma, increasingly favoring those who have an associate degree or some college training. American high schools need to do more to educate young people about careers that require two-year degrees or certifications, rather than primarily promoting expensive bachelor’s degrees, say some experts.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Harder For You To Sue Your Employer

It was a matter of time. With the huge divide of income inequality
and a known point of Republicans liking to impoverish their
consumers / labor force with the many conservatives that vote
against their best interest seen everyday as the impoverished cars
they drive. You don't see Republican bumper stickers on 
expensive cars! 

So really what can be done? Just let them go off their cliffs
they have to learn sometime. They can't learn if they don't fail!
For the workers the norm is to cut back your spending as with
low pay is just not letting you spend what you earn.
Show your poverty more like a union strike but not at work.
Go out in town looking poor, show the need for better pay!
It's ok just live in your means, work like they treat you!

There is a point to be brought up but if you are not paid
to be brought up why should you? You are not paid to be 
brought up.

When I worked at Walmart they where doing the 
reverse inventory. So all the workers knew it was a
retaliation so we all did the reverse inventory
being it took all of our time doing it, it was all we did,
no stocking shelves and the sales went down.
There was retaliation there so many acted accordingly!

A good point of cause and effect! If you do that, you do it and
if you don't many more than you will do it anyway without you.
So join the party as anything hard on the workers pushes them down. 
Like a you get what you pay for in how the many workers
take the abuse and just work as they are treated.

~~~~~The Supreme Court Just Made It A Lot Harder For You To Sue Your Employer
Employers who stiff their workers or discriminate against them just got a big lift from the Supreme Court, which issued a major ruling Monday making it easier for companies to avoid employee lawsuits.

The 5-4 ruling upheld employers’ use of class-action waivers in arbitration agreements. By signing these controversial provisions, workers give up their right to band together and sue in court for back pay or damages, and are instead forced to take their disputes to arbitrators individually.

Arbitration agreements have become a common way for employers to stifle lawsuits that could lead to large plaintiff classes and big payouts. Workers backed by employee groups and labor unions challenged their employers’ use of these agreements, claiming they ran afoul of the National Labor Relations Act, or NLRA, which guarantees workers the right to join forces in “mutual aid and protection.”

The employer-friendly conservative majority on the court decided against the workers. They ruled that collective bargaining law does not supersede federal law that established the arbitration process, therefore making the class-action waivers in employment contracts legitimate.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion for the conservative majority, saying Congress did not write the NLRA to “displace” federal arbitration law.

“The policy may be debatable but the law is clear: Congress has instructed that arbitration agreements like those before us must be enforced as written,” Gorsuch wrote. 

The high court has previously ruled that companies can force consumers into arbitration agreements with class-action waivers, which are tucked into the fine print when you buy a plane ticket or sign up for a cell phone. The latest ruling effectively sanctions the use of these waivers in the workplace, a practice that has grown increasingly common over the last two decades.

The Supreme Court ruling will have long-lasting implications for workers. Class-action lawsuits are often the most powerful way for employees to secure back pay when their minimum wage or overtime rights have been violated or to secure damages when their bosses run afoul of discrimination laws.

It’s harder to pursue these cases as a single worker than as part of a group, which is why employers prefer arbitration. Lawyers can be reluctant to file individual complaints in which the judgments or settlements will be small and not worth their time. Many workers are also hesitant to file their lawsuits as individuals, fearing their employers will ostracize or retaliate against them.

In a strong dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the decision of the majority “egregiously wrong.” She argued that the rights under the NLRA include the right to pursue litigation collectively, and that an employer-dictated waiver would violate it.

“Employees’ rights to band together to meet their employers’ superior strength would be worth precious little if employers could condition employment on workers signing away those rights,” Ginsburg wrote.

“There is strength in numbers,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said during oral arguments of the case last year. “We have to protect the individual worker from being in a situation where he can’t protect his rights.”

During oral arguments last year, Justice Stephen Breyer said the case could undermine “the entire heart of the New Deal” by weakening collective action by workers.

According to a report last year from the Economic Policy Institute, an estimated 25 million workers ― just under one-quarter of non-union employees in the private sector ― give up their right to join class-action lawsuits as a condition of employment. The report anticipated that waivers would become an “even more widespread practice” in the event the Supreme Court sanctioned them.

The Supreme Court case, National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., consolidated three separate cases involving different employers: the software company Epic Systems, the accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young, and the oil company and gas station chain Murphy Oil.

A former Murphy Oil employee, Sheila Hobson, claimed that when she worked at one of the company’s retail stores, she and her colleagues were required to do off-the-clock work they weren’t compensated for. They got together to sue the company for back pay. But when they consulted a lawyer, they learned they couldn’t take Murphy Oil to court as a group because they had already agreed to arbitration when they accepted their jobs.

The National Labor Relations Board, the independent agency that enforces collective bargaining law, argued that the forced arbitration clause interfered with Hobson’s right to join together with other employees to improve their working conditions. The Obama White House agreed, filing a brief with the Supreme Court in support of Hobson.

But that was under former President Barack Obama. After President Donald Trump was inaugurated, his administration took the extremely rare step of reversing a previous administration’s position on a sitting case before the court. Last June, Trump’s acting solicitor general filed a new brief in support of the employers in the case.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Poor People’s Campaign Now And Why

Poverty is a real issue because that is the labor force.
Who are you going to hire if most of the workers don't have cars?
They show up late and tired overheated from the walk.
It's a real issue as you don't see the middle class working at Walmart.
And so is a issue that will fix it's self as the most just won't have the job skills
for the jobs needed. A lack of funding support in that you get what
you pay for. Low taxes to the poor that takes in more taxes then they pay out results
in the fact that low taxes to the poor is low food stamps so they cut back their
spending to offset the lack of funding! Something goes up something
has to come down!

All in all poverty and surrounding pushes for a correction for foundation
for the poor. A correction as like the poor cutting back their spending wiping
out most stores they go to making cities loose much tax revenue.
You can't spend what you earn if you earn nothing! So there is a change to save
the whole thing, a need to raise the pay or just have nothing.
It's just a matter of time you can't have all the poor just holding their breath
doing without. The cities die and so the poor migrates to do it again.
So there is a point of getting the wages up as those poor take it down with them.

It is about time there is a new push for the "Poor people's campaign" being
there needs to be more light to be brought up about the poor. Higher wages
is a better foundation not letting the masses out there cutting back all and
so not being able to fix their homes so they all fall over in time.
And to is the correction of how to recover from that? Better pay as all of those
people are crashed with no foundation to work.

Arresting the poor is too many and from too far as one should fix the problem
not put then in jail not asking why did they do that in the first place.
A easy cause and effect question that needs to be asked as there is too many
to be put in jail a mass of possible 1 million poor people's march!
The poor does have power!

~~~~~Hundreds arrested as activists pick up where Martin Luther King left off
Hundreds of low-wage workers, faith leaders, civil rights organizers and liberal activists were arrested in demonstrations in Washington and outside statehouses across the US on Monday as they resumed the work Martin Luther King left unfinished.

Fifty years after King launched the Poor People’s Campaign against economic inequality, militarism and racial injustice, demonstrators revived that fight, kicking off 40 days of nonviolent action.

The new effort, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, is being led by co-chairs William Barber, a pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and Liz Theoharis, an ordained minister and anti-poverty campaigner from New York City.

50 years after Martin Luther King's death, a 'new King' fights for justice
 Read more
In Washington, the group gathered on the lawn outside the US Capitol to hear Barber declare: “Something’s wrong in America.”

Their action on Monday, Barber continued, was not just a commemoration of King’s anti-poverty efforts, it was a new call-to-arms.

“We are here to have a reconsecration and a re-engagement because you do not commemorate the death of [a] prophet,” Barber said, his voice building as he spoke. “You go to where they were killed, reach down in the blood, pick up your baton and carry it the next round of the way. Now who’s ready?”

The crowd parted and Barber and Theoharis led a procession of activists trained in civil disobedience toward the street, where they were prepared to be arrested. Two-by-two the demonstrators walked, representing nearly three-dozen states and Native American reservations.

The group sang hymns and chanted their demands as they marched toward the police, who had formed a blockade. Barber, in his purple robe, was the first to breach the line and was arrested. Dozens more followed as hundreds more cheered them on from the steps of the Library of Congress. Theoharis was the last to be arrested.

Similar scenes were replicated across the country in North Carolina, Missouri and California. In total, the Poor People’s Campaign said 1,000 activists were arrested nationwide.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Housing Crisis Is Spreading To Smaller Cities

There is a need to bring up these smaller towns. If not then you will just have
many homes falling apart around the home owners ears wiping out much of the
town. Really if you can't afford to fix your home then nature will fix it for you. 
Putting it in form with natural selection as the wind blows it over.

Why can't people just be able to fix their homes why live the third world lifestyle?
There are many issues with housing being that you can't afford to fix it because
the cost being too high or all factors. Whatever they are it's about the ending.
Nature blows over tore up homes, nature does not care otherwise.
And also is the point of paying higher rent at apartments where it forces
people to cut all their spending to live there. You can't spend what you earn 
if you earn nothing. So there is nothing and no need for anything as businesses 
find most cut back their spending to pay for higher things.

And so the question is when are they going the raise the pay? 
It is just daunting to have many towns turn into Detroit by people
spending what they earn as the live on 20+ of their income after the bills etc...
Raise the income, well it's better than doing without all the time.

~~~~~America's Housing Crisis Is Spreading To Smaller Cities
“Have you considered the racket and the lights and the crowds and the traffic, and everything that’s going to happen to those of us who live here?”

It is a familiar sight in America: the public meeting, the angry residents, the housing developer trying to explain himself over the boos.

“Take the money you’ve got and get out of here,” one person shouts. A chant begins: “Oppose! Oppose! Oppose!”

Except this is not San Francisco or L.A. or Boston. It is Boise, Idaho.

And it is a preview of the next chapter in the housing crisis. Rising rents, displacement and, yes, NIMBYism are spreading from America’s biggest cities to those in its middle tier. Last year, according to an Apartment List survey, the fastest-rising rents in the country were in Orlando, Florida; Reno, Nevada; and Sacramento, California. Another survey, by RentCafe, found exactly one city with a population greater than 500,000 ― Las Vegas ― in the top 25.

Small cities are starting to face the same challenges as larger ones. Renting a two-bedroom apartment in Jacksonville, Florida, requires earning at least $18.63 per hour ― $10.53 more than the state minimum wage. In Tacoma, Washington (pop. 211,000), a property management company is evicting low-income residents so it can flip their building into luxury units. Boise, where downtown condos are going for $400,000, was the seventh most unequal city in America in 2016, a jump from 79th place just five years earlier.

And it’s only going to get worse. As the poor get pushed inward from the coasts and as young workers seek out the few affordable places left, they will arrive in America’s smaller cities ― which may not be ready to take them.

Rising rents in small and midsize cities are a humanitarian crisis
Boise is, by some measures, the fastest-growing city in America. It added 3 percent to its population last year and Idaho is projected to add another 200,000 people by 2025.

This should be good news. The city’s growth is driven by a booming, diversified economy and an influx of skilled, educated young people. But Boise isn’t adding homes fast enough to keep up. According to an analysis from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there’s a demand for more than 10 times as many homes as the city is building. Without anything new available, incoming residents are scooping up what’s already there, bidding up costs and pricing out current residents.

The impact is devastating. Nearly half of Boise’s renters are living in apartments that eat up over 30 percent of their income. Since 2005, as living costs have exploded, Boise’s median income has fallen and the number of homeless children has more than doubled. Last month, a 5-year-old died when the car her family was sleeping in caught fire in a Walmart parking lot.

And yet, even as the city’s needs have grown, its ability to meet them has diminished.

According to Deanna Watson, the executive director of the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority, Boise provides rental vouchers to around 2,500 low-income residents. If they can only afford, say, $300 per month, and their rent is $800, the vouchers make up the difference.

With rents booming, though, the assistance isn’t keeping up. HUD recalculates the value of the vouchers every year. But some Boise landlords are raising rents every 60 days.

“I’ve been doing this for 21 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Watson says. One voucher recipient lives in an old hotel converted into apartments. He uses a motorized wheelchair and needs live-in care. His rent has gone up $275 in the last 18 months, and he’s falling behind. “We’ve got people spending 80 to 90 percent of their income on rent, even with a rental assistance voucher,” Watson says. “And if they get evicted, or leave on their own, there’s no place for them to move.”

The perverse incentives don’t end there. Boise’s federal voucher allotment is determined each year by the previous year’s spending. With the apartment vacancy rate at 1 percent, and landlords refusing to rent to Boiseans who receive housing assistance (which is legal under Idaho law), it can take months for low-income residents to find anywhere that will take them.

To federal administrators, though, every unused rental voucher looks like unspent funding. Watson says it’s nearly impossible for the local housing authority to predict how many of the vouchers will actually get used. If the agency underspends, HUD will cut its budget. If it overspends, the city will have to make up the difference. Boise’s 2015 Housing Needs Assessment notes that since 2010, as the need for subsidized housing has increased, the use of rental vouchers has fallen. “When the need goes up,” Watson says, “the funding goes down.”

The same vulnerabilities are showing up in small cities across the country. In Orlando, where rents rose by almost 8 percent last year, the median rent already takes up 71 percent of the median income. According to Apartment List, Memphis, Tennessee, had the highest per capita eviction rate in the country between 2015 and 2017. Montana has seen a 33 percent rise in homelessness in the last decade. Smaller cities have lower rents, but they also have lower wages, less diverse economies and fewer social services. Everything that makes it easier to get onto the housing ladder in places like Boise also makes it easier to fall off.

American cities are still catching up from the recession
It’s tempting to look at the housing crisis in Boise as just a miniature version of what’s already happened in the Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest and the Northeastern corridor. But in the last 10 years, the American economy has transformed in ways that are going to make it even harder for smaller cities to respond to growth.

In 2007, the city of Boise was issuing more than twice as many building permits as it is now. Despite having 125,000 more residents, Boise’s metro area built fewer homes in 2016 than it did in 2004.

The reason, says Gary Hanes, a retired HUD administrator based in Boise, is that the recession wiped out the city’s construction sector. Between 2008 and 2012, Boise home prices fell by 40 percent. With homebuilding stalled, thousands of construction workers took other jobs or left for North Dakota or Alaska. By 2012, once all the low-cost and foreclosed homes had been scooped up and the city needed new housing again, there was no one left to build it.

This isn’t just a Boise problem. Construction workers, even in high-paid jobs and booming cities, are in short supply. Plus, thanks to increasing international demand, prices for timber, steel and concrete are going up nationwide. Banks have gotten more risk-averse since the recession, preferring to finance “sure bets” ― such as McMansions in the suburbs ― over “riskier” projects like urban apartment blocks or affordable housing.

The higher costs of materials, financing and labor, combined with the years-long lag in homebuilding, have made construction unbearably expensive. Fred Cornforth, the CEO of the CDI/Idaho Development and Housing Organization, builds affordable housing in 17 states. He tells me that his last project in Boise cost around $155,000 per apartment ― cheaper than Seattle, where he also develops properties, but not by as much as you’d think.

This, Cornforth says, is the fundamental challenge of the housing crisis in Boise and everywhere else: The only way make prices fall is to overbuild. You need vacancy rates of 8 percent or more before rents start to come down. But the backlog is so great, and the costs of building are so high, that it’s impossible even to meet the current demand. Every year, he says, as the backlog grows, the costs go up and the challenge of meeting the need gets worse.

Red states make solving the housing crisis harder
Then there are all the challenges of being located in a red state. Not that California and Massachusetts are exactly exemplars of equitable growth, but nearly all of Boise’s problems are exacerbated by neglect or outright sabotage from state lawmakers.

The city is barred, for example, from forcing developers to reserve a percentage of their units for affordable housing. The state’s Housing Trust Fund, which was created in 1992 and could help alleviate some of the pressure on the vouchers, has never seen a dime of state funding. Plus, Idaho law prevents Boise from taxing itself to provide better city services. Even carpool lanes are forbidden by state law.

“We’ve got a campaign for governor going on right now and there hasn’t been a minute of airtime about how to grow,” says Jerry Brady, a former politician and the founder of Compassionate Boise, a nongovernmental organization that advocates for equitable growth. “It’s all freedom, abortion and who can cut spending the most. There’s never a moment’s conversation about traffic or how to prevent us from becoming the next California.”

This makes no financial sense, of course. The Boise area generates 47 percent of Idaho’s gross domestic product. State funding to build more homes, expand public transit or prepare the city’s water and sewer systems for more residents would, in the long run, save money and attract more growth.

And yet, here we are. Many of the cities now experiencing galloping rises in living costs are in rural, Republican-dominated states ― places where increasing funding to low-income renters and investing in public housing are politically impossible. At the federal level, too, help is decidedly not on the way. Last year’s Republican tax plan removed a subsidy for affordable housing developers. Just last week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced that his department was shrinking federal housing subsidies.

That has implications far beyond Boise. In a survey of 156 mayors earlier this year, 72 percent reported that affordable housing was becoming a problem. Even in small towns, housing costs were the No. 2 concern that mayors reported hearing from their constituents. It’s a nationwide problem ― 87 percent of the country’s 250 biggest cities reported rent rises last year ― but one that cities are still expected to solve by themselves.

Neighbors are fighting growth
Ultimately, the housing crisis is not about housing. It is about the inability of American cities to grow.

“It’s hard to acknowledge change,” says Mike Kazmierski, the president of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. He’s been watching Reno, another medium-size boomtown, play out the same debates as Boise for over six years now. “If you say your city is going to grow, that means you need another fire station, more schools, more staff. Cities don’t have the budgets for that, and asking for it means raising taxes. The pushback is, ‘We don’t want to pay for that growth. Let them pay for it when they get here.’”

This is where Boise starts to look depressingly familiar. In the last few years, as the city’s growth has become more visible, NIMBY groups have taken over the political conversation. Of the 21 speakers at a town hall meeting last month, only two said they welcomed more growth. Signs reading “OVERCROWDING IS NOT SUSTAINABLE” are showing up in front yards. Some local residents, taking a page from the San Francisco playbook, are trying to get their neighborhood classified as a “conservation district” to block new buildings from going in.

Some of the complaints have merit ― it’s hard not to be sympathetic to residents asking for sidewalks on their streets or more frequent bus service ― but many are simply pleas for the growth itself to stop. A comment on the Facebook page for Vanishing Boise, one of the local anti-development groups, is emblematic of the argument: “Why are they coming in the first place?????”

As in other cities, this dynamic reveals a fundamental weakness in the American political system: Opposition to growth comes from homeowners and voters, entrenched interests who already have the ear of local politicians. Supporters of growth, the beneficiaries of all the new development, haven’t even moved here yet.

This means, says Zoe Olsen, the executive director of the Intermountain Fair Housing Council, that local opposition is often focused on preventing growth rather than managing it. “Everyone wants to preserve the farmland around us,” she says. “But these neighborhood groups are fighting for things like, ‘Let’s have one home per acre.’ The only way we’re going to preserve our parks and our beautiful pastoral feeling is by building upwards.”

But there is no political constituency for this argument. Boise’s homeownership rate is 68 percent ― 25 points higher than San Francisco’s. Despite a Boise State University study showing that the city will lose twice as much of its farmland if it continues to expand through sprawl rather than density, most local advocacy groups are making the same argument San Francisco homeowners have made for decades: If we don’t build it, they won’t come.

It’s the same in other midsize, housing-crunched cities: Thanks to the highways and homeowners already there, it’s almost impossible to form the critical mass to make hard decisions about how to grow. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, spent years debating whether to build a single low-income housing complex. Franklin, Tennessee, changed its zoning to allow less density after a developer put 20 houses on a 24-acre plot. In Boise, residents resisted a city plan to base the F-35 fighter jet nearby ― along with the high-paying, secure military jobs that accompany it ― because they didn’t want the noise.

But there are shoots of hope, too. Hanes, the retired HUD administrator, points out that Boise is building dedicated housing for its chronically homeless population. Of the 1,000 housing units under construction downtown, more than 250 are reserved for low-income residents. Hanes started a group, Love Your Neighbor, that shows up at City Council meetings and argues for more growth.

And Hanes, who lived in San Francisco during its early boom years, sees one significant difference between the new housing crisis in smaller cities and the decades-old one in bigger metropolises.

“Here,” he says, “we can still solve it.”

~~~~~Earn minimum wage in the US? You can afford to live in exactly 12 counties
A person working a full-time minimum-wage job will find it virtually impossible to rent an affordable home anywhere in the US, according to a study that sheds new light the country’s housing crisis.

The report reveals that there is not a single county or metropolitan area in which a minimum-wage worker can afford a modest two-bedroom home, which the federal government defines as paying less than 30% of a household’s income for rent and utilities. And in only 12 counties in the country is a modest one-bedroom home affordable, according to the report, published Thursday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

This applies even in places that have raised their minimum wage higher than the baseline federal level of $7.25, which equates to around $15,000 a year. In Los Angeles County the minimum wage is rising to $15 for all employers by 2021, but the current wage required for a one-bedroom there is $22.98. In New York City the minimum wage is rising to $15 for all employers by 2019, but the wage needed for a one-bedroom soars above this, at $27.29.

Less-overheated real estate markets present difficulties to low-income workers as well. Averaging rents across Alabama and Montana, someone earning minimum wage would have to work approximately one-and-a-half full-time jobs to be able to afford a one-bedroom home.

Americans earning minimum wage do not need a study to know how difficult things are.

Alicia Hamiel, 23, a mother of two children in Philadelphia, earns $7.75 an hour at McDonald’s and works 26-38 hours a week, based on what the scheduler allots her. She and her family are currently living in a single room that rents for $400 a month.

“I feel like I’m failing as a mom,” she said. “If I can’t make sure they have a roof over their heads, what am I doing? I feel like I’m doing the best that I can.”

She was once so desperate that looked into staying at a homeless shelter, but there was no room. “I apply for other jobs, I call, I go to interviews. And it’s just like, either I’m not qualified or they just tell me, you know, they don’t want to hire me.”

The study is “well-executed”, said David Bieri, an associate professor of public policy at Virginia Tech, who was not involved with the project. “We learn from it that housing in the coastal US is exceedingly expensive,” he said, and that in cities, wages are “not really moving in line with increased pressures”.

The most expensive counties and metropolitan areas in the US are indeed maritime, or thereabouts: in the San Francisco bay area and in the Honolulu, New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC areas. San Francisco renters must earn $58.04 an hour to afford a two-bed home. The 12 counties where a one-bedroom is affordable are in Arizona, Oregon and Washington – as the report notes, these are states with their own, higher minimum wages – and are mostly rural.

While numerous localities and states have boosted the minimum wage, they may need to be more ambitious. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the minimum wage is about $8.50, but housing costs for a one-bedroom would require a wage of $13.77 an hour. In Saint Louis, Missouri, the minimum wage is $10 but $13.27 is needed; in Tacoma, Washington, the minimum wage is $11.15, lagging the one-bed cost of $17.02.

Raising the minimum wage “definitely is something that would increase quality of life for low-wage workers and is important”, said Andrew Aurand, the principal author of the study, but it “still does not raise the minimum wage to a level that would allow a minimum wage worker to afford a home”.

He suggested that the government could offer increased rental assistance and boost programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, which invests in affordable homes. The Trump administration has signaled it is moving in the opposite direction, proposing cutting funding for the federal housing agency by almost 15% and indicating it would like to ax the trust fund.

Elsewhere in the report, the authors note that some of the occupations predicted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to add the most positions in coming years – such as nursing assistants, retail salespersons and home health aides – all currently earn too little to be able to pay for a one-bedroom apartment, as calculated on a national basis.

Those opposed to raising the minimum wage contend that it could cause job losses and does not help to reduce poverty levels, and their arguments seem to have won out in around two dozen states that have passed laws preempting cities from raising the minimum wage.

Yet this “is bad for workers and it’s bad for the economy because it’s stifling consumer spending”, said Tsedeye Gebreselassie, a senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project. Extensive research, she pointed out, finds a positive effect.

Marco Ascencio, 21, who lives with his mother and two sisters in a two-bedroom house in Inglewood, in Los Angeles County, has no doubt that it should be higher.

He works around 37 hours a week cleaning aircraft for American Airlines and 15 hours making pizza dough at Little Caesars, earning $10.55 an hour for both; his mother also has a full-time minimum wage job cleaning planes, and a sister has just started in a new position. “How is it that three people are working,” he said, “and we’re still struggling?”

Their home rents for around $2,000 a month, and in addition to paying for housing, Ascencio is saving for college tuition. He feels as though the family lives on a knife edge: if his mother became injured and lost her job, or if they were evicted and had to move into a more expensive place, he fears their financial net would break.

“I don’t want to be a 25-year-old still working, earning $10 an hour, and still living in my mom’s house, in the living room – it’s kind of scary.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Ariana Grande about Sweetener

Being real about who you really are or who everyone is, is worth the effort.
Look what happens when someone is down and in the dark.

It's about bringing you along others up so everyone can stand up together.
A point to love as all of us should not fear and know the worth to be lovers of life
because life is short!

To be the sweetener in someones life regardless is worth it!

~~~~~Ariana Grande Spills Deets On Album Release On 'Tonight Show'
Less than two weeks after dropping her first single since last year’s terrorist bombing in Manchester, England, Ariana Grande said on “The Tonight Show” Tuesday that her new album will be coming out this summer, and it has a name: “Sweetener.”

“It’s kind of about bringing light to a situation or to someone’s life or somebody else brings life to your life. ... Sweetening the situation,” Grande told host Jimmy Fallon.

Grande posted the video for “No Tears Left To Cry” last month and performed it live at Coachella. Other songs on the new album are titled “The Light Is Coming” and “God Is A Woman.”

She also dropped a strong hint about the exact date of the “Sweetener” release. We’re guessing July 20. (You’ll have to watch above to see what we mean.)

Her fourth studio album will be her first since the terror attack following her concert in Manchester, England, killed 22 people in May 2017.

Grande and Fallon didn’t discuss the bombing. Still, Fallon praised her strength and her return to Manchester for a benefit concert (where she moved the crowd with an emotional “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”) Grande thanked Fallon with tears welling in her eyes.