• Sandra Ericson

Making The Case ...

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

George Packer writing, How to Destroy a Government in the April 2020 issue of The Atlantic, sums up the damage done to consumers in just the Labor Department:

"The Labor Department has made deep cuts in the number of safety inspectors, and worker deaths nationwide have increased dramatically, while recalls of unsafe consumer products have dropped off."

Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, March, 2020, writing, Abraham Lincoln’s Radical Moderation, points to the “transformative” legislation passed after the Civil War which created the Agriculture Department. He identified the Morrill Land Grant College Act as a “landmark” for the country. The Act “would distribute federal and to states  and localities for the purpose of building public institutions of higher learning dedicated to teaching agriculture and the practical arts — a miracle of democratization in the history of American education.”

The Emerging Crisis of Senior Homelessness: What Can Be Done to Help? study by University of Pennsylvania researchers on seismic demographic trends in New York City's shelter system determined that an epidemic of senior homelessness is unfolding, reports Health Affairs. Shelter residents 50 and older exceeded 17,000 in 2017, an almost threefold increase from 2004 -- and the study forecast that nearly 25,000 aged New Yorkers will be homeless by 2030. More worrying still are projections that this growth will be focused in those 65 and older. Parallel studies in Boston and Los Angeles confirmed similar age trends among those cities' homeless populations, while a Health Affairs study determined that 33 percent to 50 percent of shelter residents are entering homelessness for the first time.   Read More

Tax Justice Is Gender Justice The tax code sets the rules that shape our economy, reflecting and perpetuating notions of who and what our society values. It’s an opportunity to fight inequality. But today’s tax code contains outdated and often biased assumptions about family structures, marriage, participation in the paid workforce, and more that work together to perpetuate structural barriers against women, families with low incomes, and people of color. A Tax Code for the Rest of Us

Debt Among Oldest Americans Skyrockets 543 Percent in Two Decades The Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimated that the total debt burden for Americans older than 70 soared 543 percent from 1999 through 2019 to $1.1 trillion, reports CNBC. A 2018 study by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) concluded that seniors have been "disproportionately harmed" by a worsening "modest social safety net." A separate report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found more seniors risk running short of money in retirement due to their increased likelihood of debt. Households headed by someone older than 75 with debt payments exceeding 40 percent of their income grew more than 23 percent from 2007 to 2016.  Read More

From the March 5, 2020, Gallup poll report:  Working Moms Get Little Reprieve From Household Demands, by Megan Brenan

Bottom Line: Married working mothers of children younger than 18 often struggle with work-life balance to accomplish all that they must at work and at home.

  • 52% of working mothers do the laundry

  • Working moms more likely than dads to clean, shop, care for kids, cook

  • Moms working full time do fewer tasks than moms who don't work full time 

  • 2/3 of married mothers with children younger than age 18 work either full (50%) or part time (17%), 

  • 92% of married fathers with children under 18 work either full (88%) or part time (4%). 

  • For those employed full time, mothers work an aver. of 44 hours per week, while fathers 50 hours.

Gallup, March 5, 2020  How Many Women Worldwide Are Single Moms? by Steve Crabtree and Sofia Kluch

Among more economically developed regions, North America is home to the highest rate of single women aged 18 to 60 with children, at 19%. Between the two countries that make up this region, the U.S. has the higher rate at 19%, while 13% of Canadian women are single with children in the household. 56% of US single mothers are in the lowest income quartile in the country. 

Why Does This One Couch From West Elm Suck So Much? by Anna Hezel February 16, 2017, Article compares notes with other unsatisfied owners of the Peggy sofa.

Last paragraph:  “A leg had snapped off, and the whole thing had toppled over. Tipsy friends set about propping the 300-pound piece of garbage up with stacks of books.” This is what happens without consumer product education in the schools. Young people starting out lost $1,200 of their savings on the junk sofa because they did not know the features of a high quality one. It's not acceptable to force young people to endure expensive trial and error system for consumer purchases. 

Who’s paying now?  The explicit and implicit costs of the current early care and education system by Elise Gould, Hunter Blair, Economic Policy Institute, January 15, 2020.  The chronic under-funding of early care and education (ECE) is compromising the well-being of educators and children and threatening the economic security of millions of families in the United States. The current ECE system demands large contributions from the parents of young children. In a high-quality system that pays them like their K–8 peers, teachers will see wages rise by $80.3 billion/year. This is a measure of how much today’s ECE system underpays teachers. Investment in a high quality system will more than pay for itself.

Gallup, March 8, 2019 Respect for U.S. Women Hit New Low Before Midterms, by Julie Ray


  • Record-low 48% of U.S. women say women treated with respect, dignity

  • Gap between men and women widens to 22 points

  • Majority of women see men treated better than women

  • Powerful infographics

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