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  • Originally published 11/07/2013

    Raise the Minimum Wage

    The richest nation on earth has millions of full-time employees earning poverty-level wages.

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Testing the New Pope's Commitment to Poverty

    Study of portait of Dorothy Day  by Sarah Melici. Credit: Flickr/Jim Forest.In words to news media people on March 16 the new pope, Francis, explained that he had chosen his name after the medieval saint Francis of Assisi. And it was primarily the saint’s commitment to peace and helping the poor that influenced him. Since the new pope seems to have a good sense of humor, he might appreciate the following irony: Although the Catholic Church he now heads bars women from the priesthood and his church is often accused of gender bias, the twentieth-century person who most forcefully embraced the ideals of St. Francis was a woman -- Dorothy Day.

  • Originally published 01/15/2013

    Eight Things I Miss About the Cold War

    Credit: Wiki Commons.At a book festival in Los Angeles recently, some writers (myself included) were making the usual arguments about the problems with American politics in the 1950s -- until one panelist shocked the audience by declaring, “God, I miss the Cold War.” His grandmother, he said, had come to California from Oklahoma with a grade-school education, but found a job in an aerospace factory in L.A. during World War II, joined the union, got healthcare and retirement benefits, and prospered in the Cold War years. She ended up owning a house in the suburbs and sending her kids to UCLA.Several older people in the audience leaped to their feet shouting, “What about McCarthyism?”  “The bomb?” “Vietnam?” “Nixon?”