Quoted from Sarah Kendzior’s “Surviving the Post-Employment Economy"
“In the United States, nine percent of computer science majors are unemployed, and 14.7 percent of those who hold degrees in information systems have no job. Graduates with degrees in STEM - science, technology, engineering and medicine - are facing record joblessness, with unemployment at more than twice pre-recession levels. The job market for law degree holders continues to erode, with only 55 percent of 2011 law graduates in full-time jobs. Even in the military, that behemoth of the national budget, positions are being eliminated or becoming contingent due to the sequester.
It is not skills or majors that are being devalued. It is people.”
Her work is frank, speaking of a reality I hope that will never be mine. At the same time, it gives me a strange comfort to know that I am not alone.
“This month marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of an “unconditional war on poverty.” Over the next decade, Johnson and his successor, President Richard Nixon, initiated a series of government programs and policies for raising Americans’ living standards. Yet this month also marks over a quarter century since President Ronald Reagan’s 1988 announcement that the war on poverty was over, and that poverty had won. The next decade produced a retrenchment in federal anti-poverty programs culminating in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which shifted government priorities toward promoting married couple families as a solution to poverty. To mark the anniversaries of these very different approaches to the government’s role in poverty reduction, the Council on Contemporary Families circulated two briefing reports that put poverty reduction, poverty rates, and policy responses to poverty in perspective.”
Black bodies in America continue to be reduced to their surfaces and to stereotypes that are constricting and false, that often force those black bodies to move through social spaces in ways that put white people at ease. We fear that our black bodies incite an accusation. We move in ways that help us to survive the procrustean gazes of white people. We dread that those who see us might feel the irrational fear to stand their ground rather than “finding common ground,” a reference that was made by Bernice King as she spoke about the legacy of her father at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The white gaze is also hegemonic, historically grounded in material relations of white power: it was deemed disrespectful for a black person to violate the white gaze by looking directly into the eyes of someone white. The white gaze is also ethically solipsistic: within it only whites have the capacity of making valid moral judgments.
The House on Thursday approved a bipartisan budget accord and a Pentagon policy bill that would strengthen protections for victims of sexual assault. But as it wrapped up its business for the year, it left unfinished a major piece of domestic policy — the farm bill — making it likely that Congress will not deal with it until January.
Republicans and Democrats hope the budget pact, which passed 332 to 94, will act as a truce in the spending battles that have paralyzed Congress for nearly three years, and leaders in both parties sought to marginalize hard-line conservatives opposed to any compromise.
The defense measure would, in addition to strengthening protections for military victims of sexual assault, leave open the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, over President Obama’s objections.
The provisions to stem the growing number of sexual assault cases in the military are the most expansive in years. They would include new rules to prevent commanding officers from overturning sexual assault verdicts.
But an agreement remained elusive on the farm bill, the subject of continuing disagreements between Republicans and Democrats over spending for food stamps and expanding crop insurance for farmers, among other issues. All the House could pass on Thursday was a simple one-month extension of the current law, which Senate Democrats oppose because they think it will distract from the completion of a new bill.
Earlier, with bipartisan support in hand, Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio declared open warfare on the outside conservative groups that tried to scuttle the budget deal. For the second day in a row, he accused groups like the Club for Growth, Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity of reflexively opposing a reasonable plan to try to raise their profiles and improve their fund-raising.
He said the groups had devised the strategy of linking further government spending to the repeal of President Obama’s health care law, then pressing their members and House Republicans to go along, even though they knew it would shut down the government and ultimately fail.
“Are you kidding me?” the speaker shouted, denouncing opposition to the budget accord. “There comes a point where some people step over the line. When you criticize something and you have no idea what you’re criticizing, it undermines your credibility.”