The Great Debate

Like nails on a chalkboard: How hard-fought labor reforms have been lost

By Terry Golway
May 18, 2015

Credit: Creative Commons

After the New York Times ran a searing two-part investigation into the exploitation and job-related health problems of the state’s nail-salon workers earlier this month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered emergency measures to protect them and appointed a special review panel to recommend long-term reforms. The Times series painted a portrait of an immigrant workforce laboring in dangerous conditions and for pitiful wages — in some cases paying salon owners for the opportunity to make $10, or less, a day.

What about Social Security’s rollout?

By Bruce J. Schulman
October 29, 2013

After the nation’s major social program finally became law, critics regularly blamed it for a slowing economy and a swelling federal bureaucracy. Fierce congressional opposition led to the formation of a blue-ribbon panel to overhaul the measure. Obamacare in 2013? Not quite. It was Social Security in 1937.

Death in Bangladesh: Triangle fire redux

By Kevin Baker
June 6, 2013


So now we are to have Senate hearings on the deadly conditions in Bangladeshi garment factories, and so must pretend to discover what we have known all along — in seeking to save a few dollars on our next trip to the mall, we are willing to let other people suffer the worst horrors of our own past.