The Great Debate

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

By Terry Golway
May 18, 2015
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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

ILLUSTRATION: Matt Mahurin

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.