All today’s good reads. Good,as in, thought-provoking or informative. Not so much good in a nice way.

When Republicans talk about low-wage workers, they use the language of bigots. Republicans call fast food cashiers, home health aides and hotel maids stupid and unskilled and lazy. Also, the GOP contends, minimum wage workers are teenagers, not whole humans, merely children. Republicans believe such subhumans deserve paltry wages.
Dehumanizing the Poor for Fun and Profit (via azspot)




The Dying Fields by Linda Laird

Cotton production is painstaking work that requires long hours of cleaning, seeding and hauling water to fields. Each bloom must be cross-pollinated by hand then plucked. Workers can suffer respiratory and other health problems caused by exposure to pesticides, extreme heat and physical stress.

Most cotton farmers are barely able to cover their output costs, let alone make any profit to support their families. India – which competes with the likes of the US, where cotton is heavily subsidised – is grappling with the rising costs of genetically modified seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the impact of unpredictable weather patterns. GM seeds account for 95% of cotton farming in India.

India is experiencing its biggest wave of suicides among cotton farmers. More than 270,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves since 1995. Some observers have linked the deaths to the introduction of costly genetically modified seeds, fertilizers and insecticides. Many farmers turn to loan-sharks to pay for these items, however unfavourable weather conditions, or even a mere dip in the global price of cotton, can spell disaster for growers. | Read More


[M]any nations of the third world are described as ‘underdeveloped’. These less wealthy nations are generally those that suffered under colonialism and neo-colonialism. The ‘developed’ nations are those that exploited their resources and wealth. Therefore, rather than referring to these countries as ‘underdeveloped’, a more appropriate and meaningful designation might be ‘over exploited’. Again, transpose this term next time you read about the ‘underdeveloped nations’ and note the different meaning that results.
Robert B. Moore, “Racist Stereotyping in the English Language” (viawretchedoftheearth)


Colombian Poor Occupy Lands Slated for Military Base…

It’s a future military base with the purpose of protecting an oil pipeline. Over 2,000 families who are poor and displaced have set up a village because they had no where else to go. They need the land more than the oil company.


talked about housing segregation and the link between geography & inequality with @BrianLehrer…
Studies show that middle-class black families tend to still live near pockets of poverty, leading to stagnant economic mobility and persistent problems around violence, education, and more. Jamelle Bouie, writer for Slate, discusses the implications and the link between neighborhood and downward mobility. Plus, calls from those of you who have “escaped” poor neighborhoods: Is there an inherent tension between wanting to move out of a bad neighborhood and the notion that one should stick around and “give back?” “