Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

poor-door-40-riverside-boul Poor-Door-full


Just about a year ago, I reported on the plan to build a mixed high-rise apartment building in New York City that would have separate—rich and poor—entrances.

Well, that plan has just been approved by the city.

The building, one of the last Riverside South towers, at 40 Riverside Boulevard, will be 33-stories with 219 luxury condo units and 55 affordable rental units. The affordable housing allowed Extell to increase the overall size of the project under the Inclusionary Housing Program, although a more accurate name, in this case, would probably be something along the lines of the Inclusionary, But Not That Inclusionary Housing Program. While the luxury condos face the water, the affordable units will be segregated into a street-facing “building segment,” with the separate entrance located in the back of the building. “This ‘separate but equal’ arrangement is abominable and has no place in the 21st century, let alone on the Upper West Side,” local Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal said after the “poor door” plans came to light last August.

In addition, low-income residents will have separate elevators and will not be able to use some of the building’s facilities—such as gyms, storage units, rooftop space—which will be reserved for high-income residents.

According to the Real Deal, that’s just fine for other developers in the city.

“No one ever said that the goal was full integration of these populations,” said David Von Spreckelsen, Senior Vice President at Toll Brothers, told The Real Deal. Toll Brothers’ 1 Northside Piers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has separate entrances. “So now you have politicians talking about that, saying how horrible those back doors are. I think it’s unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighborhood.”

Apparently, as corporations acquire legal personhood and new discriminatory rights, class segregation is becoming established as the law of the land.


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Citigroup and Justice

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Back in 2011, I suggested that “a creative way of getting out of the current crises created by capitalism” would be for cities, regions, and states to establish something like an Office of the Creative Economy, whose task would be to “grow a diversity of noncapitalist enterprises.”

I just learned that, in June, New York City approved a city budget that contains a $1.2-million program—the New York City Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative—to fund a community of nonprofit providers to facilitate the development of cooperatives. The idea is to build on the experience of Cooperative Home Care Associates—the largest worker-owned cooperative in the country—and start new businesses, support existing businesses, and expand the promise of workplace democracy to hundreds of low-income residents throughout the five boroughs. From what I’ve heard, the funding will also support the transition of existing businesses to democratic employee ownership.

Now, that’s a creative way of creating a new economy.


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toles20140717 Steve Bell 17.07.14

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The Pew Research Center reports that a record number of Americans—57 million or or 18.1 percent of the population—lived in multi-generational households in 2012, double the number who lived in such households in 1980.

After three decades of steady but measured growth, the arrangement of having multiple generations together under one roof spiked during the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and has kept on growing in the post-recession period, albeit at a slower pace. . .

Historically, the nation’s oldest Americans have been the age group most likely to live in multi-generational households. But in recent years, younger adults have surpassed older adults in this regard. In 2012, 22.7% of adults ages 85 and older lived in a multi-generational household, just shy of the 23.6% of adults ages 25 to 34 in the same situation.

What’s the explanation for the growth in multigenerational households? Pew cites young adults’ decisions to marry at later ages and to stay in school longer as well as the country’s changing racial and ethnic composition (since racial and ethnic minorities generally have been more likely to live in multi-generational family arrangements).

The cause that should worry us is the deteriorating economic situation of young adults:

the declining employment and wages of less-educated young adults may be undercutting their capacity to live independently of their parents. Unemployed adults are much more likely to live in multi-generational households than adults with jobs are. A 2011 Pew Research report found that in 2009, 25% of the unemployed lived in a multi-generational household, compared with 16% of those with jobs.

As Heidi Shierholz [pdf] recently testified, the wages of young graduates have fared extremely poorly during the Second Great Depression.

The real (inflation-adjusted) wages of young high school graduates have dropped 9.8 percent since 2007 (the declines were larger for men, at 11.0 percent, than for women, at 8.1 percent). The wages of young college graduates have also dropped since 2007, by 6.9 percent (for young college graduates, the declines were much larger for women, at 10.1 percent, than for men, at 4.0 percent).

But they were doing poorly even before the most recent crisis.

they saw virtually no growth over the entire period of broad wage stagnation that began during the business cycle of 2000–2007. Since 2000, the wages of young high school graduates have declined 10.8 percent (11.4 percent for men and 10.7 percent for women), and the wages of young college graduates have decreased 7.7 percent (0.5 percent for men and 14.2 percent for women). These drops translate into substantial amounts of money. For full-time, full-year workers, the hourly wage declines since 2000 represent a roughly $2,500 decline in annual earnings for young high school graduates, and a roughly $3,000 decline for young college graduates.

As a result, young adults have been increasingly forced to have the freedom to stay or move back in with their parents, thus increasing the number of Americans who are living in multigenerational households.