Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein, a former associate editor and writer at the Prospect and The Daily Beast, is a Spencer Fellow in education reporting at Columbia University. Her work on politics, women’s issues, and education has appeared in BusinessWeek, Slate, The New Republic, and The Nation.

Recent Articles

MIND THE GAP

MIND THE GAP . Kay is skeptical about Hillary Clinton �s motivations for reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, and also expresses doubt about expending energy on a legislative approach to solving the gender gap in wages. She cites social conditions that leave women out-of-the-loop when it comes to salaries and disproportionate domestic responsibilities as major problems. But if we take a close look at the proposed legislation, we see it is designed to address exactly these issues. It prohibits employers from penalizing workers for sharing salary information with one another, and requires firms to keep detailed records on pay classified by gender, race, and national origin. The Paycheck Fairness Act also makes it easier for women to bring class action lawsuits based upon gender discrimination and makes it harder for companies to claim that �factors other than sex� that are actually sex-specific (such as taking maternity leave) are responsible for wage disparities. So the Paycheck...

SHOULD WE BE IMITATING TERRORIST LABOR PRACTICES?

SHOULD WE BE IMITATING TERRORIST LABOR PRACTICES? Yesterday the Senate voted 51-46 to give 40,000 airport baggage screeners the right to unionize. The House supports a similar bill, but President Bush has threatened a veto, which there doesn�t appear to be enough votes in either the House or Senate to override. The New York Times reports that Sen. Richard M. Burr (R-NC), called the bill �absolutely absurd. Terrorists don�t go on strike. Terrorists don�t call their union to negotiate before they attack.� It�s nice to know that some Senators look to al-Qaeda to model fair labor practices. Personally, I�d like to think the people who prevent weapons from making it onto airplanes are content at work. There�s been high turnover among screeners, and a union could help provide the stability necessary to professionalize the job, keeping us all safer. -- Dana Goldstein

FEMINIST LABOR POLITICS

FEMINIST LABOR POLITICS . This weekend, The New York Times Magazine chimed in to a growing conversation about women�s work-family balance with a piece arguing that increasing government support for childcare and health care will encourage women to have more babies and start younger, thus staving off a �baby drought.� I�m unconvinced by the argument that Americans need to be repopulating the world with gas guzzlers any faster than we already are. But of course, it remains a serious inequity -- and a drain on productivity -- that American women do 60 to 70 percent of domestic labor even though in today�s economy, 60 percent of us work outside the home (compared to 74 percent of men). And we learned last week that when women move in with a male partner, we start doing more housework while men do less. How romantic. In an excellent Nation cover story , journalist and historian Ruth Rosen dubs women�s second- and third-shift labor responsibilities the �care crisis.� Amidst the progressive...

TAKE THAT, GROVER NORQUIST

TAKE THAT, GROVER NORQUIST . Good news from a New York Times /CBS News poll this morning. Sixty percent of Americans -- including 62 percent of independents -- would be willing to pay more taxes to guarantee universal health coverage. But according to the poll, only 36 percent of Americans have confidence in Hillary Clinton �s ability to deliver health care reform this time around, and about half are unsure about John Edwards � idea to require employers to either pay for health insurance or pay into a general fund to provide government coverage. And get this: A full 80 percent think health care is a more important priority than continuing the Bush tax cuts! Edwards� statement that he would repeal the Bush tax cuts for those earning over $200,000 a year to pay for universal health coverage was greeted as apostasy, but now here�s some hard evidence that the era of �tax� as a dirty word might be drawing to a close . Sure, Americans like to imagine that they�ll be rich enough someday to...

EQUAL TO THE POPULATION OF SOUTH DAKOTA.

EQUAL TO THE POPULATION OF SOUTH DAKOTA. For the first time in 23 years, the Department of Housing and Urban Development presented a report to Congress yesterday documenting the scope of the United States� homelessness epidemic. The survey used a new approach, collecting data on the number of Americans sleeping on the street or seeking temporary shelter over a three-month period from January to April 2005, instead of just counting street-dwellers on one specific night, as past surveys have done. The results? 754,000 Americans were homeless for at least part of 2005, meaning they slept on the street or sought beds in shelters or transitional housing. One-third of the homeless were families with children. About half were black. (According to the Urban Institute, meanwhile, only 6 percent of the homeless population does not suffer from a mental illness or substance abuse problem.) In urban America, affordable housing, job training, and public health are all solutions to homelessness. But...

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