Gabriel Arana is a senior editor at The American Prospect. His articles on gay rights, immigration, and media have appeared in publications including The New Republic, The Nation, Salon, The Advocate, and The Daily Beast.
Rebecca Ruiz says government can help childcare providers become well-paid professionals:
Despite their meager incomes, the women who provide daily care to the nation's children -- 95 percent of workers in the field are female -- are increasingly expected to provide their charges with quality learning experiences. Research has shown that early-childhood learning is a key indicator for future academic and personal success, and in recent years, policy-makers and advocates have embraced the idea that child-care workers are an essential yet neglected part of the equation. Gone are the days when child-care workers were seen as doing little more than handing out blocks and Barbies.
Stephen Franklin says some of the worst worker abuses are in food-processing and farming -- where government is a huge purchaser:
You would think that after many decades of farmworker abuse and increased public awareness of such conditions, life would be far better today for the Florabeth de la Garzas who harvest and process what we eat. But that is not the case -- even with federal and state protections and the efforts of unions and worker-advocacy and human-rights groups.
Paul Waldman says that like all raucous celebrations, the Tea Party will eventually wind down:
The central divide within the right now, as it has been for some time, is between economic conservatives and social conservatives. The former are essentially libertarian, believing that government action is harmful almost by definition. The latter are quite happy to have government making decisions in people's lives, so long as it makes the right ones -- about whom you can marry, whether you can get an abortion, and what public schools will teach about things like evolution. Most of the time, they're able to work together, because they're concerned about different things.
Ann O'Leary says there is well-established legal authority for much stronger presidential action to promote good jobs:
The authority for presidential executive orders was addressed by the courts only in 1952 when the Supreme Court struck down President Harry Truman's executive order in which he seized the country's steel mills to avoid a threatened strike in the midst of the Korean War. In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, the Court held that Truman had no authority to seize the mills and instructed that the president's authority to issue an order "must stem from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself."