Jamelle Bouie

Jamelle Bouie is a staff writer at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Fact Check: Creditors Still Lurve U.S. Debt.

Andrew Sullivan responds to Freddie DeBoer ’s post on debt, deficits, and “seriousness”: The current math simply demands either massive tax hikes or massive benefit cuts in the future. Adjusting now will make the future, relative suffering less rather than more painful. And like Megan, I'd like to see the cuts focus on those who are most able to afford it. To use the obvious example: why should we be sending Warren Buffet a social security check? But my worry is that not only will acting now make the pain more bearable later, but not acting now may precipitate a financial collapse of confidence in the US that would mean far worse misery than the government actually balancing its books . Borrowing to help people now - at the great expense of people later - is not a responsible policy. And financial panics and crises tend to happen with little warning. [Emphasis mine] If Sullivan believes we’re facing eminent financial collapse, then he needs to actually make the case for urgency...

Apparently, It's Not a Stigma if They Deserve It.

In their continuing effort to make theirs the worst state in the Union, Arizona Republicans want to require food-stamp recipients to carry bright-orange identification cards with large black lettering, as opposed to the current, debit-style cards: [A] Chandler Republican lawmaker wants the debit cards now given to food-stamp recipients to be bright safety orange. And if there's any doubt what the card pulled out of someone's wallet at the checkout is, that would be erased by the words "Government Food Stamp Card" stamped across it in large black print. First-term Rep. Jeff Dial said his goal is not to stigmatize those who qualify for the aid, formally known as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Instead, Dial said he wants to prevent fraud. "If that does concern people that they have a bright orange card, I hope they go get a better education or better jobs and stop using that card," he said. Dial doesn't want to stigmatize poor people; he just wants everyone to...

Three Things.

The New York Times has a good piece about modern communications technology and how it's affected the "communication gap" between deployed soldiers and their relationships at home: The communication gap that once kept troops from staying looped into the joyful, depressing, prosaic or sordid details of home life has all but disappeared. With advances in cellular technology, wider Internet access and the infectious use of social networking sites like Facebook, troops in combat zones can now communicate with home nearly around the clock. They can partake in births and birthdays in real time. They can check sports scores, take online college courses and even manage businesses and stock portfolios. But there is a drawback: they can no longer tune out problems like faulty dishwashers and unpaid electric bills, wayward children and failing relationships, as they once could. I don't have much to say about the piece itself, but it reminds me of an office conversation from awhile back. Over the...

The Neverending Story.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) wants to take union-busting to 19th-century levels. Last week, he announced a sweeping plan to cut benefits for public employees and eliminate labor negotiations by stripping public-sector unions of their collective bargaining rights. In response, state unions have gone on a PR offensive against Walker, and workers have poured into the state capital for protests and demonstrations. Workers' rights aren't responsible for the state's budget shortfall, but Walker has framed his proposal as necessary to fixing the state's finances. As Brian Beutler reports , this is a little far from the truth: [T]his broadside comes less than a month after the state's fiscal bureau -- the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office -- concluded that Wisconsin isn't even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his...

Obviously, the Real Problem Is Debt.

I don't see what the problem is; if these people wanted jobs, then they shouldn't have been unemployed : There's a growing trend of employers refusing to consider the unemployed for job openings, according to a number of people who testified before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday. They say that employers are barring the unemployed from job openings, which is particularly unfair to older workers and African Americans because more of them are unemployed. Several examples of discriminatory help-wanted ads were offered: a Texas electronics company said online that it would "not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason"; an ad for a restaurant manager position in New Jersey said applicants must be employed; a phone manufacturer's job announcement said "No Unemployed Candidates Will Be Considered At All," according to Helen Norton, associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Law. As you can probably imagine, this...

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