Today’s News and Commentary — September 15, 2016

Published September 15th, 2016 -  - 09.15.161


Donald Trump made headlines yesterday for his proposal to provide six weeks paid maternity leave through an expansion of the unemployment insurance program.  According to Trump campaign estimates, the plan would cost $2.5 billion a year.  The proposal is the first by a Republican presidential nominee on the issue.  Trump’s proposal is less generous than the proposal advanced by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.  Clinton’s policy would provide twelve weeks of paid family leave for family or medical care.  Read more comparing the two proposals here.

The New York Times reports that the gains in American household incomes reported by the Census Bureau have been uneven.  Rural areas, the Rust Belt, and Appalachia have not seen the gains experienced by other parts of the country.  As a result, the article posits that the announcement that household incomes have increased will likely not impact the presidential election.  The article cites a recent study from David Autor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the proposition that areas with high job loss exhibit more ideologically extreme voting.  The study found that Congressional districts with the most job loss as a result of trade with China have exhibited increased polarization in voting patterns.  Read more here.

The backlash against the North Carolina law referred to as House Bill 2 continued yesterday. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, announced it would move neutral-site championships from the state in response to the law.  House Bill 2 overrides local governments’ anti-discrimination statutes protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.  The law is perhaps most well know for its requirement that those who go to the bathroom in publicly owned buildings must use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity assigned at birth.  The ACC announcement comes on the heels of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s decision to remove its championship games from the state.  Read more about the state of anti-discrimination protections for LGBT workers from OnLabor here.

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