News & Commentary

April 30, 2017

Maia Usui

Maia Usui is a student at Harvard Law School.

Yesterday was the 100th day of the Trump presidency, and the report cards are in.  In an op-ed published in The Washington Post, President Trump maintained that he has “kept his promise[s]” to the American people.  He pointed to his achievements in curbing immigration and overhauling the United States’ trade relationships.  But there’s one area in which he has few concrete wins to show: jobs.  The White House website claims that the Trump administration has created “over 500,000 new jobs” — but the number is probably closer to 300,000, and it’s far from clear whether Trump can take credit for those, according to NPR.  The Washington Post looks ahead to what the President’s next steps will be, as he tackles tax reform with the hopes of stimulating job growth.

New research has confirmed what has long been suspected: income inequality reduces economic opportunity.  In a new paper published in Science, Stanford economist Raj Chetty tracked rates of income mobility since the 1940s, finding a distinct downward trend: whereas 90% of children born in 1940 earned more than their parents at the age of 30, only 50% of children born in the 1980s have done the same.  In the face of widening income disparities, the American dream could be “fading.”  Read the accompanying essay from economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger here.

Are women allowed to love their jobs?  That’s the question that Jill Filipovic tackles in The New York Times this weekend, reflecting on a culture that values work as a crucial component of male identities, but “remains ambivalent about whether adult women working . . . is a good thing.”  She suggests that, until this attitude changes, workplace reforms for women — however much needed — could be slow to materialize.

A Hollywood writers’ strike is looking more and more likely.  The Writers Guild of America’s contract expires tomorrow, meaning that writers could be on strike as early as Tuesday.  At the center of the dispute between the writers and the studios is the writers’ health insurance plan.  The Los Angeles Times has more.

Finally, tomorrow is May Day.  This year, a broad coalition of activists will be taking to the streets to protest the Trump administration — not only on labor issues, but also on policies relating to immigration, police brutality, and environmental justice, among others.  Mother Jones has more.

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