Analysis Fri, 09 Oct 2015 01:43:05 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-us Studies: Fewer Teens Using Marijuana, Younger Adolescents More Likely To Voice Disapproval

Studies: Fewer Teens Using Marijuana, Younger Adolescents More Likely To Voice DisapprovalBaltimore, MD--(ENEWSPF)--October 8, 2015.  Self-reported use of marijuana by high-school students is significantly lower today than it was 15 years ago, according to an analysis of CDC data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore assessed data compiled by the US Center for Disease Control's National Youth Risk Behavior Survey for the years 1999 to 2013. The Survey is a biennial school-based evaluation of more than 100,000 high-school students nationwide.

Investigators reported that lifetime use of cannabis fell during this period. The percentage of respondents reporting monthly marijuana consumption and/or any use of cannabis prior to age 13 also declined.

"People have been very quick to say that marijuana use is going up and up and up in this country, particularly now that marijuana has become more normalized," study leader Renee M. Johnson, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School said in a press release. "What we are seeing is that ... the rates of marijuana use have actually fallen."

The result echoes those of previous studies concluding that changes in state marijuana policies are not associated with increased marijuana use by young people.

The results of a separate study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin further conclude that growing percentages of younger teens disapprove of the plant's use. Investigators reported "a significant increase in the proportion of youth (age 12 to 14) reporting 'strong disapproval' of marijuana use initiation over the last decade." Similar to the findings of prior studies, the paper also reports that teens' lifetime and past year use of marijuana has declined significantly over the past decade.

Full text of the study, "Past 15-year trends in adolescent marijuana use: Differences by race/ethnicity and sex," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Full text of the study, "Trends in the disapproval and use of marijuana among adolescents and young adults in the United States: 2002-2013," appears in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.



]]> (Press Release) Analysis Thu, 08 Oct 2015 22:22:59 -0500
Report: Governments That Kill for Drugs are an Extreme Fringe of the International Community

Death penalty for drugs increasing in Iran and Indonesia as numbers decline in significantly in China, says new Global Report, launched ahead of the 13th World Day Against the Death Penalty: Drug Crimes

London, UK—(ENEWSFP)— 8 October 2015. The number of people executed for drug-related offences remains high at  an estimated 550 people per year but only because a small number of  countries who account for  the majority of those deaths  -  China, Iran and Saudi Arabia – are aggressive executioners, according to a new report released  today by Harm Reduction International (HRI).

Of the approximately 549 executions for drugs believed to have taken place in 2013, 546 were carried out in those three countries.

The report, Death Penalty for Drug Offences 2015, is the fourth edition published by HRI since 2007 and coincides with both the 13th World Day Against the Death Penalty taking place on October 10 and the 24thInternational Harm Reduction Conference being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 18-21. (1) The report publishes the latest round of execution and death row statistics for the 33 countries and territories that prescribe the death penalty for drugs in law.

In recent years there has been growing dissent with the Global Drug Control system and Member States and International Agencies like the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) are increasing pressure on those rogue states that carry out executions in violation of international law. The issue will be scrutinised at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs to take place in New York in April 2016.

The death penalty for drugs is distinct from many other capital punishment issues as drug control is not confined to the borders of a particular country. In recent years, a number of governments implemented guidelines that potentially limit cooperation with drug control agencies in countries that carry out illegal executions. Even more importantly, several states have withdrawn drug control aid over death penalty concerns, illustrating how seriously the issue is being taken.

“Governments that kill for drugs represent an extremist fringe of the international community,” said Rick Lines, Executive Director of Harm Reduction International and co-author of the report. “Those countries executing drug offenders, particularly in large numbers, make up a tiny minority of countries in the world. They are even more extreme than other minority of countries that also have the death penalty for drugs in their national legislation, but most of whom don’t actually execute people in practice.”

The report notes that the decline in overall numbers of people being executed for drug offence, from around a 1000 to 600  reflects what many believe to be a dramatic decrease in the number of  all executions in China, perhaps indicating some pattern of internal re-evaluation by authorities in that country.(2)  However, it also notes that determining accurate global figures on executions for drug offences is extremely difficult given the secrecy with which some key States treat such information.

However, the report also notes an apparent change in policyin Indonesia which traditionally has had many drug offenders on death rowwere rarely executed. Between 2007 through 2012, two drug offenders had been executed. That changed in 2013 when the government executed five people, two of whom were convicted of drug offences. In 2015 the government carried out mass executions of drug offenders, some of them amidst huge media attention and widespread criticism from world leaders.

Drug offences have long comprised the majority of executions in Iran and continue to do so. While executions for murder appeared to be growing in recent years, Iran Human Rights’ latest report notes that in the first six months of 2015 there were an estimated 570 executions, of which 394 people (69 percent) were drug offenders.

Other highlights of the report include:

There are at least 33 countries and territories that prescribe the death penalty for drugs in law;

At least 10 countries have the death penalty for drugs as a mandatory sanction;

In 2013, around 549 people were believed to have been executed for drugs. This is an estimate using figures provided by human rights monitors but it cannot be considered comprehensive and it is likely there are more executions than those recorded;

If the estimates for China are accurate and remained constant for 2014, then there would have been at least 600 executions for drugs in 2014. The actual figure is also likely to be higher when countries like North Korea, for which there is no reliable data, are included;

Executions for drugs took place in at least seven countries since 2010.This number is possibly higherbut not by much. Very few countries in the world actually execute drug offenders with any frequency;

As of 2015, there are believed to be almost 900 people on death row for drugs in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Pakistan, and many hundreds more in China, Iran and Vietnam;

At least 12 countries or territories that prescribe the death penalty for drugs in law are not known to have ever executed a single person for a drug offence;

Six countries that prescribe the death penalty for drugs in law are ‘abolitionist in practice’ meaning ‘executions have not taken place for 10 years’ or a formal moratorium has been issued.

The report is also critical of Malaysian the secrecy surrounding the Malaysian Government´s death penalty policies. While the numbers of executions for drugs that become public are relatively few, no figures can be seen as comprehensive.

“Governments must increase transparency on their use of the death penalty,” said Lines. ”Keeping information on executions secret exposes arguments about any alleged deterrent effect of the death penalty as false. How can governments seriously suggest the death penalty is a deterrent when they refuse to disclose how, when and for what offences it is used?”


(1) The International Harm Reduction Conference will feature a special focus on the death penalty, debate in the Asia Pacific region featuring the participation of leading activists and lawyers from countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. There will also be significant focus on the issue of a global harm reduction funding shortfall: HRI is running its 10 by 20 campaign, calling on governments to redirect 10 per cent of the resources that they currently spend on ineffective punitive responses to drugs towards harm reduction by 2020.

(2) In the past, Harm Reduction International estimated that as many as a thousand people were executed each year for drugs. The decline in the estimates above reflects what many believe to be a dramatic decrease in the number of executions in China. The Dui Hua Foundation believes China executes fewer people each year now than in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In fact, the Foundation estimates that executions fell from 6,500 in

About Harm Reduction International (HRI)

Harm Reduction International is a leading non-governmental organisation working to promote and expand support for harm reduction. With over 8,000 members worldwide, Harm Reduction International is the largest membership-based global harm reduction association.  HRI works to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impacts of drug use and drug policy – such as the increased vulnerability to HIV and hepatitis infection among people who inject drugs – by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights based approaches to drug policy.



]]> (Press Release) Analysis Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:53:26 -0500
New Center for American Progress Report Details Lasting Harm of Preschool Suspensions and Expulsions, Offers Recommendations to End Overcriminalization of Youth

Teacher in class

A teacher in a pre-K class gives a high-five, October 2014. Source: AP/Ted S. Warren

Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)--October 8, 2015.  A new report released today by the Center for American Progress and the National Black Child Development Institute details the lasting harm of preschool suspension and expulsions, highlighting that for many children, especially children of color, the preschool classroom can serve as an entry point to the criminal justice system. The report, released today at a CAP event keynoted by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), arrives at a time when national attention and momentum has been focused on ending overcriminalization and mass incarceration, as well as reforming the United States’ broken criminal justice system.

“The earliest years of a child’s life can be the most impactful, and high-quality early learning classrooms have the potential to change their course. Unfortunately, for many young students, especially African American students, the preschool classroom is not a place to learn but instead a place where punishment is meted out—very often unfairly,” said Maryam Adamu, a CAP Research Associate. “Preschool suspensions, expulsions, and other zero-tolerance policies can have lifelong negative effects on young students. To end the preschool-to-prison pipeline, it is clear that a multipronged approach—starting by eliminating suspensions and expulsions in early childhood settings—is necessary.”

“Success in life is based on many contributing factors, but chief among them is time spent in high-quality learning environments, receiving an effective education,” said Georgia Thompson, director, NBCDI Affiliate Network and Training Institute at the National Black Child Development Institute. “A suspension or expulsion can be detrimental not only to a child’s learning, but also to his or her social-emotional development at a time when it is critical to forge important relationships with the adults in their life. That significant numbers of Black children—often very young—are expelled and suspended from school reflects a loss of our society’s value for building on the strengths of those relationships and the potential all children possess—and that has to end.”

Data released last year by the U.S. Department of Education paints a troubling picture of preschool discipline across America, especially for communities of color. For instance, African American children represent 18 percent of all preschoolers but make up 42 percent of those suspended and nearly half of those suspended multiple times. At the same time, non-Hispanic white preschoolers make up 43 percent of enrollment but 28 percent of preschool suspensions. The report from CAP and the NBCDI highlights the trends around preschool discipline by exploring the interconnected factors tied to preschool discipline, including the rise of zero-tolerance policies and mental health issues in young children, as well as the factors that cause suspensions and expulsions in early education environments. These factors include the implicit biases of teachers and school administrators and how these biases affect their perceptions of challenging behaviors; the lack of support and resources for teachers; and the effect of teacher-student relationships.

In their report, CAP and the NBCDI offer recommendations and approaches to increase the protective factors available to ensure that young children stay in school and reap the full benefits of early learning while simultaneously supporting schools and teachers to actively resist the criminalization of African American youth. Those recommendations include:

Prohibiting suspensions and expulsions across early childhood settings

Improving teacher preparation and education with an eye toward cultural responsiveness and racial equity

Expanding access to in-school behavioral and emotional support services, including early childhood mental health consultation, or ECMHC

Increasing funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, or MIECHV

Supporting a diverse teacher workforce and pipeline

Promoting meaningful family engagement strategies

Click here to read “Point of Entry: The Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline” by Maryam Adamu and Lauren Hogan.





]]> (Press Release) Analysis Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:12:27 -0500
Fortune 500 Companies Stash $2.1 Trillion Offshore as US Taxpayers Foot the Bill

New study highlights the repeated failure by U.S. lawmakers to crack down on tax avoidance schemes

Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)--October 6, 2015
Report finds that untaxed or undertaxed offshore holdings amount to an estimated $620 billion owed to the U.S. taxpayers. (Photo: rolffimages/Bigstock via Citizens for Tax Justice)
Report finds that untaxed or undertaxed offshore holdings amount to an estimated $620 billion owed to the U.S. taxpayers. (Photo: rolffimages/Bigstock via Citizens for Tax Justice)

America's Fortune 500 companies are "playing by different rules" when it comes to the federal tax system and, according to a new report out Tuesday, are stashing $2.1 trillion in offshore tax havens—with as much as $620 billion owed to the U.S. taxpayers who are left footing the bill.

The report, Offshore Shell Games 2015: The Use of Offshore Tax Havens by Fortune 500 Companies (pdf), examines the accounting tricks that have enabled the country's most profitable companies to hide their earnings.

"U.S.-based multinational corporations are allowed to play by a different set of rules than small and domestic businesses or individuals when it comes to the tax code," wrote advocacy organizations Citizens for Tax Justice and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), which together authored the study. 

Nearly 72 percent of the these mega-corporations operate tax haven subsidiaries in countries like Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, according to the groups' examination of 2014 financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In some cases, U.S. law allows a company to simply maintain a post office box at an offshore site to reap the tax benefits. For example, one five-story office building in the Cayman Islands serves as the registered address for 18,857 registered subsidiaries.

According to the study, the 30 worst offenders account for 65 percent of the total estimated offshore profits, booking as much as $1.4 trillion overseas for tax purposes.

With $181.1 billion offshore, Apple has booked more than any other company that reported its international holdings. According to the study, the Silicon Valley giant would owe $59.2 billion in U.S. taxes if these profits were registered within the U.S. The report notes, "A 2013 Senate investigation found that Apple has structured two Irish subsidiaries to be tax residents of neither the United States, where they are managed and controlled, nor Ireland, where they are incorporated. This arrangement ensures that they pay no tax to any government on the lion’s share of their offshore profits."

Walmart, which for the past ten years has publicly reported zero tax haven subsidiaries, has had its offshore profits grow from $6.8 billion in 2005 to $23.3 billion in 2014. What's more, the study found that "in reality the corporation operates 75 tax haven subsidiaries."

Morgan Stanley, which has been implicated in facilitating individual tax evasion through its Swiss banking division, reports having 210 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens and officially holds $7.4 billion offshore.

The repeated failure by U.S. lawmakers to crack down on tax avoidance schemes has enabled a significant loss in U.S. tax income, the report notes. To stop this flow, the study authors recommend that Congress "end incentives for companies to shift profits offshore, close the most egregious offshore loopholes, strengthen tax enforcement, and increase transparency."

"When corporations dodge their taxes, the public ends up paying," said Michelle Surka, program associate with the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. "The American multinationals that take advantage of tax havens use our roads, benefit from our education system and large consumer market, and enjoy the security we have here, but are ultimately taking a free ride at the expense of other taxpayers."


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]]> (Press Release) Analysis Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:52:48 -0500
First-Ever Poll of Workers Who Make Less Than $15 Shows 72% Support for Unions

As 2016 race kicks into high gear, wide support for candidates who back $15 and a union

NEW YORK --(ENEWSPF)--October 6, 2015.  Seventy-two percent of underpaid workers approve of labor unions, and 75 percent support a $15 minimum wage and a union—the goals of the Fight for $15 movement that has set a new standard for pay across the nation—according to the first-ever poll of workers paid less than $15 an hour.

The poll, released Monday by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), was conducted using leading survey platforms Harris Interactive and YouGov and follows on an April 2015 NELP study that found 42 percent of workers in the nation are paid less than $15 an hour. With the presidential campaign season heating up and Democrats convening next week for their first candidate debate, the poll looks at the voting preferences of this critical demographic of underpaid workers:

69 percent of unregistered respondents say they would register to vote if there were a presidential candidate who supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and making it easier for workers to join a union;

65 percent of registered voters say they are more likely to vote if a candidate supports $15 and a union for all workers; and

69 percent of respondents favor raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The poll is the latest in a band of research demonstrating growing public support for unions and the importance of unions in the economic recovery. A recent Gallup Organization poll found a sharp uptick—to 58 percent—in approval of labor unions amongst the general population; the poll released today shows a significantly higher level of support among underpaid workers—higher than any Gallup study has recorded for the general population since 1959.

72 percent of underpaid workers approve of unions;

69 percent say it should be easier for workers like themselves to join together and form a union;

72 percent believe unions can make a real difference in whether or not workers like themselves get raises;

66 percent say they would have a better chance of making $15 an hour and being able to support their families if they could join a union; and

Support for $15 and a union is particularly strong in the South: 77 percent of Southern respondents expressed support.

“We’ve long known that unions help create good jobs and boost the economy, and now we know that underpaid workers share that view as well,” said NELP Executive Director Christine Owens. “An overwhelming majority want $15 and a union—and a president who will stand behind them in support of these basic rights. Underpaid workers in our country are a powerful force to be reckoned with in the workplace and the voting booth.”

The poll notably found that half of all respondents have heard of the Fight for $15—affirming the power of a fast-growing movement that started less than three years ago when 200 fast-food workers walked off the job. By comparison, 52 percent of Americans say they have heard of Muhammad Ali.

The study was designed by Maryland-based public opinion polling firm Victoria Research & Consulting and conducted in August and September of 2015. To accurately locate underpaid workers across the country, a highly mobile population, polling was conducted entirely online, with responses collected via mobile phone, tablet, or computer. The 2,284 respondents were U.S. citizens, worked at least 10 hours per week, and were paid less than $15 an hour, or $31,000 per year for salaried positions. The margin of error for the Harris Panel is 2.3 percent with 95 percent confidence level; margin of error for YouGov Omnibus is plus or minus 2.0 percent.

DOWNLOAD: Underpaid Worker Poll Results Memo


Fast food workers are coming together all over the country to fight for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. We work for corporations that are making tremendous profits, but do not pay employees enough to support our families and to cover basic needs like food, health care, rent and transportation.



]]> (Press Release) Analysis Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:33:56 -0500
Analysis Finds Strong Support for Sustainability, Less Meat in Dietary Guidelines

Additional legal analysis shows clear basis for sustainability in guidelines

WASHINGTON, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)—October 5, 2015. A new analysis released today -- of an unprecedented 29,000 public comments on the 2015 Scientific Report’s recommendations on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans -- reveals overwhelming support for including sustainability considerations and clear guidance for diets that include less meat and more plants. A companion analysis outlined the legal basis and argument for including sustainability in the Dietary Guidelines.

“A review of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's (DGAC) recommendations shows that each and every one of them, including eating less meat and more vegetables and fruits, and the historic sustainability recommendation, are based on a rigorous review of the science and literature,” said Bob Martin, director of Food System Policy at the Center for a Livable Future. “Congress shouldn’t ignore science-based recommendations or the thousands of public comments supporting them.”

The House Committee on Agriculture will hold a hearing on the Dietary Guidelines on Wednesday, October 7.

My Plate, My Planet, an initiative launched to support the scientific recommendations of the DGAC in promoting both human health and environmental sustainability, commissioned the analysis from QUID, a data analytics firm. QUID analyzed a representative sample of the public comments and found 75% of them supported the sustainability and nutrition recommendations of the DGAC.

“The sheer number of comments -- fourteen times the number submitted in 2010 -- shows overwhelming public support for the science-based recommendations for linking nutrition and environmental concerns, including less meat and more plant-based foods in our diets,” said Kari Hamerschlag, senior program manager with Friends of Earth. 

My Plate, My Planet also supported a legal review of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s claim that concerns about sustainability and environmental impacts are beyond the scope of the law. 

“Our analysis of the law, including the Congressional intent, clearly shows that USDA and HHS would be well within its mandate to incorporate sustainability in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” said public health attorney Michele Simon, who spearheaded the legal research. 

The review found that the guiding principles of 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans -- which were approved by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack -- called upon the nation to: “Develop and expand safe, effective, and sustainable agriculture and aquaculture practices to ensure availability of recommended amounts of healthy foods to all segments of the population.” This is clear evidence that the current call for sustainability is nothing new, but rather simply an expanded version of what Secretary Vilsack endorsed just five years ago.

Also supporting the basis for the guidelines’ incorporation of sustainability considerations is former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan who partnered with colleagues from Tufts and George Washington Universities to author “Designing a Sustainable Diet”, published on October 1, 2015 in Science Magazine.

Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director with the Center for Biological Diversity says, “The precedent set by previous Dietary Guidelines along with the latest scientific evidence and incredible public engagement in this year’s process all point to same conclusion: Sustainability is crucial to the health of Americans and our food security, and must be included in the final guidelines.”

Since the release of the Scientific Report in February 2015, there has been an outpouring of public support for its sustainability recommendations including:

a petition from 12 organizations with more than 150,000 signatories

a letter from 49 major health, public interest, and environmental organizations to Secretaries Vilsack and Burwell 

a joint statement signed by more than 100 environmental and health organizations and experts in support of sustainability, less meat, and more plant-based foods in the DGA that was featured in full-page advertisements in the New York Times, Washington Post and Politico.

a letter  of support from more than 700 health professionals—including Yale University’s Dr. David Katz and Harvard University’s Dr. Walter Willett

a resolution adopted by the US Conference of Mayors 

My Plate, My Planet supports the scientific recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in promoting both human health and environmental sustainability in America's official dietary policy:

For more information, including Friends of the Earth's comments on the Dietary Guidelines, click here.



]]> (Press Release) Analysis Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:20:29 -0500
The Many Ways Women Are Beaten Down in America

CHICAGO--(ENEWSPF)--October 5, 2015

Photograph shows people standing in front of the United States Capitol with a banner reading "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex" and holding flags for various organizations including the National Organization for Women. July 9, 1979. (Photo: Archive/ Bettye Lane)

In 1955 Mrs. Dale Carnegie, whose husband wrote the best-seller "How to Win Friends and Influence People," advised her fellow housewives: "The two big steps that women must take are to help their husbands decide where they are going and use their pretty heads to help them get there. Let’s face it, girls. That wonderful guy in your house – and in mine – is building your house, your happiness and the opportunities that will come to your children."

Women were second-rate members of society and marriage in the 1950s. Those who went out to work were relegated to low-paying clerical, nursing, teaching, and domestic jobs, and to even lower-paying jobs for the nearly invisible Black female population. The newspaper want-ads had a separate section for women. The same type of humiliation existed in higher education, where many medical schools, law schools, and graduate schools were rejecting the "frivolous" applications of women, while female undergraduate students were often said to be pursuing an M.R.S. (Mrs.) degree.

The women's rights movement of the 60s and 70s contributed to some dramatic changes in education. Based on data from the Census Bureau and the Russell Sage Foundation:

By 2009 women were earning 33 percent more undergraduate degrees than men.

In 1970, about 50 percent more men than women completed master’s degrees. By 2010, about 50 percent more women than men completed master’s degrees.

In 1970 women earned about 10 percent of all PhDs. Now they earn more PhDs than men.

But despite all the successes of women, and despite their having earned the right to economic equality, the white male establishment has prevailed, like a schoolyard bully muscling lunch money from the smarter but weaker kids. Only one out of five members of Congress is female. Corporate boards remain overwhelmingly male.

The disparagement of women goes well beyond the levels of higher education:

Income: $1 for a Woman, $1.25 for a Man

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women earn just 80% of men's pay. Income disparities have worsened since the recession, with only about one-fifth of new jobs going to women. In California, Hispanic women, who do much of our homecare work, make only 43 cents for every dollar made by white men.

Retirement Wealth: $1 for a Woman, $1.80 for a Man

Men average nearly $28,000 a year in retirement assets, while women have just over $15,000. Women over 65 have twice the poverty rate of men. Unsurprisingly, Black and Hispanic women fare the worst, with median wealth of a stunningly low $200 and $100, respectively.

Women's Health: Congress Cares More About Controlling the Female Body

Income disparities threaten the health of women, especially low-income Black women, who are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy issues as white women. And now it's getting worse, with an attack on Planned Parenthood, which saves women's lives through breast cancer screenings, and reduces abortions by providing contraceptive services. Planned Parenthood is also cost-effective, saving $7 for every dollar spent. But Congress doesn't want low-income women telling them what to do.

The safety net, with programs geared toward children's nutrition and infant care, is repeatedly under attack, even though the total cost of assistance is much less than welfare for the rich.

Women Are Respected -- In Other Countries

The U.S. has one of the fastest-increasing rates of maternal mortality in the world, putting us in the company of war-torn and impoverished nations. The U.S., Oman, and Papua New Guinea are the only countries that don't provide paid maternity leave.

Our country ranks #3 on the UN's 2013 Human Development Index, but when adjusted for gender disparity it drops to #42.

Just about 100 years ago Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and a tireless advocate for a woman's right to control her own body, spoke about the poor urban women of New York City: "These poor, pale-faced, wretched wives. The men beat them. They cringe before their blows, but pick up the baby, dirty and unkempt, and return to serve him."

Women are still getting beaten down today.

About the Author:

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (,,, and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press). He can be reached at


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]]> (Press Release) Analysis Mon, 05 Oct 2015 17:08:21 -0500
Center for American Progress Report Outlines Barriers LGBT Homeless Youth Face in Obtaining Important Identification Documents

Young adult using computer

A young adult uses a computer at the Ruth Ellis Center, a drop-in shelter for LGBT youth in Detroit, March 2012. Source: AP/Paul Sancya

Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)--October 1, 2015.  Research suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, youth experience homelessness at a much higher rate than their non-LGBT peers. Like for most homeless youth, this leads to significant challenges accessing food, shelter, health care, education, and employment, and these challenges may be heightened for youth who identify as LGBT. In addition, homeless youth often struggle to obtain state-issued photo identification, which further limits their access to programs and services that may aid them in securing safe and stable housing.

The Center for American Progress has released a report examining the challenges that LGBT homeless youth face in obtaining state-issued identification and systematically reviews the patchwork of state and municipal laws that either erect or remove barriers to ID access.

“States have put up serious barriers to homeless youth obtaining ID cards,” said Laura E. Durso, Director of CAP’s LGBT Research and Communications Project, “and LGBT homeless youth face even greater challenges. Only 22 percent of states offer free or reduced-cost IDs to the homeless, and nearly half require parental consent before issuing IDs to those underage. For the many LGBT homeless youth who leave home because they are not accepted by their families, this makes obtaining ID particularly difficult. Transgender individuals often have to provide proof of surgery or an amended birth certificate to receive an ID. All this only raises the bar even higher for LGBT homeless youth to obtain the required ID to secure the employment, care, or shelter they so desperately need.”

The report, authored by former CAP Research Associate Hannah Hussey, makes concrete recommendations for states to improve the ability of LGBT homeless youth to receive the identification documents they need, including:

Establishing clear procedures for homeless applicants, implementing free or reduced-cost ID cards, lowering or eliminating parental consent requirements, accepting a broad range of identity documents, and updating policies on gender markers

Improving ID card access for youth in foster care, the juvenile justice system, and the criminal justice system

Having states tap into pre-existing networks of resources already serving LGBT homeless youth to reach this underserved population

Establishing municipal ID card programs

Click here to read the report.



]]> (Press Release) Analysis Thu, 01 Oct 2015 17:18:08 -0500
Women’s Rising Earnings Have Reduced Inequality, New Center for American Progress Analysis Finds

Women career fair

Job seekers make their way through the large crowd at the Women For Hire Career Expo in New York City in 2009. Source: AP/Seth Wenig

Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)--September 29, 2015.  While there is striking public support for work-family policies such as paid family leave, paid sick days, and access to affordable child care and early childhood education, the benefits of work-family policies often are not considered within the context of economic inequality. However, a new report and an accompanying analysis released today by the Center for American Progress suggest that policies aimed at increasing women’s labor force participation would reduce the nation’s staggering levels of income inequality.

Between 1963 and 2013, income inequality among married couples grew 25 percent. According to CAP’s analysis, however, inequality in the United States would have grown more than 50 percent faster during that period if women’s earnings had not increased. In other words, America’s currently unacceptable levels of income inequality would be even more unacceptable if not for women’s growing earnings.

“The message is simple: In order to fight inequality, we must support women’s ability to stay and thrive in the workforce,” said Judith Warner, CAP Senior Fellow. “While this message has taken root in many advanced economies around the world, the United States continues to silo work-family policy as a ‘women’s issue’ rather than an engine to fight inequality.”

The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee paid time off for working parents to care for a new child, as well as one of the only high-income nations that does not guarantee workers paid sick leave. Lack of work-family policies has put a singular burden on American women, who still bear the lion’s share of responsibility for unpaid work at home. As a result, women without access to work-family policies are forced out of work when they have caregiving responsibilities. This is particularity the case for low-income women, who are less likely to have access to work-family supports through their employers than high-income women.

“Over the past three decades, income inequality has grown at a staggering rate, as those at the top take home an increasing share of the economic pie,” said Sarah Jane Glynn, CAP Director of Women’s Economic Policy. “Policies that help women stay in the workforce, such as paid leave and access to quality, affordable child care options, should be seen as a critical tool for fighting inequality.”

Inequality has many causes and requires a multifaceted policy response. As CAP’s new report and analysis reveal, however, measures that help families—and women in particular—reconcile their work and family obligations are a critical countervailing force against the scourge of income inequality.

Read the report: To Fight Inequality, Support Women’s Work by Judith Warner

Read the analysis: How Married Women’s Rising Earnings Have Reduced Inequality by Brendan Duke



]]> (Press Release) Analysis Tue, 29 Sep 2015 16:23:57 -0500
Center for American Progress Briefs Reveal Costly, Unnecessary ‘White Elephant’ Transportation Projects, Highlight Lack of Accountability With Federal Transportation Funds

The beach in Panama City, Florida

The beach in Panama City, Florida, is seen on April 12, 2015. Source: AP/Melissa Nelson-Gabriel

Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)--September 29, 2015.  Three new briefs from the Center for American Progress analyze three infrastructure projects—or “white elephants”—that epitomize the worst of the United States’ current policy approach to infrastructure. With Congress undertaking only short-term highway bill extensions, the debate around transportation has focused very heavily on just funding—with not enough focus on policy, reform, or the outcomes and impacts of the money being spent. The briefs look at two projects in Florida and one in Wisconsin.

The first project CAP analyzed—located in Panama City, Florida—supports a parkway where there is little population growth, increase in driving growth, or economic development to support its construction. The second project, the West Bay Parkway—also near Panama City—again uses faulty population growth and congestion relief claims to support its construction. The third project, which would expand Wisconsin State Highway 23 in central Wisconsin, is based on unsubstantiated projections of population, economic, and travel demand growth. CAP’s analyses show how faulty rationalizations can be used to justify the spending of significant amounts of federal resources that could have been redirected to worthier projects or to support public transit.

“The most recent highway bill reauthorization doubles down on money for big highways but doesn’t include adequate oversight to ensure those funds are well spent. What these three snapshots demonstrate is that when money flows without accountability, bad, inefficient, or unnecessary projects advance,” said Kevin DeGood, Director of Infrastructure Policy at CAP. “These snapshots illustrate why more money should be distributed on a competitive basis—where project sponsors must demonstrate value—and that states that build costly projects that underperform should receive less formula money in the future.”

Click here to read “White Elephant Watch: Vol. 1: Gulf Coast Parkway, Bay County, Florida” by Kevin DeGood.

Click here to read “White Elephant Watch: Vol. 2: West Bay Parkway, Bay County, Florida” by Kevin DeGood.

Click here to read ”White Elephant Watch: Vol. 3: Wisconsin State Highway 23″ by Kevin DeGood.



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