Coffee Break 10-7-17

Fun and Games at the Tax Bill Trough


The Senate budget resolution would allow the tax plan to cost the government $1.5 trillion in revenue over the next decade, though advocates argue it would be made up for through economic growth unleashed by corporate and individual tax cuts.” Continue reading “Coffee Break 10-7-17”


Coffee Break 9-29-17

Reflections on a progressive shock-doctrine for Puerto Rico


“How can one put into words how it feels to be completely powerless as the world I’ve always known slowly turns into Hell for those that I love the most? How can one fully express in words that could convey, in any way, the overwhelming sense of constant pain, of horrible uncertainty, the fear of loss, and the fury over what is, in the end, an unnatural disaster? And how can I live with myself for not being there?”

–Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz

We consider what a genuinely progressive “shock doctrine” for Puerto Rico might look like–and why it’s in all Americans’ best interests that it be applied. Continue reading “Coffee Break 9-29-17”

Coffee Break 9-10-17: Illinois Update


There’s a road I’d like to tell you about, lives in my home town
Lake Shore Drive the road is called and it’ll take you up or down
From rags on up to riches fifteen minutes you can fly
Pretty blue lights along the way, help you right on by
And the blue lights shining with a heavenly grace, help you right on by.”

–Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah, “Lake Shore Drive” (1971)

Amazon’s building HQ2—and we think it’s coming to Chicago

Below we explain why. Continue reading “Coffee Break 9-10-17: Illinois Update”

Coffee Break 9-4-17: Labor Day Reading


“What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t earn enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009. In the past 40 years, the minimum wage has lost 30% of its value. Continue reading “Coffee Break 9-4-17: Labor Day Reading”

Coffee Break 8-20-17: Housing Segregation – First Pass


“Whites own on average about ten times the amount of wealth as blacks across the income spectrum. Segregation also causes other racial inequalities. It cuts people of color off from job pipelines and transport systems, making the search for work difficult and giving blacks and Latinos far longer and more expensive commutes to jobs. It helps guarantee that local schools get fewer resources and concentrates the lowest-income and neediest school children in majority-minority schools. It exacerbates racial inequalities perpetuated by the war on drugs. And it guarantees that people of color generally live in neighborhoods with fewer urban amenities and more toxic environments.” [emphasis added]

–Carl Nightingale, author of Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities (2012)

“… the myriad social problems plaguing the inner cities today arise from race discrimination, and race discrimination alone. To dare to challenge this — to speak of individual agency, for example — is akin to flogging the victim. End of discussion.”

–NYT Review of Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law (2017) Continue reading “Coffee Break 8-20-17: Housing Segregation – First Pass”

Coffee Break 8-18-17: Off-Topic

Off-Topic: Charlottesville 

“When will U.S. society—not just neo-Nazis and the Klan, but the whole country—reject all aspects of white supremacist ideology and take serious steps toward rectifying the material inequality justified by that ideology.

“The answer is obvious: Never.

“There’s no evidence the dominant culture is interested. The wealth—in fact, the very existence—of the United States is so entwined in the two foundational racialized holocausts in our history that transcending white supremacy requires not only treating people of color differently, but understanding ourselves in new and painful ways. To transcend white supremacy, white America would have to come to terms with the barbarism of our history and our ongoing moral failures.”

–Robert Jensen, Professor of Journalism UT-Austin Continue reading “Coffee Break 8-18-17: Off-Topic”

Coffee Break 8-16-17

Illinois Politics: The Gift that Can’t Stop Giving

As readers know, deedspeakout is a new blog – five months young and counting – and its core mission is to follow daily developments of note in policy/politics relating to health, the environment, justice and education at the national level.

When we began blogging, we planned to provide periodic updates about newsworthy developments in our home state of Illinois.

But events have conspired to alter the original plan for the past few weeks, and we’re devoting almost all our reading and thinking time to political machinations in the Prairie State. This is because what’s happening in Illinois right now is indicative of the larger struggle to control our country’s future direction—and almost nobody in national political reporting has actually caught on to this. Continue reading “Coffee Break 8-16-17”