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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pulse of the Pac: Wages, street harassment gauges and homeless exploitation

    From “Hey there, beautiful,” by Mina Shah
    Just over two weeks ago, Hollaback!, a harassment awareness group, uploaded a video to YouTube of an actress walking in New York City.

    Critiques of the video have included questioning the video’s accuracy of representation and its creation by an agency with a particular agenda. Other conversations have been centered around men’s reactions being a result of what she’s wearing, as her outfit indicates she wants attention; that she’s just being complimented and this isn’t harassment; that she should be grateful for the attention; that women ought to simply stand up for themselves if they don’t like the attention. There has also been criticism about the socioeconomic and racial dynamics at play in the video: None of the men who talk to the walking woman are white or wealthy, possibly suggesting that there is a particular demographic of man that does this kind of harassing.

    Not only are the aforementioned arguments ineffective at deflating the video’s intent, they move us toward the wrong sorts of conversations regarding the matter at hand. Instead of trying to correct our reactions toward the video or determine whether people have a right to be offended, we ought to be focusing on discussing what the video intends to convey without minimizing or writing off any reactions to it.

    The Stanford Daily
    Stanford University

    From “Laws should be more welcoming to homeless,” by Megan Janetsky
    On Nov. 2, officers arrested [Arnold] Abbot and church ministers Dwayne Black and Mark Sims in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, under a recently passed law that places heavy restrictions on feeding the homeless.

    This despicable piece of legislation is by no means the only anti-homeless law put in place by legislatures. In the past year alone, 53 states (sic) placed similar restrictions on handing out free food.
    Tempe, for instance, instituted a law in spring 2013 cracking down on panhandling and begging, threatening six months in jail and fines as high as $2,500.

    A study from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty that tracked the increase in frequency of these laws found that they were both expensive and ineffective, making only the tiniest dent in homelessness rates. Rather, such legislation made it harder for Americans without homes to, well, exist.

    While people like Abbot fight the dehumanization by combating these laws, the issues go hand-in-hand. Laws like this will always exist as long as legislatures and citizens view homeless people as merely “hobos” and not actual human beings.

    The State Press
    Arizona State University

    From “Raise the wage,” by Bryan Allen
    It’s often thought that minimum wage earners are just kids looking to earn extra cash for video games, movies, or activities with friends, but the numbers tell us otherwise. The average age of a minimum wage-earner is 35, according to the White House.
    Furthermore, over half of minimum wage earners are women, and over half are also working full time.

    The Raise the Minimum Wage campaign has found studies indicating drastically reduced employee turnover when wages increase, saving businesses from the costly expense of training replacements and filing time consuming paperwork.
    The same campaign reported on a study by the Chicago Federal Reserve which indicated that raising the wage increased “consumer spending, especially triggering car purchases.” Additionally, every dollar added to the minimum wage produces $2,800 in new spending per consumer in the following year.
    As it stands, over 70 percent of Americans support raising the wage, as reported by the Huffington Post. But for some reason, less than half of states have enacted policies to do that.

    If Congress stepped in and raised the federal minimum wage, no companies would be placed at a competitive disadvantage. 

    The Daily Evergreen
    Washington State University

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