having the federal government guarantee a job to anyone who wants one. Some economists support less ambitious policies, such as expanded benefits to help people who lose jobs in a recession. But there is little prospect that Congress would adopt either approach, or come to the rescue again with large relief checks — especially given criticism from many Republicans, and some high-profile Democrats, that excessive aid in the pandemic contributed to inflation today.

“The tragedy will be that our administration won’t be able to help the families or individuals that need it if another recession happens,” Ms. Holder said.

Morgani Brown, 24, lives and works in Charlotte, N.C., and has experienced the modest yet meaningful improvements in job quality that many Black workers have since the initial pandemic recession. She left an aircraft cleaning job with Jetstream Ground Services at Charlotte Douglas International Airport last year because the $10-an-hour pay was underwhelming. But six months ago, the work had become more attractive.

has recently cut back its work force. (An Amazon official noted on a recent earnings call that the company had “quickly transitioned from being understaffed to being overstaffed.”)

Ms. Brown said she and her roommates hoped that their jobs could weather any downturn. But she has begun hearing more rumblings about people she knows being fired or laid off.

“I’m not sure exactly why,” she said.

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Norman Lear, Creator Of Multiple Groundbreaking TV Hits, Turns 100

and Andrew Hermann
July 27, 2022

Norman Lear’s shows have touched on topics many other shows wouldn’t have in their day, like race, gender, sexuality and abortion.

Norman Lear is about as old as television itself. One might might say they grew up together.

Lear — the producer, writer, director and creator of some of the medium’s most groundbreaking shows — celebrated his 100th birthday Wednesday. 

“My characters have lived a multitude of lives, as have I,” Lear once said. 

Lear grew up in New Haven, Connecticut as the son of a salesman who would serve time in prison for fraud and who would shush his wife with a phrase that would become famous: “Stifle yourself.”

His television shows — “All in the Family,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times” — brought the social issues of the 1970s and 80s into the homes of as many as 120 million viewers a week. 

No topic was off limits. Whether it be race, gender, sexuality, crime or abortion, his shows often reflected the fears of a middle-class America feeling the ground shift. 

The heaviness was lightened by humor, often at the expense of the patriarchy.

In 1999, then president Bill Clinton awarded Lear the National Medal of the Arts, saying Lear “has held up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it.”

Lear has continued working in entertainment even at the century mark, launching shows like a re-imagined “One Day at a Time” on Netflix featuring a Cuban-American working mother.

In between, he became one of the political left’s funniest champions, founding the First Amendment advocacy group “People for the American Way” in 1981.

An eager adopter of social media, Lear tweeted out his thoughts on turning 100 to his 82 million followers.

“I think it has something to do with appreciating the moment,” Lear said. “This is the moment, and it took every split second of all of our lives to get to the moment.”

Source: newsy.com

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Sec. Yellen Downplays U.S. Recession Risk As Economic Reports Loom

By Associated Press
July 25, 2022

Reports will be released this week that will shed light on an economy currently besieged by rampant inflation and threatened by higher interest rates.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday said the U.S. economy is slowing but pointed to healthy hiring as proof that it is not yet in recession.

Yellen spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press” just before a slew of economic reports will be released this week that will shed light on an economy currently besieged by rampant inflation and threatened by higher interest rates. The data will cover sales of new homes, consumer confidence, incomes, spending, inflation, and overall output.

The highest-profile report will likely be Thursday, when the Commerce Department will release its first estimate of the economy’s output in the April-June quarter. Some economists forecast it may show a contraction for the second quarter in a row. The economy shrank 1.6% in the January-March quarter. Two straight negative readings is considered an informal definition of a recession, though in this case economists think that’s misleading.

Instead, the National Bureau of Economic Research — a nonprofit group of economists — defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months.”

Yellen argued that much of the economy remains healthy: Consumer spending is growing, Americans’ finances, on average, are solid, and the economy has added more than 400,000 jobs a month this year, a robust figure. The unemployment rate is 3.6%, near a half-century low.

“We’ve got a very strong labor market,” Yellen said. “This is not an economy that’s in recession.”

Still, Yellen acknowledged the economy is “in a period of transition in which growth is slowing,” from a historically rapid pace in 2021.

She said that slowdown is “necessary and appropriate,” because “we need to be growing at a steady and sustainable pace.”

Slower growth could help bring down inflation, which at 9.1% is the highest in two generations.

Still, many economists think a recession is on the horizon, with inflation eating away at Americans’ ability to spend and the Federal Reserve rapidly pushing up borrowing costs. Last week, Bank of America’s economists became the latest to forecast a “mild recession” later this year.

And Larry Summers, the treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, said on CNN’s “GPS” Sunday that “there’s a very high likelihood of recession,” as the Fed lifts interest rates to combat inflation. Those higher borrowing costs are intended to reduce consumer spending on homes and cars and slow business borrowing, which can lead to a downturn.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is likely to announce its second 0.75% point increase in its short-term rate in a row, a hefty increase that it hasn’t otherwise implemented since 1994. That will put the Fed’s benchmark rate in a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, the highest level since 2018. Fed policymakers are expected to keep hiking until its rate reaches about 3.5%, which would be the highest since 2008.

The Fed’s hikes have torpedoed the housing market, as mortgage rates have doubled in the past year to 5.5%. Sales of existing homes have fallen for five straight months. On Tuesday, the government is expected to report that sales of new homes dropped in June.

Fewer home sales also means less spending on items that typically come with purchasing a new house, such as furniture, appliances, curtains and kitchenware.

Many other countries are also grappling with higher inflation, and slower growth overseas could weaken the U.S. economy. Europe is facing the threat of recession, with soaring inflation and a central bank that just last week raised interest rates for the first time in 11 years.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde also sought to minimize recession concerns in a news conference last Thursday.

“Under the baseline scenario, there is no recession, neither this year nor next year,” Lagarde said. “Is the horizon clouded? Of course it is.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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House Passes Bill Protecting Same-Sex Marriage Rights

The House introduced a bill named The Respect for Marriage Act that aims to protect same-sex marriages for LGBTQIA couples.

Andrew Morrison is concerned about marriage rights.

“How long will my marriage be protected?,” Morrison said. 

With the constitutional right to an abortion now gone, many worry same-sex marriage could be next. 

“My main thought was my sister and my female friends who, you know, this is impacting them in an immediate sense. But it wasn’t long before I started thinking, again, what precedent does this set?,” he continued. 

The Supreme Court watchers zeroed in on a comment made by Justice Clarence Thomas in his concurring opinion on the ruling. 

He said the Supreme Court should, quote, “reconsider all of this court’s substantive due process precedents” including Obergefell, adding that it’s up to the nation’s highest court to, quote, “correct the error.” 

It read in part: “[i]n future cases, we should reconsider all of this court’s substantive due process precedents because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous’. We have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents,” Thomas said. 

These include Obergefell v. Hodges, which barred states from banning same-sex marriage; and Loving v. Virgina, which overturned laws prohibiting interracial marriage. 

Democratic leaders quickly vowed to respond with legislation to codify same-sex marriage and other rights. 

“I absolutely do worry about same-sex marriage. I worry about the policing of all sex acts in general,” said Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

One of those bills is the Respect for Marriage Act. 

It would officially repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act signed by President Bill Clinton, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. 

Supreme Court decisions in 2013 and 2015 ruled it was unconstitutional. 

But the law is technically still on the books, even if it can’t be enforced, and Democrats want to repeal it and for all. They also want to take steps to ensure that all same sex and interracial marriages are recognized between states.    

“The MAGA Republicans that are taking over the Republican party have made it abundantly clear they’re not satisfied with repealing Roe. As many have openly said, they’ve now turned their attention now on the Obergefell decision and marriage equality. We need to pause and think about how unhinged, unhinged this idea is,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.  

Some congressional Republicans are taking the opposite stance. 

“In Obergefell, the court said, ‘no, we know better than you guys do, and now every state must, must sanction and permit gay marriage.’ I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching,” said Senator Ted Cruz.  

As this legislation begins its journey through Congress, the LGBTQIA community is bracing for impact.  

“People who are married and who are gay are now looking to reinforce their marital situation with their spouses and the privileges that go along with marriage. And they are trying to shore up their rights by wills and powers of attorney and advanced health care directives,” attorney Sydney Duncan said.  

But many are rallying with a message of hope and a promise to fight. 

Tiffany Freisberg is the president of St. Pete Pride. 

“It’s a threat, it’s a threat. But there’s a lot of people who don’t want to see us going backwards. And we’re going to do what we can to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Friesberg said. 

Source: newsy.com

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