The income gap | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The income gap

Posted By on Wed, Apr 12, 2006 at 8:41 PM

Columnist Steve Lopez in the LA Times writes about the haves and have nots and the pressure put by illegals on wages at the low end of the scale. Check it out, though free regisration may now be required by LA Times. Excerpt:

So the question I've been asking public officials and civic leaders is what we can do about the income gap that runs like a fault line through the land, dividing the haves from the help.

I want to stand up and clap when Jack Kyser of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. lays some of the blame on the big-box planning model. He says we do not need — repeat, IX-NAY— any more Targets and Kmarts, or any other Coliseum-size discount joints.

Not only do those places devour what little land is still available, but the jobs they provide are lousy, and it's not as if consumers have nowhere else to turn for tube socks and toilet paper. City officials would be smarter, Kyser says, if they used scarce land to build jobs in expected growth industries like technology, international trade and engineering.

Kent Wong of UCLA's Center for Labor Research agrees that we need to keep trying to replace the kinds of jobs that were lost in Southern California when aerospace and manufacturing went belly up. But he also knows that the service economy is here to stay, and that means we have to find ways to elevate the standard of living for bellhops, janitors, security guards, nannies, maids, construction workers and waiters.

"We have a situation like we did in the 1930s, when auto manufacturing, mining and steel work were poverty jobs," Wong said. Unionization moved those workers into the middle class, he says, and it can push service employees in the same direction.

Here in Arkansas, we still believe the key to prosperity is shifting school tax dollars to shopping centers. The Miracle of the Tube Socks, we'll call it. Maybe at least some of the folks in TIF-land will eventually organize.

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Two more get prison for feeding program fraud

    Two more people got prison sentences today for defrauding the state-run program that uses federal money to provide meals to poor children.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Friday's open line

    Here's today's video. And it is the open line.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Steve Bannon leaving White House

    The odious Steve Bannon, right-wing nationalist, is departing his White House job as strategist for Donald Trump.  Alas, Trump is still there.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Judge Griffen: Why black lives matter

    Another few words from Judge Wendell Griffen growing from the controversy over the sale of Black Lives Matter T-shirts at the state black history museum — removed by the administration and restored after protests from Griffen and others stirred by a story in the Arkansas Times:
    • Mar 13, 2016
  • Civil War over in Fort Smith; lawyer strikes his Rebel mascot battle tent

    KSFM reports that Joey McCutchen, the lawyer who's been trying to restart the Civil War in Fort Smith over the School Board's decision to drop the Rebel mascot and related trappingsfor Southside High School, is dropping his School Board takeover campaign.
    • May 27, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation