Political Economy

At the Weave we believe that politics and economics have always gone hand in hand. Political economy is about structures of power and how these structures shape the conditions within which all of us live our lives. This section of the Weave is devoted to analysis and discussion of current issues that reveal the dynamics of power, from the local to the global and everywhere in between.

¿Cambiamos del foco de ingresos? Parte II: Los ingresos, primero

Texto traducido de: http://students.stlawu.edu/theweave/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=Look-beyond-Income-Part-II-Income-First.html&Itemid=32

Por Steve Peraza

Desde los principios de 2010, algunos estudios que investigan la desigualdad económica en América han sido publicados. Éstos han fijado en las personas que no son caucásicas, las mujeres y los mayores, y han dado detalles sobre su acceso limitado a oportunidades buenas que crecen el activo. Juntos, estos estudios han estado trabajando a redefinir el problema. En vez de examinar meramente la generación de ingresos, dicen que la clave para luchar la desigualdad económica es enseñar a los pobres sobre la riqueza y cómo se puede acumularla. 

¿Reforma de deuda de crédito?

Texto traducido de: http://students.stlawu.edu/theweave/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=Credit-Debt-Reform-.html&Itemid=32

Por Steve Peraza

El año anterior, la Señorita Bohnet recibió una llamada desde una empresa de abogados de Nueva York en la que ella descubrió que debía 4.861 dólares de deuda de crédito. Las condiciones eran graves: “Nos pague o el dinero estará sacado de su sueldo.” Para las personas que saben cómo esto se siente, lo siguiente será interesante… 

Betts, Gideon y abogados para los pobres

Texto traducido y escrito por Steve Peraza:

Es importante que Lippman, el juez prinicipal de Nueva York,haya exigido que el estado les provea abogado defensor legal a los demandados indigentes in pleitos civiles.  Consideremos la ley relacionada con el tema, en particular Betts v. Brady (1942) y Gideon v. Wainwright (1963).  

Los demandados “indigentes” no pueden pagar por los abogados defensores. Sin embargo, según la Enmienda Sexta de la constitución de los Estados Unidos, todos los demandados tienen derecho a “tener la ayuda del abogado defensor para su defensa” cuando se presenta “el procesamiento judicial criminal.” La pregunta es, ¿cómo aplica la ley federal a los pleitos criminales estatales? 

¿Tendrán su oportunidad en el tribunal los pobres?

texto traducido de ingles: http://students.stlawu.edu/theweave/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=Will-the-Poor-Have-Their-Day-in-Court-.html&Itemid=32


Los tribunales federales y estatales de América están obligados a proveerles representación legal a los demandados de causas criminales si no pueden pagar por su propia representación. ¿Se debe ser accessible el mismo derecho para los demandados pobres en pleitos civiles?

Tax Evasion is “Social butchery"

The Governor of Italy’s Central Bank recently remarked that tax evasion was responsible for the ‘social butchery’ the country has witnessed over the past few years. Five times the size of the government’s emergency budget, tax evasion involves 0,00016% chance of actually having to pay up.

The government has recently pushed through parliament budget cuts for €24bn ($27.4bn), slashed funding for education, research, culture and of course what passes for welfare support in Italy. In the meantime, in the year to December 2009, indebtedness was the second-highest in Europe after Greece. Pushed up by the combination of the financial crisis and the government’s utter unwillingness to do anything to retain foreign investment or prevent capital and industrial flight from Italy, the unemployment rate went up 1.5% to 8%, with youth unemployment around 33% nationally, and well over 40% in the South. Governor Draghi also said GDP dropped by 6%, real income has dropped 3.4%, consumption has dropped 2.5%, and exports have fallen by a massive 22%.

Bailing Out the Banks, European-Style

Already saddled with 20 percent unemployment (even higher in the southern region of Andalucia), Spain is now dealing with one of the ugliest realities of the global financial crisis: when it comes time to make tough choices and ask people to make sacrifices, it is always the lower and middle classes who take the hit.  This past week, Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced a package of drastic public sector cuts including a five percent pay cut for civil servants and other budget reductions that will affect ordinary Spaniards much more than they will affect the bankers. 

This is hardly surprising, given what we know about how easily the global financial elites are able to pressure governments these days and how quickly governments are falling into line

Will the Poor Have Their Day in Court?

New York Chief Judge Jonathan LippmanFederal and state courts in America are required to provide legal representation to defendants in criminal cases if they cannot afford their own. Should the same right be afforded poor defendants in civil suits?

New York Chief Justice Jonathan Lippman believes that it should. According to an article in the New York Times, Judge Lippman will propose legislation that would require the New York State to provide the indigent with legal representation in civil cases. His motivation: “the ideal of equal access to civil justice.” His goal: “a comprehensive, multifaceted, systemic approach to providing counsel to the indigent in civil cases.”

¿Cambiamos del foco de ingresos? Parte I

[texto traduccido de lo original en inglés:]

La semana pasada el Centro del Desarrollo Económico de la Comunidad publicó “Levantando mientras subimos: mujeres de color, riqueza y el futuro de América,” un informe escrito por Mariko Lin Chang en el que discute las disparidades de riqueza entre mujeres de varias razas. La estadística más interesante revelaba que la riqueza mediana para mujeres negras era $100, para mujeres hispánicas $120, y para mujeres blancas $41,000. (¿Sutil, no?) Otro hecho inquietante era que más que la mitad de mujeres solteras negras o Latinas o tienen ninguna riqueza o riqueza negative. Es decir que o su activo equivale a su endeudamiento o aquel excede su activo.

Look beyond Income? Part I

How do we look beyond income when debt is on the horizon? Last week the Insight Center for Community Economic Development published “Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth and America’s Future,” a report written by Mariko Lin Chang discussing the disparities of wealth among women of diverse races. The eye-grabbing stat was that the median wealth for black women was $100, for Hispanic women $120, and for white women $41,000. (Subtle, no?) Equally compelling was the fact that more than half of all single black and Latino women either have no wealth or have negative wealth. That is, either their assets equal their debts or their debts exceed their assets… 

SUNY under Fire

UUP activistsHigh school juniors and seniors in New York beware! The State University of New York is privatizing…At least that’s what the United University Professions, a higher education union, has declared in criticism of Governor David Patterson’s most recent budget cuts and proposed higher education reforms. Since the start of the year he has stopped the flow of $153 million to SUNY, and the Governor’s Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act, which will empower the boards of trustees for SUNY and CUNY to determine tuition rates, promises to wreak havoc on the existing SUNY financial structure. The cuts have already caused hiring freezes, fewer course offerings, and large class sizes. (I currently TA for a two hundred and fifty student survey of American History from 1877 to the present—a whopping one hundred students more than the typical survey).