Great issue – read the final edited edition!
They talked for two hours, and by the end, she’d forgiven him for the terrible things he’d done – the meanest thing anyone has ever done to her. She understood what his life looked like at the time that he was trolling (he’s since stopped, he says) and she felt sorry for him. Still, she says, it’s disturbing to know that there was nothing wrong with him per se. “It’s frightening that he’s so normal,” she says. He’s not your idea of a monster, and unlike a fairy tale troll, he certainly doesn’t live alone under a bridge. He has women coworkers, and a girlfriend, and women friends. “They have no idea that he used to go online and traumatize women for fun.”
China in 2015 is a very different economy from even just 10 years. China has changed far more than the world has in this time. To point out the obvious, a 7% growth rate is of course lower than an 8% one. So, whatever good comes from a 7% growth rate, at the margin a growth rate a little higher will be even better. But, quantifying the changes that have taken place in the global economy, in the new world order a 7% growth rate for China means something even more positive than did a 12% growth rate ten years ago.
Meatpacking was once a strong union industry with a mostly Eastern European and African-American workforce. The jobs were dangerous and dirty, but by 1970 the typical meatpacking worker earned 20 percent more than the average factory worker. In the following three decades, urban unionized plants shut down and re-opened on a non-union basis in rural areas actively recruiting Mexican and Central American workers. Wages fell by 45 percent and, by the end of the century, one-quarter of the industry’s workers were undocumented. In 1980, nearly half the workforce was unionized; today fewer than 1 in 5 is a union member.
Construction has followed a similar story. Once a pathway to the middle class, building trades jobs have become poorly compensated outside of union strongholds in the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast. Fifteen percent of the nation’s construction workers are now estimated to be undocumented, and the numbers are even higher in the lower paid non-licensed crafts, such as carpenters, painters, roofers, and laborers. These workers are often paid off the books and subject to unsafe working conditions. A 2013 Texas study estimated that half the state’s construction workforce was undocumented and 41 percent were victims of wage theft. It is a disservice to immigrant advocacy to maintain that existing Americans don’t want these jobs. It’s the sharply reduced compensation and sweatshop conditions they don’t want.