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Ear to the Ground

The Economy’s Improving but Americans’ Pockets Haven’t Recovered

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Posted on May 29, 2014

For a number of reasons, many workers have been left “at the edge of a financial cliff” despite recent boosts in the economy; a new study analyzes whether drivers treat minorities differently at crosswalks; meanwhile, the evolution of our brains may have come at the cost of our muscles.These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

American Workers Are at the Edge of a Financial Cliff
The economy is showing signs of improving, but Americans’ bank accounts are in need of resuscitation: Put simply, anemic pay raises combined with sharp increases in out-of-pocket health care costs have creditors knocking on many consumers’ doors.

A Liberal Moderate’s Critique of Snowden and Greenwald
George Packer is the latest journalist to understate the radicalism of the national security state and to overstate the radicalism of its critics.

Thomas Piketty’s Numbers Aren’t Wrong: The Financial Times’ Big Whiff Misstates His Central Argument
Paul Krugman and others shoot down an overblown “Capital” critique which misrepresents his data, findings and point.

Here’s Why It Matters When a Human Rights Crusader Builds Her Advocacy on Lies
Newsweek’s cover story on Somaly Mam shows us how harmful sex-trafficking journalism can be for women.

Why the ‘Garden City’ Is Making an Unlikely Comeback
“Suburbs are like cholesterol,” says Robert A.M. Stern — there’s good and there’s bad, all to be sensibly calibrated.

Do Drivers Discriminate Against Minorities at Crosswalks?
In an initial study, researchers found a large disparity.

Humans Evolved Weak Muscles to Feed Brain’s Growth, Study Suggests
Humans appear to have evolved puny muscles even faster than they grew big brains, according to a new metabolic study that pitted people against chimps and monkeys in contests of strength.

Will Le Pen Learn from an Italian Comedian’s Mistakes?
The extraordinary success of Marine Le Pen’s National Front, in France, and of other right-wing, populist parties has, with good reason, been the main story of last weekend’s European Parliamentary elections.

Parsing Piketty: Is Wealth Inequality Rising in the U.S.?
As you may have seen over the weekend, Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” has been subjected to another attack—a detailed and critical examination of some of the data it presents, by Chris Giles, the economics editor of the Financial Times.

Summing Up the Firing of Jill Abramson
The story of Jill Abramson’s abrupt termination as the executive editor of the Times is one of those running stories in which reporters peel away one layer only to be presented with another.

Does The FCC Commissioner Not Get It, Or Is He Saying One Thing And Doing Another?
The path for an open Internet that functions without discrimination is evident: polls of the American people, the courts, federal communications law and reality all point to the Internet being treated as a common carrier, a public utility that operates without discrimination.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

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