Saint Kermit #37: Race(s)

posted by Mike on September 5th, 2006

Some links to things mentioned in the most recent Saint Kermit podcast.


First, Jim Henderson and Mike Benedetti discuss poverty and race:

Interview: Jean Hay Bright, running for Senate against incumbent Olympia Snowe in Maine. Jean Hay Bright has a diary at DailyKos. TIME on Olympia Snowe: “. . . she is also known as one of the most effective advocates for her constituents.”

Music: Ad Frank, “World’s Best Ex-Boyfriend”

Sports: The crew talks with Seth Mnookin about his book Feeding the Monster and the Sox.

Note: No, I am not going to blog every St Kermit from now on.

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2 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On September 6, 2006 at 14:28 Adam (Southern California) said:

    One of the more insulting memes I’ve seen espoused is the idea that a few macro-level statistics like GDP tell the essential story of the nation’s economy, and that when polls show people are still pessimistic about the economy when the GDP is growing, then the conclusion to be made is that the people are ungrateful, just don’t understand what’s good for them, or have been fooled by the so-called “liberal media.” This sort of thinking comes from having too much trust in trickle-down economics.

    Certainly it’s better for the GDP to be growing than for it to be shrinking, but that hardly tells the whole story. If wages are down, cost of living is up, fewer people can afford homes, people have to take multiple jobs with little chance of advancement or sense of ownership, etc., those are serious economic problems they may or may not show on the macro level. The essence of these problems is that if the people are top are doing great, then macro-level stats still read that as growth even when the people at the bottom are doing worse. Any meaningful look at the economy should focus on ways to improve the lot of the people on the bottom over the long term.

  2. On September 6, 2006 at 14:49 Adam (Southern California) said:

    On race – I don’t see Michaels’ point in denying that cultures associated with different races or ethnic groups exist in this country, even though subcultures can subdivide or cross racial lines, but I do think that work to achieve “diversity” in American culture needs to think in economic terms first and racial terms secondarily. If we had an educational system in this country that taught poor children well enough to bring them up to an even playing field with the wealthy, then I don’t think we’d need to file people into broad ethnic categories for college admissions. As long as racial preferences exist, then it *is* a zero-sum game. It’s also the wrong stage to try to fix inequalities in our educational system. You can’t send poor people through 12 years of lousy schools and then expect all of your social problems to get fixed because you promote a few more of them to state colleges. Schools in general need to get serious about education, but if we’re going to try to fix inequalities, the K-12 schools in the poor areas need to be BETTER than the schools in the rich areas. If we could do that, then we’d start to see real progress in fixing the social problems associated with poverty, and we also wouldn’t have a need for racial quotas.

    Oh, and the new season of Survivor sounds fascinating, foregrounding what takes place in the background of American society. I’m sure things will be as superficial as ever on TV, but I think the controversy is blown way out of proportion.

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