News Coverage: “Confronting the Parasite Economy”

News Coverage: Nick Hanauer, Confronting the Parasite Economy, American Prospect, May 16, 2016.

New Article: “Complexity’s Shadow: American Indian Property, Sovereignty, and the Future”

DSC_0035New Article: Jessica A. Shoemaker, Complexity’s Shadow: American Indian Property, Sovereignty, and the Future, forthcoming Mich. L. Rev. Abstract below:

This article offers a new perspective on the challenges of the modern American Indian land tenure system. While some property theorists have renewed focus on isolated aspects of Indian land tenure, including the historic inequities of colonial takings of Indian lands, this article argues that the complexity of today’s federally imposed reservation property system does much the same colonizing work that historic Indian land policies — from allotment to removal to termination — did overtly. But now these inequities are largely shadowed by the daunting complexity of the whole over-arching structure. 

This article introduces a new taxonomy of complexity in American Indian land tenure and explores particularly how the recent trend of hyper-categorizing property and sovereignty interests into ever-more granular and interacting jurisdictional variables has exacerbated development and self-governance challenges in Indian Country. The entirety of this structural complexity serves no adequate purpose for Indian landowners or Indian nations and instead creates perverse incentives to grow the federal oversight role. Complexity begets more complexity, and this has created a self-perpetuating and inefficient cycle of federal control. However, stepping back and reviewing Indian land tenure as a system — a whole complex, dynamic, and ultimately adaptable system — actually introduces new and potentially fruitful management techniques borrowed from social and ecological sciences. Top-down Indian land reforms have consistently intensified complexity’s costs. This article explores how emphasizing grassroots experimentation and local flexibility instead can create critical space for reservation-by-reservation property system transformations into the future.

New Report: “Five evils: Multidimensional poverty and race in America”

New Report: Richard Reeves, Edward Rodrigue, and Elizabeth Kneebone, “Five evils: Multidimensional poverty and race in America” (Brookings 2016).

Call-for-Papers: Housing Affordability (and, for property folks, Works-in-Progress session)

AALS Property Law Section Call For Papers.  January 2017 — AALS Conference in San Francisco, CA

The AALS Property Law Section has two panels at the AALS Conference this year. If you would like to participate in either of these panels, please email a title and abstract of your proposed presentation to Ezra Rosser,, by June 1, 2016. The Property Section’s Executive Committee will select participants from the proposals received by that date.

(1) “Property and the Challenge of Housing Affordability” — Co‐Sponsored by State and Local Government Law, and Poverty Law Sections. 1:30-3:15 pm, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017.

The main property law panel this year focuses on housing affordability, a topic that is appropriate for a conference being held in San Francisco. Two speakers will be chosen from this call-for-papers and they will join invited panelists Courtney Anderson (Georgia State), Steve Eagle (George Mason), Lisa Alexander (Texas A&M), and moderator Eduardo Peñalver (Cornell). Fordham Urban Law Journal has agreed to publish articles coming out of this panel and has asked that authors submit drafts to them by August 1, 2016, making this call ideally suited for those who already anticipate working on a housing affordability topic this summer. If you have any questions about this panel or the associated publication opportunity, please email

(2) “Property Law Works in Progress” — 3:30-4:45 pm, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.

This year, the AALS Property Law Section is organizing a works-in-progress session for junior (pre-tenure) scholars. This is meant to be an opportunity to present and get feedback on works that will not be published as of Jan. 2017 and that are still at a stage in which feedback could be valuable. In addition to having the opportunity to share work through the panel, selected presenters will be matched with a senior scholar who will provide written comments. There is no limitation as far as topic area for this panel and we look forward to receiving your proposal.



New Article: “Food Stamps, Unjust Enrichment and Minimum Wage”

New Article: Candace Kovacic-Fleischer, Food Stamps, Unjust Enrichment and Minimum Wage, Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice, Vol. 35 (forthcoming).  Abstract below:

A number of large retail chains with monopsony power, such as Walmart, pay their low level employees so little that these employees are eligible for food stamps and other governmental benefits. In addition to paying low wages, these chains often have hourly restrictions so that their employees are not eligible for overtime pay. At times the chains violate the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by making hourly employees work “off the clock,” a practice known as wage theft.

One of the reasons these low wage retailers can pay so little is because their employees can supplement their income with food stamps. Another reason is the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has not been raised since 2009. Paying anything more seems generous.

Whether to raise the minimum wage is fiercely disputed. This paper suggests the debate focus not only on the effect of the minimum wage on jobs, but also on the unjust enrichment of monopsonistic employers. By applying the law of unjust enrichment (also referred to as restitution), the government should be able to recover from these employers the amount of food stamps their low paid employees receive at taxpayers’ expense. A lawsuit in unjust enrichment should make the public aware that with food stamp payments and other benefits, the government is subsidizing monopsonistic employers.

Op-Ed: How Not to Explain Success – The New York Times

The controversial ‘Triple Package’ theory of why some people thrive is finally rigorously debunked.

Op-Ed: How Not to Explain Success – The New York Times

New Article: “Does Work Law Have a Future if the Labor Market Does Not?”

New Article: Noah Zatz, Does Work Law Have a Future if the Labor Market Does Not?, 91 Chi. Kent L. Rev. (forthcoming 2016).  Abstract below:

This Essay is based on the 37th Annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture. It offers a new perspective on the much-discussed “future of work.” That discussion typically highlights changes within the labor market that undermine the employment relationship’s role as the bedrock for work regulation. But might something even deeper be afoot, namely the disintegration of “the labor market” itself? Several recent developments challenge the legal construction of employment as occurring wholly inside a distinctive, and distinctively economic, market sphere. The Essay considers Uber and the relationship between work and “sharing,” Hobby Lobby and the relationship between work and religion, the unrest in Ferguson and the relationship between work and criminal justice, and Friedrichs and the relationship between work and politics. Each presents a conservative challenge to labor and employment law by blurring the boundaries between the labor market and other spheres, not by purging the labor market of noneconomic intrusions in the manner of laissez faire. This development presents a conundrum for traditional labor and employment law, which simultaneously defines its object in market terms while aspiring to reshape it by incorporating certain nonmarket values.

News Coverage: “Why a housing scheme founded in racism is making a resurgence today”

News Coverage: Emily Badger, “Why a housing scheme founded in racism is making a resurgence today,” Wash. Post, May 13, 2016.

New Short Video: “Welfare and the Politics of Poverty”

New Short Video: “Welfare and the Politics of Poverty” – Retro Report, New York Times.  Note, could be good for poverty law classes, either in class or as an assignment to watch.

New Report: “2016 Poverty Scorecard”

New Report: Shriver Center, “2016 Poverty Scorecard” — interactive report.