Category Archives: Op-Ed

New Op-ed: What Republicans Know (and Democrats Don’t) About the White Working Class

New op-ed: Lisa R. Pruitt, What Republicans Know (and Democrats Don’t) About the White Working Class, Politico, 6/24/2022.

Op-ed: It Should Take More Than 10 Minutes to Evict Someone

News Coverage: Anna Blackburne-Rigsby & Nathan Hecht, It Should Take More Than 10 Minutes to Evict Someone, N.Y. Times, Jan. 13, 2022.

New Book: “Profit and Punishment: How America Criminalizes the Poor in the Name of Justice”

9781250274656New Book: Tony Messenger, Profit and Punishment: How America Criminalizes the Poor in the Name of Justice (2021). Overview below:

In Profit and Punishment, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist exposes the tragedy of modern-day debtors prisons, and how they destroy the lives of poor Americans swept up in a system designed to penalize the most impoverished.

“Intimate, raw, and utterly scathing” — Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water
“Crucial evidence that the justice system is broken and has to be fixed. Please read this book.” —James Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author

As a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony Messenger has spent years in county and municipal courthouses documenting how poor Americans are convicted of minor crimes and then saddled with exorbitant fines and fees. If they are unable to pay, they are often sent to prison, where they are then charged a pay-to-stay bill, in a cycle that soon creates a mountain of debt that can take years to pay off. These insidious penalties are used to raise money for broken local and state budgets, often overseen by for-profit companies, and it is one of the central issues of the criminal justice reform movement.

In the tradition of Evicted and The New Jim Crow, Messenger has written a call to arms, shining a light on a two-tiered system invisible to most Americans. He introduces readers to three single mothers caught up in this system: living in poverty in Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, whose lives are upended when minor offenses become monumental financial and personal catastrophes. As these women struggle to clear their debt and move on with their lives, readers meet the dogged civil rights advocates and lawmakers fighting by their side to create a more equitable and fair court of justice. In this remarkable feat of reporting, Tony Messenger exposes injustice that is agonizing and infuriating in its mundane cruelty, as he champions the rights and dignity of some of the most vulnerable Americans.

Related op-ed by the book’s author here.

Op-ed: Tribal Housing Funding a Critical Component of Build Back Better

_DSC0604Op-ed: Sonya Acosta, Tribal Housing Funding a Critical Component of Build Back Better, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Off the Charts Blog (Dec. 9, 2021).

New op-ed: A Way to Break the Cycle of Poverty

New op-ed: David L. Kirp, A Way to Break the Cycle of Poverty, N.Y. Times, Dec. 2, 2021.

-Thanks to Jeff Selbin for the heads up!

New op-ed: What Ruth Bader Ginsburg got wrong about pre-Roe abortion fights

New op-ed: Felicia Kornbluh, What Ruth Bader Ginsburg got wrong about pre-Roe abortion fights, Wash. Post, Dec. 1, 2021. 

Op-Ed: The Time Tax

Op-Ed: Annie Lowrey, The Time Tax, The Atlantic (July 27, 2021).

Why is so much American bureaucracy left to average citizens?

Op-ed: TANF Policies Reflect Racist Legacy of Cash Assistance

Op-ed (not sure how to classify it, between an op-ed and a report): Ife Floyd et al., TANF Policies Reflect Racist Legacy of Cash Assistance, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Aug. 4, 2021.

New Op-ed: Erasing the “Scarlet E” of Eviction Records

New Op-ed: Kathryn A. Sabbeth, Erasing the “Scarlet E” of Eviction Records, The Appeal, Apr. 12, 2021.

New Op-Ed: My Pandemic Year Behind the Check Out Counter

Ann Larson, My Pandemic Year Behind the Check Out Counter, The New Republic (March 5, 2021).

JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Larson writes “on working amid paranoid customers, hungry shoplifters, sick co-workers, and people who just need the bathroom.”