New Article: Steven A. Ramirez, Social Justice and Capitalism: An Assessment of the Teachings of Pope Francis from a Law and Macroeconomics Perspective, 40 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1229 (2017). Abstract below:
The first part of this Article will synthesize the key teachings of Pope Francis from his most important statements on economic structures and social justice and situate these teachings within contemporary economic realities and traditional social justice teachings. Part II of this Article will demonstrate that the Pope’s teachings on social justice fundamentally reflect the best learning from economists on how to sustain economic growth. Part III of this Article will show that nations that undertake policies to pursue the fundamental tenets of the Pope’s teachings (such as minimizing childhood poverty) also perform the best in achieving high human development outcomes for the mass of their citizens. This Article will therefore conclude that the recent teachings of Pope Francis (and the Catholic Church) on the topics of social justice and the environment are fully consistent with the most robust systems of capitalism in the world today as well as with traditional economic thinking, going as far back as Adam Smith. Therefore, legal policymakers (including all branches and agencies of the government) should work to impound the core elements of these teachings to the maximum extent possible to create the most robust and sustainable capitalism possible.
Chad Stone, The Safety Net is Crucial for Kids, U.S. News, October 13, 2017. [“Government programs like tax credits and SNAP are proven to lower childhood poverty rates.”]
Posted in Family, Food, Health, Inequality, Op-Ed, Politics, Race, Socio-Economic Rights, Uncategorized, Urban Issues, Welfare
Vanita S. Snow, The Untold Story of the Justice Gap: Integrating Poverty Law into the Law School Curriculum, 37 Pace L. Rev. 1 (2017). [Abstract below]
Once upon a time, not so long ago, a student entered law school with a commitment to change the world. The student quickly recognized that success in first-year classes required understanding the black letter law and applying the law to various scenarios that had little to do with social justice. During the second year, the student’s career-services adviser reminded the student to think critically about post-graduation employment and the importance of on-campus interviews. Pressures to take bar-tested courses and securities law over shadowed the student’s plan to enroll in a clinic. The student soon graduated from law school, but with limited skills that would help her address social justice and a diminished desire to change the world.
Beth A. Colgan, Fines, Fees, and Forfeitures, SSRN, August 15, 2107. Abstract below:
The use of fines, fees, and forfeitures has expanded significantly in recent years as lawmakers have sought to fund criminal justice systems without raising taxes. Concerns are growing, however, that inadequately designed systems for the use of such economic sanctions have problematic policy outcomes, such as the distortion of criminal justice priorities, exacerbation of financial vulnerability of people living at or near poverty, increased crime, jail overcrowding, and even decreased revenue. In addition, the imposition and collections of fines, fees, and forfeitures in many jurisdictions are arguably unconstitutional, and therefore create the risk of often costly litigation. This chapter provides an overview of those policy and constitutional problems and provides several concrete solutions for reforming the use of fines, fees, and forfeitures.
Editorial Board, In California, poor people go to jail, rich people go free. How long will this go on?, The Sacramento Bee, August 28, 2017. [A look into California’s cash bail system and its disparate effect on California’s less fortunate.]
Dominic Rushe, Fran works six days a week in fast food, and yet she’s homeless: “It’s economic slavery”, The Guardian Aug. 21, 2017. [An account of the experiences of Fran Marion and others who are leading the charge for a raised minimum wage.]
Posted in Books, Economic Mobility, Economics, Inequality, Measuring Poverty, Politics, Race, Socio-Economic Rights, Uncategorized, War on Poverty, Welfare
Amanda Abrams, What a Revived Poor People’s Campaign Needs to Do in the Trump Era, Yes Magazine Aug. 18, 2017. [“For the new movement to gain national traction, it will need to draw in poor and working-class Whites.”]
I missed the publication of this symposium by the Yale Law and Policy Review so here it is a bit dated:
Law and Inequality: An American Constitution Society Conference at Yale Law School
October 16 and 17, 2015