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The Double Standard on Low-Wage Work: New at Reason

Democrats call low wage work immoral. Except when the low wage is nothing and they’re the employer.

A. Barton Hinkle writes:

emocrats don’t have to wait for Republican assent to strike a blow on behalf of the working stiff. They could start right now—by encouraging their colleagues to stop exploiting cheap labor in their very own offices.

That cheap labor is provided by interns, usually of college age. Most of those interns do not work for the minimum wage. In fact, they don’t work for any wage at all. They are unpaid.

As The New York Times recently reported, congressional offices “hire thousands of interns each year” but “pay very few of them.” What’s more, “the White House does not pay a single intern out of almost 100.” Still more unpaid interns “come to work for local nonprofits.” The interns either work second jobs to pay their bills or come from rich families that can support them.

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I love a good takedown

I wrote another thing for FEE: “Technology isn’t just a distraction from what matters. It’s also a solution for what isolates.” Runner gives the biggest middle finger to the man who insulted her ‘saggy’ boobs. New GOP platform calls porn “a public health crisis” and encourages states to regulate it. “Actually harmful to children: government-supressed … [Read more…]

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Donald Trump, Joel Osteen, and the Evangelical “Money Cult”

“The market is becoming a mystical object of worship,” says Chris Lehmann, editor in chief of left-wing “little magazine” The Baffler and the author of the new book The Money Cult: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Unmaking of the American Dream. “The market is becoming sanctified.” 

Which, he argues, helps to explain the rise of Donald Trump, who has no qualifications to run for president other than his vast (and exaggerated) riches. Evangelical Christians, Lehmann notes, are supporting Trump despite the billionaire’s questionable religiosity and lack of charitable donations.

From poor and dispossessed millennialists to wealthy celebrity preachers such as Aimee McPherson and mega-pastor Joel Osteen, The Money Cult charts changes in the American economy and Protestant theology that led to what became known as “the prosperity gospel,” or a sense that worldly success was a sign of spiritual salvation.

Lehmann sat down with Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie to discuss his brilliantly written and wide-ranging work on how American Christianity came to see profit as a sign from God, whether progressives and libertarians can effectively join together on issues such as foreign policy, drug policy, and criminal-justice reform, and how he’s working to shake up left-wing orthodoxies at The Baffler.

Approximately 21 minutes. Camera by Todd Krainin and Joshua Swain.

Subscribe to Reason TV’s YouTube channel for daily content like this. Click the link below for downloadable versions of this video.

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Cops, Blacks, and Crime: New at Reason

Don’t believe the media, which tend to make it seem like things are getting worse. John Stossel writes:

There was much more violence in the 1920s and ’80s, when government stepped up its wars on liquor and drugs. That drove those businesses into the hands of criminals and increased confrontations with police. The number of police officers killed in 1930, the worst year of Prohibition, was nearly triple the number of police officers killed in 2014. Prohibition is a bigger threat than Black Lives Matter.

Of course, it’s possible that crime will rise again. Few agree about why it dropped in the first place.

Maybe it’s the increase in video cameras and cellphones that allow people to see and report crime. Some even credit the smoking bans that put smokers on the street where they keep an eye on things. Or looser gun laws—criminals now don’t know whether a victim might be armed. And so on.

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Brickbat: Easy Riders

CyclingAfter a hit-and-run driver intentionally ran down and killed bicyclist Matthew von Ohlen, the New York Police Department responded in a dramatic fashion. The next day, officers were on the scene, ticketing cyclists for traffic infractions and giving them pamphlets on safe bicycling.

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