"A recent report by the Center for an Urban Future laments the lack of “low-income” entrepreneurs in New York City. The entire premise of the report is strange to me, the concept that our most vulnerable populations should be responsible for creating opportunities for employment. The very definition of poverty is to be lacking the money to cover the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and healthcare. If you can’t do that, how can you choose to spend money to start a business when it will ultimately mean yet more physical sacrifice, possibly at the expense of your health, sanity, and what little stability one might have? The risks inherent in entrepreneurship are such that the poor frankly cannot afford it, evident in the questionable success of micro-lending programs worldwide. These pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps perspectives are short-sighted products of the privileged, relieving governments and policymakers of the responsibility to abandon austerity measures and private interests and invest in the types of WPA-style projects that created the American middle class in the first place."
"This was 1996. The New Republic had just told the world that black people had evolved to be stupid, and it seemed like every week they were saying something just as racist. I was at Howard University, surrounded by a community of brilliant black people, cut off from the Ivies. None of them had the contacts or the resources to reply. They just had to take it. I can’t tell you how much that angered me. I was made in that moment. And when I got my first break in writing, I didn’t think about being ripped off. I thought about whipping ass. I haven’t changed."
"Secondly, let’s assume for a moment that it’s true that women aren’t as assertive as men. Let’s assume that there’s some sort of biological imperative that causes women to focus more on doing good work rather than jockeying for attention and respect from their peers. Why is the conclusion, then, that *women* should change to gain equality?"
#Harvard Business Review
The problem is that we have setup an implicit class system. Those that can afford to work for free readily accept unpaid internships that advance their future career because they have the financial backing to pursue such opportunities. Those that cannot work for free (and most likely accruing significant college loan debt) take whatever job pays. As the number of high quality and relevant paid internships is few, the result is they work in jobs that do little to advance their prospects. It is a two-tier system that locks people into tracks not of their own making and chipping away at our meritocracy.
Even worse is the fact that we are creating an implicit expectation that working for free is okay and an acceptable business practice. We couch this in talking about the valuable “experience” gained and that this is some “rite of passage”. Interns should feel “privileged” for the opportunity to work for these great companies for nothing. The undercurrent however is that we are essentially devaluing people, their talent, and their work. We are devaluing individuals over institutions.
PAY YOUR INTERNS. And your employees. “We’re a startup and can’t afford to pay contributors” means you either don’t have a sustainable business model, or you’re wrong and border and evil. Or both.
Pay Your Interns | Strong Opinions @marksbirch
Study looks at the demographics of New York Times obituaries over the past 70 years. Some of the findings:
• In the 1940s and ’50s, the paper ran many more obits than it does today; some were but a single paragraph.
• Prior to 1960, cause of death was not always included; today, it usually is. In our survey, aids was first listed as a cause of death in 1992.
• Where the dead were educated has remained relatively constant: The Ivy League reigns supreme.
• The obits have always been male-heavy. In 1972, a typical female obit was two paragraphs, and spoke not of the deceased’s accomplishments but of those of her husband and sons.
• Starting in the 1990s, the obits became more diverse, racially and ethnically, but also in terms of people who had distinguished themselves in occupations other than business or politics—attorneys, artists, scientists, athletes, and actors.
Previously, the appalling gender ratios of mainstream media’s obituaries.
(Source: , via bustr)
"It’s worth trying to imagine any black man associated with a credible black candidate for the presidency, joking about beating down the incumbent president of the United States. Racism isn’t just in what you do and don’t say, but in the terrain you walk. It is baked in the cake — a fact which is hard to understand when you are the party of white people."
"Whenever the subject of women in science comes up, there are people fiercely committed to the idea that sexism does not exist. They will point to everything and anything else to explain differences while becoming angry and condescending if you even suggest that discrimination could be a factor. But these people are wrong. This data shows they are wrong. And if you encounter them, you can now use this study to inform them they’re wrong. You can say that a study found that absolutely all other factors held equal, females are discriminated against in science. Sexism exists. It’s real. Certainly, you cannot and should not argue it’s everything. But no longer can you argue it’s nothing."
"The thing about not having much money is you have to take much more responsibility for your life. You can’t pay people to watch your kids or clean your house or fix your meals. You can’t necessarily afford a car or a washing machine or a home in a good school district. That’s what money buys you: goods and services that make your life easier."