As I have long predicted, the alt-right revolution has as much chance to come out of the Midwest as anywhere. Having watched the growing misplaced anger among blue-collared whites in Ohio and surrounding states, it is clear that we need to consider this area even after HRC wins. The undying belief in corporate America and the right to become successful through winning the job lottery is the bedrock of this group of voters (see a couple of quotes from this story at the bottom of this post). And so it cannot be surprising that they have chosen one who has been allowed by the media to become a demigod (word chosen carefully) even though his own record belies the media’s slavish devotion to his myth of coming up by his own bootstraps.
In order for this group to not keep growing, becoming more violent and more opposed to the multicultural reality of the US, it is time for the Dems to truly embrace entrepreneurial activity at the local and regional level. The cultural economy is growing smart and capable local leaders with every type of background and the ecological sector is dreaming up innovative, practical ideas that can offer jobs and reduce the damage we have done to our earth since the start of the Industrial Age. Those areas along with the need to invest in vocational education for every region and in large-scale infrastructure repair should be the plan. Green City Blue Lake is one effort right there in NE Ohio doing excellent work connecting jobs (including cooperatives) to repairing the environment and creating a new economy. That initiative and others are brave enough to make the case that it is time for a post industrial solution for NE Ohio, or at least time for a sustainable future. Much more of that type of effort is needed across the Midwest and in every other region.
Also, those of us in already-emerged disaster zones know how the economy stabilizes for a while when recovery starts, mostly due to federal intervention. Yet that intervention overwhelmingly favors multinational, military industrial complex companies over locally controlled ones which short-circuits real recovery and allows developers to entirely control the agenda as happened in New Orleans. Therefore, the Dems should also create a sector that feeds off the resiliency movement already begun and creates opportunities for workers and small companies to help better prepare our regions for those events that happen in every part of North America. Show up at actions, like today’s Solidarity with Standing Rock events across the US or Wednesday’s anti-TPP social media & email action day.
I used the word revolution earlier, and the appropriate response to that is often devolution. Here in the US, it is time for regions to lead and the Dems would do themselves a big favor if they began that process during this election cycle.
“He also says he thinks Trump will eliminate some of the environmental regulations that have affected industries in the region.” “she said. “I know it’s never going to be the same with General Motors or Packard, but with Donald Trump negotiating on trade, maybe we’ll get some of these jobs back.”
This slideshow of FQ buskers includes a few of the most known and constant performers over the last 35 years. For many of these photos, the scene is so recognizable to me that it is possible that my teenaged self was just off the side, sitting on the ground, taking it all in. To this day, the interaction with and observation of public street performers and hustlers remains a valued part of my daily life.
Juggling, dancing, playing music or freezing in time, performers have been a part of the French Quarter landscape for decades.
With the debate over worker classification in the Gig Economy raging, many employers who hire freelancers and contractors live in fear .
“That was the biggest issue: If you create something like this, are companies going to take advantage and coerce people to do it?” says Zaino. “We think they are not going to be able to coerce people above a certain income level. They are not providing a routine service that is a commodity.”
It is also possible there could be considerable political opposition to such a proposal–even if freelancers like it.
With labor market trends pointing to a future in which more people do independent work, governments in the U.S. and other nations are moving toward aggressively reclassifying workers now doing contract work as employees, notes Zaino. “They don’t want to lose that payroll tax,” he says.
A slim memoir from Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein, but be warned: it is definitely not about that work. Instead, this is about her early family life in the Northwest and her young woman life in one of the best unknown bands of the 1990s/2000s, Sleater-Kinney. Of course, they are still around and releasing good music, but their unknown status is probably past, largely because of Brownstein’s new TV fame and because the teens that found them then are now critics and paid writers and can reciprocate with open love and respect and everyone else can pretend to have followed them for years. For those who do follow them, this book will be familiar in its existentialist language, even as the actual events are presented plainly, dramatically and only rarely as funny. All of that seems perfect for a book about this painfully present band that was always more about intense performances with alternately obscure or in-your-face lyrics and was much less- if it all- about any rock posturing or god(dess) complex. Brownstein certainly understands and communicates that just being in a band was a lifesaver, but that she used it respectfully to find her adult voice to say something rather than just using it to seem cool is also clear.
Brownstein writes about herself in a rush, seemingly annoyed by her own youth and spends more time and positive energy on the others who make up that time, like her father, her bandmates Corin and Janet and even legendary bands around her such as Bikini Kill or known names like Eddie Vedder (was oddly glad to hear that he is a good guy). That makes sense because the best descriptions in the book are of seeing bands and in describing the scene (maybe the first era that this term was used without irony) in the staplegun marketing of rock and politics back then. Those chapters definitely brought that time back clearly and does so without false nostalgia. Those pieces reminded me of the best writing of Ellen Willis, which to me is saying something.
Brownstein can dazzle with phrases and apt opinions such as “Within the world of the band there was a me and a not me” and “Anything that isn’t traditional for women apparently requires that we remind people what an anomaly it is, even when it becomes less and less of an anomaly” but also can run circles around herself and an opinion so long that it makes you put the book down for a bit. I can relate to that as a writer and I suspect that she is both afraid of revealing too much and unable to resist showing the many sides of any situation that she notices. Both can be disconcerting for autobiographical writing, but lucky for us, she does her best to curb those impulses and her undeniable charisma comes through at almost all times. I hope for many more books by Brownstein, and much more of Sleater-Kinney and yes, many more seasons of Portlandia.
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When people overreact about airbnb, I think I’ll bring the story up that is linked at the end of the post. Affordable housing has been in a crisis for some time, long before that site was created.
The lack of affordable housing issue comes from the same old greed that has allowed this crisis to happen in every place in the US, not all of which are airbnb-heavy counties obviously: owners cashing in on the highest rates they can get for their property, whether the culprit are developers or homeowners. If you want to charge at the high end of market rates (whether through airbnb or Craigslist/classifieds or using brokers or any other system), then you are going to get a revolving door of tenants and those tenants are not going to care about the area or the neighbors. If you want to have responsible tenants, then map out something that works for both parties (whether using airbnb, a handshake or Craiglist/classifieds or using brokers or any other system).
As for those who use airbnb to decimate their neighborhoods: those folks have been around since the first days of the Industrial Age, using any means necessary to populate their slums. The way to counteract those slumlords is for a city government to take affordable housing seriously, and begin to address that issue without penalizing those homeowners and yes renters that use their property properly to offer good places to long-term neighbors and to the type of visitors interested in participating in community when they travel, and for short-term and newly arriving residents.
I find it ironic that those who are crying the loudest against airbnb are not now (and have never been noted for) demanding rent controls or incentives to increase long term affordable housing. Interestingly, after Katrina, the vitriol against public housing was shockingly directed almost entirely at those trapped in the cycle of poverty for generations as their neighbors and neighborhood associations applauded the shuttering of well-built, brick townhouses and had no issue with the crap now being slowly built in its place with much of it reserved for market rate apartments.
I have been lucky for almost my entire renting life to have caring and responsible homeowners that I have rented from and they always repay my loyalty with their own, but too many of my friends are being priced out of the city because of this type of rampant market-rate greed that started IMMEDIATELY after Katrina (long before airbnb) and so lets call it what it is. I have long advocated for the city to offer tax credits for rent-controlled listings or at least for those who offer rates on the low end or middle. I think the DDD should offer incentives to the owners of Canal Street businesses to develop their upper floors for the service industry to be able to be in walking distance of their workplaces, and the same with the Quarter (as a resident, I can show you how many floors over storefronts are completely vacant; it would boggle your mind).
Airbnb done badly is just a symptom of that greed and outlawing it will not stop slumlords but will reduce the number of caring residents who use it responsibly to make the mortgage or to keep their apartment if they need to be away for a month or two. Airbnb offered the data in 2013 that 89% of their listing were single listings of primary residences. (If you suspect that data is 100% accurate, I will say that i have some skepticism just as I do about hotel data, but I can tell you that in my 20+ airbnb trips, all but 2 of them have been primary residences and those 2 were well-managed European hostel-style with strict rules about behavior.) As a constant traveler, I appreciate the ability to stay in a neighborhood and get to know residents, and to be able to walk to the store and to the metro or bus. I cannot tell you how many times before airbnb that I was in a hotel “zone” with no place to walk to get food and little access to public transportation, no one to talk to about what or where it was safe for a woman alone, adding up to what was often a stressful experience.
Check out these sensible recommendations for short-term housing (including different rates for primary residence airbnbs and a cap on the number of short-term rentals in any one area):http://www.theselc.org/draft_short_term_rental_recommendati…, but let’s recognize that the boogeyman has been among us for some time and cannot be solved by outlawing a sharing site.
(let me also say that as a direct action organizer, it is my experience that when a direct relationship can be the primary conduit for a transaction – whether its benefit is meant to be economic or social or intellectual or any other – the behavior of all involved is likely to be better. Therefore, I will always advocate for the most direct links to be respected by municipalities and agencies that want to create bureaucracy where informality will work. Online sharing sites create what is called “credential exchanges” and, when done correctly, require contact between individuals in the selection, the hosting and the review stage which mean that individuals build a reputation through these direct links. I believe these systems are more likely to reduce fraud and dangerous situations than a absentee corporate hotel or a city agency’s oversight.)
So a group commonly referred to in New Orleans as gutter punks or street kids is getting renewed attention again. I considered it for a few days before I put this story on this site, as my focus here is people making do in creative and shared ways, but I wanted to raise the issue of itinerant communities and transients that come and go and the possibility of danger from them. The hustle is defined in many ways, but certainly New Orleans street people have made all of them work very well.
As long as this city has been in existence there have been people crowding the banquettes or docks, trying to catch your eye to ask for a handout or to offer a story of woe or of opportunity in return for cash. With our warm weather and millions of visitors, we will always have many asking and a few willing to hand it over, deserved or not.