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Salary of a full-time job should be enough to lift workers from poverty

History focuses on the human rights aspects of Rev. Martin Luther King’s ministry. Ironically, he was on a mission for economic rights in support of wage increases for garbage collectors in Memphis, Tenn., when he was assassinated. Undoubtedly, Dr. King ...

The war on poverty

Excerpts from President Lyndon Johnson’s Jan. 8, 1964 State of the Union address

A standing commitment to end poverty

In his State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson decreed that "this administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America." In so doing, Johnson confirmed his commitment to a compassionate policy ...

Changing laws on family values

In their youth, America’s elders were subjected to more demanding sexual mores than are usual today. Back then it was inappropriate for a young woman of marriageable age to be alone with a man in a private place. Today, even ...

Conservatives bank on myth of minimum wage as job killer

The GOP has ruthlessly sold the outlandish myth to millions that a hike in the minimum wage is a huge job killer. It has been so effective in its hard sell that President Obama and Congressional Democrats have repeatedly been ...

Immigration debate ignores highly skilled black workers

As a two-year budget conjures up illusions of congressional comity and President Obama is desperate for a legislative recharge, there is much hype about a big immigration deal on the horizon. But, despite the huge political, economic and cultural implications ...

Tax credits and special concessions for businesses require the transparency of a formal audit

Corporate tax credits and concessions reduce the state revenue available to finance the public’s business. State Auditor Suzanne Bump seeks the authority to assess these programs to determine whether such tax expenditures are truly beneficial.

Nelson Mandela’s life a sterling example for others to follow

Fastidious individuals often draft a set of resolutions every new year to correct their petty flaws. Memberships in health clubs will rise in January and February and gym parking lots will be crowded for a few months. Invariably people return ...

Generosity — an innate aspect of a merry Christmas

A major theme of Christmas is to exalt the spirit of human generosity. In Charles Dickens’ oft-told story "A Christmas Carol," even the miserly pinchpenny Ebenezer Scrooge had to yield to that innate impulse. But it did not come easily. ...

A missed opportunity for community redevelopment

The decision of Partners HealthCare system to reject a proposal to establish an administrative office in Roxbury has raised questions about whether nonprofit organizations ought to consider the social consequences of their business policies.

Time running out on Republican intransigence

The Republicans seem to be more interested in opposing President Barack Obama than in benefiting the American people. The Democrats were justified in deflating the conservative’s strategy by restricting the filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate.

Blacks must no longer accept inferior behavior as their ethnic standard

Prominent politicians have asserted for some time that the policies they support will benefit the middle class. While everyone agrees that the prosperity of the middle class is important for the nation’s economic growth, there is a difference of opinion ...

The essence of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is more than a time for family reunion. It is also a time to give thanks. Many Americans are aspiring, ambitious, aggressive and acquisitive. This is an inappropriate disposition to be truly thankful. They can be exuberantly enthusiastic over ...

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg cannot thwart reversal of decision on stop and frisk policy

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is determined to end his political career without the police department constrained by a federal court order. The city attorney filed suit to reverse the ruling of Federal District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin that ...

Solomon Northrup’s triumph over adversity

The spirit of freedom and independence is common in America. The Declaration of Independence even sanctions revolution against the government in appropriate circumstances. Yet Americans permitted the development of slavery in their new nation. Perhaps that was because the slaves ...