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Americans' Mixed Feelings on Unions

Labor unions in the United States are both more and less popular than people tend to believe. Confusing? It sure is. I spend a lot of time thinking about labor in the United States, and around the world. What will the future look like? Will there be more worker organization, or less? And how do Americans feel about unions, anyway? I wanted to see what data existed, and sure enough, Gallup has some long-term polling on American attitudes toward labor unions.

The Minimum Wage Fight

The fight for a $15 minimum wage in the US seemed to spring up almost out of nowhere. How did this become a hot political issue so suddenly? In fact, efforts to have the minimum wage raised to $15 an hour started back in 2012. It was one of the demands of fast food workers in New York City who were on strike. The striking workers didn’t get what they demanded–at least not at the time–but workers in New York City will have a $15 minimum wage as soon as 2019, thanks to state legislation passed last month.

Can Donald Trump Win?

The short answer is “yes,” but the more qualified answer is “probably not.” Read on for why! The hot news right now is about the latest Quinnipiac University poll, which shows a tight race between Trump and Hillary Clinton in key swing states. But the poll slants things in favor of white and Republican voters. This is bad news for Trump in a critical way: if the best he can do with polls slanted in his favor is a statistical tie, then he’s got an uphill battle on his hands.

The American Anxieties

Is it class? Is it race? Is it something else? What’s at the root of Americans’ identities and political divisions? This line of thinking spun out from a discussion of Us Against Them, which I have yet to read (though it sounds fascinating), as well as conversations with others on similar topics. Matthew Yglesias offers a good overview, from back in 2012: The No. 1 book about American politics that I wish more people would read is Donald Kinder and Cindy Cam, [_US Versus Them: The Ethnocentric Foundations of American Public Opinion_](http://www.

The Hugo Awards: What's Going On?

I was asked today what’s going on with the Hugo Awards. What’s this business about “sad puppies” and “rabid puppies”? Are you confused? I’ve got you covered. If you know what GamerGate is, you can think of the sad/rabid puppies as the science fiction literature equivalent. In many ways, they’re just another head on the same hydra. If you don’t know what GamerGate is, you can go educate yourself, but it’s not entirely necessary to understanding the Hugo situation.

Obamacare: No Good Options

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) which made clear to me the level of frustration a lot of people have experienced with it. It also helped me realize how poor our health coverage options are, in general. The marketplace plans available to single young people with modest incomes bring either large premiums or large deductibles, running up an overall expense that can be several thousand dollars a year.

Don't Despair

This is not how I thought this election season would go. I don’t mean that I didn’t expect Donald Trump to be the Republican Presidential nominee. I was reasonably certain he would be the one back in November. But I didn’t think things would unfold quite this way. I expected Ted Cruz to stick it out through the convention, to attempt a floor fight for the nomination as the alternative–the true conservative–candidate.

Ted Cruz is Definitely a Human Being

I’m short on time today, which means I must pursue the low-hanging fruit of mocking Ted Cruz. If you have not yet seen Ted Cruz for Human President, well, go there right now. Trust me. Protester tells Ted Cruz he looks like a fish monster: [embed][/embed] Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina attempt to imitate human friendship behavior and fail miserably: Ted Cruz gets heckled by a child and accused of being a serial killer.

The Revolution that Never Was

After this past Tuesday’s primary results, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ chances of winning of the Democratic Presidential nomination went from longshot to pipe dream. What’s next? All along, Sanders has said he’s leading a revolution. His supporters, who have grown significantly in number over the past year, took up that call arms and made it their own. Though he didn’t win, Sanders pulled off a minor miracle in doing as well as he did.

The Growth Addiction

I don’t own any Apple products. No iPhones, no iPads, no Macs. I’m not a fan of the company, its culture, or the late Steve Jobs. And yet, I can’t help but think the market is hugely overreacting to Apple’s recent earnings disappointment. It’s true, revenues and profits are down. Are they down enough to erase $40 billion in stock value, though? Does that make any sense at all? Apple is even being blamed for dragging the Dow index into the red.