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Manufacturing slump undercuts Trump claims of economic strength

Of all the ridiculous arguments Donald Trump makes for his reelection, perhaps none is repeated more often than his claim that the U.S. economy is “the greatest economy in the history of our country.” The claim is gibberish, of course, which is why the claim (or some variation thereof) continually rates three out of four […]

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Retail apocalypse: Too many stores (and jobs) are going, going, gone

Barely a week goes by when we don’t hear about another chain of retail stores declaring bankruptcy or slashing the number of stores nationally. We’re only a third of the way through 2019, and already U.S. retailers have announced the closure of nearly 6,000 stores — 5,994, to be exact. That’s already more than the 5,864 […]

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Coal is dying, and Trump knows it

Of all the empty promises Donald Trump made on the campaign trail in 2016, perhaps the cruelest one was the vow he made to coal miners that the coal mining industry would come roaring back. It hasn’t. And it never will. In the first year of the Trump presidency, the administration announced with much fanfare […]

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The YUGE job losses Trump is ignoring: retail workers

This is not a good time to have a job in the retail industry. If you’ve been to a shopping mall recently, you may have noticed that many storefronts are empty. Stores that are still open aren’t crowded, and there are plenty of spaces in the parking lot. About one in every 10 American workers […]

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Young black men in Chicago: Out of work, out of school, and out of luck

Chicago isn’t a safe or profitable place for young men of color, especially on the West and South sides. That in itself is nothing new. But a new report on black youth unemployment, coupled with recent sky-high shooting and murder rates, doesn’t leave young black men with many options. Nearly half of all black males […]

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If you want to understand urban gun violence, see Chi-raq

Spike Lee’s new movie gives a blistering yet accurate picture of what it’s like to live in poor neighborhoods in a big city — the guns, the gangs, the violence, the killings, the lack of jobs and opportunities. It also offers some ideas about what can be done about it. Sure, the film is over […]

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Jobs for unemployed youth? They’re hiring in Chicago

A business consortium is pledging to hire 100,000 workers between the ages of 16 and 24 who aren’t employed and aren’t in school. The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has a goal: “To create the nation’s largest employer-led private sector coalition focused on helping young people build skills and attain credentials, while connecting them to employment.” The […]

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Barack Obama’s next chapter: Boosting African-American youth

Some ex-presidents paint. Others form foundations. Some monitor international elections. Others go skydiving. And of course, they all play golf and make money giving speeches. Now, President Obama has announced his next focus: He will keep on being his brother’s keeper. In a speech at Lehman College in the Bronx, Obama laid out plans for […]

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We all need to study underlying causes of Baltimore violence

If you live in or near a city, as the majority of Americans do these days, you’re probably not surprised at reports of violence, whether they’re committed by citizens, police, or both. Certainly the events in Baltimore are different — it’s not the norm for teenagers to leave school and start looting or setting fire […]

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You want less gun violence in Chicago? Hire somebody

Chicago’s Fourth of July weekend toll of shooting violence was horrific even by city standards. There were 82 gun-related incidents, with now 14 people dead, two of them 14- and 16-year-old boys shot by police when they refused to drop their weapons. In any other city, that would cause an uproar. Here in Chicago, it […]

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