ISA HOPKINS

Raconteur. Adventurer. Kimchi Enthusiast.

The Mix Tape

It’s an accepted truism that late summer/back-to-school time makes for a slow news cycle.  Opportunists, like someone I’ll refer to as “Blenn Veck”, take advantage of this to get their name into the headlines as much as possible.  Others look to the slowdown in national events as a period offering more in-depth analysis, or a chance to talk about issues that would otherwise be ignored. This is my way of saying that, although.. Read More

Do Not Pass “Go”

(The title is a lame Monopoly pun.  I apologize.) Being a good union-loving, tree-hugging, anti-corporate liberal as I am, I have read so many takedowns of Wal-Mart that I can’t even keep track of all the reasons why they are evil.  This essay, however (a few years old, but still excellent) takes a new perspective: analyzing the damage the US economy is incurring from Wal-Mart through political economy, specifically, antitrust law.  The author’s.. Read More

Tenure-Time

This story has been bugging me since I read it last night.  Look, tenure is an imperfect system, but why has it become such a knee-jerk reaction to blame labor for organizational faults?  Union membership is way down in the US, and as we saw during the Great Auto Company Crisis of ‘09, people are all too happy to point the finger at those overly entitled factory workers, what with their pensions and.. Read More

Progressive Economics Sexytime!

Thursdays are the day when full issues of the Economist show up in my RSS feed, so it’s also when articles from that august publication are likely to show up here.  This week’s issue dealt quite a bit with poverty — there’s a lot worth checking out — but my favorite piece was this, discussing how the rich apparently deserve their crappy, Scrooge-like reputations. In total contradiction to the entire philosophical underpinnings of.. Read More

Joblessness v. Uselessness

I quite enjoyed this article by Julian Dobson, posted at the RSA website.  Although the statistics are drawn from Britain, the gist of the article — that ‘unemployment’ and ‘uselessness’ are not identical states of being — resonates well on this side of the pond, particularly given the lingering employment concerns of the Great Recession. I also found it to be an excellent counterpoint to a meme that’s developed amongst conservatives, a kind.. Read More