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Domestic Violence: An Issue Affecting All Communities

August 18th, 2014 No comments

By: Sarah Phillips

Blog Category: Domestic Violence Issues and the Law, Economics, & Race 

Domestic violence is an issue no matter what race or economic class an offender is placed in.   There is a myth that domestic violence only occurs in non-white communities and lower-class levels.  This is not the case.  In fact, domestic violence occurs all levels of people with no bias towards their race or economic level.   The difference between the different sets of communities is the help that they seek.  While affluent more middle to upper-class individuals have the means to find private help, lower class individuals are more likely to utilize the public agencies and police available to the public at large.   The availability of resources and subsequent handling of the circumstances surrounding the domestic violence allows for the public to come to wrong conclusion that domestic violence only affects those that are in lower-class communities and non-white.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  

Source:

Boston University, BUPD Online, Domestic Violence Myths (Mar. 30, 2014 12:17PM), available at https://www.bu.edu/police/prevention/domestic_violence_myth.htm.

The Influence of Race and Religion on Voting Trends in the United States

August 11th, 2014 No comments

By: Olivia Italiano

Blog Category: Religion & Race

Over the past several decades, the United States has seen significant cultural and societal shift of increased racial and ethnic diversity, as well as a stark divide of moral and religious values.  In the political sphere, Democrat and Republican supporters are drastically more divided by religious beliefs, ideological orientations, and race than in the past.  Since the 1960s, the racial and ethnic population of the United States has changed drastically, resulting in more non-white voters, including African American, Asian American, and Hispanic voters.

Despite significant improvement in race relations over the last 50 years, American society continues to reflect racial inequality with respect to economic, educational, and employment opportunities. For example, minorities overwhelmingly subjected to inferior housing, higher unemployment rates, and dramatically lower incomes than white Americans.  Unfortunately, minority voters are far more likely to experience prejudice and discrimination on behalf of public and private bureaucracies.

Differing life experiences and disproportionate opportunities are demonstrated through contrasting views on political issues, party identification, and voting behavior.  Morality based issues including abortion and same-sex marriage are frequently rooted in deeply held religious beliefs.  However, religion is not the sole or even primary factor that racial and minority groups rely on when voting.  For example, in the 2012 Presidential Election, the majority of Latino registered voters favored Obama, and stated that they identify with or lean towards the Democratic Party, regardless of their religious beliefs.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race. 

Sources:

Alan I. Abramowitz, How Race and Religion Have Polarized American Voters, (Jan. 20, 2014), available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/01/20/how-race-and-religion-have-polarized-american-voters.

Additional Factors: Gender, Age, Religion, Race, and Ethnicity, available at https://www.boundless.com/political-science/political-participation-and-voting/why-people-vote/additional-factors-gender-age-religion-race-and-ethnicity.

Latinos, Religion, and Campaign 2012, (Oct. 12, 2012), available at http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/18/latinos-religion-and-campaign-2012.

Categories: Headline Tags: , , ,

Environmental Regulations Impact on the Bottom Line

August 4th, 2014 No comments

By: Jaclyn Crittenden

Blog Category: Economics of Environmental Regulation
 
Environmental regulations, through compliance costs, cause businesses to raise prices in order to make up for the decrease in their bottom lines. Regulations, such as those promulgated by the EPA, have cost as much as $45 billion over the past 10 years. However, these regulations also contributed to the economy as much as $640 billion. A complete cost-benefit analysis includes more than mere monetary considerations; it also focuses on social policies. While many economic and societal benefits outweigh the costs associated with environmental regulation compliance, this blog only briefly discusses two.

Former Senator Arlen Specter once noted that “[t]here’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.” There is no denying that a person’s well-being improves when they are not as heavily exposed to ozone and particle pollutants, such as those that environmental regulations seek to reduce. Such pollutants include gasoline vapors, chemical solvents, and combustion products caused by various fuels. These are often byproducts of large industrial facility processes, gas stations, vehicle exhaust, electric utilities, and small businesses such as dry cleaners, just to name a few. Billions in healthcare costs are spent every year on treatment of pollutant-related illnesses, such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, reproductive and developmental ailments, cancer, strokes, diabetes, and many other illnesses that cause premature deaths.  Additionally, a healthier population is a more productive population – a more productive population can earn more money that they can then spend on consumer products in the marketplace rather than medical bills.

Moreover, the economy is stimulated when new environmental compliance jobs are created due to new regulations. One result of environmental regulation is that companies must employ more people to clean up pollution, manage prevention and abatement efforts, and devise new, more environmentally friendly, production processes. While many businesses dislike eco-friendly regulations because they take away from their bottom lines, companies’ failure to respond to regulations by creating these new jobs risk a negative impact on their profit. This is because unemployment benefits are funded heavily through taxes assessed on businesses. So, when the unemployment rate is high, companies pay higher taxes, which then reduces their net-earnings.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  

Sources:

Am. Lung Ass’n, Particle Pollution, available at  http://www.stateoftheair.org/2013/health-risks/health-risks-particle.html#whatis (last visited March 13, 2014).

Jeff Spross, New Study: The Economic Benefits of EPA Regulations Massively Outweigh the Costs (May 3, 2013, 11:00 AM), available at http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/05/03/1955891/new-omb-study-the-economic-benefits-of-epa-regulations-massively-outweigh-the-costs.

Stephen D. Simpson, The Cost of Unemployment to the Economy (Aug. 9, 2011), available at http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0811/the-cost-of-unemployment-to-the-economy.aspx.

Racism In The International Criminal Court

July 28th, 2014 No comments

By: Jason Staloski

Blog Category: International Law & Race

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is located in the Netherlands and was established in 2002. The ICC was created in order to prosecute individuals charged with either genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, or crimes of aggression. The ICC currently has jurisdiction over 122 states where these crimes occur. Recently, the African Union (AU) has levied allegations against the ICC claiming that the institution is racially discriminatory in deciding which cases to prosecute.

To support their allegation of racism, the AU notes that every prosecution pursued by the ICC originated from a country located in Africa. At the most recent AU Summit, the member nations of the AU unanimously agreed that a sitting head of state in a member nation of the AU should be hauled in front of ICC in response to William Ruto, the sitting Deputy President of Kenya, being forced to attend his trial in front of the ICC regarding the pending crimes against humanity charges. While the AU has not threatened to withdraw from ICC jurisdiction, the possibility has been discussed by AU nations.

Hailemariam Desalegn, chairperson of the African Union and Ethiopian President, has stated that, “The process [of the ICC selecting who to prosecute] has degenerated into some kind of race hunting.[1]” The ICC has defended itself by stating that a majority of its member nations come from Africa, therefore, it is only logical that there would be more cases arising from AU nations. The ICC also defended itself by indicating that of the 8 current investigations regarding AU nations, four of the ICC was requested by that state itself to investigate.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race. 

Sources: 

Richard Lough, African Union accuses ICC prosecutor of bias, Reuters (Apr. 5 2014), available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/30/ozatp-africa-icc-idAFJOE70T01R20110130.

Jacey Fortin, African Union Countries Rally Around Kenyan President, But Won’t Withdraw From The ICC, International Business Times (Apr. 5, 2014), available at http://www.ibtimes.com/african-union-countries-rally-around-kenyan-president-wont-withdraw-icc-1423572.

Al Mariam, The International Criminal Court on an African Safari?, Salon, (Apr. 5, 2014), available at http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/2013/09/29/the_international_criminal_court_on_an_african_safari.

Catholic Leaders Among Supporters of Immigration Reform

July 21st, 2014 No comments

By: Morgan Davis  

Blog Category: Race & Religion

Immigration law reform is at the forefront of many political, legal, racial, and social debates. Supporters and opponents of various immigration reform issues use major platforms to express which side of the debate they are on. A group of Catholic leaders from across the United States received national media attention after they visited Arizona’s border with Mexico on March 31 and April 1, 2014. They are among the supporters of immigrants in the fight for immigration reform. The Catholic leaders are members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Committee on Migration, which supports undocumented immigrants gaining citizenship.  Their visit sparks the discussion, and bridges the gap between race and religion issues, as many of these immigration debates center on different racial and ethnic groups. In their visit to the border they stated their goal was to “highlight the human consequences of a broken immigration system and call upon the U.S. Congress to fix it.” Their concerns are prompted by the number of immigrants that die each year in an attempt to cross the borders into the United States. While their actions are “illegal,” many of the Catholic leaders note the majority of immigrants make this dangerous journey in hopes of finding a better live for their families and more job opportunities. The rising support for immigration reform has especially become more prominent with the increase of Hispanic Catholics over the last twenty years. As the political, social, racial, and religious debate heats up it will interesting to see if supporters of immigration reform will push Congress to take some action.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  

Sources:

Robert Ortega, Catholic Leaders Push Immigration Overhaul at Border, The Arizona Republic, USAToday.com (April 1, 2014, 4:31 PM), available at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/01/catholic-leaders-push-immigration-reform/7164359/.

Michael Lipka, Catholics, other Christians support immigration reform, but say faith plays small role, Pew Research Center (April 1, 2014), available at http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/01/catholics-other-christians-support-immigration-reform-but-say-faith-plays-small-role/.

Categories: Headline Tags: , ,

Costs of Environmental Regulation Worth the Reward?

July 14th, 2014 No comments

By: Joe Winning

Blog Category: Economics of Environmental Regulation

There’s a feeling among many Americans that the benefits of environmental regulation in this country are not worth the cost. These opinions reflect the prevailing view that broad environmental regulations impose substantial costs, such as (1) excessively high prices, (2) greater unemployment, (3) more poverty, and (4) increased difficulty for American companies & workers attempting to compete in increasingly international market. While this blogger tends to agree with this perspective and would argue incentives are a better approach, Dr. Frank S. Arnold offers a compelling alternative argument that the costs of regulation are indeed worth the reward.

Although written in 1999, Dr. Arnold’s research remains compelling, if for no other reason than providing calculable benchmarks to evaluate the value of this countries’ spending in the area of environmental regulation. In support of his argument, Arnold draws three major conclusions. First, national spending for environmental regulation is considerably less than the countries’ spending in areas such as health care and national defense. Next, regarding the nation’s “bang for its buck,” Dr. Arnold draws comparisons to other countries and their cost of regulation, concluding that the United States has attained a similar outcome for the amount spent. Finally, while critics insist the countries’ environmental regulation spending is destroying the nation’s job market, Dr. Arnold contends this is not the case. Arnold demonstrates the flaw in this argument by pointing to the lack of plant closures and job loss directly related to employer costs of environmental regulation. He also highlights the fact that there has not been a surge of companies fleeing the United States to go to countries with lower costs tied to environmental regulation. Although this article is somewhat dated and this blogger contends the best approach is economic incentives compared to regulations, the benchmarks outlined by Dr. Arnold remain compelling in evaluating the costs of environmental regulation in this country.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  

Source:

Frank S. Arnold, Environmental RegulationIs It Bad for the Economy?, Environmental Law Institute (July 9, 1999), available at http://ase.tufts.edu/gdae/es135/Environmental%20Protection%20and%20Economy.pdf.