Friday, April 06, 2012

*Vote Support & Elect* Ruchira Sen *As your GSCASH Representative*



(My agenda for the GSCASH elections, 2012)

The formation of the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) has been an important achievement of the students movement in JNU. The vibrant students’ movement has contributed to the debate on sexual harassment in workplaces by extending the definition of the workplace to universities, schools and homes. Over the years, it has immensely contributed to maintaining a significant level of gender sensitivity and awareness on campus, and striven to protect the rights of all students and non-students, especially women who come from various socio-economic and cultural backgrounds in the country. The GSCASH has taken steps to address all forms of gender discrimination, including sexual harassment.
However, the lack of a JNUSU in the past four years has resulted in deteriorating levels of gender sensitivity and incidents of eve-teasing and harassment are on a rise. Besides, the lack of an effective security mechanism and unwillingness of the administration to implement proper measures has affected the safety and mobility of girl students.  Today, as the campus is preparing itself for the GSCASH elections, it is important to reaffirm our pledge to carry forward the legacy of the GSCASH and address the numerous challenges that faces the students.
Structural changes in GSCASH
·  An increase of fund allocations up to 3 lakhs per annum for all gender sensitization activities and completion of errands. Lack of funds has proven to be a major hindrance for the GSCASH in actively taking up initiatives. The Administration should pay the salaries of the employees of GSCASH.
· A permanent legal associate to provide advice/assistance for conducting some of the complicated cases which include; assault/sexual assault, domestic violence, and require legal/medical help. Without expert help, the GSCASH will not be able to conduct enquiries efficiently. The services of legal counselors and activists have to be sought to make an impartial enquiry.
·  With regard to infrastructural facilities GSCASH needs a photocopy machine and preferably, an assistant for the job, because taking documents out of the office may lead to documents being leaked and confidentiality being hindered.
·  Public discussion of the annual GSCASH report. Although, the GSCASH report is available for the perusal of all, it will be a healthy exercise to have a democratic discussion every year to enhance the functioning of the Committee.
Safety and Security concerns
·  The University should improve its security, and make provisions for female guards to be deputed at night on campus.
·   Helpline numbers to the CSO to be put up at bus stops, dhabas etc.
·  Monitoring entry of outsiders with photos of people who have been issued out of bounds and warning notices at the main   gate for the perusal of security guards and students.
·  Automatic referral of complaints against outsiders to the GSCASH –especially when complainants request anonymity.


Information Dissemination:
There exist a lot of myths regarding GSCASH, and false notions of those who seek help from the Committee. It is necessary to impart information to check this unhealthy trend.
·  There should be a GSCASH desk at Admission Assistance in the beginning of the academic year. This will be useful for new students and their families to be familiar with the functioning and relevance of GSCASH.
·   The GSCASH should call for volunteers at the beginning of every semester. This can ensure the provision of spreading information about GSCASH through them in all centres and hostels.
·     Activating and installing suggestion boxes throughout the campus. To ensure extensive and inclusive participation in GSCASH, these suggestion boxes will form a link between students and representatives.
·   Handouts to all students with useful information with helpline numbers for domestic violence, eve teasing, filing complaints, the CSO, the guard at the North Gate, phone numbers of student representatives, maps to the GSCASH office, websites of Annual reports and the GSCASH page in the JNU website.
·  Annual GSCASH programme. At the end of every year, GSCASH should conduct a week long programme, including film screenings, workshops and public meetings.
Sensitisation:
Gender Sensitisation is an integral part of the functioning of GSCASH, to educate students about gender issues and debates, and dispel stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes towards women.
·   Gender workshops by the GSCASH and in coordination with the Women’s Studies Programme. Workshop for faculty, staff and especially for GSCASH members have to be held regularly, as they need to conduct enquiries with a complete understanding of gender/sensitization
·  Conducting a GSCASH orientation programme at the time of admission for every school/ centre. This will help familiarize students with the rules and provisions of GSCASH.
· A Gender survey will be carried out to assess explicit and implicit forms of gender discrimination –Later, a sensitisation drive in line with the results of the Gender survey, ranging from public meetings to discussion of reports shall be held.
· Programmes regarding choice marriages, dowry, harassment, discrimination, caste violence, exploitation in workplaces and homes and alternate sexualities will have to be organised regularly, to link campus level issues with larger social and political concerns. No campus issue can be viewed in isolation.
Health and hygiene
· Tie ups with University Health Centre for organising public health awareness camps/programmes/campaigns for students and non students on anemia, calcium deficiency, sexual and reproductive health, contraception and abortion. This will include the dissemination of basic information a address pressing health concerns, especially among women.
· With girl students comprising more than fifty percent of the student population, it is imperative that the administration provide a full time gynecologist in the health centre to address the specific health problems faced by them.
· Lack of proper sanitation has been a major problem in a university that claims to be ‘world class’. Apart from ensuring hygienic bathrooms, provision of soap and other essentials need to be made.
· Easier access to sanitary napkins and condoms. Discussion on safe sex and contraception will remain incomplete as long as the University does not ensure proper mechanisms. The condom dispensing machine that was earlier functioning in the campus premises will have to be in working condition again. Similarly, sanitary napkin dispensers have to be installed in centre/school bathrooms, which will be helpful for girl students in times of emergency.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Things I'll tell my daughter. (Hope I have one someday.)

1) You don't need to feel pressured to look 'presentable'. Maintain the level of hygiene that makes you comfortable. Quite honestly, how you look doesn't matter. What matters is what you stand for, which should feature in who you are.


2) No, you don't need to be home by sunset. People will try to harass/molest/rape you wherever you are. The idea is to terrorise you into hiding at home and to keep you away from making your voice heard. It helps to be safe, to take transport after dark instead of walking, to know your routes, to be with friends if possible but assert your right to be wherever and whenever you want to be and if you are alone and walking and are stalked, remember, it is not your fault. You are not asking for it. If you're in a boy's room at a particular time, it does not mean that anyone can treat you anyway. You are not asking for it.

3) Eat and drink as much as you like.

4) A blood stain on your dress is not a shameful thing. Menstruating is normal. Wash it if it makes you uncomfortable but if you don't want to, it's fine.

5) No, you don't need to be a 'lady' because 'well behaved women seldom make history'. It's enough just to be a good person -to be helpful, caring and sensitive, to know what's true and right and good and to strive for it

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pink And Orange Flowers


Drishti got off the bus as the roadside markets of South Delhi came into view. The malls that had mushroomed of late had left unscathed the famous Delhi open air markets because at the end of the day, Delhites liked their roadside gol gappa stalls, their small steamed momo stands and their roadside flower shops. Branded florists who had proper shops had to make do with turning themselves into gift stores and attracting only the selective clientele of the type that send out the driver to buy the tamarind chutney covered crisp papdi chat off the roadside vendor and eat it, reclining on the cushions of their Mercedes or Honda City cars while ordinary people have to stand on the sidewalks to do the same. Roadside florists who had no more than a cart and a fixed spot on the pavements of the market place held sway.

Drishti got off the bus to buy flowers for her ailing grand aunt.

“Not white flowers surely”, she thought on spying the elegant white gladioli lining the pavements behind the bus stop.  Her grand aunt would say Drishti was acting as if she were already dead.

But somehow, the only flowers that looked fresh were the ones that were white. Somehow.

Drishti was not much of a flower buyer. She’d always thought that flowers were a waste of money. Earlier, on her sadly infrequent visits to her grand aunt, Drishti had taken her little treats –orange or apple juice as her grand aunt liked what she called ‘sherbet’, chocolates or maybe Bengali sweets from the famous sweet shop around the corner of the park opposite which her grand aunt lived. But most often, she bought what her grand aunt liked best- icecream.

Drishti had learnt to be careful about these gifts. They couldn’t be exotic or unusual because her grand aunt liked the familiar. Flavours like chocolate chip and butterscotch were out as they involved bits that one could choke on. It was best to buy plain vanilla. Chocolates were ok as long as they weren’t liquor chocolates and sweets were fine but had to be bought in tiny quantities or they would be heaped upon the next visitor who would find herself overwhelmed with more sweets than she could eat.  

Drishti’s cousin had once bought their grand aunt some exotic fruit tea from her travels to the Nilgiris. This had been kindly passed on to Drishti with the complaint, “It tastes odd!”

“But Pishi Thakurma,” Drishti had explained, “This isn’t meant to be taken with milk!”

“So you’re telling me I can’t have milk anymore!”

Noneheless, it didn’t go to waste. Drishti had some nice, fruit flavoured tea to help her through her exams.

One couldn’t say that Drishti and her grand aunt were on the best of terms. For one thing, Drishti refused, most firmly, the privilege of actually staying with her grand aunt. Despite having relatives with homes in Delhi, she held on firmly to her hostel room, insisting on any possible excuse to stay away.

Drishti’s Pishi Thakurma had an active imagination. She had always had a couple of stories about a rude man who answered Drishti’s mobile phone and cautioned Drishti’s mother rather often about vague imagined men she suspected her grand niece of interacting with and even (Oh the shame!) of having affairs with.

Things became smoother when Drishti brought her calm and sober, steady boyfriend Arjo to meet her grand aunt. Pishi Thakurma was at her charming best and laid Arjo a fine, four course meal of dal and vegetables, fish and meat, cooked as if his mother would have cooked it. The spell broke as she popped the uncomfortable question, just as Arjo was digging his way through the tomato chutney and the jaggery infused ‘payesh’. “So when are you marrying our Drishti?”

To do Arjo credit, he didn’t exactly splutter or turn pale... but Drishti did.

Nonetheless, Drishti was always thoughtful about her visits and her gifts. When her grand aunt had her sofa upholstered, Drishti had scanned the upholstery shops and found cushion covers just the right shade of orange.

Mostly, her gifts were bribes –bribes to keep her usually cantankerous grand aunt happy and to keep her off her back and from intruding into her affairs.

Today, she wandered through the market looking for flowers because her grand aunt couldn’t eat sweets or ice cream any more. She was being force fed through a tube.

When the tube was first pushed in, Drishti had called Arjo up on her cell phone though not actually hysterical or in tears, “Baby, if I ever have to stop tasting, will you give me a lethal cocktail and let me go?” He’d made a joke about having to spend his old age in jail because of her and she’d felt much better.

Flowers it was.

The market was abuzz –even on the morning of a weekday. Students hung about, taking coffee breaks or pushing large golgappas into their mouths, tasting the sweet tamarind chutney and the texture of the square cut potato filling while the spicy, cold jaljeera dribbled down their chins. Wayfarers hung about, planning an evening trip to the liquor stall. Restaurants were being vacuumed but young people sat around tables on the pavements watching their cigarette smoke rise into the winter sunshine. The old, blind dog, stretched out in front of the cafe, its belly soaking in the sun. The tobacco seller sorted his pan leaves into an even heap.  It was a lovely day.

The flower shop hadn’t much to offer. An anglicised old lady in a skirt and a matching blouse chatted to the vendor about how her house was so dark and empty and needed flowers to brighten it up. The vendor was sympathetic even though he probably slept on the streets, under his cart, every night. The lilies that the lady was buying were white again. The coloured flowers were wilting. Drishti settled on two orange gerberas to match the upholstery of her grand aunt’s sofa and threw in a pink one for good measure. She had to ask the vendor to wire them up to make them look sprightlier.

She felt self conscious as she stood, waiting for the next bus. A young woman with large, pink and orange flowers. Heads turned to see beauty added to youth and Drishti blushed as she stood there, smoothing out the gerbera petals. When the bus came, it was too crowded. The gerberas would get crushed. Drishti hailed an autorickshaw instead.

The news came as an SMS on her cell phone as she climbed in and started to bargain with the autorickshaw driver. She should have bought white flowers instead.    

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tallinn diaries Part III


Readers of my blog will note that my last posts on Estonia were in September. My mood was euphoric in both and indeed, my Tallinn experience was all in all, a happy one. Yet, I admit I wasn’t always happy. I missed my family, my friends and I missed Soumyadip and wished he were there to share my excitement at finding myself in such a fresh, green, coniferous and peaceful, new land. I wanted to run and dance and hop, under the pines, scrunching cones and needles and silver birch twigs under my feet and doing my best not to slip on the mossy green undergrowth. It was hard to be so ecstatic and yet alone. Being alone when you’re miserable can be dealt with and is sometimes desirable but when you’re happy, you need someone to share it with.

Luckily for Skype.

Did you know that peer to peer sharing was invented in Tallinn?

Nonetheless, this blog post, ‘Tallinn Diaries Part III’ is a continuation of my Tallinn series but unlike the others, it is written in hindsight and is thus, retrospective rather than euphoric.
Now that I’m back in Delhi, sitting on my parents’ couch and mentally groaning while being lectured on the many things I still have to learn, I think back to what I used to call my ‘hospital bed room’ in the Academic Hostel at Akadeemia tee, Tallinn. I had never made much effort in trying to make it home unlike my Godavari Hostel room in JNU. I realise now that it was because I was sure, deep within, that it was “only three months” and I wasn’t there to stay. And that gets me wondering- how would I have behaved if I were?

I’d have gotten a job, earned a scanty wage, paid through my nose for essentials but guzzled cheap alcohol and wished I could have afforded to live in a Nordic country –much like how I live in Delhi except that here, I pay through my nose for alcohol as well.   

How is Estonia as a place to live? It’s beautiful and serene. It’s a lovely place to think and work. But the pay is low, the unemployment is high and the government has never floated a single bond. I was shocked to see a white man foraging in a bin for food. It shouldn’t have surprised me as the poor in my own country are absolutely destitute. People die of cold in Delhi every winter without having the middle class person bat an eyelid. But this was the first time I had seen a white man reduced to this and I realised that poverty is demeaning and pathetic anywhere.

Nonetheless, the government never floats a single bond, frightened for its dear life of sovereign debt. Is this a price to pay for not turning into ‘another Greece’? When the crisis came, Estonia took advantage of its reduction in inflation to join the Eurozone. It seems odd for an outsider, but to an Estonian policy maker, this decision was taken long ago and this was simply a window of opportunity.  So while other governments were following countercyclical policies, the Estonian government was quite happy with the cyclical change. (I should cite Darrell’s paper here.)

National pride is important to the Estonians. They would like to be a developed country. And joining the Eurozone was a very expensive membership to a very exclusive club. A fixed exchange rate peg couldn’t be maintained very long in the face of capital flows anyway. Not that capital flows were any easier to deal with once the euro came.

Being in the EU, hasn’t helped all that much. For one thing, Estonian manufacturing doesn’t have the level of competitiveness required in Europe and unable to devalue, Estonia has seen subtle but noticeable deindustrialisation. Unemployment has also been exacerbated by the rise of foreign owned retail chains which have wiped out the old, specialised little shops. Yes, Estonia has a lot to teach India in this regard.
Nevertheless, Estonia is the better off amongst the Baltic States. Riga in Latvia saw bank runs while I was in Tallinn. In fact the joke in Latvia was that in Riga, it is the banks that fall, in Tallinn, it is only the Christmas Tree. (The Tallinn Christmas Tree did fall over three times after it had been set up.) Beggars hung about outside one of Riga’s churches. The Latvian ‘lati’ is valued even higher than the euro, at a fixed exchange rate, and is in desperate need for a devaluation.

Yes, the Baltics were a pessimistic economist’s paradise. Nonetheless, for me, coming as I do from the Third World, any quiet place with stellar infrastructure is lovely and I wish India could have had the Estonian infrastructure –the trolleys, the libraries from which books could be found and issued in less than five minutes, bank accounts that took no more than fifteen minutes to operate, traffic that stopped for pedestrians (Oh! How wonderful!) More than anything else, I felt I was getting spoilt- three months of blissful peace with no honking cars and scooters. Better still, Estonians have a firm respect for privacy and prefer sending emails and texts to making calls even though calling in Estonia is pretty cheap. So no crazy phone ringing. Ah!
Until...

I began to miss the noise. The best thing about being abroad is that you realise how wonderful home is. You miss the drive, the energy, the passion, the way so many people fight cheerfully every day –if only to survive, the warmth, the small fact that things can be repaired –that one shouldn’t waste ...you miss home. Delhi’s a terrible city but at the end of the day, it’s mine. And I missed it dearly.

And when it comes to where you’re going, it helps to know where you’re from. When an (I must admit) awfully good looking but immensely stupid young man told me I was the prettiest girl at xyz party, I explained to him, rather civilly, that I’m brown and I’m different so ofcourse, he likes me. He remained unconvinced for a while and then he realised I had a point. Either that, or I bored him stiff -because I didn’t hear from him again.

European men are as bad as what Mrs. Datta calls the ‘cheapus indicus’ or ‘The Great Indian Cheapie’. Well, they don’t get harass-y unless it’s at a pub. Somehow, the cheapus internationale seem to think women go to pubs to get harassed. Nonetheless, walking alone on the dark, scary streets isn’t much fun. (You get fined 40 euro if you aren’t wearing a ‘reflector’ for one.) Yes, men and women aren’t that different elsewhere in the world. I found I was more prudish about accepting compliments from drunken strangers than some of my Estonian acquaintances but that’s ok because it kept me alive. I was also a lot less bothered about and somewhat more comfortable with my personal appearance than most Estonian and western girls I met. That could be the effects of the burgeoning sex industry and the pressure it puts on young girls to look like the girls in the magazines.   

What else? I liked the lack of hierarchy and I liked being able to call everyone by name. But I had a hard time explaining to Riaz that I would rather call my supervisor “Ma’am” than “Jayati” because there’s an awful lot of affection and respect that I throw into the word “Ma’am” especially, when I’m using it for my supervisor. I was lucky to participate in study Group discussions even though it never kicked off as such and I was really lucky to meet all of the people I met, some of whom, I still say, are beyond brilliant. I love the way their minds work.  Conversations with Riaz were particularly exciting (and somewhat exhausting) as I got to revise my dialectics.

I realised that a nice, useful way of looking at the world is to put Economics first. It works to think of technological change driving changes in production relations and then changes in institutions and in society. And I learnt how to see this in non Marxist terms as well. I learnt to appreciate the heterodox movement in Economics- the communion of Marxists, Keynesians, Schumpeterians and well, anyone opposed to neo liberalism –to stand up against austerity Economics and to stand up for the interests of ordinary people. You may kick and fight but it’s important to be generous and to give in order to take. There’s so much that we have to teach and learn from each other! We might as well start.

Yes, I learnt a lot at Tallinn. It was more energy saving than Oslo where thanks to cheap oil, it is cheaper to live in the suburbs. It was post Soviet, well planned and charmingly medieval. It would have liked to be Nordic but to be Nordic, you need to do more than to give pedestrians the right of the way. You have to make your policies for the common man. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Love


I do not seek to change you,
But only to propel you.
I know that my love
Puts you on a throne
And makes you fidget
As it’s high and cold.

But for me,
You’re a leader of men,
While you’re still at university,
Chugging beer
And solving
Problem sets.

It bothers me that
I love you
This way.
But this is how
I know to love.

I should rebel
As I step out at night
While a rapist waits
At every turn.

I love like a woman
Who cannot get
Where a man can get.
Which is rubbish.

But centuries of loving
Have made me love this way.
And as I accept your quirks,
Do accept my love.

(Not that my love’s a quirk.)

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Beat on a First World Street


I

I think of you
Playing a beat
Upon a First World street.

Why must you
Play your beat
Upon a First World Street?

Is there no job for you
Off the damn cold street?

Why must you
Play your beat
Upon a First World Street?



II

You beg for alms outside the Church,
I stare at you, confused
The times have changed so much for you,
It makes me feel confused.

Long, long ago,
You and I
Said we must unite.

Your boss is mine,
My boss is yours.
We said
We must unite.

But you got a job,
A homeland too,
Our boss gave you a deal.

You sold me out
Unto your boss
For such a lovely deal.

III

It was a fight,
I will agree
For getting
Such a deal.

You’ve made your world
What it is
With such a lovely deal.


IV

You sent away your poverty
To a brighter, warmer place
I know dozens more like you
In a brighter, warmer place.


V

But your boss and I,
We too have dealt
And sent you to the street.

Make no mistake,
It screws me too
And keeps me in the street.


VI

But we could try,
Once again,
To forget I’m black, you’re white
We could try
Once again,
To join hands and unite.

So let us hold hands my friend,
Join hands and unite.
We have only our hungry chains
Let's join hands and unite.   

Friday, November 04, 2011

In Support Of The Harvard Students’ Walkout On EC 10.


Yesterday, several students of EC 10, an undergraduate Economics course taught at Harvard University by the famous economist, N. Gregory Mankiw, walked out of class. In their “Open Letter to Gregory Mankiw”, they protested against the implicit bias in his course and how it trains students to think in a way that actually propagates the crisis rather than works to resolve it. I was thrilled. It is high time that atleast someone realises that the undergraduate Economics course (taught anywhere, in fact) tends to present views either completely irrelevant to policy or dangerous for it, particularly in view of crisis and even, development.

In this context, Jeremy Patashnik, student of EC 10 wrote his “In Defense of EC 10.” Patashnik insisted that the basis for the walkout was ill founded. He said that the protestors had completely missed the point of Economics –that it addresses positive rather than normative questions. It is not about “Should there be a minimum wage?” for example but about “What happens when there is a minimum wage?” In that way, Economics is a science. Patashnik however, forgets that it is not the positiveness or the normativity of the questions which is at issue but the choice of questions in the first place. For instance, we ask ‘what happens when there are minimum wage regulations’ and arrive at the conclusion that unemployment can be solved by means of ‘labour market flexibility’. We forget that falling wages may actually worsen cyclical unemployment as spending goes down. Since workers do not accumulate capital, they have a higher propensity to consume and if they are deprived of purchasing power, they stop spending which has further feedback effects on output and employment. This is the Keynesianism which the neoclassical synthesis forgets.

Having sticky prices (like the minimum wage) is in fact the very basis of capitalism. It allows for inelastic price expectations. In case of elastic price expectations, if prices rise, one expects them to rise further and if they fall, people expect them to fall further. There is no peg for prices to be centred on. Therefore, when prices fall, people expect them to fall even more and consume less which is why output doesn’t go up on its own in case of a crisis. It requires government intervention to push it up. It is ofcourse, possible to have a crisis even in case of inelastic price expectations but we will not go into that here.
   
Another scary thing- and this I recall from Mankiw’s ‘Principles of Economics’ textbook which was in fact written for EC 10 and which I have also read as a part of the Delhi University undergraduate syllabus- is that cash subsidies are better than subsidies that distort prices. In other words, instead of allowing for ration shops which give out food at less than market rates, governments should simply identify the poor and give them cash. That way, the poor have a choice as to whether to purchase non food items or to consume food and thus end up with a higher level of utility. (I haven’t presented this argument very well here. Do note that it has a lovely indifference curves related, formally demonstrated proof.) Mankiw forgets that it is the identification of who is poor and who is not that is the problem. In India, beneficiaries of government schemes are identified with the help of a ‘poverty line’. Currently, the Planning Commission has fixed it as Rs. 32. By Mankiw’s cash subsidies argument, only people who earn less than Rs. 32 a day are eligible for the cash subsidy. In case, one earns Rs. 33, bad luck. Moreover, imagine surviving on Rs. 32 a day! This kind of poverty line has a very dangerous Type II error. It leaves out so many people who survive on next to nothing from attaining very minimal standards of nutrition. If food is cheaper, at least they can attain some benefit- even if they don’t reach the highest indifference curve possible. Therefore, if policy makers took their textbook Economics seriously, they would actually create more destitution. Unfortunately, our Manmohan Singh and our Montek Ahluwalia are very good students of Economics.     

Crisis wise, there is also the ‘rational expectations hypothesis’. This says that suppose there is a situation of unemployment. Demand and supply have converged at less than full employment output. There is a fiscal thrust to push up output and employment. Suppliers will then see that prices are expected to rise and increase supply. In case of adaptive expectations, supply will rise slowly in response to price expectations which depend on the prices of the previous year.  In case of rational expectations however, rational suppliers will already know the full employment output and the price required for demand and supply to adjust at full employment equilibrium therefore they will adjust price is such a way that there is no crisis at all. Therefore, crisis is only due to a shortfall of rationality. The Ratex guys forget that crisis happens because it is systemic. It is not due to a lack of information. It happens simply because the entire system of finance and real capital is inherently unstable. Even if people are perfectly rational, it is theoretically inevitable for crises to happen. One can’t expect that they will simply sort themselves out in the long run when people become rational.

These are only three factors that I can remember from my own undergraduate Economics courses that do not present the entire story. I’m not saying don’t teach Ratex or the argument for cash subsidies. I am simply saying that do teach alternatives to Ratex that talk of crisis as systemic, teach real life reasons why cash subsidies haven’t become popular as opposed to food subsidies, teach us the shortfalls of not having a minimum wage. Isn’t it funny that when someone says something left wing-ish, she is treated as biased and unobjective while whatever the liberal right says, even if it doesn’t present the entire story, is the epitome of objectivity?