A ‘Safety Net’ That’s a Kafkaesque Mess

Beneficiaries can keep additional assets and income by setting up a Plan to Achieve Self Support — a written plan that must be submitted to and approved by the agency — but doing so is sufficiently complex that only 568 people in the entire country made use of this option in 2018. Nor are benefits so generous that recipients have no need to work — the monthly federal S.S.I. payment for 2020 was a mere $783. While many states supplement this, recipients still face terrible poverty.

Keeping track of these arcane details would be difficult for anyone. For low-income adults with intellectual disabilities and mental illnesses, who make up most working S.S.I. recipients, it is nearly impossible. Failure to do so can have awful consequences. The agency often overpays working disabled recipients, only to notify them that they must pay back thousands of dollars, sometimes years after the fact.

We work remarkably hard at making government impossible to navigate for people who need and deserve our assistance, and then use that remarkable mess as an excuse to allow government to do nothing else. The mess is designed, not inevitable.

Op-Ed: It will take a lot more than diversity training to end racial bias in hiring

While 90% of the employers reported explicitly factoring into their hiring the goal of increasing racial and gender diversity, we saw no preference for female or minority candidates in their ratings. In fact, employers hiring in STEM fields penalized résumés with minority or female names. The effect was big: These candidates were penalized by the equivalent of 0.25 GPA points, based solely on the name at the top of the résumé. That meant such a candidate needed a 4.0 GPA to get the same rating as a white male with a 3.75.

Powerful evidence of continued bias in the form of the wide gap between stated and revealed preferences.

Filmmakers’ look inside US immigration crackdown draws legal threats

Some of the contentious scenes include ICE officers lying to immigrants to gain access to their homes and mocking them after taking them into custody. One shows an officer illegally picking the lock to an apartment building during a raid.

At town hall meetings captured on camera, agency spokesmen reassured the public that the organization’s focus was on arresting and deporting immigrants who had committed serious crimes. But the filmmakers observed numerous occasions in which officers expressed satisfaction after being told by supervisors to arrest as many people as possible, even those without criminal records.

“Start taking collaterals, man,” a supervisor in New York said over a speakerphone to an officer who was making street arrests as the filmmakers listened in. “I don’t care what you do, but bring at least two people,” he said.

The cruelty is the point.

“I Was a Starter Wife”: Inside America’s Messiest Divorce

Elon Musk is a huge piece of shit. I wish I wasn’t so inspired by the work of SpaceX and so attracted to the Model Y.

YIMBY and Production Theory

New Urbanism and Richard Florida’s theory both hold, in different ways, that if cities make themselves nice to specific (different) classes of people, they will attract people who are morally and economically better to have as residents, stimulating further growth.

This was the Richard Florida critique I needed.

The Rise of the Netflix Hit

Are we better off not knowing the details of what’s popular and what is not? Part of me wants to believe that box office transparency became self-reinforcing– things became popular because they were popular, which could be bought to some degree, and therefore, smaller, high quality movies weren’t getting made. Popular movies were memetic and spreading somehow through their economics and not their quality. Another part of me thinks that the “surprise” hits that perform much better than expected and then reap massive rewards are an important part of finding and rewarding the folks that make quality culture.

Mostly I think that gifs will always reveal how popular something actually is and ensure it spreads. Unless you’re Quibi.

Researchers “Translate” Bat Talk. Turns Out, They Argue—A Lot

In fact, the bats make slightly different versions of the calls when speaking to different individuals within the group, similar to a human using a different tone of voice when talking to different people. Skibba points out that besides humans, only dolphins and a handful of other species are known to address individuals rather than making broad communication sounds.

Further moral challenges to my continuing to eat mammals for personal health and desires.

This Tiny Fern is the “Most Economically Important” Fern on Earth

I want to grow all the super plants everywhere to combat climate change.

One question still dogs Trump: Why not try harder to solve the coronavirus crisis?

In the past couple of weeks, senior advisers began presenting Trump with maps and data showing spikes in coronavirus cases among “our people” in Republican states, a senior administration official said. They also shared projections predicting that virus surges could soon hit politically important states in the Midwest — including Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, the official said.

This new approach seemed to resonate, as he hewed closely to pre-scripted remarks in a trio of coronavirus briefings last week.

Does anyone else find it sickening that there’s a notion of “our people” in the White House and that this is accepted by the GOP leadership? Since when is the president not supposed to see all Americans as “our people”?

Trump administration says massive Alaska gold mine won’t cause major environmental harm, reversing Obama

Everything is fine here.