« The Weeds

Why San Francisco’s school board got booted

2022-02-22

Dylan Matthews, Jerusalem Demsas, and Dara Lind discuss the recent school board recall election in San Francisco and also whether the Great Resignation is boosting inflation.

References:

Clara Jeffery's summary of why the recall succeeded

Former Green Party mayoral nominee Matt Gonzalez’s case for the recall

Former board president Gabriela López's post-mortem after she was recalled

López’s 2021 interview with the New Yorker on school renaming

The $87 million lawsuit

Lowell alum Justin Lai arguing in favor of the new admissions policies

The Asan American backlash against changing Lowell admissions (see also)

Students in selective exam schools don’t seem to reap many benefits

A review of exam schools nationwide

Putting “non-gifted” students in gifted classrooms helps them a lot

White Paper: The Effects of the “Great Resignation” on Labor Market Slack and Inflation

Hosts:

Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox

Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox

Dara Lind (@dlind), Weeds co-host, Vox

Credits:

Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer

Libby Nelson, editorial adviser

Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weedsletter 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hello and welcome to another episode of the weeds. I'm your post, Dylan, Matthews and I'm joined the wives in studio by my regular covers Darwin low on the other side of the glass partition on votes, the glass mortician and Jerusalem, hello, hello and today we're going to be talking about the big elections last week. If you dont know what elections we're talking about, you probably don't live in San Francisco,
we do not either way you ve got the events. There were interesting, so three members of the City School Board were removed from office and a recall election that wonderful, California, tradition and while some of the reasons for the defeat were very specific, does this go and we'll get into some of them? Others relate to questions about school, reopening school, renaming, selective magnet schools, and those are questions that are relevant to just about anyone with a steak and public education, particularly of urban pilot. Education. So Jerusalem, you push this topic, someone a con! You first what're you gonna do anyway. So ok, Walkest, What happened in San Francisco and why, as someone who was DC, you thought this was was interesting and jumped out of the specific San Francisco.
Tax for you. He asked our to spend most of the competition talking about why this may have happened and its political implications, but just to explain what exactly happened. There were three schoolboy members that have been recalled: Gabriela Lopez, Alison Collins and fella Malaysia, and they were called with like insane levels of the vote, is seventy four percent supporting the recall for Gabrielle Lopez. For me percent, supporting four thousand collins and seventy one percent from illegal, and one thing that reporting has said is that the recall effort was directed at the entire board, but that these three were the only ones are eligible because there were the only ones that serve long enough. So well, there are specific. Reasons why people are angry at these three individual. There was a generalized irritation at the entire school board for for various reasons, it is the city's first recall election since one thousand nine hundred and eighty three and is the first successful one and in memory
So that's interesting, aiming earlier this year I wrote a real piece about the given Newsome, Recall effort, and so some of the history here is like interesting that California's a pretty strong cultural, direct democracy or like every election cycle, I'm sure someone will see of old ballots better, like just pages and pages long ushers ballot measures that citizens are forced to vote on and there are the only electorates and send you twenty one to have ever actually recall their chief executive. A lot of this is born out of like progressive movement, postcode age, direct democracy, stuff that kind of came out in California. But that's. Why, like you gonna hear about recalls happening Calphurnia Lot, but I do want to emphasise at this. Is this is still pretty strange for California, even other use like having recalls on the ballot that one is successful and one successful in San Francisco is like not normal. So there's recall lecturing these three people get recalled
and there seem to be a number of reasons for this. What is your view? Jerusalem doing doing? Research into some of the motivations bind the recall campaign. I wonder what do people tat? I felt the scoreboard as incompetent and a lot of square was doing eyes in lino at a lot more light because- what's going on with covert school closures, so things were to talk about about renaming a bunch of schools. The name of equity, are about changing the admissions process for really prominent magnet school and also, of course, like racist things that are said by one the school board members, I'm accusing Asians of being Anti black, like all these things were kind of revealing just how bad the operational School Board actually was. There is one instant. A thing is like highlights is pretty well where, because there's a lot of open meetings are happening over Zoom people are able to pay attention. People orders noticing just ridiculous outcomes happening. For instance, people didn't want a
merely board to become predominantly white. They struck a gay man from being able to actually come onto the board, leaving the existing board full of just straight women in some of the scope, and so it was not like that wherever we just like what is going on wisest happening, Eliza School boarded a strategically important during cove. It kind of full of people Don't share my baby. Don't you my values or if they do, there is incapable of actually implementing them in a reasonable way, which weighs a lot of Democrats actually supporting the recall effort. Obviously, seventy votes very overwhelmingly majority city, but I do think one thing. That's important note is that there is a strain of real like dark racism happening here is well in terms of their horrible message being sent and Harry CALL. People discover members both before and after the recall, Ben I'm, not even read them out loud they're, pretty violent, bigoted their content. Threats of real violence is undeniable strain at present to recall a tapping there. It's important name that there's also some of what people call
more right wing money that has actually come in and and and finance much of the of the recall, but I think I am very sceptical of the idea that the majority of people who are participating in recalling these individuals are at all in cahoots with a sort of like right. In any ology, considering that it is San Francisco Catholic. One also that that some of the specific voting bays and you see this serve when you break down the areas and efforts is code that are were most support of other recall, like the whole city, seemed broadly supportive. These were seventy eighty percent mark as your same by huge anti recall, sentiment in the sunset district. Witches were overwhelmingly asian American, particularly chinese American. Some of the strongest programme, votes were around Lowell, which is the disproportionately asian disproportionately, not blackened
Fourteen ho magnet school. That has been at the centre of of love. This, as you said and Jake, has being king, who was in the area and has done some reporting on the recall, had a really nice column about this. Just going into the extensive of asian american community activism going into the recall that seems most relevant to low all answer. It's a fixed eyes, school and so debates over who gets admitted to it. and a zero sum, and- and I think there is a sense that under the new system there doing words just lottery based as opposed to based on sterilised tests and and GPA, that asian students would lose out for the sake of diverse finance, allowing more blackened latina students, and so that seemed relevant, but also, as you said, Alice in Collins, who is one of the recall people had a string of tweets referring to Asian Americans is house and words witches Christ, while we re sets end and also not, it's not surprising that in response to that like there is
Germany is an american organizing against the scoreboard dead dead. If it's a scoreboard that was seen as preoccupied with Turkey, mostly symbolic criminal justice initiatives and also that their view of racial justice was kind of exclusionary to asian Americans, you don't have to construct a narrative about, like industrious coming in, and asked returning to explain why people were upset cook yeah yeah, I mean at the same time I do lake, and this is where it gets into the kind of posts hawk narratives asian, because that so much of why this is like a nationally relevant story right when we were talking about affirmative action. Last, the couple of weeks ago, the less I was on the show we did have to tease out this the relationship that Asian Americans have to affirm to actual regimes and the extent to which various illegitimate racial equity argument there did also provides a convenient operate.
Unity for people who dislike any racial equity projects in higher education to pursue, and- and this is, I think, what we are seeing here is like the dark underwear, If that, right, where a school board member who assumed that Asia, guns were at best being useful ponds for this darker agenda. Just went, war way too far in assuming actual malice and lake. Just you know and add, and also I've, just totally ok with a whole lot of stuff, it doesn't need to be said, is bad and wrong and shouldn't be said publicly and privately, especially if you're in position of public trust, but the idea that somebody who might think that they are on your side is in fact kind of helping. The your enemies has really characterized the narrative. That's happened after this election right where you have pro recalled Democrats, many of whom have national platforms, because San Francisco does have a lot of problem
lover who commentators trying to rest. You know trying to distinguish themselves trying to argue to the protocol to the end. I recall folks know. Really. We are mostly on your side. There are specific issues at play here. Do not you know lump us in with the right wingers nationally, who are saying that this was because woken S, because school renaming, and the Anti recall folks on the other hand, trying to coalition will work with pro recall liberals and saying: don't you stand that inevitably, if you support this sort of effort, it is going to be used by people? You disagree with to pursue policies that you disagree with and really you guys should be doing some self reflection, because if you didn't want those people to feel empowered, you shouldn't have done what you did. I think it's worth kind of teasing out why it is that we are seeing me. I resolutely squashed order, my work of just. Why do progressive places, sort of default? Doing symbolism verses in you,
going after material. You know a changes is at an end. The easy, its symbolism, is literally easier to date, would like just easier in chains, NATO's role than it is to solve the problem of educational inequality. That is just an easy thing to do, and I think the other thing, though, is because We I mean a lot of blame being placed on these go members, rightly so, but also like progressive voters and left her centre. Voters do not actually want people to pursue the process by which would actually get the material change to happen. Like you see, opposition constantly like you know, three segregation programmes or or building new housing or building new trains or things about this stuff is something that happens repeatedly, and so I don't know adding secondary part of it, though, to just like this kind of reflexive genuflection to process as a partner interviewed Gabrielle Lopez, who was one of the recalled school.
birds, awhile back, it was after they were considering changing the name. So there were the school vote with board. Education voted six want to change them to forty four schools, including schools, into four Abraham, Lincoln and George Washington, and it was beyond just like: ok, like Do we consider people having about things? There was a really bad history happening. You know they were good changing of power of your own country because of his role in the penalty. Scott expedition of seventeen semi, nine, which they claimed, was to colonise panopticon people but was not true, Naselton abridged for anyone any kind of big. The point you could have had only just like made up some stuff already, unlike the interesting part of I think, is important- is that he asks her about this, because you asked about this committee and like what on here and it's gone wrong and she just keep saying like I don't want to get into a process where we discredit the work of this group is done. I think you just need to require more dialogue and kind of refuses to engage on the question of. Is it bad that you guys were literally wrong about whether these schools name should be changed, and I think that
The marrying of process. Dialogue with like equity is a real problem. That's happened on the left and it comes up along. you know the same kind of dynamic that continues when localities use local community meetings to determine community input, despite like tons of evidence showing does not actually reflective population than an odour? These are like local input like this are an end. The way these process works like sound, very progressive, but in reality there is a way of confirming, like small, see, conservative desires at local level, because they stop progress all the time, and so I think it's worth thinking about what the structural things that are going on here beyond just like these people are, No, you know on the deep, and so it seems like we have too many narratives here there is the lake substantive. Something has gone wrong with it
political coalitions so that it like ended up doing these things that were dillet areas to children's education and then there's the confidence argument, which is you know the argument that probe recall liberals have been making that there were specific failings of this school board of these men. Cows and both of those kind of cut across the series of issues, Jerusalem that you laid out, so it might be worth of going through those issues. by one and laying out what like the competence frame says about them. This is the for lack of a better term woken s- are going too far frame yeah. competence for him. I think a lot of it has to do with not just like schools. Reclose, MRS Evans, is go. We're talking about people were masking voluntarily outdoors. I people are very much convent hearing public health guidelines and additionally, there is a large islamic population that- and that was masking before, because comments in the United States? It is not something where it's like. People were anti covered measures, something like that, but cynisca schools were closed longer than the rest, the country on average- and
bored in the district. Didn't do ton of planning and twenty summer twenty to reopen them or to make remote work easier or make substantive contingency plans, and you know people were really angry about this. Obviously I also California, it is warm like there are things you can do to do, have school outside or come instruction outsider, and also we notice now. There's massive budget surpluses that were being accumulated and states across the country, including in California, to the massive budget surplus and at the same time, is when all of this stuff is happening there watching the focus at the school board. Meetings happen on on these more symbolic equity measure, so I think the competence peace here it is it is. It is a prior decision thing it has also just I think honestly. This is what's happening in local government, all the time that people are kind of just doing random things that really a sense of whether or not is actually in line with the parties, the community, but there's not a lot of attention on it, because local
news has died, and so there's not a ton of people who are keeping tabs on what's going on, but covert has brought a lot more attention to this and other things probably worth getting into the we had done the Lowell stuff here, a bit so doing your dimension kind of like the ship it they're trying to do. But you know this is kind of reflect. Also, what's been going on broadly about kind of a the fight to get rid of a city scores in emissions or even from tobacco, and things like that, where there's a acting as an out growth of the symbolism problem, why is it that block letting a kids aren't getting same? Jp age? Is white nation kids? It's not because of their race. Obviously, it's because if I differences and access to resources and a bunch of other things, but dealing with that is like really hard until law has become kind of like the symbol of a we need to change this. If we change the face of this, if this looks more,
likes him just go then we'll have like solve the underlying problem, but you actually fix the problem. There still kids, but getting access to education there still like some lack of resources are there are having, when their younger or of their parents aren't getting or whatever it is, that is making them unable to access blow at the same rate, and I think that that's probably won the underplayed things the national heritage. How much had to do with this one school, which is a symbol of a lot of like I mean it's thick with topped public school in internet, go and where the top in the country of why people are really angry and they thought this and was being taken away from them beyond. Just like this, is it just a verse, averse black people thing really like that? very much aid. This is an important school like we want to be able to know clearly that working people to get in basic standards that have already been set, and so it was really, I think, counterproductive for them to make it a racial narrative. It's really interesting here,
you know, in contrast with, say, New York, where there is an effort to eliminate magnet schools on the whole that this is an effort where a change to admissions at a single school was portrayed as this, not as like, not Justice s neck to he for the system. But like the thing we can do to solve it. If you think about it, I mean the the late great magically see us are IP posted on his newsletter a couple of weeks ago that his his son Jose had the extremely hot take that it's good for school, to do merit in admissions, because then the kids, who need the most help, can go to the those with the best resources and that's an argument for differentiating schools and and not doing a pure. Oh neighbourhood, schools or pure lottery method and a public school system. That is that, like surely cuts against the you know, meritocracy of the magnet school and towards an equity lens. But that's not what they're doing here, they're saying this once
We know it's good, so we're going to, instead of trying to make sure that there is. Generally a better distribution of like good at occasionally: resources throughout our system, we're going to make sure that whoever happens to get this lottery gets a perfectly good public education, and it's just it's very hard to understand from outside. I would assume- because I don't know- maybe if I were in the inner San Francisco holes holes community, I would understand the kind of charisma that the level name has and understand. Just how big that new Let me guess we are talking about the ivy is when you are talking about affirmative action like there are, certain institutions that just occupy a lot of mine space and so really do when they change policies have a downstream effect in how you see the system but lake on the face of it.
This was either wildly inadequate or, like you know, just a wild over correction to the problem of magnets in equity. So Route Brigham take a break, but when I get back it sounds like I'm. The only person he thinks what they did with low was good, so we want we were getting us when we were back from the brink, hey everyone, it's doing it you're a big weeds listener. There's a chance. You listen to our friends over today explained and if you haven't now is the time to start. Every week day, the team there breaks down one big news story and why it matters. This is a bit week for the showers. They welcome their new caused, no well king together, China Noel will help us make her way through what promises to be another very chaotic, induce a year. You can expect more on the ground reporting
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we ve been talking a bit about this, but I want to take a step back and end serve, explain precisely what happened here. So low may not mean much to die. back up up up up up up, I ever relentlessly east coast buyers about these. I grew up in New Hampshire and I knew what law was like. Law is one of its like the Boston LAD. More Stuyvesant or, like ok, levy, correct. I ever relentlessly midwestern by his about these things. It is frankly I'll tell you that there is a cannon of public schools who everyone, some of us did mall you end in high school and got the ship being out of us by bees play so like it's a big deal like Stephen Briar went there there very excited about Stephen Briar, but it it was the elite public school wheat, non privates San Francisco, where some of their highest achieving people have gone for decades and decades, and as as I
saying with Boston, Latin and Stuyvesant. This is not exclusive to San Francisco. Schools like this that are sort of exam or GPA based in these. Here we have school without laws and ban occur. Newark also has sprung science and hunter, and so like setting up selective schools selected using dna tests. This is a thing that minors is most urban school districts in the: U S have done in some form, and this. change, obviously incense station Americans and is obviously deserve a limit to how much you can do by changing one school that that that I hope, I'm not going to argue that changing lulls admissions is, is a cure all for the San Francisco public education system, Let me make the case that it's a good idea, so the exact change they did was going from a staircase testing GPA based admission to just simple lottery, and I think that's actually quite evidence based based on
We know about magnet schools and also what we know about like integration. Efforts of like court Unquote non gifted students into serve higher quality schools, so there been a couple of good randomize study is one that Josh angriest an for, I thought and and CO authors did another one that Rowan Friar and we'll Dhabi dead. Looking at score, cut off for Boston in New York, city exams, schools, so usually these places have have set score. You have to get, and so you compare people just below the cut off people just above would they find like very consistently and in which, like shocking degrees of precision to me, is the kids who didn't get into the school narrowly do just as well as consumer got into the school narrowly. There doesn't seem to be any difference in test scores. There's some disagreement about, like some small changes in likelihood to enrolling college, but even that
and seem that significant, don't be any longer and affects anyone can can find of this, and it really seems suggests to me that a lot of diesel heralded success of these schools like people talk about Bronx Science have more Nobel laureates than many countries is just selection like yeah. If you get all the smartest science kids in New York City we're gonna get alot of Nobel Prize winners, whereas by contrast debit card I had a very nice paper, a few years ago in the American Economic Review with Laura Giuliano, and they they were looking at a programme where any school that had like super gifted kids, even if there are one or two had created gifted classroom, and so because there are so few like Cuttenclip gifted kids, they filled the classroom with other like like non gifted kittens,
it like this is a mean way to talk about people, but but it was interesting because they found like really large gains, especially for blackened spanish kids, who got lumped in serve with those with the gift, a classroom and getting that kind of serve attention and end of that kind of tracking and the more important they didn't find any negative stollivers for other students. It wasn't that your calling kids away from from other classrooms and like leaving those surf classrooms left over to suffer all this combines in my head.
Do you like you, know like why school seems like it's a pretty high quality high school and by randomize intermission, making it much more racially diverse and serve those? The complaint about law has always been that it has a disproportionately small black and latino population relative to the population of San Francisco. That might actually have real benefits for people knew. We went in and probably isn't hurting the kids who are not going to Lowell as a consequence. There probably gonna, be fine. You haven't. I strongly agree that, like this on, the policy mix is correct. I just think it's like. I think I I definitely feel concerned about making ass a case around. Oh, we just need to be taken something from one group and giving it to another and like clearly marketing this. As a sort of under a scarcely mindset officer there, some level scarcely there only so many slots at Lois and people will get them and others won't, but
there's no reason to make a situation where you're saying we are taking thoughts from the asian american Community and raving them to the blackmail of community. There are people who are aged American, who mightily would benefit from this situation because they have lower test scores GPA than other Asian Americans and thereby achieving black of attempt. Students who may not, but if events it is like I think it is very weird when there's a much larger population of people who should be benefiting from lottery system than people who would be benefiting from the current system to artificially create a politics where so when people are opposed to, you even though may be in their interests to be in your favour necessarily there are more people who would not be qualified energy, Pierre and it he would have higher chance of getting into Lowell under a lottery system, and I think in general I think it is it is. It is something that makes a lot of. To me from the way that Peter Precipices court sort of evolved, that these conversations happen under this kind of framework, and I think, there's a lot of good reasons for people to be examining education and the school system under racial equity framework. But I think we have to realise it like, while that's half
kind of like more academic, an elite spaces. That's like a really alienating conversation for regular people to hear, like I don't know what it would have meant. My parents who are coming here, unlike never having due to school system, to be told like Hale, there's an equity reason that wouldn't let you notable offended by something happening. If that happens, like my siblings, we were young, unlike other I've known you. Maybe we benefit from reductions on point but, like I think my point is just like. I think there needs to be a clarity around like who you're talking too, because if you're just gonna talk to other people who already understand the language of Progressive ISM, you're, not actually getting closer, the equity ends we were talking about. So this is where I think the competence argument really comes into focus for me in a way that I have very have trouble. Imagining is unique to San Francisco public sports rate, because I want to make a few statements that I think are probably generally better recognised now than they were two years ago, which is that school boards are really important and that being a schoolboy
Lord member. At a time when everyone knows school boards are really important is really hard. Rightly absolutely nothing. We ve heard over the last eighteen months as school words have become the focus of a lot of sk around reopening or lack thereof around some of this racial equity- and you know see our teeth stuff has made. It seem like being a school board members a job, any one would or like Ito and added responsibility that anyone would want at the very in time, it's made it very clear that it's important to have people who take that job seriously in those in in those positions, and so I can understand and in a low salience pre twenty twenty world having people on the school board who understand this stuff in very transactional terms in terms of the people who show up to the school board meeting who are opposed to the lottery system or asian american parents were worried that their kids are going it spread over. The people who show up in favour of the lottery system are black parents who are worried. Their kids are being screwed over. Therefore,
clearly this is going to like MIKE. Instead, you're telling me that this is going to hurt when community and help another one like yeah, it's it's really not helpful from persuade per se and actually like building a coalition angle, but it makes if this is something the lake? If, if this isn't your primary, if you have a lot of stuff on your plate, if you don't necessarily have a fully sophisticated understanding. Similarly, the kind of basic factual errors in the school renaming situation- history is hard lake, it is an inner. I'm. I'm not saying that this was like somehow a thing that you know. Obviously, the response that we shouldn't be undermining the work of these people, who got it right, is not due to the health sector, is used as a high historians commentary, I didn't think history happened, either happened or I did it like. This is thought you know this is not
good way to go about things, but it's also true that, like you, do require a certain amount of sophistication to do this stuff right. If it, we would not have expected of a school board a few years ago, and so the thing that comes back to the lake specificity of the California recall for me is given Jerusalem that you said at the top of this episode that it's not like every five years, there's a big blow up and a couple of people get booted off the San Francisco School Board. In the end, you know, I understand that the competency argument really does rely on these specific things happened and specific urged that the protocol liberals are saying you know were unique to this situation, but it really does seem that the broader salience of hay any screw up that a school word makes is going to be a lot more noticeable and, at the same time, the stakes of the decisions that they are making higher. I have a hard time believing that, if you had recall provisions in other state constitutions that you wouldn't be seeing more stuff like this yeah
I think, however, that I think, but I do I do think this is also in a very weird moment, with schools, but I think that once schools are back in person without kind of these kinds of disruptions, that it's unlikely, that we see this kind of energy, but who not you're working to that point about certain importance in the recall procedure. So much of this is about specific Californian. Instead, actions and decision rules that seem completely baffled him up like like so much of of these. These first order fights are being fought through us, as that's dead, a you. You have to people in talking about the scoring Amiens not being opposed to score. Any means like move would be supportive of getting rid of tonnes, Jefferson's name on stuff, but very angry about through the process through which it was done. In some ways, the most surprising, validating the recall Me was not Gonzales, who my first heard about when he was the
Green Party nominees for mayor and because this is San Francisco, almost one against at the the far right demo Frank, Galvin, Newsome, two guys in theory and he's a professional public defender. Was Ralph meters running mate for one of his presidential runs but he's over the recall, and if you go through a lot of his his arguments for the recall, so many of them are about process its. I'm, not I'm. Ok, with renaming that this process was terrible, he was very exercised about this mexican social realists. Mural that was going to be destroyed by the school board that depicted sort of rationalized violence and his argument and argument of other are preservation is was like? No, that's exactly the point and literally- and this is why it was painted, but on the way They got that mural preserved is that they filed a lawsuit under the California Environmental Quality ACT.
Which is is like the earth villain of anyone wants, lay car forehead, fearful, Nor was he said like we're both recently, I see you a lawsuit, lad, a judge to rule that beauty Berkeley had to reduce their like incoming population by a third because they fail to you to consider that the active being the university was a proud then they had to do an environmental impact study and their neighbours somehow had standing Sue them about this Obviously so much of this episode is just reminded me that the episode we did an affirmative action two weeks ago is like the most tell her I mean not like pat ourselves on the back but like, but it was totally wildly more intelligent version of the conversation than the actual versions of the conversation about your deserves, a spot. It elite, universities, we ve been living cheating on California. I'd say I do want to say one thing, which is just that, like obviously, a lot of symbolism is happening because we were not able to make real material progress on things and
part of it, as it is actually not really known what you can do on early childhood interventions to fix a lot of the gaps that we care about. You know: there's oxy low hanging fruit like get written, getting rid of lead paint and like fitted safety and and ventilation ventilation. Things like Valley. There are things that we could. Then I think that it's ridiculous, I'm not invest in these. He had the filters. Are things like that everywhere? But it seems like the region really makes a lot of things that we ve just had a bunch of us that is showing the researchers really mixed on on on Pre K, unclear about day care. Even what what what we must do, that its unclear often the best way to deal with public safety, which is a primary concern. Of course, if you're trying to talk about Rachel Equity- and so these things are really hard problems to solve its- not just at this report, folks alone, but that's even more- I think
indictment of spending our time on on the most Impala cup. Measured because there's so much we don't know, there's so much research. We still have to do to figure out how to close these gaps, and it is weird to spend so much time on these things. When, honestly, I don't understand, why would take that long to change the name of the school is. Why is this a multi we always everything like it, just change the neighbouring countries, they must go and people can vote on it locally, like our really care, but I do think that's part the problem, but might my macro analysis of the whole situation is like to many people get us that they are part of progress. Is there that there has to be present? In favour of action and not serve a million ways to stop it and so like, instead of the school were decides to tear down a mere all, and then everyone can sue them and stop it like. I think the murals fine at all let them european torn down, but like that's well
in their party here go pay should be able to just do tat. They probably wouldn't. If they realise there is no the product, they would be more reflective of the actions they were taking if they realize it's just them and the action verses. Oh, if it's really that bad seminal stop us the input now it's gonna start rate and then on the other side of it, like one. One thing we haven't mentioned yet is that Allison Collins? When the recalled people after she was censured by the board for saying a bunch erases stuff about Asian Americans? She suit them for eighty seven million dollars for observer, emotional injuries and stuff and causes Gilbert. Four hundred thousand dollars defending itself right does like they're, probably easing of universe under american civil law. Where you, you can just like prevent completely frivolous lawsuits like that. It felt indicative of the broader alike There are now engaged to say that that is a problem for an elected official to cost the
situation that kind of money, and that might be a reason to remove that elected a fish. But yet I mean I do the funny thing about. This is still an ode to get back to the twenty two and twenty first century progressive Isms point from the beginning of the episode. It seems like you're, saying that this is kind of a toxic combination of the two right twentieth century: Progressive ISM, which provided a set of two points in the guise of direct democracy being married to a very process, centric language, centric, consensus based model of twenty first century progressive decision making, and the reason that I find it fascinating argument is that the pro recall folks, we're saying one of the arguments on the competent side was that the school board was insufficiently directive. Craddock in violating open meetings, laws and risk lawsuits, and that that was like a key part of the competence argument that they were not that they were doing all of this stuff. You know
in a slipshod dead of night way that didn't allow for enough community and foot, and so actually it's like well if they had sufficient veto points available at the outset, we wouldn't have had time to this other things which does seem to get at the core of the way that process arguments can be used by both sides, but also lake There really is a certain value in transparency and, in you know, allowing various, especially in something like this, where there are various stakeholders whose perspectives probably need to be heard out before a decision can be made in any informed manner lake there reasons. The direct democracy exists in their reasons that their proponents for it and it can be genuinely horrid in practice to figure out when Is this no longer a useful fact finding and coalition building exercise and when is it just process taking the form of veto point after veto point
thing. One thing tat to name too, is just that this cleavage of drawing political battle lines between Asian American and black american latino american communities is something I think is going to going to grow actually in the future. We saw this, of course, with the hate crimes that happen over the last year. There's a lot of discourse around you know: was it black American that were predominantly causing this or things or who were perpetrators of these crimes? Are things like that which blew up quite a bit on right wing media as well and also really found purchase within a lot of asian american parties as a politically salient topic, and you know, I think, only gonna become more important in city them. In our disproportionately cities, black Americans, nation perkinses portion live in urban centres, the United States and these cities have become pretty anti growth. So a lot of what's happening here is that the conversation is round Greece distributing existing parts of the pot. When that happens, that's going to essentially pit people against one another. Instead of creating new opportunities for growth. Like we don't know, make another lol like it
make another law. This wouldn't be a problem, but because we can or because our focus on trying to do that instead we're talking about how do we take things away from individual and that's just like one example of how this I think going to play out repeatedly in the products of this happen. Public safety, as I mentioned it, may happen in schools, gonna happen with a bunch of other things when it comes to city resources and right now you know we're seeing states and localities generally having a lot of budget surpluses. If that's not, so you that's like normal as something to happen repeatedly for a long time, and I think it's like really going to be concerning if there's a way to reduce this sort of friction, because these are both very politically important. I mean just me to people, but obviously for the effort Aki about politics and, in particular, is a very political, important collisions on the local level in city politics- and so I don't know like I'd, only have anything to say about what to do about it. But I'm just saying it's going to keep happening and everyone you know, keep an eye out.
well having been solved. Urban education and racism and racism. Forget we're getting our second break. I will come back. We have a white paper, that's all about inflation, solid. Ever wanted with us up up up up up up up up. The cut in her shoes is not just another interview park, it's a show. They begins where other particles now success and with a look at what happens next it to show about how the structures that can inspire our own ambition can also be the same once they get in the way of progress. My name is Lucy People's Wagner, the cuts editor in chief and on each episode, I'm speaking with someone that the cut is watching, admiring or just fascinated by together.
explored not only how they form their own path, but also how they're bringing others along with them. Now that they made check out and follow the current wherever you listen to pass, I'm Heather Cox Richardson an angel in Freeman and where the hosts of the pod cast now and All three episodes of our special three parts series- bands, schools and Power- are now out raise explores the rise in book bans heated. The board meetings and outright bullying behaviour that were seen across Amerika. These controversies aren't knew. There was, for example, a massive battle over hidden Rowan helpers, pre civil war book, the impending cry so the south, so he wore to end slavery and he's ready for black rebellion to be a part of that and he's a southerner. as we see politics, take over school board meetings, if
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when the population is aging right now, like you, can look at the people who are unemployed but who counts, as in the labour force? For that can change a lot, but also have labour force is changing is affected both by how good the account, yes, but also by people retiring by different levels of disability, and we might be seen like higher levels of disability after covered but one innovation that this paper offers for thinking about serve, how tight the labour market is or how lucid is or how much room for improvement we have before we get. Inflation is by looking at people who apply to jobs while their working somewhere else and though the point is that people who deuce serve on the job search for other jobs can get higher wages because they can a serve counteroffers have the threat of counter offers and get raises, and so this is a form of labour market tightness that that is not normally considered and so might be, causing,
inflationary pressures, Jerusalem, a? How do you feel about being personally responsible for the guy to reality, rail line in fairness? You did suggest this white paper is actually worth reading it out, like others is, actually you played you're, so I did so just at TAT. Touches dead break down a little bit more. So when you some slack we're talking about, you, know, unemployed resources, so there's a bunch resources com and it could be employ productively. That isn't that obviously very broad like how do you measure whether some things be employed productively or not, but that's bread, Integra, they think like employed, might even be an unhelpful way to think about this, because we tend to think of workers as employed or unemployed like this is lake? Are these resources being used ized or are they you know? And that includes workers who are in bad job,
where they are not able to lake unleash their full productivity yeah, so, like slack essentially, is the difference between an economies, productive capacities to like the goods and services that produced if all labor and capital were efficiently allocated and then the actual level economic output, and so like. I don't mention it's like really hard to like get those numbers exactly, but one of the things I think is I think that is, I had not thought about for this, and I know when I thought, but in labour markets like what you like, pulmonary generally like, if the people who are employed are being allocated given the ones that are not being allocated proactively in general, is unemployment when we're Tubman employ measures that you to people who are looking for jobs now, people are not working. So I think it is makes a lot of sense that, in general. We know that, like, as the unemployment rate rises right, labour slack rises, because there are more people who are unemployed to the price of labour and also the power labour will go down. So you wouldn't expect inflationary, but that's different right than like, if people are currently in jobs, are all looking for other jobs, which is the kind of narrative of the
resignation that's happening, then you actually would see wages rise because, unlike unemployed people who don't have occurred, existing
age to anchor future negotiations. People with jobs can use our current wages sailing. Oh you halfpenny ex him out in order to get me, leave my current job and also the types of people who are employers unemployed generally, our folks who maybe have higher productive capacities of your already employed. Your more could be someone you already know is practically a valuable to companies, because a companies are decided. You arse hooks. That's like the signal to two other companies, and so what that means is that, obviously, even without that anchoring wage, you probably would independently require higher wage too in order to come to a new companies. Are an officer really interesting just because I had not at all considered any this part before so I was like intrigued by it. I think it's interesting to think about how I own critic I saw from some lefty folks on online is just like this paper kind of conflates Allah bit: wage inflation in price inflation. Like August you're, talkin inflation were usually like. We don't really. I wouldn't like. No one would,
If wages monopoly president glop would like that sounds great, like everybody should go up, and that seems like important unlovely. The concern most of us have is like ok, but what does this mean that, like prices are actually increasing for people and that were entering maybe a wage price spiral? That's really concerning and could lead to long term inflation and so in the papers? I can interact like it. That's what the scope, trying to do here, but I do want to name that, like there's, no evidence in this paper at all that, like this, has led to higher priority. At the same time, there is an argument on the left that the current price inflation is purely ear, or at least primarily the function of Nero companies deciding that they can increase their that the figure increase, profit margins by increasing prices and if wage inflation is also happening than that certainly cuts against the
dear that this is just people looking at the environment, saying hey! No one will blame me if I raise prices right now. It's worth pointing out that the argument for wage inflation isn't just about people being able to negotiate higher wages at different jobs. It's about the idea of it. If you assume that people are looking for new work on the job, some of those people will actually successfully negotiated higher wage at their current employer. So in theory the effect of wage inflation is like you can imagine. It is kind of what you see of the waterline and then there's something presumably equal question mark below the waterline This is where the nature of the great resignation, I think, becomes a real question, because a lot of the narrative around this well that there are a couple of narratives there's one that is kind of focused on lower wage workers, which is that there is a replacement of fact with.
Social servant with that kind of additional social safety net stuff that that that Congress pass in the wake of the pandemic and that for better or worse, this made it easier for people to not feel that they needed to be in jobs. That's not necessarily going to be reflected in the kind of change and employment, but there is also the argument of the great resignation that it was about people deciding that their current workplace. weren't tolerable. And so, if you think about that, whether you think about it from the perspective of you know like my nor I employees leaving work places where they didn't feel welcome, or you know, from the perspective of people just being sick of being exploited. That's
in a situation where the negotiating a higher wage is going to necessarily make it, make you likely to state your current company, so it's possible that the great resignations actually showing more people above the waterline and blow the waterline, then you at typically see where, like it's actually not creating as much inflation on wages for people who are staying at their current companies, because if you really wanted to leave your current company, you would and a higher wage wouldn't be enough to get you to stay. Yet the distributional stuff here is really interesting, like good. This paper implies, isn't, is that a lot of wage gains are going towards people who are currently employed and also people who can demand higher wages both from their current employer and from future potential employers, and that's like interesting because, like that's, not couldn't even those injured on generally people like really concerned about getting wage kittens, and so I think I think it is also it's hard to figure out how permanent this kind of thing is. It really depends. on whether or not this sort of the resolution is like this, this temporary phenomena
can going on right now, if remote or kind snaps back to being a lot less of a thing like what does it actually do Firstly, with remote work, it opened up a lot more opportunities for people to apply different jobs on the country simply because maybe you'd have to move or you were able to move for whatever reason, and that means more jobs. We apply to cause your interest locked into the current labour market that you currently within and like that all is feels very new and very like transient, unlike who knows how, on that kind of sticks around and and also of course, I mean that the number they find is like that this raised inflation. Iran, one percentage point during most when we that's a huge number. I thought I could ask you to act, but at the same time not not the bulk of inflammatory, so it's it's a huge country Peter, but not in anything. That fits also with some of the distributional numbers we do have so far
Erin do bad at you. Mass has served some irregular. We ve been clean out these great charts, the show wage gains by income per cent title and then are showing how they relate to inflation and over less six months, or so he finds that the sort of a J curve in that the lowest income people see the biggest wage against anyone. It dips up against slowly at the very top that serve higher and seem to be doing better. Very recently, you don't see that if you look like a year or two years, but that only about the lowest third of the income distribution are seen wage gains, there are higher than inflation. Everyone else foreseen substantial wait, gains the ones that are lower than the high levels of inflation rate now, and so I think, to make sense of that. In light of this paper is this is or of talking about that that loop at the top
and ends or of some dynamics among Hyreanus by a lot of of the wage gains, seem to be the present among people where this might not place much, but it might as well like it. We might also just being a point now where there is there such tightness in, like retail jobs, that you can get a raised, adds a J C pennies is Jesse Penicillin business yeah, that's the way I would have Fedex reference you can, you can get a raise pennies because there's a J crew across the street and, unlike you, can apply for jobs that Like I don't, I don't know that I would assume that these dynamics are confined to white collar occupations. Yeah I wasn't concerned about like people takings research like this and like running with it in a native direction. Until I saw his recent news story where the governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, said he, you wanted see quote quite clear, were straight in the annual wage bargaining process between staff
employers to help prevent await spirals, essentially he's telling labour do not ask for raises or you'll be responsible for inflation, and that's a mean. Obviously, people were so angry like ten Downing street and more about this. It's it's ridiculous. I dare to say that, like labour should not be like asking for more when what We can only wanted your weight and price controls do wage and price controls. Yes, don't like as people too entirely make less money like if, if we were going to ask people to voluntarily do something, I kind of thing that biogas should be going door to door, telling people not to buy cars, not trying to sell my guys ever keep buying cars. Keeping our issued an ivy might be in the markets of stock. On that note, now, Jerusalem, until I have personally ruined the United States, does offer us today pagoda vocs for providing me with income that I might used by tourism car. They think of aims to Jerusalem. Condemns this and Darwin for joining the panel, our producers.
So, if you want Livy Nelson is our editorial adviser, Ember Hall, as the deputy editorial director for talk podcast and I'm your host Dylan Matthews before I let you go. I just wanted to update you on me about show scheduling so right now, The weeds has been coming out on your feeds on Tuesdays and Fridays. We're going to be pausing the Friday Besides in going to once a week on Tuesdays, while we Europe for some special programming that we're gonna bring later this year in the meantime, if you have any show ideas, you want to share big burning policy questions. Just let us know we're around send an email to weeds at vocs dot com- or you can do the conversations happening in the weeds, Facebook, group and
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Transcript generated on 2022-02-23.