Googling The Future

Anyone concerned about the digital future should welcome the recent record-setting fine of Google by EU antitrust officials.

Google had been accused of using its search engine, which reportedly has 90 percent of the market, to prioritize its own online shopping service. As a result, the use of the Google service increased dramatically — 45 percent in the UK, for example — while the use of its competitors’ services decreased — 85 percent in the UK, and these changes, according to the European Commission, cannot be explained by other factors. Continue reading “Googling The Future”

An Open Letter On The Illinois Budget Battles

An Open Letter to Illinois Politicians on the Budget Battles:

My university last year asked for furloughs, which cost me $2,500, and it has recently requested another series of furloughs this spring. The reason, according to my union, is that the university spent $3.5 million for MAP grants in the fall, which had been promised to students by the State of Illinois but were never provided, and another $3.1. million in the spring.

My co-workers and I, in other words, have been asked again to accept pay cuts to compensate for broken promises by the State of Illinois. Moreover, we’ve been asked to cover these costs at a time, we were told, that the State of Illinois has reduced its support of public university education by 54% from 2008-2015, which is the second largest reduction in the nation, and 70% over the past two years. Continue reading “An Open Letter On The Illinois Budget Battles”

The Times In Which We Live

Almost 2,000 protesters, as the Chicago Police Department reportedly estimated, marched at Northeastern Illinois University Friday morning, and many more filled Loop streets in the afternoon as a coalition of unions, community organizations, and other groups joined together in the 01 April Day of Action.

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Continue reading “The Times In Which We Live”

Economic Fairness and April First

A recent Tribune editorial characterizes the Chicago Teachers Union call for an April first job action as a “Tantrum Day,” and it dismisses this call by suggesting that most Chicago workers cannot whimsically decide to stay home because they’re “upset about conditions.”

CPS teachers in fact have been asked to join other educators, social service providers, nursing home employees, and other workers in a coalition that foregrounds the costs of the current budget impasse in Illinois and calls for fairer funding for these public services and public goods. As such, this action is part of a larger debate about the future of both the State of Illinois and, some suggest, the public sector more generally.  Continue reading “Economic Fairness and April First”

Milking Markets

Marketplace from American Public Media and Kate Wells from Michigan Public Radio recently reported the efforts of Medolac Laboratories, a Delaware corporation with Oregon headquarters that sells breast milk to critically ill newborns and infants around the world. Some object that Medolac doesn’t disclose where it sends the milk while others suggest that it could encourage mothers to sell all their milk and, in so doing, neglect their own children. Continue reading “Milking Markets”