Louisiana Flunks Loyola’s New ‘Social Justice’ Study

A leftist outfit at Loyola University New Orleans has produced a leftist-funded study saying Louisiana’s leftist government fails at a whole bunch of leftist issues. Louisiana is now ranked 51 in social justice. We are not making that up.

The Times-Picayune actually wrote it up as a serious news story.

Low-income families, immigrants and workers of color are worse off in Louisiana than anywhere else in the nation, Loyola University researchers said Thursday (March 17).

The inaugural “JustSouth” index purports to measure social justice. It ranked Louisiana dead last on measures of poverty, racial disparity and exclusion — “a grim picture,” Jesuit Social Research Institute policy specialist Jeanie Donovan said.

The other Gulf states were almost as bad. Alabama placed 48th, Texas 49th and Mississippi 50th. Florida had the highest ranking in the region, 41st place. Vermont scored the highest, followed by New Hampshire and Hawaii. The study was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Among the problems in Louisiana:

  • The average low-income household earned only $11,156 in 2014. The institute calculates that a two-person family needs to earn “$45,840 a year to afford basic necessities,” Donovan said.
  • Almost all low-income households spent more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent.
  • Minority workers earned, on average, four fifths what their white peers made.
  • One third of poor families lacked health insurance.
  • Just 59 percent of immigrants in Louisiana had health insurance, and it could not all be explained by immigration status.

It reflects the region’s history of “slavery, Jim Crow segregation and continuing inequality,” said the Rev. Fred Kammer, director of the institute.

When Louisiana doesn’t meet leftist expections on poverty and income inequality they just blame it on slavery and segregation. That’s always been the ticket. It’s never the fault of institutionalized corruption, a failed education system, and the lack of a competitive and diversified economy. But then again, leftists really don’t want to focus on the failures of government do they.

The social justice “study” measured three things: poverty, racial disparity, and immigrant exclusion (whatever the hell that is.)

Then Loyola University, which is about as Catholic as Planned Parenthood, brought up some sob stories to go along with their “study.”

“Are the numbers really sad? Yes. But that’s the reality that’s happening,” said Cristi Rosales-Fajardo, an immigrant advocate. “These numbers represent someone’s life. These numbers represent my life.”

Rosales-Fajardo revealed that she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer three days before. Her doctor asked why she hadn’t come for an exam in four years. “I could not afford it,” she said. Even emergency trips to the hospital were a burden.

But I thought Obamacare and Planned Parenthood were supposed to provide this.

Erika Zucker, a policy advocate at the Workplace Justice Project, described employers cheating workers who were vulnerable: women, immigrants and people of color, sometimes threatening or intimidating them to keep it quiet.

For instance, restaurant workers might not be allowed to clock in until several hours after they began work. Contractors sometimes don’t pay workers, claiming the owner hasn’t paid them.

“Wage theft is pervasive across industries,” Zucker said. “If it’s someone that you think is a low-wage worker, we’ve probably seen them come through the door.”

Shorting workers also contributes to the state’s budget crisis, Zucker said, by keeping various taxes out of the coffers. Louisiana faces a $70 million budget gap for the fiscal year that ends in June, and a $750 million gap next year. If companies were forced to pay their employees and to report it accurately, “We could fill a little bit of that hole,” she said.

This is illegal. Here’s a question, instead of spending money on this “study” wouldn’t that money be better spent on I don’t know, educating workers on their rights under the law?

Don’t worry though, these guys have solutions. Stop me if you’ve already heard them already:

  • Expand Medicaid under Obamacare
  • Double the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • More “housing subsidies” such as Section 8
  • Increase the minimum wage

Nowhere in those “solutions” include actually growing and diversifying Louisiana’s economy. That’s how you will cure systematic poverty in this state. You won’t solve this problem with more government programs and artificial minimum wage hikes so contractors and business owners can not pay their employees more money.

But John Bel Edwards, the socialists at Loyola University, and the whole lefty social justice crowd are not actually interested in lifting people out of poverty. They want to shift the blame for poverty to their political enemies and make them pay more money to lefties in the name of “fighting poverty.”


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