All posts tagged “unemployment

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Repaso: August 23, 2013

1. Phoenix’s disconnected youth
Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott), a reporter for the Arizona Republic who participated in our Common Good PHX event back in April, has written an important report on the alarming number of youth in the Phoenix who are out of school and unemployed:

Nationally, one in seven young adults does not work or attend school. In metro Phoenix, it’s one in five. Experts say the reasons Phoenix has a higher disconnection rate vary — from students who come from communities that don’t place a high value on a diploma or lack educational options, to a weak economy where youths and young adults struggle to find work. Disconnected youths and young adults are more likely to lean on the government for services, such as welfare and health care, costing taxpayers. And they can hamper economic development as companies look to locate in areas with skilled workers.


2. Farmer’s markets, block parties… and institutions
On Monday, This Is Our City published an award-winning essay by Brandon Rhodes (@BrandonDRhodes) on how a local church is practicing “a long obedience” in downtown Tacoma, Washington. It’s a great essay, emphasizing the “local, highly ordinary gospel witness of Zoe Livable Church.”  And it sparked some great (dare I say edifying?) conversations from folks in various quarters about the extent to which great things like farmer’s markets, block parties, and yarnbombs can truly transform a city and help it flourish. Most notably, Jamie Smith (@james_ka_smith) says cities need Christians who practice micro acts of creativity, sacrifice, and faithfulness, but macro engagement matters too:

I read stories like Rhodes’ within earshot of the city of Detroit which now stands as a colossal disaster of municipal government. I have no doubt that yarnbombs on Woodward Avenue bring a furtive beauty to bombed out areas of an abandoned city—like the dove bearing fresh olives leaves as a sign and signal that the flood of judgment is receding. But farmer’s markets won’t rescue the city. Good government will. Those of us seeking to follow the Prince of Peace can’t abandon the call to bend governing to look more like it rests upon his shoulders.

3. Beyond eclectic Christianity
A good word from Kevin White on the value of being rooted in a Christian tradition with theological particularity as a basis for engaging with other views:

I mean to say that a robust, positive theology has to stand on something rather than nothing. If theology is to be more than a nerdy pastime, a proxy for power games or cultural dueling, or the basis of endless abstract disputes, then we each need to stand within a particular theology, following the example of particular sub-apostolic teachers, and correctable at first resort by a particular range of teachers in light of Holy Scriptures.

4. Another Self Portrait
NPR Music’s “First Listen” is streaming a full 45 minutes of material from Bob Dylan’s new collection of 53 – yes, 53 – previously unreleased songs from the late 60s and early 70s, the Self Portrait and New Morning era. This probably wasn’t Dylan’s finest moment, but if you’re a devoted fan, you’ll love at least some of these new songs.

5. Everything Will Change
Another music video from Derek Webb’s new record, I Was Wrong, I’m Sorry & I Love You (which I blogged about the other day).

[Image via]

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Repaso: Obama on Latino issues, Easterly on aid, Piper on racism, Gospel vs. justice, & more

1. Latino roundtable with President Obama
The president hosted a roundtable the other day where he fielded questions from Latino journalists and citizens about the issues that matter most to their communities. He tackles questions about illegal immigration on a national level, relations with Cuba, the 11% unemployment rate among Latinos, and the ongoing investigation into Arizona’s treatment of immigrants. The White House website has the full video, which is almost an hour.

2. Bill Easterly: Aid grump?
During grad school we read development economist Bill Easterly’s book White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good and had some lively discussions about it, to say the least. If you’re not familiar with Easterly, this recent interview by Tom Paulson at the Humanosphere blog is a great introduction.

3. John Piper on his own racism and the gospel
This is a two-minute trailer for a 20-minute documentary coming soon, supplementing Piper’s new book Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian. A bold book about the evils of racism isn’t necessarily the sort of book you might expect from Piper, but it looks really good.

4. A word to hymn writers from Fernando Ortega
Last Friday evening I went with Katie and my parents to a Keith & Kristyn Getty concert in Lancaster. The Gettys have been writing and composing songs for the Church for only a decade but they have already contributed so many songs that really transcend the so-called worship wars (and I suspect many of these songs will stand the test of time). Here, Fernando Ortega, a New Mexico-based singer/songwriter and worship leader, has a word to those who would write songs for worship in churches:

Be specific when you write songs about God. Avoid cliché. Avoid convenience. Avoid an obsession with the consumer. Avoid the temptation to make commercial success your central goal. Write with intelligence, employing all the craft, skill, and experience with which God has endowed you.

5. Gospel or justice, which?
Russell Moore from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary writes that despite assumptions to the contrary within evangelicalism, evangelism and public justice are not mutually exclusive:

The short answer to how churches should “balance” such things is simple: follow Jesus. We are Christians. This means that as we grow in Christlikeness, we are concerned about the things that concern him. Jesus is the king of his kingdom, and he loves whole persons, bodies as well as souls.

6. Know Shelter
The Two Futures Project is a movement to abolish nuclear weapons. I know some people love their nukes, but I’m generally agreeable to the abolition idea. Here’s a video on preparing for a nuclear attack, which will hopefully never happen, but unfortunately isn’t outside the realm of possibility.