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Higher wages aren’t playing much of a role in current economy’s inflation, CSUSB professor says
CBS News
Feb. 22, 2022

As prices increase due to inflation, and corporations may point the finger at rising pay, economic data show wages are far from the main driver of inflation. The most labor-intensive items tracked by the Consumer Price Index — eating out and personal services, a category that includes barbershops and beauty salons — have grown 6.2% and 4.7% from a year ago, respectively.


"Both of those numbers are still below the average inflation rate of 7.5%, and there are other categories that are seeing much higher price increases — gasoline prices, housing, furniture," said Daniel MacDonald, economics chair at California State University, San Bernardino. "The reason those prices are going up is not because wages are going up for producing oil in the U.S. It's about oil markets, housing markets."  


Normally, the lack of a wage-inflation relationship benefited consumers. Broad-based pay hikes, like minimum wage increases, didn't translate into higher prices. MacDonald, who coauthored a 2016 study on minimum-wage increases, found that a pay increase of 10% would lead to only a 0.4% increase in consumer prices. 

"We're talking about the cost of a $5 cheeseburger going to $5.04 — it's very, very low," he said.

Read the complete article at “Rising fuel prices and corporate profits — not wages — are chiefly to blame for inflation.”

CSUSB professor comments on federal hate crime convictions of three men in the Ahmaud Arbery case
The New York Times
Feb. 23, 2022

Brian Levin, a law professor and director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, was quoted in an article about the conviction of three men on federal hate crime charges in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed as he jogged through a Georgia neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020. William Bryan, Gregory McMichael and Travis McMichael were previously found guilty in Arbery’s death by a Georgia criminal court.

Levin said the impact of the verdict would be felt “civically and culturally” more than anything.

“It sculpts the public’s recognition that when there’s a modern-day lynching,” the federal government “will address the civil and racial harms in addition to the state criminal harms, and that’s an important designation as we become more diverse,” Levin said.

Read the complete article at “Three men are found guilty of hate crimes in Arbery killing.”

Hate crime conviction in a Southern federal court ‘an important, symbolic and historic verdict,’ CSUSB professor says
USA Today
Feb. 22, 2022

In an article about the conviction of three men of federal hate crime charges in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, it was reported that fewer than 1 in 5 suspects of federal hate crime-related cases are prosecuted, according to Justice Department statistics, which undercount hate crimes because few jurisdictions report the data. Most cases are settled, said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

He, along with other experts interviewed, said the verdict was a watershed moment for the U.S. South. Levin noted the trial took place "in the same area of the country that initially refused to convict in federal court Klan and other racist defendants."

"This trial at this time in federal court is an important, symbolic and historic verdict because it's showing that the South can vindicate not only victims but also the community of people who are still repulsed by this kind of modern-day lynching," Levin said.

Read the complete article at “What the hate crime verdicts in Ahmaud Arbery's death say about justice and race in America.”

CSUSB professor reacts to news of anti-Semitic fliers left in Orange County neighborhoods
Feb. 21, 2022

Brian Levin, director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, was interviewed for a segment on reports of anti-Semitic flyers that were found on Feb. 20 in neighborhoods in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. The flyers falsely claimed that federal steps to curb the COVID-19 pandemic was part of a Jewish agenda, and named a handful of Biden administration officials, falsely identifying them as Jewish.

Levin said there has been an increase in hate crimes in general, with a sharp rise against Asians and Asian Americans during the pandemic. “This time, what’s going on with COVID restrictions and what’s going on with boosters (vaccinations), even though the gathering restrictions are coming off, there’s all kinds of fights about how COVID (related restrictions) relates to a variety of civil liberties, so that the funnel for getting involved in extremism, and even bigotry, is much wider because everyone had been impacted by COVID.”

Watch the full segment at 17:57 KABC-LA (ABC) Eyewitness News.

Conspiracy theories about COVID-19 are now including anti-Semitic falsehoods, CSUSB professor says
KNX Radio
Feb. 21, 2022

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at CSUSB, commented on the discovery of anti-Semitic flyers left in two Orange County neighborhoods on Feb. 20. Such false claims that have targeted Asians are now including the Jewish community, Levin said.

“Some of these conspiracy theories and negative stereotyping that initially started against Asian people are now intertwining with anti-Semitism,” Levin said. In some cases the perpetrators are looking for attention, and it’s usually a small number of them, he said.

Listen to an an audio clip of the interview.

These news clips and others may be viewed at “In the Headlines.”