Manuel Madrid

Former Prospect writing fellow Manuel Madrid is a reporter for the Miami New Times.

Recent Articles

Think the GOP Tax Cut Was for the Rich? Actually, It Was for the White and Rich.

At nearly every point on the economic spectrum, a new report documents, it helped whites more than people of color.

(Photo by Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/Sipa via AP Images)
trickle-downers.jpg The $1.5 trillion tax cut signed into law last December by President Trump is not only widening the economic gap between the rich and everyone else, but also between white Americans and people of color. That’s according to a new, first-of-its-kind analysis of the 2017 Republican Tax Act by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and Prosperity Now, a nonprofit advocacy group for low-income households. Using an economic model created by ITEP, the report drills down on the racial implications of the Republicans’ handiwork. The report’s authors found that racial inequities are a feature of the tax law, not a bug—Trump’s tax cuts champion Americans with existing wealth over those struggling to create new wealth. Of the $275 billion in individual and business tax cuts doled out by the law this year, some $218 billion will go to white households, according to the report. Black and Latino households are expected to take in only $...

Locking Up the Children

The Trump administration's treatment of migrant children as potential criminals has meant lengthy incarcerations for thousands—and an unwelcome shift in mission for the government's children welfare specialists. 

This article appears in the Fall 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . A child in detention tries to keep from dreaming of the outside world. Afuera . Outside. That place where kids his age are busy jumping in pools under the summer sun or laughing in air-conditioned movie theaters; the kinds of things he used to do with his mother and his sisters before they were separated, and that he hopes to do again once he’s released. But for the moment, afuera feels far off to Martín, who is still a teenager. And while dreaming of freedom provides a temporary escape from the loneliness of confinement, it can also be painful. Just as the shelter monitors circumscribe his actions, so too must Martín police his own thoughts. “In the shelter, it doesn’t feel good thinking about being outside,” says Martín. “It’s frustrating.” Martín, whose name has been changed for protective purposes due to his ongoing...

D.C. Council Repeals Wage Bump for Tipped Workers, Will of Voters Be Damned

Washingtonians voted for an initiative raising wages. Their elected representatives just nullified that vote.

(Shutterstock)
trickle-downers.jpg Washington, D.C., lawmakers voted 8 to 5 on Tuesday to repeal a voter-passed ballot measure known as Initiative 77—the will of their constituents be damned. Initiative 77, which received 55 percent of the vote in the June primary election, would have gradually raised the minimum wage for tipped workers in the District, starting with a modest increase on October 9, eventually reaching parity with the city’s minimum wage in 2026. Currently, employers are allowed to pay tipped workers less than the District’s $13.25 minimum wage, so long as their tips make up the difference. The council’s vote snuffed out, at least temporarily, what had become a major flashpoint in local politics, one that pitted restaurant owners, restaurant lobbying groups, and high-earning servers and bartenders against worker-advocacy organizations and lower-earning tipped workers. In a 16-hour public hearing in September, opponents of Initiative 77 warned that the measure...

Trump’s America: Poor Immigrants Need Not Apply

A proposed Department of Homeland Security rule would make it more difficult for indigent people to obtain green cards.

trickle-downers_54.jpg The Trump administration is weaponizing food stamps, family financial assistance, and other public benefits to make good on its promise to drive poor immigrants out of the country. On September 22, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a preliminary version of a draft regulation that would give the federal government broader authority to deny green-cards to people who could become “public charges,” that is, dependent on welfare programs. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that the change aims to promote “immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.” But a growing number of critics say that it will serve to discriminate against low-income immigrants, especially people of color, and their families, scaring them off public benefit programs they are legally entitled to and indirectly harming the communities they live in. But...

Tipped Workers Do Better When They’re Paid the Same as Everyone Else

A new study shows that laws like D.C.’s Initiative 77 boost employees’ incomes and don’t cripple the restaurant industry. 

trickle-downers_35.jpg The debate over increasing the minimum wage for tipped workers in Washington, D.C., is set to resume next week, as the D.C. City Council returns from its summer recess to decide the future of the voter-approved ballot measure known as Initiative 77. Initiative 77, which passed with 55 percent of vote in the low-turnout June primary election, would gradually increase the tipped minimum wage over the next eight years until it reaches parity with the city’s regular minimum wage of $15 in 2026. Currently, tipped workers in the District must be paid at least $3.89 an hour. If their earnings fall short of the city’s $13.25 minimum wage after counting tips, employers are then required to make up the difference. Gratuities paid by the customer that cover $9.36 difference between the two wages is known as the “tip credit.” Eight states, including California and Washington, have eliminated or begun to phase out the tip credit, bringing the wages of...

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