Health Care Reform Was Not About the Economy for Voters

By: Thursday November 13, 2014 8:05 am

When voters in the middle of one of the worst downturns in decades say they want their leaders to “focus on the economy,” they mean the immediate economy. They needed help with their underwater mortgages that month. They needed immediate relief to help pay their bills and find new jobs.

 

Voters Like Democrats But Think They Are Incompetent

By: Thursday October 23, 2014 5:40 pm

In The Prince, Machiavelli advised it is safer to be feared than loved. In American politics it seems it is better to be seen as competent than liked.

Preserving Democracy in Pennsylvania

By: Saturday October 18, 2014 6:00 pm

It had all the trappings of an ALEC-backed attack on democracy: Push out a bill prohibiting local governments from passing workplace protections in their own communities. If all else failed, tack the measure onto some popular bill as an amendment and hope the supporters of that bill would want it badly enough to allow the hostile amendment to stand.

Only this time the strategy didn’t work, thanks to the strong stand of progressive legislators and the smart organizing of a broad coalition – particularly the leadership of anti-violence advocates.

In this case, the state was Pennsylvania.

Silicon Valley Meritocracy Myth Takes Another Blow as Qualified Minorities Not Hired

By: Thursday October 16, 2014 12:55 pm

Silicon Valley’s image to the outside world is that most American of conceits – a meritocracy where people are rewarded for what they know not who they know. The meritocracy myth has taken a series of hits lately as major firms have disclosed that the companies are overwhelmingly owned and operated by white men with privileged backgrounds.

The Great (Re)Training Robbery

By: Wednesday October 1, 2014 11:20 am

Barack Obama told Americans every worker deserves to know “if you lose your job, your country will help you train for an even better one.” A nice sentiment,and politically safe; it’s just the wrong answer. Those “better jobs” don’t exist, and training doesn’t create jobs. Despite all that, every year the U.S. government spends billions of dollars on job training, with little impact. What’s the right answer?

In 2007 then-candidate Obama visited Janesville, Wisconsin, location of the oldest General Motors plant in America. Echoing his current promise to support unemployed Americans with job training, Obama proclaimed “I believe that, if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another hundred years.” However, two days before Christmas and just about a month before Obama’s inauguration, the plant closed forever.

Most Americans Unaware How Rich 1% Are

By: Monday September 29, 2014 3:00 pm

As evidence showing more and more of America’s wealth is being snatched by the rich compounds, a survey shows Americans are still unable to grasp how truly rich those at the top are. The 400 wealthiest Americans now control $2.3 trillion worth of wealth while the American middle class not gotten a raise in 15 years according to the US Census.

Respecting the Bump Gets Results as Well as Respect

By: Thursday September 25, 2014 7:10 pm

Girshriela Green got involved the day someone called saying he wanted to make a change at Walmart – the corporation that had left her seriously injured from overwork and seriously underpaid. “I was sitting at home in a neck brace,” she said, “going, how did I land here – I was a model employee, I exceeded all expectations, and I’m sitting here broken.”

When she returned to work, Girshriela needed light duty because she was still recovering from the injury and because she was pregnant. She had trouble getting accommodations and began to hear from other women who were afraid to tell their manager they were pregnant. “Shouldn’t nobody be scared to tell someone you’re starting a family,” says Girshriela. “That’s a beautiful thing.”

Once the American Dream

By: Friday September 19, 2014 7:56 am

We were once the American Dream, and now we’re just what happened to it.

The people I am talking about in my book Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent seem illusive here on the East Coast; in crazy New York last week, visiting the South Bronx, there are plenty of poor people. The sense in Midtown was that if they didn’t deserve to be poor, then, well, they were sort of naturally thrust into it as immigrants, as drug users, simply because they lived in a poor part of the city and it always would be. Kind of the natural ecology of the place.

Strike Debt Announces Abolishment Of Student Debt On Occupy Anniversary

By: Thursday September 18, 2014 10:16 am

Strike Debt, an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, announced yesterday that it has abolished $4 million worth of student loan debt as part of its Rolling Jubilee program. The group was able to purchase the debt for around $100,000. The announcement came on September 17th, which is the anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street’s occupation in New York City.

The Rolling Jubilee program has abolished over $18 million worth of debt in total using the same strategies debt collectors use in acquiring large debts for pennies on the dollar, but instead of trying to collect from troubled borrowers they “abolish” the debt and send a letter to the debtor alerting them that they no longer have to pay.

Poverty Unchanged By Wall Street Recovery

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 1:27 pm

Though the federal government and Federal Reserve moved heaven and earth to ensure the 1% were made whole after the financial crisis, those unable to buy influence in Washington remain frayed. According to the Census Bureau over 14% of Americans remain below the poverty line while financial markets have made a considerable recovery from 2008 lows. There has been a recovery, for some.

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