Who’s Really to Blame for Unemployment?

By: Sunday February 9, 2014 7:00 am

Guided by the mythology of the “American dream”—the idea that, given the opportunity, the deserving will excel and rise above their peers—politicians often attribute unemployment to a mystical “skills gap.”

 

No bargain grand enough

By: Monday January 6, 2014 1:30 am

If we manage to get out of the remaining three years of the Obama Administration without something being referred to as a “grand bargain”* passed it will be a minor miracle.

Six-State Study Finds Industry Supporters Exaggerated Jobs Impact of Shale Drilling

By: Monday November 25, 2013 3:00 pm

Drilling in the six states that span the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations has produced far fewer new jobs than the industry and its supporters claim. In fact, in Pennsylvania, shale-related employment accounted for less than half a percent of total nonfarm employment in 2012.

One would say squandered opportunity…

By: Thursday October 31, 2013 1:30 am

It’s probably all part of the plan.

More Fun With Shale Jobs Numbers in Pennsylvania

By: Sunday October 27, 2013 6:45 am

In a strange way the Raymond James/Marcellus Shale Coalition claim about shale job growth since 2005 is partly a celebration of Pennsylvania’s disappointing overall job growth since 2010. Does the Marcellus Shale Coalition really mean to draw attention to this?

Now isn’t that con-vee-nient?

By: Friday October 4, 2013 5:00 pm

Oops.

So much for the monthly Jobs Report. One of the effects of the government shutdown (no Fox News, it is NOT a “slimdown“) is no monthly Jobs Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Dr. Dickson Despommier, The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century

By: Sunday September 29, 2013 1:59 pm

During the recent decade or more, thousands of the “irate minority” (urban farmers, locavores, small organic farmers, co-op growers, independent organic grocers, local restaurateurs, non-for profits) began challenging the food system in many different ways. The spur of urban farms began well before Dickson had written his book, but somehow they have not been able to make a real dent in the hyper-centralized food system. Coincidentally, the market has spoken as well. When consumers became more educated about their food choices and began demanding better, healthier and fresher food, local grocers and restaurants responded to growing demand by providing what is left of the local food to fork. Many good food activists and promoters have been searching for an economically sustainable solution to developing a healthy, thriving local-urban food system.

New York City Immigrants Test a New Economic ‘Bridge’

By: Saturday September 21, 2013 6:40 pm

For all the supposed potential of the “American Dream,” immigrants in New York City often have a terrible time redeeming its promise. Many arrive in the United States with no financial grounding or burdened by a heap of debt; others can spend years priced out of financial credit by poverty and discrimination. Now, however, the city is allocating a little seed capital toward the long-overlooked economic potential of poor immigrant communities.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jennifer M. Silva, Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty

By: Saturday August 31, 2013 1:59 pm

Through 100 in-depth interviews Silva vividly pulls us into this world, mostly in Richmond, Virginia, and Lowell, Massachusetts, where her grandparents grew up. The most striking thing about these stories is that they’re not only about debt or empty checking accounts; they’re about small moments wherein our institutions have ignored, confused, or overwhelmed working class people. Isaac doesn’t apply for financial aid for community college because his mother feels uncomfortable providing her salary for the FAFSA. Christopher feels “tricked” for being taxed $400 for not purchasing Massachusetts health insurance because he was unemployed and didn’t know how to look for free health care. Eileen tries to collect welfare, but couldn’t despite her low income because she inherited a house from her mother.

These moments spark not only resentment in the “system,” but between different groups.

So what about the rest of your workforce?

By: Sunday August 18, 2013 8:55 am

These last few years, I have occasionally found myself watching the TV show Undercover Boss.

Most of the shows I’ve seen have the “undercover” person meeting front line workers and being shown how the person does the job. As the worker and undercover boss do the task(s), they talk together and we hear the stories of the workers. It may be how the worker is a single mother worrying about how she will pay for her children’s education. It may be the story of how the worker volunteers at a homeless shelter. Whatever the story the worker has to tell, it is usually some variation on heart warming to heart wrenching.

At the end of the episode, the workers the “undercover boss” has met are brought to the headquarters where they then meet the boss in his/her real life. Sometimes they recognize the person they knew as a worker, sometimes they don’t .

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