Is This What a Populist Movement Looks Like?

care for educators

Tina Dupuy: The Tea Party will tell you it’s not the government’s job to make life better for the middle class. Ok, fine. Then whose job is it? Oh, the unions. Which the Tea Party is also apparently against…because the Tea Party is anti-populist.

Fighting ‘Divide and Conquer’ in Wisconsin

shared sacrifices

Lydia Howell: Madison is ground zero for resistance to the dismantling of workers’ rights and cutting anything in government budgets that serves human needs while corporate “persons” get subsidies and tax cuts and are in effect made exempt from law supposedly governing such offenses as pollution and worker safety.

What Governor Walker Won’t Tell You

madison statehouse

Stanley Kutler: There is a kernel of truth in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s claim of a “budget shortfall” of $137 million. But Walker, a Republican, failed to tell the state that less than two weeks into his term as governor, he, with his swollen Republican majorities in the Wisconsin Legislature, pushed through $117 million in tax breaks for business allies of the GOP. There is your crisis.

How to Win in Wisconsin and Beyond

wisconsin-protests-wide

Shamus Cooke: Democrats all over the country are cooperating with Republicans in launching a massive attack on the wages and benefits of public employees, scapegoating them for the deficits caused by Wall Street’s recession and the corporate sector in general, the real “base” of the Democrats.

D-Day For Public Employees

wisconsin teachers

Joseph Palermo: With the aggressive onslaught aimed at public employees and their unions that Republican governors have unleashed in recent weeks, it’s long past time for politicians calling themselves “Democrats” to push aside the anti-labor elements inside their party and stand up for basic worker protections.

The Republican Strategy

antonin scalia

Robert Reich: The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

Behind the Kitchen Door

FOC-LA Staff

Diane Lefer: A comment last week on an LA Times blog argued that “working in a restaurant is not supposed to provide a ‘living wage’. It’s a job that teenagers and students use to get started in life.” Not so according to ROC-LA co-coordinator Cathy Dang who reported that nationwide, people tend to stay in the industry for a lifetime.

Why We Should Trade Broccoli and Asparagus for Hot Dogs and Apple Pie

apple pie

Robert Reich: The requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, or pay a fine doesn’t appeal to many Americans. They don’t like the government telling them they have to buy something. But the healthcare system can’t work without this mandate. Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions, or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.

The Reagan Centennial: Celebrating Reaganomics

ronald reagan

Joseph Palmero: If you like the way things are in the United States today — with Gilded Age levels of inequality, weak labor unions, low-wage service jobs for most of the workforce, and a public sector that’s dying on the vine — then you can thank Ronald Reagan.

The Jobs Report, and America’s Two Economies

looking for work

Robert Reich: With corporate profits are through the roof, the Dow is flirting with 12,000, Wall Street paychecks are fat again, and big corporations are sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash, you’d expect jobs be coming back. But you’d be wrong.

HSPD12 Employees Wait to See How NASA Responds

Supreme Court Seal

In the wake of an 8-0 setback by the United States Supreme Court last week, the JPL plaintiffs in the HSPD12 case said they would now wait to see what NASA does in response to the decision. In a communication released to the JPL staff today the employees said “The ball is now in NASA’s court.

Requiem for the American Worker

steelworkers

Bill Londrigan: We can look back and see the carnage that the corporate war on workers and their unions has wrought: a decline in wages, benefits, unions and jobs–while corporations and the wealthiest one-percent have amassed the largest concentrations of wealth in history.

The Forgotten Jobless and Our Future

labor strike

Mark Vorpahl: As in the 1930s, today we must organize in a way that creates unity between the employed and unemployed. To start, we can organize the largest possible union-led demonstrations to realize this unity in the streets.

Republican Assault on Health Care Could Backfire

gop healthcare

Robert Reich: If successful—either in Congress or in the courts—a Republican victory could turn into a Phyrric one by opening the way to the alternative model, based on the system Americans seem to prefer: payroll taxes and public insurance.

The Shameful Attack on Public Employees

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., with Memphis sanitation workers.

Robert Reich: Public servants are convenient scapegoats. Republicans would rather deflect attention from corporate executive pay that continues to rise as corporate profits soar, even as corporations refuse to hire more workers.

The U.S. Economy in 2011

Jobs in the New Year

Robert Reich: The two American economies — the Big Money economy and the Average Working Family economy — will continue to diverge. Corporate profits will continue to rise, as will the stock market. But typical wages will go nowhere, joblessness will remain high, the ranks of the long-term unemployed will continue to rise, the housing recovery will remain stalled, and consumer confidence will sag.

Why the Bush-Era Tax Cuts Should Not Be Extended to the Nation’s Top 2%

Budget

Tracy Emblem: Let’s give the new legislation which provides tax breaks and job incentives for “small businesses” time to work before blindly accepting McConnell’s argument that allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire would hurt small businesses. We must start closing the deficit gap.

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