How the One Percent Spends Its Money

hotel maids

Vivin Rothstein: While the No on Measure N campaign charges that the living wage measure is backed by outsiders from Los Angeles, 66 percent of its money has come from hotel corporate centers in Oklahoma and Kentucky.

Vouchering an Educational Adventure

broken schools

Walt Brasch: Had to. He was at the top of the salary schedule. Besides, he was teaching about the rise of the middle class and how unions helped get better wages and benefits for the masses. That’s just downright unpatriotic. He refused to be a team player.

Eat at BJ’s

diner

Steve Hochstadt: The lesson for all of us is that we do better for ourselves and our communities if we patronize small businesses and use local tax dollars to encourage local entrepreneurs, not big boxes.

Confessions of a Child Janitor

newt child abuse

Tina Dupuy: Gingrich has a dark vision for a Shining City Upon a Hill: where poor children work in place of union labor. It’s basically the 20th century played in reverse.

Economic Issues, Not Faith or Religion, Drive Latino Votes

latino voters

Pilar Marrero: Moral issues rank very low in Latino Voter’s minds when making a voting decision while issues like the economy, jobs, taxes and minimum wage are far more important, a new poll released today shows. That finding totally contradicts the famous Ronald Reagan belief, said in the eighties, that “Hispanics are Republicans. They just don’t know it yet.”

The Debt Ceiling Crisis: Let’s Get Personal

circus-social-classes-wide

Walter Brasch: Since you like hunting, and they like hunting, your banker friends will let you buy all the guns and ammunition you want. But, they can’t help you on your health bills, or even lower the insurance premiums and co-pays. And, they can’t do much for that inflated mortgage payment. Or to help you find another job.

The Truth About the American Economy

Robert Reich: As we should have learned from the Great Prosperity — the 30 years after World War II when America grew because most Americans shared in the nation’s prosperity — we cannot have a growing and vibrant economy without a growing and vibrant middle class.

No Unions, No Middle Class

Caitlin Vega: A new study by the Center for American Progress confirms the cornerstone of our philosophy: unions are essential to creating a fair economy and rebuilding the middle class.

The Real News on Jobs

trickle-down-wide

Robert Reich: Conservative economists have it wrong. The underlying problem isn’t that so many Americans have priced themselves out of the global/high-tech labor market. It’s that they’re getting a smaller and smaller share of the pie.

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.

Two Roads Out of Recession

shovel-ready-wide

Shamus Cooke: As the jobs recession staggers on, politicians and labor leaders alike seem bizarrely distanced from reality, unable to advance any ideas that remotely correspond to the basic demands of those tens of millions of unemployed, under-employed, or poorly paid workers.

Obama’s Deal with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

obama and the chamber of commerce

Robert Reich: I’ve been watching (and occasionally trying to deal with) the Chamber for years, and all I know is it has a deep, abiding belief in cutting taxes on the wealthy, eroding regulations that constrain Wall Street, cutting back on rules that promote worker health and safety, getting rid of the minimum wage, repealing the new health-care law, fighting unions, cutting back Medicare and Social Security, reducing or eliminating corporate taxes, and, in general, taking the nation back to the days before the New Deal. So what, exactly, is the deal Obama is pitching to the Chamber?

Whom Do You Trust?

blackwater

Steve Hochstadt: Those who want government to go away, or at least get a lot smaller, seem to have two ideas about how to shrink government: Cut out the “waste” and let private companies take over many of its functions. Their assumption is that the private sector can do these jobs better and cheaper. Is that true?

What Can the South Teach About Globalization?

auto worker

James C. Cobb: Members of this abandoned Southern proletariat may still live far better than the average Bangladeshi can imagine, but their shattered self-esteem and dashed hopes are surely at some level a universal indication of what to expect when economic development is allowed to become an end in itself rather than the means to a developed society.

The Real Lesson of Labor Day

american flag

Robert Reich: Face it: The national economy isn’t escaping the gravitational pull of the Great Recession. None of the standard booster rockets are working.

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