Confessions of a Child Janitor

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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

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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.”

Friday Feedback: Real Social Security: A Just Distribution of Wealth

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Friday Feedback: This week, John comments on “Real Social Security: A Just Distribution of Wealth” by Charles Hayes.

Drinks Are on the House (and Senate)

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Walter Brasch: “As long as the Republicans control Congress,” said Marshbaum, “the American way of life will be preserved. Want a drink now?”

The Rise of the Regressive Right and the Reawakening of America

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Robert Reich: Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and the other tribunes of today’s Republican right aren’t really conservatives. Their goal isn’t to conservative what we have. It’s to take us backwards.

To Rebuild a Fair Economy, We Must Tackle the Underground Economy

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Caitlin Vega: Decades of weak law enforcement and inadequate penalties has convinced many companies that they can violate labor laws without any consequences. In certain low-wage industries, violating labor law is part of the business model.

Why the Most Important Issues May Be Off the Table in the 2012 Election

President Barack Obama has lunch at Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, D.C., with staff members who worked on the debt negotiations, Aug. 3, 2011. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Robert Reich: By continuing to push and prod we give hope to countless Americans on the verge of giving up. We give back to them the courage of their own convictions, and thereby lay the groundwork for a future progressive agenda

How to Create More Jobs By Lowering Wages: Texas and America

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Robert Reich: Perry and Romney can duke it out over who created the most jobs, but governors have as much influence over job growth in their states as roosters do over sunrises.

The Texas Economic Model

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Steve Hochstadt: Republicans don’t mention poverty, because they don’t plan to do anything about it. The millions of poor Americans are invisible to Republican politicians. They pretend that trickle-down economics will reach the poor, but it hasn’t and won’t.

Inequality: The Real Cause of America’s Economic Woes

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Robert Reich: During periods when the very rich took home a much smaller proportion of total income — as in the Great Prosperity between 1947 and 1977 — the nation as a whole grew faster and median wages surged.

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The Debt Ceiling Crisis: Let’s Get Personal

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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.

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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

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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.

The Value of Collective Bargaining

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Steve Hochstadt: As grass-roots organizations, unions are feared by dictators. All of the world’s dictatorships, whether left or right, have banned free unions.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Municipal Workers

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Joseph Palermo: I cannot believe that in the 21st Century we are having this kind of a debate on the role of labor unions in this country. But I suppose it isn’t surprising since we have a new Gilded Age going on.

Behind the Kitchen Door

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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

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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.

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

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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?

Wage Theft: Thou Shalt Not Steal From Your Workers

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David Love: Scrooge arrived just in time for the holidays, with Social Darwinism, bootstraps, slashing and cutting as a prescription for all our woes.

New Report Describes Peril Immigrant Women Face in U.S. Food Industry

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Michele Waslin: Many of the women who make it to the U.S. safely are confronted with the horrendous working and living conditions made possible because of the existence of a group of vulnerable, desperate, and disposable workers.

‘Will They Get What They’re Paying For?’ — the Best Election Flier I’ve Seen

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Paul Loeb: I’ve seen no other piece that sums up the election issues as powerfully, and would love to see organizations and candidates adapt its template for their own outreach.

Why It’s Foolish to Weaken the Dollar to Create Jobs

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Robert Reich:I keep hearing the only way we’re going to get jobs back any time soon is with a weak dollar. Baloney.

Whom Do You Trust?

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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?

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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

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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.

Americans Need a Job

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Tracy Emblem: Workers are the backbone of America but the backbone has been aching for some time and needs immediate and serious attention – through job creation policies.

Friday Feedback: Fighting Over Scraps

Friday Feedback: I saw a great sign downtown today in the Immigration Reform March, “Jose didn’t take your job — Goldman-Sachs did.” It is time that those who are having a hard time began to show the courage to blame the ones who have really trampled on them: Goldman-Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, Chase, Exxon, BP, and the filthy rich who didn’t get that way by doing the work

Rethink Reform

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So, I ask you, who really paid for this “Rethink Reform” ad? If we’re going to exercise our right to free speech (yes, we all believe in it), is there at least an ethical responsibility to stand up and say it publicly, without hiding your identity?

How Ted Kennedy Countered Town Hall Goon Squads

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Democratic politicians facing town hall disruptions should seek the help of their working-class supporters. Make sure large numbers of people from the local unions come to these events. Then we’ll see if the Tea Bagger thugs can continue their bullying tactics on behalf of corporations seeking to block progress on health care.

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