Equality and Democracy — Progressives should be prepared for the long game, building critical mass to seize the national agenda.
Peter Dreier: If the Occupy Wall Street activists join forces with the unions and community groups, they could catalyze a massive nationwide movement to resist foreclosures and block evictions.
As the grassroots campaign against Wall Street grows, Democratic politicians are moving in the opposite direction. President Obama has secured the House Republican support necessary to pass three trade bills strongly opposed by organized labor and most Democrats. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who like Obama was elected with huge labor funding and ground support, [...]
Robert Reich: The nation and Oba,ma remain hostage to the ideology of right-wing Republicans who won’t let the government spend more money. Yet if the government can’t spend more – at least this year and next, until the pump is primed and the economy is growing again – we won’t see job growth. And without job growth, the economy will remain anemic.
John Peeler: Nationally, Democrats have been lukewarm at best in their defense of labor unions, but Republicans have been, and are increasingly, solidly opposed to unions.
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?
John Peeler: “Winner-Take-All Politics” provides a well-documented analysis of how the United States government, since the 1970s, has systematically enriched the top one percent of the country at the expense of everyone else. Written by distinguished political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, the book shows how big business interests ratcheted up their national organizations to defend their interests in national policy debates. In addition to employing far stronger lobbying, these interests created think-tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, designed to challenge the liberal conventional wisdom of the New Deal and Great Society and replace it with an explicitly conservative, free-market-oriented way of thinking.