Bill Raden: At a time when the income chasm between California’s wealthiest and poorest residents continues to be one of the widest in the nation, 2016 might become a watershed year in California’s ongoing struggle to achieve income equity for the state’s nearly 4.8 million low-wage households.
Charles Hayes: We still aspire to an ethos of self-reliance and rugged individualism espoused by the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson at a time when we were poorer in purse but much more independent.
Richard Eskow: Runaway inequality is the central issue of our time. It stifles democracy and leads to a more dangerous world.
Chris Sosa: Poor Americans are the group we should be discussing more than middle-income Americans, and the Congressional Budget Office has troubling analyses on why that group is getting poorer.
RJ Eskow: A new study from the International Monetary Fund concludes that unions reduce inequality and foster a healthier economy for everyone, mainly by preventing the wealthiest among us from keeping the fruits of a collaboratively created prosperity for themselves.
Bill Londrigan: We may very well be witnessing at this very moment in history the beginnings, the sparks of a resurgence of labor activism which has the potential to eclipse the worker uprising of the 1930s.
Randy Shaw: Graeber sees MoveOn.org, Rebuild the Dream, and other groups associated with the “left wing of the Democratic Party” as betraying the Occupy movement by not opposing police closures of Occupy camps.
Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: The attacks are part of a well orchestrated, decades-long campaign initiated by the corporate sector, which is intent on ensuring that government policy be crafted in their own narrow self interests, which they disingenuously equate with the public good.
Claude Fischer: To the extent that facts matter in such a politicized debate, it is becoming increasingly clear that equality rather than inequality is a better policy for economic growth.
Charley James: First they came for the working poor. Then they came for the lower middle class. Now, they are after the middle and upper middle classes. Next, they’ll come for the … 98-percenters.
Steven Mikulan: Labor’s losing streak means that unions are now locked in a spiral of existential battles for survival in which every election drains them of resources and morale.
Randy Shaw: My chief concern about Occupy’s future is that I do not see enough resources devoted to organizing new people to get involved.
Charles Hayes: American history shows beyond a doubt that our health as a nation is dependent in large part on a vibrant middle class. Extreme inequality severely weakens our economic foundation.