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.
The American labor movement played a central role in elevating the American standard of living. Today some of the things we take for granted like vacations with pay, pensions, health and welfare protection, grievance and arbitration procedures, and holidays didn't exist on a meaningful scale until unions fought and won them for working people. The video and articles below address the issues the labor movement is addressing today in the United States. Please share these articles with your network.
Randy Shaw: Labor rewards those who wait. But those whose advancement depends on their willingness to wait may not be the most visionary or talented.
Michele Waslin: While immigration restrictionists have long tried to demonize immigrant workers and blame them for high unemployment rates and other economic woes, the facts make it clear that immigrants actually create jobs and businesses and boost the wages of native-born workers.
Julie Gutman: On Labor Day, Let’s Celebrate L.A.’s Status as a Bastion of Human, Immigrant and Workers’ Rights
Shamus Cooke: Most workers now understand that there is a difference between apparently having health care and actually having health care: if you are technically “insured” but cannot afford doctor visits due to high deductibles and co-pays, you really aren’t insured.
Robert Reich: Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade.
Randy Shaw: After years of teachers union bashing and corporate-led school “reform” efforts, anti-public school forces are now on the defensive. And the main reason is that the statistical measurements do not support their arguments, and even show a pattern of falsification.
Shamus Cooke: Hefty splits in the labor movement have already emerged on whether to support Obama’s reelection, based on his complete lack of action on creating jobs combined with his false promises in the 2008 election.
Robert Reich: Every CEO of every company that continues to squeeze payrolls (Verizon, are you listening? Ford?) needs to understand they’re shooting themselves in the feet. Where do they expect demand for their products and services to come from?
Herb Engstrom: At this time of TEA Party hysteria, Fox News mendacity, and GOP hypocrisy a government guarantee of universal employment might seem like a radical idea, although it seemed not to be so to Franklin Roosevelt.
Robert Reich: A bold jobs plan is also good politics. With more than 25 million Americans looking for full-time jobs, the wages of people with jobs falling, and an economy on the verge of a double dip, the President has to come out fighting on the side of average people.
Steven Conn: For thirty years inflation has not been a serious threat to the American economy, yet politicians and pundits continually fret about it. The never-ending worry about inflation is like fighting the last war rather than the current one. What’s needed today is a war on unemployment and wage stagnation, not inflation.