Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
LAUNDERING THE PUBLIC IMAGE OF WORKER-KILLING SWEATSHOPSBy David Bacon
At the Ali Enterprises garment sweatshop in Pakistan in 2011, 300 people burned to death - the largest factory fire in world history. Last year in Bangladesh workers jumped from the windows of the burning Tazreen factory because the doors were locked, falling to the pavement below as their sisters had done in the notorious Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York City in 1911. In the Foxconn plant in China, where the iPads and iPhones are assembled, workers were pushed so hard that they began to kill themselves in 2010.
And during the week of April 21, over 350 workers were killed when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. Factory owners refused to evacuate the building after huge cracks appeared in the walls, even after safety engineers told them not to let workers inside. Workers told IndustriALL union federation representatives they'd be docked three days pay for each day of an absence, and so went inside despite their worries.
Not good for the corporate image of WalMart, whose clothes were sewn at Tazreen, or Apple, whose iPads and iPhones are put together at Foxconn. Not good for J. C. Penney, Benetton or the Spanish clothing brand El Corte Inglés, whose labels or cutting orders were found in the rubble at Rana Plaza. According to the International Labor Rights Forum, "one of the factories in the Rana complex, Ether-Tex, had listed Walmart-Canada as a buyer on their website."When workers started committing suicide at Foxconn, protestors held signs with their names in front of Apple's flagship store, demanding better conditions. But the strategy employed by most large manufacturers is not to improve the conditions that kill workers. They are especially unwilling to recognize workers' unions that would act as monitors and enforcers of signed agreements guaranteeing livable wages and safety procedures that wouldn't put lives at risk.
Monday, May 6, 2013
David Johnson. Campaign for America’s Future
Cutting Meals On Wheels doesn’t save the government a dime, it costs $489 million a year. Cutting IRS obviously increases the deficit because it lowers tax revenue. Other cuts also increase spending. All obviously hurt the economy. Tell me again, what’s the justification for this? Repeal this foolish and unjustified sequester.
The sequester is a series of across-the-board budget cuts (except not for the FAA when it affects business flyers). This year $85 billion is cut from government spending. This not only takes $85 billion out of the economy, it takes it out from programs where the spending was set up to maximize the benefit to We the People. (That is the point of government spending.)
A few examples:
Meals on Wheels: The Center for Effective Government (CFFEG) reports that this year’s $10 million sequester “savings” on the Meals on Wheels program “will be dwarfed by at least $489 million per year in increased spending on Medicaid, both this year and in each subsequent year that sequestration remains in place.” By helping elderly people stay at home, the program keeps them from needing to move to nursing homes rather than home care. “The average cost to Medicaid of nursing home care per patient is approximately $57,878 annually.” “Nationally, according to a survey by the Administration on Aging, as many as “92% [of enrollees] say Meals on Wheels means they can continue to live in their own home.” Click through for more, calculations, etc.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
The scheme that Apple cooked up this week to finance a $55 billion stock buyback for its shareholders was orchestrated to avoid paying $9.2 billion in taxes, Bloomberg reported Friday.
That $9.2 billion tax bill that Apple dodged would have been enough to make unnecessary all of the major budget cuts we’ve been writing about this week as part of our “Repeal the Sequester” campaign. With $9.2 billion, the federal government could have (based on lists compiled byThe Washington Post’s Wonkblog and Think Progress):
Saturday, May 4, 2013
There is no greater obstacle to progressive change than the idea of
austerity. It has dominated economic policy in Europe, resulting in
continued slow growth (or outright contraction) and high unemployment.
These conditions have produced demoralized electorates that lack faith in
all politicians�a cynicism that has only deepened when leftist parties have
attained power and failed to revive growth. In such an environment,
progressive change is not possible, and the left is reduced to purely
In the U.S., things are slightly better, but our economic policy
discussions are still dominated by variants of austerity. The fiscal cliff
deal at the beginning of this year slowed the economy, and the sequester is slowing it more. Yet even with unemployment at 7.6 percent, growth
projections for the year halved to 1.4 percent, and the latest jobs report
coming in at an anemic 88,000, policy discussion continues to focus on the
need to further cut the deficit. Of course, such a focus precludes any
progressive economic policies, including, critically, spending programs
that would help revive the economy and invest in our economic future.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Our next event is - “Telling our own story,” Sat. May 4, 2013. 1:30- 3:30 PM at the Sol Collective. 2574 21st. Street, Sacramento, Ca. 95818. The directors of the Mexican American Digital History Project will exhibit our current work and discuss this effort. www.MexicanAmericanDigitalHistory.org We will assist volunteers to scan and upload their materials.
The Mexican American Digital History project is a new online effort to collect and assemble a digital record of the Chicano/Mexican American history in the Sacramento region from 1940- present. Directors are Dr. Duane Campbell and Prof. Dolores Delgado Campbell.
We encourage contributions of news articles, written documents, and photos.
For further information contact us at email@example.com
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Still part of the fight for economic and social justice
By Michael Hirsch
For generations, May Day, the International Workers Day celebrated by working people in more than 200 countries, was ignored in the United States, the country of its origin. In fact, the annual holiday is as American as cherry pie, commemorating as it does the 1886 nationwide general strike in which U.S. trade unionists — largely foreign-born — walked off the job in support of an eight-hour workday.
This year’s observance marks the 127th anniversary of that campaign to humanize the workday — and of the tragedy at Chicago’s Haymarket Square that followed three days later..
May Day, 2006. 1,000,000 march in Los Angeles
Back in 1886, when the typical work day was 10, 12 or even 14 hours long and joblessness was rife, the demand for a work day limited to eight hours at decent wages was viewed as dangerously radical. The eight-hour-day movement was spearheaded by two organizations, the craft-dominated Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (the forerunner of the American Federation of Labor) and the Knights of Labor.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
April 25, 2013
By PAUL KRUGMAN New York Times.
Economic debates rarely end with a T.K.O. But the great policy debate of recent years between Keynesians, who advocate sustaining and, indeed, increasing government spending in a depression, and austerians, who demand immediate spending cuts, comes close — at least in the world of ideas. At this point, the austerian position has imploded; not only have its predictions about the real world failed completely, but the academic research invoked to support that position has turned out to be riddled with errors, omissions and dubious statistics….
….But it’s not just a matter of emotion versus logic. You can’t understand the influence of austerity doctrine without talking about class and inequality.
What, after all, do people want from economic policy? The answer, it turns out, is that it depends on which people you ask — a point documented in a recent research paper by the political scientists Benjamin Page, Larry Bartels and Jason Seawright. The paper compares the policy preferences of ordinary Americans with those of the very wealthy, and the results are eye-opening.
Thus, the average American is somewhat worried about budget deficits, which is no surprise given the constant barrage of deficit scare stories in the news media, but the wealthy, by a large majority, regard deficits as the most important problem we face. And how should the budget deficit be brought down? The wealthy favor cutting federal spending on health care and Social Security — that is, “entitlements” — while the public at large actually wants to see spending on those programs rise.
You get the idea: The austerity agenda looks a lot like a simple expression of upper-class preferences, wrapped in a facade of academic rigor. What the top 1 percent wants becomes what economic science says we must do.
[ see prior blog on how the corporate journalism sees primarily the ruling class point of view. The 1%]