Ten years ago this week, the United States launched the invasion of Iraq. The nation remains divided on the wisdom, strategy and outcome of the war that claimed the lives of 4,488 U.S. service members and left more than 32,000 wounded.
But there is one certainty—the men and women who honorably fought and served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade have come home to an economy that works even less for them than it does others. Job loss, stagnant wages and a widening gap between working families and the wealthy and Wall Street are some of these problems.
There’s no skills gap holding back recovery in the job market or the broader economy, despite contrary claims from some politicians and CEOs. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, History, Economic Development and Urban Studies professor Marc V. Levine reviewed scientific literature on the skills gap concept and found no evidence to support it.
If New Hampshire’s lawmakers are “serious about encouraging New Hampshire's economic development, they will consider re-establishing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation,” writes New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie in a column on SeaCoastOnline, a website for several state newspapers.
In 2011, Republican legislators repealed the state’s minimum wage law. Rep. Carol McGuire (R) went so far as to suggest that there should be no wage floor at all and if an employer wanted to pay $5 an hour that was just fine with her.
The recently opened Chobani yogurt plant—the world’s largest—in Twin Falls, Idaho, and several major construction projects—including a new steel mill—in the Youngstown, Ohio, area have been a boon for the skilled Electrical Workers (IBEW) members there who have been a blessing for the construction managers tasked with getting the jobs done quickly and efficiently.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) continues to lead the Republican charge to the March 1 deadline, when arbitrary, across-the-board sequestration cuts in everything from mental health services to public safety kick in. In a cynical drive to wring massive concessions in cuts from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, Boehner and the Republicans are willing to inflict hardships on working families and bring disaster to the economy.
In 2008, with the global financial crisis at its peak and the world teetering on the brink of a second Great Depression, world leaders and policymakers took decisive fiscal and monetary policy actions that bolstered our economies and stopped our financial system from spiraling into chaos and dragging our economies into depression.
But today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told the “Trans-Atlantic Agenda for Shared Prosperity” economic summit:
Our work is far from done, and no progress has been easy. We have had to battle those who wanted to block the fiscal stimulus, which was so critical for halting our economic slide. And we are still battling those same opponents who now want to impose strict fiscal austerity that threatens to sabotage our economy and trigger a new recession, as those same policies have in Europe.
One of the ugliest side effects of the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression is the continuing practice among many employers of refusing to consider applications of job seekers who are unemployed.
But the New York City Council yesterday overwhelmingly (44-4) passed a bill that prohibits discrimination against the unemployed in hiring.
The wrong way to greet our military veterans as they return to civilian life after defending the nation would be offering an $8.81 an hour part-time job with little to no benefits.
Walmart CEO Bill Simon said this morning at the National Retail Federation conference that starting Memorial Day, Walmart would offer honorably discharged veterans jobs. Simon pledges to hire 100,000 vets over the next five years. Right now, it's unclear if these Walmart jobs would be full-time or offer adequate benefits.
What would it cost if the nation’s crumbling infrastructure of bridges, roads, rails, sewer systems, power grids, airports and more is allowed to deteriorate at its current pace? Some 3.5 million jobs and $3.1 trillion in lost economic output by 2020. What would it cost to avoid that? About $1.1 trillion in additional investment.
Sure sounds like a great return on the investment and it is, according to a new report from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The study, Failure to Act, finds that:
The jobless rate is dropping and the economy has been adding jobs every month for nearly three years. But far too many of those are low-income jobs that don’t pay enough to meet a family’s basic needs, according to a new report that finds that working poor families in the United States now account for 32% of all working families, up from 28% in 2007, the year the recession began.