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AFL-CIO Now

Working Families Say Lame Duck Can’t Bargain Away Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

Ohio AFL-CIO photo

Thursday morning outside Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) Cincinnati office (see photo), a young single mother and her son, Vincent, who has severe disabilities, talked about the vital role Medicaid plays in their lives and how devastating any cuts to that health care lifeline would be.

The action was just one of more than 100 last week by working family activists urging Congress not to agree to a so-called “grand bargain” of deficit reduction in the upcoming lame-duck session that includes Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefit cuts.

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83% of Registered Black Women Support Equal Pay, and They Vote

83% of Registered Black Women Support Equal Pay, and They Vote

Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. It’s almost September, and black women, who earn just 66 cents to the dollar of white men, have hit the point in the year when their earnings, added to last year’s, match what their white male counterparts made in 2015. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wages of black women compared with white women are falling further behind.

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The Federal Reserve and Black Unemployment

The Federal Reserve and Black Unemployment

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) that determines U.S. monetary policy met in July.  Its job is to weigh the state of the American economy, both the labor market and inflationary pressures to set policy.  In an interesting note, its discussion of the labor market explicitly noted the condition of the African American and Hispanic unemployment rates.  More than just an aside, reflecting on the status of June’s labor market the minutes of the meeting show the following note:

“The unemployment rates for African Americans and for Hispanics stayed above the rate for whites, al­though the differentials in jobless rates across the different groups were similar to those before the most recent recession.”

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