A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies and Campaign for America's Future shows that the CEOs who run the 90 corporations in the '"Fix the Debt" coalition, which advocates for cuts to earned benefits like Social Security while reducing tax rates for, well, themselves, accept massive subsidies from the U.S. government. The amount they have taken in subsidies ranges from a possible low of $953 million to a possible high of $1.6 billion. The AFL-CIO's Executive PayWatch covers related issues.
Economist Robert Kuttner visited AFL-CIO's book club earlier this week to discuss his forthcoming book, Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. In the book, Kuttner argues that policymakers are focused on the wrong kind of debt in making laws and attempting to fix the economy. Rather than a heavy emphasis on reducing the public debt, which leads to misguided policies of austerity, Kuttner says, reducing personal debt would go much further toward improving the economy and spurring job growth.
As a nation, we need to face that fact that austerity simply does not work; our nation’s infrastructure will continue to crumble if we do not invest in its repair, and our economy will continue to stagnate if we do not expand our infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing population.
AFL-CIO will be hosting two powerful Book Club events in Washington, D.C., that will help explain the current state of the U.S. economy, income inequality and the politics of austerity. On Monday, April 15, Nobel Prize-winning author Joseph Stiglitz will be discussing his book The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future. On Tuesday, April 16, Robert Kuttner will talk about his book Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent the following message about Social Security to her supporters:
My brother David has always had the special spark in our family.
Like our two older brothers, David served in the military. When he got out, he started a small business—and when that one didn't work out, he started another one. He couldn't imagine an America where he wasn't living by his wits every single day.
U.S. lawmakers and policymakers who are pushing extreme austerity measures and spending cuts over job-creating investments as the magic path to economic stability should take a long hard look at what’s happened to the nations of the European Union (EU) that have imposed strict fiscal austerity policies. Unemployment has soared, according to a new report on the EU labor market from the International Labor Organization (ILO).
There are more than 10 million more jobless people in Europe now than at the start of the crisis. There are now more than 26 million Europeans without jobs, with young and low-skilled workers being the hardest hit.
Calling sequestration “just a fancy word for a dumb idea,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the 750,000 job-killing, across-the-board budget cuts and other moves toward fiscal austerity will “further weaken the economy and cost jobs” and make even worse “the crisis of mass unemployment. Millions of Americans who want to work cannot find jobs.”
Writing in a special report in The Hill on jobs and the economy, Trumka says:
On some days, it seems like all of official Washington is racing to embrace the most destructive consensus since the Iraq war.
Paul Krugman has a pretty straightforward plan to deal with the sequester that’s due to hit March 1. The New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist says, “The right policy would be to forget about the whole thing.”
He bases his proposal on what Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen said in her keynote address to the Trans-Atlantic Agenda for Shared Prosperity conference at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Fiscal austerity, such as the sequester and the latest doomsday alert from the Bowles-Simpson duo, is the enemy of real economic recovery.