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.
While the nation’s infrastructure has seen slight improvement since the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its last report card in 2009—from D to D+—the group warns that, without a major commitment and investment, the roads, bridges, drinking water systems, mass transit systems, schools and systems for delivering energy that we depend on “may soon fail to meet society’s needs.”
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:
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan may be spending a lot of time on bus tours between now and Election Day, but their proposals for the nation’s transit systems would leave millions waiting for a ride. A new website RomneyWrecksTheBus.com from the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) outlines just how ugly a wreck Romney’s proposed 46% cut in federal transit funding would cause.
Tonight, Paul Ryan painted a picture of his and Mitt Romney’s vision of America. It is a vision, he said, where he and Romney "will not duck the tough issues" and it is a vision where "Mitt Romney and I have made our" choices.
It is a vision that chooses more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations—paid for by cuts in Social Security, Medicaid and other programs that poor and working-class families rely upon. It’s paid for with cuts to investments in our future such as education and rebuilding a crumbling infrastructure, both vital to maintaining and growing a middle class.
Ninety-two years ago yesterday, U.S. women won the right to vote.
The Indiana State AFL-CIO mentioned in an e-mail yesterday, Rose Schneiderman, who headed the Women’s Trade Union League, explained in 1918:
We want to tell our Senators that the working women of our State demand the vote as an economic necessity. We need it because we are workers and because the workers are the ones that have to carry civilization on their backs.
The anniversary is a good time to reflect on how women would fare under a Romney-Ryan administration.
If the bad guys in the classic movie, “Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” had been corporate apologists or obnoxious Trump-like rich tycoons, the classic line about badges might read this way, “Government? We don’t need no stinkin’ government.”
In a column on AlterNet Paul Buchheit dispels what he calls “the bull of Wall Street” and cites five good reasons why the super-rich and big business may need government more than the rest us.
We regularly hear variations on that theme from the wealthy in the form of the tired old saw “I made it on my own…didn’t need any government help.” Corporate CEO’s and lobbyists rail against rules and regulations that supposedly stifle entrepreneurship and eat profits.
America’s unions need to focus on “solution-driven unionism,” that advances solutions centered on uniting union members, the people they serve and the communities in which they live, AFT President Randi Weingarten told delegates at AFT’s convention in Detroit today.
More than ever, we need to act in innovative, creative and new ways—simultaneously refuting our critics, advancing our values, connecting with community and proposing solutions. That’s solution-driven unionism.
Whether it's a Katrina-like hurricane, major earthquake or devastating terrorist attack, the decline in America’s industrial manufacturing base and the nation’s reliance on foreign suppliers for goods formerly made in the U.S.A. threatens our ability to prevent, repair and recover from a major catastrophe, a new report reveals.
New data showing U.S. median net worth plunged by nearly 40 percent following the not-so-Great Recession is getting big media play today. Pundits are shocked—which gated communities do they live in again?—but the Federal Reserve figures showing individuals’ net worth dropped from $126,400 in 2008 to $77,300 in 2010 doesn’t come as a surprise to most Americans. They’ve been struggling to find jobs in an economy where there still are more than three job seekers for ever one available.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are holding hostage the America Dream.