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Showing blog posts tagged with middle class

Guess What Vice President Biden Said Was the Bedrock of Our Economy?

Vice President Joe Biden certainly has a way with words, sometimes lots of them. But today the loquacious veep boiled down the truth about the best way to build the middle class and spark the economy to less than 140 characters. Take a look after the jump.

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SF Chronicle Op-ed Scapegoats BART Workers, Ignores Real Problem

ATU photo

I’ve seen some pretty outrageous anti-worker opinion pieces written about the contract negotiations at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) over the last two months. But nothing I’ve read is as infuriating as Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle op-ed from Chuck and Barbara McFadden.

In short, the McFaddens assert that workers like those at BART are not deserving of the middle-class wage their unions negotiate.

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Obama: Economy Must Focus on Middle Class

Obama: Economy Must Focus on Middle Class

With the debate in Washington set to return to the budget and the economy after the August congressional recess, President Obama today said, “The stakes for our middle class could not be higher.” In the first of several speeches set for coming weeks on the economy, Obama told the audience at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., that because of a Republican-led "endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball."

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New Video Series: Unions Make the Middle Class

After 45 years of driving a cab in New York City, Beresford Simmons says the emergence of the National Taxi Workers Alliance in the past few years is helping his family and those of other drivers reach the middle class.

Simmons’ story is one of three illustrating that unions make the middle class strong, giving workers a voice in our economy, portrayed in a trio of new videos by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.


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Get a Union, Get a Ticket to the Middle Class

Credit: Ove Overmyer, AFSCME/CSEA Local 1000, Rochester, N.Y. 2009. Photo courtesy of CSEA Monroe County, N.Y., Local 828.

We’ve said it for years. Because of the “Union Difference”—fair wages and better benefits for workers who belong to a union—unions are the ticket to the middle class. Even if you don’t belong to a union, there is a spillover effect to the whole economy. In other words, when unions are strong, everyone benefits. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what Time magazine contributor Eric Liu says:

The fact is that when unions are stronger the economy as a whole does better.

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Trumka: Union Jobs Build the Middle Class

Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Transportation.

This is an excerpt of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka's "Opposing View: Union Jobs Build the Middle Class" from USA Today.

It's a tough time to work for a living.

Middle-class families have been losing ground for more than a decade. Today, working people have a smaller piece of the pie than at any time in the past 50 years. During that period, the number of people belonging to unions also declined steadily; in fact, if you look at the decline of the middle class beside the state of union membership, those numbers are parallel. This should concern everyone who cares about a strong America.

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The Betrayal of America's Middle Class Was a Choice, Not an Accident

"The Betrayal of America's Middle Class Was a Choice, Not an Accident" is a cross-post from Truthout by Amy B. Dean, a fellow at The Century Foundation and co-author of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement.

The outsourcing of good jobs, the elimination of pensions, rampant home foreclosures; skyrocketing higher education costs and mounting debt: Given these stark realities, the American middle class seems to be sinking fast. The renowned reporting team of Donald Barlett and James Steele insists it is no accident.

I was excited to talk with the duo about the problems now facing our middle class—and about how we can pull ourselves from the abyss.

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Joan Walsh at the AFL-CIO Oct. 3: What's the Matter with White People?

What’s the Matter with White People? By Joan Walsh

Many Americans long for a golden age that "never was," writes Salon columnist and MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh in her new book, What’s the Matter with White People? The book explores the four-decades-old scapegoat politics of right-wing culture warriors who blame people of color, the LGBT community, feminists, immigrants and union members for the decline of the middle class, while distracting from the real culprits. 

Please join us Wednesday for a discussion with Walsh and a book signing. Books will be available for purchase.

Where: AFL-CIO

815 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m.

Bring your lunch—drinks will be provided.

RSVP here

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Michigan: Decline of Collective Bargaining Leads to Falling Incomes

Middle-class incomes in Michigan fell between 1979 and 2007, even though the state's overall economy grew. A new study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that over the past three decades, Michigan’s middle-class workers did worse than middle-class U.S. workers in general because collective bargaining had eroded more in Michigan than in the rest of the country. 

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How Unions Help Build the American Dream

How Unions Help Build the American Dream

Both Democrats and Republicans stress that the ability for people to move up the economic ladder to build better lives is at the heart of the American Dream. But new data from the Pew Center on the States pits the Republican tenet on economic mobility against another deeply held Republican belief that unions are a heavy and evil anchor on the economy that must be cut away.  

Where there is a strong union movement, there is more economic mobility. If unions are strengthened, upward mobility will increase.

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