If you always wanted to join Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or a host of other progressive leaders but couldn't make it to Washington, D.C., or the campaign trail, tomorrow is your chance. The Campaign for America's Future is hosting the New Populism Conference, and the entire event will be live-streamed on OurFuture.org and Free Speech TV.
Deficit. Debt. Debt ceiling. Sequester. Shutdown. Cuts. "Shared" sacrifice. Belt tightening. Grand bargain—Republicans and Washington elites throw around a bunch of words when they talk about the economy and what it will take to get the country moving forward. But the one word they need to be talking about—jobs—seems almost absent from the conversation. No wonder things aren't getting much better.
Congress to students: Celebrate the 4th! Student loan rates just doubled!
The June 30 deadline for action by Congress came and went. In a shocker, Republicans obstructed efforts to keep student loan rates from doubling. Now is the time to call your senators and representatives and raise a ruckus. Republicans insist that the country make a profit off of the students, but how does it help a country and an economy to make it so expensive to get a higher education?
Current laws in the United States allow corporations to use offshore havens to avoid paying their taxes and, if it's up to many in Washington, the problem will only grow larger, particularly if the so-called "territorial" tax system is passed. The details of the use of such tax havens were discussed in a conference call with Campaign for America's Future, Americans for Tax Fairness and Citizens for Tax Justice.
Where does the Republican Party put its energy? On anything that furthers the interests of the wealthiest. Tax cuts and kicking government are right at the top of that list.* Also near the top comes blocking minimum wage increases, blocking workplace safety rules and keeping lots of people unemployed so they are desperate to take any nasty, dirty, low-paying job, etc. But next to tax cuts and keeping the government from operating, Republicans fight to keep unions from being able to organize because the power of working people acting together collectively begins to challenge the power of concentrated wealth that corporations represent. To this end, Republicans hate and fight the Labor Department and, now, the new nominee for secretary of labor.
At one time it was an economic tenet for America's worker: Work smarter, better, faster and harder and you’ll reap the rewards. That’s exactly what America's workers have done for the past four decades plus. But while worker productivity has soared, workers’ wages have been tightly tethered to the ground. So much that economist Dean Baker writes:
If the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth [since 1968], it would be over $16.50 an hour today. That is higher than the hourly wages earned by 40 percent of men and half of women.
You are probably hearing that the Post Office is "in crisis" and is cutting back Saturday delivery, laying people off, closing offices, etc. Like so many other "crises" imposed on us lately, there is a lot to the story that you are not hearing from the "mainstream" media. (Please click that link.) The story of the intentional destruction of the U.S. Postal Service is one more piece of the story of crisis-after-crisis, all manufactured to advance the strategic dismantling of our government and handing over the pieces to billionaires.
Freshman Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) says one of his top priorities in the Senate is advancing a “Make It in America” jobs agenda. Murphy, who founded the House “Buy American” Caucus, outlined that agenda in a conference call Wednesday sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future and the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
Congress and the media paid homage to the agenda of the billionaires and Wall Street, with the manufactured “fiscal cliff” PR campaign frenzy that just ended. So now can we get back to the country’s priorities? Can we talk about jobs now?