Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Hedrick Smith joined us here today to discuss his new book, Who Stole the American Dream? Can We Get It Back? at an event sponsored by the AFL-CIO and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
In Who Stole the American Dream? Smith deploys his formidable investigative skills to trace how we got to a point where U.S. economic policy overwhelmingly favors the rich—and looks at whether it's possible to undo the damage done to our working and middle class. Smith, known for his investigative journalism, is author of the national bestseller, The Power Game: How Washington Works. In 1971, as chief diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced the Pentagon Papers series. We asked Smith a few questions about what he found in researching his new book.
Jeff Faux, Distinguished Fellow at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), joined us here today at the AFL-CIO to discuss his new book, The Servant Economy: Where America’s Elite is Sending the Middle Class. The event launches the AFL-CIO summer book series, which includes discussions with noted economists who will talk about their new books on jobs, inequality and the U.S. financial crisis. (Get details and RSVP here.)
In his last book, The Global Class War, Faux in 2006 correctly predicted the permanent decline of our debt-burdened middle class at the hands of our off-shoring executives, out of control financiers and their friends in Washington. So we asked Faux a few questions about what his latest analyses and predictions in The Servant Economy.
The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild (WBNG) Local 32035 and the Labor Heritage Foundation are sponsoring the “Occupy Now!” photo contest. The winner will be announced at the Great Labor Arts Exchange festival, June 22-25. The contest—with almost $1,000 in prize money—is looking for the great photos of the Occupy movement.
Donna Gatehouse, who blogs at DemocraticDiva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.
Republicans in the Arizona legislature must be uneasy these days. A package of Wisconsin-style anti-public sector union bills is making its way through the process, as is Gov. Jan Brewer's plan to remove civil service protections from state workers. Several labor and community organizations plan protests around those bills. At the same time, women's and reproductive rights groups will undoubtedly be at the state capitol to speak out against numerous shocking and intrusive anti-abortion and anti-contraception measures before the legislature this session. The GOP majority is apparently so frightened by this prospect it’s trying to make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to engage in "passive resistance." Common nonviolent protest tactics such as going limp when the police try to remove you from an area or chaining yourself to something could get you up to a six-month month jail sentence.
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address tonight made clear that he hears the people who aren’t being heard by the 1%, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Obama’s speech showed he “listened to the single mom working two jobs to get by, to the out-of-work construction worker, to the retired factory worker, to the student serving coffee to help pay for college.”
The following is by John August, executive director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions. Read the full version of his column at L&M Partnership.
Many of us are pleased that the Occupy movement resonates with so many. While not everyone is prepared to join one of the hundreds of encampments that have grown around the country over the past two months, it is not uncommon for mainstream media to recognize that they are articulating widespread public discontent. From MSNBC to the New York Times to many local and online outlets, the media recognize that dominant themes of Occupy—income inequality and the need for good jobs—have become very popular themes.
Some of those in the 1 percent are stepping forward to express their support for the 99 percent, agreeing with Occupy Wall Street protesters that the nation’s financial system is seriously harming our economy. The latest to indicate their support for the 99 percent are the financially savvy members of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, who are calling for greater corporate transparency, restraint of excessive payouts to executives and support for the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The consumer bureau does not yet have a director because Senate Republicans have blocked a vote on the nomination of Richard Cordray to lead the agency.
While most of us know what the goal is of the Occupy Wall Street movement—economic justice for the 99 percent and all that it entails—pontificators from Fox News and other right-wingers derisively dismiss it.