Economic and Social Justice

Economic and Social Justice (128)

While Hillary Clinton occasionally gives some lip service to the problem of extreme inequality, Bernie Sanders is the only candidate really hammering away at it. He has even blasted the orthodoxy of economic growth for its own sake, saying according to Monday’s Washington Post that unless economic spoils can be redistributed to make more Americans’ lives better, all the growth will go to the top 1% anyway, so who needs it? Sanders might know his history, but the rest of the candidates could use a little primer.

His vision for the economy is out of step with reality: The US lacks good jobs, not productive workers.

When economic theory makes its way into campaign trail chatter it can take on a life of its own. And Jeb Bush’s gaffe-of-the-week showed how even today, Reaganomics keeps trickling down into the popular conservative parlance.

On the eve of his presidential announcement, the governor signed an anti-worker budget. Now he wants to do to America what he did to Wisconsin.

Jeb Bush took a lot of hits last week for suggesting that Americans “need to work longer hours.”

But Scott Walker has gone Bush one better. The governor of Wisconsin and Bush rival for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination just codified the concept.

WASHINGTON - Adding to their campaign against the National Labor Relations Board - and worker rights - the ruling Republicans on the House subcommittee that helps dole out federal funds slashed $74 million from the board's budget for the year starting Oct. 1.

But even more important than cutting its spending from $274 million this fiscal year to $200 million in fiscal 2016 - President Obama wanted $278 million - is that the lawmakers attached several "riders" banning the board from acting in various areas.

Many Americans either simply have no retirement savings at all, or lack the time or expertise to know if their employer’s plan is a good one

Are we all in denial or is it simply impossible to save enough for retirement? Is it some kind of toxic combination of the two? Whatever the reason, yet another study – this one from no less an authority than the non-partisan US government accountability office (GAO) – is here to remind us that we’re woefully unprepared, financially speaking, for retirement. While we may all have dreams about how we’d like to spend our retirement years – fishing, golfing, writing that great American novel – the truth is that as many as half of all households with Americans 55 and older have no retirement savings at all . Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not a dime.

Monday, 13 July 2015 00:00

Our Neo-Confederacy

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The flag may be wiped from state grounds and license plates, but its ideals live on in the GOP agenda.

It is an irony that the symbol of the old Confederacy has become the most prominent victim of the June 17 massacre in Charleston, S.C., rather than the three men and six women who were slaughtered at church.

After photos surfaced of the shooter posing with the flag, a bipartisan chorus of politicians, including at least a dozen Southern Republicans, denounced the flag's display on state grounds and license plates.

To the Troika, the election of Syriza, the referendum vote and the basic principles of democracy are meaningless.

As of Tuesday evening Greek time, eurozone leaders have forced an ultimatum on Greece’s government: capitulate within five days or leave. Warning that Syriza’s refusal to meet the terms of austerity imposed on them, European Commision President Donald Tusk and European Council President have made it clear that a “Grexit,” a Greek exit from the eurozone, is in the cards—a situation that Tusk says would be “most painful for the Greek people.”

All of us on the Left are all too familiar with the capitalist offensive of the past forty years. Under the banner of "neoliberalism," capital has rolled back almost every gain working people across the world have made since the 1930s. All sorts of public industries, services and institutions have been privatized, social welfare programs that protected workers from the worst insecurities of the labor-market have been rolled back or simply abolished and unions and working class political parties that had traditionally organized and represented working people have been severely weakened.

Businesses always find big bucks for the boss. He wants a raise; he gets it. No problem. For workers whose sweat of the brow produces profits, well, somehow there’s never a cent for them.

In fact, last week when President Obama proposed making more workers eligible for overtime pay, fat cats and CEO sycophants expressed abject horror that companies may have to pay employees more when they work more.

The South Carolina legislature has voted to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the statehouse. It was put there in 1961 as a show of defiance against the Civil Rights movement, i.e. against the demand that the system of legally-imposed segregation of African-Americans cease.

But, as I have argued before, the flag is only a symbol. South Carolina needs to address its real racial disparities if this vote is to be more than a gesture born of the heat of the moment.

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