The UAW Takes One Step Forward And One Backward

October 10, 2013

Trying to rebound off the ropes, where it has been pummeled for the past several decades, The United Auto Workers (UAW) has launched an aggressive organizing campaign in the South, in line with an AFL-CIO resolution emphasizing organizing there, where unionization rates are weak across the board. As reported in The New York Times, the UAW has taken an international approach where union members in Brazil are picketing Nissan dealerships, a U.S. UAW contingent is traveling to South Africa to embarrass Nissan over its antiunion... Read article

Paul Krugman Discovers Marx (And Misses The Point)

December 12, 2012

In his recent New York Times op-ed piece, Princeton professor and regular columnist for The New York Times Paul Krugman observed: “The American economy is still, by most measures, deeply depressed. But corporate profits are at record high. It’s simple: profits have surged as a share of national income, while wages and other labor compensation are down. The pie isn’t growing the way it should — but capital is doing fine by grabbing an ever-larger slice, at labor’s expense.” And then he adds with almost shocked... Read article

The Chicago Teachers And Their Students’ Test Scores

September 16, 2012

Many crucial issues are at stake in the Chicago Teachers Union strike. But the school district’s insistence that student test scores constitute a major basis of teacher evaluations seems to have become a particularly contentious point, leading to the vilification of teachers by the mainstream media, particularly The New York Times. Joe Nocera of The New York Times, for example, wrote: “On Sunday night, when she announced that the teachers were going on strike, Lewis said that teachers should not be at risk of losing... Read article

Taxing The Rich And The Jobs Crisis

July 22, 2012

In a recent article, “Pensions Under Attack in America,” Mr. Leo Kolivakis took issue with a proposal by Mark Vorpahl, a union steward, to defend pensions by taxing the rich in order to create jobs (see Pensions Under Attack). Both authors agree that solving the jobs crisis is indispensable to solving the pension crisis, but their divergence occurs with Mr. Kolivakis’ assertion that “taxing the rich to create jobs is not a long-term solution to this jobs crisis.” Of course, under capitalism there is no long-term... Read article

Money, Power, and Politics

June 26, 2012

There has been much talk recently about the impact of money on politics, especially in the wake of the Citizens United ruling that has ratcheted up the role of corporate money in political campaigns. Organized labor was quick to blame this ruling for its defeat in Wisconsin. And many have assumed that the relation of money to politics is like a law of nature: the more money one has, the more political power one can wield. There is some truth to this claim. In a recent editorial (“Money Rules,” April 19, 2012) The New... Read article

How The Democrats Exploit Occupy

June 2, 2012

There has been much talk about attempts by various organizations such as the Democratic Party and some top officials in organized labor to co-opt Occupy in order to steer this movement in directions beneficial to themselves. Such attempts can hardly be surprising, given the use that many in the Republican Party made of the Tea Party people. The 99% Spring is the latest effort by those close to the Democrats to take advantage of Occupy, but the results were less than spectacular. While they trumpeted attracting somewhere... Read article

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Terrorizing Tactic

May 30, 2012

Current political developments in California highlight the gaping chasm that divides the established political process – which is routinely mislabeled as “democratic” – with the positions embraced by the vast majority of Californians. Unfortunately, California is to the United States as Greece is to Europe: both are fiscal basket cases. California has been suffering major budget deficits long before the Great Recession smashed the real estate bubble and drove it further into debt. But the underlying causes of its... Read article

Bankers and Forgiveness

May 22, 2012

When homeowners have fallen behind in their mortgage payments, whether because of a job loss or because the interest rates just shot up, the bankers have responded coldly. Led by their economic interests, they set their robo-signers working overtime on foreclosures, forcing millions of people out of their homes. Back during the height of this current economic crisis, when Congress considered passing legislation that would have allowed judges to lower home loans in order to prevent these foreclosures, the banks lobbied furiously... Read article