Posts tagged ‘jobs’

Bain, Romney and Obama Support Offshoring/Outsourcing of U.S. Jobs

by , posted on Saturday, June 30th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

In an attempt to differentiate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the Obama campaign is working hard to draw attention to Mitt Romney and Bain Capital’s agenda to offshore and outsource jobs.

While not necessarily connected to the Obama campaign, there is a new push inside labor circles to draw attention to a small company based in Freeport, IL named Sensata. The company is owned by Bain Capital and is preparing to move 170 Illinois jobs to China. Factory workers are calling on Mitt Romney to step in and stop the plant closure.

I support the move to target Romney on this issue and I hope that national pressure causes Bain Capital to keep those jobs in Illinois and sign a union contract with the workers.

At the same time, I can’t help but call out the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration for blasting Romney in public while secretly (and I mean very secretly) holding closed-door meetings with 600 corporate advisors to write another free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that will result in more off shoring and outsourcing of U.S. jobs. TPP is expected to be the largest and worst free trade agreement in global history.

In a recent RT article titled, “TPP secrets: Obama covertly granting more power to multinational corporations,” a doctor chastizes the president.

“Bush was better than Obama on this,” Judit Rius of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign tells HuffPo. “It’s pathetic, but it is what it is. The world’s upside-down.”

So, who do we blame?



Ralph Nader: 30 Million Workers Would Benefit From Raising Minimum Wage to 1968 Level

by , posted on Friday, June 15th, 2012 at 6:50 pm

from Democracy Now!

In 2008, Barack Obama pledged to raise the minimum wage every year once elected, but the hourly rate of $7.25 hasn’t increased since 2007. Low-wage workers now make far less than they did four decades ago. Last week Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. introduced The Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012. It draws its name from the idea that the federal minimum wage would be $10.55 an hour now if it had kept up with inflation over the past 40 years. While the bill has about 20 co-sponsors so far President Obama has yet to endorse it. We speak to longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader.



Robert Reich: Why Taxes Have to Be Raised on the Rich

by , posted on Sunday, June 10th, 2012 at 10:34 pm

from Political Action


Peter Edelman: How Did America Get So Poor?

by , posted on Friday, June 1st, 2012 at 7:00 am

from The Nation

Twenty million people in the United States make less than half of the poverty line, which is about $19,000 per year for a family of three. Another 103 million bring home incomes lower than twice the poverty line. Is this because poverty alleviation programs don’t work, or because we have too many low-wage jobs?

Peter Edelman of Georgetown University Law Center joins Laura Flanders to explain how we became a nation that fails to help its most needy citizens and what can be done.


Why Bain Matters

by , posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

from Political Action

While at Bain Capital, Mitt Romney destroyed middle class jobs to help the rich get richer. Is that what we want in a president?


“End This Depression Now”: Paul Krugman Urges Public Spending, Not Deficit Hysteria

by , posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

from Democracy Now!

Public spending is under assault from the United States to Europe in the name of fighting deficits. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman argues in his new book, “End This Depression Now!”, that the hysteria over the deficit will constrain an economic recovery in a time of high unemployment and stagnating wages. “The economics is really easy,” says Krugman, “If we were to spend more money at the government level, rehire the school teachers, firefighters, police officers who have been laid off in the last several years because of cutbacks, we would be a long way back toward full employment. … Right now there’s just not enough spending. We need the government to step in and provide the demand we need … We’ve had austerity in the face of a recession in a way that we’ve never had before since the 1930s. The results are clear — it is disastrous.” Krugman writes about the economy as a columnist for the New York Times and is a Professor of Economics at Princeton University.

The interview continues after the jump …



PDA-IL: Tim Bell of the Chicago Workers Cooperative on the exploitation of temp workers

by , posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

from PDA-IL

“Tim Bell of the Chicago Workers Collaborative speaks to PDA IL members about the exploitation of temp workers and how the progressive community can reach out and support these workers in their fight for labor equality, justice and access to health care. Visit


Caring Across Generations

by , posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012 at 11:00 am

a new video from The Nation

Given that one American turns 65 every eight seconds, it should come as no surprise that homecare is among the nation’s fastest growing industries. However, says Caring Across Generations Co-Director Ai-jen Poo, we don’t yet have a system in place to care for these people. Her organization aims to create two million homecare jobs and, in the process, “transform long-term care in a way that recognizes everyone’s dignity.”

See also: “Can ‘Caring Across Generations’ Change the World? ” by Laura Flanders, The Nation, April 30, 2012


The Patriotic Thing to Do

by , posted on Sunday, September 11th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Our military heroes will be returning soon to the States, and many of them will be looking for work. Most of them will have a struggle, though, because the jobs they seek simply are harder to find these days. Yes, we could blame one party or the other, but in the U.S., WE, the People are the government.

As President Barack Obama said in his speech on 9-8-2011, the people we elect to Congress work for us. They are servants of the people, and, We, the People demand more than just talk and posturing and political backbiting.

It is long past time that both parties, but in my eyes, especially the Republicans, start to understand that no one can have everything their own way. It is a simple rule of a democracy that you give some and you take some. If it were otherwise, we would be a dictatorship.

Thus far I have seen almost no give and all take from the GOP. I have seen the Democrats give a lot, often in vain, because, as I see it, when they agree to some line in the sand by the GOP, and want something in return, it is not passed because the GOP will not agree to meet them somewhere in the middle.



Food for Thought: Solving the Jobs Crisis

by , posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2011 at 9:10 am

Cross-posted from the website of the Democratic Socialists of America.

HR 870: The Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act

Although the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, the US economy has failed to provide the jobs needed for long term, sustained growth. At the current rate of job creation most economists believe we would not recover the 8 million jobs lost until 2016. To generate the growth required to employ both the unemployed and underemployed, we need a serious commitment to job creation such as that embedded in HR 870–the jobs bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI). Following is a summary of this legislation as well as a discussion of why socialists – indeed all progressives – should support the bill.

A Deficit Neutral Jobs Program

HR 870 would not add a dime to the federal deficit. The jobs created by the act would be funded through a tax on the trading of financial assets: stocks, bonds, and currencies. The tax would be levied on both the asset itself and on the trading of derivatives (e.g., futures and options) based on the asset. The tax proposed in HR 870 is a very modest one of 0.25% of value traded or $1 on every $400 of value traded. The amounts raised, however, could easily exceed $400 billion/year.

The Jobs to Be Created

HR 870 is explicitly designed to put people, large numbers of people, to work quickly. HR 870’s fast track job creation focuses on painting and refurbishing schools, community centers and libraries; restoration of abandoned and vacant properties in foreclosure-decimated neighborhoods; expansion of emergency food programs; and renovation and maintenance of parks, playgrounds “and other public spaces.” These jobs, which are the ones to be filled during the first 9 months of the economic opportunity grants provided for under the Act, do not require long periods of training but instead are much like those created under the CCC and the WPA in the 1930s. After the initial 9 month period, priority is given to construction / rehabilitation / improvements of residences or public facilities. These include energy efficiency improvements and programs targeted at disadvantaged youth.

Who Would Be Employed?

HR 870 recognizes that one of the features of the Great Recession is the record high level of long term unemployment, people out of work for 26 weeks of more. These are the first to be hired under the terms of the Act. The second category of new hires is low income workers unemployed for at least 30 days.

Protections in the Act

Some job programs pose risks to employed workers because employers may replace them, often at lower wage levels, with new hires. HR 870: (i) prohibits replacement of any existing employee with someone hired with funding from the Act; (ii) requires that anyone hired under the Act be paid no lower wage than workers performing the same work; and (iii) requires that, if the Act is used to employ people in a unionized workplace, the union must agree to the terms of new hires. Finally, employment under the Act must be for a minimum of 12 months.

Why Support and Organize around HR 870

HR 870 simultaneously attacks two of the major problems of the US political economy: a labor market that fails to provide enough jobs – much less good jobs – to meet our peoples’ needs and an inefficient and bloated financial sector.

It is also rooted in the understanding that a lack of demand is the primary reason the US economy is failing to achieve levels of growth and output that are sufficient to provide employment for all who are willing and able to work. The Act is explicit in its commitment to the role that the public sector has in generating economic growth.

Jobs and the Failure of the Financial Sector

High levels of unemployment and underemployment in the US have been a growing problem over the past three decades. In the period 1945 – 1975, the unemployment rate was 4% or below during 75 months, more than 20% of the 360 month period. However, during 1975 – 2010, the unemployment rate was 4% or below during only 5 months, barely 1% of the 420 month total time.

At the same time, financial sector growth accelerated sharply, with financial sector profits reaching almost 45% of total business profits in 2005/06. It is essential to remember that finance is a cost to the economy as a whole. Finance, when functioning appropriately, simply enables the rest of the economy to perform well by lending, raising and allocating capital to businesses and households. The trading of paper claims to assets does not help the economy to grow although it may generate large profits for some financial institutions, a significant portion of which ends up in the pockets of a small number of decision makers at financial institutions. These high rewards are a strong incentive for the firm to take on additional risk, shifting focus and resources into trading rather than capital raising and allocation. Thus, taxing this socially useless activity will not only provide funds for jobs, it will also reduce the rewards of financial speculation and help redirect resources, especially talented individuals, into other occupations.

Creating Demand

How do you restart an economy that is functioning at less than full resource utilization, as in the case of the US today? The stimulus passed in early 2009 had some good features and did save a significant number of jobs. However, it was overly dependent upon indirect jobs creation, tax breaks to businesses in the hopes that they would then hire more workers. Households have cut back on their spending, reducing demand for goods and services and leaving businesses reluctant to expand output and increase hiring to the degree necessary to significantly reduce employ ment. HR 870, by using funds to hire workers quickly and directly, puts money into the pockets of working and middle class families, who will spend most of their wages on clothes, food, and shelter, increasing growth in these crucial sectors.

The Role of Government

Finally, HR 870 uses the resources and capabilities of government to restart the economy rather than cutting spending or providing additional tax breaks to employers and hoping that the result will be new hiring and a restart of economic growth. This is an explicit recognition of the central roles that government, the public sector, has in directing and generating economic growth.

What Can I Do to Help?

Building the support necessary to pass HR 870 won’t be easy. It is important to let your congressmember know that you support HR 870 and that you expect them cosponsor the bill. If you are active in your union, place of worship or political club, ask it to support the bill, too. In many communities activists are demonstrating or holding “First Friday” vigils on the day that the monthly unemployment figures are released. These actions call attention to the plight of unemployed and let the public and politicians know that we expect them to do something about the jobs crisis.

Democratic Socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.

For more on the political perspective of the Democratic Socialists of America, click here.