Skip to main content

Economic Policy That Doesn't Confront the Rise in Inequality Head-On Will Do Nothing to Help the Vast Majority of American Families

Josh Biven Economic Policy Institute
Using policy to shift economic power and make U.S. incomes grow fairer and faster. Boosting income growth for the bottom 90 percent requires a policy agenda that explicitly aims to halt or reverse the rise in inequality. Finding no relationship between rising inequality and faster growth means raising living standards for the bottom 90 percent can likely be better for overall growth.

labor

Why Tech Professionals Now Share A Fate with the Working Class

TAMARA DRAUT fastcompany.com
The debate this election cycle about how to shore up the American middle class and the longer-term worry that automation will chip away at the labor market both miss a more proximate and pressing reality: knowledge work, including tech jobs, are already being shipped overseas. What happened to manufacturing jobs a generation ago is now being repeated in the knowledge economy, linking the fates of the professional class and the working class together.

books

Matthew Desmond's `Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City'

Barbara Ehrenreich New York Times Book Review
Matthew Desmond is an academic who teaches at Harvard - a sociologist or, you could say, an ethnographer. But I would like to claim him as a journalist, and one who has set a new standard for reporting on poverty. In Milwaukee, he moved into a trailer park and then to a rooming house on the -poverty-stricken North Side and diligently took notes on the lives of people who pay 70 to 80 percent of their incomes for homes that are unfit for human habitation.

New York Times Invents Left-Leaning Economists to Attack Bernie Sanders

Dean Baker; Doug Henwood
All the news that's fit...well, it seems the NYT news story has been tailored to fit the editorial views of the paper. There are undoubtedly many left of center economists who have serious objections to the proposals Sanders has put forward, there are also many who have publicly indicated support for them. He has not given a fully worked out proposal for many of his ideas, nor is it reasonable to expect a fully worked out proposal from a candidate for the presidency.

Hillary Clinton's New Paleoliberalism; Sizing Up Clinton's Plans to Help the Middle Class - Here's the Rub: It Isn't Enough

Matthew Yglesias; Eduardo Porter
Hillary Clinton's record in office suggests that she is more liberal than either her husband or Barack Obama, and in a Monday speech outlining her economic vision she set out to confirm that. However, still lacking is much policy detail as to how this difference might look in practice. A future Clinton administration might help change the norms of corporate governance to foster the kind of labor relations that everyday workers have not experienced in decades.

Tidbits - March 5, 2015 - Chicago torture site; unions; Netanyahu, Israel, Iran; Gaza; Ferguson, Racism - Today; and more...

Portside
Reader Comments - Chicago torture site; Unions Show New Creativity, Militancy; Assault on Women; Netanyahu, Boehner, Israel, Iran, U.S. war policy; Gaza, Settlers; Racial Bias Among Ferguson Police; Truth and Reconciliation; Lynching in America; Social Security Crisis?; Tax High Incomes, Solve State Funding Crisis; Greece: Portugal Cut Addiction Rates in Half; Militarized Future; Announcements - New York events

Inequality: A Broad Middle Class Requires Empowering Workers

Robert Borosage Campaign for America's Future
Trying to explain rising inequality without talking about unions is like explaining why the train is late – the tracks are worn, the weather is bad – without noting that one of its engines has been sabotaged.

labor

Which Side Are You On? Inequality and the Case for Unions

Tim Koechlin The Huffington Post
The Right insists that working class Americans are falling behind because of overly-generous "entitlements" and overpaid public sector employees. In reality, the lost income of workers -- union and non-union, black and white, male and female, public sector and private sector -- can be found in the pockets of the 1 percent. With the decline of unions over the past several decades, wages have stagnated and the "American Dream" has drifted out of reach for millions.

labor

Operatic Drama Swells in Labor Talks at the Met

Michael Cooper The New York Times
An offstage drama that has been playing out in New york City has highlighted the difficult economics of opera in the 21st century, which have forced several companies in the United States to close or scale back. In the city, a spate of recent emails between labor and management at the Metropolitan Opera and a review of the opera house’s financial statements have pulled back the curtain a bit on life at the Met, one of the most important opera houses in the world.

Tidbits - February 13, 2014

Portside
Reader Comments - Cecily McMillan Update - Occupy Activist Faces Seven Years in Jail - Trial Postponed to March 3rd; Africa; Latin America; Learning from History; Slavery; UAW Campaign at Volkswagen; Amiri Baraka; Pete Seeger memories; Announcements - CISPES Delegation to El Salvador; Workers Get a Cut on Powell Books purchases; New Video - The USA's new underclass; Labor Notes conference - April 4 - 6 - Early bird discount
Subscribe to middle class