Need To Organize at Work More Now Than Ever!

union_yesI was reading an excerpt from author Marianne Cooper’s book today called “Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times” at Salon.com (According to the Amazon summary, “Cut Adrift makes an important and original contribution to the national conversation about inequality and risk in American society.”) and I began to think about the decline of unions and unionizing in America today.  Part of it reads below:

In this new [employment] environment, unions are struggling. Although manufacturing workers have a long history of labor organizing, service sector workers such as restaurant and retail employees [which makes up 80% of occupations in America today] do not, making it harder for service employee unions to grow. Moreover, globalization, technological changes, and the spread of flexible work arrangements have combined to enable employers to make an end run around unions by moving jobs to countries or parts of the United States where anti-union attitudes and laws predominate. As a consequence of these developments, union membership has steadily declined.

A productive workers’ organization is a must for a good quality working-life. Before unions there were 6-day workweeks, 16-hour days, and unspeakably dangerous conditions. There was no OSHA, no breaks, and you could be fired swiftly and without recourse. And during our darkest days you could be badly beaten, or killed by a group of Pinkerton detectives for even being perceived as organizing. There were even war-like firefights between workers and local deputies hired by boss-capitalists at times like the one during The Battle for Blair Mountain.

This led me to another interesting piece of information I found from February 20, 2014 at the Pew Research Center:

In a Pew Research Center survey conducted in June 2013, about half (51%) of Americans said they had favorable opinions of labor unions, versus 42% who said they had unfavorable opinions about them. That was the highest favorability rating since 2007, though still below the 63% who said they were favorably disposed toward unions in 2001. In a separate 2012 survey, 64% of Americans agreed that unions were necessary to protect working people (though 57% also agreed that unions had “too much power”).

So what this tells me is that there is a real, perceived value in union organizing today. But how do we get back there to 1954 when 28% of all workers in the country belonged to unions at it’s peak? I am afraid that I do not have the answer at this moment, nor probably for many afterward. But unionizing is the biggest threat to capitalism as it runs more and more rampant across the globe and almost completely unbridled here in the United States.

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Pay Your Taxes, Corporations!

apple_presentation-620x412I know that the title to this post sounds rather simplistic and goofy, if you will, but that’s what we need to say through our legislative bodies multinational corporations.

Other than human rights abuses, hardly anything gets to me more than the evasion of taxation by  huge corporations, and this problem is only getting bigger.

I found this great article at Salon.com by Dave Johnson from Alternet listing five familiar corporations (Apple, Pfizer Inc., General Electric, Verizon, and Caterpillar) who are using tax laws to defer paying their taxes. They are moving operations overseas to claim that they do not have to pay our taxes here since they are making foreign profits all the while using this money, through certain loopholes, to enrich top officers and stockholders.

The piece by Johnson also explains that many of the same companies were given a “tax holiday” in 2004 with which they promised to use the funds to “create jobs.” But this was the effect:

corporation

As the article argues, when Conservatives speak on and on about cutting this program and that, which are essential to American citizens and families, we could be taking in a lot more revenue through fair tax laws. You must read this article and start advocating for new laws which would prove better for the nation as a whole.

Read Here.

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A Short History of The Media

bad_tv_news-620x412A great column in Salon.com is an excerpt from the book “The Invention of News: How The World Came To Know About Itself” by Andrew Pettegree. Anyone interested in the Communications field or just interested in media studies in general will love it.

It gives a good account of how the news world came into being before the NYT or Fox News.

Read Here.

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“5 billionaires who are making life miserable for ordinary Americans”

tom_perkins-620x412A good article at Salon.com, picked up from Alternet, listing top 5 billionaire-supporters of right-wing conservative policies/movements that are detrimental to a more fair and egalitarian America

Both interesting and witty as Alternet pieces usually are.

Read Here.

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“Lone Survivor”: “A movie has no politics is in itself an ideological position…”

lone_survivor-620x412A good piece at Salon.com by Andrew O’Hehir about military movies, such as “Lone Survivor,” and the message they put forth vs. what the creators and actors claim to put forth.

Read Here.

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Hannity’s False Evidence

hannity_screens-620x412A great piece on Salon.com  covering a recent episode of Hannity featuring people who supposedly will be hurt by Obamacare are being screwed by the new healthcare system . But in this article by Eric Stern, he contacts the claimed victims to only find that all is not what it seems over on FOX News.

Read Here.

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Drone Strikes Okay Only Under Obama

obama_drone-620x412A good piece in Salon, dated Feb. 19th, on the differences between those who are “racially liberal” or “racially conservative” when it comes to supporting Obama on many issues. But at the end, and most importantly, the cited study shows that liberals are giving Obama more leeway on authorizing drone strikes rather than if it was Pres. Bush or some other conservative politician. It’s as if they trust Pres. Obama’s judgement more of who is a terrorist and who is not, who needs to be killed and who does not, than they would if a conservative president were in office.

Read Here.