Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

GOP Defrauds Voters

GOP Defrauds Voters

The GOP is working desperately to deny the right to vote to citizens it doesn’t like. You know, poor people, black people, Hispanic people, old people, female people, especially people it believes are inclined to vote for Democrats. 

Republican politicians have hatched a multitude of schemes in states across the country to accomplish this gambit, passing laws demanding specific voter identification at polling places, eliminating early voting days and purging voters from registration rolls.

The right-wingers on the U.S. Supreme Court last year gave Republicans a hand in this effort by striking down key protections in the Voting Rights Act. Joining them this month were three Republican judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a rush-job, five-paragraph order issued just hours after the trio heard testimony, the GOP panel overruled a lower court’s 70-page decision and allowed Wisconsin to demand voter ID of 300,000 residents who don’t currently have it for an election that is less than 7 weeks away.

When their hands are pressed on a Bible in court, Republican experts admit they’ve got no evidence of the in-person voter fraud that the GOP claims these laws are intended to prevent. What they’re really intended to prevent is voting by people Republicans detest, the derided “47 percent” that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney spit on. Republicans are robbing citizens of the fundamental right to vote. It’s criminal. It’s fraud that subverts America’s cherished democracy. 

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The Mysteries of Inequality Are Only Mysterious to Elites

Dean Baker

Dean Baker Co-Director, Author, Center for Economic and Policy Research

The Mysteries of Inequality Are Only Mysterious to Elites

Developing explanations for the growth in inequality over the last three decades has been a huge growth industry in economics and policy circles. Many economists have made their careers with a novel explanation of how the natural development of technology and the market has concentrated income and wealth in the top one percent. It's even better if you can show that inequality hasn't risen. While the explanations that blame inequality on technology can get complicated, there were three items in the last week that painted the picture very clearly for the rest of us.

First, we got new data from the Federal Reserve Board and the Census Bureau, both of which showed that typical families are still seeing very little benefit from the recovery to date. The Fed released the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finance which showed median family wealth was still below the 2010 level in spite of the run-up in the stock market.

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Judge Says Poor Have No Right To Clean Water, Allows Detroit Water Shutoffs To Continue

Alan Pyke

Alan Pyke Deputy Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

Judge Says Poor Have No Right To Clean Water, Allows Detroit Water Shutoffs To Continue

Saying there is no such thing as a legal right to clean running water, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes dismissed a request from Detroit residents to impose a six-month moratorium on water shutoffs by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) on Monday.

The plaintiffs had argued last week that the DWSD shutoffs over delinquent water bills violated the human rights of impoverished citizens who had no ability to pay what the city says they owe, and who were left without access to clean water by the shutoff policy.

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The Damage Done by Persistent, Increasing Income Inequality

The Damage Done by Persistent, Increasing Income Inequality

Union Matters

Income Inequality: Much Worse Than Imagined

On Sept. 25,  just past, Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball discussed the Washington Post’s report on income inequality in the United States.  To use the Post’s headline, the pay gap between CEOs and workers is much worse than you realize.

The Post article cites a study by Harvard Business School which found that most Americans believe CEOs make roughly 30 times what the average worker earns.

That’s naïve to the nth degree.  Chief executive officers in the United States actually make more than 350 times what the workers laboring under them take home.  This underestimate, and a lack of a fuller understanding of the gap, is a problem not only on the United States but also in other industrial nations of the world.

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