Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Bad Trade

Bad Trade
U.S. jobs lost because of trade deficit with China, 2001-2013, in thousands of jobs (EPI).

Under billions of tons of imports, the American dream is suffocating.

The American people have lost faith. They know that bad trade has bled factories, middle class jobs and wage increases from the country.

A report issued last week by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) details how bad trade has cost Americans hope. And hope is the essence of the American dream, hope for a good, steady job with benefits and a pension, one that supports a family and a home, one that enables the kids to achieve even better lives. Bad trade has battered all of that. And more damage is threatened by pending trade deals and a so-called fast track process to approve them without in-depth deliberation.

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The Flacks for Plutocrats Need a New Analogy

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

A rising tide lifts all boats. A growing economic pie means bigger slices for everybody. Wealth that flows to the top will always trickle down.

Cheerleaders for wealth’s concentration have over the years invoked a variety of images to justify the ever larger fortunes of our society’s most fortunate. These images all rest on a single economic assumption: that letting wealth accumulate in the pockets of a few grows an economy’s capacity for investment and ultimately, as investments create jobs, leaves everybody better off.

That assumption has dominated mainstream economics for generations. But that’s changing. Even mainline economic institutions are these days challenging the notion that good fortune for the few eventually and automatically translates into better fortune for the many. The latest of these institutions to chime in: the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the official economic think tank for the developed world.

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How “Citibank Budget” Push Foreshadows “Fast Track” For Trade Deals

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

It is worth examining how the process was rigged to push that budget deal through Congress over the weekend that contained Citibank-written derivative deregulation and all kinds of other goodies for the rich and powerful. That’s because the “cromnibus” formula will be formalized in the next big deal, in a process called “fast track.”

Congress passed the “cromnibus” (continuing resolution for omnibus budget) right at the deadline for another government shutdown. (After they extended the deadline, actually.) The budget contained a Citibank-written provision that undoes some Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulations. It authorizes a cut in many people’s pensions by up to 60 percent, severely cuts the IRS budget and its ability to collect taxes, dramatically expanded the ability of big money to influence elections, reduced the EPA’s authority, and included many other provisions that could not have passed in the light of day. This budget “deal” was pushed through Congress using a rigged process that kept representative democracy from stopping it.

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Terri Schiavo’s Husband Speaks Out On Jeb Bush’s Presidential Bid

Josh Israel

Josh Israel Senior Investigative Reporter, Think Progress

Terri Schiavo’s Husband Speaks Out On Jeb Bush’s Presidential Bid

In his announcement Tuesday that he would explore a 2016 presidential bid, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) promised to focus on “ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.” But he made no mention of his most controversial act during his two terms in office: his attempts to take custody of Terri Schiavo and overrule her husband Michael’s decision to remove her feeding tube, fifteen years after cardiac arrest had left her in a vegetative state.

ThinkProgress spoke with Michael Schiavo and the attorney who represented him in the matter, George Felos, about Bush’s presidential candidacy. Both expressed concern that Bush’s record was one of government interference and opposing individual liberty.

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The Pain of Inequality Among Yacht Buyers

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

The Pain of Inequality Among Yacht Buyers

In the spirit of holiday harmony and good will toward all, I say it's time for you working stiffs (and even those of you who've been badly stiffed and can't find work) to extend your hands in a gesture of solidarity with America's millionaires.

Why? Because we now share a common cause: Inequality. You don't hear much about it, but millionaires are suffering a wealth gap, too, and it's having a depressing impact on both their level of consumption and their psychological well-being. While it's true that millionaires are still full members of the 1-percent club, that generalization overlooks the painful and personally-grating fact that mere millionaires today are ranked as "lesser 1- percenters." They don't dwell in the same zip-codes as the über-rich few, who comprise the uppermost one-hundredth of the 1-percenters, with wealth starting in the hundreds-of-millions of dollars and spiraling up into multiple-billions.

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Right-to-Work (For Less) Is About Destroying Unions and Workers' Power to Win Decent Pay

Right-to-Work (For Less) Is About Destroying Unions and Workers' Power to Win Decent Pay

Union Matters

Just When You Thought It Was Safe…

Almost as soon as it appeared that the Affordable Care Act had been accepted as a legitimate part of government services, along comes the political equivalent of Bruce in the movie Jaws.

It’s a case before the U.S. Supreme Court called King vs. Burwell, challenging the legality of tax credits offered through the federal health insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov.

The five conservative Justices of the Supreme Court will control the fate of Obamacare. If their ruling eliminates tax credits offered through HealthCare.gov, enrollees in 34 states without state exchanges could lose the tax credits that makes their health insurance affordable.

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