Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Anti-Presidential: Money Grubbing, Community Disdaining Candidates

Anti-Presidential: Money Grubbing, Community Disdaining Candidates
Art on Flickr by DonkeyHotey

Donald Trump says exactly what the GOP believes. It’s a simple axiom: personal wealth accumulation is everything. Republican Party officials believe individuals like The Donald attain riches through their own guts, glory and gumption with not an iota of aid from community, country or, frankly, inherited wealth. 

It’s just that when The Donald expresses their credo, he ignores the shinola and emphasizes the crass. Instead of going with the slick 2012 GOP convention theme, “I built that,” to aggrandize individual capitalist conquest, The Donald slammed a group of his primary competitors for serving their nation instead of themselves.

What The Donald failed to acknowledge is that some of them, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, serve themselves through their so-called public service. This year, for example, Walker took a quarter billion dollars from Wisconsin higher education, gave it instead to a project by billionaire sports team owners to construct a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, and now one of those rich guys, Jon Hammes, co-chairs Walker’s national campaign fund raising.

It’s a brilliant scam. The Donald, master of bankruptcies with four under his belt, really should be impressed. Walker is forcing the great majority of Wisconsin workers to pay taxes, not for projects they prize like schools or highways, but instead to further enrich millionaires who, in turn, fill Walker’s campaign pockets!  

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Jeb! Bush Vows To Cripple Government

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Jeb! Bush Vows To Cripple Government

Presidential candidate Jeb Bush gave a speech last Monday at an event organized by a corporate lobbying group in which he vowed to cripple our government. So who gets to be in charge if he succeeds? Who decides how to allocate our country’s resources, determine and enforce our country’s economic policies, who pays to build roads and schools and our other public assets?

If you look at who organized the speech, you might find a clue about who Bush thinks should do these things.

Bush’s speech was at Florida State University, ostensibly on the subject of “government reform” and the cozy relationship between lobbyists and government officials. His solutions, however, included proposals to get the government out of the way of corporations by essentially crippling it if elected.

● Bush promised to cut the federal workforce by an additional 10 percent by replacing every three employees who leave with one hire. Currently the federal workforce is strapped and demoralized. Cut after cut has left people trying to do the job that several people had done before.
● He said he would stop giving raises to public employees, who he says are all “overpaid” – guaranteeing attrition. This would quickly cause those three employees to leave, to be replaced by only one, who then has to try to do the work of the three.

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Your Stereotype of Minimum Wage Workers Is Probably Dead Wrong

Your Stereotype of Minimum Wage Workers Is Probably Dead Wrong

Your Stereotype of Minimum Wage Workers Is Probably Dead Wrong

Posted by ATTN: on Saturday, April 4, 2015

Republicans Can’t Win Without Solving Their ‘Secular Problem’

Bill Scher

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

Last week I wrote that the GOP is on track to lose the Latino vote yet again. On the day Republicans face up to this problem, they at least know what they have to do: suck it up on immigration reform.

But Republicans have a bigger demographic challenge looming over them, one of which they are less cognizant, of which they will have harder time accepting, and of which the solutions are less obvious: the Republican “secular problem.”

In the Bush Era, pundits were fond of lording over Democrats that they suffered from a “God problem.” But ever since Democrats won the 2006 midterms, I have been writing that the opposite was true.

The 2006 exit poll data showed that Democrats crushed Republican among voters who went to church “a few times a year” (60-38 percent) and “never” (67-30 percent), while the Republican margin among those who attended church “weekly” was slashed from 16 points in the previous midterm to seven.

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Inequality - "X" Marks the Spot - Dig here

Stan Sorscher

Stan Sorscher Labor Representative, Society for Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace

In 2002, I heard an economist characterizing this figure as containing a valuable economic insight. He wasn't sure what the insight was. I have my own answer.

Figure 1. Something happened in the mid-70's

The economist talked of the figure as a sort of treasure map, which would lead us to the insight. "X" marks the spot. Dig here.

This figure tells three stories. First, we see two distinct historic periods since World War II. In the first period, workers shared the gains from productivity. In the later period, a generation of workers gained little, even as productivity continued to rise.

The second message is the very abrupt transition from the post-war historic period to the current one. Something happened in the mid-70's to de-couple wages from productivity gains.

The third message is that workers' wages - accounting for inflation and all the lower prices from cheap imported goods - would be double what they are now, if workers still took their share of gains in productivity.

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Workers Deserve Wages Sufficient to Buy Shelter

Workers Deserve Wages Sufficient to Buy Shelter

Union Matters

Hey Ted, Americans Really Do Needs the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) last week marked the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by calling for its abolishment.

The CFPB, an independent government agency tasked with protecting consumers from predatory and unethical banking practices, was formed as a part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. Congress passed the law in an attempt to prevent big banks from again wrecking the economy with their reckless gambling and greed.

So what the presidential hopeful was really saying in calling for the dismantling of the CFPB was that big banks should go back to doing whatever they want and working people should simply fend for themselves.

Big banks and the Republicans they fund hate the CFPB because it exists to keep financial institutions from fleecing customers and padding their profits by taking careless risks.

They also hate it because it’s working.

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