Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Senate Republicans Vote to Silence Working Americans

Senate Republicans Vote to Silence Working Americans

Senate Republicans voted unanimously last week for elections that are competitions of cash, with candidates who amass the most money empowered to shout down opponents.

The GOP rejected elections that are contests of ideas won by candidates offering the best concepts.

Forty-two Republican Senators on Thursday opposed advancing a proposed constitutional amendment called Democracy for All. It would have ended the one percent’s control over elections and politicians. It would have reversed the democracy-destroying Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions by permitting Congress and state legislatures to once again limit campaign spending. Republicans said no because they favor the system that indentures politicians to wealthy benefactors. 

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Workers Shut Down Chipotle Store Over ‘Borderline Sweatshop Conditions’

Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

Workers Shut Down Chipotle Store Over ‘Borderline Sweatshop Conditions’

A Chipotle location in State College, Pennsylvania was shut down for several hours on Wednesday after workers walked out, posting a sign about what it’s like to work there.

“Ask your corporate offices why their employees are forced to work in borderline sweatshop conditions,” the sign read. The sign claimed, “Almost the entire management and crew have resigned.”

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Let's Turn Pope Francis Loose on Wall Street

Jim Hightower

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

Let's Turn Pope Francis Loose on Wall Street

Amazing! Some people who've long enjoyed a lifestyle of old-money elegance, are suddenly trying to downscale their lives and show a bit more of the common touch.

They're not corporate chieftains, but they do run multimillion-dollar operations and consider themselves role models for the masses. They are the Catholic Bishops of the United States – and it's that role model thing that has them a bit flummoxed. Many are living in grand residences, with extensive staffs and personal servants, socializing with political elites, moralizing from elevated pulpits, and… well, generally living in a lofty manner. This has left many of them aloof from the common folk, the very flock they supposedly tend.

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How Measuring The Economy Differently Could Increase Gender Equality

Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

Every three months, the government takes the temperature of the economy by releasing Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, figures. GDP goes up: the economy is supposedly healthy. GDP goes down: there’s a bug (or an all-out contagion, as during the Great Recession).

But GDP — which adds up the value of work being done, widgets created, profits made, money spent by consumers and the government, and things invested and exported — was never meant to accurately assess everything happening in the economy. It was created during the New Deal to see whether the programs were really helping. The creator of the GDP measure itself, Simon Kuznets, warned, “The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income as defined by the GDP.”

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Tell Congress to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act!

Tell Congress to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act!

Union Matters

The Wealthy Pay Four Times More for a Parking Space than Working People Pay for a House

Developers in Manhattan have just placed ten underground parking spaces at a new condo complex up for sale. At $1 million each.

The spaces may well sell out. Just this past May, another Manhattan developer listed 25 parking spaces for sale at $500,000. The 25 spots all quickly found buyers. That didn’t surprise the developer. The adjacent apartments, the developer explained to the New York Times, were selling for $47 million.

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