Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Retailers, Bankers and Democrats Agree

Retailers, Bankers and Democrats Agree

Income inequality is killing the economy. Retailers, bankers and Democrats agree on that. Really.

It’s only Republicans who continue to insist that income inequality is great, so no one, least of all them, should make any effort to constrict the abyss between America’s struggling 99 percent and Americans who indulge themselves in $475,000 bottles of House of Creed Bespoke perfume

Now that Wall Street and Main Street have endorsed Democratic economic principals to reduce inequality for the sake of the economy, voting Nov. 4 is easy. Vote Democrat. That’s the party both bankers and retailers say has the solution to economic revival. 

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Investment In Infrastructure Would Cure Today’s Slow Growth Problem

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Investment In Infrastructure Would Cure Today’s Slow Growth Problem

What’s going on with the stock market? Here’s one piece of it. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued its World Economic Outlook last week, titled “Global Growth Disappoints, Pace of Recovery Uneven and Country-Specific.” The title gives away the IMF’s economic forecast: disappointment, slowdown and uneven recovery.

To address this, the IMF called for “an increase in public infrastructure investment,” particularly in the U.S. and Germany, saying this “could provide a boost to demand in the short term and help raise potential output in the medium term.”

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Companies Warn That Income Inequality Is Hurting Their Business

Alan Pyke

Alan Pyke Deputy Economic Policy Editor, Think Progress

Companies Warn That Income Inequality Is Hurting Their Business

After decades as the dominant economic theory in American politics, trickle-down economics is starting to lose its grip on the debate. For evidence of that slippage, look no further than the business community’s own communications with investors.

Two thirds of the largest retail companies in the country say falling incomes for their customers threaten their business, according to an analysis of corporate filings by economists at the Center for American Progress (CAP). That is double the proportion that cited slack earnings for the masses among their business risks in 2006. And seven out of every eight major American retail companies “cite weak consumer spending as a risk factor to their stock price,” the authors write.

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Vote on Nov. 4!

Vote on Nov. 4!

Union Matters

Don't Let Tragedy Destroy Canadian Optimism

By Jamie West, USW Local 6500
President, Sudbury and District Labour Council

Like many of you, I was shocked to hear of the violence in Ottawa on Wednesday. I have friends who work on Parliament Hill and was relieved to read posts that they were safe and secure. At the same time, I felt a pang of guilt knowing the tragedy and mourning that Cpl. Cirillo’s friends and family were going to endure.

As a Canadian, I’m confused: Why would anyone want to harm us? Who’s friendlier than Canadians? Think about it: we’re the people who say “sorry” when other people bump into us. Our country is so friendly that citizens from other countries sew our maple leaf on their backpacks when they travel. We're so friendly that, in 2001, when planes were being used to create terror in New York, Canada allowed 255 US-bound aircraft to be diverted from the US to our airports.

I can’t understand why this would happen. I’m bewildered, frustrated, offended, angry, insulted, and filled with rage. As Canadians, we typically don’t wear our pride on our sleeves - except for during Olympic hockey and on Canada Day - we rarely wear anything with an obvious Canadian logo. Instead, we keep our Canadian pride nestled close to our hearts. As a result, this attack at our Nation’s capital has become an attack on our values; a betrayal of our friendliness; and, a shock to our culture.

However, what is bothering me more than the unnecessary bloodshed, the subsequent panic, and the confusion and shock, is how quickly rage seems to open the door towards racism. I understand the desire to lash out in an attempt to harm the gunman in any way that we can – to spit insults and slurs to signify our disgust of his actions. However, I am cautious of defining a culture by the actions of an individual.

I’m reminded that I have brothers and sisters in the union movement who have skin darker than my own. I also have Muslim friends and neighbors. And, when I hear the slurs directed at the gunman in Ottawa, I can’t help but feel it splash onto the innocent others – others who are blameless, yet harmed through our rage and anger because of their looks, clothing, or cultural beliefs.

And because of this, I urge us to be cautious. I urge us to recognize that there are those who will use the fuel of our anger to manipulate our actions. I urge us to remember the final words of the greatest Prime Minister that never was: “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

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