Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

13 Million Illinois Citizens Named Bruce

13 Million Illinois Citizens Named Bruce
This 1943 image taken at Union Station in Chicago, Ill., by photographer Jack Delano of a sleeping car porter employed by the Pullman Company is from the U.S. Library of Congress.

The billionaire Republican Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, injected himself into ceremonies in Chicago last week presided over by the city’s Democratic mayor and the nation’s Democratic President.

Rauner insisted on attending because he wrongheadedly thought the Democrats were honoring his idol, kingpin George Pullman, the guy who invented the luxury railroad sleeper car, oppressed his workers and suppressed their union.

Rauner, and other kowtow-to-the-rich Republican governors, adhere to the Pullman philosophy that rich people are better than everyone else and that gives them the right to control the lives of everyone else. They don’t comprehend the dreams and desires of the middle class and working poor. So Rauner couldn’t conceive that the ceremony in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood named Pullman by Pullman for his personal self-aggrandizement was not about placing the mogul on a pedestal but really about recognizing the people who ultimately prevailed despite his exploitation.

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It's All in the Narrative

William Spriggs Chief Economist, AFL-CIO

It's All in the Narrative

There is history--the facts of events--and then there is myth and fable--the essence of things, the narratives that shape our understanding of complex events inspiring, motivating, rallying and galvanizing us as people and nations.

In the case of the United States, the narrative all too often leaves out people of color. In part, this focuses us on leaders--portrayed as white males--to carry the hero's weight in forging our great nation. In part, it is to skip over the complexity of seeing a nation that prides itself on freedom having to explain slavery. In part, it was to create a narrative that America was a white country.

When Carter G. Woodson argued to establish what initially was Black History Week in February, it was to force attention on the more complex issues--and to move African Americans from invisibility to central roles in the American narrative.

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Enormous, Humongous Trade Deficits Widen, Further Exposing Failed Policy

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

In December the trade deficit in goods and services made its largest percentage jump in more than five years and the 2014 yearly total is its highest since 2012 – which begs the question: Why is the Obama administration doubling down on the failed trade policies of its predecessors?

The U.S. has run massive trade deficits for decades since the Wall Street-driven “free trade” ideology came to dominate. “Free trade” de-industrialization has cost our country millions of jobs, tens of thousands of factories and entire industries. It has pushed down wages and greatly increased inequality. Now the Obama administration is doubling down, pushing a vast “NAFTA-style” trade agreement and asking Congress to pass a rigged “fast track” process to pre-approve it.

December’s Numbers

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday that the December trade deficit jumped $6.8 billion (17.1 percent) to $46.6 billion, the largest since November 2012 and the biggest percentage increase since July 2009.

Grim-Faced Union Leaders Ready for the Fight Over Right to Work

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari

Grim-Faced Union Leaders Ready for the Fight Over Right to Work

Wisconsin state legislators will meet in an "extraordinary session" today in order to take up so-called "right to work" legislation, a bill straight from the American Legislative Exchange Council playbook.

"This is something that once again could jump-start the state's economy," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said on Friday, but the explanation does not pass the laugh test.

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No, Negotiating a Currency Chapter in the TPP Will Not Cause a Trade War or Cost Us Jobs

Jared Bernstein

Jared Bernstein Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

No, Negotiating a Currency Chapter in the TPP Will Not Cause a Trade War or Cost Us Jobs

You really need an anthology of catch-phrases you hear in this benighted town of DC to understand the difference between what people actually say and what they mean. When someone says “my good friends from the other side of the aisle…,” they’re not really good friends. And when someone says, “that will cause a trade war!” it means they badly want to pass a trade agreement that’s got a deep flaw, and rather than fix the flaw, they threaten you with the prospect of war.

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Corporate Welfare – So Much More Expensive Than Common Decency

Corporate Welfare – So Much More Expensive Than Common Decency

Union Matters