Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Voodoo Trickle Down Be Damned

Voodoo Trickle Down Be Damned
Share of global wealth of the top 1% and bottom 99% respectively; the dashed lines project the 2010–2014 trend. By 2016, the top 1% will have more than 50% of total global wealth. Graph by Oxfam.

Reaganomics, the plot to appease the rich and condemn the rest, got its comeuppance last week in President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

The President asked: “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?”

That’s the trickle down economy he’s talking about. And when he said, “spectacularly well,” that understated the great fortune of the very few.  Oxfam, the international federation working to end poverty, reported just before the speech that if nothing changes over the next two years, the top 1 percent will hoard more wealth than that held by the entire remaining 99 percent of humans on earth.

President Obama made it clear he has no intention of accepting such economic damnation for the vast majority of Americans. He proposed an alternative to Ronnie’s scheme. President Obama called it middle class economics. Though its intent is to create opportunity, prosperity and security for the working poor and middle class, it’ll be a hard sell. That’s because Americans have been force fed that voodoo, greed-is-good, grovel-before-the-rich financial philosophy for so very long. 

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Five Causes of Wage Stagnation in the United States

Five Causes of Wage Stagnation in the United States

A series of recent reports from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) make clear the case for why wages have stagnated in the United States. 

Before digging into the details, it's important to note a few things. First off, wage stagnation is not a small problem, it's something that affects 90% of all workers. As one of the authors of these reports, Lawrence Mishel, says: "Since the late 1970s, wages for the bottom 70 percent of earners have been essentially stagnant, and between 2009 and 2013, real wages fell for the entire bottom 90 percent of the wage distribution." Second, while the Great Recession made things worse, the problem goes back 35 years. And third, and most importantly, wage stagnation is a matter of choice, not necessity.

Here are five real reasons why wages have stagnated in the United States.

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If You Think the GOP Is 'Refocusing' on the Wealth Gap, I've Got a Bridge to Sell You

Robert Creamer Political organizer, strategist and author

The New York Times reported last week that in the closed-door Republican Senate Caucus retreat, Republican Leader Senator Mitch McConnell "encouraged the Republican troops to refocus policy on the stagnant middle class."

That would be like asking the wolves of the world to stop hunting and refocus on cultivating asparagus.

But, of course, McConnell didn't really mean he wanted his fellow Republicans to do something about the wealth gap. He wanted them to look like they were doing something about the wealth gap while they actually deliver the goods for the owners of the Republican Party.

The Republican Party, after all, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the .01% and doing something meaningful about the gap in wealth and income in America -- revitalizing the middle class -- requires taking wealth and income that is now being siphoned off by the .01% and giving it to the people who earned and created it -- the vast majority of ordinary Americans.

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The High Cost of Tom Price’s Radical Agenda

Terrance Heath

Terrance Heath Online Producer, Campaign for America’s Future

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) is the new chair of the House Budget Committee. Just who is Rep. Tom Price? What will his conservative economic ideology cost us?

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was arguably the most famous, and perhaps most-photographed, House Budget Committee chair in a long time. Maybe ever. Now, Ryan will apply his blue-eyed earnestness and “aw shucks” manner to pushing right-wing tax policy on the House Ways and Means Committee. Georgia’s Rep. Tom Price is stepping into Ryan’s shoes at the Budget Committee, as part of the GOP’s all-white, all-male slate of committee chairs.

Besides being a southern transplant from Michigan, a former orthopedic surgeon, and a fan of both Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, Price is a fervent believer in a conservative economic ideology that will lead Republicans to undermine a recovery that hasn’t even reached most Americans.

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Too Many Bushes Already!

Too Many Bushes Already!

Union Matters