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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New GOP Congress Rushes Big Favors to Wall Street

Jim Hightower

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

New GOP Congress Rushes Big Favors to Wall Street

If members of the brand-spanking new, Republican-controlled Congress are at all confused about why We the People consider them just another load of bovine excrement, they should look at their bill called "Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens."

Only one day after being sworn in, the GOP introduced this deceitfully-titled bill as its top-priority, must-pass piece of economic legislation. But forget jobs and small business – those are just gauzy shams to hide the fact that this bill is nothing but a thank-you gift to the party's sweethearts on Wall Street!

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A Blue-Ribbon Panel’s Inequality Blindspot

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

The Commission on Inclusive Prosperity, a project of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for American Progress, has just released what journalists like to call a “blue-ribbon panel report.”

This commission certainly rates — by any standard — as “blue-ribbon.” The commissioners range from Larry Summers, a former treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, to current and former high-ranking treasury officials in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia.

Also serving on the panel: the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, assorted transatlantic business and labor leaders, two influential journalists, and various top-flight academic analysts.

A distinguished collection, in other words, of public policy heavyweights. But not a random collection. Most of the Commission’s panelists appear to circle in the Bill and Hillary Clinton orbit. The report they’ve produced, a New York Times analysis observes, amounts to “the first draft” of an agenda for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

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Why Elizabeth Warren Strikes Such a Chord

Mike Lux Co-founder , Democracy Partners

Why Elizabeth Warren Strikes Such a Chord

It seems like just about everyone these days is talking about Elizabeth Warren. I saw Jay Leno -not a very political guy or especially progressive- the other day on Bill Maher's show, talking about how shocked he was that Elizabeth Warren was only 18 months younger than Hilary because of how vital and energetic she seemed. A focus group of swing voters, who traditionally don't follow politics very closely, in Colorado a couple of weeks back were disdainful of the politicians they had heard of like Jeb Bush and Hillary who were likely running for president, but loved what they were hearing about Elizabeth Warren. The Sunday "Doonesbury" this weekend was a plea to "run, Lizzie, run" because "she hears the voices no one else hears". The Washington Post print addition on Sunday had a front page article whose headline asked "What does Elizabeth Warren want?"

Why is a first-term Senator in the minority party, a wonky college professor who had never held elective office before 2013, a woman who insists to everyone who asks that she is not running for president, striking such a chord in American politics right now? Why are hundreds of thousands of people and some of the biggest organizations in American politics begging her to run for president despite her apparent lack of interest? Where did she get the political power to stop the president's political nominations and almost bring down budget bills that seemed destined for easy bi-partisan passage? Why is the media obsessed with her?

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Get Ready for TPP

Time for Middle Class Economics

Time for Middle Class Economics

Union Matters

The History of Mr. Block Voting Against His Interests

After an election, have you ever found yourself scratching your head, wondering why it seems that working people vote for candidates that do not represent their interests?  Well, that feeling is nothing new.  Back in 1912, Ernest Riebe of the Industrial Workers of the World created a comic strip character, Mr. Block. 

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