Posts Tagged ‘unions’

Yes it’s true that America’s income gap is widest since the Great Depression (NPR), but It’s even worse that that:

  1. This is just income and doesn’t include the wealth already amassed by the wealthy so the real difference in economic well-being is much larger.
  2. Back in the 30s Americans had effective labor unions and most were aware of the situation they were facing. Today, this is no longer the case so the efforts to correct this imbalance are very weak.
  3. The political parties in the 30s had some accountability to the majority and not only to their wealthy corporate owners. Hence FDR was willing and able to represent “main-street” and not only “Wall-street” despite strong pressure, and even an attempted coup, by the “banksters.”
  4. While it was certainly a painful collapse of the economy, the Great Depression was in the middle of a very long period of growth in wages and standards of living for the majority of Americans. This period ended in the mid 70s and for the vast majority of Americans, things have been getting worse for 3 decades and getting catastrophic in the last few years. In this context, the long term, irreversible, damage is much worse today than in the 30s.
Consider a bad flu hitting a strong young person as opposed to a chronically ill old person: same disease but worse effects and dismal prognosis :'(

[to download right-click punkonomics2013-7-29.mp3 and select “Save link as…” ]

Patrick is involved with the Walmart workers’ attempts to fight for their basic rights and living wages.

Check out some info here:

(1) Central Florida Jobs with Justice (

(2) OUR-Walmart (

(3) Making Change at Walmart (

(4) Dream Defenders (

Patrick is involved with the Walmart workers’ attempts to fight for their basic rights and living wages.

Check out some info here:

(1) Central Florida Jobs with Justice (

(2) OUR-Walmart (

(3) Making Change at Walmart (

I’ll be posting more info after the show as well as the podcast (available from all iTunes, networked blogs, and on this blog)

I’m thrilled to have a guest from this legendary union with an amazing history that has recently started working in Florida (a very hostile terrain to say the least).

As is our custom on Punkonomics, the guest gets to control the show but I do intend to ask some questions about actions the 1199 are taking locally and nationally, what the future holds, and surely we’ll also talk about the rising gross injustices around us.

Here’s some background info on the 1199SEIU. Make sure you watch the short video to get an idea of who they are and how important they were and continue to be. MLK called them his “favorite union.” ,

1199 50th Anniversary Video from 1199SEIU on Vimeo.

“Chicago is bracing itself for a large, potentially disruptive demonstration on Wednesday involving acts of mass civil disobedience against the largest proposed round of school closures in recent memory.

The city last week announced plans to close 54 schools affecting more than 30,000 students, primarily in low-income black and Latino areas. The proposals, which had already sparked huge, rowdy protests at hearings throughout the city before the announcement, mark mayor Rahm Emanuel’s second major confrontation over education in less than six months, following the teacher strike in late August.

The Chicago Teachers Union, which emerged with considerable public support last year after it blunted Emanuel’s attempts to tie teachers’ pay to test scores, has pledged to engage in a campaign of non-violent disobedience to oppose the closures.”

Doug Henwood qu…

Posted: 2013/05/12 by Punkonomics (@dearbalak) in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Doug Henwood quotes Corey Robin about the crisis in higher education in NYC:

“So the Cooper Union faculty have just voted no confidence in the president of their university. Last winter, the NYU faculty did the same. The CUNY faculty are heading in a similar direction. There’s a dissident faction in the NYC teachers union pushing for more radical action. Oh, to be 20 years younger and join a group that would start organizing for a general strike of all educational workers in the city. Just take the Chicago model and radicalize and extend it. I’m already drawing up lists and a two-year plan in my head. It’ll be like 1975 but in reverse. We’ll do it in 2015 on the 40th anniversary of the Fiscal Crisis, only this time we’ll be telling them to drop dead. But what’s that? Hark, Hayek calls.”

Bracketing the Hayek bit, the beautiful thing about this is that it doesn’t seem like a baseless fantasy.

I was just in NYC talking with some faculty from Cooper, NYU, & others. It’s a long shot but we’ll never know if we don’t fight for it (can you hear me my dear colleagues of the boogie persuasion?)
Why not a general strike of ALL education workers in the US? 
And while we’re at it all workers in the US… globally? THAT would bring change. 
Don’t like this “commie” rhetoric? If you call yourself a libertarian but advocate submission to authority then you need to do some re-thinking or you’re a tool.
If you’re a liberal but think this is too radical and want to present moderate polite to the Kleptocracy then… you’re just sad.
Solidarity! This is not about ideology; it’s about crime prevention–damn it :)

Talked about this and that with Jesse.