LTE: The “black hole theory” of the minimum wage

from http://standupfl.org/event/national-raise-the-wage-day/

NHLN Editors Note: This is a letter to the editor from Denis Drew a blogger from Chicago who writes about income inequality facing Americans.

Physicists theorize that inside a black hole the laws of physics breakdown. When the minimum wage falls far enough below what the market would bear the laws of supply and demand breakdown.  Doubling today’s federal minimum wage should lead to a disproportionate explosion of demand for the goods of minimum to median wage paying employers.

If we cut today’s minimum to median wages in half that wouldn’t help McDonald’s or Wal-Mart, would it?  This wage cut must already have taken place when we would need to triple today’s minimum wage to catch up with doubled productivity since 1968 (almost quadruple the early 2007 minimum wage — the median wage stagnated as productivity doubled too).

Doubling today’s minimum wage to $15 an hour would add 50% to Wal-Mart’s wages but only 5% to Wal-Mart’s prices – 100% to McDonald’s wages but 33% to McDonald’s prices.  $15 an hour being today’s median wage, half the workforce would get raises percentage multiples of pass through price increases.

This win-win effect could not go on forever. At $30,000 a year consumers would buy a lot more fast food and retail items than they will at $15,000 a year – hugely pent-up demand. Going from a $30,000 year minimum wage to $40,000 would raise prices (3% at Wal-Mart; 11% at McDonald’s) but not add much to demand – though some people would have more money to spend — a wash? Somewhere in between is the edge of the black hole.

Denis Drew

Raising The Minimum Wage Is The Way To Help Our Economy Grow

Minimum Wage Vs Rent

There is an intense debate in State Houses and in the US Congress over the minimum wage.

The pro-corporate GOP are saying that we do not need to raise the minimum wage because it will hinder the ‘job creators’ and the economic recovery.  The truth is that raising the minimum wage will help the economy recover.

I am happy to hear that here in my home state of NH there are two bills to push the minimum wage up.  The first, HB 127 (Rep Sullivan) would raise the wage to $8.00 per hour.  The second, HB 241 (from Rep. Tim Robertson) would raise the wage to $9.25 per hour.

There has been a lot of research on raising the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour for the Federal minimum.  ”The Economic Policy Institute estimates that President Obama’s campaign proposal of restoring the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011 would generate $60 billion in new consumer spending in communities across the country (RaiseTheWage.org).”

Sixty billion in new revenue would do wonders to our economy.  This is what economists have been trying to explain since the recession began.  We need to put money in the hand of workers at the lower and middle class levels so they can spend it.  When workers have money to spend, they will, and this is exactly what drives our small business economy.

I am not sure if either of these bills will make it through the Republican controlled Senate, however I would be happy if either was enacted.

“Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago have found that every $1 increase in the minimum wage boosts consumer spending by a low-wage worker’s household by $2,800 over the following year (RaiseTheWage.org).”

Multiply the $2,800 dollars spent by the over 50,000 New Hampshire workers who are paid minimum wage.  This is over $140,000,000 to the New Hampshire economy. If we enact HB 241 ($9.25 per hour) that would mean $280 million dollars more pushed into the NH economy.

I am sure that someone is thinking; ‘If we raise the minimum wage it will mean that business will have to cut jobs’.  This is another myth pushed by the corporate lobbyists like the Chamber of Commerce.  Many studies have proven that this is simply not true.  ”A study published in April 2011 found that these results (no significant job losses) hold true even during periods of recession and high unemployment.”

The truth is that the minimum wage was create as another safety net to help keep people out of poverty and off of government assistance programs.  This is not the case at the moment.  For example the national poverty level for a family of four (two adults, two children) is $23,021.  At the current minimum wage ($15,000 per year) both parents would have to work 40 hours a week, just to exceed that poverty level.   However the cost of living in New Hampshire is very different than the national average.  According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) researchers a family of four would need to make $55,609 ($4,600 a month) to not live in poverty. At minimum wage both parents would have to work 80 hours a week to exceed the $55,000 mark (after taxes).

So when we talk about the minimum wage, we should be talking about the minimum living wage.  I hope that our state legislators truly understand what it takes to survive in our state.  They also must understand that raising the minimum wage in our state only helps our economy.

American Friends Service Committee Show Support For Labor In 2013 Legislative Agenda

american friends service committee logo (AFSC)

Over the last two years New Hampshire endured one of the worst legislative sessions in history.  At the hands of (former) Speaker O’Brien every progressive organization came under attack. He and his legislative cohorts attacked, women, labor, the elderly, and the impoverished.

Throughout the two year session the American Friends Service Committee was there fighting back in every way they could.  They teamed up with labor and other community activism groups to protest O’Brien’s actions.

While this session will undoubtedly be a complete 180 from the previous session this does not mean there is not work to be done.

AFSC Logo via http://bit.ly/SUVtKY

Today the AFSC released their Legislative Agenda. Some of the items on the agenda include: Repealing the Death Penalty, Strengthening Tenants’ Rights, Promoting Affordable Housing, Supporting Prison/Sentencing Reform, and Preserving Marriage Equality.  Many of these are expected from the traditional Quaker organization.

Once again AFCE and Organized Labor will be walking hand in hand on some very important issues.   The local unions have yet to say what their most important state legislative issues will be, however with the Democrats in control of the house Right To Work for less will not be one of them.

Some of the common legislative goals.

  • Raising the Minimum Wage
  • A Fairer Tax System
  • Stopping Prison Privatization
  • Protecting the Most Vulnerable (e.g. Medicaid expansion, human service budgets, predatory lending)
  • Protecting Human and Civil Rights (including Collective Bargaining, Voting Rights)

All of these issues have been pushed by labor for many years.   You may remember that the NH AFL-CIO was one of the loudest voices when it came to passing a minimum wage law for New Hampshire.

The NH Labor News also publishes important updated from Arnie Alpert of the AFSC.  I look forward to working with Arnie and the entire coalition at AFSC.

66% of Low Wage Workers Work In Large Companies Who Are Making Tons Of Money!

CEO and Stock Payouts  (NELP Data)

How many times do I have to say it, the corporations are keeping workers down!  When we talk about pay and benefits someone always says, ‘raising the minimum wage will hurt the small businesses’.  Well that is a complete crock of @#^*.

This week new evidence came out that overwhelmingly tells a different story.  The National Employment Law Project.

The majority (66 percent) of low-wage workers are not employed by small businesses, but rather by large corporations with over 100 employees.

So while workers are losing money to the rising cost of living and their corporate bosses are raking in the money.

We already knew that Walmart is the best at being the worst.  Last year they paid out 11 Billion in dividends and share buybacks, all while their workers are struggling to put food on the table. Some of these workers have to rely on food stamps to feed their families.

Who are the worst offenders when it comes to low wage jobs?

  1. Walmart
  2. Yum Brands (Taco Bell, KFC, Pepsi)
  3. McDonalds
  4. Target
  5. Sears
  6. Subway
  7. Burger King
  8. Aramark
  9. Starbucks
  10. Applebees / IHOP

Of these top ten offenders, Sears was the only one who has not been profitable since 2008.  However the CEO of Sears only made 9 million last year.

24-7 Wall Street.com put this list together with information about how much the CEO made last year and how many employees they have.

While Congress is working on the “Grand Bargain” over Medicare, and Social Security they should do something that will have a huge and immediate effect on the economy.  Raise the minimum wage.   Even if you only raise it to $10 per hour right now, it need to go up and it needs to go up quickly.

Did you know that Congress has only voted to raise the minimum wage three times in the last 30 years?  Or did you know that the annual salary for a minimum wage worker is $15,080?  Find out more at Raise The Minimim Wage .Com

 

NH Labor News 9/1/12: PFF Enact 9/11 Stair Climb on 9/9/12, Workers Paid Below Minimum Wage at RNC, Voter Fraud (Susan Bruce Op/Ed), Education and NCLB, and more

iron workers on bridge

FYI Expect a lot of posts over Labor Day. Many posts from Labor Unions and Op/Eds in support of labor this Labor Day.


9/11 Stair Climb will honor 343 firefighters | New Hampshire NEWHAMPSHIRE: “MANCHESTER — The city will again host the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, this year on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Brady Sullivan building.

The city is partnering with the Fire Instructors and Officers Association of New Hampshire to host the region’s only 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb commemorating the 11th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 and honoring the 343 New York firefighters who lost their lives that day.

The event coordinator, firefighter Bill Campbell, said: “Last year the response to this event was outstanding. People from across the region, in support of fire service, came together in honor of our fallen FDNY brothers and to pledge that we never forget the 343 heroes that gave their life that day. This year we continue the stair climb tradition.””


RNC Convention Workers Being Paid Below Minimum Wage: “Carolyn Walker said she has been cleaning the convention center for 13 years. She had been making $8 per hour until a few years ago, when the cleaning contract went to another company, Cleanevent USA. The new company meant a new, downsized paycheck. She’s now making minimum wage — $7.67 per hour. But that wasn’t the only hit to her wallet.

Walker said the company charges her $6 per week for uniforms. “It stinks to tell you the truth,” she said. “We work very hard.” It effectively means she’s making less than Florida’s minimum wage.”


susan the bruce: Voter Fraud/Water Fraud: The NH legislature pushed through a Voter ID law for our state, despite the absence of proof of any actual fraud occurring. There’s a lot of anecdotal talk of “busloads of people from Massachusetts” coming to the polls and voting, by people swearing they’ve seen it. Under questioning, however, they were remarkably passive in the face of massive voter fraud. Not a one of them ever so much as mentioned it to the cop stationed at the polls, nor did they tell moderator, call the Sec. of State or the AG’s office, or even take a picture with their cell phone.

Voter fraud has always been a solution in search of a bunch of actual election thieves, and thanks to ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) Voter ID laws were passed in a number of states over the last few years. A percentage of voters in each of these states have been disenfranchised. That was the goal: to make sure poor people, students, poor people of color, and old people weren’t able to vote. If they could only get rid of that pesky 19th Amendment, they’d be well on their way to the dictatorship they crave.”


$23M 6,000-foot runway project ensures smoother landings, airplane takeoffs in Nashua | New Hampshire NEWS02: ““To have a city of this size to have a gem of an airport like this is unheard of,” said Mayor Donnalee Lozeau prior to cutting the ribbon on the freshly-paved runway alongside Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH.

“(We) have often talked about the business that comes in through this airport, that people just don’t even realize,” Lozeau said. “They just don’t realize the economic value of it. But the good news is that those of us who need to realize it, and that sell the city, know very well all that you’re doing.””


State looking for greater local control over education | New Hampshire NEWS06: “The department late Thursday afternoon released a draft waiver request it will send to Washington next week seeking to exempt the state from many of the current No Child Left Behind Act requirements.

“The NH Department of Education believes that for too many years, New Hampshire along with every other state, has had to operate pursuant to the provisions of an outdated federal education law, which, while well intentioned, does not support a holistic and a rational accountability structure or the focused and meaningful supports schools need,” education officials write in the draft waiver.”


State would focus on college, career readiness under NCLB waiver – NashuaTelegraph.com: “New Hampshire students may soon be less focused on standardized tests and more focused on ensuring they are college and career ready if the state’s waiver of No Child Left Behind is approved.
The state’s plans under such a waiver would include bringing all graduating students to college and career readiness by 2017.”


State Supreme Court backs state in fight over pension fund | New Hampshire NEWS06: “CONCORD — The state Supreme Court has affirmed a lower court ruling and denied a challenge regarding state funding to the New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS).”


Scott Walker: Radical chic – Salon.com: “The 2008 platform affirmed “the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws” in the same breath as the right of workers to bargain collectively. In contrast, the 2012 version “encourage[s]” states to pass such laws, and endorses “the enactment of a National Right-to-Work law to promote worker freedom and to promote greater economic liberty.” In January, Romney told a debate audience, “Right to Work legislation makes a lot of sense for New Hampshire and for the nation.””


Our Work, Our Identity | New Hampshire Public Radio: “But the current recession may have hastened a change he says was already underway: more people living with a series of short-term jobs, instead of lifetime occupations.

A study by the National Employment Law project released this week found that most of the millions of jobs lost since 2008 paid solid middle range wages; most of the new jobs filled have been in the low range.”


A great image to share today from the WI AFL-CIO.  One of the NHLN Fans who is an Iron Worker by trade once told me:

Iron Workers don’t go to the office, we build it.

Show your support for all workers by sharing this image.  Remember Corporations did not build that bridge, Iron Workers did!
Click here to share their image on FB

What Can We Do To Help 50,000 Granite Staters At Once?

1970-2009 Same Wages

More proof that America is in desperate need of change.  Our wages have been flat for nearly four decades.  This can all change when we start at the bottom.  The minimum wage laws in America are well below where they should be.  And it is time for a change.

In my research I came across information about Senator Harkin from Iowa.  He is the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.  Senator Harkin also submitted his own jobs bill called the ‘Rebuild America Act‘.

This plan has so many good points I cannot talk about them all in one post.  However there is one that I think is vitally important to talk about and that is the Minimum Wage Law.  Senator Harkin proposed moving the minimum wage to $9.80 per hour, over the next two years. That is a significant jump in wages for millions of Americans.  The boldest part of this wage change is that ‘tipped’ employees who currently make $2.35 and hour, would gradually increase to 70% of the minimum wage.  That means a tipped employee would make about $6.80 per hour (based on $9.80 minimum wage).  This would be the first time in 20 years that ‘tipped’ employees would see a raise in their base pay.  In a press release Senator Harkin said:

“It is long past time to establish a fair minimum wage in our country.  It is good for families, good for business and good for our economy, and, most importantly, it is the right thing to do,” said Harkin. “People who work hard for a living should not have to live in poverty.  I am proud to introduce this bill today, to raise the minimum wage, and to help tens of millions of workers and their families.”

Why do I think it is important to rase the wages of the ‘tipped’ employees, the answer is simple.  Waiters and Waitresses are the third most common job in the entire United States.

Here in New Hampshire there are 722 different places to eat or drink. There are over 42,000 people who work in these restaurants and bars.  This is the largest section of our employment in New Hampshire.  That is more than 25% more than the next largest category, Profession, Scientific, and Technical Services.  I cannot say that all of them make ‘tipped’ wages but I would guess that most do.

Think about that in two years the number one job market in New Hampshire would pay triple what it pays now.  This would mean more prosperity for the 50,000 workers.  They could possibly then afford to buy a house, buy a new car,  and plan for their future.  This would definitely boost the economy here in New Hampshire.  Would this be the change that would bring the country back from the recession?  Only time will tell.

Less Than 25% of People On Minimum Wage Are Under 20 Years Old

From American Progress

This week we have seen a large push from many labor groups to raise the minimum wage.   Most of this is centered around the HR 5901, the “Catching Up To 1968 Act of 2012″.  It has been more than three years since we raised the minimum wage.  Over the last two weeks I have talked about why it is important to raise the minimum wage : In 1968 Minimum Wage Should Have Been $10 per hour, Why Is It Only $7.25 Now? and Proof That Raising The Minimum Wage Would Not Put Mom and Pop Stores Out Of Business.

Both of these previous post talked about why it is important to raise the minimum wage and that it is large corporations who employ the most minimum wage employees.  Now I want to tell you about another reason we should raise minimum wage.

Opponents of raising the minimum wage like to talk about how the minimum wage really only effects young people, like teenagers.  Now we are finding that is not true. Today the Economic Policy Institute released some new findings that show the majority of people who earn minimum wage are over 20 years old.

“87.9 percent of those affected nationally by increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.80 are 20 years of age and older.” This means that just over 13% of workers under 20 years old are making minimum wage.   In New Hampshire the number is a little lower at 78.7%.  This means that less than a quarter of the people in New Hampshire who are making minimum wage are less than 20 years old.

With this new information the most appalling thing of all is that “more than a third (35.8 percent) are married, and over a quarter (28.0 percent) are parents“.   The EPI estimates that more that the parents of  ”21 million children” would see a raise in their paychecks.

For more information and to see how the other states ranked check out the EPI info sheet.

NH Labor News 7/27/12: Sen. Shaheen Pushes For Jobs, USPS News, Voter ID, Minimum Wage, and more

Minimum Wage

Take a minute to read and sign this petition from Senator Shaheen.

Petitions | Jeanne Shaheen – United States Senator for New Hampshire: “Energy efficiency is within our grasp. It uses proven technology that we can manufacture here at home to lower energy costs across all sectors of our economy.

Simply put, the Shaheen-Portman Act will mean jobs for Americans and a more efficient economy for our businesses. It will mean moving forward on a modern energy economy that produces fewer carbon emissions. We urge you to find a bipartisan agreement that will bring this bill to the Senate floor for debate and a vote. We can’t afford to wait.”


Go Tell Him You Want To See The American Jobs Act On The Floor of the US House.

Bass Rep to Hold Office Hours at Senior Center – Nashua, NH Patch: “NASHUA – Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) announced today that a member of his staff will hold public office hours at the Nashua Senior Center on Wednesday, August 1, 2012.

Jane Bosse, Constituent Services Director for Bass, will be available at the Senior Center, located at 70 Temple Street in Nashua, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 1.  Constituents with questions, comments, or those in need of assistance with a federal agency are welcome to attend.  For more information, please call Bass’ Concord office at (603) 226-0064.”


USPS Bankrupt: GOP Sets Postal Service On Fire and Demand They Put Themselves Out: “Fast forward to December 2006 H.R. 6407; The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was passed in the Republican-controlled Senate two days after it was introduced in the Republican-controlled House. It was subsequently signed into law by Republican George W. Bush. One of the provisions in this hastily passed law requires the USPS to prefund ALL of it’s retirees health benefits 75 years into the future. That’s right. The USPS is supposed to set aside money for the future health benefits for people that haven’t even been born yet. The USPS has $11.5 billion due in two payments on August 1 and September 30. On August 1 the Postmaster General will announce that USPS cannot make its payment.”


Study: New Medicaid expansion could be a lifesaver: “States that expand their Medicaid programs under President Barack Obama’s health care law may end up saving thousands of lives, a medical journal report released Wednesday indicates.

Until now, the Medicaid debate has been about budgets and states’ rights. But a statistical study by Harvard researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine found a 6 percent drop in the adult death rate in Arizona, Maine and New York, three states that have recently expanded coverage for low-income residents along the general lines of the federal health care law.”


Meyerson: New voter ID laws could tilt election – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Numerous states under Republican control have passed voter identification laws, including New Hampshire. Pennsylvania, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee and Georgia require specific kinds of ID; the laws in Michigan, Florida, South Dakota, Idaho and Louisiana are only slightly more flexible. Wisconsin’s law was struck down by a state court.”


Don’t be fooled by Voter ID law | Concord Monitor: “”We’re concerned that people will believe that they can’t vote if they don’t have a photo ID,” Liz Tentarelli, co-president of the New Hampshire League, said is a statement. “That is not the case, even with the new law. Every New Hampshire citizen, 18 or over, has the right to vote and will be able to vote” in the Sept. 11 primary and Nov. 6 general election.

Under the new law, ballot clerks will ask for a photo ID during the primary election, but it will not be required. In November, voters will again be asked to show a photo ID, but if they don’t have one, they will be asked to sign an affidavit. “The bottom line is that every New Hampshire citizen over 18 can vote this fall,” Tentarelli said.”


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Proof That Raising The Minimum Wage Would Not Put Mom and Pop Stores Out Of Business

Top Three Profits

Many people have been talking about raising the minimum wage.  Even the NHLN posted a message called ‘In 1968 Minimum Wage Should Have Been $10 per hour, Why Is It Only $7.25 Now?“.  After that post many people commented that it would hurt businesses who are currently paying their employees minimum wage.  Now there is evidence that refutes that.

A study done by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) explained how minimum wage changes would not really hurt the companies who are paying minimum wage. They found:

  • The majority (66 percent) of low‐wage workers are not employed by small businesses, but rather by large corporations with over 100 employees;
  • The 50 largest employers of low‐wage workers have largely recovered from the recession and most are in strong financial positions:  92 percent were profitable last year; 78 percent have been profitable for the last three years; 75 percent have higher revenues now than before the recession; 73 percent have higher cash holdings; and 63 percent have higher operating margins (a measure of profitability).
  • Top executive compensation averaged $9.4 million last year at these firms, and they have returned $174.8 billion to shareholders in dividends or share buybacks over the past five years.

The changes in minimum wage laws would mostly effect large corporations.  Over 50% of people employed in minimum wage jobs working in one of these five areas:

  1. Food Services
  2. Accommodations (hotel industry)
  3. Retail Trade
  4. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
  5. Administrative Services

The top three worst employers are McDonalds, Yum Foods (Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut) and Walmart.  According to the study:

Each of these corporations was profitable during all of the last three fiscal years, and each of them now earns profits that are substantially higher than their pre‐recession levels.  Figure 3 shows the profit growth of these top low‐wage employers over the last four fiscal years.

 

That is not the worst of it. ”Of the 50 largest employers of low-wage workers, more than 90 percent were profitable last year, and three-quarters of them are enjoying greater revenues than they did before the recession.”  Most of these large corporations have rebounded from the recession and are making very health profits yet the workers are still being oppressed.

So to all of those people who believe that private industry cannot support a higher minimum wage this report clearly shows that “the nation’s top low‐wage employers can readily afford to pay for a higher minimum wage for their lowest‐paid employees“.

NH Labor News 7/10/12: NH AFL-CIO Leaflet At Guinta’s Office Today, Prison Privatization, And More

The outsourcing of jobs has spread from manufacturing to services and other sectors of the economy, devastating working families and their communities. On Tuesday, July 10, Protect NH Families and our allies are taking action in support of legislation that will eliminate tax incentives for sending American jobs offshore. We’ll gather at noon at City Hall Plaza in Manchester, then walk over to Congressman Frank Guinta’s office and urge him to stand with Granite State working families by voting for legislation to keep American jobs in the U.S.

We’ll have plenty of rally signs and flyers to share – all you have to do is show up. And please bring a friend!

We hope to see you there!


Prison Consultant Deal Heads to Exec Council: “New Hampshire’s Executive Council will vote July 11 on a $171,347 contract with MGT of America to analyze proposals from four companies interested in taking over the state’s prisons and running them for profit.  You can read more about this at NHBusiness Review and at the blog InzaneTimes.  If you want to read the contract in its entirety, it is posted here.”


Is a Minimum Wage a Fair Wage?: “Sadly for the people of New Hampshire, the minimum hourly rate of pay is the lowest in all of New England. The per hour rate in New Hampshire is $7.25, which is the National minimum wage.

Want to earn more per hour? Just look to Vermont, where the rate is $8.46 or Connecticut where it is $8.25. Massachusetts’ minimum wage is $8.00, while in Maine it is only $7.50 – just twenty-five cents higher than New Hampshire’s rate.”


If board approves new contract, courts may not grant a special meeting: “BARTLETT — If the Bartlett School Board approves a new tentative contract with the teachers’ union Tuesday evening, it may still face a large hurdle getting that contract into law. The board would need to petition the New Hampshire Supreme Court for a special school meeting but would need to prove that there is an emergency need for such a meeting.
The Bartlett Education Association and the Bartlett School Board reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for the 2012-13 school year last week. The school board will hold a special meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the library at the Josiah Bartlett Elementary School, where the full board will be asked to vote on the contract. Should the board approve the contract, the board will then petition to the courts to hold a special school district meeting to bring another vote to the citizens.
“If the board votes to pass the contract then they would need to petition the court for a special meeting,” superintendent Carl Nelson said.”


Letter: Ham-fisted move | Concord Monitor: “To House Speaker Bill O’Brien: As a former New Hampshire State House reporter who points with pride to the nearly five years I spent in the Granite State, I am appalled by your exclusion of a reporter from a press conference.

This move is all the more astounding because you did it in the very week we celebrate the freedom this country won 236 years ago. This is good time for you to ponder the words of the founding fathers – who put freedom of the press first among our liberties to be protected – who said: “The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by a despotic government.”"


Letter: Other reporters enabled a bully | Concord Monitor: “What if a tin-horn dictator gave a press conference and nobody came?

The Monitor reported: “House spokeswoman Shannon Bettencourt declined to discuss the situation and shut the door after the other reporters had gone into the speaker’s office.”

Bully (or “Bull”) O’Brien only got away with this because these “other reporters” let him get away with it; they enabled him.

The credibility of news journalists depends first and foremost on their being detached and neutral observers. When these “other reporters” accepted the speaker’s “closed invitation” and dutifully marched into his “closed” Kabuki dance, and then marched back out again in lockstep to report it as news, they willingly became part of that Kabuki dance, and neither neutral or detached.”


U.S. pushes for more scientists, but the jobs aren’t there – The Washington Post: ““There have been many predictions of [science] labor shortages and . . . robust job growth,” said Jim Austin, editor of the online magazine ScienceCareers. “And yet, it seems awfully hard for people to find a job. Anyone who goes into science expecting employers to clamor for their services will be deeply disappointed.”


Union members go Door-To-Door to sign up Arizona Residents to vote for the first time. Story By Tula Connell — AFL-CIO Now blog

Voters’ Rights—Center Stage in Arizona, Across the Nation: “GOING DOOR TO DOOR IN A PHOENIX NEIGHBORHOOD to register voters, Mari Yepez, a canvasser with UNITEHERE!, met a man who told her he didn’t believe in voting. Yepez, a student at Arizona State University who has worked with the union to mobilize residents around such issues as the state’s harsh immigration law and the struggle to find good jobs, shared with him how she had come to realize the importance of voting.”


Is Union Busting to Blame for Power Outages in D.C.? – Working In These Times: “Yesterday, 15,091 Washington, D.C.-area residents were without power for the sixth day in a row, according to utility company Pepco spokesman Marcus Beal. As D.C. residents face record heat waves, many are upset and attribute the lack of power to incompetence on Pepco’s end. However, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1900 members claim the failure to restore power outages is due to chronic understaffing and Pepco’s shift from hiring union utility workers to non-union temporary contractors.

“We have half the linemen we had 15 years ago,” says IBEW Local 1900 Business Agent Jim Griffin, whose union represents 1,150 Pepco workers. “We have been complaining for a very long time. They have relied for a long time on contractors. They are transients, they don’t know our system, and we typically have to go behind them to fix their mistakes. It’s very frustrating. We take ownership in our work, we make careers out of this.””


Image to share from CWA. Go to this link and share away http://bit.ly/LYwMvv