Category Archives: Economy

Corporate greed the ‘real culprit behind rising prices,’ researchers say

"The more sway mega-corporations have over our economy, the more power they have to gouge customers, squeeze Main Street, and exploit workers."

Amid mounting data showing that people are paying more for food at grocery stores around the United States, a new analysis out Wednesday reveals how corporate power is “the real culprit behind rising prices at the checkout line.” Continue reading

Don’t blame government benefits for inflation—blame the modern economy

Headlines are screaming that inflation is here to stay. Consumer prices have risen by an average of 6.2 percent in the past year, the sharpest increase since 1991. Although Americans are supposedly—in the words of the New York Times—“flush with cash and jobs,” they are also deeply unhappy with the state of the economy. Continue reading

Why our climate isn’t jumping for joy after COP26

Two major gains took place at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Glasgow, Scotland, which concluded on November 13: the first was that there would be another COP in 2022 in Egypt, and the second was that the world leaders expressed their aspiration to keep global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius alive. These were, however, the only gains made at the end of COP26 to address the pressing issue of climate change. Continue reading

‘Build Back Better will worsen inflation’: Another lie about the Biden agenda

The drama over the Build Back Better Act has revealed the power of narrative in our political landscape. Continue reading

NYC taxi drivers took on predatory lenders—and won

This worker-driven organizing victory could pave the way for future debt relief.

After a two-week hunger strike and two months of sit-ins, dozens of taxi drivers in New York City hosted a long-awaited celebration outside City Hall on November 10. Continue reading

Rediscovering the power of unions

Better wages and health care may always face headwinds in Washington, but unions are striking to win them directly.

It was called “Striketober.” While politicians in Washington bickered over infrastructure, jobs, and the social safety net, unionized workers across the heartland went on strike to get their fair share directly. Continue reading

Don’t believe corporate America’s “labor shortage” bullshit

This is an unofficial general strike.

For the first time in years, American workers have enough bargaining leverage to demand better working conditions and higher wages—and are refusing to work until they get them. Continue reading

Forget the huddled masses, bring us billionaires.

Last month, for instance, Bloomberg reporters tracked down the world’s 25 richest families. Ten of the 25 happened to come from the United States. No other nation had more than four. Continue reading

The real reason the economy might collapse

Skyrocketing wealth inequality isn’t just wrong. It’s also weakening our economy. Continue reading

Microchip, macro impact, micro vision

Let’s say you’re looking to invest some savings in the expanding micro-chip industry and a friend hands you the 2021 Annual Report of the Delaware (chartered) Corporation, Microchip Technology, a firm based in Chandler, Arizona. You’re a studious type and want to know what the company is producing before deciding if becoming a shareholder-owner is for you. Continue reading

Inequality in the U.S. is much more than a moral disgrace

What happens economically when wealth tilts to the top? Most of us see immoral ugliness wherever wealth concentrates. Much more lurks that we need to see. Continue reading

In final speech, Trumka said labor’s fighting for democracy under siege

LAS VEGAS (PAI)—In what turned out to be his final address to a union crowd, the late AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka declared organized labor is fighting not just for itself, but for “democracy, which has been under siege.” Continue reading

The untimely tragic death of labor’s best friend

The first time I met Rich Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO who suddenly died this past Thursday, was in early 2008. I had only been president of the Writers Guild of America, East, an AFL-CIO union, for a short time, and he was then the labor federation’s secretary-treasurer. Continue reading

Foreign cash bought the White House for Trump

Projection sums up the entire four years of Donald Trump’s chaotic administration in that while he and his cohorts were trying to convince the world that Joe Biden was tied financially in some way to Ukraine and China, his administration was bought and paid for by foreign interests. In addition to cash outlays to Team Trump, Steve Bannon’s international bloc of fascist parties and individuals contributed in kind with social media gaslighting and other propaganda campaigns designed to perpetuate unfounded rumor on Biden, Covid-19, and other subjects. Continue reading

Canada is waging an all-front legal war against indigenous people

After mass graves full of Indigenous children have been found, how can Canada justify ongoing land theft?

Canada is developing a new image: one of burning churches, toppling statues, and mass graves. There are thousands more unmarked graves, thousands more Indigenous children killed at residential schools, remaining to be unearthed. There can be no denying that this is Canada, and it has to change. But can Canada transform itself for the better? If the revelation of the mass killing of Indigenous children is to lead to any actual soul-searching and any meaningful change, the first order of business is for Canada to stop its all-front war against First Nations. Much of that war is taking place through the legal system. Continue reading

Why America can’t have “nice things”

Some time back a woman living in Sweden, “Caroline” @SweResistance on Twitter, posted a thread that said: “I live in Sweden. We have social security, affordable health care, strict gun laws, 5 weeks paid annual leave, 1 year maternity leave, etc. And no, we’re not a communist country, and not even strictly socialistic but socio-democratic. And our freedom is not inhibited. Continue reading

The economic aftermath of the war against the pandemic: Inflation, recession, deflation, stagflation or secular stagnation?

After forty some years of disinflation and declining interest rates, there is some confusion about whether or not this long disinflationary decline is about to end, to be replaced with a creeping up of real wages, prices and interest rates. Continue reading

What happens economically when wealth tilts to the top?

Most of us see immoral ugliness wherever wealth concentrates. Much more lurks that we need to see.

Trickle-down is trickling away. The high priests of America’s trickle-down temple may still be preaching their gospel—the notion that enriching the rich will end up enriching us all—but fewer and fewer people are taking them seriously. The “facts on the ground” have simply become too compelling to ignore. Continue reading

Why so much wealth at the top threatens the US economy

Policymakers and the media are paying too much attention to how quickly the U.S. economy will emerge from the pandemic-induced recession, and not nearly enough to the nation’s deeper structural problem—the increasing imbalance of wealth that could enfeeble the economy for years. Continue reading

There is no labor shortage, only labor exploitation

Conservatives and corporate employers are weaving an insidious web of myths, lies and exaggerations to justify maintaining low-wage jobs.

For the past few months, Republicans have been waging a ferocious political battle to end federal unemployment benefits, based upon stated desires of saving the U.S. economy from a serious labor shortage. The logic, in the words of Republican politicians like Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, goes like this: “the government pays folks more to stay home than to go to work,” and therefore, “[p]aying people not to work is not helpful.” The conservative Wall Street Journal has been beating the drum for the same argument, saying recently that it was a “terrible blunder” to pay jobless benefits to unemployed workers. Continue reading

There’s no ‘labor shortage.’ There’s a wage shortage.

To find workers, there’s a free-enterprise solution right at employers’ fingertips: raise pay, improve conditions, and show respect.

At a recent congressional hearing on America’s so-called “labor shortage,” megabanker Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, offered this insight: “People actually have a lot of money, and they don’t particularly feel like going back to work.” Continue reading

Biden faces backlash over ‘shameful’ capitulation to GOP governors as they end unemployment lifelines

"You only take back the lifeline when people aren't drowning," said Claire Guzdar of the Groundwork Collaborative.

Biden administration officials publicly signaled Friday that they have no intention of putting up a fight as the Republican governors of 25 states prematurely cut off emergency unemployment programs, yanking key lifelines from millions of jobless workers and depriving local economies of billions of dollars. Continue reading

Unregulated digital cryptocurrencies vs regulated national currencies: Is there a danger?

A few years ago, after the 2007-2008 financial crisis, some clever people, whose identity is hidden behind the appellation of ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’, devised a decentralized electronic system of payments, which is independent of the existing traditional banking system. It is based on a new form of digital ‘currencies’ or ‘electronic currencies’, the ‘cryptocurrencies’. Some observers have called the cryptocurrency innovation a sort of a new 21st Century digital gold rush. Continue reading

Pay a living wage or ‘flip your own damn burgers’: Progressives blast right-wing narrative on jobs

"If one in four recipients are making more off unemployment than they did working, that's not an indictment of $300 a week in UI benefits. It's an indictment of corporations paying starvation wages."

Pushing back on the right-wing narrative about the reason for real or perceived labor shortages in some markets nationwide, progressives on Friday told corporations that if they want to hire more people, they’ll need to start paying better wages. Continue reading

Big biz answer to low April job numbers: End unemployment benefits!

The Chamber of Commerce and the Republicans are seizing on what they say is a poor April jobs report to call for ending unemployment benefits they say are too generous. Their idea is that by heaping more pain and suffering on U.S. workers they will be forced to go back to work even if only to jobs that pay sub-human wages. The logical conclusion that this would be a good time for corporations and businesses to finally increase pay to living wage levels is one they want to avoid coming to at all costs. Continue reading

Migrant women farmworkers: An invisible essential labor force

The Biden administration must address the industry’s long-standing gender discrimination and systemic inequalities, which have become even more severe during the pandemic.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an outpouring of public support for essential workers. But this national discourse has largely excluded migrant women farmworkers, despite their vital role in keeping food on American families’ tables. Continue reading

If Joe Biden is truly a ‘union guy’ he must strike dead the Taft-Hartley monster

The PRO Act alone is simply not going to get the job done for U.S. workers.

President Joe Biden likes to say, “I’m a union guy.” Unfortunately, as Vice President from 2009 to 2017, his boss, Barack Obama wouldn’t let him be a “union guy.” Even with large Democratic majorities in Congress and control of the White House, worker needs went unmet. Continue reading

Amazon union vote shows why we need the PRO Act

In the face of intimidation by one of the largest companies in the world, Alabama workers bravely spoke out about the need for greater labor protections.

Following one of the most high-profile union votes in history, workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama—led by Black organizers—ultimately rejected efforts to form a union by 71 percent, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Continue reading

The end of trickle-down economics

The past year has laid waste to the arguments behind “trickle down” theory. Instead, let’s have wealth “percolate up.”

The past year proves that a lot of conventional economic wisdom is neither true nor wise. Continue reading

Will 2021 be public banking’s watershed moment?

Faced with the dire Covid-19 crisis, some lawmakers are starting to see publicly-owned banks as the key to ensuring an equitable economic recovery. Continue reading

How a guaranteed income can actually solve inequality

Poverty in America disproportionately affects women and people of color, and that is precisely what hinders political action to address it—even when solutions abound.

An ongoing study conducted in Stockton, California, examines how the lives of low-income Americans can improve if they are simply given money—a modest, but reliable source of income with no strings attached. The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) randomly chose 125 participants from poverty-stricken residential areas and gave them $500 per month to simply use for whatever they wanted over the last two years. A majority of the participants were women (69 percent) and people of color (53 percent). Preliminary results from the first year are tantalizing for anyone interested in solutions to address rising inequality in the United States, especially as they manifest along racial and gender lines. Within the first year, the study’s participants obtained jobs at twice the rate of the control group. At the beginning of the study, 28 percent of the participants had full-time employment, and after the first year, that number rose to 40 percent. Continue reading

Ignoring the greatest US Great Depression

Instead of explaining the dire state of things in the US, West and elsewhere—Main Street economies in collapse—establishment media pretend otherwise. Continue reading