The Retirement Divide

December 28, 2015 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES As traditional pensions disappear and millions of Americans worry about being unable to enjoy a comfortable retirement, the typical CEO has a nest egg of nearly $49.3 million. The largest 100 CEO retirement packages were worth a total of $4.9 billion in 2014. That means the combined nest eggs of 100 individuals equal the retirement savings of 50 million families, or 41 percent of American families. The country’s growing retirement divide is the subject of a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government. “The retirement divide is not the result of natural law, but rather the rules established that disproportionately reward company executives far more than ordinary workers,” according to the report, “A Tale of Two Retirements.” In other words, corporations have changed the rules to take care of their CEOs at the [More...]

Unions and Women

December 23, 2015 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE As labor faces incessant assaults from right-wing politicians and their shadowy allies, the value of unionization for women workers, who stand at the front lines and have made rapid gains in the workforce, is ever more important. A recent report, “Status of Women in the States” by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, found profound advantages for women who are union members. The report found that women represented by unions earn on average $212 more a week than their non-union counterparts. There is less of a gender gap in pay for women in union jobs. They earn 88.7 cents on the dollar compared to men, a far higher ratio than other working women unrepresented by organized labor. Nearly three-quarters of union women have a pension plan, as opposed to only 42 percent of non-unionized women. Also, women are closing the gender gap in union membership: They now make [More...]

Rising Morbidity of Workers

December 21, 2015 // 0 Comments

By JUAN FERNANDEZ The New York Times reported the findings of a 2015 study that showed that between 1999 and 2013, white middle-aged men and women in the United States — especially those with no more than a high school education — began dying at sharply increased rates. The report also noted an increase in the mortality rates of white non-Hispanics between ages of 45 to 54. This study by Princeton University economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case concludes that the death rate was “driven by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.” This study is significant because it adds a new understanding of the widespread health and social crisis affecting lower-income groups, women and minorities in the United States. But much of the analysis barely touches on the issues of class and [More...]