inequality

Building Worker Power

September 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO As Labor Day approached this summer, a well-known polling organization, Gallup, released its annual, national survey on public attitude toward unions. The findings were remarkable: Sixty-four percent of Americans approve of labor unions, one of the highest approval ratings in the past 50 years — much higher than Trump’s or Congress’. Young people overwhelmingly support unions. In fact, the younger the respondent, the more likely they were to have a positive view of unions. Sixty-seven percent of people between ages 18 and 34 approved of unions. Across all party lines — Democrat, Republican, independent — union approval has increased by 16 to 17 points. This survey comes on the heels of a 2018 study that found a growing number of Americans want to join a union: Nearly half of non-unionized workers said they would join a union if given the opportunity to do so. [More...]

Fighting for Equal Pay!

March 26, 2019 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Women suffrage in 1920 won the right to vote. The 1963 Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay women and men equal pay for equal work. We’ve come a long way, but working women still struggle for pay equity. April 2 is the day women must work until to finally earn what a man earned in 2018. Women working full-time earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man — a figure that rose by less than a nickel since 2000. For women of color it’s worse. Black women must work until August 2 to earn what white men earned in 2018. Latinas earn just 55 cents for $1 paid to a white man. Only Asian women, who achieved pay equity in March, are closing the wage gap. Women are half of New York City’s workforce and population, “yet we have been short-changed by the very economic system that flourishes because of our contributions,” said Laurie A. Cumbo, City Council Majority [More...]

The Latina Wage Gap

October 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Nov. 1 is Latina Equal Pay Day– the day Latinas’ wages catch up to what white men earned in 2017. And for the AFL-CIO constituency group Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCCLA), Nov. 1 is a day of action to call for pay equity and economic justice for Latinas. Across America, Latina mothers on average are paid just 46 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers. In New York, Latinas earn on average less than $34,000 annually while white non-Hispanic men earn around $74,000. Latinas represent about 16 percent of the U.S. workforce. The astounding wage gap is a grim reminder of longstanding gender- and race-based income disparities. But data show Latinas, like other women who belong to unions, are paid better than nonunion workers. Income disparity and poverty A growing number of women are sole providers of food, clothing, shelter [More...]

A $1.50 Pay Raise

May 28, 2018 // 0 Comments

So far, what critics said about the Trump tax plan is proving to be true: It’s a scam. After its unveiling last year, opponents last described the proposal as a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy with crumbs for the rest of us. Earlier this year, House Speaker Paul Ryan urged his colleagues to talk up the tax law by pointing out that a high school secretary in Pennsylvania was happy with her $1.50 weekly pay raise resulting the legislation. He abandoned that sales job when he realized how silly his spin was. As attention shifts to this November elections, Republican legislators in tough races are backing away from touting the plan, according to a Reuters study. It seems that they don’t want to be identified with their own achievement. As it turns out, the typical CEO is receiving an annual tax cut of more than $51,000. The bottom three-fifths of the population? They are [More...]

The Unfulfilled Dream

April 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

A half century after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination is an appropriate time to reflect upon the accomplishments of his movement. Undeniably, the struggle led by King resulted in vital civil rights and voting rights gains for blacks, along with protections against housing and job discrimination. But the economic advancement of minorities and the poor that King advocated never came about. And since his death, our country has veered toward plutocracy and authoritarianism that provides little reason for hope. At the end of his life, King was leading the Poor People’s Campaign. His criticism of the economic divide and opposition to the Vietnam War clearly shook the country’s levers of power. Today, King has a saint-like aura. But back then, his popularity was far from universal. “A man of peace, he died violently,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote in a New York Times op-ed [More...]

The Stock Market and Inequality

March 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

Before the recent sudden drop in the stock market, President Donald J. Trump liked to link what he described as the “booming economy” to record stock earnings. “The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion and more in value in just this short period of time,” Trump said in his State of the Union speech in January. “The great news for Americans — 401(k), retirement, pension and college savings accounts have gone through the roof.” (Two months later, Trump had egg on his face when the Stock Market plummeted  after Trump announced his intention to implement trade tariffs.) Helped by Trump’s pro-market hype, Wall Street financiers want to profit by convincing ordinary people on Main Street to invest and feel they have a major stake in the stock market. But the notion that our nation is made up of savvy small investors dedicated to the market [More...]

Among the Richest Nations, the United States is One of the Poorest

February 22, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DAVID BRAND Poor Americans are getting sicker, dying younger, and even living on the streets more often as extreme poverty threatens the lives of millions in the world’s wealthiest country. Now the United Nations is taking action. Last year, the UN sent a team led by Philip Alston, a human rights expert and law professor at New York University, to investigate poverty in California, West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. “Despite great wealth in the U.S., there also exists great poverty and inequality,” Alston said in a statement. “The idea of human rights is that people have basic dignities [and] that is the role of the government to ensure that no one falls below a decent level.” The UN has identified the U.S. as having the second-highest rate of poverty among a group of the world’s richest countries. According to the U.S. [More...]

Taxes and Inequality

April 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

By HENRY GARRIDO Thousands of demonstrators across the United States on April 15 — Tax Day — called for President Donald Trump to release his taxes. The protest was a reminder of the country’s unfair tax system and glaring inequality. And it was the opening act of resistance to what stands to become the next big political battle: tax reform. Having failed to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act with the Republicans’ health-care plan — which in itself would have deepened inequality — Trump aims to implement the greatest tax overhaul since President Ronald Reagan’s changes to the tax code in 1986. This is very troublesome, because the policies coming out of the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress have favored the rich and powerful — and the Trump administration’s tax “reform” plan continues in that vein. Trump’s federal budget proposal [More...]