Tuesday, April 30, 2013

May Day - Born in the U.S.A.

Still part of the fight for economic and social justice

By Michael Hirsch 

For generations, May Day, the International Workers Day celebrated by working people in more than 200 countries, was ignored in the United States, the country of its origin. In fact, the annual holiday is as American as cherry pie, commemorating as it does the 1886 nationwide general strike in which U.S. trade unionists — largely foreign-born — walked off the job in support of an eight-hour workday.

This year’s observance marks the 127th anniversary of that campaign to humanize the workday — and of the tragedy at Chicago’s Haymarket Square that followed three days later..
May Day, 2006.  1,000,000 march in Los Angeles

Back in 1886, when the typical work day was 10, 12 or even 14 hours long and joblessness was rife, the demand for a work day limited to eight hours at decent wages was viewed as dangerously radical. The eight-hour-day movement was spearheaded by two organizations, the craft-dominated Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (the forerunner of the American Federation of Labor) and the Knights of Labor.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Austerity does not work -- 4 -- Krugman

April 25, 2013

The 1 Percent’s Solution
By PAUL KRUGMAN  New York Times.
Economic debates rarely end with a T.K.O. But the great policy debate of recent years between Keynesians, who advocate sustaining and, indeed, increasing government spending in a depression, and austerians, who demand immediate spending cuts, comes close — at least in the world of ideas. At this point, the austerian position has imploded; not only have its predictions about the real world failed completely, but the academic research invoked to support that position has turned out to be riddled with errors, omissions and dubious statistics….

….But it’s not just a matter of emotion versus logic. You can’t understand the influence of austerity doctrine without talking about class and inequality.
What, after all, do people want from economic policy? The answer, it turns out, is that it depends on which people you ask — a point documented in a recent research paper by the political scientists Benjamin Page, Larry Bartels and Jason Seawright. The paper compares the policy preferences of ordinary Americans with those of the very wealthy, and the results are eye-opening.
Thus, the average American is somewhat worried about budget deficits, which is no surprise given the constant barrage of deficit scare stories in the news media, but the wealthy, by a large majority, regard deficits as the most important problem we face. And how should the budget deficit be brought down? The wealthy favor cutting federal spending on health care and Social Security — that is, “entitlements” — while the public at large actually wants to see spending on those programs rise.
You get the idea: The austerity agenda looks a lot like a simple expression of upper-class preferences, wrapped in a facade of academic rigor. What the top 1 percent wants becomes what economic science says we must do.
[ see prior blog on how the corporate journalism  sees primarily the ruling class point of view. The 1%]

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Corporate journalism

Todd Gitlin
April 25, 2013
The news, with the usual notable exceptions, was generally a tawdry affair in the service of power. Still, can there be any question that, as the newspaper fades, we're entering a new age of conglomerated mainstream chaos? You only needed to check out the "coverage" of the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath - which you would have had to be blind, deaf, and dumb to miss... What possible dreams (other than coverage nightmares) could emerge from that?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Challenging the Criminalization of Immigrants

Challenging the Criminalization of
Immigrants in the Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Proposals:
A Human Rights Perspective.

Tues. April 16, 2013
11:00 Am. – 2 PM.
Redwood Room. University Union
Sponsored by the Serna Center, DSA, The Progressive Alliance, LACLAA, Union Civica Primero de Mayo, Chican@Latin@ Faculty and Staff,  and others.

I do not know why this announcement has been showing up as blocked.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Forum on Immigration

You are invited.
Campus/ Community Forum on Immigration. Friday, April 12th.  5:30 – 8 :30 PM. Hind auditorium.  CSU Sacramento.
Be a witness to the powerful migration stories that will frame the discussion on immigration reform.
Testimony by high school students, community college, CSU and U.C. students and community members.
 Sponsors.  Immigration Working Group, Sacramento Central Labor Council, CFA,  Campus Progressive Alliance,  Sacramento Progressive Alliance, Democratic Socialists of America, Sacramento Activist School, W.O.R.D.   and more.  No cost.
Information.  http://progressiveforum07.blogspot.com

Monday, April 8, 2013

No cuts to social security - Austerity is bad economics

of America
April 8, 2013

Take urgent action to tell President Obama: “Hands Off Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

Now is the moment for action. There is a rumor - a leak - that as a sop to Republicans Obama will propose using the "chained CPI" to cut Social Security benefits as well as cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in his soon-to-be announced budget proposal.

Tell the President and Congress:
"Do not use the "chained CPI". That is simply a cut to future Social Security benefits that people have earned in full. If you need revenues, introduce a financial transactions tax and lift the cap on income subject to the Social Security tax. Do not cut Medicare and Medicaid. People's lives depend on them. For savings move to Medicare for All; save by cutting excessive private insurance executives' salaries, profits, useless advertising, and lots of paperwork."
Or call this number: (202) 456-1111
Contact your Congressperson as well as Democratic leaders Pelosi and Reid.

For an analysis of how the chained CPI would cut desperately needed benefits to seniors, the disabled, veterans, federal government retirees and others, see the Campaign for America's Future talking points at: http://www.ourfuture.org/fact-sheets-briefs/2013020608/case-against-shackling-seniors-chained-cpi

See prior post by Robert Reich