Saturday, April 30, 2011

Free Screening of INSIDE JOB

The Friday Night Film Series Proudly Presents

Inside Job

Oscar Winner – Best Documentary

Followed by a stimulating discussion with Dr. Duane Campbell, Chair of the Sacramento  chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America

Free Film!  Free Popcorn!  Free Drinks!

Friday, May 13, 2011
 Hinde Auditorium
Sac State University Union

 Shorts--6:00pm   Feature Film--6:30pm

"Four Stars! An angry, well argued documentary." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"A powerhouse of a documentary that will leave you both thunderstruck and boiling with rage." -- Kenneth Turan, LA Times

"This cogent, devastating synopsis is the definitive indictment of the titans who swindled America and of their pals in the federal government who enabled them.”
-- Mary & Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

Event Info:

Movie Info:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

President Obama on His Birth Certificate & the Real Issues Facing America

May Day Action in Sacramento

Immigrant Rights / International Workers Day

Let’s Rally!

Sunday, May 1st, 2011 @ 10 AM
CA State Captiol – North  Steps

For more information, please contact Lino Pedres, Vice President of SEIU Local 1877, USWW at (916) 275-2039 or

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Black Caucus Overwhelmingly Supports “People’s Budget”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary

by Glen Ford

When the enemy convinces us that his victory is inevitable, then he has already won the psychological war. Wall Street, which owns the White House, most of both Houses of Congress and, quite literally, the corporate media, is in a mad rush to save itself from its own contradictions by dismantling or privatizing much of the government, while cutting taxes for its own class to the bone. At the same time, under the canard of national defense, the U.S. military spends as much as the rest of the world combined to bring the entire planet under the Pentagon’s full spectrum dominance. The ever-expanding war budget is justified on national security grounds, while the destruction of the domestic social safety net is supposedly unavoidable because…well, because the government is broke.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stadium Status, by "Internet Celebrities"

Now that it appears that Mayor Kevin Johnson and Sacramento have earned a one-year reprieve from the NBA to put together a new arena deal, the public discussion in Sacramento will shift to the negotiations over the details of the arena plan, particularly the funding mechanism. As citizens of the greater Sacramento area, we need to understand this process and make sure that our public input is maximized. Pro sports stadiums and arenas are very expensive and thus the risks are great. This humorous video pokes fun at the process of building two new baseball stadiums in New York but raises some very serious issues that Sacramentans need to consider in the months ahead.

Cornel West and the fight against injustice - Riz Khan - Al Jazeera English

Cornel West and the fight against injustice - Riz Khan - Al Jazeera English

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sen. Bernie Sanders' List of The Ten Worst Corporate Tax Avoiders

The following is a news release from the office of Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vermont-I)

While hard working Americans fill out their income tax returns this tax season, General Electric and other giant profitable corporations are avoiding U.S. taxes altogether.

With Congress returning to Capitol Hill on Monday to debate steep spending cuts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations must do their share to help bring down our record-breaking deficit.

Sanders renewed his call for shared sacrifice after it was reported that General Electric and other major corporations paid no U.S. taxes after posting huge profits. Sanders said it is grossly unfair for congressional Republicans to propose major cuts to Head Start, Pell Grants, the Social Security Administration, nutrition grants for pregnant low-income women and the Environmental Protection Agency while ignoring the reality that some of the most profitable corporations pay nothing or almost nothing in federal income taxes.

Sanders compiled a list of some of some of the 10 worst corporate income tax avoiders:

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

Interesting Proposal for a Publicly Owned & Controlled Arena in Sacramento


Why Sacramento Still Loves CWebb

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fans welcome Johnson at airport to say thank you

Sacramento faces a very long two weeks as the Kings decide

David SteeleAOL FanHouse Columnist 

Now, all anybody in Sacramento can do is wait. The faithful haven’t given up, but they have no idea what might happen between now and May 2, the newly-extended deadline for the owners of the Kings to notify the NBA of their plans to move out of town.

Fans hold signs as the Sacramento Kings play the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, April 13, 2011, in what could be the Kings' last game in Sacramento. (AP Photo)
What else can the people do? They’ve loved the Kings -- the only major-league team the city has ever had -- from the moment they showed up from Kansas City 26 years ago. The Kings, in turn, have given Sacramento the lone identity it has outside the state of California. Now that might disappear, and the fate of the team is utterly out of their hands.

Fans hold signs as the Sacramento Kings play the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, April 13, 2011, in what could be the Kings' last game in Sacramento. (AP Photo)
“We need to stay patient and positive,’’ Amber Williams said with a sigh on Saturday night. “That’s the important thing. Something positive will happen to Sacramento. I can just feel it.’’ On the phone from Sacramento, Williams actually did sound that optimistic -- either that, or she was giving an Oscar-worthy acting performance.

News 10 Coverage of Mayor Kevin Johnson's Attempt to Save the Sacramento Kings

Tuesday, April 19th Vigil at Sac State: "The Death of Education, the Rebirth of Our Movement"

The Death of Education; the Rebirth of Our Movement

The Sac State Coalition is holding a vigil on Tuesday from noon to six in the Sac State Library quad to mourn the death of funding for higher education for our CSU system and to honor the rebirth of the student movement to protest the educational funding situation. Students and supporters are asked to wear black on Tuesday.

This is a also a symbolic action in response to aggressive action from campus administration. This is a also a stand against the administration’s use of intimidation toward students early Saturday morning when riot police were deployed to Sacramento Hall and non violent students were threatened with the use of force.

This is our next step. We want to make sure that our administration knows we are still here and we are going to keep fighting. People are encouraged to give ‘eulogies’ or personal stories about how the budget cuts and higher tuition have effected them.

We encourage other CSU’s around the state to have their own vigil, at at place and time that works best for them. But lets see if we can make this statewide, we know this is short notice, but it will catch the administration offguard because at the moment they think they’ve won. But we all know different!

Thom Hartmann: Secrets the Rich don't Want You to Know

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sac State Student protest ends in the early morning


The sit-in that brought dozens of students to a Sacramento State administration building, continuing through Friday, ended at about 3:30 this morning.
By Rick Daysog

Saturday, Apr. 16, 2011 - 10:52 am

Students protesting budget cuts and tuition increases at Sacramento State University ended their sit-in this morning.

The students, who had occupied the college's administrative building since Wednesday, left the campus at about 3:30 a.m. today, said Kim Nava, campus spokeswoman. No arrests were made.

The sit-in began when students and employees at California State University's 23 campuses statewide participated in protests against budget cuts and tuition increases. The protests were organized by the California Faculty Association, the union that represents professors.

Campus officials said students voluntarily left the building. But Amanda Mooers, a student who participated in the demonstration, said the sit-in ended after campus police "in riot gear" told students that they had to leave.

University officials had expressed concerns about the student's health and safety, saying the building was not equipped to handle a large number of students for several days. Up to 50 students took part in the demonstrations.

Read more:

RIOT POLICE (Press release from Sac State protesters after their riot police ended their vigil)

The following is a short press that was released to a local news channel about the events that occured early this morning:

This morning on the fourth day, April 16 at 3:24 A.M. we were met with the administration’s opposition expressed through a riot taskforce.

Earlier that morning at approximately 12:30 A.M CSUS police entered the building for the first time accompanied with San Francisco State police. We were told that the new forces were needed, and that our own police were showing them the layout of our building. At this time we asked to be updated about the situation and we were refused that request.

Our police liaison Yeimi Lopez, again approached CSUS police with questions and she was told that they could no longer release information, and that they were following the orders given to them.

At 3:24 AM there was a police officer at the front doors unlocking the entrance, when asked what was happening and why, we were told that he could not answer that question. At the same time police were assembling in a militant formation with full riot gear, batons, and a large amount of zip ties. They were approaching sleeping students from multiple directions within the building. They threatened with force that if we did not leave we would face arrest. Our police liaison met with Lieutenant Christine Lofthouse that if we did not leave the peaceful demonstration that we would face arrest.

When the police moved in to take action there were only about 4 students awake out of 27. The campus police felt that it was necessary to wear full riot gear, and act in a threatening manner to a completely non violent student movement.


We were approched from two different directions, and they slowly advanced on us students, and continued until we were all outside, where the police preceeded to lock the doors using the zip ties that were already prepared. Then baricaded the front entrance by personally blocking it with a line of officers.

Now we are reasonable people and we understand the police did not take it upon themselves to act this way. In order to take such extreme actions they were given this command from the administration.

After having a great line of communication between our police liaison and the CSUS police, it is odd that suddenly that line of communication was cut off. The police would know first hand how we act and that we are truly a non violent group. We kept our space clean, and respected the property.

We ask that as others read this keep in mind that although we were threatened with force and we ‘voluntarily’ left as a group we still consider this action a SUCCESS. The type of action we take and the type of change we are demanding will take time. This is not a 100 meter dash, this is a marathon. This is only the beginning, we are committed and we will see this through. To put it in the words a fellow activist said “even though we walked away from our sit in, we have not walked away from our movement”.

Please know that we hear your support loud and clear and that it is so energizing to our group to know that we have such widespread support. I dont think our administrations are preapared for us, and everything we are capable of.

Lets keep on keeping on folks!
Students for Quality Education (SQE)

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15th Press Release from Sac State Student Protesters

We have organized some 1,500 students, faculty, and staff to rally in support of quality education. We then claimed a space from the admin for the purpose of promoting sustainable education. We were able to respectfully maintain that space to educate others, and ourselves and to develop leadership in a communal environment. Through these methods of direct action we were able to force administration to meet with students to hear their demands. Gonzalez was cooperative with students in developing a webpage discussing both student demands and his response to them on the CSUS website. Our efforts have been supported by the actions and shows of solidarity on an international, national, and statewide level.

We have reclaimed this space to bring attention to the three demands we have asked of President Gonzalez. Since then, we have been able to maintain our peaceful and nonviolent atmosphere with no property damage. While we’ve reclaimed this space, we have invited classes to use the area for learning and advocacy. Hundreds of students have been engaged with the issue of budget cuts, shared their personal stories, and shown their support for our continued occupation, including a group of high school students during an orientation. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members from other campuses have joined us in our efforts. Legislators have reached out to students as well, including Assembly member Dr. Richard Pan, and Senator Leland Yee. Students have also used this space to symbolically convey their concerns about the budget cuts through artistic expression including drawings, design, musical performances, and a spiritual cleansing of the administration building. In addition students have properly cleaned the area as well.

In response to President Gonzalez’s statement, we the students have not asked for the passage of these propositions, but for the public support of President Gonzalez. This is and always has been a fiscal issue. Despite the consistent tuition increases that students have been forced to endure, irresponsible spending and bloated administrative salaries have lead to the degradation of the quality of our education. Although President Gonzalez ambiguously stated that he would raise an unspecified issue of ours to the board of trustees of the next meeting, we will continue to hold him accountable for the lack of quality of our education as well as fight for his support in our cause regarding affordable, accessible and transparent CSU.

Staying Power (Statement on Friday evening from the Sac State student protesters)

Posted on April 16, 2011 by sacstatesqe

We have had a fantastic Friday with all the love and support shown to Sac State, thank you everyone! We had students come in from San Jose State, SF State, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Davis you guys are awesome. Our faculty continued to stop by with their classes and we continue to educate about the movement. We can’t wait to see where this road takes us.

We had a press conference at 4pm with local media, which was successful. We responded to President Gonzalez’ position to our demands. We are not satisfied with his response. We feel that as our president that he should be on the side of the students, which he is not.

So its the weekend and we are STAYING!! We will not leave until threatened with police action. We are a non violent group and will stay that way.

We are so empowered that we have so much support from our campus and all throughout the state of California and the nation all the way to Cornell and to the progressive student union at George Washington University. Even a group in Glasgow, Scotland is reaching out to us and supporting us. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME! Its you that keeps us going, if it were just a small isolated group we could not have made it this far.

We are entering our 52nd hour of occupation and going strong!

Sac State students in sit-in to hold press conference

By Laurel Rosenhall,
Friday, Apr. 15, 2011 - 3:39 pm

A group of Sacramento State students who have been holding a sit-in at a campus administration building will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. today to discuss how long they plan to stay.

A few dozen students remained inside the lobby of Sacramento Hall, or just outside, Friday afternoon, two days after they began their sit-in on Wednesday.

Campus officials have allowed the students to sleep in the lobby for two nights but said today they are growing concerned about conditions in the building. A toilet has broken from being used so much and students have been bringing food into the lobby during their stay, said campus spokeswoman Kim Nava.

"By having so many people in the lobby for a sustained period, we're getting into health issues, air quality issues and liability," Nava said. "Now our concerns are for the students and the staff who work here."

The students have issued a list of demands, including a moratorium on raises for managers at the university and for a promise from campus President Alexander Gonzalez to support an Assembly bill that calls for a fee on oil and gas extraction to support higher education. The university has provided a response to those demands on its web site at

Students first presented their demands during a Wednesday protest that was part of a larger effort at all 23 California State University campuses to draw attention to budget cuts and rising tuition.

The demonstrations are also a reflection of the bitter state of negotiations between the CSU management and the California Faculty Association, the union that represents professors. The parties are bargaining for a new contract. A union newsletter described Wednesday's events as the "first major action of the campaign to win a fair contract."

Read more:

Wonderful Slide Show on the Sac State Protests from the Sacramento Bee

Protesters meet with CSUS president

Student protesters spend the night in the lobby of Sacramento Hall to protest
CSU budget cuts. Protestors met with Sac State president Alexander Gonzalez
 this morning to discuss  proposed changes. Robert Linggi - State Hornet
The State Hornet (, Thursday April 14
by Mallory Fites

Sacramento State protesters who stayed overnight in the lobby of Sacramento Hall got to meet with President Alexander Gonzalez this morning.

At 7a.m., Gonzalez met with students to discuss their demands and needs regarding California State University cutbacks.

Sac State was the only CSU campus to have students stay overnight in protest.

Student organizer Amanda Mooers, senior sociology major, was one of 15 students who spent the night in Sacramento Hall. Along with two other students, she had the opportunity to speak with Gonzalez for 20 minutes.

"He was very civil and he expressed to the media beforehand that he wanted to listen to us but we felt he gave us the same answers that were given when we had a meeting with him over spring break," Mooers said.

During the meeting with Gonzalez, students presented three demands that were brainstormed during the sleep-in the night before.

The first demand is a freeze on managerial salary raises. Protestors would like to see the funding directed into instruction and student services instead.

They would also like to see public support for Assembly Bill 1326, which would impose an oil and gas severance fee to producers extracting oil or gas from California land or water. The funds from this tax would be allocated to the California Higher Education Fund, directly funding higher education classroom instruction.

Students march, sleep in protest of CSU cutbacks

Robert Linggi - State Hornet
Student protestors pack Sacramento Hall's lobby as part of a budget cut protest Wednesday.
by Mallory Fites
The State Hornet (, April 15, 2011

Sacramento State students from different backgrounds and majors joined professors on Wednesday for "Take Class Action Walkout," a demonstration advocating for changes in the management of the university.
About 1,000 Sac State students, faculty and staff gathered in the Library Quad to listen to speakers and cheer in support. They continued the demonstration by marching to Sacramento Hall chanting slogans like, "They say cutbacks. We say fight back!"

When they got to Sacramento Hall, they passed by the empty office of university President Alexander Gonzalez, who was away at a meeting in Long Beach.

The march, organized by Students for Quality Education and the California Faculty Association, was part of a larger mobilization of CSU campuses to demand quality education. Rallies and demonstrations were held at all 23 CSU campuses Wednesday.

Robert Linggi - State Hornet
Students acting as Sacramento State administrators pretend to ride in a yacht during a demonstration Wednesday in the Library Quad.

The march at Sac State ended in the lobby of Sacramento Hall where students took turns speaking about how they have been affected by the actions of administrators. It was an intimate environment with everyone standing close to each other in unity.

Student protesters occupy building at Sac State

The Associated Press
Posted: 04/14/2011 01:02:50 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Students at California State University, Sacramento are occupying a campus building for a second day to protest state budget cuts to higher education.

The sit-in began Wednesday when students protested inside the administration building at Sacramento State University, one of 23 CSU campuses where students held demonstrations.

Student organizer Yeimi Lopez says 15 students spent the night in the building's lobby, and they were joined by several groups of students and two state lawmakers Thursday.

The students are calling on university President Alexander Gonzales to stop giving raises to administrators and to support legislation that would tax oil companies to raise money for California's public colleges.

Campus officials say Gonzales has agreed to post their demands on the university's website, but can't take a public stand on state legislation.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sac State students, employees protest budget cuts, tuition hikes

Marching through campus from the library quad area where the protest started, students make their way to the Sacramento Hall, the administration building on the Sacramento State CampusBryan Patrick
Sacramento Bee, Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hundreds of Sacramento State students and employees filled the campus quad Wednesday afternoon, speaking out against budget cuts, tuition increases and what they say are the university administration's misguided spending priorities.

After a lunchtime rally, many marched across campus and into the Sacramento Hall administration building, where a few dozen students held a sit-in for the afternoon and into the evening.

"Students and parents don't know how much a four-year degree will cost because they increase our tuition every semester while cutting the classes we need to graduate," student Amanda Mooers said to the crowd of about 1,500 assembled in the quad.

The protest at Sacramento State was part of a larger effort in which students and faculty at California State University campuses participated in demonstrations, walkouts and sit-ins Wednesday. The actions were organized by the California Faculty Association, the union that represents CSU professors at all 23 campuses.

The union is locked in negotiations with the university management for a new contract. With the state cutting at least $500 million to the CSU system next year, negotiations are tense as the university looks for ways to save money and the union tries to save jobs.

The parties disagree on proposals concerning workload, tenure, promotions, evaluations, layoffs and how much time professors can take off from teaching to conduct union work.

"It is clear in our bargaining over the faculty contract that the chancellor believes the state budget battle gives him license to impose policies that have everything to do with his own discretionary power and little to do with saving quality education," CFA President Lillian Taiz said in a statement.

Claudia Keith, a spokeswoman for the CSU Chancellor's Office, said the workers and administration of CSU should be working together to advocate against further funding reductions by the state.

"It is unfortunate that the faculty union chooses to promote its own collective bargaining agenda as part of the larger effort that we are all advocating for, and that's no more cuts to our budget," Keith said.

On the quad at Sacramento State, students chanted "No more cuts, no more cuts" and carried signs that said: "Cut executive salaries, not classes."

They criticized the housing and car allowances that CSU presidents receive and complained about tuition going up 60 percent over four years.

Claire De Castro, 23, said she was at the protest because her social psychology professor brought the class.

"She felt the need for it because our tuition is going up every semester, and (for) a lot of kids, it's hard for them to pay for their classes," she said.

In the lobby of the administration building, students taped a list of demands to the wall, including, "Funding should go to instruction and student services, while cuts should be allocated to administrative bloat" and "Fair contracts and fair working conditions for all faculty and staff."

They studied and chatted while conducting their sit-in. As the afternoon wore on, students ordered pizza. The faculty union picked up the bill.

After holding a lunchtime rally at the Sacramento State quad, protesters marched into Sacramento Hall, which houses the administration offices. The protest was part of a day of demonstrations Wednesday at all 23 CSU campuses statewide.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Students continue to hold the building at Sac State

There were rallies and marches on at least 10 of the CSU campuses today, ranging from 50 students to several hundred. (see below)
Sacramento State is the only one we know of where students have occupied the administration building.
At 8;30 PM. some 30 students continue to hold the Administration building and they plan to spend the night.
We have offered to relay their messages ( broadcast) through our blog.  
Students inside the building ask that supporters join them on Thursday morning when the building opens.

Thousands Rally at Sacramento State Today

Over 2,000 students walked out of their classes at Sacramento State  University today April 13,  in protest against the  state budget cuts and the rising tuition in the California State University  System – part of the largest university system in the world.  Student protesters expect that already passed budget cuts will lead to larger classes, fewer classes, eliminated programs,  and an increased time to graduate.
 History Professor Joe Palermo spoke to the crowd gathered in the Sac State Quad arguing,
 “What we've been witnessing in recent years is nothing short of the wholesale auctioning off, often to the lowest bidder of the public commons right under the feet of the majority of California's citizens who never signed on to this long-term project of destruction…
He argued that California's economy has little chance of recovering from the Great Recession if it  remains mired in a politically generated fiscal crisis that prevents us from investing in our future. Unwise public policy today has a tendency to come back and haunt us later. The decision to de-fund higher education amidst prolonged high unemployment and underemployment and record home foreclosures will go down in the state's history as one of the stupidest public policy choices ever taken.”
A series of student organizers from Students for Quality Education spoke of the costs of cuts to their lives.  Amanda Moores described the irresponsibility of the University Administration in producing a 66% increase in Executive Salaries paid for in part by   a 224 % increase in student fees.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dr. Cornel West: "Wall St., Media, Military Elites' Grip Must Be Broken"

Solidarity Works- talk

 Solidarity Works: Socialism and Organizing for Social Change
The current economic crisis is an example of the failure of capitalism. The alternative to capitalism is democratic socialism.  This is a discussion of socialism and its relationship to the current budget cuts in California  and anti union attacks in Wisconsin, Ohio, and other states. This talk  is an introduction to what is socialism and why socialists must be organized and activists.
Duane Campbell.  Chair. Sacramento Democratic Socialists of America.  Wed. April 13.  6 PM.  Sol Collective. Sacramento Activist School.  2574 21st. Street. Sacramento.
See reports below on attacks on unions. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dr. Manning Marable, R.I.P.

Manning Marable, celebrated Columbia University professor and top Civil Rights scholar, dies

By Corky Siemaszko
Friday, April 1st 2011, 6:38 PM
Columbia University professor Manning Marable, an expert on African-American history, died Friday just days before his long-awaited biography of Malcolm X is released.
In "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention," the 60-year-old scholar was expected to identify an elderly Newark man as Malcolm's chief assassin, sources said.
Three other men were convicted of killing the civil rights firebrand in 1965.
"He would want to be remembered for being both a scholar and an activist and as someone who saw the two as not being separated," Manning's widow, Leith Mullings Marable, told The Root, an online magazine.
Fellow historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad called the Marable's biography Malcolm X his "crowning achievement."
It is "the culmination of over 20 years of research and writing," he said.
Marable, director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia, had battled the lung disease sarcoidosis for a quarter century.
He underwent a double lung transplant last summer and appeared to be on the mend until he was hospitalized with pneumonia last month.
Born May 13, 1950 in DaytonOhio, Marable spent much of his life combating racism and chronicling the history of blacks in America.
A prolific writer, Marable wrote or edited nearly 20 books and scholarly anthologies and was the author of 275 academic articles.
Marable was also the prime mover in the "Amistad Project," a multimedia resource project designed to help teach African-American history in public schools.
His Malcolm X biography, published by Viking Press, will be released Monday.


Sacramento We Are One Rally!

Sacramento, CA

April 4, 2011 05:00PM to 07:00PM

Hosted by Zak Ford
Contact: 916-927-9772
Event Description:Join us to make April 4, 2011, a time to stand in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and dozens of other states.
Sponsored by:
Sacramento Central Labor Council
Cesar Chavez Plaza Park
Sacramento, CA
10th and I Streets

Union-Bashing Brings Backlash as Polls Reflect Most Support Labor Rights

Published on Friday, April 1, 2011 by
by Robert Kuttner

An unexpected effect of the war on unions by several Republican governors has been a sympathy backlash among voters.

Middle class Americans are giving unions a
second look, the author writes. (AP Photo)
By ratios of about two to one, respondents told pollsters that public-sector workers should not lose their rights to unionize. A slightly smaller majority didn’t want government employees to suffer cuts in wages or benefits, according to both Gallup/USA Today and New York Times/CBS polls.

Seldom heard words, such as “collective bargaining,” began showing up on network newscasts. People who hadn’t thought much about unions, or didn’t think about them at all, evidently liked what they heard.

All this reflects the emergence of a long-simmering issue: the anxiety of the middle class.