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Dear Bill Clinton: The End of Welfare Isn’t the End of Poor People

  • There are still 36 million Americans living in poverty, 40% of them children. That is unconscionable in a time of wild run-ups of the stock market wealth of the “other America.” But instead of a war on poverty, Bill Clinton has settled for a war on welfare recipients, and that is hardly the same thing.
  • The Scourge of Neoliberalism: Why the Democratic Party Is Failing the Poor
  • Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry

Robert Scheer, Truthdig

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http://www.truthdig.com/images/reportuploads/poormother_590.jpg  Dorothea Lange via C. Thomas Anderson (CC BY-SA 2.0)

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg Truthdig Editor’s note: This piece was originally published by the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 23, 1999. Truthdig is republishing it on the 20-year anniversary of President Bill Clinton’s signing of the welfare legislation.

Aug 22, 2016 Isn’t it great how we’ve solved the welfare problem? That’s the one thing that President Clinton, Congress and even the media agree on. Gosh, those welfare rolls are declining so fast that we’re just going to run out of poor people.

But where have they gone? Are they better or worse off? Since most of the welfare population was composed of single mothers and their children, it would seem to be morally relevant to at least inquire as to how those children are doing. The answer is, not very well.

Robert Scheer, editor in chief of Truthdig, has built a reputation for strong social and political writing over his 30 years as a journalist. 

Full story … 

Related:

http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wosu2/files/styles/x_large/public/201606/homeless_man.jpg Matthew Woitunski / Wikimedia Commons   

The Scourge of Neoliberalism: Why the Democratic Party Is Failing the Poor, Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

  • "Never before has humanity depended so fully for the survival of us all on a social movement being willing to bet on impracticality," write Mark and Paul Engler, in a similar vein as John Dewey's observation, penned in the midst of the Great Depression, that it is, ultimately, "the pressure of necessity which creates and directs all political changes."
  • Related: This Is Our Neoliberal Nightmare: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Why the Market and the Wealthy Win Every Time

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  • This hour, we'll discuss the rise of the poverty industry and how it plays out across the U.S. 
  • Related: Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand

The Mythology Of Trump’s ‘Working Class’ Support

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Class in America is a complicated concept, and it may be that Trump supporters see themselves as having been left behind in other respects. Since almost all of Trump’s voters so far in the primaries have been non-Hispanic whites, we can ask whether they make lower incomes than other white Americans, for instance. The answer is “no.” (This article appeared during the primaries this Spring. It is still relevant today as we analyze who are the Trump supporters.)

Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight

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https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/trumpclass-1.jpg?itok=HosT0GSD Donald Trump T-shirts were for sale before a rally for the candidate in Carmel, Indiana. Michael Conroy / AP  

May 3, 2016 | It’s been extremely common for news accounts to portray Donald Trump’s candidacy as a “working-class” rebellion against Republican elites. There are elements of truth in this perspective: Republican voters, especially Trump supporters, are unhappy about the direction of the economy. Trump voters have lower incomes than supporters of John Kasich or Marco Rubio. And things have gone so badly for the Republican “establishment” that the party may be facing an existential crisis.

But the definition of “working class” and similar terms is fuzzy, and narratives like these risk obscuring an important and perhaps counterintuitive fact about Trump’s voters: As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off. The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor-in-chief of  FiveThirtyEight, a website that uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about elections, politics, sports, science & health, economics and culture.

Full story … 

Section(s): 

The Future of the Progressive Movement

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  • Bernie Sanders has shifted the goal posts for the Democratic Party.
  • Minimum-wage victories across the country are helping workers take back power.
  • Part 1: What’s Next for the Progressive Movement?
  • Part 2: Building a National People’s Movement

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: What’s Next for the Progressive Movement?

Bernie Sanders has shifted the goal posts for the Democratic Party.

George Goehl, American Prospect / AlterNet

http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_383931778.jpg New York City - February 27 2016: Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered in Union Square Park to rally and march to Zuccotti Park on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Photo Credit: a katz/Shutterstock 

July 4, 2016 | When Bernie Sanders announced that he was running for president last year, people didn’t expect much from the Vermont senator. The political establishment wrote him off and the pundits berated him—“he’s a socialist for God’s sake.” Even die-hard progressives conceded his bid was a long shot.

In the months since, Sanders has not only drawn record crowds, he’s earned more than 12 million votes and won 45 percent of pledged delegates. Far and away, he’s done better than any self-declared socialist in our nation’s history. And he funded it all by raising hundreds of millions of dollars in mostly small donations from everyday people.

George Goehl is the executive director of National People’s Action, a network of metropolitan and statewide membership organizations dedicated to advancing economic and racial justice. 

Full story … 



Part 2: Building a National People’s Movement

Minimum-wage victories across the country are helping workers take back power.

Andrew Friedman American Prospect

http://prospect.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/fight_for_15_chicago.jpg?itok=YpsPLgkq Fast-food worker Maria Rodriguez joins protesters on the campus of Loyola University in Chicago on April 14, 2016, calling for a union and a $15-per-hour wage. (Photo: AP/Teresa Crawford)

July 8, 2016 | ver the past year, millions of workers have earned a raise as a result of the growing boldness of workers and organizers across the country. The success of the Fight for 15 and similar movements is no accident. Rather, it is the product of years of experimentation, perseverance, and creativity—and today, organizers may have finally hit on a powerful formula for helping workers take back some measure of power.

This success stems first and foremost from a basic reality: The economy in its current state is just not working for Americans. Nearly a decade after the 2008 recession, millions of families around the country have yet to be even touched by the recovery. Wages have stayed flat even as worker productivity has soared. Too many are stuck in jobs that don’t pay the bills, working hard and failing to even stay afloat.

Andrew Friedman is co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy.

Full story … 

Section(s): 

'Scrap the labor reforms!' Paris protesters chant under huge police presence.

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  • In a months-long stand-off, neither side wants to cave in and lose face over a reform plan that opinion polls say is opposed by more than two in three French voters.
  • Related: The Globalization of Poverty: Inside the New World Order

Ingrid Melander and Brian Love, Reuters

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https://news-images.vice.com/images/2016/03/31/untitled-article-1459432444-body-image-1459432489.jpg?resize=1220:*&output-quality=75 Students and protesters gather outside the Gare de Lyon, surrounded by the police. (Photo by Etienne Rouillon/VICE News) 

Thu Jun 23, 2016 | Thousands of demonstrators marched under massive police surveillance in Paris on Thursday to try to force the government to drop its labor reforms but President Francois Hollande said he would pursue the plan "to the finishing line".

Protesters - whose numbers were put at 20,000 by police but three times that many by organizers - chanted "Scrap, scrap, the labor reform!" as they marched around the capital's Place de la Bastille square, hemmed in by large numbers of riot police.

Ingrid Melander: Writing about French politics for Reuters

and Brian Love: "Reuters Senior correspondent France. 20+ years reporting and analysing political/economic developments in France, Europe and the wider world." ...

Full story … 

Related:

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Money%20Pie.jpg The Globalization of Poverty: Inside the New World Order, Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

  • In these unprecedented economic times, the world is experiencing as a whole what most of the non-industrialized world has experienced over the past several decades. For a nuanced examination of the intricacies of the global political-economic landscape and the power players within it, read: The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order ~ Michel Chossudovsky
  • Related: The Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People
  • Related: Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry

 

Special Report | New Economic Perspectives: Economic Policy That Doesn't Confront the Rise in Inequality Head-On Will Do Nothing to Help the Vast Majority of American Families

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Using policy to shift economic power and make U.S. incomes grow fairer and faster. Boosting income growth for the bottom 90 percent requires a policy agenda that explicitly aims to halt or reverse the rise in inequality. Finding no relationship between rising inequality and faster growth means raising living standards for the bottom 90 percent can likely be better for overall growth.

Related: 35 soul-crushing facts about American income inequality

Josh Bivens, Economic Policy Institute

https://portside.org/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/field/image/inequality_cartoon.jpg?itok=KeWke_gvCartoon: John Darkow, Cagle Cartoons, Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune

June 9, 2016 | In Progressive redistribution without guilt, EPI Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens explains why income growth for the bottom 90 percent will continue to disappoint unless policymakers put fighting the rise of inequality at the top of their agenda. Bivens argues that the rise in inequality in recent decades has been essentially zero-sum, with gains at the top of the distribution coming almost directly from gains at the bottom and middle. The zero-sum character of the rise in inequality means that policies aimed at progressively redistributing income can benefit the vast majority of working people without harming overall economic growth.

The rise of inequality over recent decades has been largely driven by a host of discrete policy changes that have regressively redistributed income to those at the very top. Many of these policy changes were championed by claims that they would boost overall growth rates, but Bivens argues that they have clearly failed on that front. The outcome of these policy changes have been a steadily rising “inequality tax” that has stunted income growth for the bottom 90 percent of households relative to what the economy had to the potential to deliver.

Josh Bivens joined the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in 2002 and is currently the director of research and policy. He has authored or co-authored three books (including The State of Working America, 12th Edition) while working at EPI, edited another, and has written numerous research papers, including for academic journals.

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35 soul-crushing facts about American income inequality, Larry SchwartzAlterNet  / Salon

The money given out in Wall Street bonuses last year was twice the amount all minimum-wage workers earned combined

Section(s): 

The Globalization of Poverty: Inside the New World Order

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/World%20Banner_0.jpg

  • In these unprecedented economic times, the world is experiencing as a whole what most of the non-industrialized world has experienced over the past several decades. For a nuanced examination of the intricacies of the global political-economic landscape and the power players within it, read: The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order ~ Michel Chossudovsky
  • Related: The Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People
  • Related: Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research

http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/129554.jpg June 29, 2016 | Michel Chossudovsky takes the reader through an examination of how the World Bank and IMF have been the greatest purveyors of poverty around the world, despite their rhetorical claims to the opposite. These institutions, representing the powerful Western nations and the financial interests that dominate them, spread social apartheid around the world, exploiting both the people and the resources of the vast majority of the world’s population.

As Chossudovsky examines in this updated edition, often the programs of these international financial institutions go hand-in-hand with covert military and intelligence operations undertaken by powerful Western nations with an objective to destabilize, control, destroy and dominate nations and people, such as in the cases of Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the Global Research <globalresearch.ca> website. 

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The Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People, Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun magazine & Chair, the (interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming) NSP: Network of Spiritual Progressives

 http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wosu2/files/styles/x_large/public/201606/homeless_man.jpg Matthew Woitunski / Wikimedia Commons  

Tikkun Editor’s Introductory Note:  The vote by a majority in the UK to exit from the European Union  (Britain exiting, now called Brexit) is actually a cry of pain by the working people of Britain, and a reflection of the growing pain that will shape the social and political lives of our world in the coming decades till that pain is fully addressed.

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Profiting Off The Poor and Disabled in The Poverty Industry, All Sides Staff, Radio WUSU

  • This hour, we'll discuss the rise of the poverty industry and how it plays out across the U.S. 
  • Related: Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand

Section(s): 

10 things everyone should know about what it’s really like to live on the streets.

  • Since the recession, San Francisco's wealth gap has become a yawning chasm. The city's homeless tell their stories. 
  • Related: America Keeps People Poor On Purpose

Evelyn Nieves, AlterNet / Salon

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Homeless%20Person%20on%20Street%20in%20Cold%20Weather.jpg

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Editor%20Comment%20graphic_0.jpg Salon Editor's. note: The San Francisco Chronicle has spearheaded an effort to cover the city’s most intractable humanitarian crisis, homelessness. More than 70 local and national media organizations are participating by examining the issue from all possible angles. As part of this effort, AlterNet has interviewed homeless people in San Francisco to get their take on how and why they have lost their shelter and what life is like for them in the nation’s capital of inequality.

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 | On Monday afternoon, as Patty L., a 33-year-old native San Franciscan currently living in a tent, began describing the casual hate tossed her way every day, a 30-ish, chubby white man in an Izod polo and khaki shorts walked by.

“Um,” he said scornfully. “Can I get through?”

Patty was leaning against a building, visiting two friends who live in a tent on a corner across the street from a trendy rock climbing gym. At least five feet of pavement separated Patty and the tent, which sits in the Mission District, a Latino/working-class/artists’ enclave transforming into the fastest-gentrifying neighborhood in the country.

Evelyn Nieves is an independent journalist who focuses on covering under-covered communities and social issues, especially poverty in the United States.

Full story … 

Related:

America Keeps People Poor On Purpose, Yes! Magazine  

  • How four decades of lobbying and legislation gave corporations dominion over our economy—and eroded the American middle class.
  • A Timeline of Choices We've Made to Increase Inequality
  • Special Report | Homelessness and Poverty in America, Week Ending August 31, 2014

Section(s): 

The Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/World%20Banner_0.jpg

  • Tikkun Editor’s Introductory Note:  The vote by a majority in the UK to exit from the European Union  (Britain exiting, now called Brexit) is actually a cry of pain by the working people of Britain, and a reflection of the growing pain that will shape the social and political lives of our world in the coming decades till that pain is fully addressed.

Michael Lerner, Tikkun magazine

Submitted by Evergreen Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/default/library/b71da4aa7fcc049ed6f3f525bb4acda6.landscapeLarge.jpgJune 26, 2016 |  Unfortunately, the media and the ruling elites refuse to take responsibility for the global mess they’ve been making. Instead they seek to put the  blame on a sudden surge of ultra nationalism and hatred of immigrants. But this is a distorted picture that seeks to blame working people’s fears on their own reactionary ideologies, and misses the way the ruling elites of the society, the !% of richest people and their millions of allies in the upper levels of banks and corporations, media, academia, law, government and politics, who have developed a neo-liberal economic strategy that has resulted in massive loss of jobs and a triumph of the values of materialism and selfishness in daily life, are actually now trying to blame everyone else for the global mess they have made. Don’t get taken in by the media and the politicians and their superficial explanations–read the two articles below please! The first is from a European activist and visionary, the second from an American economist. Together they give us the information to challenge the media and our political misleaders. We at Tikkun do not fully endorse every part of these two different analyses, particularly not Jeffrey Sachs’ proposal about how to solve the Syrian refugee problem, but we do believe that each of these articles, when read together, contain important elements of a fuller analysis of the psycho-spiritual and rational foundations of the growing upset at the way the world is structured, and the to-date irrational forms that upset has taken. --Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun magazine & Chair, the (interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming) NSP: Network of Spiritual Progressives

Part 1: Post-Brexit: Imagine a New European Community

Part 2: The Meaning of Brexit


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Part 1: Post-Brexit: Imagine a New European Community 

Martin Winiecki, Tikkun magazine

June 26th 2016 | The news of Brexit triggered shock waves around the globe, with many people wondering how could the Brits make such a foolish choice. But actually there is good reason why many people in Europe hold the EU in low esteem.

The European Union has alienated countless millions of workers and ordinary people all over the continent; for many “EU” has become the very synonym of a hostile “establishment.” While it began as a progressive project for freedom and solidarity among the peoples of Europe, committed to never again repeat the terrible wars of the 20th century and authentically humane initiatives, the EU has developed into an anti-democratic, neoliberal technocracy with ever decreasing legitimacy and benefit for the people. Preaching noble values of human rights, social democracy and peace, the rulers of the EU have led a scrupulous austerity regime, gradually expanding precarious work conditions for millions. The wide gap between its social rhetoric on the one hand and the implementation of free market policies on the other, gave many people the feeling of being constantly betrayed by an anonymous superstructure, which they cannot participate in or reach out to.

Martin Winiecki: born in Dresden, Germany in 1990, is a writer, speaker, and coordinator of the Institute for Global Peace Work at Tamera, Portugal.

Full story … 



Part 2: The Meaning of Brexit

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Project Syndicate / Tikkun

June 25, 2016 | The Brexit vote was a triple protest: against surging immigration, City of London bankers, and European Union institutions, in that order. It will have major consequences. Donald Trump’s campaign for the US presidency will receive a huge boost, as will other anti-immigrant populist politicians. Moreover, leaving the EU will wound the British economy, and could well push Scotland to leave the United Kingdom – to say nothing of Brexit’s ramifications for the future of European integration.

Brexit is thus a watershed event that signals the need for a new kind of globalization, one that could be far superior to the status quo that was rejected at the British polls.

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is also Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, and, most recently, The Age of Sustainable Development.

Full story … 

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