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Andy Singer | Myth of Hard Work / media.cagle.com

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The False Debate on Homelessness

  • Homelessness is the natural result of a system that makes some fantastically wealthy and others desperately poor.
  • Why wealthy Americans’ delusions about the poor are so dangerous
  • John Steppling | Hollywood, the Police and the Poor

Amien Essif, Jacobin

https://images.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/homelessnyc.jpgA homeless man in a New York City train station. Euan / Flickr

2.2.16 | Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio just can’t get along.

Shortly after the New Year, Cuomo, New York’s governor, issued an executive order mandating that New York City transport homeless people sleeping outside in sub-freezing temperatures to shelters.

In response, Mayor de Blasio’s administration announced that, regardless of weather conditions, the police can’t expel people from public property — and that if they bring them to a shelter, they can’t make them stay. “To forcibly remove all homeless individuals in freezing weather, as the governor has ordered,” de Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton said, “will require him to pass state law.”

Amien Essif is a regular contributor to In These Times whose work has also appeared in the Guardian and CounterPunch.

Full story … 

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Why wealthy Americans’ delusions about the poor are so dangerous, David Sirota, Salon

  • Regressive state and local tax policies don’t just harm the working class -- they can ruin entire economies.
  • The False Debate on Homelessness

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John Steppling | Hollywood, the Police and the Poor, John Steppling,  Truthout / Rise Up Times

Urban spaces are racialized. In spite of the gentrification processes displacing the racialized poor and working classes, it has become very difficult to negate the continued disenfranchisement, incarceration, and killing of black and brown bodies.

Section(s): 

Unions pulling support from pro-TPP Democratic lawmakers

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  • Dan Duncan, president of the northern Virginia Central Labor Council, told the People's World that the anger of his local unions about lawmakers who vote the wrong way on trade is so strong that unions will no longer give assistance to these Democrats, even if it means sitting out those local elections in Virginia's northern suburbs.
  • Special Report | Stop the TPP, Week Ending February 13, 2016

John Wojcik, Peoples World

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Andrea Hagen for this contribution. 

http://peoplesworld.org/assets/Uploads/flushtpp520.jpg  Photo: Flush the TPP Facebook page

February 24 2016 | One of the many things union leaders discussed here Tuesday at a closed session of the AFL-CIO's executive council was a decision to pull labor support from Democratic lawmakers who double-cross labor on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) international trade agreement.

"It's a question of, 'do you have a Democrat who votes like a Republican or a Republican who votes like a Republican," retired International Association of Machinists President Tom Buffenbarger told the People's World during a break in the session yesterday.

John Wojcik started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. Along with being labor editor, Wojcik is a co-editor of People's World.

Full story … 

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Special Report | Stop the TPP, Week Ending February 13, 2016, Compiled by David Culver , Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Below we provide fact-based sources of information on the key issues surrounding the TPP.
  • Obama’s unexpectedly brief mention of the TPP may simply reflects that the pact is very unpopular across the political spectrum and talking about it more only makes opposition grow.
  • Statement of Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
  • Part 1: The Facts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Compared to the Obama Administration’s Claims
  • Part 2: Is The TPP Still Obama's Top Priority?
  • Part 3: TPP Is Obama’s #1 2016 Priority: Why Only 28 Seconds in the SOTU?

Social Security’s at stake in the early primary and caucus states.

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  • It’s a story that won’t get reported, but it’s one we should all pay attention to. It’s one in five seniors who are living in poverty. It’s a generation of workers without pensions who will have to rely even more on Social Security. Believe it or not, this is our best chance to do something about this. The goal is making sure no senior ever has to live in poverty. The Campaign for America’s Future/Institute For America’s Future is the strategy center for the progressive movement. 
  • Here are a couple of valuable articles published recently! 
  • Part 1: Third Way Is Absurdly Wrong About Bernie Sanders’ Social Security Plan
  • Part 2: The Social Security Question Hillary Clinton Should've Been Asked

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Third Way Is Absurdly Wrong About Bernie Sanders’ Social Security Plan

  • The American people want to see Social Security expanded, not cut, and want the wealthiest among us, those who have benefited so much from the commonwealth (i.e., common wealth) pay their fair share. And that is the right policy, as well.
  •   http://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/sign-btn.pngPlease sign our petition.

Nancy Altman, Campaign for America’s Future

http://www.strengthensocialsecurity.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/09/logo-inner.png Feb 2, 2016 | Third Way is reaching the point of desperation in its quest to cut Social Security and protect its Wall Street, K Street lobbyist, and GOP donors from paying their fair share. As Third Way has become more and more marginalized, its public outpourings have become more and more extreme and, quite frankly, head-scratching.

In a 2011 Politico column, “Progressives: Wise Up,” Third Way’s president and vice president for policy lectured advocates for Social Security to stop fighting a Grand Bargain that would have cut Social Security’s modest benefits – cuts that are opposed by 93.8 percent of Americans.

Nancy Altman, Co-director, Strengthen Social Security, has a thirty-five year background in the areas of Social Security and private pensions. She is co-director of Social Security Works and co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition and campaign. She is the author of The Battle for Social Security: From FDR’s Vision to Bush’s Gamble (John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

Full story … 



Part 2: The Social Security Question Hillary Clinton Should've Been Asked 

“Ask Hillary Clinton if she’s prepared to lift the cap on taxable income.”

Isaiah J. Poole, Campaign for America’s Future

https://kos.salsalabs.com/o/60000/images/Social_Security_Pix_300x300.jpg January 28, 2016 | At the CNN town hall for the Democratic presidential candidates on Tuesday, Bernie Sanders pointed out that he has with Hillary Clinton “a disagreement on a very important issue that impacts everybody, but especially women”: “I believe that we should expand Social Security benefits by lifting the cap on taxable income.”

He went on to suggest to moderator Chris Cuomo: “Ask Hillary Clinton if she’s prepared to lift the cap on taxable income.”

Isaiah J. Poole has been the editor of OurFuture.org since 2007. Previously he worked for 25 years in mainstream media, most recently at Congressional Quarterly, where he covered congressional leadership and tracked major bills through Congress. Most of his journalism experience has been in Washington. 

Full story … 

Web of Deceit | Child Labor, Flint Water, Governor Snyder, Nestle

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  • Auditors completing their annual report continue to find evidence of child labour on Ivory Coast farms supplying Nestlé.
  • Consumer Group Joins Michigan Resident in Demanding Nestlé Stop Bottling Michigan’s Clean Water
  • Part 1: Child labour on Nestlé farms: chocolate giant's problems continue
  • Part 2: Michigan residents take aim at Gov. Snyder’s close ties to Nestlé

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Child labour on Nestlé farms: chocolate giant's problems continue

Joe Sandler Clarke, Guardian

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/9/2/1441199571903/62b4caf1-192f-46f6-99bd-bfedfde0eabc-2060x1236.jpeg?w=620&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&s=41bbdcfd47949314c83618d8108707c2 KitKat chocolate bar made by Nestle Photograph: Roger Tooth

Wednesday, 2 September, 2015 | Children younger than 15 continue to work at cocoa farms connected to Nestlé, more than a decade after the food company promised to end the use of child labour in its supply chain.

A new report by the Fair Labor Association (FLA), commissioned by Nestlé, saw researchers visit 260 farms used by the company in Ivory Coast from September to December 2014. The researchers found 56 workers under the age of 18, of which 27 were under 15.

Joe Sandler Clarke is a content coordinator on the Global Development Professionals Network. He also freelances for Vice and Times Higher Education.

Full story … 



Part 2: Michigan residents take aim at Gov. Snyder’s close ties to Nestlé

http://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/sign-btn.png Petition: Consumer Group Joins Michigan Resident in Demanding Nestlé Stop Bottling Michigan’s Clean Water

Roz Edward, Michigan Chronicle

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader/contributor Rachel Lovejoy for this contribution. 

https://ionemichiganchronicle.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/gov-synder-should-resign.jpg?w=300 January 27: Michigan Gov Rick Snyder speaks to media regarding the status of the Flint water crisis on January 27, 2016 at Flint City Hall in Flint, Michigan. A federal state of emergency has been declared in Flint related to the city's water becoming contaminated. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) 

Feb 10, 2016 | As the Flint water crisis worsens, Matt Zandstra, a father from Wyoming, Michigan resident is partnering with SumOfUs, a global consumer group, to call out Governor Snyder for his close ties to Nestlé, a multinational corporation that bottles more than 200 gallons of clean Michigan water each minute.   

http://movetoamend.org/sites/default/files/sign-btn.png The petition draws attention to the fact that Flint’s mostly poor and black residents do not have access to safe drinking water, while at the same time Nestlé is the largest owner of private water sources in the state. SumOfUs notes that Deb Muchmore, the head spokesperson for Nestlé Michigan, is married to Governor Snyder’s chief of staff – who oversaw the defunding of Flint’s water sources.

Roz Edward, National Content Director, Michigan Chronicle

Full story … 

23 Cents an Hour? The Perfectly Legal Slavery Happening in Modern-Day America

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  • The government and corporations have a pool of powerless, exploitable workers in skyrocketing prison populations. 
  • Prison Reform: Justice vs. Revenge

Terrell Jermaine Starr, AlterNet

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

July 1, 2015 | If you thought slavery was outlawed in America, you would be wrong. The 13th amendment to the Constitution states that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

In plain language, that means slavery in America can still exist for those who are in prison, where you basically lose all of your rights.  (You don’t gain a lot of your rights back when you get out of prison, either, but that is a different story.) So, given the country’s penchant for rapacious capitalism, it may not come as a surprise that there is much of the American prison system that exploits American prisoners much like slaves.

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior editor at AlterNet.

Full story … 

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Prison Reform: Justice vs. Revenge, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • It’s nearly impossible to claim that the current system, where inmates languish in long-term punishment centers and return to a world they’re even less prepared for than when they entered, is fair. And inmates know it.
  • Part 1: Justice v. Revenge: The Question Beneath the Question of Prison Reform 
  • Part 2: Virtue Ethics: Justice vs. Revenge

Chicago Window Workers Who Occupied Their Factory in 2008 Win New Bankruptcy Payout

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“It hasn’t been easy, obviously,” said United Electrical Workers (UE) union organizer Leah Fried. “But they’ve shown you can run a company without bosses, and do well.”

Kari Lydersen, In These Times

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http://inthesetimes.com/images/working/republic_windows.jpg (Jeremy Gantz)  

Monday, Jan 25, 2016 | Seven years after Republic Windows & Doors workers occupied a recently-shuttered factory in Chicago, making international news, and three years after they opened their own window company, they are receiving a $295,000 payout in bankruptcy court that is both a symbolic and pragmatic victory.

When a company goes bankrupt, workers are usually at the end of the line to get paid, as they are considered “unsecured creditors” behind various secured creditors who are owed money. That means workers often never get money they are owed. 

Kari Lydersen, an In These Times contributing editor, is a Chicago-based journalist and instructor who currently works at Northwestern University. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Reader and The Progressive, among other publications. Her most recent book is Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago's 99 Percent.

Full story … 

Why Organized Labor is More Important Than Ever In An Era of Vast Economic Inequality

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  • Where unions remain, wages and benefits are better.
  • Workers, Unions Face Big Loss in Top Labor Case at Supreme Court

Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect / AlterNet

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http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/shutterstock_fight_for_15_protests.jpg Photo Credit: Image by Shutterstock, Copyright (c) A. Katz 

January 18, 2016 | Imagine America without unions. This shouldn’t be hard. In much of America unions have already disappeared. In the rest of America they’re battling for their lives.

Unions have been declining for decades. In the early 1950s, one out of three American workers belonged to them, four out of ten in the private sector. Today, only 11.8 percent of American workers are union members; in the private sector, just 6.9 percent. The vanishing act varies by region—in the South, it’s almost total—but proceeds relentlessly everywhere. Since 1983, the number of states in which at least 10 percent of private-sector workers have union contracts has shrunk from 42 to 8.

Harold Meyerson is editor-at-large for the American Prospect and a columnist for the Washington Post.

Full story … 

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Workers, Unions Face Big Loss in Top Labor Case at Supreme Court, Compiled by David Culver , Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • The real issue … is whether public worker unions can survive a big loss of revenue as not just present “free riders” refuse to pay, but everyone else does, too – and can get away with it. Justice Elena Kagan estimated that thousands of union contracts and 10 million workers could be affected.
  • Part 1: Workers, Unions May Face Big Loss At Supreme CourtPart 2: Title
  • Part 2: Attorney: high court ruling could hurt all workers, union and non-union

 

 

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