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Corporate America's Favorite Jurists Return

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  • The squeeze on workers
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  • Signing away your rights
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The Progress Report, Think Progress

Few cases define the Roberts Court like the recent decision in Citizens United v. FEC. With a wave of their hands, the Court's five conservatives opened the floodgates to allow billions of corporate dollars to spill into American democracy.

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As a result, outside interest groups -- most of which are aligned with conservatives -- have already spent five times as much on this midterm election cycle as they did in 2006. And Citizens United is only the tip of the Court's corporate iceberg. The justices have consistently favored employers over workers and polluters over the environment -- and it has gone out of its way to slam the doors of justice shut on ordinary Americans. With the Court's new term beginning this week, the justices have a few opportunities to correct past errors. Sadly, the Roberts majority is far more likely to find new ways to declare corporate America to be above the law.

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The squeeze on workers: In its first full term together, the Roberts majority handed down its infamous Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire decision, which cut off access to equal pay for equal work for many women. Moreover, when Congress swiftly overturned this egregious decision, the conservative justices responded -- not with the humility Chief Justice Roberts promised in his confirmation hearing -- but with an equally indefensible decision limiting the rights of older workers.

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Companies stash cash, but won't hire

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  • The development presents something of a chicken-and-egg situation — corporations keep saving, waiting for the economy to perk up, but the economy is unlikely to perk up if corporations keep saving.
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  • Pushing working people down
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  • The jobs emergency
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Graham Bowley, New York Times | NY

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While many households and small businesses are being turned away by bank loan officers, large corporations are borrowing vast sums of money for virtually nothing — simply because they can.

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Companies such as Microsoft are raising billions of dollars by issuing bonds at ultra-low interest rates, but few are spending the money on new factories, equipment or jobs. Instead, they are stockpiling the cash.

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The development presents something of a chicken-and-egg situation — corporations keep saving, waiting for the economy to perk up, but the economy is unlikely to perk up if corporations keep saving.

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Related:

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Pushing working people down, James Clay Fuller, Things We're Not Supposed to Say

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  • Those who are benefiting from the rotten economy are the wealthiest 20 percent of the American people, who hold upward of 85 percent of the country's wealth.
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  • Tell Mott's: get the scabs out of your applesauce!
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The jobs emergency, Robert Reich

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  • Twelve thousand new jobs in July -- when 125,000 are needed monthly just to keep up with population growth, when more than 15 million Americans are out of work, and when more than a half-million more state and local jobs are on the chopping block.
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  • Predictably, Washington's latest rescue effort falls woefully short
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  • U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression
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  • An aid package to the states to prevent layoffs was funded by cutting the federal food stamp program.
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Things You Can Negotiate For at Work (And Didn't Know It)

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CareerBuilder.com

For most job seekers, the art of negotiation comes into play at two specific times in their careers: during an initial job negotiation and at their performance evaluation. Some negotiations operate on a grand scale, with discussion about company cars and relocation allowances. But most of us focus on one thing in our negotiations: salary.

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There are, however, a number of possible negotiation points for new and existing workers. And with many employers delaying or deferring raises because of tough economic challenges, hiring managers are more open to discussions about alternatives. Here are just a few of the possibilities that many workers are not aware of.

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Pushing working people down

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  • Those who are benefiting from the rotten economy are the wealthiest 20 percent of the American people, who hold upward of 85 percent of the country's wealth.
    Tell Mott's: get the scabs out of your applesauce!
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James Clay Fuller, Things We're Not Supposed to Say

The true nature of the great recession is beginning to show in ways that until very recently were pretty well hidden.

Probably the most obvious example so far of how the very rich are using this economic downturn to consolidate their power is the strike by 305 hourly workers at the Mott's apple juice plant in upstate New York.

For those who are manipulating the situation, you probably can look to the the richest 1 percent of Americans, who, among their tiny number, hold more than one third of the private wealth in the United States. They're the ones with the real power, the ones who hold the deeds to key politicians and mortgages on the Republican and Democratic parties.

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Tell Mott's: get the scabs out of your applesauce! Manny Herrmann, American Rights at Work

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  • Something's Rotten at Mott's
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  • Tell the CEO of Mott's: Your workers are what makes your company successful. And you can't get away with screwing them over. Not on our watch!
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  • Strikers at Mott’s pick up nationwide support
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