It's nice to hear politicians calling for policies that actually help the working class rather than mainly helping Wall Street. From NYC Comptroller John Liu:
Do you remember when Rudolph Giuliani didnâ€™t know the price of milk? Well, it may be time to ask again. Milk prices have jumped â€“ 15 cents a quart in the supermarkets near me. Have politicians noticed? (In the most concrete sense of course, they know since milk prices are regulated)
One way to think about the fiscal impact on families of Bush years is to imagine how our national economic (income) pie is shared, according to the Economic Policy Institute. When economists write of pie, I imagine pie charts; but in this case itâ€™s an interesting bar graph. The EPIâ€™s Laurence Mishel tells us that in 2001-2005 period the very richest among us (top 1%) have seen their share of the pie increase while bottom-half and middle income people are getting less. This clearly written (for an economist) squib and chart are definitely worth a click if only to confirm that itâ€™s not your imagination: almost all of us are worse off than we were in 2001 (to unearth a Ronald Reagan slogan). See also this excellent Alternet article and this essay by James Parrott on how inequality plays out in NYC.
One reason, as it turns out, the rich are different from you and me is that they pay taxes at a much lower rate than the rest of us. read more »
As my family has been active in labor unions for several generations, I continue to be a strong fan of them and of expanding employee rights. For links to the lyrics of the song and a YouTube of Pete Seeger & the Weavers singing it, go to the end.
Tuesday, the US Senate, it is said, will vote on the Employee Free Choice Act, a union sponsored bill which, if enacted, would ease unionsâ€™ ability to organize workers.
UPDATE: On a cloture motion, Senators favoring the Employee Free Choice Act gained 51 votes -- a majority of Senators but --not enough to cut off debate. (60 needed).
2nd UPDATE: Every single GOP Senator (except for Arlen Spector,PA) voted against the bill. Every Democratic Senator (and right leaning Leiberman and left-leaning Sanders) voted for it. Evict more GOP Senators. Remember this issue if ever someone says to you it makes no difference which party is in control read more »
In a sea of 30,000 bright spandex butts , Sunday May 6, I rode in the 42-mile Five Borough Bike Club tour. As a volunteer, my job was to help riders who were in mechanical, logistical or physical trouble (fix flats, find bike shops, offer drink & encouragement, call backup). Keep the riders safe and happy. It was a crisp bright day â€“ perfect for a moderate ride. One riderâ€™s story of past tours, which captured the flavor well, I thought, appeared in the NY Times City Section . See some of this yearâ€™s photos here. You can still sign up for the smaller, shorter Tour de Brooklyn on Sunday June 3, 2007 sponsored by Transportation Alternatives . Itâ€™s free, not too taxing and experience is not required. Online registration, it has been said, will close May 31, 2007 -- so do it now.
The Minimum Wage has not gone up â€“- itâ€™s still stuck where itâ€™s been all these years. read more »