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August 4, 2015
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Intellectuals and Society

Intellectuals and Society

By Thomas Sowell
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Tag: Labor


New York’s Fast-Food Workers to Be Paid $15 Minimum Wage by 2021

Fast-food workers throughout the state won a hard-fought and important victory Wednesday: a $15 minimum wage.

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 READ MORE



Hillary Clinton Suggests the Minimum Wage Is a Local Issue

Though she has declined to say what she thinks is the ideal national minimum wage, the Democratic presidential candidate has implied that it might differ from place to place—and thus she would not push for an increase if she were president.

Posted on Jul 19, 2015 READ MORE



How Whole Foods Exploits Prison Labor

It has been revealed that in addition to allegedly overcharging and mislabeling its products, the company is using prison labor at a base pay of just 60 cents per day.

Posted on Jul 18, 2015 READ MORE



In Paraguay, Pope Francis Continues Historic Critique of Global Capitalism

“The Argentine pope seemed to be asking for a social revolution,” wrote The New York Times on Friday as Pope Francis’ Latin American tour, featuring “left-leaning critiques” of “the inequalities of capitalism” and of “a ‘new colonialism’ rooted in an inequitable economic order,” approached its end.

Posted on Jul 12, 2015 READ MORE



NYC Restaurant Per Se Settles Complaint That It Stiffed Waiters

One of New York City’s most expensive restaurants has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a complaint that it funneled tip money intended for its servers back to the restaurant.

Posted on Jul 3, 2015 READ MORE



How Much Do We Value Work?

Will any Republican candidate find it in his or her interest to break with the party’s orthodoxy on government regulations and labor rights?

Posted on Jul 1, 2015 READ MORE


The Magic Kingdom

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Posted on Jun 16, 2015 READ MORE



Why Organic Farmers Are Angry With Whole Foods

The chain’s latest move is another strike against its holier-than-thou image.

Posted on Jun 12, 2015 READ MORE



If Trade Is War, It’s Time We Fought Back

For decades we have heard that free trade would result in prosperity for all. But in fact, the rich have gotten richer, the poor poorer, and the planet has been thrown into peril.

Posted on May 21, 2015 READ MORE



April Jobs Report: The Wage Picture Is Bleak and ‘We’re Still Millions of Jobs in the Hole’

Yes, all of the U.S. jobs lost to the Great Recession were recovered by mid-2014. But “we didn’t manage to create enough new jobs to satisfy the shortfall” in positions that would have been made “had the economy kept chugging along at a reasonably normal pace,” writes Suzanne McGee at The Guardian.

Posted on May 11, 2015 READ MORE



Australia Pays Labor Cost of Climate-Driven Heat Waves

Worker performance drops measurably as global warming drives temperatures to record levels.

Posted on May 10, 2015 READ MORE



Plutocracy the First Time Around

Aversion to the new industrial order and a “democratic feeling” in the late 19th century brought workers, storekeepers, lawyers and businessmen of all sorts together, appalled by the behavior of large industrialists who often enough didn’t live in those communities and so were the more easily seen as alien beings.

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 READ MORE



Journalism as Subversion

The journalist P. Sainath has worked for more than 20 years to amplify the voices and lives of the rural poor of India as corporate-controlled media have attempted to erase them from history. (Pictured, an Indian farmer in his damaged field.)

Posted on Mar 22, 2015 READ MORE


Part-Time Workers in Japan Are Living in Internet Cafes

A short film takes us into the lives of former Japanese “salarymen” and others who, because they lost work, have taken refuge in the cramped, bleak cubicles that honeycomb their society’s Internet cafes.

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 READ MORE



Some Wal-Mart Workers to Get a Modest Raise

In an effort to stave off criticism of its low wages, the United States’ largest private employer announced Thursday that it will raise the pay of half a million workers to $9 an hour in the next six months.

Posted on Feb 19, 2015 READ MORE



Were Roman Slave Owners the First Management Theorists?

“Managing others always involves finding solutions to the age-old problems of assessing people from limited information, then incentivising, disciplining and rewarding them, to finally being rid of them,” Jerry Toner, author of “The Roman Guide to Slave Management,” writes in a piece for Aeon magazine.

Posted on Feb 16, 2015 READ MORE


‘Left, Right & Center’: The Politics of Vaccines, Unrest in the Ukraine

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss the loss of public trust in government reflected in the widespread response to the measles outbreak, the 2 million jobs added over the last three months and, as the leaders of Germany and France prepare to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the prospects for progress on Ukraine.

Posted on Feb 7, 2015 READ MORE


Thomas Frank: What’s the Matter With Democrats?

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” author says Democrats blow off right-wing populism and “walk right into the buzz saw every time.” Also: what to expect when you’re expecting a Republican Senate, and Silicon Valley’s take on indentured servitude.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE


Thomas Frank: What’s the Matter With the Democrats?

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” author says Democrats blow off right-wing populism and “walk right into the buzz saw every time.” Also: what to expect when you’re expecting a Republican Senate, and Silicon Valley’s take on indentured servitude.

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Ross D. Franklin

The Return of the Corporate Court

Jesse Busk has almost no chance of winning his lawsuit when it comes before the Supreme Court. He’s an ordinary working person challenging the prerogatives of corporate power.

Posted on Oct 2, 2014 READ MORE



The New York Times Speaks in Defense of Labor

On the eve of Labor Day, the editors of The New York Times called for a federal “full-employment agenda that regards labor, not corporations, as the center of the economy.”

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

California Legislature Passes Bill to Protect Temp Workers

The California legislature has passed a bill that would hold companies legally responsible if the temp agencies and subcontractors they hire cheat workers out of their wages or put them in harm’s way.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



And Now for a Little Good News About the Economy

The Federal Reserve released some positive news Wednesday about the state of the U.S. economy, pointing to better figures than expected in the second quarter of 2014 while registering ongoing concern about unemployment.

Posted on Jul 30, 2014 READ MORE



Los Angeles Port Truckers Are On Strike

Drivers for three of the largest companies serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach began an “indefinite strike” this week, claiming that they often make below minimum wage and that they have been unfairly labeled as independent contractors, which prevents them from unionizing.

Posted on Jul 12, 2014 READ MORE



Another Do-Nothing Summit for American Labor?

If the Summit on Working Families convened last month by the White House produces little more than talking points, it will be another testament to the ongoing failure of our political process to enact substantive reforms to improve the quality of life of American workers—even when it comes to things pretty much everyone agrees on.

Posted on Jul 6, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Happy Independence Day From the Supreme Court: Unions and Women Lose, Koch Brothers Win

The court’s latest decisions handed long-sought political victories to some of the most extreme elements of the American right.

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Abuse of Temp Workers Is Bad for the Economy and Bad for Our Health

If you’re not going to eat anytime soon, read this horrifying little anecdote from Capital & Main.

Posted on Jun 11, 2014 READ MORE



Swiss Turn Down World’s Highest Minimum Wage

Swiss voters rejected a proposal Sunday to introduce the world’s highest minimum wage, which would have guaranteed every worker in one of the priciest nations at least $25 an hour.

Posted on May 18, 2014 READ MORE



Thomas Frank Locates Thomas Piketty’s Blind Spot

The celebrity economist’s proposal of an “international IRS” as a means to end rampant wealth inequality falls far short of methods that exist in the American tradition, Salon columnist Thomas Frank writes in a critique of the best-selling “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.”

Posted on May 18, 2014 READ MORE



The Maker Movement: Tinkering With the Idea That College Is for Everyone

Over the last 10 years or so, increasing numbers of Americans have been seeking the satisfaction that comes with a trade. But vocational education needs some rethinking.

Posted on May 15, 2014 READ MORE



Truthdiggers of the Week: Donald Sterling’s Ousters

Somewhere in the story of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s downfall is a lesson for communities seeking to regulate the behavior of wayward and destructive bosses.

Posted on May 4, 2014 READ MORE


Robert Scheer on the Meaning of May Day

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Robert Scheer talks immigration and organizing, Donald Sterling has been a confirmed bigot since at least 2009, and a proposed press shield law leaves Glenn Greenwald exposed.

Posted on May 1, 2014 READ MORE


Robert Scheer on the Meaning of May Day

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Robert Scheer talks immigration and organizing, Donald Sterling has been a confirmed bigot since at least 2009, and a proposed press shield law leaves Glenn Greenwald exposed.

Posted on May 1, 2014 READ MORE



What You Need to Earn to Rent a Decent One-Bedroom in America

Unsurprisingly, the “housing wage” is much higher than the minimum wage in much of the country.

Posted on Apr 26, 2014 READ MORE


‘Left, Right & Center’: Cooling Off in Ukraine, Warming Up for the GOP

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss the surprise agreement among the U.S., Russia and the EU. Does it mean anything? Scheer says yes, and that those hoping for a new Cold War won’t get one.

Posted on Apr 19, 2014 READ MORE



Are Corporations Really Hogging Workers’ Wages?

Some of the most respected economists in the world are telling Americans their employers have been taking an increasing share of their earnings over the past four decades. The truth is a bit more complex.

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 READ MORE



Capital in the 21st Century

In his new book, French economist Thomas Piketty reminds us that within the dynamics of capitalism is a natural and destabilizing tendency toward inequality of income, wealth and opportunity.

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 READ MORE



College Football Labor Unrest Threatens University Profit Model

Last week, a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board became the first government agency to officially acknowledge what everyone in the country outside the NCAA already knew: College athletes are cheap labor for a $16 billion business disguised as a nonprofit educational enterprise.

Posted on Apr 3, 2014 READ MORE



Diego Luna’s ‘Cesar Chavez’ Showcases the Power of Union Organizing and Immigrant Labor

When Ronald Reagan famously ate grapes on television as governor of California in 1969, he was thumbing his nose at a growing movement for the rights of farmworkers.

Posted on Mar 27, 2014 READ MORE



Supreme Court Watch: Campaign Spending, Union Busting and the Subversion of the First Amendment

Although predicting the outcome of Supreme Court cases is never a sure thing, two decisions that may be handed down any day have the clear potential to transform the meaning of the First Amendment and once again expose the court’s radically pro-corporate and anti-union agenda.

Posted on Mar 18, 2014 READ MORE



Dems Offer Family-Friendly Take on Obamacare-Work Link

So, we’ve heard the GOP’s spin on the possible dip in work hours that could result, according to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, from the Affordable Care Act and the options it offers Americans in the health insurance marketplace.

Posted on Feb 9, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Paul Beaty

Why Not End College Athletics Altogether?

An effort to form a players union in college isn’t about money—yet. Nevertheless, it’s naive to think that giving the athletes a tiny percentage of the proceeds will clean up so corrupt a system.

Posted on Feb 6, 2014 READ MORE


College Athletes Hope to Find Power in a Union

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Student athletes want more than scholarships for their billion dollar labor, Dr. Jill Stein and Aura Bogado respond to the State of the Union, why the Costco model beats the Walmart model, and arguably the most powerful progressive in the House retires.

Posted on Jan 30, 2014 READ MORE


College Athletes Look for Power in a Union

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Student athletes want more than scholarships for their billion dollar labor, Dr. Jill Stein and Aura Bogado respond to the State of the Union, why the Costco model beats the Walmart model, and arguably the most powerful progressive in the House retires.

Posted on Jan 30, 2014 READ MORE



jongjet303 / Shutterstock.com

The Year of the Low-Wage Worker

In 2014, legislation and labor actions could narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.

Posted on Jan 3, 2014 READ MORE



DonkeyHotey (CC BY 2.0)

Why Are Wages Low? Blame Workers for Not Knowing They Are, in Fact, Workers

The anti-union movement won the battle of self-perception. Union-friendly blue-collar workers have been supplanted by white-collar office drones who don’t see themselves as candidates for unionization because they don’t really see themselves as workers, author Edward McClelland argues.

Posted on Dec 31, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Elaine Thompson

13 States to Give Minimum Wage a Boost in the New Year

The new year will usher in a welcome change for workers in 13 states in which the minimum wage will rise above the federally required bottom line of $7.25 an hour.

Posted on Dec 29, 2013 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Your Boss Is a Dick (A Glossary of Labor Terms, Translated)

To help out my friends in organized labor, here is a glossary of key union terms, translated for everyone else.

Posted on Dec 11, 2013 READ MORE



the cardinal de la ville (CC BY 2.0)

McDonald’s Advises Workers How Much to Tip Their Pool Boys and Au Pairs

McDonald’s once again displayed its utter ignorance of the lives of its low-wage workers in an online advice column recommending seasonal tipping rates for luxury services. And on the same day those workers joined a nationwide walkout protesting poverty wages. Yes, Ronald McDonald is a clown, but still ...

Posted on Dec 6, 2013 READ MORE


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