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DEAN BAKER – Is Globalization to Blame?

While we cannot accept the racism and misogyny on which Donald Trump’s electoral victory fed, we must recognize that the white working-class voters who largely supported him have real grievances. They have been economic losers over the last four decades. They have seen their wages stagnate, and their kids face bleak labor-market prospects. Their plight resulted from economic policies that …

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Sam Gindin – Building a Mass Socialist Party

We desperately need a mass socialist party. But the dictum “build it and they will come” won’t get us very far. Such a party has preconditions. It demands grounding in dramatic and sustained uptakes in the level of popular struggles and, above all, the generalization of institutionalized, vibrant bases of working-class support. Yet after the multi-decade defeat of the labor …

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Les Leopold – The Invention Of The White Working Class

History warns us to be very, very careful when using the phrase “white working class.” The reason has nothing to do with political correctness. Rather, it concerns the changing historical definitions of who is “white.” Eduardo Porter in the New York Times, uses this construction to ask, “Did the white working class vote its economic interests?” He claims that current …

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ANN ROBERTSON – BILL LEUMER – A Seismic Shift Toward Socialism in the U.K. Labour Party

Jeremy Corban’s unexpected 2015 rise to the leadership of the U.K. Labour Party and his recent resounding victory over the right-wing forces within the party that tried to dislodge him are sending shockwaves throughout Europe – waves that could reach the shores of the U.S. if events continue to unfold in the same direction. During the past decade, the right …

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Danny Haiphong – The Obama Legacy Part 2: Economic Policy Wall Street Could Count On

“Obama Administration’s economic policies were always meant to stabilize and enrich Wall Street at the expense of the working class and poor.” The 2008 economic crisis sent Washington into a frantic search for a way to forestall popular rebellion. It found the perfect Presidential candidate in Barack Obama. With millions of Wall Street dollars at his disposal to bankroll a masterful marketing …

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Alternative Visions – Verizon Workers’ Strike and How Corporations Are Destroying US Jobs – 04.15.16

Jack Rasmus discusses the strike of 36,000 communication workers that began this week at Verizon Communications and how it reflects the radical destruction by corporations of decent jobs in the US that has been occurring since the 1990s. Jack calculates 52 million of the total 157 million jobs in the US labor force today are some form of ‘contingent’ or so-called ‘alternative work’ arrangements, paying substandard wages and few if any benefits. The Verizon strike represents worker-union efforts to stop corporate conversion of full time regular jobs to ‘contingent,’ outsourced, contract work. Jack discusses a recent Princeton Univ. study that shows temp and independent contract jobs have risen by 9.4 million just since 2005—i.e. more than the total increase in new jobs (9.1m) over the same period. Full time contingent jobs now total 23.6m, according to the Princeton study. Add to that 26 m more in part time contingent employment, plus another 8.2m unemployed and more than 60 million US workers now earn less than full time wages and virtually no benefits. And more if the ‘Uberization’ of work underway is considered. Median earnings for the 50m barely exceed $30k a year. Jack explains this is at the core of the growing working class discontent in the US that is fueling both the Trump and the Sanders candidacies. Jack speculates on the possibility of a 4-way race for the presidency in this year’s elections. The show concludes with a review of the global economy, including the IMF’s recent lowered forecast, China’s recent GDP stats, and Jack revisiting his prior forecast the US economy would again stagnant and approach zero GDP growth for the first quarter 2016 in stats out in a couple of weeks.

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Alan Nasser – The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?

One of the most firmly entrenched myths of the American Ideology is that the U.S. is a “middle class society,” a “land of opportunity” where anyone who works hard has the opportunity to achieve the standard of living which has made America “the envy of the world.” A common, and spot on, rejoinder has been to remind us that America …

Flipping the Script: Rethinking Working-Class Resistance By Henry A. Giroux

I have often thought about when that moment came in which my working class sensibility turned into a form of critical class consciousness. For most of my youth, I was defined by ruling-class types and mainstream institutions through my deficits, which amounted to not having the skills and capacities to do anything but become either a cop or firefighter. For …

Why So Many Americans Feel So Powerless – ROBERT REICH

A security guard recently told me he didn’t know how much he’d be earning from week to week because his firm kept changing his schedule and his pay. “They just don’t care,” he said. A traveler I met in the Dallas Fort-Worth Airport last week said she’d been there eight hours but the airline responsible for her trip wouldn’t help …