The U.S. has made a dangerous shift to a low-wage economy where people of color disproportionately hold low-wage jobs. Coupled with an expanding Job Gap in many states, Jobs created by infrastructure investments generally pay relatively well and are accessible to individuals without a college education. Adhering to federal contracting rules and can ensure an increase in the number of living wage jobs available for everybody.
Building highways, bridges, and tunnels creates jobs– good jobs– jobs that put food on the table, and money in the pockets of those who desperately need it. Continue reading
Re-Posted from the Institute for Pragmatic Practice (www.pragmaticpractice.org)
In the last four decades, mass incarceration and immigration control in the United States has skyrocketed. Our nation has become an engine that pulls people from their communities, removing them from the very fabric that gives them their humanity. Over-policing of everyday lives has made the simple act of walking down one’s street a criminal act. The criminalization of communities is evermore presenting itself as a system of violence against them.
The Institute for Pragmatic Practice held an incredible symposium October 17-18, that brought voice to those affected by incarceration. Cell Blocks and Border Stops: Transformation in the age of dehumanization brought faces to those who have been invisible behind walls and in communities that are left behind. Continue reading
Community and ICAN Push Council to Limit Industry From Preying on the Poor
“With the average payday loan in Idaho carrying an interest rate of 350% and with the average borrower taking out 7 payday loans to pay off the initial loan”, predatory loan businesses continue to swarm into our state. Last year alone, payday loans accounted for a negative economic impact of $1 BILLION! http://www.insightcced.org/uploads/assets/Net%20Economic%20Impact%20of%20Payday%20Lending.pdf This is money that our communities lost, nationwide.
Volunteers and members of Idaho Community Action Network went into the neighborhoods of Caldwell and gathered 400 signatures from families who both see and personally experience the impact of payday and title loan businesses. The canvassers met families; families who have lost their only vehicle; families who lost their home; their job and even their children, because they needed help. They learned about loved ones who died owing a debt to a predatory lender. Continue reading
Released to the Press
September 25, 2013
New Report Analyzes Interest Group Influence in Blocking Proposed Cost Saving Measures in Medicare
Report Finds Influence of Pharmaceutical Industry as Major Impasse to Common Sense Budget Fixes
Congress has failed to act on a commonsense, good-government approach to controlling health care costs. The significant resources the pharmaceutical industry has put toward influence and access has rendered Congress unable to act in the public interest.
Bad Medicine: Pharmaceuticals’ Prescription for Profits Over People, released by the Alliance for a Just Society details the overwhelming influence of Big PhRMA on congressional outcomes and finds that the imbalance created by industry spending harms both the interest of the American people and our democratic process.
Marco Saavedra sacrificed his own freedom to demand the immediate release of the low-priority detainees found in detention centers across the country whom could be spared from deportation simply by applying prosecutorial discretion. He is right. Not only will releasing non-criminal to low-level offenders reunite families, it will save the United States
a ton of money.
In July 2012, Mr. Saavedra took bold and heroic actions as he and his team of freedom fighters was intentionally detained to shed light on the shortcomings of the newly implemented
Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, commonly termed, the “Dream Act.” Continue reading
First They Sentenced Us to Death By A Thousand Cuts.
Now They Threaten us With Death By a Thousand Clichés.
I am largely mystified by the apparently widespread support for further austerity. The leadership of the House of Representatives continue to manufacture governmental crises to force draconian cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, in the face of totally lousy economic news.
The latest jobs news out Friday the 6th gives us further reason to pause and reflect on just how ruinous the Great Recession has been for the people of the country. There was overall job growth of about 169,000 new jobs, but the unemployment rate is still at 7.3%. Overall job growth for the year was revised downward from previous estimates. Continue reading
Part 4 in Our Series on Wages and Work.
A common concern in the movement for fair wages is that employers who want to pay better are convinced they cannot afford to. But a look at the big picture reveals living wages are actually good for business. It adds to their competitiveness, workers who are paid well spend more. Spending more means more business. In essence, better wages enable workers to better provide for their families, while strengthening our economy and leveling the playing field for small businesses that find themselves competing against large corporations.
Singles Moms, Children, the Elderly and Students Have Much at Stake in the Living Wage Debate
Opponents of raising the minimum wage frequently argue that low-wage jobs are transitional, for teenagers seeking experience before life in the “real world.” Granted, many teenagers work to contribute money desperately needed for their family, or are raising families themselves. And many teens are trying to save up for college.
But, like young people, these facts apparently don’t seem to matter to profit-at-all-costs corporations. Nor do actual statistics of minimum wage workers and people in poverty. Continue reading