In the good old days one of the most enviable of jobs was that of a commentator or writer whose responsibility it was to explain to us in the mass audience why rich people are so necessary to maintaining a strong economy. On a normal Monday morning they began their work day by issuing ready-made pronouncements that disposed of any proposal that might have resulted in even the slightest reduction in wealth for anyone who is rich.
In 1979, the newly elected mayor of Chicago, Jane Byrne, at the recommendation of some labor union officials, named me to be a “consumer commissioner” on the City of Chicago Health Systems Agency (HSA) Board of Directors. I remained in that position for three years. I can’t say that either I, or the HSA, accomplished much, but it certainly was an educational experience.
In March, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke saw 'green shoots' in the economy. Since then, various economists and government officials have seen signs that the recession may be bottoming out, with hopes that economic growth may start later this year. And many journalists in the business media are joining in, acting like paid touts for the stockbrokers.
Once upon a time the American auto industry was the star of a seemingly limitless consumer economy in the land of opportunity. American cars were the stuff of dreams. We even had pet names for them: Caddy, Chevy. And workers on Detroit’s assembly lines brought our country and the world the Motown beat.
State after state, some 45 in all, continue to suffer major budget shortfalls due to increased costs of anti-immigrant “enforcement only” local laws.
Mother’s Day comes once a year, but being a mother is an every-day job. It’s no surprise that 34 percent of full-time working mothers told a Mother’s Day survey they feel burned out. That’s surely a big understatement.
After the first, perhaps over analyzed, hundred days of the Obama administration, it is fair to say that President Obama is a reformer and we are entering an era of reforms, possibly radical reforms.
We welcome the news that both of the nation’s major labor federations have agreed to join forces to support an overhaul of the immigration system. They are backing the Obama administration’s call for a path to legalized status for each of the 12 million undocumented people now living and working in the United States.
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Earth Day, April 22, is sandwiched between Tax Day, April 15, and Workers Memorial Day, April 28. Just around the corner is May Day, May 1, the international workers day and a day for flower baskets and maypoles. What do they all have in common?