Monday, September 12, 2005

American Rights at Work

By the way, I want to point you to the links over the right side of the screen there. One of them, American Rights at Work, is an advocacy group that Amber's sister Beth works for. They have some interesting facts and things to say about the state of workers' rights in America. Have a look at their website: it's eye-opening, for sure.

Speaking of, Molly Ivins (possibly my favorite voice in Texas news) wrote a great article about this very subject. Says Molly Ivins of our current situation:

For starters, we have a growing economic underclass. In 2004, 37 million Americans -- 12.7 percent of us -- lived in poverty, the fourth year in a row the numbers increased. Between one-fourth and one-fifth of American children are being raised in poverty.

Next up, more Americans lack health insurance -- 45.8 million. That's the fourth straight year that figure has gone up, too. Six million more people lacked health insurance in 2004 than in 2000. The proportion of Americans with employer-sponsored coverage keeps shrinking, and public insurance programs cannot make up the difference.

Meantime, the median income failed to increase for the fifth straight year, the first time that's happened since the feds started keeping records in 1967. Since the economy is "in recovery," where's all the money going?

Corporate CEOs moved up again, now making 431 times as much as the average worker. Our friends at the Center for American Progress calculate that if the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay had remained the same as it was in 1990, 301-to-one, the lowest-paid workers in the United States would be making $23.03 an hour.


I'm a teency bit skeptical about the $23.03 figure, but the pay raise would certainly be significant, anyway. She also makes sure to mention several of the grossest instances of congress shilling out for their corporate contributors: the federal energy bill, the bankruptcy bill, and CAFTA. God help you if you find yourself in financial straits, need to heat your home, or are exploited by your boss-- because the U.S. sure won't.

4 comments:

Neil (2 D's) said...

Speaking of right to work, decreasing income, and CEO's.....Any comments on Bush making changes so that workers in the Katrina relief effort make the minimum wages possible? Or that good ole Dick's Halliburton subsidiaries are doing most of the work without any bids taking place.. again?

El Ranchero said...

I can't say I've heard about the minimum wage thing (though I'm not exactly floored in surprise at hearing it). Do you have a link to that story?

The Halliburton issue... yeah, who didn't see that coming? In fact, Josh Marshall cites an article on the "Fat Times in Crony-ville" here.

Neil (2 D's) said...

Sorry, I was in a bit of a rush while leaving the last comment, resulting in a lack of detail. http://www.nathannewman.org/laborblog/archive/003368.shtml

This link covers what I was referring to.

El Ranchero said...

Right on. I did later find this reference, and, well, again, I wish this was in any way surprising. See, this is why we must have an INDEPENDENT investigation. But then again, 76% of the American people agree with me on this, including a majority of Republicans.