Lousy Pay? It’s Your Fault!

Talking Union

by Gregory N. Heires

Low Pay new image copyTechnological change and inadequate education are often cited as the principal causes of our wage crisis.

This argument, in a certain sense, blames workers for their plight. They are unwilling to invest sufficiently in their education, and they lack the necessary skills for complex jobs in the Information Age.

Similarly, conservatives charge that the unemployed leach off the taxpayers, content to get by on generous unemployment benefits and to allow unskilled immigrants to do the low-wage work that they should be doing.

Blame the individual. It’s a very American concept. As the title of a song from the musical “Into the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim puts it: “Your Fault.”

Another argument is that we can’t do much about the wage decline.

Americans simply can’t compete with the low-wage workers of China and developing countries. This presumes a certain inevitability about our falling standard of living. So…

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Hot Sales for Bulletproof Armor for Children

Diane Ravitch's blog

I wish this were a joke but it is not.

The manufacturer of body armor for children has reported high sales to parents and schools concerned about school shootings.

“The alarming rate of school shootings across the country appears to have added an unsettling new item to parents’ list of “back to school” items: bulletproof armor for their children. Among such items, the Bodyguard Blanket, a portable, bulletproof covering for children, has seen its sales exceed its manufacturer’s expectations in less than two weeks on the market….As reported first in the Oklahoman, the blanket was conceived to protect children during natural disasters. The blanket is made “with the same bullet resistant materials that shield our soldiers in battle,” according to one advertisement. In the event of a tornado — or shooting — children can wrap themselves in the blanket in a duck-and-cover position to shield from bullets, debris or other…

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▶ Bill Moyers interviews Charles Lewis: The Lies That Lead to War

Of course, the elephant in the room is never actually discussed: war is good for business, and the business of the United States is war. At this stage, the military industrial complex Ike warned us about has grown to encompass a massive number of corporations you and I pay for. The government calls this “contracting.” I won’t waste time detailing what contracting covers. In fact, it would probably take much less time to list what isn’t covered. As corporations have amassed and consolidated wealth and power, the military industrial complex has changed. As corporations have taken over more and more of the government, they have imposed a neoliberal model on its functions and policy aims. A key element of that model is privatization. If you don’t quite understand what I’m talking about, I will paraphrase Charles Lewis, it’s time for Americans to start learning what’s going on.

Rise Up Times

Lewis details the deceptions and illusions that have caused “most Americans and their elected representatives to completely ignore facts, logic and reason in the rush to war.” A complicit partner, he says, is a media intent on preserving the status quo and never offending the ruling elite.

Moyers and Company  June 27, 2014

As the exploding crisis in Iraq spotlights once again the tragic record of American policy in the Middle East, Bill speaks with investigative journalist Charles Lewis, whose new book, 935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity details the many government falsehoods that have led us into the current nightmare.

Lewis details the deceptions and illusions that have caused “most Americans and their elected representatives to completely ignore facts, logic and reason in the rush to war.” A complicit partner, he says, is a media intent on preserving the status…

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Henry Giroux: Data Storms and the Tyranny of Manufactured Forgetting

Rise Up Times

The current mainstream debate regarding the crisis in Iraq and Syria offers a near perfect example of both the death of historical memory and the collapse of critical thinking in the United States. It also signifies the emergence of a profoundly anti-democratic culture of manufactured ignorance and social indifference.

By Henry A. Giroux  Truthout.org | News Analysis  24 June 2014

Manufactured forgetting
(Image: Jared Rodriguez 

For in the world in which we live it is no longer merely a question of the decay of collective memory and declining consciousness of the past, but of the aggressive [assault on] whatever memory remains, the deliberate distortion of the historical record, the invention of mythological pasts in the service of the powers of darkness.

         − Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi[1]

All reification is forgetting.    − Herbert Marcuse[2]

The current mainstream debate regarding the crisis in Iraq and Syria…

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Bending the Arc of History

Talking Union

by Stan Sorscher

Many economists and policy-makers struggle to explain growing inequality and the erosion of the middle class.

Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman has a simple explanation, “…corporations use their growing monopoly power to raise prices without passing the gains on to their employees.”

The top 1% take 93% of all new gains created in our economy.

They divide gains that way – because they can!


Years ago, manufacturing workers had relatively strong bargaining power, which created a wage floor for all workers in the economy. Not anymore.

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David Swanson: So That’s Why They Kept the Drone Kill Memo Secret

Rise Up Times

Now that the U.S. government has released parts of its We-Can-Kill-People-With-Drones memo, it’s hard to miss why it was kept secret until now.

 By davidswanson  WarIsACrime.org  23 June 2014

Liberal professors and human rights groups and the United Nations were claiming an inability to know whether drone murders were legal or not because they hadn’t seen the memo that the White House said legalized them. Some may continue to claim that the redactions in the memo make judgment impossible.

I expect most, however, will now be willing to drop the pretense that ANY memo could possibly legalize murder.

Oh, and y’all can stop telling me not to use the impolite term “murder” to describe the, you know, murders — since “murder” is precisely the term used by the no-longer secret memo.

The memo considers a section of the U.S. code dealing with the murder of a U.S…

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