Do higher taxes make for fewer jobs -- or more? Is Congress debating real healthcare reform -- or just another corporate bailout? Is PTSD a good way to think about how people are affected by violence? This show takes on these questions, with host Tom Becker, Old Mole regulars Bill Resnick and Jan Haaken, and guests Karen Kraut and Rebecca Hyman.
Do higher taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals drive down investment and cost us jobs? Not at all, according to Karen Kraut of United for a Fair Economy in this wide-ranging discussion with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick. In fact, higher taxes keep surplus wealth out of the finance casino and puts it to work in the real economy. The conversation is specific to Oregon where the modest tax increases on the rich and on comporations will be up for voter approval in January. Kraut also recommends this website relating to Oregon.
Author and former "economic hit man" John Perkins joins Abe and Joe for a look behind the mirror at the coporations who have made America into history's first truly global empire. Perkins examines why global financial markets collapsed, and how we can build a better, cleaner and more just planet.
Today, Joe is by himself, and he opens the show with a reading of an article from August of 1993 that was printed in a small independent rag called PDXS. The article was entitled "Wake Up And Smell The Boot Polish," and warned us of a pending Fascist State looming on the horizon. Amazingly, the article could have been written yesterday, and inspired quite the flurry of calls.
Tonight's show is about employers who seize the current economic crisis as an opportunity to pit working people against each other and undermine longstanding union rights.
First, we speak with Karyl Feliciano, a Fred Meyer employee, and Jenny Reed, United Food and Commercial Worker (UFCW) union business representative, on large-scale contract negotiations with multiple employers, including Safeway, Albertsons, and Fred Meyer. The Hillsboro Fred Meyer recently called the cops on Jenny Reed and two other union representatives just for talking to union members at the grocery store.
A union representing fourteen part-time recycling specialists at Portland State University has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Chancellor George Pernsteiner and the Oregon State Board of Higher Education. They say the University refused to include the recyclers in bargaining negotiations over terms of a new contract for the four thousand five-hundred classified employees at the university. The recyclers, who voted unanimously to join SEIU Local 503, are believed to be the first group of undergraduate students to join a union in Oregon.
Nearly a year after his election (but, in fairness, not yet a year into his first term), Barack Obama is an enigma. Thankfully, he has abandoned the rapacious aggression and naked nationalism of the Bush years, but on critical issues like warrantless surveillance and detention of combatants he is barely distinguishable from his criminal predecessors. His clear-eyed acceptance of global warming is refreshing -- not to mention timely -- but he appears on the verge of capitulating to the profiteers who run the American health care system.
Barack Obama remains a study in contradictions. Abe and Joe examine his record thus far, and speculate on what's to come.
Thirty years ago, labor historian Bob Bussel worked on the organizing drive at J.P. Stevens, a violently anti-union Southern textile manufacturer--a campaign the inspired the movie Norma Rae. Besides giving actress Sally Field a career-defining role, the J.P Stevens drive gave rise to the "corporate campaign" strategy which became a standard weapon in the union arsenal. Bob Bussel talks with Peter Shapiro about the continuing significance of the J.P. Stevens drive and shares memories of the late Crystal Lee Sutton, who was the prototype for Sally Field's character.