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Video emerges of Trump and Ron DeSantis meeting man being investigated for human trafficking with Matt Gaetz

By PhillyNews.FYI , in News , at April 8, 2021 Tags: ,


<p>Fifty years ago, General Motors was the largest employer in America. The typical GM worker earned $35 an hour in today’s dollars and had a major say over working conditions.</p><p>Today’s largest employers are <a href=”https://href.li/?https://money.cnn.com/2018/04/19/technology/amazon-employee-salary/index.html” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Amazon</a> and <a href=”https://t.umblr.com/redirect?z=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Fmoney%2F2020%2F11%2F06%2Fhow-many-people-work-at-walmart-in-each-state-and-what-they-are-paid%2F42993851%2F&amp;t=MWJlNzU0Y2RlNzg3ZmNhYmY1MjA1NGIxOWNiZWZhYjQ1NzNiZjgxMyx4VXNzUEFHVg%3D%3D&amp;b=t%3AhQ9Ds4P3Iv6D7mgEr8WMqg&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Frobertreich.org%2Fpost%2F647740004988305408&amp;m=1&amp;ts=1617898446″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Walmart</a>, each paying far less per hour and routinely exploiting their workers, who have little recourse.</p><p>The typical GM worker wasn’t “worth” so much more than today’s Amazon or Walmart worker and didn’t have more valuable insights about working conditions.</p><p>The difference is those GM workers had a strong union. They were backed by the collective bargaining power of <a href=”https://href.li/?http://unionstats.gsu.edu/State_Union_Membership_Density_1964-2018.xlsx” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>more than a third</a> of the entire American workforce. </p><p>Today, most workers are on their own. Only <a href=”https://href.li/?http://www.unionstats.com/Private-Sector-workers.htm” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>6.4% of America’s private-sector workers </a>are unionized, providing little collective pressure on Amazon, Walmart, or other major employers to treat their workers any better.</p><p>Fifty years ago, the labor movement had enough political clout to ensure labor laws were enforced and that the government pushed giant firms like GM to sustain the middle class.</p><p>Today, organized labor’s political clout is minuscule by comparison. </p><p>The biggest political players are giant corporations like Amazon. They’ve used that political muscle to back “right-to-work” laws, whittle down federal labor protections, and keep the National Labor Relations Board understaffed and overburdened, allowing them to get away with egregious union-busting tactics.</p><p>They’ve also impelled government to <a href=”https://href.li/?https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/03/why-amazon-paid-no-federal-income-tax.html#:~:text=In%202018%2C%20Amazon%20paid%20%240,rebate%20from%20the%20federal%20government.” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>lower their taxes</a>; <a href=”https://href.li/?https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-amazons-hq2-means-for-taxpayers-in-new-york-and-virginia-2018-11-14″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>extorted states</a> to provide them tax breaks as a condition for locating facilities there; <a href=”https://href.li/?https://fortune.com/2018/06/12/amazon-just-killed-a-tax-that-helps-homeless-people/” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>bullied cities where they’re headquartered</a>; and wangled trade treaties allowing them to outsource so many jobs that blue-collar workers in America have little choice but to take low-paying, high-stress warehouse and delivery gigs. </p><p>Oh, and they’ve neutered antitrust laws, which in an earlier era would have had companies like Amazon in their crosshairs.</p><p>This decades-long power shift – the ascent of corporate leviathans and the demise of labor unions – has resulted in a massive upward redistribution of income and wealth. The richest 0.1% of Americans now have almost as much wealth as the <a href=”https://href.li/?https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/jan/31/elizabeth-warren/warren-top-01-own-about-much-bottom-90/” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>bottom 90%</a> put together.</p><p>The power shift can be reversed – but only with stronger labor laws resulting in more unions, tougher trade deals, and a renewed commitment to antitrust.</p><p>The Biden administration and congressional Democrats appear willing. The House has just passed the <a href=”https://t.umblr.com/redirect?z=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2F2021%2F03%2F09%2Fhouse-passes-pro-act-bill-would-reform-labor-laws%2F4636381001%2F&amp;t=Y2M2OTQxYjhjMWY3ZDM3ZTE3Y2E3NGQzMmJhZGQwMTBjZWQ4YThjMSx4VXNzUEFHVg%3D%3D&amp;b=t%3AhQ9Ds4P3Iv6D7mgEr8WMqg&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Frobertreich.org%2Fpost%2F647740004988305408&amp;m=1&amp;ts=1617898446″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>toughest labor reforms in more than a generation</a>. Biden’s new trade representative, promises trade deals will protect American <a href=”https://t.umblr.com/redirect?z=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2021%2F03%2F17%2Fbusiness%2Feconomy%2Ffree-trade-biden-tai.html&amp;t=ZmI5ODAzNmQwZjE1MTBkYjMyMWU2NTJjNDYxYzkzMmNiNDc3Y2ExNix4VXNzUEFHVg%3D%3D&amp;b=t%3AhQ9Ds4P3Iv6D7mgEr8WMqg&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Frobertreich.org%2Fpost%2F647740004988305408&amp;m=1&amp;ts=1617898446″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>workers rather than exporters</a>. And Biden is putting trustbusters in <a href=”https://href.li/?https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/09/biden-antitrust-tech-ftc-474875″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>critical positions</a> at the Federal Trade Commission and in the White House.</p><p>And across the country, <a href=”https://t.umblr.com/redirect?z=https%3A%2F%2Ftime.com%2F5928528%2Ffrontline-workers-strikes-labor%2F&amp;t=ZWVkOWVhNmFkNTVhOWI5ZjVjNDU0YWFhMGQzMDg4ZTg5MDQ1MWRkYyx4VXNzUEFHVg%3D%3D&amp;b=t%3AhQ9Ds4P3Iv6D7mgEr8WMqg&amp;p=https%3A%2F%2Frobertreich.org%2Fpost%2F647740004988305408&amp;m=1&amp;ts=1617898446″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>labor activism has surged</a> – from the Amazon union effort, to frontline workers walking out and striking to demand better pay, benefits, and safety protections.</p><p>I’d like to think America is at a tipping point similar to where it was some 120 years ago, when the ravages and excesses of the Gilded Age precipitated what became known as the Progressive Era. Then, reformers reined in the unfettered greed and inequalities of the day and made the system work for the many rather than the few.</p><p>It’s no exaggeration to say that we’re now living in a Second Gilded Age. And today’s progressive activists may be on the verge of ushering us into a Second Progressive Era. They need all the support we can give them.</p><p><a href=”https://robertreich.org/post/647740004988305408″ target=”_blank”>This article was originally published at RobertReich.org</a></p>

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