Tag: Commentary

Labor Must Embrace the Anti-Trump Resistance to Fight for the Working Class

The Trump presidency presents organized labor with a dilemma.

On the one hand, Trump’s advocacy for fossil fuel, infrastructure and military expansion promises to provide jobs for some union workers. His proposals to end trade deals and put tariffs on manufacturing imports align with long-standing labor opposition to pro-corporate globalization.

On the other hand, Trump and his Republican allies in Congress propose tax, budget and social welfare policies that would impoverish most workers. His Cabinet nominees are proven enemies of organized labor and the rights of workers. And his executive policies, legislative priorities and likely Supreme Court appointments point towards catastrophic restrictions on organized labor.

A portent of the future: Vice-President Mike Pence recently discussed with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker how to go national with Wisconsin’s restrictions on collective bargaining and union rights. Union membership has dropped some 40 percent in the state since Walker’s collective bargaining law passed in 2011. Only 8 percent of Wisconsin’s workers were in unions last year.

If we keep treating health insurance as a product, nothing will change

Here is the reality: We do not decide when we get sick. When we get sick, we cannot just shop around for the hospital and doctor that will provide the best price to treat a disease we do not yet know we have. Sickness does not know our socioeconomic condition, so having a ‘choice’ to purchase a plan we can afford means we get wealth-based health care.

Health insurance is not a product. Selling it that way is immoral, un-American, and downright evil.

Yes All Women | New Republic

Feminists do not have to be ideologically pure to be radical.

It may be easier to adopt the feminist “label” today than it was in the early 1960s. Still, we need more women to claim feminism, and then fight to make the movement what they want it to be. As a movement grows, internal disagreement grows, too. This isn’t always a bad thing: It is often in moments of disagreement that participants find common goals, fashion livable compromise, or persuade moderates that more radical strategy is needed. Living with conflict, building coalition—this is the stuff of politics.

New Anti-Protesting Legislation: A Deeper Look

The current round of legislation — introduced by Republican lawmakers in 19 states — attempts to criminalize and penalize protesting in various ways. Many states are drafting bills to increase fines and jail sentences for protesters obstructing traffic (Minnesota, Washington, South Dakota, Indiana, Florida, Mississippi, Iowa), tampering with or trespassing on infrastructure such as railways and pipelines (Colorado, Oklahoma), picketing (Michigan, Arkansas), wearing masks (Missouri), or refusing to leave an “unlawful protest” (Virginia). Particularly alarming are bills removing liability from drivers who “accidentally” hit and kill protesters (North Dakota, Tennessee, Florida). A bill in Indiana initially instructed police to clear protesters from highways by “any means necessary.” Other legislation has proposed labeling protests as “economic terrorism” (Washington, North Carolina), charging costs of policing to protesters and organizers (Minnesota), allowing businesses to sue individuals protesting them (Michigan, Colorado), and using anti-racketeering laws to seize assets of protesters (Arizona). A bill in Oregon would require public community colleges to expel students convicted of participating in a “violent riot.”

The Editors: Why Believe the President? | Commonweal Magazine

A man who routinely lies when nothing is at stake can be counted on to lie when everything is. If Trump’s campaign did collaborate with Russia’s interference in the presidential election, that would be an impeachable offense, as well as a criminal one. In that case, Trump would be in no hurry to come clean. The only way to find out what really happened is to let our intelligence agencies continue their investigations without interference from the White House. Once they’ve finished their work, they should report their findings not only to the House and Senate intelligence committees—whose Republican chairmen have already been enlisted by the Trump administration to do damage control—but also to an independent commission made up of nonpartisan experts rather than elected officials.