How vicious is the GOP’s war on the poor?

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

Generals plan wars, but battlefield commanders do the bloody work.

So, meet HUD Secretary, Ben Carson, a quiet but bloodstained commandante in General Trump’s relentless war against poverty-stricken Americans. Carson is loyally serving the extreme right-wing’s ideological crusade to destroy the very idea of housing subsidies for poor families. He has taken a budget ax to the program that enforces our society’s fair housing laws, and he even stripped the words “free from discrimination” out of HUD’s mission statement.

Such sneak attacks, however, were deemed too subtle by Trump’s political base of hardcore haters of poverty programs, so the commander-in-chief demanded a frontal assault on the poorest of the poor. Carson delivered, dutifully, proposing legislation to triple the monthly rent that the most impoverished of public housing families would pay – including increased rents for the elderly and disabled. To add cruelty to this nastiness, Carson also called for eliminating child-care and medical deductions that public housing families can subtract from their rent payments.

He tried to pass off this cold-blooded ambush of real people as merely a bureaucratic “streamlining,”calling it necessary to cut the federal deficit. That’s a despicable ruse, for the deficit was deliberately and grossly inflated just a few months ago – not by poor people, but by the trillion-dollar tax giveaway passed by Trump and the Republican Congress for the very richest people in America. And let’s not forget that Carson himself was willing to bloat the deficit when he recently tried to spend taxpayer’s money on a $31,000 dining set for his office suite! Fortunately, this plutocratic purchase was exposed and canceled – but was he embarrassed? Nah.

This is Jim Hightower saying… So, Trump, Carson, and GOP congress critters have also added hypocrisy to the nastiness and cruelty of their ongoing war against the poor.

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Reposted from the Hightower Lowdown

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Uber Drivers Deserve Legal Rights and Protections

By Kathleen Mackey
USW Intern

In an advisory memo released May 14, the U.S. labor board general counsel’s office stated that Uber drivers are not employees for the purposes of federal labor laws.

Their stance holds that workers for companies like Uber are not included in federal protections for workplace organizing activities, which means the labor board is effectively denying Uber drivers the benefits of forming or joining unions.

Simply stating that Uber drivers are just gig workers does not suddenly undo the unjust working conditions that all workers potentially face, such as wage theft, dangerous working conditions and  job insecurity. These challenges are ever-present, only now Uber drivers are facing them without the protection or resources they deserve. 

The labor board’s May statement even seems to contradict an Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that couriers for Postmates, a job very similar to Uber drivers’, are legal employees.

However, the Department of Labor has now stated that such gig workers are simply independent contractors, meaning that they are not entitled to minimum wages or overtime pay.

While being unable to unionize limits these workers’ ability to fight for improved pay and working conditions, independent contractors can still make strides forward by organizing, explained executive director of New York Taxi Workers Alliance Bhairavi Desai.

“We can’t depend solely on the law or the courts to stop worker exploitation. We can only rely on the steadfast militancy of workers who are rising up everywhere,” Desai said in a statement. 

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Make Father's Day Union Made!

Make Father's Day Union Made!