The Truth About Trump’s Economy

Robert Reich

Robert Reich Former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Professor at Berkeley

I keep hearing that although Trump may be a scoundrel or worse, he’s done a great job for the economy.

Baloney. Yes, the stock market is great, but 84 percent of it is owned by the richest 10 percent of Americans.

The economy is growing, but very little of that growth is trickling down to average Americans. Jobs may be back but they pay squat, especially compared to the rising costs of housing, healthcare, and education.

Trump slashed taxes on the wealthy and corporations, and he promised everyone else a wage boost of $4,000 but it never happened.

Meanwhile, employers continue to cut pension and healthcare benefits. Jobs are less secure than ever. One in 5 jobs is now held by a worker under contract, without any unemployment insurance, sick leave, or retirement savings.

Housing costs are skyrocketing, with a large portion of Americans now paying a third of their paychecks in rent or mortgages.

Trump’s budget proposes drastic cuts in low-income housing. Trump’s undermining of the Affordable Care Act is also making life harder. Over the past two years, some 4 million people have lost healthcare coverage, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

The costs of college education continue to soar. All Trump has done is make it easier for for-profit colleges to defraud students.

And as the climate changes, more Americans are being hit with floods, mudslides, droughts, and wildfires. 

And what’s Trump’s response? Allow more carbon pollution into the atmosphere and make climate change even worse.

So don’t be fooled. Don’t judge this economy by the stock market or economic growth, or even the level of unemployment.

Look at actual living standards of average working Americans, and you see an economy that’s getting worse, not better. 

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Reposted from Robert Reich

Robert Reich served as the nation’s 22nd Secretary of Labor and now is a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His latest book, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, is now in bookstores. His earlier book, “Supercapitalism,” is out in paperback. For copies of his articles, books, and public radio commentaries, go to www.RobertReich.org.

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!