Workers & Economic Inequality

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A Bill to Get the Labor Movement Back on Offense

TCF fellows, Richard D. Kahlenberg and Moshe Marvit, have been mentioned in a Nation of Change article about the Ellison-Lewis Bill.

For years, the American labor movement has been on the defensive as it has become harder and harder for workers to join or maintain a union. But some House Democrats are planning a dramatic counter-offensive: a bill that would make union organizing a civil right. Representatives Keith Ellison and John Lewis plan to introduce a bill Wednesday that would make labor organizing a basic freedom no different than freedom from racial discrimination.

Read the full article.

Tags: union rights, union organizing, labor organizing as a civil right, labor movement, civil rights

Behind the Fed’s promise about short-term rates

TCF fellow, Mark Thoma, writes about the latest statement from the Federal Reserve, in an article for CBS News.

Can promises about the future have an effect today? That's the theory behind the Federal Reserve's statement following Wednesday's monetary policy meeting.

The Fed said it "currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run."

How is this supposed to work? How can a promise about the future course of interest rates have a stimulative effect on the economy today?

Read the full article.

Tags: monetary policy, interest rates, federal reserve, economics, bonds

Making workers’ rights a civil right

TCF fellows, Richard D. Kahlenberg and Moshe Marvit, write about the need to make workers' rights a civil right, in an opinion piece for The Hill.

A half-century ago, labor leaders sought common cause with civil rights groups in passing legislation to outlaw employment discrimination based on factors such as race, sex, religion and national origin. Most famously in that effort, the trade union and civil rights movements came together in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, whose speakers featured Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a young man named John Lewis.

Now, leading civil rights figures in Congress are taking steps to outlaw a relatively new form of discrimination: against workers of all races who try to form a union.

Read the full article.

Tags: unions, union rights, union organizing, labor unions, labor rights, labor organizing as a civil right, labor movement, civil rights

Why the Rich Should Call for Income Redistribution

TCF fellow, Mark Thoma writes about addressing inequality through income redistribution in an article for The Fiscal Times.

After the craze over Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty First Century, nobody should be surprised to learn that inequality has been increasing over the last several decades. The question is what to do about it.

One answer is to do nothing and hope the problem fixes itself, or to deny it is a problem at all. But that is a dangerous approach. There are no signs at all of internal mechanisms within capitalists systems that automatically move us toward an equitable income and wealth distribution, and if Piketty is correct we need to worry about the opposite – that increasing inequality is an inherent feature of capitalist systems.

Read the full article.

Tags: taxation, inequality, economics & inequality, capitalism

Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right

Photo by Flickr/Judy Baxter

TCF labor intern Imhotep Royster looks at new legislation from Reps. Keith Ellison and John Lewis that would make labor organizing a civil right.

Tags: unions, unionization, union organizing, labor unions, labor organizing as a civil right, labor organizing, labor, keith ellison, john lewis, civil rights

Labor Organizing as a Civil Right: Tep Royster on The Rick Smith Show

TCF labor intern Tep Royster joined joined The Rick Smith Show to talk about Tep’s article “Labor Organizing Is a Civil Right” and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison’s proposal to give workers the right to sue union busters who violate the right to organize. Listen below.

Tags: unions, rick smith show, labor organizing as a civil right, labor organizing, labor


Workers & Economic Inequality

Workers & Economic Inequality

In recent decades, and especially since 2000, the richest Americans have enjoyed soaring income and wealth while the rest of the population's living standards have stagnated. The Century Foundation was one of the first institutions to raise serious concerns about these trends and propose ideas for improving economic conditions for all Americans- not just the fortunate few.

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