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Jake Blumgart
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Blog Entries by Jake Blumgart

Wells Fargo and Other Megabanks Don't Care About Your Business

(1) Comments | Posted April 24, 2012 | 11:41 AM

This February banking goliath Wells Fargo, the big bank with most branches nationwide, announced another round of fees on basic checking accounts. Customers in six states will have to pay $7 a month if they receive paper statements, $5 if they get them online. The fees can be...

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Expanding Title VII to Cover Union Organizing

(1) Comments | Posted April 4, 2012 | 10:47 AM

In 2010 Philadelphia's first and only casino opened in North Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood, pressed against the shore of the Delaware River. During the protracted wrangling over the construction of Sugarhouse, the owners swore that their business would create hundreds of good, stable jobs in a part of town known for...

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Americans Are Protesting, But What Stops Full-Scale Rioting?

(9) Comments | Posted March 30, 2012 | 1:01 PM

This story was originally published on Alternet.

Michael Katz's Why Don't American Cities Burn? is both a crushing reminder of seemingly intractable problems that still face American cities and an exploration of why things aren't worse. It is a slim book that serves as a general overview...

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Eastern Europe's Conservative Crackdown on Reproductive Freedom

(2) Comments | Posted February 9, 2012 | 12:40 PM

Across Eastern and Central Europe, emboldened right-wing leaders are resurrecting debates around abortion and other reproductive services, even in largely secular nations like Hungary.

"There is a very strong pronatalist [anti-choice] current in Central and Eastern Europe and that goes along with nationalist tendencies in many of these countries," says...

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4 Absurd, Damaging Right-Wing Lies About Food Stamps

(279) Comments | Posted January 12, 2012 | 2:45 PM

On November 4, 2011 Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and eight of her Democratic colleagues ended their week-long "food stamp challenge." During the challenge, the congresspeople maintained a $4.50-per-day food budget to better understand the situation of those in the food stamp program, which delivers an average weekly benefit...

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Four Popular Safety-Net Programs Tea Party Republicans Have Turned Against

(236) Comments | Posted November 18, 2011 | 9:47 AM

Imagine how much harder the last three years would have been without the safeguards erected over the past 80 years, in many cases with bipartisan support. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance are the broadest, but there are also the programs specifically targeted toward low-income Americans: the earned income...

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Four Things Occupy Wall Street Should Know About the Federal Reserve

(260) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 10:34 AM

The Federal Reserve is ripe for critique. In fact, the Federal Reserve is a system in desperate need of reform. Occupy Wall Street seems perfectly positioned to apply the pressure needed to mend this hugely important, but little understood institution. Unfortunately, the movement is home to a more reactionary

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Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Cries Wolf Over Earned Sick Days

(8) Comments | Posted March 14, 2011 | 11:19 AM

Last Friday, the Philadelphia Daily News published an ominous Chamber of Commerce op-ed piece, warning against the earned sick days bill passed out of committee last week. The article prophesied a disturbing mass of unintended consequences: job losses, shuttered businesses, and slashed benefits.

Sound familiar?

It...

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Will Higher Taxes on the Rich Kill Jobs?

(127) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 11:20 AM

Will raising income taxes on the rich hurt or help the economy? That's the key question that Congress will be debating as they consider whether to extend the tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003, which are set to expire at the end of the...

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GOP-Tea Party Rift Is a Myth

(40) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 3:01 PM

One of the most popular narratives of this past electoral season cast the Tea Party, and its champion Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), as far-right insurgents smashing against the citadels of the GOP establishment, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). In this view, the new Republicans elected to the...

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Six Months After Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, Republicans Still Obstructing Progress

(5) Comments | Posted October 5, 2010 | 3:06 PM

Six months ago, on April 5th, 29 miners were killed by an immense explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. They didn't have to die. Mine owners, government officials, and union safety experts have known how to prevent such explosions for decades. Some operators take the necessary...

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A New Labor Standard for Labor Day: Paid Sick Leave

(105) Comments | Posted September 3, 2010 | 2:46 PM

You wake up Monday morning with a throbbing headache, achy muscles and a hacking cough. Do you miserably trudge into work, likely prolonging your recovery time and exposing your co-workers to infection? Or do you give your body the time it needs to heal, and call in sick? Can you...

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The Soda Tax Wars

(80) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 3:14 PM

This is the year of the soda tax.

Last year, the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and the American Beverage Association (ABA) spent an unprecedented $37.5 million lobbying Capitol Hill to quash a proposal in Congress to tax soft drinks as part of a plan to pay for health care reform.

...
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