This widely reported "official" number overlooks the millions of people unemployed for more than a year, nor does it count those who are working part-time and looking for full-time work. The Department of Labor monthly report which includes people working part-time and looking for full-time work shows the real rate of unemployment.
We can afford to pay workers fairly and it is the right thing to do. We also need equal pay for equal work. Today, women, on average, still earn only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. It is even less for women of color -- for African-American women it's 64 cents and for Latinas it's 55 cents. This is unacceptable.
To parents who want to provide a memorable Labor Day weekend for your children, I wish you well. After you vacuum the minivan, drop the dog at the kennel, and hunt down one damn DVD that isn't scratched to death, you might want to toss out your laminated itinerary, bedazzle your noise-reducing headphones and prepare for Plan B.
For too long, people have assumed that correction officers' unions, by their very nature, must oppose justice reform. This assumption is based on the belief that decarceration is a zero-sum game and unions benefit from mass incarceration. But this isn't true; strong correctional unions are essential to justice reform.