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Middle Class

Obama's Advance Team Should Be Fired

David Morris | Posted 05.20.2015 | Politics
David Morris

The Obamas are proving singularly inept at choosing appropriate venues to highlight their initiatives.

The Middle Class Needs Help -- Not a Fast Track to Trade Deals

Sen. Barbara Boxer | Posted 05.19.2015 | Politics
Sen. Barbara Boxer

They say timing is everything in life. Well, if that's true, the timing of this legislation to approve fast-track trade authority could not be worse for middle-class families.

The Hypocrisy of 'Pro-Life' and the GOP

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 05.19.2015 | Politics
Warren J. Blumenfeld

In actuality, the GOP conducts itself as a party that stands for life until birth; then one is left to fend for oneself.

Rubio Will Likely Be the Republican Nominee

Sean McElwee | Posted 05.18.2015 | Politics
Sean McElwee

The Florida senator is the ideal candidate to expand the Reagan coalition while holding on to the conservative base, and he can take shots at Clinton that would sound hypocritical coming from Bush. While his power as a candidate has yet to emerge in the polls, a misstep by Bush will send him straight to the top.

Opportunity or Inequality? That's No Choice at All

Richard (RJ) Eskow | Posted 05.14.2015 | Politics
Richard (RJ) Eskow

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll recently asked, "Which concerns you more: the income gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the country, or middle and working class Americans not being able to get ahead financially?" If you understand how the economy works, that isn't just the wrong question. It's probably a meaningless one.

The Meaning of Middle Class

Kathleen Weldon | Posted 05.15.2015 | Politics
Kathleen Weldon

On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has said, "We need to make the middle class mean something again." What does being middle class mean to Americans, and has the meaning changed?

Using the Poor as Novocain for Growing Economic Fears

Byron Williams | Posted 05.16.2015 | Business
Byron Williams

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback recently signed into law a bill that would curtail what those who receive public assistance could purchase with their government-issued debit cards.

Now Is the Time for a Living Wage Law in America

Fred Lundgren | Posted 05.13.2015 | Politics
Fred Lundgren

If you oppose a living wage law, I suggest you take the minimum wage challenge for one year. Try to live on a minimum wage for one year and then let's talk again. I'll bet your opinion will change.

How Democrats Are Fighting for Moms Every Day

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz | Posted 05.10.2015 | Politics
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Mother's Day is about thanking moms for everything they do for their children. But I'm also thankful for everything Democrats do for moms. As a society, we must be committed to empowering moms to make those tough decisions and to create opportunities for them to succeed.

BIG: Buy Local, Invest and Hire Local, Give Local

Henry A. J. Ramos | Posted 05.08.2015 | Politics
Henry A. J. Ramos

Late last year, working with an impressive array of more than twenty institutional partners, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development launched an important new initiative.

Making the Economy Work for the Many, Not the Few -- Step 1: Raise the Minimum Wage

Robert Reich | Posted 05.07.2015 | Politics
Robert Reich

Over time we've seen significant growth in the "working poor" -- people working full time, sometimes even 60 or more hours each week, but at such low wages that they remain impoverished. What to do?

Opportunity, Inequality, Public Opinion, and Power

Jared Bernstein | Posted 05.05.2015 | Politics
Jared Bernstein

There is a theme, if not a meme (not totally sure of the difference; maybe the latter is a theme amplified on the internet) developing among candidates for president, especially among the many Republicans, that what matters is opportunity, not inequality.

How Racism Is Destroying the Middle Class

Sean McElwee | Posted 05.04.2015 | Politics
Sean McElwee

While the Tea Party, and Republicans, have denied that their war on the poor isn't racially biased, they occasionally slip up.

Latest Trade Push Is A War On Workers

James P. Hoffa | Posted 04.28.2015 | Business
James P. Hoffa

President Obama recently downplayed the impact of unfair trade on the U.S. workforce, arguing that many manufacturing jobs are low-paying. But I disagree. This nation's manufacturing base provides a pathway to prosperity for many Americans -- and this administration cannot shut the door on their future.

SBA Modernization Is Unlocking Commercial Capital

Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet | Posted 04.10.2015 | Small Business
Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet

As an immigrant who came to this country at age 5 with no economic advantages, I believe that entrepreneurism is the greatest force the world has ever known for lifting people out of poverty. SBA plays a special role in empowering those born without any head start.

Human Work for the Robots' Future

Martin Marty | Posted 04.09.2015 | Religion
Martin Marty

After the recent week(s) in which media gave more attention to religion than at almost any other time, our Sightings resources this week include no reference to religion, though their subject will have enormous consequences for religion in public and private life.

Making Inequality The Center Of The 2016 Debate

Heather McGhee | Posted 04.07.2015 | Politics
Heather McGhee

Today's progressives believe that we can do it again, but even better this time, marshaling more of the dynamism of our global economy and including more of the potential of our diverse population.

In Post-Civil Rights America Do We Know How to Organize?

Junius Williams | Posted 04.06.2015 | Black Voices
Junius Williams

In Selma Alabama, at the 50th year anniversary of Bloody Sunday, people from all over the world gathered at the Edmund Pettus Bridge for a symbolic march to the other side. But there were no leaders to lead, no plan to make it over and back. Where were the traditional leaders?

My Life Would Not Be Possible Without Feminism

Sarah Gilbert | Posted 04.06.2015 | Women
Sarah Gilbert

At first glance, none my circumstances may strike you as remarkable. In fact, maybe you share in many of them. But if I had been born even 50 years earlier, I wouldn't have many of the rights that I have now to love who I love, make choices about my body and own property.

The GOP Budget: Every Tax Loophole Is Sacred

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse | Posted 03.26.2015 | Politics
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

The wealthier you are and the more you care about yourself over your neighbor or your country, the more you'll like this Republican budget. It achieves balance entirely on the backs of middle-class families and our most vulnerable citizens, without asking billionaires or big corporations to pay -- forget a fair share -- one penny more toward our nation's prosperity.

The Grand Republican Strategy: We Win, You Pay!

Anthony W. Orlando | Posted 05.25.2015 | Politics
Anthony W. Orlando

You never hear the reformocons talk about arithmetic in their speeches. They talk about inequality and upward mobility and the American middle class. They talk about all sorts of expensive new plans, and they never mention that there's a catch.

The Bright Future of Asia's Middle Class

Lee Jong-Wha | Posted 05.24.2015 | World
Lee Jong-Wha

SEOUL -- Equipped with high-quality education, Asia's rising middle class will demand higher-quality public services. Increased confidence in their country's political systems and institutional structures, enhanced by improved perceptions of upward mobility, will help to strengthen the rule of law. And there will be more opportunities for women to learn and work, leading to greater gender equality.

America Needs Labor Unions

Dale Hansen | Posted 05.24.2015 | Politics
Dale Hansen

Considering that studies have found a direct correlation between the number of people in labor unions and the distribution of wealth, it becomes clear that if the Republicans' goal is to build a stronger, healthier economy for all Americans, then continuing to add obstacles to organizing is the wrong approach.

Why the 99 Percent Keeps Losing

Robert Kuttner | Posted 05.22.2015 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

Our current political situation is unprecedented. The vast majority of Americans keep falling behind economically because of changes in society's ground rules, while the rich get even richer -- yet this situation doesn't translate into a winning politics. If anything, the right keeps gaining and the wealthy keep pulling away. How can this possibly be? In the face of all these assaults on the working and middle class, there are many movements but no Movement. The Occupy movement, which gave us the phrase, "The One Percent," was too hung up on its own procedural purity to create a broad movement for economic justice. This vicious circle can be reversed, as it has been reversed at moments in the American past. As that noted political consultant Joe Hill put it, as they were taking him to the gallows, "Don't mourn, organize."

Why College Isn't (And Shouldn't Have to Be) For Everyone

Robert Reich | Posted 05.22.2015 | Politics
Robert Reich

America clings to the conceit that four years of college are necessary for everyone, and looks down its nose at people who don't have college degrees. This has to stop. It's time to give up the idea that every young person has to go to college, and start offering high-school seniors an alternative route into the middle class.