Here's a fact that might jolt some apathetic citizens into action, as well as make some members of Congress sweat: While tens of millions of Americans live on a poverty-level $7.25 per hour, their hired hands in Congress are making $83 per hour plus generous healthcare and pension benefits.
Quinn's gubernatorial opponent Bruce Rauner said he favored reducing Illinois' $8.25-an-hour minimum wage to the federally mandated $7.25 minimum. No sooner did those remarks become public -- generating swift backlash from nearly all sides -- than Rauner backtracked.
This Labor Day, let's remember that hardworking men and women are the backbone of our country, and let's redouble our efforts to uphold our nation's great promise to them: that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it in America.
There are 10.6 million poor people who have a job, and often head households with children. Modest policy efforts can help change the negative dynamics that poverty creates. Luckily, there are tools that can help and which have a proven track record.
Women's equality matters because every American deserves quality, affordable, patient-centered health care and efforts to provide that remain under attack, as does the birth control coverage and access to reproductive health services that women need.
We tried waiting and hoping for real change six years ago. Today, income inequality grows steadily worse, while economic opportunity is out of reach for most. This Labor Day I will look forward to a warm summer day, but I'm also dreaming of the movement we can build.
One in four U.S. employees are low-wage workers. That is 20 percent higher than in the United Kingdom, and the highest percentage among industrialized nations. So how'd that all anti-union stuff work out?
Labor Day is seen as a day of rest for many hardworking Americans. But for a growing set of U.S. workers, there is no break from trying to earn enough to support their families. Despite a dip in unemployment during the past few years, low pay continues to plague many employees while their corporate bosses rake in record profits.
For too long the needs of women and families have been dismissed by our elected officials, as if women, who make up more than 50 percent of the population, are a special interest group seeking special treatment. It is way past time Congress understood that our issues are not an afterthought but are of critical importance.
Today marks Women's Equality Day. It is also a little more than two months from the 2014 midterm elections. In my mind, these two things are inextricably linked.
As inequality grows, the rich become more powerful than the rest of the population, enabling them to veto any policy that impedes their one-sided enrichment. They also become less empathetic toward the rest of the population, whose lives seem less similar to their own with each passing year.
There's an old saying in surfing: Go big or go home. Right now, each race around the country is in it's own little bubble, disconnected to the larger narrative. Only true vision and leadership can unite them to raise a populist wave and that is what the Presidential pulpit is for.
Presidents have been unwilling to name, much less remedy, the deep economic forces that are turning payroll jobs into what I've termed "The Task Rabbit Economy" -- a collection of ad hoc gigs with no benefits, no job security, no career paths, and no employer reciprocity for worker diligence. But there are signs that maybe this issue is starting to break through.
The Washington, D.C. restaurant industry is not only a haven for big shot restaurateurs, it's quickly becoming a strong industry for restaurant workers as well. Let's just take a look at some of the ways this is true.
Who knew that a former executive at General Electric, a company widely-known for its tax dodging and outrageous lobbying expenses, would take a bold, selfless stand against income inequality as president of a public university?
You should vote Republican if you think it is better for Congress to take a five-week vacation rather than tackle critical issues like immigration, the border crisis, jobs, crumbling bridges, and climate change.