From farmworkers to restaurant servers, the food system employs millions of laborers around the world to pick, package, transport, deliver, and cook our food every day. Of the 3 billion workers in the world's labor force, about 40 percent are employed in agriculture alone, according to the International Labor Organization of the United Nations (ILO).
There are 61,000 structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. today and 28 percent of urban roads are in substandard condition. Quite simply, the nation's transportation infrastructure is in crisis. Congress has the ability to change it. But it must put forward a bill that takes both funding and safety seriously.
Protesters warned about the problems the Pacific Rim trade deal could bring to people around the world. Whether it's jobs being shipped overseas and wages being driven down in the U.S., medicine prices going through the roof, more pollution or unsafe food and products heading to our shores as a result of this bad trade deal, that wasn't enough to sway TPP negotiators.
Trump taps into the righteous anger of an electorate while misdirecting those voters to scapegoat our struggling veterans, military, federal workers, retired people, sick and challenged under the clever and nondescript term -- dependent class. The American worker does not deserve to be squeezed by its own government. If politicians like Senator Casey and Hillary Clinton cannot get their message across, extremists, like Trump, win.
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.
When we have complicated trade agreements that could put thousands of U.S. workers on the unemployment line and hamper this nation's economy, shouldn't our elected officials have a chance to review and make changes to them? After all, lawmakers have certainly spent significant time considering more frivolous matters in recent years.
American workers are facing significant challenges. Whether it's low pay, a system that favors corporations over citizens, a gender wage gap, the effects of unfair trade or a voting system that hampers the most disadvantaged among us, these problems are real. But will those affected the most bother to do something about it?