Loebsack Introduces Legislation To Close The Urban-Rural Digital Divide

If you go by what you see in the media, you would think the only thing going on in Washington these days is Trump tweeting increasingly outrageous ideas on a daily basis. But you would be wrong. There is actual work being done by some in congress.

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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today announced that his legislation, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act (HR 4229), will serve as the basis of the legislative hearing in the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The hearing is entitled, “Legislating to Connect America: Improving the Nation’s Broadband Maps” and will include discussion of five pieces of legislation, including Loebsack’s bipartisan Broadband DATA Act and the Mapping Accuracy Promotion Services Act (HR 4227), of which Loebsack is the original cosponsor. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, September 11 at 10:30am EDT (9:30am CDT).

“I am thankful that Chairmen Pallone and Doyle are holding this important hearing to examine how we can improve the nation’s broadband mapping system. In order to actually fix the problem and get highspeed broadband to where it is needed, especially in rural areas, we must have the best data available. Without that information, we cannot properly invest in building out broadband access. I look forward to hearing from the experts about what it will take to get the maps correct and the broadband to where the problems truly exist,” said Loebsack in advance of the hearing.

“A significant digital divide remains between urban and rural America. Congressman Loebsack is a leader in working to close this divide by promoting broadband deployment throughout rural America. Loebsack serves on the Communications and Technology subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over telecommunications issues. He also serves as a co-chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus.

Hearing starts at about 9:38.

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Returning Iowan To Governor Reynolds: “This Is Not Iowa”

Photo: UI College of Public Health

Contributed by Margaret Acosta Weirich

Having been raised in Iowa, I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to return to my home state this spring. One advantage of living in Iowa is the accessibility of outdoor recreation. I have fond memories of visiting Lake MacBride in my youth, and my current residence is not far from Gray’s Lake in Des Moines. I was excited to spend the summer with my two dogs going to the lake, paddle boarding, boating, and enjoying the various other recreational opportunities that Iowa has to offer.

Unfortunately, over the summer I became more and more concerned about the safety and quality of the water in Iowa’s lakes. I saw photos of Lake MacBride, close to my hometown, turned fluorescent green from a harmful algae bloom. I have heard that Gray’s Lake, which I was so excited to be near, may not be safe for me or my dogs to enjoy. In fact, just this month I read horrifying news stories from across the country about dogs dying from swimming in lakes where harmful algae blooms had caused high microcystin levels. Pets and children are particularly susceptible to serious illness from exposure to toxins. The thought of this happening to my little dogs, Wendell and Wren, is unimaginable.

Recently, the Reynolds administration rolled out “This is Iowa”, a campaign to attract and retain young professionals to live and work in Iowa. One of the main features of this campaign is outdoor recreation, particularly in and around water. While Iowa definitely has beautiful natural resources that should be protected and celebrated, statewide leaders have not made serious efforts to put their money where their mouths are on water quality. To encourage folks to swim, play, recreate, and relocate based on opportunities for outdoor recreation, those opportunities should at least be safe.

I love this state and I am so glad as a young professional I was able to move back here. I am alarmed and disappointed, however, in the quality of our recreational waters and the potential harm that could be done during what should be a wonderful afternoon at the beach. Iowa should be a great place to live, work, and play, and we deserve to have our natural resources and our public health protected.

Margaret Acosta Weirich
Des Moines, Iowa

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Women Transforming Media: Jen Senko

Read my review of Jen Senko’s film  here:  blogforiowa.com/movie-review-the-brainwashing-of-my-dad/

Connect with Jen Senko on Facebook.  She is seeking our help fighting the corrosive effects of right wing propaganda on our democracy.  Do you have a personal story of losing a loved one to Fox News or Rush Limbaugh? Do you know someone who has recovered?  Jen is seeking stories for her new book.  She is specifically looking for SUCCESS stories of those successfully deprogrammed after being brainwashed by right wing media.

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Dave Loebsack Continues To Work To Improve Rural Broadband

Congressman Dave Loebsack

Reps. Loebsack, Latta, Long and McEachin Introduce Legislation to Improve Broadband Data Maps

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Bob Latta (OH-05) introduced bipartisan legislation that would improve the accuracy of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) broadband availability maps. The “Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act (HR 4229)’’ will improve the accuracy of FCC broadband data maps by changing the way broadband data is collected. The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Billy Long (MO-07) and Donald McEachin (VA-04). Legislation similar to the Broadband DATA Act has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (MN), Roger Wicker (MS), Gary Peters (MI) and John Thune (SD).

Additionally, Reps. McEachin and Long introduced today the “Mapping Accuracy Promotes Services (MAPS) Act (HR 4227),” which will help hold broadband providers accountable by making it against the law to knowingly provide inaccurate data to the FCC. Reps. Loebsack and Latta also cosponsored this bill.

“In 2019, it is unacceptable that many families, small businesses, farmers, educators and healthcare providers in rural areas don’t have the necessary access to high-speed internet,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack. “In order to actually fix the problem and get high-speed broadband to rural areas, we must have the best data available. Without knowing where the high-speed broadband problem truly exists, we cannot properly invest in building out access. Folks simply can’t compete in the 21st Century economy we live in without access to high-speed broadband internet.”

“Rural communities like much of Ohio’s 5th District often struggle with having access to fast, reliable broadband. Unfortunately, without this access it is difficult for them to do their jobs, finish their homework, and stay connected to friends and family. With this legislation, we’ll be better able to pinpoint areas that are lacking coverage, and help ensure that unserved and underserved communities have better broadband availability,” said Congressman Bob Latta.

“It is simple: we cannot expand broadband Internet to rural and underserved communities if we do not know first where broadband service is needed,” said Congressman A. Donald McEachin. “This means we need better coverage maps, which in turn requires Internet service providers to submit accurate coverage data to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Our legislation, the Mapping Accuracy Promotes Services Act, or MAPS Act, will make it unlawful for providers to knowingly, willfully, or recklessly provide inaccurate data to the FCC. The MAPS Act, together with the legislation from Congressman Loebsack and Ranking Member Latta, will ensure that we have a more complete understanding of broadband availability—and thus help bring much-needed, high-speed Internet to our constituents.”

“I’m proud to join Reps. McEachin, Loebsack and Latta in sponsoring legislation that improves broadband maps,” said Congressman Billy Long. “For rural communities, such as those in Missouri’s 7th Congressional District, access to broadband is scarce. This bill would take the necessary steps to inform providers who is and is not connected.”

Specifically, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act:

  • Requires the FCC to collect granular service availability data from wired, fixed wireless, and satellite broadband providers.
  • Requires strong parameters for service availability data collected from mobile broadband providers to ensure accuracy.
  • Asks the FCC to consider whether to collect verified coverage data from state, local, and tribal governments, as well as from other entities.
  • Creates a process for consumers, state, local, and Tribal governments, and other groups to challenge FCC maps with their own data, and requires the FCC to determine how to structure the process without making it overly burdensome on challengers.
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Nebraska Farmers Union Head Call For Action On Climate Change

Image (2) Ed-Fallon-talking-with-a-farmer-along-the-pipeline-route-300x174.jpg for post 29358

While not Iowa specifically, Nebraska is in the neighborhood. What applies to them probably has application to Iowa.

From thehill.com    

 “The Farmers Union has been a leader in the climate issue,” John Hansen told Hill.TV. “We want there to be an appropriate response at the state level, at the federal level.”

“We need to look at agriculture as an opportunity to help take a bunch of excess carbon that’s in the air and sequester it through the plant and into the roots, into the soil,” Hansen added.

He emphasized the need for more tools and better research, saying elected officials can’t afford to waste any time in addressing the issue.

“We’re at a point where the longer we wait, the more costly the fix is going to be and the more radical the changes will need to be,” he told Hill.TV.

The question over how to best address climate change and carbon emissions has become a decisive issue among Democratic primary candidates.

(There is a video at the link that I was unable to link to)

Considering that farmers should be among the first and the most critically affected by climate change it is encouraging to see some leadership calling for action.

It is also worth noting that the scientific progress that Mr. Hansen is calling for will most likely be severely hampered by the the Department of Agriculture’s decision to move many of its scientists to Kansas City. A good portion of those scientists have refused the move thus causing a major loss of scientists at this critical time. Almost seems like that was planned to hamper research into climate change effects on agriculture.

From NPR:

Two vital research agencies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are hemorrhaging staff as less than two-thirds of the researchers asked to relocate from Washington to the Kansas City area have agreed to do so.

<<snip>>

But groups such as the Union of Concerned Scientists call it a “blatant attack on science” that will “especially hurt farmers, ranchers and eaters at a particularly vulnerable time.”

The American Federation of Government Employees, the union representing the USDA’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, said the relocation “has resulted in catastrophic attrition at USDA’s top research agencies.”

“Evidence suggests that the relocation of these agencies is an attempt to hollow out and dismantle USDA science that helps farmers and protects our food supply,” the union added.

It almost begins to look as if this administration is at war with its most loyal voting bloc, the farmers.

Posted in #trumpresistance, Climate Change, Farming | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Sunday Funday: Weatherman Edition

sharpie

unsung hero or wicked villain?

“Just because you slept with someone named Stormy, it does not make you a weatherman.” Spoken by Joy Behar on the “View” Thursday. This was in response to the Chosen One’s recent adventure where he altered weather maps to  back up a lie he told concerning the path of Hurricane Dorian.

Think about how the Chosen One has over and over again taken insane actions to cover his lies and bad choices. Ask Iowa farmers how that is working out for them. He is now literally illegally stealing money appropriated for other purposes by Congress to build an unneeded wall on our Southern border. Will he be dropping bombs on Iran or Venezuela following some lie? Do you want to bet your kids’ lives on the Chosen One’s mental stability?

Anymore weeks seem like months.

  1. CNN circumvented DNC media rules and held a town hall for Democratic presidential candidates on what subject Wednesday?
  1. What brand of marker got tons of free publicity last week due to the presidential misadventure described in this week’s intro above?
  1. The Chosen One started the week by congratulating Poland on the 80th anniversary of what infamous event?
  1. VP Mike Pence had a disastrous trip to Europe last week. Where did Pence stay while visiting Ireland that caused Irish to spend much extra money for security and transport?
  1. Pence’s press secretary noted that Pence dined with Irish leader Lea Varadkar and his partner thus proving Pence is not bigoted toward what?
  1. In his opening address to the Irish, Pence declared the US to be 100% behind what policy that is giving the Irish great trouble right now?
  1. Iowa Governor Reynolds has hired a new director of the DHS from Texas, despite the fact that Texas is also having huge problems with what program that Iowa is also having trouble with?
  1. In economic news, for the first time in 3 years, what happened to US manufacturing in August?
  1. In 2012, the Chosen One chastised President Obama for monthly hiring that was less than 300,000. The Labor Department reported how many hirings last month?
  1. Walmart and Kroger issued requesting people in open carry states to please refrain from doing what in their stores?
  1. We aren’t the only country being led by a crazy blonde right now. In Britain, unelected PM Boris Johnson lost a huge vote on what issue?
  1. Johnson’s defeat was caused by “rebels” from his own party whom Johnson then threw out of the party. Two were especially significant. What close relative of Johnson’s quit the party over this vote?
  1. Sir Nicholas Soames was among those expelled by Boris Johnson. Soames is the grandson of what hero of Boris Johnson’s?
  1. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is getting unsolicited push and contributions to run for governor of what state?
  1. September 2, 1945 President Truman officially accepted surrender from what WWII foe?
  1. September 3, 1783 the Treaty of Paris was signed ended what war?
  1. What Sandy Hook denier and owner of the Infowars website was ordered “pay all costs” as an appeal in a defamation lawsuit filed by the denier was rejected?
  1. Good guy with a gun? A man in Houston, Texas pulled a gun on employees of what restaurant chain demanding a currently buzzed about chicken sandwich?
  1. Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam has formally withdrawn a bill dealing with what that has caused weeks of huge protest in Hong Kong?
  1. San Francisco’s city council branded what well known group as a “domestic terrorist organization?”
leaders meet handicapped

hat tip to allhatnocattle.blogspot.com

Answers:

  1. Climate Change
  1. Sharpie
  1. Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany. Congratulations?
  1. Trump’s golf course and hotel on Doonbeg, 180 miles from the capital in Dublin
  1. Gay people. Varadkar is gay. One dinner does not prove anything
  1. Brexit. A hard Brexit will cause the Irish big problems on their border with Northern Ireland.
  1. Privatized Medicaid
  1. It contracted adding to concerns about a coming recession.
  1. 130,000
  1. Openly carrying guns.
  1. Brexit
  1. Boris’ brother Jo quit the party and stepped down as a cabinet minister.
  1. Winston Churchill. Historical note: Churchill left the Tories before he died.
  1. Arkansas – the next gubernatorial election is in 2022
  1. Japan
  1. The American Revolutionary War
  1. Alex Jones. 
  1. Popeye’s
  1. Extradition to China
  1. The NRA

Americans Envious That Tiffany Trump Never Hears From Dad. – Andy Borowitz

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A Couple Of Bad Hombres In Court

Rob Sand and Family

Rob Sand and Family photo: robsand.com

The Des Moines Register had a story about State Auditor Rob Sand standing up and saying “Enough” when it comes to paying any additional lawyer’s fees for former Governor Terry Branstad. To that we would like to say “Thank You, Mr. Sand.” The Governor had his day in court in front of a jury. The jury found Branstad at fault and the award was set at $1.5 million, which we as taxpayers will pay.

We as taxpayers are paying the freight for Branstad on this one. Our feeling is that if he wants to appeal he can do so on his own nickel. Lawyers fees in this case for Branstad’s defense and fees for the litigant Chris Godfrey are in the millions:

Roxanne Conlin, a Des Moines attorney who represented Godfrey, is seeking $4.1 million for fees and costs for her work on the case.

Branstad’s lawyers have not submitted a bill for all fees, but their costs have neared $2 million and will climb as they seek to have the verdict overturned and the case either dismissed or retried.

Appealing would make sense if there were some major issue of law in contention. However, this case seems only to be one of pride for the Governor:

Sand said he’s hoping for a conclusion to the case, and said he tried to offer a variety of reasons the state should not pay for an appeal in the hopes that some Republicans might agree with his argument.

“I realize the Executive Council members I am asking to help end this matter share their party affiliation with the defendants,” Sand wrote in the letter. “This does not have to be a determination made on tribal instincts.”

Sand also criticized the language used by attorneys for the state in a post-trial motion seeking to have the verdict dismissed. The motion called the trial “a show trial,” “a charade” and “a political circus.”

Enough is enough, Mr. Branstad.

In an unrelated case we have a group that calls itself Equal Vote America filing a lawsuit in New York contending that Senators Mitch McConnell and Iowa’s own Charles Grassley “breached the Separation of Power and a gross violation of Due Process” for their refusal to hold hearings for President Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the SCOTUS:  

On March 16, 2019, Equal Vote America Corp. (EVA) has filed a civil lawsuit against Mitch McConnell and Charles Grassley at the U.S. DistrictCourt for the Southern District of New York (CASE # 1:19-cv-02346) on the ground that their refusal to conduct any senate confirmation process for ChiefJudge Garland’s nomination to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court represented a blatant breach of Separation of Power and a gross violation of Due Process, anda brazen suppression of the will of the majority voters voted for PresidentObama in the 2012 Election.

Today (09/03/2019), EVA refiled the lawsuit in order to include over 2,500 individuals who have signed the online affidavit as co-Plaintiffs joining the action (CASE # 1:19-cv-08178). This case has become the largest grass-root ordinary citizenry legal action to defend the Constitution in our country’s history.

Multiple news sources (CNN, Politico) reported on 05/28/2019 that McConnell said the Republican-controlled Senate would fill an opening seat on the Supreme Court of the United States if a justice were to die in 2020. This is in stark contrast with McConnell’s complete blockade of the Garland nomination by President Obama. Aside from the obvious hypocrisy and partisan power grab, McConnell’s own words added further evidence to support our lawsuit.”

There is a link at the story for others to sign on as a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Litigants are seeking:

The Redress we are seeking is for the Court to Review and Declare that:

  • the Defendants’ refusal of confirmation process to a presidential nomination is unconstitutional.

  • the Defendants shall be held in contempt of the Constitution.

  • the same well-established long-standing confirmation process shall be guaranteed for all presidential nominations in the future.

This lawsuit may go nowhere. Nor will it correct the real damage of Grassley’s clear flaunting of the Constitution – that is the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Court in the place of Merrick Garland. If they do get a decision it will be like locking the barn door after the horse has escaped. At least Grassley may at least have to answer some questions about why he refused to do his constitutionally prescribed duties.

One question many would like answered that will probably not get asked is why did Grassley do what he knew to be wrong in refusing to even give Garland a hearing? Was Grassley privy to some potential election rigging and thus felt assured that his machinations would not be called out?

Image (2) Grassley-Trump-and-the-Courts-300x170.png for post 33907

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Joni Says: Don’t Tell Them That SS Cuts Are Coming

This should come as little surprise to anyone who follows Iowa’s junior senator. Since Ernst is someone who has been bankrolled by the Koch brothers and the NRA, it is hardly surprising that she is more than willing to make her bones on the backs of Iowa’s seniors. 

According to the Washington Post:  

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said at a recent town hall that lawmakers should discuss fixing Social Security “behind closed doors,” prompting a wave of criticism from liberal and advocacy groups.

Ernst, who is running for reelection in 2020, made the remarks Saturday, according to a video posted by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. The comments began to receive broader attention after they were reported Wednesday by the liberal news website Iowa Starting Line.

Ernst told the audience in Estherville that “there is a point in time when we as Congress will have to address the situation. And I think it’s better done sooner rather than later, to make sure that we’ve shored up that system.”

One of the reasons that Ernst and her Republican colleagues are so fearful of talking about Social Security openly and will only talk about it behind closed doors is that their only solution is to cut benefits. Not a one would even so much as utter the thought of raising the cap for the FICA tax that funds the Social Security system. Their owners – Charles Koch and the estate of the late David Koch – won’t let them.

For one thing, doing the public’s business behind closed doors is anathema to democracy. Joni Ernst and her Republican colleagues should be thoroughly admonished for that. Unless the subject is national security, there is nothing that should make a public servant retreat behind closed doors. Yet that is operating mode for the Republican Party especially when they are making policy to benefit the top 1% and screw the rest of us.

Raising the cap on taxable income for Social Security has been shown over and over and over again to be the simple and sensible solution to a pending Social Security shortfall. Republicans refuse to even allow such a solution to be brought up.

So Ernst’s solution is to hide behind closed doors, make policy and spring it on an unsuspecting public with little warning and most likely a big advertising campaign to sell the public on getting screwed once more by Republicans. This has been a common theme and practice since introduction of the Reagan economy.

Ernst stands fully behind the Chosen One’s disastrous tariff policies that will wreak havoc on Iowa’s farms and farming communities. Now she calls for making policy behind closed doors that will royally screw Iowa’s present and future seniors. Add in her staunch defense of the NRA’s stand on keeping weapons of mass murder available for public sale to anyone and I hope we have the makings of a former senator. These are not policies that Iowans want no matter how hard they try to sell them.

Raw Story’s take on the Ernst plan to do SS cuts on the QT:   

According to the Washington Post, Ernst is begging Republicans not to talk about the cuts to Medicare and Social Security in public as she heads into election season. The moment came during a town hall meeting as the senator was in her home state during the August Recess and was captured on video by trackers at the Democratic super PAC American Bridge.

They noted in their tweet of the video that Ernst’s ideas of privatizing Social Security or gutting it along with Medicare are “so toxic, she wants to keep it a secret to avoid ‘media scrutiny.”

“There is a point in time when we as Congress will have to address the situation,” she said. “And I think it’s better done sooner rather than later, to make sure that we’ve shored up that system.”

“So it’s, you know, a broader discussion for another day,” she continued. “But I do think, as various parties and members of Congress, we need to sit down behind closed doors so we’re not being scrutinized by this group or the other, and just have an open and honest conversation about what are some of the ideas that we have for maintaining Social Security in the future.”

In response Democratic senatorial contender Theresa Greenfield responded on Twitter:  

“The only people squealing from Joni Ernst’s toxic record are Iowans who rely on Social Security. We work hard for these earned benefits and deserve better than a senator who plays games with retirement security.”

Stated simply, this stinks to high heaven. There is an obvious reason Ernst and her Republican colleagues want to keep it hidden from the public: it is bad policy. Talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare (that would be part of the package) shortly after giving America’s richest a huge tax cut that they then used to enhance their own wealth by using that tax cut for stock buy backs is very unseemly. 

As the old saying goes – sunlight is the best disinfectant. Seems like Joni the Phony could use a strong dose of sunlight. Maybe the sunlight will make her squeal.

Cartoonist Mike Lukovich had a great cartoon after the huge tax cut for the rich was passed a couple of years ago. It fits so well here. And a big tip of the hat to Mike Lukovich:

lukovich on SS and Medicare

Don’t forget – Joni Ernst would vote for another budget busting, deficit growing, debt compounding tax cut for the rich in a New York second while at the same time preaching belt tightening to Iowa’s seniors.

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How J.D. Scholten Will Defeat Steve King

Cenk Uygur interviews J.D. Scholten

https://www.scholten4iowa.com/

Follow J.D. on Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

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U.S. Workers Continue To Face Imposed Obstacles To Improved Living Standards

by Ralph Scharnau

The economic/business headlines proclaim the American economy as very strong and marked by historic low inflation and unemployment rates. But these idyllic statistics mask workers’ struggle to secure a decent standard of living.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Congress has not raised it in just over a decade, the longest time in history. Factoring in inflation compounds wage earners duress. Low income levels exist for many wage earners in a range of service sector occupations from fast foods to retail sales.

Wage and salaried employees have experienced stagnant compensation levels. Today, covering the costs of food, housing, clothing, transportation and child care requires more and more workers to hold two or even three jobs.

Wage stagnation, moreover, is a universal problem, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender. An estimated 11 million households spend more than half of their income on rent. There is not a single state where a full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour can rent an apartment for 30% or less of their income.

Millions of employees live paycheck-to-paycheck. This means potential bankruptcy in the event of a medical crisis, higher mortgage/rent and tax payments and/or car repair bills. Worker distress contributes to greater food banks usage, mental health problems, and suicide rates. Meanwhile the chasm between the super-rich and everyone else continues to widen.

American workers today face a series of challenges often imposed by hostile employers and conservative politicians. The party of Trump gives big tax breaks to the rich and reduces workplace protections for workers.

The list of workplace abuses also include refusal to pay minimum wages/overtime pay, forcing off-the-clock work, hiring union-busting law firms, job reclassification as a device to reduce employee pay, and outright wage theft. Furthermore, workplace issues like downsizing, speedup, outsourcing, privatization, capital flight, and unsafe working conditions amount to direct assaults on workers’ livelihood.

Unions have traditionally given agency to those who own no means of production and distribution. They rely on their labor to meet their basic needs.

Unions offer a labor-centered way to address structural and policy issues that help to expand economic opportunity. Unionists believed that all workers deserve living wages, decent hours, and humane working conditions regardless of their skin color, sexual orientation, and economic status.

Union membership today hovers around 12%. The rate of public sector union membership outpaces private sector union membership by roughly five times. Those in the labor force without the protection of a union are considered “at will” employees with no workplace rights except the right to quit!

For the first time in decades, union membership numbers rose significantly among young people. Historically, younger people had unionization rates far behind older adults. But recent studies show there were 262,000 new unionists in the U.S. in 2017. About three-fourths of this increase came from workers aged 16 to 35.

Unions represent the interests of most wage earners. Organized workers have taken a leading role in pushing for public aid to education, promoting civil rights for all, calling for affordable housing, demanding universal legal rights, supporting health care for everyone, and other programs important to whole communities everywhere.

A low wage economy punishes laborers who produce and consume goods and services that energize the economy. Trade unions traditionally have advocated for all workers, members and non-members.

Those who join unions enjoy better wages and benefits than the unorganized. At their best, unions combat the rising inequality that threatens our moral and democratic values.

Ralph Scharnau
August 29, 2019

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