Workers And Poverty Commentaries
"There are 14 million people out of work, wages are falling, poverty is rising, and a second recession may be blowing in, but not a single Republican would even allow debate on a sound plan to cut middle-class taxes and increase public-works spending."
"Dozens of companies large and small vied for the contracts, spending thousands of dollars on lobbyists over a three-year period. Celebrity chefs from some of the hottest restaurants in the U.S. competed against one another to impress city officials and win the chance to open concessions at LAX."
"To understand the impact of low wages, in the Valley and elsewhere, we interviewed a wide range of people, including two directors of public health clinics, three priests, a school principal and four focus groups of residents. Everyone described a life of constantly trying to scrape by. "
"But property service contractors imagine the only way to make profits is to create poverty. Racing to undercut competitors means contracts can change hands almost overnight. Workers are often the last to find out they've lost their jobs."
Posted August 1, 2011
"Initially targeting only the homeless, the sites now offer water or shelter to anyone who needs to get out of the heat for awhile, said Brande Mead, human-services program manager for MAG, which represents 25 Valley cities and towns."
Posted July 25, 2011
"Last week I spent a few days in the Deep South — a thousand miles from the moneyed canyons of Manhattan and the prattle of Washington politics — talking to everyday people, blue-collar workers, people not trying to win the future so much as survive the present."
Posted July 5, 2011
"In 2009 the Economic Policy Institute... estimated that nearly 20 percent of all federal contract workers earned less than the federal poverty wage of $9.91 an hour. About 400,000 of these workers earn less than $22,000 a year, the federal poverty line for a family of four. "
"A new report by the Community Service Society, an advocacy group that focuses on poverty, surveyed scores of impoverished and distressed young people when they applied for welfare benefits between 2009 and 2011."
"Today 53 percent of family practice residents, 63 percent of pediatric residents and nearly 80 percent of obstetrics and gynecology residents are female. In the low-income areas that lack primary and prenatal care, there are more emergency room visits..."
"Why are we so obsessed with the minimum wage? We must have a minimum wage, but by any rational standard it should also be a 'livable' wage. One that will keep a full-time worker above the poverty line."
Posted June 6, 2011
Posted May 23, 2011
"The General Assembly made a commitment a few years ago to improve the low wages of paraprofessionals by bringing their salaries to the federal poverty level for a family of four. Today, a Step I instructional paraprofessional earns only $17,670 per year. "
...[T]he number of Ohioans earning $7.25 an hour (the federal minimum wage) or less has more than doubled since the beginning of the recession. From 77,000, it is most recently reported at 172,000."
"We must close this chronic gap that shortchanges America's women. When women earn more, families are stronger and children have better access to quality health care and education. In fact, if we closed the wage gap, poverty would be cut in half for single moms and by more than 60 percent for married working women."
"A new report on the future of income and wages outlines a common future for workers and the unemployed: jobs that won't provide economic security, especially for those without at least a four-year college degree."
"I spent five years as an organizer, and hundreds of hours in the living rooms, at the kitchen tables and on the porches of countless low-wage nursing assistants, hospital food workers and clinical lab scientists, trying to talk them into our union."
"To be sure, there remain gross disparities between men and women at Wal-Mart. The company's own data show there are still far more women than men among the ranks of the company's low-wage hourly workers, and far more men than women running Wal-Mart."
"Today, a worker laboring 40 hours a week nonstop throughout the year for the federal minimum wage could barely keep a family of two above the federal poverty line."
"Teaching is incredibly hard, especially when dealing with children in high-poverty communities who come to school with enormous challenges."
Posted March 7, 2011
"State budget deficits are not the product of collective bargaining... The test for states now is to provide essential services to cities and towns with fair budget and tax policies that do not break the backs and spirits of middle- and low-income folks."