Workers And Poverty Commentaries
"House Republicans have hit upon a noxious scheme to help pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut: a tax increase on millions of poor working families."
"That check is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a complicated name for tax relief for working families. Congress enacted a federal EITC in 1975, and Illinois enacted a state version in 2000. On Jan. 10 I signed a bill to put more money in the pockets of working families by doubling Illinois' EITC from 5 percent of the federal credit to 10 percent, saving low-income workers an extra $105 million a year."
"The result is that many schools would experience no layoffs, while high-poverty schools would have to shoulder a cycle of turnover and instability that would add to their challenges."
"On Friday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation launching a program of training and tax credits for jobless, disadvantaged youth. Government action to promote hiring low-income kids is a fine idea. Unfortunately, the plan leaves out some suburban young people who are badly in need of work."
Posted December 8, 2011
"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."