Economists these days are confirming what many already know – the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening. In the face of soaring productivity over the last several decades, today’s average American workers earn about the same as they did in 1970 when adjusted for inflation. So what happens to sustainability in the face of this trend?
Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is David Rolf, president of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU 775. Rolf and host Alex Wise talk about the interconnections between economic and environmental health and ponder how a movement to improve wages and work conditions can also support efforts to protect the earth.
The meltdown on Wall Street has many people asking, how come the government can find hundreds of billions to bailout the guys who brought us this mess–but always claims there’s no money to save homeowners from foreclosure, provide health insurance to those who can’t afford it, or clean up the environment?
Today’s guest David Cay Johnston says it’s all part of an endemic pattern of “corporate welfare”, where government policy is rigged to benefit the richest Americans at the expense of the rest of us. Johnston was an investigative journalist for the New York Times before becoming an independent reporter. He won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code.
In June, the Century Foundation and the The New York Times Foundation invited Corporate Watchdog Radio to a seminar for a select handful of journalists on “Billionaires and Their Impact.” There, CWR co-host Francesca Rheannon heard Chuck Collins speak on a panel about the “Billionaires’ Club” and the impact of extreme wealth on the rest of us. A co-founder of United for a Fair Economy and a senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Collins wrote the lead article in a special issue of The Nation on “The New Inequality” that helped frame the seminar.
The ViewPoint from BEN — the Business Ethics Network — comes from Bjorn Claeson of Sweatfree Communities about its recent report, Subsidizing Sweatshops: How our tax dollars fund the race to the bottom, and what cities and states can do.
The new Congress faces a full agenda on the Iraq war and corruption in the Bush administration. Where do issues of corporate accountability fit in? We talk in depth with two Washington, DC area activists and researchers about CEO pay, expansion of Enron-era reforms against corporate crime, and the outsourcing of American jobs.
Our guests are Phil Mattera and Charlie Cray, coauthors of the provocative proposal, “A Contract with Corporate America.”