on May 1, 2012 by whitehouse
President Obama and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan sign the Strategic Partnership Agreement that marks the beginning of the end of the war in Afghanistan and a commitment to continuing strategic cooperation between the two countries.
on May 1, 2012 by whitehouse
President Obama addresses the nation from Afghanistan after signing a historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries — a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states, and a future in which the war ends, and a new chapter begins.
Fired for having student loans? Latoya Horton says she was fired from her job as an accountant, not because she did anything wrong, but because her employer checked her credit report and decided her debt-to-credit ratio was too high. Latoya was outraged: “How are you supposed to pay off your student loans if you can’t get — or keep — a job because of your loans?”
It happens more than you think: Latoya found out that 60% of employers now check employees’ credit reports. They often buy them from TransUnion, one of the largest credit reporting companies. TransUnion’s chair, Penny Pritzker, even sits on President Obama’s jobs panel. She’s responsible for spurring job creation, but her company is profiting from a practice that makes it harder for people with debt to find work.
You can help: Latoya started a petition on Change.org demanding that TransUnion stop selling credit reports to employers immediately. If thousands of people sign Latoya’s petition, it will shine a national spotlight on what Latoya thinks is an ethically dubious practice, and TransUnion’s executives will be forced to respond.
Here’s a lot more information about Latoya’s campaign in her own words:
Years ago I went to college to study accounting, and like millions of other Americans I took out loans to pay for it. A few years later I got a temporary job in the accounting department at Bain & Co., and after 6 months of reliable work I was thrilled to be offered a full-time position.
However, just a few weeks after starting in my new position the company fired me because my debt-to-credit ratio was too high. I later learned that 60% of employers now check credit reports, which typically include student debts. How are you supposed to pay off your student debts if you can’t get (or keep) a job BECAUSE of your debts? And what do my student debts have to do with my ability to do a job well anyway?
25 states have debated bills in the last year to restrict this practice, and in a number of these states one company has fought hardest against these efforts: credit reporting company TransUnion.
What’s ironic is that Penny Pritzker, TransUnion’s Chair and part owner, sits on President Obama’s Jobs and Competitiveness Council, which advises the President on putting Americans back to work. How can someone advise on national job creation when her company sells products that may keep qualified people out of work?
Please join me and 25 national civil rights organizations in calling on TransUnion to stop its sale of credit reports to employers. As the only one of the “Big 3” credit reporting companies that’s privately held, TransUnion has the ability to stop this practice overnight.
It was recently announced that in the coming weeks TransUnion will be sold to two private equity companies, including Goldman Sachs. If Penny Pritzker is serious about job creation, she should do what she can to ensure that her company stops this abusive practice before the company is sold.
How Oklahoma’s Largest Newspaper Distorts The Facts About Fracking The Oklahoman‘s straight news coverage of the controversial natural gas extraction process of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has been slanted in favor of the process under the ownership of energy tycoon Philip Anschutz, who acquired the paper in September 2011. The paper’s opinion page has been one-sided — devoid of voices warning readers about the potential health risks and environmental dangers of loosely regulated fracking activities. Read More
The Truth About The U.S. Corporate Tax Rate The Right-Wing Media Doesn’t Want You To Know Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman rebutted the right-wing talking point claiming the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. He’s right: Studies have concluded that U.S. rates are similar to other countries, and the Congressional Research Service has found that a reduction in corporate taxes would have a limited impact on growth. Read More
Fox Uses Misleading Numbers To Attack Obama’s Economic Record Mocking the Obama campaign‘s “Forward” slogan, Fox News displayed a graphic purporting to show that the economy has worsened under President Obama. But the data in the graphic hide the economic recovery under Obama and ignore the effect of the economic downturn and fiscal policies that started under President Bush. Read More
Obama Derangement Syndrome: The Right Attacks Obama For Visiting Troops In Afghanistan President Obama today made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to speak with U.S. troops and meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a “Strategic Partnership Agreement.” The right-wing media have responded by claiming that the visit constitutes an example of Obama “spiking the football” and “celebrating” the death of Osama bin Laden. Read More
By ThinkProgress War Room on May 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm
Why Our Economy Isn’t Working for Workers
Today is May Day, an international holiday honoring workers. Unfortunately, our economy — and its tax code rigged to benefit the wealthiest few — isn’t working for many workers.
ThinkProgress’ Annie-Rose Strasser highlights three charts showing why we need an economy that works for everyone, not more conservative policies that give all of the benefits to the wealthy in the vain hope that some of it will trickle down to the rest of us.
1. The 99 percent are extremely productive workers, but aren’t compensated for their productivity. While productivity has been on the rise among workers, average wage and compensation has remained nearly flat. That means while workers are producing more, they’re being compensated the same. This chart from the Economic Policy Institute details the change:
2. Corporations don’t notice income inequality, but workers sure do. The 99 percent may be pivotal in the productivity of a company, but they aren’t reaping any of the benefits of success. This chart from the New York Times illustrates exactly how companies profit while workers do not:
3. Workers who don’t organize are getting the short end of the stick. While productivity goes up and wages stay flat, the middle class sees itself shrinking. This income inequality is in direct correlation to union participation. As union membership falls, the middle class shrinks.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
Can you be fired for “liking” a Facebook page? One federal judge has ruled that yes, you can be.
New Mexico ALEC Co-Chair is surprisingly candid and on the record about the shadowy group.
Religious groups, dioceses, churches fund anti-gay initiative in North Carolina.
An intellectual debate…between two superhero movies?
Mitt Romney thinks it is “inappropriate” to suggest he meant what he said.
Other recent Progress Reports
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