NYC Fast Food Workers Fight for Fair Wages
The strike was organized by Fast Food Forward, the group that also led the November walkout, and inspired by Memphis sanitation workers who went on strike with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968. The strike is occurring on the 45th anniversary of King’s assassination during those organizing efforts.
In a letter to workers and supporters, the group said many of its members are living on food stamps or in homeless shelters even as profits continue to rise for low-wage fast food employers. “We’re on strike today because we can’t survive on $7.25. Higher wages will help us raise our families with dignity but will also help lift our entire economy. More money in the hands of workers means more money spent in local shops and a boost for our community,” the letter says.
Profits at low-wage food employers have indeed grown rapidly since the recession, as this chart from the National Employment Law Project shows:
Here’s some snaps of the workers’ standing up for their rights and a fair economy:
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed
Agribusiness is trying to undermine workers and a potential deal on immigration reform.
Rush Limbaugh touts 13 year-old who “proved” global warming is a hoax.
A big victory for women: Plan B must be sold over the counter.
With real impact of sequester cuts yet to come, job creation sputters.
Tax dodging corporations and the wealthy cost you $1,026 last year.
Attorney General Holder goes after GOP plan to rig the Electoral College and steal elections.
After blaming racist liberals last week, right-wing star apologizes for comparing gays to pedophiles and people who have sex with animals.
Let Them Have Microwaves!
Romney Campaign: Out-of-Touch on the Economy
We already know that Mitt Romney thinks almost half of Americans are lazy moochers with a victim mentality and that he is “not concerned about the very poor.” And that his running mate Paul Ryan also dismissed an even larger swath of Americans as “takers.”
A pair of top economic advisers to Romney — two who are all but guaranteed top jobs if he wins — added to the out-of-touch aura surrounding Mitt Romney and his campaign. Let’s walk through their deeply flawed arguments.
Potential Romney Treasury Secretary: “the Rich Are Taxed Enough”
Glenn Hubbard, the former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush and now a top Romney adviser, argued against asking the wealthiest Americans — even the ultrawealthy like Mitt Romney — to pay their fair share:
“The rich are taxed enough.” [...]
“Raising tax rates on the rich is both counter-productive and unnecessary to fund the government we want,” said Hubbard.
While steering clear of specifics, Hubbard told the audience at the Intelligence Squared Debate that “higher tax rates won’t necessarily produce enhancements in revenue.”
Thanks to the aggressive tax cuts Hubbard oversaw during his time in the Bush administration, there was far from enough money to fund the government Bush wanted — saddling us with huge deficits and trillions in debt. And Mitt Romney’s plans to raise taxes on middle class families, implement draconian spending cuts to domestic programs, end Medicare as we know it, dramatically cut Medicaid and slash Social Security will also leave the government without the revenue its needs thanks to Romney’s plans for $5 TRILLION in tax cuts favoring the wealthiest Americans. We would have endless deficits even as tens of millions of Americans lose access to programs and benefits they depend on each day – all so the wealthy and corporations can get huge new tax cuts.
Lower taxes on the wealthy hasn’t created more economic growth. In fact, under the Bush administration’s economic policies, the country saw tepid job growth, 8.3 million people fell into poverty and child poverty rose by 3 percent. A recent analysis from the Center for American Progress found that “in the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now.” In fact, “if you ranked each year since 1950 by overall job growth, the top five years would all boast marginal tax rates at 70 percent or higher.”
Inequality Doesn’t Matter Because Poor People Have Appliances?
Not be outdone by Hubbard, Kevin Hassett, another top adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign denied the nation’s income inequality gap in a Wall Street Journal editorial on Thursday, brushing off the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of the very wealthy by arguing that lower-income Americans are buying more consumer goods.
Yes, you read that right: a top Romney adviser thinks it’s fine for the wealthiest to keep getting wealthier at the expense of everyone else so long as the poorest Americans have basic necessities like microwaves and fridges. And further, that you aren’t really that bad off if you have these necessities.
You can read a very detailed analysis from some of our colleagues about how wrong this is HERE. The long and short of it is that appliances and commonly used consumer gadgets like cell phones are necessities in the 21st century and are significantly cheaper today than they were just decades earlier. In fact, were families to sell their appliances in order to help pay for food and other basic necessities, many would still struggle — for while prices on microwaves and air conditioners have fallen, “the real everyday basics such as quality child care and out-of-pocket medical costs” are “squeezing the budgets of the poor and middle-class alike.”
You may have heard Hassett’s argument before — from Rush Limbaugh. It’s one of his favorites.
BOTTOM LINE: Mitt Romney and his advisers are unwilling or unable to understand the lives and struggles of most Americans, especially poor Americans. The poor and the middle class simply cannot afford the cost of a Romney presidency.
It’s one of the nastiest voter suppression schemes we’ve seen: This week, in Black and Latino neighborhoods in Ohio and Wisconsin, an anonymous group started running outrageous billboards that try to scare people away from voting.1
Allowing an anonymous advertiser to create an atmosphere of fear around voting just as the early voting period begins is unacceptable. Please join us in demanding that Clear Channel immediately take down these offensive and dangerous billboards (and please ask your friends and family to do the same):
These billboards are clearly designed to intimidate voters, and they’re part of a coordinated right-wing attack on the voting rights of people of color. The billboards are hosted by Clear Channel, a media conglomerate owned by Bain Capital — the same company that Mitt Romney co-founded.2 Clear Channel has tried to avoid any responsibility for the ads, saying that the group who paid for them is responsible for the content. But Clear Channel has rejected billboard ads many times in the past.3,4,5
The myth of widespread “voter fraud” has been used to justify voter suppression efforts again and again. As a result, we’ve seen new restrictions on voting and voter registration, including discriminatory voter ID laws and voter roll purges. The fact is that voter fraud rarely occurs. In fact, voter fraud happens as infrequently as death by lightning.6
Clear Channel syndicates some of our country’s most conservative commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and now it is allowing the myth of voter fraud to intimidate Black and Latino voters. Please join us in demanding that Clear Channel immediately remove the billboards, it only takes a moment.
Thanks and Peace,
– Rashad, Arisha, Dani,Charlene, Aimee and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team October 13th, 2012
Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:
1. “Ohio voter fraud billboard accused of intimidating black voters,” The Grio, 10-05-12, http://thegrio.com/2012/10/05/ohio-voter-fraud-billboard-accused-of-intimidating-black-voters
2. “Does Romney’s Bain Capital Support Voter Suppression,” Daily Kos, 10-10-12, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/10/1142856/-Does-Romney-s-Bain-Capital-Support-Voter-Suppression
3. “Clear Channel Rejects Times Square Peace Billboard Timed for RNC,” Democracy Now,07-14-2004 http://www.democracynow.org/2004/7/14/clear_channel_rejects_times_square_peace
4. “St. Pete Pride gay-themed digital billboards rejected by Clear Channel Outdoor,” 10 News http://http://act.colorofchange.org/go/1854?t=10&akid=2684.1174326.96ev6N
5. “Clear Channel Rejects Billboard Highlighting Heartland Institute’s Corporate Funders,”Forecast the Facts, 05-17-2012 http://forecastthefacts.org/press/releases/2012/5/17/clear-channel-rejects-billboard-highlighting-heart/
6. “The Myth of Voter Fraud,” Washington Post, 03-29-07, http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/the_myth_of_voter_fraud/
We’ve all heard about Rush Limbaugh’s rants attacking strong women. Thanks to pro-choice people like you, he faced an onslaught of criticism for his offensive language against Sandra Fluke.
Well, he is at it again.
Yesterday, he came to Mitt Romney’s defense by calling NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood “death squads.”
First, he claimed that the “Democrats [are] funded and underwritten by Planned Parenthood and NARAL,” and then said, “If they’re not death squads, I don’t know what is.”1
It’s alarming that a politician who is running for the highest office in the nation fails to address Limbaugh head on.
When Limbaugh went after Sandra Fluke, Mitt Romney refused to call for Limbaugh to apologize. Instead, Romney cowardly said, “it’s not the language I would have used.”2
Will Romney duck Limbaugh’s incendiary language a second time?
Tell Romney that a real leader would stand up to a bully like Limbaugh. Make sure he knows that when he refuses to denounce Limbaugh for his offensive language, he fails women.
We’re not going to let these outrageous attacks on women’s freedom and privacy go unanswered.
Nancy Keenan President, NARAL Pro-Choice America
1 – “Limbaugh On Planned Parenthood And NARAL Pro-Choice: ‘If They’re Not Death Squads, I Don’t Know What Is’,” Media Matters, August 8, 2012 2 – “Romney Fails the Leadership Test,” The Root, March 5, 2012
A political organization, NARAL Pro-Choice America is the nation’s leading advocate for privacy and a woman’s right to choose.