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Discussion Starter #41
A growing number of Americans want to join a union


Only 10.7 percent of American workers belong to a union today, approximately half as many as in 1983. That’s a level not seen since the 1930s, just before passage of the labor law that was supposed to protect workers’ right to organize.

Yet American workers have not given up on unions. When we conducted a nationally representative survey of the workforce with the National Opinion Research Corporation, we found interest in joining unions to be at a four-decade high.

Four times higher

The results obtained from nearly 4,000 respondents show that 48 percent – nearly half of non unionized workers – would join a union if given the opportunity to do so.
 

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Relax, you always have a choice to work somewhere else if free riding on the benefits won by the union members bothers you so much.

Move. Leave the country. Choices!
That's your justification? Seriously?
If you don't like it, then you can go someplace else?


"Hey, nigger, you can't stay in this hotel. Go find a different place to spend the night."

"Listen, boy, you can't drink from this fountain. There's a colored folks' fountain in the back."

"We can't approve your mortgage. But people like you can usually be approved if you apply for a home in a more affordable neighborhood".
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Whopping 62 percent of jobs don't support middle-class life after accounting for cost of living


Despite an unemployment rate that has reached a 50-year low of 3.7 percent, most jobs across the U.S. don’t support a middle-class or better lifestyle, leaving many Americans struggling, according to a new study.

Sixty-two percent of jobs fall short of that middle-class standard when factoring in both wages and the cost of living in the metro area where the job is located, according to the study by Third Way, a think tank that advocates center-left ideas.

“There’s an opportunity crisis in the country,” says Jim Kessler, vice president of policy for Third Way and editor of the report. “It explains some of the economic uneasiness and, frankly, the political uneasiness” even amid the most robust U.S. economy and labor market since before the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009.

A slight majority of Americans, 52 percent, do live in middle-class households, according to recent annual reports by Pew Research Center. And another 20 percent or so live in upper income households. But that’s because they’re juggling multiple jobs, for example, or relying on investments, an inheritance or other household members who may have higher-paying jobs.

From the study:


  1. Nationwide, just 38% of jobs pay enough to afford a middle or upper class life for a dual income-earning family with children; 32% of jobs pay a living-wage; and 30% pay what we call a “hardship” wage, which is less than what a single adult living on his or her own needs for basic necessities.

  2. In the four pivotal battleground states of 2016: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida, the latter three struggled to provide enough opportunity to earn a good life for its residents, according to our index. The Midwest, in particular, had mixed opportunity scores, with some areas clearly making a comeback from deindustrialization and others still left behind.

  3. Twelve of the 20 lowest scoring metropolitan areas are located in the South. Most low-scoring regions tend to have low employment-to-population ratios, indicating a lack of job availability, as well as an outsized number of jobs that pay only living or hardship wages.

  4. High living costs, particularly expensive housing, severely restrict the opportunity to earn a middle class life in some of the largest coastal metros that are commonly considered thriving. The San Francisco metro area ranks 149th; the New York City metro area ranks 135th, and the Los Angeles metro area ranks 143rd in our Opportunity Index. High incomes alone do not mean people are keeping up or getting ahead in the place they call home.

  5. The results starkly depict how much opportunity has bypassed people of color in American metros. Minority representation in the lowest ranking metros in the Opportunity Index is twice that of the 20 highest ranking metros in the Opportunity Index, 44% to 23%.
 

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serfdom is making a come back in the 21st century
 

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Discussion Starter #48 (Edited)



Two massive luxury real estate deals in Los Angeles have shone a harsh light on the wealth gap in a region where tens of thousands of people live on the streets while mansions the size of football fields sell for more than $100m.

On Monday, Variety reported that the Uber co-founder Garrett Camp and his partner Eliza Nguyen have purchased a Beverly Hills mansion for a record-breaking $72.5m, in what is believed to be the largest-ever sale of a home in the neighborhood.

It wasn’t even the biggest Los Angeles luxury real estate deal reported this week. A 56,500-square-foot Holmby Hills chateau, once home to television producer Aaron Spelling, sold for $120m, according to the Los Angeles Times, making it the highest home price in Los Angeles county history.

The extraordinary mega-mansion sales come at a time when Los Angeles is faced with widening inequality and escalating concerns about the housing crisis and a dramatic rise in homelessness, prompting intense debate about who gets to benefit from the growing economy.

The Holmby Hills property, known as the Manor, is 4.7 acres and is considered the largest single-family home in Los Angeles. It was built in 1991 for the television producer Aaron Spelling and now has 123 rooms, according to the LA Times’ report on the sale, which has not yet been made public. It’s the fourth sale of $100m or more in LA history, the paper reported.

The Beverly Hills mansion purchase by Camp was completed mere weeks after Uber’s IPO further enriched its wealthy investors and founders. Camp, a Canadian entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of $4.2bn, already owns a portfolio of luxury properties in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Manhattan.

Camp’s purchase has drawn the ire of activists and drivers who have long been protesting about Uber’s labor practices and advocating for better working conditions

“This is a perfect example of the 1% stealing from the rest of us,” Nicole Moore, a ride-share driver in Los Angeles, said of Camp’s $72.5m purchase. “Drivers are living in their cars. We’re fighting for fair wages. At least share that wealth with the people who have actually built your company.”
The purchase by Camp is particularly eye-popping given that Uber continues to lose money and has also aggressively opposed drivers’ efforts to organize and improve their working conditions, said Veena Dubal, an associate law professor at the University of California, Hastings, who is an expert on labor rights in the gig economy.

“It’s a slap in everyone’s face,” she said, arguing that Uber was built on the idea of breaking labor laws and violating existing regulations. “The capitalist system we have has unduly rewarded him with extraordinary, in-your-face wealth.”

Citing drivers’ ongoing fights for workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, minimum wages and other rights, Dubal said that $72m could go along way: “This amount of money could change people’s lives.” She also noted that many Uber drivers rely on public benefits and government assistance since their wages are so low, meaning taxpayers in effect contribute to Camp’s exorbitant wealth.

“It’s our money that went into that house,” she said.


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/02/los-angeles-mansion-sales-homelessness-increase
 

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Maybe they could sub contract some of that needed work to their starving Uber drivers..?..Lot's of poor workers are looking for second jobs to help makes ends meet.
 

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Discussion Starter #51


Back then, Joseph figured, if he quit his job and instead drove 60 hours a week, he could make almost $2,000 before expenses and taxes. So, he started driving full time.

But eventually, he said, the companies he drove for paid him less and revised their bonus programs. His expenses stayed the same, but the hours he worked were inconsistent, at best. Joseph had no health insurance, no workers’ compensation and no unemployment insurance. If he got hurt while driving, he would likely wind up in the emergency room, on the public’s dime.

The next morning, I watched as Lyft went public and the company pegged its initial valuation at more than $20 billion. Its top executives and venture investors witnessed a financial windfall in the value of their shares, which reached hundreds of millions — even billions — of dollars. Meanwhile, working the same 60-hour week, Joseph estimated he was earning less than $1,000 a week. That’s just slightly more than the minimum wage of $15 an hour in California.




 
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