you gotta watch this Batgirl video!
Here are five key pieces of legislation for The One to jump on–like, yesterday– if he wants future historians to give him the “FDR meets Lincoln” treatment he craves. As I’ve previously written, Obama doesn’t have the luxury of hedging his bets, robbing Peter to pay Paul the way Clinton did. He has to go all in and actually accomplish things.
First, he’s got to work for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. The Reagan-Bush mob has used the law and regulatory power dishonestly, as a bludgeon to deprive U.S. workers, including faculty and staff, of internationally-acknowledged rights to organize. 60 million Americans would join unions tomorrow–if there were real protections for human rights in the workplace.
Second, he’s got to stop fooling around with the tissue-paper health care “proposals” he had stuck to his shoes throughout the campaign. He needs to get behind something like Rep. John Conyers’ HR 676 Medicare for All single-payer plan. Watch the news in early January for the 20 (yep, 20) major labor organizations launching the “Labor for Single Payer” campaign.
Third, women on average lose half a million dollars over the course of a lifetime due to the gender wage gap–and that’s just comparing full-time to full-time. Add in the ways that “part-time” employees are ripped off–especially in higher ed–and it’s a boatload more. So it’s time to strengthen the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which passed the House last year, to include 100% equal pay for equal work for part-time employees and then get it past the Senate.
Fourth, as long as we’re on the MomsRising.org agenda, Obama had best pass unemployment modernization–and also strengthen that bill to include provisions specific to faculty serving contingently.
Fifth, back when higher education provided real opportunity and not free job training for corporations, it was free or nearly so. Every state that actually spends money on higher education has slashed that spending over that past four decades: time to put real Federal billions on the table as matching funds with one string for the states accepting it–make public higher education free, period. Cost: $25-40 billion federal, similar in the states–an amount that Adolph Reed presciently said in our interview over a year ago, “that Congress passes out as a tip in corporate welfare.”
Redistribute the wealth? You betcha. Special thanks to Maria Maisto of adj-l for links provided in this piece.
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