Posts tagged "Economy"

Far right anti-worker shill Eric Bolling DEFENDS China’s law labor laws. 

From the 04.15.2014 edition of FNC’s The Five:


Fox News' Melissa Francis: Gender Wage Gap Keeps Women Employed

Conservative talk show dummies are scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with reasons that justify gender wage disparity. I think Melissa Francis, on Fox News hit the trifecta by saying that women should be very grateful that they make less money than men.

Fox Business host Melissa Francis attempted to justify the gender wage gap by claiming that women fared better than men during the recession because they make less money, allowing them to hold onto their jobs.

Francis appeared on the April 9 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom to debate the President’s push on the gender wage gap with Alan Colmes. During the discussion, Francis claimed that the reason more women than men were able to keep their jobs during and after the recession is because women make less money:

FRANCIS: I would also point out that men lost jobs at two and a half times the rate as women in this last recession. I know plenty of families where the man is now out of work and the woman is the one who’s working full time. Probably because she makes a little less, so she was able to keep her job.

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On Wednesday morning, Senate Republicans blocked Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to reduce workplace discrimination against women. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell argued that the bill has nothing to do with women, and that Democrats are simply making show votes for their "powerful pals on the Left." 

Leading up to the Senate debate, both Democrats and Republicans trotted out women to talk about how their political parties help them. The White House is currently under scrutiny for paying female staffers 88 cents on the dollar compared to their male co-workers. (The most widely cited statistic on the matter say that women earn 77 cents for every dollar men make, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.) So the GOP has tried to paint the Paycheck Fairness Act as hypocritical. Democrats responded by claiming Republicans don’t care about women at all. We will keep hearing this rhetoric all the way to the midterms. 

As Alan Fram at the Associated Press notes, this is the third consecutive election year where Democrats have brought up a paycheck fairness bill. And Democrats have certainly made the issue about women this time, claiming that Republicans who oppose the bill oppose equal pay for equal work. In practice, the bill would make it harder for employers to pay women less than men (more regulation) and easier for aggrieved workers to sue. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to bring the bill up for another vote before the midterms. He repeated the party line today, sighing, "For reasons known only to them, Senate Republicans don’t seem to be interested in closing wage gaps for working women." 

Source: Allie Jones for The Wire


Last night on Fixed Noise’s The Kelly File, Dana Loesch went on and falsely said that the gender pay gap is a “myth.” Unfortunately for serial liars Kelly and Loesch, the gender pay gap is real and does exist.

Thankfully, solid progressive Eboni Williams slapped down Loesch and Kelly’s inane arguments.

The Raw Story’s David Ferguson:

Loesch complained that Democrats see people as Democrats first and don’t “celebrate women.”
“If you’re a progressive, ‘Democrat’ comes before your sex,” she fumed. “If you’re a Democrat or you’re a progressive, that is honored above your sex.” 
Loesch said that now-ex-Mayor Bob Filner (D) of San Diego, CA is an example of how progressives treat women, in spite of the fact that he was driven from office in disgrace when his assaults on women became public knowledge. 
Guest Eboni Williams asserted that dividing women into “liberal” and “conservative” camps is superficial and divisive and does not address the concerns that all women share. 
“I think we all want equal pay for equal work for women,” said Williams. “We all want these policy goals that are much more the same than they are different.”
“Yeah, the equal pay for equal myth [sic],” said Loesch. “Can we talk about things that are in reality and not something based upon a bunk study?”

No, Dana, Bob Filner’s sexual assaults on women are NOT accurate examples of how progressives/liberals treat women.

From the 04.04.2014 edition of FNC’s The Kelly File:

(cross-posted from

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Using his executive authority, President Obama will update labor regulations that dictate which workers are exempt from the requirement that their employers pay time and a half for working more than 40 hours a week, the New York Times reports.

Under current rules, workers can be classified as executive, administrative, or professional and denied overtime pay under what is known as the white-collar exemption. That means someone who oversees a clean up crew can be classified as executive and not be paid time and a half for extra work. Obama’s change would readjust the rules for which salaried employees can be blocked in this way.

It would also significantly raise the salary threshold that currently stands at $455 a week, or $23,660 a year, meaning anyone who makes more than that is exempt from overtime. That threshold hasn’t been significantly updated since 1975, allowing it to erode as inflation rose. In a paper released earlier this year, the Economic Policy Institute estimated that if that threshold were raised to $970 a week, covering those who make $50,440 or less a year,about 10 million salaried workers would get overtime pay for going over 40 weekly hours. “These workers include insurance clerks, secretaries, low-level managers, social workers, bookkeepers, dispatchers, sales and marketing assistants, and employees in scores of other occupations,” the report notes. That threshold is also where it would be if it had been adjusted for inflation since the last significant increase.

Obama’s proposed changes will be subject to public comment before getting a final sign off from the Department of Labor, so they could be scaled back in the face of strong opposition.

The change would bring a welcome boost in income for workers, who have suffered a decade of stagnant or falling wages despite rising productivity. Their wages are currently growing at the slowest rate since 1965 and they have declined 7 percent since 2007. Meanwhile, corporate profits have been robust, rising 20 percent between 2008 and 2013 and hitting an all-time high in 2012.

It could also have an impact on the standard workweek. Americans work long hours,standing at number 11 in how many hours clocked each year out of 33 developed countries, ahead of Japan, Germany, and other competitive peers. Ninety-four percent of today’s professionals put in 50 or more hours a week, and nearly half are working 65 plus. If employers want to avoid paying workers who are newly covered by overtime regulations the time and a half pay, they could cap hours at 40 a week and instead hire more people to do the extra work.

Obama’s authority to update the rules comes from a president’s ability to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs such labor regulations as overtime. President George W. Bush and other presidents have used similar strategies in the past. And despite some saying that using this authority is an abuse of power, Obama is actually far below the average when it comes to the use of executive orders and is issuing them at the slowest rate since President Grover Cleveland.

h/t: Bryce Covert at Think Progress Economy

h/t: The State Journal Register


Economists: Paul Ryan misusing our data to misinform about poverty programs.

Your Least Surprising News Item of the Day. If he’s not just stupid and misunderstanding the data, then Paul Ryan is deliberately twisting the data to attack poverty programs that he knows work. If you ever needed proof that Ryan’s concern for the poor is as fake as a game show host’s grin, this ought to do the trick.

That doesn’t say good things about Paul Ryan’s moral code or his economic priorities.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress Economy

After Volkswagen workers decided to turn down unionization at their plant, pundits called it a defeat for the UAW. The reality is that this was a loss for the workers. There is ample data that shows that America’s decline in wages track the decline of worker unions, It is disconcerting that workers continue to believe and articulate the false narratives they have been fed by well-funded campaigns. The backlash was swift as the head of VW’s works council said it would be unlikely anymore factories would be built in the South.

Then there was Nikki Haley (R-SC), governor of South Carolina. Greenville Online reported the following. 

South Carolina is glad to have non-union jobs from BMW, Michelin and Boeing, but don’t expect any factories from Ford, General Motors, Chrysler or other companies with unionized work forces.

According to Gov. Nikki Haley, they’re not welcome.

Haley said Wednesday that she discourages companies from building new facilities in South Carolina if they are planning to bring a union with them.

“It’s not something we want to see happen,” she told The Greenville News following an appearance at an automotive conference in downtown Greenville.

“We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don’t want to taint the water.”

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Haley’s Democratic opponent in this year’s gubernatorial race, said he thinks South Carolina should remain a right-to-work state where workers are free to decide whether to join unions or not.

Watch Nikki Haley making those devastating anti-union comments below. She would deny South Carolinians jobs if companies providing the jobs are unionized. In other words her ideology trumps what is best for the citizens of her state.

I hope the voters of South Carolina vote Nikki Haley’s union-hating butt out of office in November and replace her with Vincent Sheheen! 

H/T: Egberto Willies at Addicting Info

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama’s upcoming budget proposal will not include his past offer to accept lowered cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs. Those had been a central component of his long-term debt-reduction strategy.

Officials said Thursday that those potential reductions in spending, included in last year’s Obama budget, had been designed to initiate negotiations with Republicans over how to reduce future deficits and the nation’s debt. But Republicans never accepted Obama’s calls for higher tax revenue to go along with the cuts.

One official said the offer would remain on the table in the event of new budget talks but that it would not be part of the president’s formal spending blueprint for fiscal 2015.

The official was not authorized to comment by name on the budget plan before its March 4 release and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

The decision to drop the cost-of-living proposal was essentially an acknowledgement that Obama has been unable to conclude a “grand budget bargain” with Republican leaders, even by including in his previous budget plan a benefit reduction opposed by many Democrats.

While Democrats will cheer the new decision, Republicans are sure to portray the White House move as abandoning any commitment to fiscal discipline.

The new Obama proposal would eliminate congressionally mandated automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to continue kicking in through 2015 by adding $56 billion to the budget, evenly divided between military and domestic spending. That increase would include money for what the White House calls an “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative.”

H/T: Huffington Post


WASHINGTON — With the Senate planning to take up a bill next month that would raise the minimum wage, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Wednesday that he and most of his fellow Democrats would be unwilling to strip out a raise to the “tipped” minimum wage, as the restaurant industry is asking for them to do.

"We’re not going to do this without a significant increase to the tipped minimum wage," Brown said on a call with reporters, emphasizing that he wouldn’t vote for minimum wage legislation without the increase.

Under federal and state laws, restaurant owners can pay servers and other tipped employees less than the standard minimum wage — and as little as $2.13 per hour — leaving diners to make up the difference through gratuities. Under heavy lobbying from the restaurant industry, the federal tipped minimum wage hasn’t been raised from $2.13 in more than 20 years.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) would raise the standard minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and peg it to inflation, while setting the tipped minimum wage at 70 percent of that rate, in perpetuity. The tipped minimum wage is currently just 29 percent of the standard minimum.

The restaurant lobby, however, has opposed the Democratic legislation, leading to concerns that restaurant workers could once again be carved out of a minimum wage hike, if such a raise even comes to pass.

The National Restaurant Association has warned that raising the tipped minimum wage would cost restaurant jobs. The D.C.-based lobby and its state affiliates have successfully fought off such raises in the past, including in 1996 with the help of former GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain. That year, the tipped minimum wage was split off from the standard minimum wage during a Democratic-led increase under President Bill Clinton.

The tipped rate hasn’t budged since, unbeknown to many diners and even members of Congress, Brown noted.

"This NRA is about as powerful as the other NRA," he said, alluding to the National Rifle Association, "and we’re not gonna cave to them on this."

The Republican-controlled House hasn’t shown any desire to move the Miller bill, although Democrats like Brown are hoping the minimum wage will become a campaign issue in this year’s mid-term elections.

"The good news here is that — and I can’t speak of course for all of my colleagues — but I’m convinced the great majority of my Democratic colleagues are pretty incensed that this hasn’t been increased in 20 years," he said. "I have spoken maybe five or six times to the caucus about the tipped minimum wage, and people are very aware of it, when they weren’t in the past."

Brown said he plans to put forth a resolution in the Senate declaring this Thursday — Feb. 13 — “2.13 Day,” as a reminder of the stagnant tipped minimum wage.

Saru Jayaraman, co-director of the workers’ group Restaurant Opportunities Center United, joined Brown on the call Wednesday, saying that the low tipped minimum wage has left diners to subsidize an increasing share of servers’ salaries.

"This industry over the last 20 years has demanded repeatedly that customers pay their workers’ wages rather than they themselves," Jayaraman said. "We really at this point demand that the system change. No worker should be dependent on living off the mercy of customers."

h/t: Huffington Post