Fourscore and seven years ago—1937, to be exact—our fathers on the Supreme Court (well, five of them, which was just enough) brought forth a new nation: New Deal America. In that year, the justices ruled that the most fundamental legislative works of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency—Social Security and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)—were constitutional. So said the Court; so said, in the NLRA case, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, the decision’s author, who had been the Republican candidate for president in 1916.
The "Secure DC” Omnibus bill is the latest attempt by DC’s local government to impose law and order, while ignoring the root issues that lead to street-level crime and advancing the war against the Black working class. After passing unanimously by the DC Council's Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, the new crime bill was voted on and unanimously passed on February 6, 2024, by the full council. Pan-African Community Action (PACA) contends that Black people in the U.S are a domestic colony, an internal colony that is enforced by a massive police presence meant to control and keep us exploited for our labor and other human resources.
Target Corp. pioneered the Community Prosecution Program in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (HCAO) more than two decades ago during the era of mass incarceration. As part of a broad anti-crime campaign that employed new advanced technology and reshaped the criminal justice system in Minneapolis, the program had particularly devastating effects on Black residents. In 2004, a public-private partnership consisting of Target, the Downtown Council, Hennepin County, and the City of Minneapolis launched a sweeping surveillance collaborative in downtown Minneapolis called the SafeZone, as illustrated throughout Unicorn Riot’s years-long investigative series.
As America’s affordable housing crisis grows, especially for those of retirement age, Black folks continue to be pushed into homelessness at a disproportionate rate. Advocates argue that an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling may make it even more dire. Earlier this month, the court announced that it would hear a case that will essentially decide if people experiencing homelessness can be issued jail time, tickets, and fines for sleeping on the streets — even if there are no shelter alternatives available for them. The case will be heard either this spring or in the fall.
AI is a labor issue. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it will prove to be a marginal labor issue. Or maybe it will prove to be an existential, epochal labor issue on par with industrialization or globalization, each of which revolutionized their own eras of work. Before we get completely immersed in the battle over how AI will affect workers, though, it is important to frame the playing field correctly. This is not a fight between a backwards-looking labor movement on one side, and technological progress on the other. Rather, this is a question of where the wealth and efficiency gains created by AI will flow. Want to change the world? Share.
It is becoming clear that the United States is in a serious political crisis. By political crisis we mean that the ruling class is no longer able to rule and control the masses of people in the same way it has been running the country in the past period of time. Since the end of the Second World War the dominant section of the capitalist class has controlled the working class through the two party system in general and through the Democratic Party in particular. In fact the Democratic Party emerged from WWII as the most influential organization within the working class. The foundation for this was laid in the 1930s with the role of Democratic President Roosevelt and the New Deal.
Within the United Nations, there is a little-known debate about the status of global tax regulation. In August 2023, UN Secretary-General António Guterres released a draft document called ‘Promotion of Inclusive and Effective International Tax Cooperation at the United Nations’. This document comes out of a long debate led by the Global South about the unregulated behaviour of transnational corporations (especially the ways in which they avoid taxation) and about the fact that discussions regarding regulations have been dominated by Global North countries (notably those in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, an intergovernmental platform largely made up of the richest countries in the world).
As 2023 draws to a close, one of the biggest stories of the year was the “hot labor summer” and the overall rise of labor activity. The most significant of these strikes was the UAW strike, which began in mid-September and lasted until mid-October. The Hollywood strikes of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) probably generated fewer high-profile headlines. But they deserve some special attention for a few reasons. The strikes ground a highly lucrative industry to a halt, and they cost California and other production-heavy states at least $6 billion in lost wages and business impacts.
For Elbida Gomez, the winter holiday season is not marked by cheer or family time, but by an exponential increase in her workload — cleaning bathrooms and store offices, taking out the trash, mopping entrances and wiping up food from the floor of the employee cafeteria. The 43-year-old mother of two says she is one of just two people whose primary job is to clean the Woodbury, Minn., location of Cabela’s, a big box store chain that sells hunting, fishing and camping goods. Foot traffic increases as patrons do their holiday shopping. Parents line up with their children to take a photograph with Santa Claus. The floor gets covered in chocolate, candy wrappers and footprints.
Campaign groups Fuel Poverty Action, Unite Community, and their allies held nationwide protests this weekend, carrying out ‘Warm Ups’ to demand action on fuel poverty. People occupied British Gas offices, protested outside Scottish Power, and engaged their local communities. However, not everyone was receptive to the groups’ demands. Security at a South London shopping centre removed activists, simply for ‘warming up’ – albeit with a rather large banner reading ‘Cold Homes Kill’. Fuel Poverty Action has carried out Warm Ups for over a decade. Activists enter buildings or public spaces in order to warm up as a group. They do this on the grounds of being unable to do so at home due to unaffordable energy prices and the poor conditions of housing.
A new report from Oxfam International reveals alarming disparities in carbon emissions, underscoring a stark contrast between the wealthiest 1% of people and the rest of the planet, with the poorest percentage of the population left to bear the brunt of the environmental damage. The report titled, “Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99%,” makes clear the impact of such emissions, stating that in 2019, the emissions of the super-rich 1% “are enough to cause 1.3 million deaths due to heat.” Violations and disparity in emissions are also highlighted in the report, including the 1% burning through twice as much of the carbon budget as the poorest half of humanity combined in the last 30 years.
Back in the early 20th century, earnest middle-class reformers out to overturn America’s plutocratic order gravitated to the pages of The Public, a weekly magazine whose editor, Louis Post, would become the U.S. assistant secretary of labor in 1913. One year later, the associate editor of The Public would offer a cutting critique of the legal system that so protected our nation’s plutocratic powers-that-be. That system, Stoughton Cooley of The Public avowed, rendered judgments “so far from justice and common sense” that average citizens believe “absolutely that the poor have no redress against the rich.”
In 2020, the Trump team’s last full year, U.S. households annually making over $1 million faced fewer tax audits than households with incomes low enough to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. That had never happened before. But the blame for this plutocratic about-face, a new Americans for Tax Fairness report makes clear, doesn’t belong to the Trump crew alone. Rich people-friendly members of Congress gave Donald Trump his tax-cutting playbook. Ever since 2010, they had been squeezing the IRS budget big-time, forcing the agency “to drastically pull back on auditing the ultra-wealthy.” How drastically?
With its swath of shuttered shops, empty cafes, dwindling crowds and shimmering seaside vistas, San Francisco’s Embarcadero resembles an abandoned amusement park in the post-pandemic era, but a century ago this tourist attraction was known as the “slave market,” where dozens of longshoremen would gather each weekday hoping to land a job loading and unloading the freighters docked in the bay. Seldom were there enough jobs to go around, however, and the hiring boss who was assigned by the shipping companies to choose the daily work crews would often go about the task with the same contemptuous air that an overseer might display while inspecting chattel slaves at auction, sneering as he rejected some longshoremen while doling out preferential treatment to others, many of whom had agreed to kick back a portion of their wages to him.