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Power, Wages, And Inequality

On March 7, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a report titled, “The State of Labor Market Competition.” It is not what one might expect from the U.S. government. It is apparent that something is unusual when the first chapter is “Theories of Labor Market Power,” and the word “power” appears 15 times in the executive summary, 12 times in the introduction, and too many times to count in the body of the report. Power, after all, is generally absent from mainstream myths of how labor markets work. The basic message of the report is that: “...The American labor market is characterized by high levels of employer power.” And: ...A careful review of credible academic studies places the decrease in wages at roughly 20% relative to the level in a fully competitive market.

How Power Works

By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig - Heather Ann Thompson’s book “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy” is a detailed study of the inner workings of America. The blueprint for social control employed before and after the crushing of the Attica revolt is the same blueprint used today to keep tens of millions of poor people, especially poor people of color, caged or living in miniature police states. Thompson meticulously documents the innumerable ways the state oppresses the poor...

We Must Understand Corporate Power To Fight It

By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig - In the winter of 1941, a Jewish gravedigger from Chelmo, the western province of Poland, appeared in Warsaw and desperately sought a meeting with Jewish leaders. He told them the Nazis were rounding up Jews, including the old, women and children, and forcing them into what looked like tightly sealed buses. The buses had the exhaust pipes redirected into the cabins. The Jews were killed with carbon monoxide. He had helped dig the mass graves for thousands of corpses until he escaped.

American Power Under Challenge

By Noam Chomsky for The Huffington Post and The Dispatch - When we ask “Who rules the world?” we commonly adopt the standard convention that the actors in world affairs are states, primarily the great powers, and we consider their decisions and the relations among them. That is not wrong. But we would do well to keep in mind that this level of abstraction can also be highly misleading. States of course have complex internal structures, and the choices and decisions of the political leadership are heavily influenced by internal concentrations of power, while the general population is often marginalized.

Dark Money Review: Nazi Oil, Koch Brothers And Rightwing Revolution

By Charles Kaiser for The Guardian - Lots of American industrialists have skeletons in the family closet. Charles and David Koch, however, are in a league of their own. The father of these famous rightwing billionaires was Fred Koch, who started his fortune with $500,000 received from Stalin for his assistance constructing 15 oil refineries in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. A couple of years later, his company, Winkler-Koch, helped the Nazis complete their third-largest oil refinery.

Why Protest Someone Who Agrees With You? Here’s Why.

By Matt Baume in The Huffington Post - Whether it's taking over government offices, or shutting down Wall Street or infiltrating TV shows to force a confrontation, sometimes political protests can be really inconvenient. And at times they target powerful people who already agree with the protestors! What's the point of that? Well, sometimes if you have a problem, you can work hand-in-hand with institutions that can help, through lobbying, and petitions, and meetings and fancy dinners. But that doesn't always work. Powerful people don't like to talk about issues that make them uncomfortable. For example, in 1982, a reporter asked Reagan's press secretary if the president was aware of the AIDS epidemic. He answered, "I don't have it. Do you?" And then he laughed, and moved on. Problems that matter to people in the margins can get laughed at, or forgotten or set aside for more palatable topics. The issues get stuck. Getting them unstuck requires a large amount of force. It takes an uncomfortable action to make people talk about uncomfortable topics.

Black Woman Artist Poses Nude At Former NYC Slave Trading Sites

By Black Girl With Long Hair - As a time traveler I’m very invested in the past and our future. I see myself, the people who built this city and country as one. They deserve so much recognition for their sacrifice and contributions, something that is still being denied them. There was a force deep inside of me that needed to pay homage to those who played a pivotal role in the early history of this city, and the spaces in which they existed. I wanted to uncover those places where a tangible link to the past exists. Being a documentarian at heart I wanted you to feel and see those spaces, let your mind wonder. What does a Black body look like today in the place where they sold human beings 250 years ago? No other medium but photography and film could do that.

Bree Newsome Took A Stand, Will You?

By Jennifer Farmer in Alternet - Newsome bravely scaled a pole at the South Carolina State Capitol and removed the confederate flag from state grounds. While many of us bemoaned the display of the racist symbol of oppression and white supremacy, Newsome took action. As she was led away in cuffs, she stoically recited biblical scripture. This was not the first, and I suspect it will not be the last time, Bree took a stand for something in which she believed. In 2013, she protested North Carolina's voter suppression law during the Moral Monday protests organized by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. Newsome exhibits the brand of bravery we should all aspire to gain ourselves.

The Recipe For A Municipal Movement

Municipal Recipes is a documentary about how we’ve gotten to this point, where citizens from new political subjectivities are experimenting with organisational models in order to manage institutions. The documentary features people linked to various social movements and the new municipal “confluence platforms” that are taking root in Spain. They include: Gala Pin, from the Mortgage Victims Platform(PAH) and the municipal candidacy Barcelona En Comú; Pablo Carmona, from the Fundación de los Comunes and Ahora Madrid; Marta Cruells, from Barcelona en Comú; Francisco Jurado, fromDemocracia 4.0 and Open Euribor; and Guillermo Zapata, from the Patio Maravillas social center and Ahora Madrid. As they share a meal together, they discuss the various questions and issues that frame the historical moment, trying to push forward a new world that is opening up.

Gyrocopter Pilot Flew For Reform, Might Land In Prison

Doug: It's as unlikely as my flight. No, it won't work as planned. Just like my flight--a lot of things after take-off did not go as planned and I had to improvise along the way. Some of my plans will fail miserably and other avenues I haven't thought of will open up. Adaptability is key. My flight was never intended to resolve the issue - for me it was the opening kick-off. The game has only begun for me, though others have been trying to move the ball for years. My stunt, and it was only a stunt, opened the subject for millions who have been vaguely aware and unhappy and haven't considered how they can change the score. As for me, I'm gonna be the ugliest cheerleader you ever saw!

Turning Fear Into Power: An Interview With Linda Sartor

Linda Sartor is not afraid to die. Dedicated to nonviolence, she spent 10 years after September 11, 2001 traveling to conflict zones throughout the world as an unarmed peacekeeper, with roles ranging from protective accompaniment to direct interpositioning between parties when tensions were running high. She documents her work across the world — in Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran and most recently Bahrain — in her new book, Turning Fear into Power: One Woman’s Journey Confronting the War on Terror. Inwardly quiet and exceedingly humble (she chose to sleep outside for eight years of her adult life), her courage and conviction are not only refreshing, they’re infectious.

Local Communities Are Taking Control Of Their Power Supply

Sonoma County, which enticed Americans to forsake factory-made food for artisan wines and farmers market produce, now wants consumers to reconsider another everyday commodity. New on the menu: locally curated energy. The county is at the forefront among eco-minded communities plunging into the power business nationwide. Impatient with the pace at which states and the federal government are confronting climate change, communities from the coast of Massachusetts, Cincinnati, Chicago and Boulder, Colo., have begun taking steps to elbow aside big electricity companies and find green power themselves. Sonoma County now offers tens of thousands of ratepayers energy that is significantly greener — and slightly cheaper — than that sold by the region's utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Customers who want 100% local renewable power can pay extra and get every kilowatt they use from a geothermal plant in the region's hills. "This follows on the heels of the whole local food movement," said Chris Mann, chief executive of Guayaki, a maker of yerba mate teas. The company's headquarters — complete with indoor skate park — is in the bohemian town of Sebastopol, which has designated itself nuclear free. Guayaki opted to go 100% geothermal.
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