The New America Foundation's video presentation of "Rethinking the American Social Contract."
The New America Foundation, in partnership with the International Labor Organization on July 11, 2011, convened a group of experts to explore rethinking the American social contract based on Damme's new paper.
Senior Policy Analyst, Next Social Contract Initiative
New America Foundation
Director for Policy Planning in Employment
International Labor Organization
EPRN researcher and MIT George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management
Policy Director, Economic Growth Program and Next Social Contract Initiative
New America Foundation
Many people assume wrongly that construction work is low-skill. It may be that the Pioneer institute thinks construction workers are paid too much because it does not understand the high level of classroom and on-the-job training and skills required for construction work.
Many goods and services are provided by the private sector, but there is a long history of privatization failures in the United States. Moshe Adler’s research on privatization in the 19th Century shows a pattern of corruption, poor quality, and failure to provide services the public had paid for. Says Adler, of his study on street cleaning, “in the sixty years before New York City discarded it, the cost of contracting out was about half the cost of governmental production.
Sources for much of the information on infrastructure privatization may be found in Crumbling Infrastructure, Crumbling Democracy: Infrastructure Privatization Contracts and Their Effects on State and Local Governance.
It could be said that Robert Poole, the Searle Freedom Trust Transportation fellow and director of transportation policy at the Libertarian Reason Foundation, has never seen a toll road - or, more precisely, a privatized toll road - he didn't like. Exhibit A: his newly released Interstate 2.0: Modernizing the Interstate Highway System via Toll Finance.
Poole calls his project "Interstate 2.0" to signal that Reason's agenda is something that cool, leaning-forward folks will want to support. But the bottom line is that Poole's proposal offers nothing innovative: just another proposition for the kind of relentless privatization that has stricken cities across the country, rolled into a highway-long package. <Read more>
Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission.
The Great Recession which began with the financial meltdown in 2007 not only resulted in massive job loss, long-term unemployment and rising income inequality, but a decrease in civic participation. This decline in civic participation was even more pronounced in the New York City Metro area where income inequality has been even higher than in the rest of the nation.
Good morning. I would like to make the following points about structural and long-term unemployment, as well as the future earnings prospects of various groups of U.S. workers.
1. Structural unemployment in the U.S. has probably risen by about 1 percentage point during the labor market downturn and slow recovery since 2007, though it is unclear how much of this increase will persist over time.
When Jia Jingchuan, a 27-year-old electronics worker in Suzhou, China, sought compensation for the chemical poisoning he suffered at work, he appealed neither to his employer nor to his government. Instead, he addressed the global brand that purchased the product he was working on. “We hope Apple will heed to its corporate social responsibility.”
In the past, his appeal would probably have fallen on deaf ears. But today, throughout the world, buyers in many industries have acknowledged a degree of responsibility for workplace conditions in supplier factories and pledged to ensure that the goods they eventually market are not made under abusive, dangerous, environmentally degrading, or otherwise unethical conditions. These businesses have committed to using private, voluntary regulation to address labor issues traditionally regulated by government or unions. And for the most part, the companies have acted on these commitments.
But have these private efforts improved labor standards? Not by much. Despite many good faith efforts over the past fifteen years, private regulation has had limited impact. ... <Read more>
First published online in the Boston Review on May 17, 2013.
Yesterday, a conservative panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that sharply undermines the power of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and, more broadly, of the government as a whole to regulate business. The ruling marks the second time this year that the court has radically undercut the NLRB. In January, the court held that Obama’s 2012 recess appointments to the board were invalid, effectively undoing more than a year of NLRB decisions.
Now, the body often referred to as “the second most important court in the land, after the Supreme Court,” has held that the NLRB cannot require employers to post notices informing employees of their labor rights. The decision, which comes less than three weeks after lack of regulatory enforcement led to a fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas that killed 14 and left about 200 injured, opens the door for businesses to challenge requirements that workers workers be informed of their health, safety and employment rights. [READ MORE]
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