Fair Wage Campaigns

This week in the War on Workers: Just four hedge funders out-earn how many kindergarten teachers?

A kindergarten class. | No attribution

There’s some excellent information in this article…

Daily Kos

Here’s a totally disgusting contrast, highlighted by Sam Pizzigati:

In 2013, the trade journal Alpha revealed, the hedge fund industry’s top 25 earnerscollected $21.15 billion, a whopping 50 percent over their total the year before. […]But the real enormity of America’s annual hedge fund jackpots only comes into focus when we contrast these windfalls with the rewards that go to ordinary Americans. Kindergarten teachers, for instance.

The 157,800 teachers of America’s little people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us,together make about $8.34 billion a year. Hedge fund America’s top four earners alone last year grabbed $10.4 billion.

What makes this especially disgusting is that all that money means hedge funders can buy a bigger say in American education than kindergarten (or third grade, or high school math) teachers:

Hedge fund billionaires are indeed investing colossal millions in charters, educational entities — often tied closely to for-profits — that take in public tax dollars butoperate independently of local school board oversight.Hedge fund manager cash has gone both to individual charter schools directly and into political war chests to support candidates who want to see charter networks expanded. Thanks to this cash, charters have become a major fact of American educational life, with a “market share” that rivals traditional public schools in many big cities.

Continue reading for more of the week’s education and labor news.

A fair day’s wage

  • The death toll from an explosion in a Turkish mine is nearing 300, and images of an aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan kicking a protester is not calming the outrage. Neither is Erdogan’s claim that such explosions “are ordinary things,” a claim he backed by citing much, much earlier events. Additionally:

    Just two weeks ago, the opposition Republican People’s party (CHP) tabled a motion in parliament calling on authorities to investigate work-related accidents in Soma’s mines.The motion cited three separate fires over a three-month stretch in 2012, as well as another accident in October last year, which left a total of two dead and 48 injured. It was defeated with votes from Mr. Erdogan’s ruling AKP.

  • In the interesting unions you probably didn’t know existed category, the Arena Football Players Union has affiliated with the AFL-CIO.
  • Four ways you can seek back pay for an unpaid internship.
  • Less than one percent of New York’s workplaces were inspected by OSHA last year.


  • The Rhode Island Senate passed a moratorium on using a standardized test as a high school graduation test, but the state House doesn’t look likely to follow suit.
  • Low-wage workers in Los Angeles schools are pressing for a $15 minimum wage and improved services for students.
  • Leonie Haimson busts six charter school myths.
  • Brooklyn teachers protested a test meant only to evaluate teachers, not students, with a May Day boycott:

    After their press conference, the teachers proceeded into the building, where, according to Emily Giles, who teaches ninth- and 10th-grade science at IHSPH, they taught class as they would have any other day. Although 50 percent of the students had already been opted out of taking the test by their parents, Giles says administrators still attempted to give the test to a small handful—with little success.

  • Education activist Barbara Madeloni was elected president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association in an upset last weekend. This is the latest in a series of teachers union election wins by insurgent, outsider candidates. (Disclosure: My father was involved in Madeloni’s campaign.)
U.S. Politics

Debt Ceiling Talks Collapse

In the comments section of Huffington Post under Debt Ceiling Talks Collapse, the following comment stands out in the Community Pundits section:

squeezed   02:17 PM on 7/24/2011

For two and a half years, this country has been trying to dig itself out of a recession while Republicans block everything and any attempt to right the wrongs.

If you’re in a union, they’ve been trying to destroy you.

If you’re a woman, they’ve been attempting to control you.

If you’re unemployed, they’ve mocked you.

If you’re uninsured, they’ve taunted you.

If you’re a _Hispanic, they’ve blamed you.

If you’re a _Muslim, they’ve fear mongered about you.

If you’re gay, they’ve bible bashed you.

If you’re a teacher, they fire you.

If you’ve lost your home, they’ve laughed at you.

If you’re a kind, compassionate, decent person, they h@te you.

But if you’re a hedge fund manager, or a banker, or an oil tycoon, the Right has served you and you alone.

U.S. Politics

Wednesday Blog Round Up

Palin Hits Back at Barbara Bush
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Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck are confused by Jimmy Carter’s claims tha..
Click here to view this media Bill O’Reilly really hates it when people call out Fox..

Sarah Palin Speaks on the Korean Crisis
by watertiger Here’s the Quitter, explaining to Glenn Beck precisely what the United..

Palin: ‘Obviously, We’ve Got To Stand With Our North Korean Alli..
In recent days, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has hinted in her clearest language y..

First They Came For My Junk
A moment like this reminds me of the moment in the late 30s when the Nazis started w..

The Morning Plum
* Right’s attack on TSA invasion of privacy going bust? It appears the American peop..

Florida Woman Dies After Medicaid Program Outsourced To Private Insure..
One of the most destructive practices of private health insurance companies is the p..

Fox continues its all-out assault on the Dream Act
Continuing its assault on the Dream Act, Fox News has repeatedly attacked and pushed..

Don Chu Arrested In Massive Hedge Fund Insider Trading Sweep
NEW YORK (By Grant McCool and Emily Chasan): An executive of an “expert networking f..

Wall Street Insider Trading

Report: Feds Preparing Massive Sweep Of Insider Trading In Financial Sector

It’s about damn time!  I’m hoping that the aftermath will weed out a few crooked Congressmen and Senators on both sides of the aisle, as well. 

This is the sort of thing that allows me to maintain a little faith in the Obama administration.  Just when you think those guys have muddled so many things in the name of “bi-partisanship”, they surprise us with this bit of news.  I’m thinking, masterful chess move by the Feds and Obama.

The mortgage and foreclosure bankster scams should be next! 

It goes back to John Kenneth Gailbraith and Jack Clark’s words…


The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
John Kenneth Galbraith


The Rational Radical

Everything the right-wing does is designed to accomplish one of two things, either:
(a) transfer wealth from everyone else to the rich, or,
(b) distract everyone else from the fact that (a) is occurring.

Wall Street Journal

Federal authorities, capping a three-year investigation, are preparing insider-trading charges that could ensnare consultants, investment bankers, hedge-fund and mutual-fund traders and analysts across the nation, according to people familiar with the matter.

The criminal and civil probes, which authorities say could eclipse the impact on the financial industry of any previous such investigation, are examining whether multiple insider-trading rings reaped illegal profits totaling tens of millions of dollars, the people say. Some charges could be brought before year-end, they say.

The investigations, if they bear fruit, have the potential to expose a culture of pervasive insider trading in U.S. financial markets, including new ways non-public information is passed to traders through experts tied to specific industries or companies, federal authorities say.

Read the whole story: Wall Street Journal

Related Articles

Economic Inequality · Economy

Robert Reich on the Super Rich Getting Richer While Everyone Else Gets Poorer

Robert Reich
Image via Wikipedia

Robert Reich is the man whom I hope President Obama chooses to replace Larry Summers who is head of the White House’s National Economic Council, a position created by former President Bill Clinton during his presidency.

Robert Reich was then President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor.  Reich would be the ideal person to replace Summers.  Robert Reich is a progressive and knows his economics.  Obama decided to surround himself with a Wall Street alumni economic team.  I honestly hope that Reich and/or Paul Krugman will be called in to turn our economy around, to benefit “the people” and not Wall Street.

America Blog

At least we have a White House that understands the problem since he’s a Democrat and not just another run of the mill corporatist who is part of the problem. More from Robert Reich.

The super-rich got even wealthier this year, and yet most of them are paying even fewer taxes to support the eduction, job training, and job creation of the rest of us. According to Forbes magazine’s annual survey, just released, the combined net worth of the 400 richest Americans climbed 8% this year, to $1.37 trillion. Wealth rose for 217 members of the list, while 85 saw a decline.

For example, Charles and David Koch, the energy magnates who are pouring vast sums of money into Republican coffers and sponsoring tea partiers all over America, each gained $5.5 billion of wealth over the past year. Each is now worth $21.5 billion.

Wall Street continued to dominate the list; 109 of the richest 400 are in finance or investments.

From another survey we learn that the 25 top hedge-fund managers got an average of $1 billion each, but paid an average of 17 percent in taxes (because so much of their income is considered capital gains, taxed at 15 percent thanks to the Bush tax cuts).


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