Does Barack Obama support collective bargaining?

President Barack Obama, although traveling in the Midwest before the vote, chose not to put his moral authority behind collective bargaining, which may help explain why 18 percent of voters who said they supported Obama nevertheless voted for Walker.

via How Can Labor Bounce Back? – Innovations – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

I think it’s a fair question. The last time the president really gave any love to a labor effort that I recall was when he was just elected and the union at Republic Windows and Doors was staging a sit-in.

Aftermath of Wisconsin: Tony Mazzocchi was right to back a Labor Party

Walker’s challenger, Tom Barrett (D), surrendered the narrative early on to Walker when he stated he was not labor’s candidate. Ditto on austerity. Even though Wisconsin’s corporations are taxed at a rate below the national average, Barrett never challenged Walker’s rationale that the state is “out of money”.

As a result, Democratic voters were experiencing some serious ennui about their candidate. Forty-seven percent of Barrett’s backers said their vote was more against Walker than it was for Barrett.

via Wisconsin: Can Playing by the Rules Work in a Rigged Game? | The Nation.

Allison Kilkenny makes a good point here. This is something that organized labor & labor activists like myself have known for quite some time now. There’s a reason why Occupy Wall Street emerged and it was more because the Democratic Party had failed them. We know where the Republican Party stands, but when you don’t get the support from the political party deemed to be on your side and the political process itself; you look to alternative tactics. This is why Occupy Wall Street has continued to deny any association with the Democratic Party.

So who is Tony Mazzocchi? He was a labor leader who believed in the nascent Labor Party when it first came on the scene. Now I’m not sure if bringing back a Labor Party is going to be effective in a two party system. However, if it followed the model created by Dan Cantor and others for the Working Families Party then it could have some positive outcomes.

Is Andrew Cuomo throwing labor under the bus for the Belmont Stakes?

“This year’s Belmont Stakes has the potential to be a truly remarkable event, attracting worldwide attention and millions of dollars of economic activity,” he said in a statement. “It is simply unacceptable that a two-year-long labor dispute would imperil this special event.”

via New York Governor urges end to labor dispute ahead of Belmont Stakes | Reuters.

This from the governor who won’t lift a finger to help raise the minimum wage in New York State. Is he doing anything behind the scenes to help move the talks in a more positive direction? He refers to a two year long labor dispute, but where has he been all this time?

Yes the Belmont Stakes will most likely generate a lot of money for New York. That’s all the more reason that this IBEW local needs to use it as leverage to get a fair deal. Both the federal and local governments in the US have made it difficult for unions to strike or even organize. Well guess what? It’s time they use the tools at hand. In this case, you want your Belmont, Andrew? Tell the NYRA to come down from their ivory tower!

Diamond Jubilee #Fail

A group of long-term unemployed jobseekers were bussed into London to work as unpaid stewards during the diamond jubilee celebrations and told to sleep under London Bridge before working on the river pageant.

via Unemployed bussed in to steward river pageant | UK news | The Guardian.

This story is quite dickensian and could actually be a follow up to a recent post of mine about austerity and the Queen. This ridiculous farce of a coalition government work program in the UK should be investigated. Someone is going to get thrown under the bus in the interim and I wonder who that will be.

Federal Aid is Corporate Welfare for Colleges

Recent economic research suggests that colleges siphon off a significant portion of federal education aid rather than lowering costs to students. Simply put, much of federal student aid is corporate welfare for colleges.

via Business – Andrew G. Biggs – The Truth About College Aid: It’s Corporate Welfare – The Atlantic.

This is a really good point. College is unaffordable for a vast majority of young people today. This is ground zero in the class war.

Senator Scott Brown – Pro Great Depression

The Globe is reporting that they have uncovered e-mails from Scott Brown and his campaign after the passing of Wall Street reform (Dodd-Frank) to further weaken the legislation. It seems that Brown was not satisfied in his role in watering down the legislation, Brown pushed for a loose interpretation of the law, allowing banks to more easily gamble taxpayer backed funds for high-risk investments.

via Blue Mass Group | Brown Caught Trying to Weaken Dodd-Frank After it was Passed.

So Brown wanted to further deregulate the banks I see. The banks are the reason we are in this mess, but Scott Brown doesn’t get that.

Don’t buy individual stocks!

Instead, take your money and put it in a no load mutual fund that replicates the broad indexes, like the S&P 500, the Russell 2000 or something like that. Over the long haul, you won’t lose. You also won’t pay many fees. Investing is practically free.

via What Average Investors Should Do In Market Panics and Melt Downs | Points and Figures.

After reading the book Wall Street Versus America I totally had a different view of the market. I also agreed with the author’s advice to buy an index fund. It seems that this advice is still a good one. Of course Wall Street brokers aren’t going to make a lot of money off of you :)