from The Great Debate:

Here’s what it will take for Americans to start getting pay raises

By Robert Kuttner
October 13, 2014

Demonstrators rally to raise the hourly minimum wage for fast-food workers at City Hall in Seattle

What will it really take to give America a raise?

A lot of well-credentialed policy experts have been writing nonsense about why Americans can’t be paid more.

from The Great Debate:

It’s harder to reach the American dream if you’re reaching all alone

By Robert L. Borosage
August 29, 2014

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“Hours of chaos” is how the New York Times described the work reality of more and more Americans. It highlighted Jannette Navarra, a Starbucks barrista, who is regularly forced to work part-time with fluctuating hours. She usually gets her work schedule three days ahead of the workweek, so she is always scrambling to arrange childcare for her son. Any hope Navarra has of advancing by pursuing a degree is shattered by her inability to schedule classes.

from The Great Debate:

How Uber can help the GOP gain control of the cities

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
July 7, 2014

Taxi drivers protest against transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft along with Assembly Bill 2293 at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California

Republicans occupy the governor’s mansion in a majority of states and control both chambers of state legislatures where a majority of Americans live. In a country that is becoming more urban, however, Democrats have a major advantage: Their party runs most big U.S. cities. Of the 15 largest U.S. cities, only two -- San Diego and Indianapolis -- have Republican mayors, and 13 of the 15 have Democratic-controlled city councils.

from The Great Debate:

Today’s South is boldly moving backward

By Nelson Lichtenstein
June 18, 2014

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We used to call it the “New South.” That was the era after Reconstruction and before the Civil Rights laws -- when the states of the old Confederacy seemed most determined to preserve a social and economic order that encouraged low-wage industrialization as they fought to maintain Jim Crow.

from The Great Debate UK:

The Consumer Student

By Guest Contributor
April 2, 2014

--Priyamvada Gopal is a University Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of English and Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge. The opinions expressed are her own.--

from The Great Debate:

The college football assembly line

By Nelson Lichtenstein
April 2, 2014

Here’s a tale of two factories and the way the public feels about those who labor there. Nothing could be more iconic than an automobile factory where workers put in eight or more hours a day on the assembly line. The work is boring, the pace unrelenting and injuries are not uncommon, but the pay is better than working in fast food or at Wal-Mart. Volkswagen’s modern, efficient Chattanooga factory is such a place.

from The Great Debate:

FDR set the terms for labor executive orders

By Dorian T. Warren
February 26, 2014

Many critics have called President Barack Obama’s executive order raising the minimum wage for federally contracted workers an unprecedented bold action. The president bypassed a gridlocked Congress to increase pay to $10.10 an hour -- and raise labor standards for the only federal workers directly within his authority.

from The Great Debate:

Pennsylvania as the new Wisconsin in union fights

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
January 27, 2014

The Wisconsin state capitol was the site of massive protests in 2011 during the fight to pass Republican Governor Scott Walker’s labor reforms. The following year Big Labor staged demonstrations in Michigan against Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s right-to-work bill, which ultimately passed. Now Pennsylvania’s state capitol is set to reach fever pitch, as unions plan to bus in hundreds of protestors this week to fight legislation that, if bad for union bosses, could be a boon to rank-and-file workers.

from The Great Debate:

Why U.S. angst over Chinese buyouts is warranted

By Shihoko Goto
January 27, 2014

For some people, Jim Beam may be more American than apple pie. Yet the U.S. public took it in stride earlier this month when Suntory, a Japanese conglomerate, bought the bourbon distillery for $13.6 billion.

from The Great Debate:

Democrats: It’s the states, stupid (Part 2)

By Herman Schwartz
October 29, 2013

ILLUSTRATION: Matt Mahurin

Since the government shutdown, public opinion of the Republican Party has hit a new low. Yet the Democrats might not be able to gain from it. Despite the GOP’s fall from grace -- and even if they suffer a lower vote count in the 2014 midterm elections -- the Republicans might still control the House of Representatives and many state legislatures after the polls close.