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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

Journal Archives

Bill Moyers: The New Temp Economy

The New Temp Economy
September 2, 2013

When we think of temp workers, the image that comes to mind for many Americans is “Kelly Girls” — post WWII-era women, mostly young housewives, doing light office work like filing and bookkeeping for a little extra cash around the holidays.

But low-wage, temporary work is becoming a new normal in post-recession America, and today’s temp workers are no longer in it temporarily. Big corporations like Walmart, Nike and Frito-Lay have recognized that the temp system saves them money on things like health care, workers’ compensation claims and unemployment taxes, and they’ve started using temp agencies to fill traditional factory jobs. These blue-collar temp workers are mostly immigrants and minorities driven into the temp system due to a lack of options in an economy that increasingly favors corporations over workers. They rise early each morning to sit in a temp agency waiting room and hope that their name is called. The United States now has more temporary workers than ever before. And, while temporary work often increases during recessions, it usually goes down as the economy improves. But this time, economists predict that temp work will remain high.

In this report, producer Karla Murthy visits a temp agency in Chicago, where she speaks to both workers who have suffered abuses on the job and members of the Chicago Workers Collaborative, an organization that advocates for workers’ rights. She also speaks with Michael Grabell, a ProPublica reporter whose reporting for the recent series, “Temp Land: Working in the New Economy” is featured in this piece.


Chris Hedges: The Last Chance to Stop the NDAA

from truthdig:

The Last Chance to Stop the NDAA

Posted on Sep 2, 2013
By Chris Hedges

I and my fellow plaintiffs have begun the third and final round of our battle to get the courts to strike down a section of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that permits the military to seize U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities. Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran, the lawyers who with me in January 2012 brought a lawsuit against President Barack Obama (Hedges v. Obama), are about to file papers asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear our appeal of a 2013 ruling on the act’s Section 1021.

“First the terrorism-industrial complex assured Americans that they were only spying on foreigners, not U.S. citizens,” Mayer said to me recently. “Then they assured us that they were only spying on phone calls, not electronic communications. Then they assured us that they were not spying on American journalists. And now both [major political] parties and the Obama administration have assured us that they will not detain journalists, citizens and activists. Well, they detained journalist Chris Hedges without a lawyer, they detained journalist Laura Poitras without due process and if allowed to stand this law will permit the military to target activists, journalists and citizens in an unprecedented assault on freedom in America.”

Last year we won round one: U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York declared Section 1021 unconstitutional. The Obama administration immediately appealed her ruling and asked a higher court to put the law back into effect until Obama’s petition was heard. The appellate court agreed. The law went back on the books. I suspect it went back on the books because the administration is already using it, most likely holding U.S. citizens who are dual nationals in black sites in Afghanistan and the Middle East. If Judge Forrest’s ruling were allowed to stand, the administration, if it is indeed holding U.S. citizens in military detention centers, would be in contempt of court.

In July 2013 the appellate court, in round two, overturned Forrest’s ruling. All we have left is the Supreme Court, which may not take the case. If the Supreme Court does not take our case, the law will remain in place unless Congress strikes it down, something that federal legislators have so far refused to consider. The three branches of government may want to retain the ability to use the military to maintain control if widespread civil unrest should occur in the United States. I suspect the corporate state knows that amid the mounting effects of climate change and economic decline the military may be all that is left between the elite and an enraged population. And I suspect the corporate masters do not trust the police to protect them. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_last_chance_to_stop_the_ndaa_20130902/

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