"Union struggles reflect on all jobs," said Jane Smith, 30, a data scientist from San Francisco. "Unions won the struggle for a 40-hour workweek, and we are all benefiting from that still. Unions also fight for higher wages, which translate to higher wages for all Americans." The BART strike is a symptom of "the income and wealth inequality that is plaguing our nation," she said.
Melville, who had been a sailor on clipper ships and whalers, was keenly aware that the wealth of industrialized societies came from the exploited of the earth. “Yes; all these brave houses and flowery gardens came from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans,” Ishmael says of New England’s prosperity. “One and all, they were harpooned and dragged up hither from the bottom of the sea.”
I am not an expert on Egypt, or Chile – most of my knowledge about General Pinochet comes from a book by a Guardian writer, Andy Beckett. But I know enough that when Margaret Thatcher died, reminders of her enduring support and praise for Pinochet left a nasty taste in the mouth. While people are dying in the streets of Cairo, to read an expression of the same sentiment from a respected, globally-read newspaper is repellent.
I propose that a consequential Left can only proceed as a project for reconstructing American democracy, root and branch. We are not finished with making this country a real democracy. We need to complete the process of Radical Reconstruction that began after the Civil War, and stalled until the Second Reconstruction of the mid-twentieth century.
No one is responsible for paying cabbies a “minimum wage,” because these drivers are not considered employees. But Callahan and a group of Chicago cab drivers are challenging that long-held assumption. Under the name “Cab Drivers for Justice,” or, as most call it, “Cabbies for Justice,” they are pursuing what could be a landmark legal case.
The calls for stricter gun control laws are not enough. Although the gun murder rate in some large cities is down, the causes of urban gun violence remain the real problem. At the June 1966 gang summit, Dr. King asked Chicago’s gangs to channel their energies into nonviolent protest of poverty and inequality. He tried to imprint upon the young men gathered at the Sheraton that violence was futile, and would likely get them nowhere but a grave or a prison cell.