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For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

March Madness: Extreme Corporate Tax Avoidance

Paul Buchheit BuzzFlash at Truthout
This is as noted by the New York Times, "a golden age for corporate profits." Corporations have simply stopped paying their taxes. Pay Up Now just completed a compilation of corporate tax payments over the past five years, using SEC data as reported by the companies themselves. The firms chosen are top-earners who have filed 10-K reports through 2012. Their US Tax figures represent the five-year total of "current" payments.

Ending the Dues Check-Off: Forcing Union Renewal?

Sam Gindin Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 785
The spread of "Right-to-work" legislation is damaging to union membership and especially dues collection, and therefore has long been a strategy of the bosses. However, some left union activists have argued that automatic dues collection and membership is anti-democratic and the unions would be stronger if dues were "hand collected." But is this the best way to communicate with workers? Or are there other ways to strengthen unions and union democracy?

Union Health Plans Will Suffer under Obamacare

James McGee Labor Notes
What should have been a model for health care reform faces an uncertain future. Because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tilts the playing field to disadvantage multiemployer plans, this decades-old gain of the labor movement may be irreparably damaged.

Is It Time For Just Cause?

Rand Wilson and Steve Early Counterpunch
What legislative goal might inspire all workers—union and non-union alike? Due process rights at work could be the answer. The United States is alone among industrialized countries in allowing at-will employees (i.e. most of the 88.7 % without a union contract) to be terminated for arbitrary reasons. As a result of past labor movement lobbying, Germany, France, Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and South Africa all require employers to demonstrate they have “just cause”

Congressional Black Caucus Alternative Budget Fiscal Year 2014

Congressional Black Caucus Congressional Black Caucus
The CBC Alternative Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 puts forth a plan that reduces the deficit and alleviates harm inflicted by austerity measures in a responsible and fiscally sound manner. Furthermore, it proposes significant investments to accelerate our economic recovery and ensure that our recovery is felt in every community in America.

Austerity

Paresh Khaleej Times (Dubai)

How Americans Lost the Right to Counsel, 50 Years After 'Gideon'

Andrew Cohen The Atlantic
In the end, 50 years after one of the most glorious chapters in the history of the Supreme Court, we tell ourselves that we are a nation of laws, and we praise ourselves for rulings like Gideon, and we extol the virtues of the Constitution in theory, but the truth is we are just lying to ourselves and each other when we pretend that there is equal justice in America.

In the South and West, a Tax on Being Poor

Katherine S. Newman New York Times
These regional disparities go back to Reconstruction, when Southern Republicans increased property taxes on defeated white landowners and former slaveholders to pay for the first public services — education, hospitals, roads — ever provided to black citizens. After Reconstruction ended in 1877, conservative Democrats — popularly labeled “the Redeemers” — rolled taxes back to their prewar levels and inserted supermajority clauses into state constitutions.

Why The U.S. Is Not In A Cyber War

Ian Wallace (Daily Beast) Jeffrey Carr (Slate) The Daily Beast / Slate
The idea that America is in the middle of a “cyber war” isn't just lazy and wrong. It's dangerous. The war analogy implies the requirement for military response to cyber intrusions. America genuinely needs effective civilian government cyber defense organizations with strong relationships with the private sector and the active engagement of an informed general public. Creating and even promoting the fear of “cyber war” makes that more difficult.