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Boeing profits up, vote at Intalco, rich get richer…



► In today’s Seattle Times — Tim Eyman’s secret war on light rail (Danny Westneat column) — Putting light rail across the I-90 bridge is already voter-approved, by a 57% vote in the 2008 election. A goal of I-1125 is to kill it off. But the initiative would not repeal any of the light-rail taxes. So if voters in Bellevue and across the Eastside vote for I-1125, they will be rejecting their promised benefit — the light-rail project — but not the taxes they levied on themselves to pay for it. All thanks to the guy who says he’s out to protect taxpayers. And respect the will of the voters.




► From AP — Boeing’s 787’s inaugural flight lands in Hong Kong — Boeing’s much-anticipated 787 carried its first passengers Wednesday on a four-hour, 8-minute flight filled with cheers, picture-taking and swapping of aviation stories.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing profit up, but will deliver fewer 787s, 747s in 2011 — Boeing says it won’t deliver as many of its new 787s and 747-8s this year as it previously expected, even as it delivered a third-quarter profit that was well above expectations.

► At IAM 751’s blog — Union urges commitment to education, worker training — The United States must improve the quality of its public education and vocational training systems if it is to retain its global leadership in aerospace, one of Machinists Union District Lodge 751’s senior officers told members of Congress Monday.




► In the Bellingham Herald — Intalco workers will vote on new contract proposal — Union employees at Alcoa Intalco Works are expected to vote Thursday and Friday on a new contract proposal. A company spokesman said the new contract emerged from talks conducted on Sunday. Mike Goddard of IAM Local 2379 said the union’s negotiating committee is neutral on the new offer, and won’t recommend a “yes” or “no” vote to members.

► In today’s Columbia Basin Herald — Big Bend CC declares financial emergency — The resolution is the first step of a process that would allow the college to consider layoffs during the current biennium.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Cowlitz commissioners approve E-Verify requirement for contractors — Cowlitz County now requires contractors to use E-Verify to prove that their workers are legal.

► In today’s News Tribune — City of Tacoma faces $26 million shortfall — The council is faced with making dramatic cuts, likely including staff reductions, reducing payments to external organizations and lowering service levels.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Proposed Bremerton budget would eliminate 25.5 workers




► In today’s Yakima H-R — Former state Sen. Alex Deccio dies at 89 — Deccio served 32 years in the state House and Senate and one term as a Yakima County commissioner. Though he was a Republican through-and-through, Deccio is remembered as one of the last of the old-school politicians who frequently voted with Democrats and put the interests of his district above partisan politics.




► In today’s NY Times — Top earners doubled their share of nation’s income, study says — The top 1% of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income over the last three decades, the CBO finds. In addition, the report said, government policy has become less redistributive since the late 1970s, doing less to reduce the concentration of income.

► In today’s NY Times — New poll finds deep distrust in government — With nearly all Americans remaining fearful that the economy is stagnating or deteriorating further, two-thirds of the public said that wealth should be distributed more evenly in the country. Seven in 10 Americans think the policies of Congressional Republicans favor the rich. Two-thirds object to tax cuts for corporations and a similar number prefer increasing income taxes on millionaires. The combustible climate helps explain the volatility of the presidential race and has provided an opening for protest movements like Occupy Wall Street, to highlight grievances about banks, income inequality and a sense that the poor and middle class have been disenfranchised.




► From In These Times — Labor and Occupy movements continue to stand in solidarity — As Occupy Wall Street grows day by day, and Occupy actions proliferate around the country, union members will have lots more opportunities to support – and perhaps lead – these historic protests.

► From AP — Occupy Oakland protesters gassed in police standoff — Police fired tear gas into a crowd of over 100 Occupy Oakland protesters who had marched to City Hall to reclaim the camp they’d been evicted from early Tuesday. A haze of smoke from tear gas hung over the scene as bottles were reportedly thrown among the crowd of demonstrators.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Occupy Seattle votes to shift its base to Seattle Central CC

Washington’s Occupy protests on Facebook: Occupy BellinghamOccupy EverettOccupy OlympiaOccupy Seattle (website) — Occupy SpokaneOccupy TacomaOccupy Tri-CitiesOccupy WenatcheeOccupy Yakima




► Today at Politico — Social Security CPI formula change opposed by most, poll finds — Alarms have been set off among lawmakers and AARP and other powerful interest groups by the mere possibility that the Supercommittee!™ might propose savings by changing the way Social Security calculates inflation. A new poll finds that 66% of those surveyed opposed changes to the formula, climbing to 73% among those older than 55.

► At Huffington Post — Restaurant lobby fights laws requiring paid sick days — Voters in Denver will head to the polls next week to decide whether or not the city’s employers should be required to give workers paid sick days. It is the latest in a string of similar proposals pushed around the country (including in Seattle). But a ballot initiative is particularly worrisome for business interests. Paid sick days are generally a popular idea with the public, and ballot initiatives can preempt mayors, governors and state legislators who’ve come out on the industry’s side on workplace issues.

► In today’s LA Times — Obama’s jobs plan vs. GOP plan: No comparison really (Michael Hiltzik column) — Obama’s American Jobs Act would raise economic demand and boost employment, while Republicans’ Jobs Through Growth Act would do little except protect corporate profits.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Latino labor organization calls for new approach on immigration — Politicians must stop blaming immigrants and focus on the root causes of immigration—addiction to cheap labor and free trade policies that displace workers—according to a new study by the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

► In today’s LA Times — California leads nation in escalation of college costs — Washington state has the third highest average tuition increases (16%) this fall at 4-year public universities.

► In today’s LA Times — Workers win contract at nation’s first unionized car wash — Workers at a Southern California car wash have organized and won a labor contract with their employers, making it what’s believed to be the only unionized car wash in the country.




► In today’s NY Times — It’s the consumer spending, Stupid (by James Livingston) — As an economic historian who has been studying American capitalism for 35 years, I’m going to let you in on the best-kept secret of the last century: private investment — that is, using business profits to increase productivity and output — doesn’t actually drive economic growth. Consumer debt and government spending do. Private investment isn’t even necessary to promote growth. Why, then, do so many Americans support cutting taxes on corporate profits while insisting that thrift is the cure for what ails the rest of us, as individuals and a nation? Why have the 99% looked to the 1% for leadership when it comes to our economic future? If our goal is to repair our damaged economy, we should bank on consumer culture — and that entails a redistribution of income away from profits toward wages, enabled by tax policy and enforced by government spending.


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