Ryan trickles down, Matt Shea’s facts-ism, reviving unions

Thursday, August 24, 2017




► In today’s Seattle Times — House speaker Paul Ryan touring Boeing in Everett this morning — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will tour Boeing Thursday and talk with Boeing employees during an event that will be streamed live on YouTube. Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, and other GOP leaders are traveling to big businesses around the country in an attempt to drum up support for overhauling tax policy.

ALSO at The Stand:

Boeing ♥s Ryan’s tax cuts, as long as no job strings attached (by John Burbank)

► From Bloomberg — GOP leaders are courting corporate America in Trump’s absenceWhen dozens of America’s most visible CEOs said last week that they’d break up two groups advising Trump after his slow condemnation of violence at a white-supremacist rally, they opened the widest rift between a Republican president and corporations in generations. But CEOs aren’t being shy about embracing other Republicans. Top lawmakers are making the rounds to companies to rally support for a tax overhaul that could sharply reduce corporate rates — and burnish the GOP’s pro-business bona fides. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday visited Intel Corp. and will visit Boeing on Thursday.

► From Working WA — Paul Ryan in Everett — Tell the world what you think about Paul Ryan’s trickle-down agenda and his trip to Boeing: click here to fill his YouTube livestream page with your unscreened comments, your ? ? ? or whatever else you got. (The YouTube stream starts at 9 a.m. but the link is already live and will stay up there after the event is done.)

► From Medium — An open letter to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (by Gov. Jay Inslee) — Elected leaders in Washington, D.C. have left the American people frustrated and anxious at best, and violently angry at worst. Something has to change. You have the power to help bring about that change. As the most powerful member of one of three co-equal branches of our federal government, you have the power to speak forcefully against the president’s hateful rhetoric.




► From The Stranger — Seattle Council Member says Bezos should improve working conditions for ‘gig economy’ contractors — Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, calling on the former richest man in the world to advocate for improved working conditions in the tech-driven gig economy. She called on him to launch a national conversation in the tech industry to address contract employees’ needs and “[engage] with them not as data, but as people with real needs and real lives.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Moon grabs key Dem nod in Seattle mayor’s race amid Durkan’s union endorsements — The King County Democrats handed Cary Moon a sole endorsement in the race for Seattle mayor this week, giving her a boost amid a run of labor-union endorsements for opponent Jenny Durkan (including the M.L. King County Labor Council, Seattle Building Trades, ILWU 19, SEIU 1199NW, IAFF 27 and SEIU 775).

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Sexual assault allegation investigated after Democratic meeting — A longtime progressive activist was removed from party positions earlier this year when reports surfaced alleging he sexually assaulted a young volunteer after a state Democratic Party meeting in Walla Walla.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Racism in the Valley: Where do we go from here? — While images of Nazi salutes in Charlottesville served as a rude awakening for those who thought we left the Klan in the 1960s, for people of color, the fact that white supremacy is alive and kicking comes as no surprise. Nor does it surprise local communities to see that — in response to the ideology on display in Virginia — many Yakima residents expressed more support for the white supremacists than the protesters opposing them.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — No state capital budget, no Arlington splash pad — The water feature envisioned as a centerpiece of the overhauled Haller Park has been put on hold, after years of fundraising and planning, due to lack of progress on a state capital budget. Dozens of projects around Snohomish County — some of which were in line for tens of thousands of state dollars, others for millions — have been left in the lurch.

ALSO at The Stand:

Senate GOP’s brinkmanship suspends construction, kills jobs (by Sen. Bob Hasegawa)

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane schools’ budget to grow 7.2 percent, majority of money earmarked for teachers — The primary reason for the larger-than-normal increase was the state’s newly adopted education funding plan, said Linda McDermott, the district’s chief financial officer.

► MUST-READ in today’s Spokesman-Review — In the silo of the true believers, where a fact is whatever you say it is (by Shawn Vestal) — State Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) and his portion of the political spectrum are fond of claiming to be the victims of various wars – the war on Christians, the war on rural America – and in the course of doing so, they are waging a vigorous war on facts. Shea himself uses the word “fact” a lot, but he’s almost always referring to an assertion – about the Muslim Brotherhood, the feds’ assault on the Bundy clan, the Communist connection to removing Confederate statues… Why does this matter? In the world of Liberty, after all – the imagined 51st state proposed by Shea and others – counterfactual beliefs have long been lingua franca. But they are at a moment of greatly increased cultural and political potency, a perfect marriage between those who speak falsehoods to those who hear them as truth. The president blithely and constantly says things that are objectively not true, and to the minority of Americans who support him, these false things are facts.

PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:

It’s up to Republicans to hold Rep. Matt Shea accountable (by David Groves)




► From the USA Today — AFL-CIO: Fix NAFTA once and for all (by Richard Trumka) — The North American Free Trade Agreement has been an unequivocal failure, sending jobs abroad, holding down wages and devastating communities. Only the Wall Street and Washington elite can claim NAFTA is yesterday’s war. For millions of American families, it’s today’s crisis… The AFL-CIO has put forth a detailed plan for renegotiating NAFTA. President Trump promised a better deal for American workers. That’s what we expect — and that’s the standard for our support. Unfortunately, the first negotiating session did not inspire confidence. We will continue to demand a deal that expands the American dream, strengthens workers’ freedom to negotiate, and stops treating corporations like people.

ALSO at The Stand:

No more trickle-down ‘free trade’ deals (by Leo W. Gerard)

NAFTA 2.0: Take action to make it work for working people

► In the Pan Am Post — Mexico-US salary gap: Workers earn nine times less south of the border — The wage gap between Mexico and the United States has increased in recent years. The American manufacturing sector, for example, pays its workers $20.80 per hour on average, while in Mexico the same industry pays $2.30 per hour. Two years ago, in January 2015, when the INEGI database was started, this industry in the United States paid $19.70 per hour, while in Mexico the payment was $2.50.

► From The Hill — Odds of a government shutdown rise after Trump threat — Congress returns to Washington next month facing a full plate of radioactive, must-pass legislation and a shutdown threat that looks more serious after President Trump suggested on Tuesday he won’t support a spending package that omits new funds for a southern border wall.

► In today’s Washington Post — Can Trump actually shut down the government over wall funding? — What would it take for President Trump to actually force a government shutdown? As congressional staffers will tell you, it’s complicated.

► In today’s Washington Post — Escalating feud, Trump blames McConnell, Ryan for upcoming ‘mess’ on debt ceiling — President Trump’s relationship with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in particular has deteriorated in recent weeks, with the president blaming his party’s senators for failing to pass health-care legislation this summer.





► In today’s NY Times — Federal judge rejects revised Voter ID law in Texas — A federal judge blocked Texas from enforcing its revamped voter identification law on Wednesday, ruling that the State Legislature’s attempt to loosen the law did not go far enough and perpetuated discrimination against black and Hispanic voters.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Lifetime income: Younger men are on track to earn less (by Jon Talton) — Men born after 1967 are making less than the group that preceded them, and that’s bad news for all workers.

► From AP — UAW’s loss at Nissan auto plant masks genuine progress for organized labor (by Harley Shaiken) — Behind this loss there’s a glimmer of hope for labor. Decades of research on labor and globalization, particularly in manufacturing and the auto industry, lead me to believe that while the pro-union workers may have suffered a setback, the campaign is far from over. In fact, there are signs that the UAW’s organizing effort has made some lasting inroads that could lead to success down the road.




► In today’s Washington Post — Bend the trend: Reviving unionization in America (by Jared Bernstein) — In advance of Labor Day, the Economic Policy Institute just released an important piece on the importance of unions as a force to push back on inequality, wage losses and a political system that fails to represent most Americans… In the 1920s and 1930s, when income was just as concentrated as it is today, capital crushed labor, and finance ran amok. The result was, of course, the market crash, the Great Depression, the loss of concentrated wealth, and the rise of collective bargaining. And to be very clear — this point is key — that tripling of union density you see in the chart between the late 1930s and early 1940s, from around 10 to north of 30 percent, was an act of policy, not of nature. That policy was the National Labor Relations Act (a.k.a. the Wagner Act). In other words, it is wrong to assume that collective bargaining is incompatible with our modern economy. The truth is that our labor laws have not been sufficiently modernized. That has come at great cost: Although correlation is not causation, solid research finds that, unsurprisingly, declining unionization rates and increasing income concentration at the top (see the blue line in the figure) are related. “Among men,” the report notes, “the erosion of collective bargaining has been the largest single factor driving a wedge between middle- and high-wage workers.”


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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