Our unemployment insurance system has failed the country at a moment of great need. With tens of millions of workers struggling just to pay rent and buy food, Congress was forced to pass two emergency spending bills, providing one-time stimulus payments, special weekly unemployment insurance payments, and temporary unemployment benefits to those not covered by […]
Author Archive | Martin Hart-Landsberg
A meaningful working-class recovery from the recession seems far away.
This post highlights the successful government directed wartime reorientation of the U.S. economy from civilian to military production, an achievement that both demonstrates the feasibility of a rapid Green New Deal transformation of the U.S. economy and points to the kinds of organizational capacities we will need to develop.
It wasn’t that long ago that the country celebrated frontline workers by banging pots in the evening to thank them for the risks they took doing their jobs during the pandemic.
We face a multifacited labor crisis. One of the most important aspects of this crisis is the U.S. economy’s diminishing capacity to provide employment. This development is highlighted in the chart below, which shows the trend in civilian employment over the last thirty years. Civilian employment includes all individuals who worked at least one hour for […]
Workers in the United States are in the midst of a punishing COVID-19 economic crisis.
We need strong unions, all of us. Tragically, even during the pandemic, businesses continue to aggressively resist worker attempts at unionization. And recent decisions by the NLRB only add to worker difficulties.
The current economic crisis has hit workers hard. Unemployment rates remain high, with total weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits continuing to grow.
In the month following the May 25th death of George Floyd, the largest technology companies collectively pledged more than a billion dollars in support of racial justice. Sounds like a lot of money, but for these companies it is pocket change.
The U.S. economy is undergoing a major transformation largely driven by the coronavirus pandemic. One hallmark of that transformation is the explosion in what is called “remote” work.
Although the date drew little notice in the U.S. media, July 27, 2020 marked the 67th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement, an agreement that ended the fighting but not the war between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).
The excessive use of force and killings of unarmed Black Americans by police has fueled a popular movement for slashing police budgets, reimagining policing, and directing freed funds to community-based programs that provide medical and mental health care, housing, and employment support to those in need. This is a long overdue development.
While the Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the United States were triggered by recent police murders of unarmed African Americans, they are also helping to encourage popular recognition that racism has a long history with punishing consequences for black people that extend beyond policing.
The announcement by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the federal unemployment rate declined to 13.3 percent in May, from 14.7 percent in April, took most analysts by surprise. The economy added 2.5 million jobs in May, the first increase in employment since February. Most economists had predicted further job losses and a rise in […]
In early May, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine began reopening the state economy. And to support business and slash state expenses, both at worker expense, he had a “COVID-19 Fraud” form put up on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services website where employers could confidentially report employees “who quit or refuse work when […]
While there are great differences between the crises and political movements and possibilities of the 1930s and now, there are also important lessons that can be learned from the efforts of activists to build mass movements for social transformation during the Great Depression. My aim in this paper is to illuminate the challenges faced and […]
We shouldn’t be satisfied with a return to normalcy. We need a “new normal.”
There is growing interest in a Green New Deal, but far too little discussion among supporters about the challenging nature of the required economic transformation, the necessary role of public planning and ownership in shaping it, or the strategies necessary to institutionalize a strong worker-community voice in the process and final outcome.
President Trump is all in, touting his success in rebuilding U.S. manufacturing. For example, in his state of the union address he claimed: We are restoring our nation’s manufacturing might, even though predictions were that this could never be done. After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new […]
Most calls for a Green New Deal correctly emphasize that it must include a meaningful commitment to climate justice. That is because climate change—for reasons of racism and capitalist profit-making—disproportionately punishes frontline communities, especially communities of color and low-income.