. . . make it Colleen Boyle and Eric Dirnbach's piece at In These Times:
The fate of the Build Back Better Act is currently unknown. The bill would be the largest social spending achievement in decades and provide needed services and support to millions of families — with more than half of the proposed $1.75 trillion in spending going to child care, preschool, affordable housing, higher education and healthcare.
But this proposed spending, over 10 years, is barely noticeable compared with the wages workers have lost over the past 40 years. In terms of productivity, wages should be significantly higher than they are, and the average worker continues to be shortchanged thousands of dollars annually. And much of the money workers should be getting is instead being pumped up to the top 0.3% of income earners.
[. . .]
A number of factors have contributed to this productivity-wage gap. According to EPI, starting in the late 1970s, more unemployment has been tolerated to reduce inflation, the federal minimum wage has been raised less often, the deregulation of a number of industries has kept wages lower, corporate globalization has increased, wage theft has grown, and labor laws have failed to stop growing employer hostility toward unions. As unions declined, they had less power in their industries and therefore less ability to negotiate better wages to capture productivity gains.
In the chart, the line tracking productivity soars while the line tracking wages stagnates. As the two diverge, income inequality increases.
Less explored than the causes of the productive-wage gap is how much this gap is actually costing workers in real dollars — and where that lost income is going instead. As EPI’s Lawrence Mishel and Josh Bivens calculate, if wages had kept pace with productivity, then the median hourly wage (adjusted for inflation) in 2017 would have been $33.10. The actual median hourly wage in 2017 was $23.15, a gap of $9.95 per hour.
We calculated what that gap has cost the average worker. According to the Current Employment Statistics (Establishment Survey), produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly hours of production and nonsupervisory employees for private sector employers in 2017 was 33.6 hours.
Considering that not all that long ago, JACOBIN was insisting that those paltry COVID checks (stimulus payments) should be counted as "raises," In These Times' article is especially important.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:
Monday, Janaury 31, 2022. The stalemate continues in Iraq as does the silence on NPR.
The stupidity never ends in the world of the press. Case in point, NPR's MORNING EDITION. They've found Iraq. They haven't. They speak to AP's Sarah El Deeb. Before they do, they want you to know that they're concerned about a "resurgence" of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Resurgence? It never went away. We were addressing that on Friday, you may remember. This morning, ABNA reports, "A security source said two policemen were killed in the attack of the members of the ISIS terrorist group on the Iraqi province of Kirkuk on Sunday evening. The Iraqi security source told Shafaq News Agency that members of the ISIS terrorist group have attacked Kirkuk province on Sunday." NPR's ignoring that attack and they've ingored all the similar attacks. They add up and the death toll adds up. Is there a "resurgence" of ISIS in Iraq and Syria? Seems to me the only "resurgence" is in the US press bothering to note Iraq. And ten and fifteen can die a day in ISIS attacks and it doesn't matter. It only matters if the attack qualifies as "spectacular."
I'm appaled by the report for anothe reason. NPR wants you to know that, in Syria, the presion seige was carried out in part by holding children. No one takes a moment to decry children prisoners. No one takes a moment to call out children being in the same prison as adults. It's just move on and skirt every damn issue in the world but pretend that somehow, for a few seconds this week, you covered Iraq and Syria and did a segment that didn't find the hosts chuckling at the end. ("We haven't heard what happened to the children . . . We don't know how many died," Sarah declares. Alright then. Thanks for the information -- or whatever you want to call that.
What's further appalling is that the report is about Syria. The headline for the segment is "Attacks by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq stoke concerns of a resurgence." Sarah El Deeb does not cover Iraq. She covers Syria. She can't speak to Iraq in any meaningful manner.
"We'll have to leave it there," Leila Fadel says cutting Sarah off during the too brief segment that never addresses Iraq. Not a good way to kick off your first day hosting MORNING EDITION. (Leila's hosted many NPR programs as a substitute before. She's now a regular host on MORNING EDITION.) It was also cute to watch them look back at Leila's work in the past. Egypt . . The US -- Fort Worth? (isn't that where her family lives) . . . Verything but Iraq. So 2005 through 2009 she covers Iraq but, hey, no need to offer that during the segment becuase NPR doesn't give two s**ts about Iraq. They make it clear every day in every way.
I have a feeling we're going to have to focus more on NPR in 2022 as it continues its progpaganda and ignores reality.
Three minutes on Syria -- supposedly Iraq and Syria -- and that's it. Over six minutes on an astronaut who may become something -- the first African-American woman to spend six months in space -- but thus far hasn't gong into space. Greg Myre delivers over four minutes of progaganda about how (he insists) Ukraine is trying to "break free from Moscow." Ukraine is split on what they want but, hey, if you're going to sell war, whore, baby, whore. Whore big or go home. And Greg Myre is one of the biggest whores that there has evern been. Got a sloppy floppy, Greg.
Has NPR filed a single report on the stalemate in Iraq? October 10th, elections were held. Still waiting on a government to be formed.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Vice-President Nechirvan Barzani
met with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and parliamentary speaker
Mohammed al-Halbousi in Najaf on Monday, following an initiative from
KDP leader Masoud Barzani to resolve political tensions in Iraq’s
ongoing government formation process.
The meeting at Sadr’s house came following a statement from Masoud Barzani on Monday where he suggested that Nechirvan Barzani and Halbousi visit Sadr in order to discuss the political process in Iraq, and to eliminate the obstacles and issues.
The Sadrist bloc has already formed an alliance with the KDP and Halbousi’s Sunni party, Taqadum. Their initial act of alliance was during the first parliamentary session earlier this month where all three parties voted for each other’s candidates for the parliamentary speaker position and his deputies.
The sudden meeting between the three leaders comes after Iran’s Quds
Force commander Ismael Qaani accompanied by Iran’s top official in Iraq,
Hassan Danaeifar, met with Masoud Barzani in Erbil on Sunday, as
confirmed to Rudaw by the KDP’s spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Parliament has announced 25 names for the post of President of Iraq. INA reports the candidates are:
1-Khalid Siddiq Aziz Mohammed
2-Faisal Mohsen Aboud Al-Kilabi
3-Shehab Ahmed Abdullah Al Nuaimi
4-Hussein Ahmed Hashim Al- Safi
5-Ahmed Moah U mran Al - Rubaie
6-Ahmed Yahya Jassim Jawd Al Saadi
7-Sabah Saleh Saeed
8-Kazim Khudair Abbas Dwaghneh
9-Razkar Mohammed Amin Hama Saeed
10-Klawes Ali Amin Birah
11-Louay Abdel Sahib Abdul Wahab Mohsen
12-Ribwar Orhmen Arif
13-Hamza Brissam Thijeel Al-Maamouri
14-Hushiar Mahmoud Mohamed Mustafa Zebari
15-Hussein Mohsen Alwan Al - Hassani
16-Abdul Latif Mohammed Jamal Rashid Sheikh Mohammed
17-Omar Sadiq Mustafa Majid Al-Abdali
18-Barham Ahmed Haj Saleh Ahmed
19-Thaer Ghanim Mohammed Ali Baktish Al - Othman
20-Iqbal Abdullah Amin al-Fatlawi
21-Khadija Khuda Yakhish Assad Qlaws
22-Jabbar Hassan Jassim
23-Hadi Abdel Hussein Saddam Al - Freijy
24-Raad Khudair Dafag Sail
25-Omid Abdel Salam Qadir Taha Palan
Number 18 should be forgotten. He has served as president and should step aside. Was there any real point to wasting time, money and security on elections if Barham Saleh is going to remain president? The Speaker of Parliament remained the same. Now the presidency?
In addition, there's the fact that Saleh's political party, PUK, was destroyed in the elections. Why should he remain president? Corruption? That's why?
The Iraqi people became disenchanted with elections in 2010 when Joe Biden overturned the results that year with The Erbil Agreement. Nothing since has taken place to make them believe that elecitons change anything. Keeping Saleh as president will only further undermine any belief in elections. Grasp that every election since 2010 has seen a steady decline in turnout.
February 8th. Per Iraq's Constitution, that's the date that they have to have named a president. That's days away.
Nothing is being accomplished. The plan was that the new government would usher out foreign forces. You may remember all the claims, for example, that US troops would be out of Iraq at the end of 2021. Didn't happen. The election didn't deliver that or anything else. And for those who just don't seem to get it, ABNA reports:
The German parliament has approved a plan to extend the German army’s mission in Iraq until October 2022.
On Friday (January 28th), the German parliament, known as the Bundestag, approved by 553 votes to 110 against the proposal of the federal government to extend the mission of the German army in Iraq until October 2022. Accordingly, the German army will continue to participate in anti-ISIS missions in Iraq for nine months.
The German parliament said in a statement that Germany’s cooperation and presence is only to strengthen and rebuild the Iraqi army and provide related support services as part of NATO’s missions and the International Coalition against ISIS in Iraq.
The German government believes that the efforts of various parties to implement structural reforms in the Iraqi military institutions as well as the integration of the forces of the Hashad al-Shaabi organization in the Iraqi security structures with the aim of effective and direct control of its forces by the Iraqi government should be supported!
These words of the German government show that the Westerners are seeking the dissolution of the Hashad al-Shaabi organization and will certainly implement plans to strike at the organization in the near future.
On Julian Assange, we'll note this discussion.
And we'll wind down with this:
Enjoy this newsletter? Forward to a friend!
1600 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209
The following sites updated: