OK

In this mornings LATimes is a Op-Ed by Leo Hindery Jr. an unofficial economic advisor to Obama, lays out some of the ideas we will see when Obama wins. He firsts describes the problems most of us are aware of, but he highlights the disparity of the last 20 yrs or so.

This disconnect between the national interest and corporate responsibility and interests has helped shatter the "contract with the middle class." And in the most painful measure of just how broken this contract is, based on data from 2005-2006, the top 1% of Americans -- 300,000 -- earn as much as the bottom 150 million combined. Income inequality is the greatest it has been since 1928, and for every three-year period since 1981, the top 1% of taxpayers have gained, on average, $100 billion in total earnings, while the bottom 80% have lost $100 billion. Renewing America's 'contract with the middle class'

The solutions are discussed on the flip.

As someone who has watched this all happen from inside the flooring industry, both in Labor and Sales, it's been frustratingly obvious that things were upside down. When I entered as a Carpet Installers apprentice my boss owned his own very nice home, and drove a Jag. as well as a new truck. He was paid 1.25 a sq yd to install carpet in 1972. Just as a example of how labor didn't increase, when I left Las Vegas 4 yrs ago, the Installers were making 1.10 a sq yd. Gas, supplies, ins. etc. has all gone up while labor stagnated. This didn't happen to this extent nationwide, yet in too many pockets across the US it did.

Leo hits all the common sense things that needs to be done, and should of been done long ago. The Middle Class has watched and shook it's collective heads as the pensions and safety nets they had been promised over the years have been torn away and rolled into corp. profits instead as Congress sat mute. When the Min. wage was raised this yr most of the economists agreed it was short by about half. Some local communities and States recently proved that point by passing local laws. The City of Santa Barbara made it's entry wages a livable wage based on the local economy, somewhere around 14.00 hr. I believe.

Obama thru Leo lays out a new 5 point Contract with the Middle Class. It starts with workers rights and Unions then goes deeper into some of the other problems. It ends with a call for "accountability through greater transparency".( the cynic in me had to smile at that one ). This next quote is the about the 1st of the 5 points.

We need to modernize labor laws to give workers more of a voice. To help the 60 million workers who research says would join a union if they could, Congress must pass the proposed Employee Free Choice Act to let workers organize when a majority of them sign union cards. This legislation needs to apply to part-time and contract workers as well, and there must be quicker and tougher penalties for breaking labor laws.

Renewing America's 'contract with the middle class'
Point number 4 is my personal fav. just because I can picture the look on some of the FatCats faces as they feel the pain in their wallets. I'm highlighting the best part.

We need to limit excessive executive compensation. Executives should not be paid more than a reasonable multiple of average employee compensation, and, along with hedge fund and private equity managers, they should be fully taxed on their earnings at the same income tax rates that apply to their workers. Congress must also close the tax loopholes that allow executives to shelter massive amounts of earnings using both accounts overseas and tax-free deferred compensation plans here at home.

Originally posted to SmileySam on Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 04:08 AM PDT.

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