Labor in the Eye of the Hurricane (UUP 19 Oct 2011)

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Labor in the Eye of the Hurricane (UUP 19 Oct 2011)

  1. 1. United University Professions Downstate Medical Center Chapter Brooklyn, NY October 19, 2011
  2. 2. We are in the grips of a WORLDWIDE AUSTERITY DRIVE … FROM TODAY’S WASHINGTON POST … Greek union warns of austerity “death spiral” By Renee Maltezou ATHENS, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Greece risks sliding into a “death spiral” if the government continues to slash salaries and lay off workers instead of cracking down on tax evasion and raising money from the rich, the head of the biggest public sector union said on Tuesday. Speaking ahead of a 48-hour general strike called to protest tough new austerity measures, due to be approved this week, Costas Tsikrikas, head of the 500,000-strong ADEDY union, accused Prime Minister George Papandreou’s Socialist government of blindly pursuing austerity measures that would plunge Greece deeper into recession. “ This will exacerbate recession, unemployment and state revenues will continue to fall, creating a death spiral. It must not continue,” Tsikrikas told Reuters in an interview and urged lawmakers to reject the package when it is voted in parliament on Wednesday and Thursday. Tsikrikas said the latest measures, which include tax hikes and pay and pensions cuts, would wipe out any hope of growth for the stricken Greek economy, crushed by debt and now in its third year of recession. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/interview-greek-union-warns-of-austerity-death-spiral/2011/10/18/gIQAIQ7auL_print.html
  3. 5. ANTI-UNION LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN OVER 20 STATES WISCONSIN AND OHIO HAVE PASSED SWEEPING ANTI-UNION LAWS
  4. 6. RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWS INTRODUCED IN 14 STATES
  5. 7. TEACHERS’ UNIONS TARGETED… States with bills to limit or eliminate collective bargaining for teachers, or otherwise target teachers' unions include Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Nebraska, Texas, New Hampshire, Michigan, Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, Arizona, and others
  6. 8. New York’s public employees have been blamed for the state’s fiscal crisis. Governor Cuomo threatened public unions with 9,800 layoffs if we won’t give up $450 million in contract concessions.
  7. 9. A major assault upon public education, public health and public safety
  8. 10. What should we do?
  9. 11. Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: March 25, 1911. 146 dead. (126 women)
  10. 12. What should we do? WE NEED TO TAKE OUR OWN PULSE!
  11. 13. They’re waging an offensive against us.
  12. 14. They’re waging an offensive against us. We should remember the old adage: “The best defense is a good offense.”
  13. 15. They’re waging an offensive against us. We should be asking: WHO are they DEFENDING?
  14. 16. Billionaires in the Universe 1,210 http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires We live in a time of unprecedented income inequality.
  15. 17. Billionaires in the Universe 1,210 Billionaires in the U.S.A. 412 http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires We live in a time of unprecedented income inequality.
  16. 18. Billionaires in the Universe 1,210 Billionaires in the U.S.A. 412 Billionaires in New York 68! http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires We live in a time of unprecedented income inequality.
  17. 19. Billionaires in the Universe ~ 1,210 Billionaires in the U.S.A. ~ 412 Billionaires in New York ~ 68! 68 billionaires IN NEW YORK?! NEW YORK IS NOT BROKE http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires We live in a time of unprecedented income inequality.
  18. 20. The wealthiest New Yorker is no longer Mayor Bloomberg…
  19. 21. The wealthiest New Yorker is no longer Mayor Bloomberg… X
  20. 22. It is David Koch, worth about
  21. 23. It is David Koch, worth about $22 Billion!
  22. 24. During the heyday of America’s middle class (1950-1980) the top 1% had about 10% of total income.
  23. 25. Top 1% Income Share 1914 to 2006 New York’s wealthiest 1% get >35% of all income in N.Y. (New York has the most unequal income concentration of any state in the nation.) ^ ^ Eisenhower Reagan James Parrott, Ph.D., “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,” December 13, 2010, Fiscal Policy Institute Growing income inequality
  24. 26. During the heyday of America’s middle class (1950-1980) the top 1% had about 10% of total income. In the United States the wealthiest 1% now take 25% of the income.
  25. 27. During the heyday of America’s middle class (1950-1980) the top 1% had about 10% of total income. In the United States the wealthiest 1% now take 25% of the income. In New York State the wealthiest 1% now take 35% of the income.
  26. 28. During the heyday of America’s middle class (1950-1980) the top 1% had about 10% of total income. In New York State the wealthiest 1% now take 35% of the income. In New York City the wealthiest 1% now take 45% of the income. (The most income-unequal city in the most income-unequal state .)
  27. 29. Top 1% Income Share 1914 to 2006 New York’s wealthiest 1% get >35% of all income in N.Y. (New York has the most unequal income concentration of any state in the nation.) ^ ^ Eisenhower Reagan James Parrott, Ph.D., “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,” December 13, 2010, Fiscal Policy Institute Growing income inequality
  28. 30. We live in a time of unprecedented income inequality. Income share of the top 0.01% 1913 to 2008 The top 1/10,000th of households now take >1/20th of all the income.
  29. 31. 0.01% ~1/100th of 1% of households~ (That’s 1/10,000th!) take more than 5% or >1/20th of total income.
  30. 32. 1/10,000th take >1/20th of total income? This is UNSUSTAINABLE
  31. 33. Since 1990 in terms of income share: the top 5% have GAINED. THE bottom 95% have LOST.
  32. 34. Income Concentration Trend in NYS 1990 compared with 2007
  33. 35. Income Concentration Trend in NYS 1990 compared with 2007
  34. 36. Household incomes in New York 1980 compared with 2007 (2007 dollars) While the rich have gotten richer, the poorest one-half of us have seen our household income fall. Source: James Parrott, Ph.D., “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,” Dec. 13, 2010, Fiscal Policy Institute
  35. 37. Household incomes in New York 1980 compared with 2007 (2007 dollars) Average Income (AGI), % change 1980 -Top 1% $446,507 2007 - Top 1% $2,730,973 +511.6% Source: James Parrott, Ph.D., “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,” Dec. 13, 2010, Fiscal Policy Institute
  36. 38. Household incomes in New York 1980 compared with 2007 (2007 dollars) Average Income (AGI), % change 1980 - Bottom 50% $16,074 2007 - Bottom 50% $14,045 -12.6% Source: James Parrott, Ph.D., “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,” Dec. 13, 2010, Fiscal Policy Institute
  37. 39. Household incomes in New York 1980 compared with 2007 (2007 dollars) Average Income (AGI) % change 1980 -Top 1% $446,507 2007 - Top 1% $2,730,973 +511.6% 1980 - Bottom 50% $16,074 2007 - Bottom 50% $14,045 -12.6% Source: James Parrott, Ph.D., “Grow Together or Pull Farther Apart? Income Concentration Trends in New York,” Dec. 13, 2010, Fiscal Policy Institute
  38. 40. http://www. epi .org/economic_snapshots/entry/state_of_working_ america _preview_the_declining_value_of_minimum_wage/
  39. 41. Productivity and hourly compensation growth, U.S., 1973-2004 Figure 3N from: Mishel, Lawrence, Jared Bernstein, and Sylvia Allegretto, The State of Working America 2006/2007 . An Economic Policy Institute Book. Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR Press (Cornell University), 2007.
  40. 42. http://creditwritedowns.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/household-debt-vs-savings.png
  41. 43. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/10/us/recession-officially-over-us-incomes-kept-falling.html New York Times Oct. 10, 2011
  42. 44. Why DO they say “the recession is over”? Slide courtesy of Mark Brenner, Labor Notes
  43. 45. Financiers’ bonuses: billions and billions and billions Slide courtesy Mark Brenner, Labor Notes
  44. 46. Graph courtesy Mark Brenner, Labor Notes Corporate taxes have gone down for over 75 years If New York’s corporate tax breaks were restored to 2000 levels, the state would have an extra $1.3 billion annually. (The Governor of New York wants $450 million in concessions from public employee unions.)
  45. 47. Tax breaks for the wealthy set us up for this crisis! No such thing as “trickle down.” Lost revenue: Billions and billions and billions “ Back on Track: Why Progressive Tax Reform is an Essential Part of New York’s Budget Solution,” March 2009
  46. 48. Even with the surcharge on wealthy incomes, the richest 1% still pay a smaller percentage in taxes than the rest of us.
  47. 49. Janitors and security guards at the Helmsley Building pay a larger share than the building’s residents. Catherine Rampell, "The Little People Pay Taxes," New York Times, February 23, 2011 http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/the-little-people-paytaxes/
  48. 50. “ In 1972, New York State had a personal income tax with 14 brackets, ranging from a low of 2% to a high of 15% … New York now has a 5-bracket / 5-rate system … All five of New York's current rates are between 4% (the current lowest rate) and 6.85% (the current highest rate)…” Frank Mauro, “A Little Bit of Tax History,” Fiscal Policy Institute http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/taxhistory2.htm (Together, the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers receive over $200 billion in annual taxable income.)
  49. 51. “ In 1972, New York State had a personal income tax with 14 brackets, ranging from a low of 2% to a high of 15% … New York now has a 5-bracket / 5-rate system … All five of New York's current rates are between 4% (the current lowest rate) and 6.85% (the current highest rate)…” Frank Mauro, “A Little Bit of Tax History,” Fiscal Policy Institute To get into the top bracket and pay the same state income tax as New York’s billionaires in 2012, a single person needs to earn only $20,001 and a married couple only $40,001! http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/taxhistory2.htm (Together, the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers receive over $200 billion in annual taxable income.)
  50. 52. “ In 1972, New York State had a personal income tax with 14 brackets, ranging from a low of 2% to a high of 15% … New York now has a 5-bracket / 5-rate system … All five of New York's current rates are between 4% (the current lowest rate) and 6.85% (the current highest rate)…” Frank Mauro, “A Little Bit of Tax History,” Fiscal Policy Institute To get into the top bracket and pay the same state income tax as New York’s billionaires in 2012, a single person needs to earn only $20,001 and a married couple only $40,001! Reinstituting the 1972 income tax structure would yield $8 billion more in income tax revenue for New York… wiping out the deficit… while reducing income taxes for 95% of us! http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/taxhistory2.htm (Together, the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers receive over $200 billion in annual taxable income.)
  51. 53. Tax breaks for the wealthy set us up for the “crisis” that created the austerity drive! (No such thing as “trickle down.”) Lost revenue: Billions and billions and billions
  52. 54. Matched for age, gender and education we are NOT better paid than those in the private-sector (Public worker compensation is not to blame!)
  53. 55. Matched for age, gender and education we are NOT better paid than those in the private-sector (Public worker compensation is not to blame!) Jeffrey Thompson & John Schmitt: " The Wage Penalty for State and Local Government Employees in New England ," September 2010 Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts and Center for Economic and Policy Research
  54. 56. Matched for age, gender and education we are NOT better paid than those in the private-sector Public vs. private In the public sector, entry-level jobs for those with a high school education, tend to come with benefits and a livable wage.
  55. 57. Matched for age, gender and education we are NOT better paid than those in the private-sector Public vs. private In the public sector, entry-level jobs for those with a high school education, tend to come with benefits and a livable wage. In the private sector, entry level jobs for those coming out of high school tend to be temporary-part time jobs, with no benefits and subsistence or poverty wages.
  56. 58. Matched for age, gender and education we are NOT better paid than those in the private-sector Public vs. private In the public sector, entry-level jobs for those with a high school education, tend to come with benefits and a livable wage. In the private sector, entry level jobs for those coming out of high school tend to be temporary-part time jobs, with no benefits and subsistence or poverty wages. Advanced skills and degrees get you quickly to the wage ceiling in the public sector. In the private sector the sky is the limit .
  57. 59. Matched for age, gender and education we are NOT better paid than those in the private-sector The wage structure of the private sector should emulate that of the public sector, not the other way around!
  58. 60. During the heyday of America’s middle class (1950-1980) the top 1% had about 10% of total income. In New York State the wealthiest 1% now take 35% of the income. In New York City the wealthiest 1% now take 45% of the income. (The most income-unequal city in the most income-unequal state .)
  59. 61. Income inequality and the assault upon public education, public health and public safety
  60. 62. What does income inequality have to do with education, health and safety? http://www.equalitytrust.
  61. 76. More income inequality means more Health, education and social problems
  62. 77. Health and social problems are worse in more unequal US States
  63. 78. The situation is ominous for all, not only public sector union members and not only New Yorkers.
  64. 79. Public employee union members 7.6 million. Private sector union members 7.1 million. Source: “ (Government) workers of the world unite! Public-sector unions have had a good few decades. Has their luck run out?” The Economist , 1/6/11 www.economist.com/node/17849199
  65. 80. The attack on public employees is a major assault upon organized labor, an offensive against all of the unions
  66. 82. Can an assault on our union rights happen in New York? We must defend the Triborough Amendment! 1967 Taylor Law prohibits public employee strikes. Triborough Amendment added to the Taylor Law in 1982 (with the support of the Governor)
  67. 83. The Triborough Amendment keeps all aspects of the current contract in force until a new contract is negotiated. Contrary to the propaganda that it gives unions an unfair advantage, the Triborough Amendment in fact establishes a labor-management balance of power and has prevented strikes.
  68. 84. We need to take our own pulse! Remember the adage: “the best defense is a good offense.” Our counter-offensive…
  69. 86. Alternatives to layoffs and cutbacks: Stock Transfer Tax ($16 billion): A tax of 1/20th of one percent each stock trade, on the books since 1915 but fully rebated to stock traders since 1981. This tax would have brought in $16 billion in 2009 if it wasn’t given back.
  70. 87. Alternatives to layoffs and cutbacks : Bankers’ Bonus Tax ($10 billion): $20 billion in bankers’ bonuses in 2009, according to the state Comptroller : one-half of this will balance the state budget!
  71. 88. Alternatives to layoffs and cutbacks: More Progressive Income Tax ($8 billion): According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, if New York State went back to the progressive income tax structure of 1972, the state would raise $8 billion more in revenue while giving 95% of New Yorkers a tax cut.
  72. 89. At Least: Keep the surcharge! ($5 billion): Higher tax brackets of 7.85% on income between $200,000 and $500,000 and 8.97% on income over $500,000 are set to expire at the end of 2011. These temporary tax rates bring in $5 billion a year yet Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to promise to protect the wealthy from them!
  73. 90. Dare We Say It? Single payer health care would liberate $25 billion* in health spending in New York State! *(Money now wasted on overhead and profiteering.)
  74. 91. And… End the wars! Bring them all home now! Cost of the Iraq war alone to New York taxpayers over $47 billion and counting.
  75. 92. Organize! Mobilize others! Join Occupy Wall Street! Defend our unions! (and share these data)
  76. 94. Funeral after the Triangle fire: 100,000 marched, 250,000 lined the street

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