The cynical restructuring plan for bankrupt Delphi Automotive calls for
massive wage and benefit givebacks for 51,000 American workers.
Governors of affected states must craft strategies to minimize loss of
jobs and income.
Interest rates nosed higher today as the Federal Reserve Board
sought to control inflation. But the impact of runaway inflation is
already being felt by workers whose wages will stagnate and whose
earning power is on a steep decline.
Marc Cooper interviews Gore Vidal about an America that is increasingly
controlled by corporations and suggests that the Gulf Coast hurricanes
and the Iraq debacle signal the breakdown of an empire.
As House Republicans use the cost of recovery from Gulf Coast storms as
an excuse to rip last-minute holes in the social safety net, it's not
too late to change priorities.
Delphi's bankruptcy is a marker of a new America in which there is no
collective security, no union to make you strong, no government to give
you shelter, in which workers stand alone.
It's easy to scoff at a rock star like Bono pairing up with
economist Jeffrey Sachs. But their tireless lobbying for debt relief
for the poorest nations could make a real difference for the 1 billion
people who live on less than a dollar a day.
Fitful efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast unfold against a backdrop
of looming economic disaster: rising unemployment and interest rates,
misplaced priorities and a recession that will hurt the weakest most.
As Asian countries grow in economic power, Africa lags behind the developed world. Can it ever catch up? Will corruption, geography and disease continue to hold it back?
Unless the federal government does something now,
rising gas prices have the potential to break the blue-collar backbone
of many American towns.
It takes a hurricane to raise awareness that the
numbers of poor people are growing on George Bush's watch. Will that be
enough for the President to begin to level the playing field?