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Stories about Labor and Economics.

No: No Wall Could Hurt Mexico as Much as NAFTA Has

By: 
Mark Weisbrot

President Trump is unlikely to fulfill his dream of forcing Mexico to pay for his proposed wall along the United States’ Southern border.

If it is built, though, U.S. taxpayers will almost certainly foot the bill, which some have estimated could be as high as $50 billion.

With that said, it’s worth taking a step back to look at the economics of U.S.-Mexican relations to see how immigration from Mexico even became a political issue someone like Trump could use to his advantage.

What Else is Wrong with Globalization

By: 
Joan Roelofs
It isn’t just an issue of whether they have the jobs or we have the jobs. From a red-green, eco-socialist perspective we must ask: what are they producing, how does the product and process affect the health, happiness and self-esteem of the worker, how does it contribute to the health and happiness of the consumer, and what effect do product and process have on the environment and culture of the producing and receiving countries?
Globalization has benefits, undoubtedly. There are international human rights treaties that have enabled local activists to improve conditions for their fellow citizens; there are developments in medical treatments that are now widely available. But as the benefits of globalization are widely described, I will argue for the minority and indicate some of the serious problems that we don’t hear much about.

Despite Scrapping TPP, Donald Trump Is a Dedicated Free Trader

By: 
Jack Rasmus

Less than a week after assuming office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order abandoning the 12 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement negotiated by former President Barack Obama, but not yet ratified by the U.S. Congress. He then quickly attacked Mexico — abruptly cut short a phone conversation with Mexico’s President Peña Nieto, canceled a meeting with Peña Nieto after demanding Mexico pay for a wall on the U.S. border and threatened to impose a 20 percent border tax on goods exported to the United States based on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Utopia: Industrial Workers Taking the Wheel

By: 
Hilary Wainwright

Back in the 1970s, with unemployment rising and British industry contracting, workers at the arms company Lucas Aerospace came up with a pioneering plan to retain jobs by proposing alternative, socially-useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills. The ‘Lucas Plan’ remains one of the most radical and forward thinking attempts ever made by workers to take the steering wheel and directly drive the direction of change.

Forty years later, we are facing a convergence of crises: militarism and nuclear weapons, climate chaos and the destruction of jobs by new technologies and automation. These crises mean we have to start thinking about technology as political, as the Lucas Aerospace workers did, and reopen the debate about industrial conversion and economic democracy.

January 1948: Tragic death of immigrant workers inspires a song of solidarity

By: 
Chris Mahin
The fire began over Los Gatos Canyon. It started in the left engine-driven fuel pump. The plane crashed 20 miles west of Coalinga, California, on January 28, 1948.

By Blood and Fire Mining and Militarization in the Ecuadorian Amazon

By: 
Jake Ling

Before dawn on the Dec. 21, 2016, dozens of police raided the headquarters of the Shuar Federation (FISCH) in the Ecuadorian Amazon and arbitrarily detained its president, Agustin Wachapá. The indigenous leader was thrown to the ground and repeatedly stamped on and ridiculed beneath the boots of police in front of his wife. The police then razed the Shuar Federation’s office—turning over furniture and carrying away computers. According to the indigenous leader's wife, her husband was taken away without any kind of explanation. An arrest warrant for Wachapá was never presented.  

How to Cut Infrastructure Costs in Half

By: 
Ellen Brown

President Donald Trump has promised to rebuild America’s airports, bridges, tunnels, roads and other infrastructure, something both Democrats and Republicans agree should be done. The country needs a full $3 trillion in infrastructure over the next decade. The $1 trillion plan revealed by Trump’s economic advisers relies heavily on public-private partnerships, and private equity firms are lining up for these plumbing investments. In the typical private equity water deal, for example, higher user rates help the firms earn annual returns of anywhere from 8 to 18 percent – more even than a regular for-profit water company might expect. But the price tag can come as a rude surprise for local ratepayers.

The solidarity ecosystems of occupied factories

By: 
Liam Barrington-Bush

At first glance it is a factory: heavy machinery, crates, palettes, industrial barrels and men doing manual labor. Little catches the eye, except maybe the homemade banners hanging up around the warehouse. They’re in Greek, so you might not be able to read them, but you can tell these are not the stock decorations from the ‘IKEA industrial chic’ catalog.

Over a couple of days, you might also notice that you’re unlikely to see those men doing the same specific jobs, day after day, as you would in most factories. They seem to rotate their roles, mixing up batches of soap, pouring them into frames and cutting it into bars, but also cleaning toilets, taking product orders and coordinating distribution.

Women’s cooperatives: A glimpse into Rojava’s economic model

By: 
Hawzhin Azeez

Zahra Shexo bends over her sewing machine and meticulously, but expertly allows the course material to run through her fingers and under the pointed needle of the machine. The sound of over a dozen women’s laughter and conversation intermixes with the repetitive mechanical sounds of the sewing machines in the large room. The sewing room is a Kaleidoscope of different coloured materials, samples, threads and other necessary sewing items. Zahra is the current administrator of the textile cooperative Amargi in Kobane city.

Interviews for Resistance: Why Teachers Unions Are the Best Bet To Transform the Labor Movement

By: 
Sarah Jaffe

Public schools have been a bipartisan battleground for years now, with teachers unions taking attacks from elected officials at all levels as part of a broader movement to “improve” education by handing control over to private companies. Donald Trump's nominee to run the education department, Betsy DeVos, is a stalwart of this privatization drive, never having met a public school she liked (and barely, as many have pointed out, having met a public school at all, since she neither taught in any nor attended them nor sent her own children to them). But teachers around the country are organizing against privatization, and gaining support from parents and students. We talk to one of those teachers, Jesse Hagopian.

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