Unions and Upward Mobility, Income and Health Insurance, Gulf Renewal, and Taxpayer Subsidies

The Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR) & Inclusion released "Unions and Upward Mobility for Low-Wage Workers, a report which analyzed 15 of the lowest-paying occupations in the United States. It showed that unionized workers earn about 16% more (or $1.75 per hour) than their non-union counterparts and were also about 25 percentage points more likely to have health insurance or a pension plan.

Looking at the new Census numbers, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities shows in new policy briefs that not only are incomes lower for working families, but more Americans, including children, now lack health insurance.

Two years after the Katrina disaster, a new report by the Campaign for America's Future details how conservative policies enacted in its wake have failed to rebuild the Gulf Coast. Instead of rebuilding needed infrastructure and helping working class families, too much of the money allocated by the government went to private contractors and developers, often going to luxury condominiums and football stadiums rather than into rebuilding peoples' homes.

To promote a new direction for post-Katraina rebuilding, the Institute for Southern Studies, in collaboration with Oxfam America and the Jewish Funds for Justice, published Blueprint for Gulf Renewal: The Katrina Crisis and a Community Agenda for Action, which argues for a new direction in tackling critical needs like housing, jobs and coastal protection.  It also features Where did the Katrina money go?, a tabulation of federal spending that shows that less than 30% of the $116 billion in federal funds went to long-term rebuilding.

General Growth Properties, the country's second largest mall owner, not only has a reputation for undermining union rights and racial discrimination, but according to a new report by Good Jobs First, it has managed to rake in over $200 million in taxpayer subsidies across the country.