Category Archives: The Nation and Beyond

Are You with the Workers or Management?

By Peter Toll

Labor Day always reminds me of this question. It also reminds me of my first labor strike in the 1950s when I was 16 years old and had just gotten a real job as a box-boy (grocery bagger) at the local A&P supermarket.

Greeting me on my second day of after-school work was a big padlocked chain across the store’s door. Huh? What is this? I need to go to work. I need gas for my beater of a car. What the . . . ?

Continue reading

Part One: Inequality and Climate Change: Keep Hope Alive

Can we keep hope alive? Is it reasonable to hope for a better, more just economy in which the 1% control a lot less than 50 percent of the wealth and income of our county? Is it reasonable to hope for policies that mitigate rather than contribute to climate change? Can we hope that future generations will participate in civic life and revitalize a democracy now on life support? What must we do today to keep hope alive?

The percentage of annual income collected by the top one percent in Oregon is greater today than it was in 1929. This is also true for Clackamas County. The average annual income for the top one percent in Clackamas County is $1,338,000. The rest of us, the 99%, have an average annual income of $61,062. Continue reading

Inequality and the Need for Unity: An Introduction

By Peter Nordbye, Chair Democratic Party of Clackamas County

The existential crisis of our time, nuclear war, has a new partner: climate change. We have lived under the threat of nuclear extermination since 1945. We have gone from “duck and cover” to bomb shelters to a belief that our institutions have in place safeguards so that no one crazy enough to invoke mutually assured destruction ever could. We have stopped above-ground testing and, with few exceptions, nuclear proliferation. We have even reduced the number of nuclear warheads. We have stared into the abyss of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and said “never again.” Continue reading

Lake Oswego Councilor’s Personal, Poignant Protest Caught on Video

With one memorable exception, virtually all major policies imposed by the Trump administration have caused division among party lines. That exception, of course, was the immigration strategy enforced in early May that separated children from their parents after they crossed the Southern U.S. border. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned at the time, “If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. … If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

As a result, nearly 3,000 children, including scores under the age of five, were removed from their parents and placed first in Customs and Border Protection facilities, then in shelters provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Continue reading

Platform Convention Reflections Part 2: Defending the French

In the midst of a discussion about expanding the role of government to enhance social protections, a delegate arose and cited France as an example of government intervention into the economy run amok. The delegate cited France’s slow GNP growth and overall sluggish economy.

Indeed France’s unemployment rate is about 5 percent higher than the U.S. However, French productivity has exceeded the U.S.’s from 1985 through 2010. But these economic numbers, which are routinely used to determine the health of an economy, miss the mark. The measure of success of any economy isn’t how much wealth it has or even how much it creates. The measure of a successful economy must be the welfare of the people who are served by the economy. Continue reading