Tuesday, November 17, 2009

GRITtv: "Changing the Jobs Debate, Hendrik Hertzberg, and Revisiting Maine" (with video)

GRITtv with video:
The unemployment number officially hit double digits recently, though the actual truth is that it’s been in double digits for a while. The Nation’s John Nichols , author of Tragedy & Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destroy Democracy calls the unemployment crisis a “social, economic and political threat,” writing of the growing sense of urgency within an administration facing a purported recovery that hasn’t extended to everyday people. Economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy agrees, noting that unemployment is still a crisis for the families affected, who struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table.
Since Obama is convening a jobs summit and soliciting suggestions on how to put people back to work (that don’t involve the dirty word “stimulus”), we had Baker and Nichols put their heads together and talk about ways to create good, meaningful, well-paid jobs and rethink the way Americans look at work.

Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker describes himself as being “aboard the Obama express,” and his new book, ¡OBÁMANOS!: The Rise of a New Political Era, collects his essays on the Obama generation and the way the campaign changed politics. A year into the administration, Hertzberg is still hopeful, though like many progressives he offers criticisms of the way the health care reform fight and others have been conducted.

In Maine, advocates of marriage equality suffered a setback in this past election, where voters overturned a decision by the state legislature to legalize gay marriage. Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll of New Left Media brought us an inside look at the No On One campaign, from get-out-the-vote training to a rally and candlelight vigil the night before election day. Watch for Part 2 tomorrow!

Though the Bush administration and many other insiders claimed that no one could’ve seen the financial collapse coming, construction workers, whose own pension funds were invested in these companies, knew that there was a housing bubble and feared for their own retirement money. We have video from the Huffington Post Investigative Fund that takes a look at the rating agencies and their future.

16 workers a day die from work-related injuries, according to this latest video from Brave New Films.

Charles Jeffress, former Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), notes that there are hardly any consequences to employers for failing to comply with guidelines–and with four million injuries on the job each year, it seems that employers have decided that it’s easier to flout the law than to comply.

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