In 1968, a British Conservative politician, Enoch Powell, made what became known as his “Rivers of Blood” speech. In it, he sounded an alarm about what he imagined to be an unchecked immigrant invasion of the United Kingdom, at a time when the country’s immigrant population had only grown from 5 to 6% in the previous decade.
Crime was low, less than one homicide per 100,000 residents, a tenth the rate of the US. Quoting a constituent, he foresaw the day when “the black man will have the whip hand over the white man”. In subsequent decades, immigration slowly inched upwards, but the scenario Powell envisioned failed to materialize.
Half a century later, we Americans live in a Powellesque moment in which politicians’ hysterical rhetoric surrounding immigration is completely at odds with the facts. President Trump, giving his own Rivers of Blood speech on Tuesday, painted a grim picture of a wave of hardened criminal immigrants, exploiting diversity visas and “chain migration”, running around the country murdering people left and right.
Corey Adams at the State of the Union (Allex Wong/Getty Images)
President Trump used his first State of the Union Address as an occasion to brag extensively about his new tax law. He even installed three human props in the First Lady’s box to illustrate the wonders of the bill for ordinary Americans.
Not surprisingly, the president’s boasts were mostly bluster.
The human props included Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger, who own a small manufacturing business in Dayton, Ohio, and one of their employees, a welder named Corey Adams. The Staubs claim to be expanding their business and handing out employee raises as a result of new tax law.
We’ll never know if that’s the real reason for the pay increases. Because of labor market tightening that started under the Obama administration, it’s natural that employers are feeling pressure to boost wages. Of course, that didn’t stop the president from taking full credit.
“Corey plans to invest his tax-cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education,” Trump proudly proclaimed.
I certainly don’t know the full financial situation of Corey Adams and his family. But if I were him, I’d hold off on any big investments. What Trump left out of his speech are the huge costs that will come from the new tax law—costs that cannot yet be precisely calculated.
(Washington, DC) — While congressional leaders are pushing a plan to cut taxes for the rich, Congress is considering an $ 80 billion increase in military spending. It is harmful spending policies like these that have brought groups like the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the National Priorities Project (NPP) together.
On October 2, 2017, NPP and its leading experts on the federal budget will come under the umbrella of IPS. The National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies will continue its work at making the federal budget accessible to the American public so that ordinary folks can participate in critical debates about federal spending and revenue.
While NPP at IPS will remain at its Northampton, Massachusetts location, it will take on new national significance as it teams up with other IPS projects focused on racial justice, climate justice, and peace and foreign policy.
The addition of NPP to our other projects is already helping IPS expand our work on:
Linking job cuts by tax-dodging corporations to devastating cuts to services that could be triggered by an immoral tax reform plan
Exposing the interplay between poverty, racism, militarism, and the climate crisis in the U.S. in a landmark report for the new Poor People’s campaign
Employing facts to clear the fog of fear around rising tensions with North Korea to spread the message of diplomacy over war
Outlining policy proposals to transfer funds from the military budget to a climate security budget to address one of the most pressing dangers of our time
“We couldn’t be happier for NPP to leverage their work and find synergies with existing IPS programs — especially on military spending,” IPS Director John Cavanagh said. “Both political parties have claimed that there’s just not enough money in the federal budget for needs like universal health care, or debt-free higher education. But NPP’s work has exposed that lie and shown that we’re wasting billions of dollars a year and destroying millions of lives in endless wars in the Middle East and elsewhere around the globe.”
“This is a natural partnership given how interconnected our issues are: from peace and security, to economic and racial justice, to climate change.” NPP at IPS project director Lindsay Koshgarian said. “We’re facing many challenges today — from threats of war with Iran to threats of a tax plan that would line the pockets of overpaid CEOs. Misinformation fuels these threats, as it fueled our current endless wars in the Middle East. The need for a reality check has never been greater and joining IPS will result in a stronger NPP, with deeper ties to grassroots movements and new audiences for our work. “
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Campaign actions by hundreds of thousands of people in the past 12 months have swayed nine of the world’s ten biggest food and beverage companies to improve their social and environmental policies
Campaign actions by hundreds of thousands of people in the past 12 months have swayed nine of the world’s ten biggest food and beverage companies to improve their social and environmental policies, says worldwide development organization Oxfam.
Some leading companies made major strides in improving their policies on land and women’s rights, and carbon emissions. But overall the “Big 10” moved too slowly as a group, held back particularly by some laggard companies that are not showing enough interest or ambition, according to Oxfam’s first annual assessment of its “Behind the Brands” ranking system.
In the past year, nine companies listened and improved their policies. General Mills alone did not and dropped to last place. General Mills sells Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Green Giant, Haagen-Dazs, Old El Paso and Yoplait among other brands.
The best marks are for Nestle, Unilever and Coca-cola
The top three performers – Nestle (1st), Unilever (2nd) and Coca-Cola (3rd) – all improved their scores by the biggest margins of 10, 14 and 13 percent respectively. Associated British Foods (9th) and Kellogg (8th) improved markedly by 8 and 6 percent respectively. The mid-ranked companies, Danone (6th tied), Mars (6th tied), Mondelez (4th tied) and PepsiCo (4th tied) also improved but only slightly and need to do much better.
In 2013, “Behind the Brands” focused its public campaigning particularly on land and women’s rights. These issues were being largely ignored by the “Big 10”.
Women and land rights: the priority
In March Oxfam campaigned for the chocolate giants Mars, Mondelez and Nestle to improve their policies to help end inequality for women farmers – which they did. In October we highlighted policies that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and ABF needed to strengthen to stop land grabs in their supply chains. Coca-Cola in particular moved quickly to dramatically improve its policies. ABF have also committed to new policies that begin to address the issues and we are in dialogue with PepsiCo to secure similar promises to implement greater protection of land rights across its supply chains.
“Most of the ‘Big 10’ are moving in the right direction because hundreds of thousands of consumers and investors controlling trillions in assets are demanding an overhaul to business as usual,” said Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima. “Some companies showed courageous leadership but it appears others need to be pulled along kicking and screaming. It will take time for them to reverse a 100-year history of relying on cheap land and labor to make mass products at huge profits but at high social and environmental costs. The race to the top is underway and there are clear leaders and laggards.”
Six of the “Big 10” instituted new policies that endorse the principle of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) that help ensure communities are consulted and must give consent before the land they are using is sold. Seven companies have now signed up to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, a high-level commitment by a company to improve the conditions for women impacted by its business. The three biggest cocoa companies, Nestlé, Mondelez and Mars, will release a detailed action plan in May 2014 about how they will address gender inequities in their supply chains. Eight companies improved their policies on climate mainly through better disclosure of their emissions and risks related to climate change. These policy changes are a necessary first step towards better practices and less hunger, poverty and environmental damage felt by communities in food and beverage company supply chains.
“By improving their policies on land, some of the world’s most powerful companies have already helped communities seeking fair compensation for the land that was taken from them nearly a decade ago in countries like Cambodia and Brazil,” said Byanyima. “Companies can open up space to help communities resolve decades-old conflicts once and for all.”
“The most important lesson from the first year of ‘Behind the Brands’ is that companies do respond, quickly and to great effect, when consumers push them toward more responsible methods of production. Down the supply chains we are already seeing agricultural producers and traders beginning to improve their practices to ensure they retain the business of the ‘Big 10’. We need more consumers to speak out in even greater numbers.”
Fair World Project, an advocacy program of Organic Consumers Association, is inviting Fair Trade supporters to ask Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Starbucks, and Honest Tea to support fair trade policies in government. With current developments heading towards passage of international free trade deals such as Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), FWP believes the companies should ensure that their influence is used to demand fair and transparent trade policies that benefit farmers and workers.
The ILRF added that "child labor also remains a problem, with a new study … highlighting its prevalence on oil palm plantations. |||||||http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php%3Fsection%3DTopStory%26title%3DGov%25E2%2580%2599t-to-defend-labor-policies%26id%3D67515&ct=ga&cad=CAEQARgAIAAoATAAOABAyYujigVIAlgBYgVlbi1VUw&cd=IkZSbvIhLSI&usg=AFQjCNGgQYMOkmsep3meZujNF1ALIVoK0Q