Better Paychecks -- Coming to a Walmart Near You

I'm not too up on the agreement between Walmart and Labor about opening a 2nd WalMart store in Chicago but Progress Illinois is reporting that part of the deal is a $8.75/hr. starting salary and then an increase of 40-60 cents after the first year.

Just a thought: will the increase in salary these employees are getting -- will that be credited to the efforts of the UFCW and CFL? You know, something along the lines of 'A buck or more an hour -- Courtesy of the UFCW/CFL'.

Would be nice.

Site de Jour: Good Jobs Chicago

From their 'About Us' page:

The Good Jobs Chicago Coalition (city-wide religious and community coalition) advocates for the importance of quality jobs to stabilize and grow our communities. The Good Jobs Coalition is made up of community partners with a commitment to responsible growth and corporate accountability.

Question of Media Accountability, WBBM Newsradio 780 Edition

Here's an interesting question:

Walmart is trying to bust into the Chicago market with a 2nd store, thus dragging down the wages and working conditions of employees at competitor companies, many of whom are represented by the good people at UFCW.

So, in order for them to grease the way so to speak, this monster corporation has flooded the airwaves with testimonials supposedly from employees of how awesome Walmart as an employer is.

I've heard the same commercial over and over again on the CBS affiliate WBBM the whole week.

Suddenly I just heard a 'news' report on the same station: it was about the wonderful opportunity Walmart was giving to employees through the Internet-based 'American Public University'.

So here's the question, was it legitimate for a 'news' organization to run what literally was an 'info-mercial' without any input from educators as to the real value of such a program -- particularly considering who's buying all the ads this week?

Herbert Hoover Economics

Not a big deal but Kimbriell Kelly, editor of The Chicago Reporter, rattles off this cheap shot as her contribution to 'losers of the month' on WBEZ's 'Month in Review: Winners and Losers in May Headlines':

Kimbriell Kelly (18:55): "I would say losers -- the taxpayers a little bit with this pension bailout. I mean, essentially people are told that if you're in debt, don't use your credit card to pay your bills and then the State is doing this and we as taxpayers have to pay for it. So we're the losers in that category." [emphasis added]

Someone please explain to Kelly that it's precisely when you're broke that you hit up on the plastic. If grandma has to go to the hospital or junior has to go to school, you don't sit around thinking how much it'll add to your debt. You just pull out the plastic and hope for better days. Ditto for government.

When times are good you worry about deficit reduction; when times are bad you worry about getting back to when times are good -- otherwise you risk following in the footsteps of Herbert Hoover.

UPDATE: Krugman this week on "fiscal austerity":

...Both textbook economics and experience say that slashing spending when you’re still suffering from high unemployment is a really bad idea — not only does it deepen the slump, but it does little to improve the budget outlook, because much of what governments save by spending less they lose as a weaker economy depresses tax receipts.

Make Believe Across from Cubs Park

I'm not against development per se but why in the world do they call this a 'park'?

Socialism: the New Definition

Socialism: An intolerable state of affairs where right-wingers are no longer in a position to call the shots, generally on the heels of a decision by the electorate. See Popular Sovereignty.

VAT - The Next Big Bait and Switch

The inestimable Steve Benen quotes the line-up for this week's Fox News Sunday:

A familiar face leads the charge against President Obama: In an exclusive interview, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joins 'Fox News Sunday' to discuss his opposition to the potential use of a Value Added Tax.

McCain's going on FOX to talk about his opposition to the VAT? And who precisely is pushing for a VAT? The only mention you'll find is by Nancy Pelosi in October and then by "outside adviser" Paul Volker -- both in response to questions as to whether such a tax might be on the table at some point off in the future at least theoretically.

And that's it! No endorsement. No statement that this was in the works by anyone even remotely connected to the Obama Administration -- in other words, a completely fabricated issue suitable only for a propaganda network like Fox News.

HCR : 'First Major Progressive Legislative Achievement of the 21st Century'

This is how Greg Sargent put the successful passage of HCR in his 'Morning Plum' for today:

A new era in American politics dawns this morning, in the wake of the House's successful passage of the reconciliation fix last night. The first major progressive legislative achievement of the 21st Century has now been achieved.

I like the sound of that!

Thank you Democrats!

Thank you, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and the House and Senate Democratic leadership for taking an historic first step toward fixing our broken health care system. As the spouse of a young adult cancer patient, I am especially grateful that my family, and millions of other Americans, will not have to worry about being denied coverage due to a pre-existing health condition.

And, thank you Senator Ted Kennedy for passionately fighting for health care reform over your entire career. This victory could not have been achieved without your decades of tireless advocacy.

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