Voices from Russia

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Millionaire Steve Forbes’ Cynical Campaign to Keep Working People Down

00 Political cartoon. He doesn't see. He doesn't hear. He keeps quiet (when he's paid enough). 02.11.13


What do you give to a man who has everything? Like a man such as publisher Steve Forbes, worth a reported 430 million USD (14.3 trillion Roubles. 467 million CAD. 484 million AUD. 317 million Euros. 261 million UK Pounds). What do you give him if you’re his beloved-but-on-the-ropes Republican Party? How about a cynical campaign to defeat a US federal government minimum wage increase? That’s what Forbes calls for in his column in the 18 November edition of Forbes magazine. To keep from getting “smacked around by President Obama and congressional Democrats“, instead of “passively taking a hit”, Republicans should gin up their spin machine to portray a minimum wage increase as a job-killer. Hold House hearings, he said, and parade out people who’d say that they were hurt by the last minimum wage increase. Do they really think those House witch hunt hearings still have any credibility?

In case they do, here’s a big red flag for Forbes and any Republicans who might listen to his advice… the public doesn’t buy your argument. A recent national survey conducted for the National Employment Law Project (NELP) by Hart Research Associates finds just 25 percent buy the claim that raising America‘s wage floor so working people can live in decency costs jobs. Indeed, the public’s right. Recent respected academic research determined that raising the minimum wage doesn’t result in job loss… even during bad economic times. Forbes, a two-time unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate, is on the wrong side of the public in many ways. The NELP-commissioned survey shows that 80 percent of the public… including 62 percent of those in Forbes’ own party… supports raising the minimum wage to 10.10 USD (336 Roubles. 11 CAD. 11.40 AUD. 7.50 Euros. 6.20 UK Pounds) an hour and adjusting it for inflation in the future, as President Obama and congressional Democrats propose.

An increase in the minimum wage is overdue. If the minimum wage had just kept pace with inflation since 1969, it would be around 10.70 USD (356 Roubles. 11.60 CAD. 12 AUD. 7.90 Euros. 6.50 UK Pounds) an hour today instead of 7.25 USD (240 Roubles. 7.90 CAD. 8.20 AUD. 5.40 Euros. 4.40 UK Pounds) (or the scandalous 2.13 USD (71 Roubles. 2.30 CAD. 2.40 AUD. 1.60 Euros. 1.30 UK Pounds) for tipped workers). If it had kept up with the growth of workers’ productivity, it would be 18.72 USD (622 Roubles. 20.40 CAD. 21 AUD. 13.80 Euros. 11.40 UK Pounds). Meanwhile, if it matched the wage growth of the wealthiest 1 percent, it would be 28.34 USD (942 Roubles. 31 CAD. 32 AUD. 21 Euros. 17.25 UK Pounds). The stagnation of the minimum wage is digging a deeper and deeper hole between the Steve Forbes’s of this country and the rest of us. For the first time since the Great Depression, middle-class families have lost ground for more than a decade. In fact, America’s working families are earning less today than 15 years ago. This loss hasn’t been about productivity… no, America’s workers are more productive than ever. It’s not about education… in fact, wages for college grads outside the top income brackets have stagnated or even declined.

What’s happened is that the wealthiest people in America sucked up all the pay raises. Since 1997, all income growth went to the wealthiest 10 percent. Most of those increases went to the richest 1 percent. Raising the minimum wage is the right way to begin closing the economic chasm between America’s wealthy and regular working people. Lifting the wage to 10.10 USD an hour would benefit 30 million workers, pump 32 billion USD (1.07 trillion Roubles. 34.75 billion CAD. 36 billion AUD. 23.5 billion Euros. 19.5 billion UK Pounds) into the economy and add 140,000 new jobs… all without increasing the national deficit. It’d have particular impact on the lives of women… who’re two-thirds of minimum wage earners. Not to mention that it’s the right thing to do. Does anyone who works hard and plays by the rules in this wealthy nation deserve to live in poverty, forced to choose between paying for rent or food or the heating bill? Most people in the country think not. However, with his 430 million USD, Steve Forbes is living a very comfortable life as he plots to deny others the basic decency of a hard-earned wage they can live on.

8 January 2014

Richard Trumka

The Guardian


Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep it focused and sweet. All those who support the Republican Party and its feckless greedster policies spit on the Lord Christ and the justice that He stood for. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter how loudly you scream “Jayzuss” or how much you roll on the floor. If you support the Republicans… you’ll face me (and many others) on the other side of the barricades. The time for compromise is over…

One last thing… the most vicious and grasping crapitalists are Born Agains, Pentecostalists, and Mormons… NEVER turn your back on them, or you’ll truly regret it (do notice which Orthodox hobnob with such feral and godless sorts… shitbirds of a feather DO flock together)…



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Thursday, 28 November 2013

28 November 2013. Don’t Shop Today! The Workers Deserve a Day Off!

00.00k Politics Through a Cartoonist's Eyes 09.11.11


In retail, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the only two holidays that workers traditionally receive. Now, many stores choose to open on Thanksgiving, which means that they’re taking away that break, denying retail workers a rare opportunity to spend a holiday with their families. Moreover, most of these workers are only being paid minimum wage for their trouble. A holiday shouldn’t be a luxury for the rich… all workers deserve time to spend with loved ones. That’s why I started a petition to retail CEOs, which says:

Thanksgiving is one of the only holidays that retail workers receive. By opening stores on Thanksgiving, stores rob thousands of men and women of the opportunity to spend time with their families. A holiday with family shouldn’t be a luxury for the rich; we believe that all workers deserve the chance to relax and give thanks with loved ones. We, as consumers, have the power to tell stores not to open on Thanksgiving by staying home. We hereby pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving Day, to show the retail industry that everyone deserves a holiday.

Click here to add your name to the above petition.

27 November 2013

Mike Lux

American Family Voices


Friday, 22 November 2013

Duma Rejects Raise in Minimum Wage… Is This Shot in the Arm for the KPRF?

00 rich man hitting poor man. 26.09.13


On Friday, Russian lawmakers rejected an amendment to raise the country’s minimum wage to match its national poverty line starting in January. Russia’s current minimum wage of 5,205 roubles ($158) a month is 27 percent below the government’s own national average poverty threshold, set at 7,095 roubles ($215) in July. Deputy Mikhail Tarasenko said that the RF Gosduma Labour Committee “didn’t feel able to support this amendment”, without explaining why. The rejected amendment was part of a bill to bump Russia’s minimum wage up to 5,554 roubles ($169) in January 2014. Nevertheless, the Gosduma still expects to pass a bill raising the wage by about 350 roubles ($11) in a vote on Friday.

The minimum wage is a controversial concept among economists. Some argue that raising the salary threshold increases costs and thus unemployment, as companies may employ fewer people at higher salaries. Others, however, believe the relationship between minimum wage and unemployment is more complicated, and that the government is responsible to provide a salary guarantee at least equal to the poverty line. Russia has one of the lowest minimum wages in Europe, ranking 23rd out of 27 European countries in a 2013 study by the RIA Rating agency.

22 November 2013



Editor’s Note:

I’ll tell you why the deputies didn’t explain why they didn’t support a real rise in the minimum wage… BRIBES. It happens all the time in the US Congress (John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are bought n’ paid-for whores of the insurance industry, for instance)… so, the Russian lawmakers are only following the example of their more corrupt American mentors! Money talks and bullshit walks in crapitalism… that’s why the Left is gaining tread and cred in Russia and the USA (the Republicans couldn’t even win in Virginia… where a large bloc of sectarian voters usually puts them over the top). As Comrade Zyuganov said, “Events are filling the sails of the ship of the Left”… he’s right… in spades…


Monday, 2 September 2013

2 September 2013. Video. Celebrate Labour on Labour Day

00 Free Market Trickle Down Economics at Work. 15.05.13



In this Labour Day message, Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labour and subject of the upcoming documentary Inequality for All, breaks down what it’ll take for workers to get a fair share in this economy… including big profitable corporations like McDonald’s and Walmart ponying up and finally paying fair wages. McDonald’s and Walmart… pay your employees decent wages! Your typical employee is now earning 8.25 to 8.80 USD (275-293 Roubles. 8.60-9.20 CAD. 9-9.60 AUD. 6.25-6.75 Euros. 5.25-5.60 UK Pounds) an hour. Most are adults, responsible for bringing in half their family’s income. You can easily afford to pay them 15 USD (500 Roubles. 15.60 CAD. 16.40 AUD. 11.40 Euros. 9.60 UK Pounds) an hour without causing layoffs or requiring price hikes. Your shareholders and executives are doing spectacularly well.

28 August 2013

Nick Berning

Move On


Editor’s Note:

We have to end the charade of voodoo economics brought by Margaret “Milk Snatcher” Thatcher and Slobberin’ Ronnie (and reinforced by Shrub Bush). We produce the wealth… we deserve our fair share. If that’s “Red”… so be it, I’m proud to be a Red! Those who didn’t work to produce the wealth, shouldn’t take the lion’s share… and I’m not alone in thinking that way.


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