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HM2VikingRN HM2VikingRN (Member)

A Fair deal....

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is all american workers want....

some answers to that question became clear to me when i was interviewing hundreds of workers for my new book, the big squeeze: tough times for the american worker. (see www.stevengreenhouse.com) in many ways, working-class voters want what harry truman was promising: a fair deal, or at least a fairer deal.

in talking with workers--be they software engineers or hotel housekeepers, factory workers or freelancers--i often sensed a frustration, even an anger, that unfairness has muscled aside fairness in america in recent decades and especially in recent years, and it goes far beyond stratospheric c.e.o. salaries. many workers are upset that their families have been sinking economically--median income for working-age households fell $2,375 from 2000 to 2006 (after accounting for inflation). for the typical worker, wages have inched up less than 1 percent since the most recent economic expansion began in november 2001, even as corporate profits have soared and productivity per worker has jumped more than 15 percent. and there's also widespread resentment that while middle-class and low-wage workers have been treading water, average income for the top 1 percent of households, averaging $1.1 million in annual income, has more than tripled over the past quarter century. the top 1 percent of household has more after-tax income than the bottom 40 percent of americans.

and i hardly need to point out that for the great majority of workers, the pain has grown only worse in recent months as fuel prices, food prices and foreclosures have soared.

as hillary clinton shrewdly discerned, workers want someone to battle for them--and for fairness--because they often view themselves as overlooked victims of powerful forces, such as globalization, that are increasing economic insecurity and income inequality. myra bronstein, a software engineer, told me that her company just outside seattle had promised that she would have a job so long as it remained in business, but then one day her company suddenly laid her off along with 17 other engineers. management told them that if they wanted to receive any severance pay, they had to agree to spend the next four weeks training the workers from india who would be replacing them. verette richardson, a wal-mart cashier in kansas city, told me that her supervisors were so stingy about giving bathroom breaks that some cashiers ended up soiling themselves.

at http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/07/01/what_do_workingclass_voters_wa/

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