The Real News Daily Podcast

Oct 06 2020 54 mins 1.1k

The Real News Network Daily Podcast. Independent, Viewer Supported News Network. No Corporate Funds or Government Money, Just Uncompromising Journalism. Visit us @ www.TheRealNews.com
































WORKING LIFE PODCAST: HOW DO I GET MY DAMN UNEMPLOYMENT CHECK—WE HAVE THE LOWDOWN
Jun 17 2020 62 mins  
The big news—it’s the first regularly scheduled Working Life TV Show!!! View the show now and sign up at www.youtube.com/WorkingLifeWithJonathanTasini But, all our audio podcast listeners will still be able to hear the show in the long-time format. The unemployment system is in chaos—jammed phone lines, crashing websites. People can’t get the checks they desperately need to pay for simple things like food, utilities and rent. So, I decided to devote the lion’s share of the show to dig into why this happening—and give concrete tips on how to access the system. Do not give up—that’s the message Judy Conti, government affairs director for the National Employment Law Project and I deliver in our conversation (and here are the slides we used in the video show!) As hundreds of thousands of people are massing in the streets, we are inundated by a slew of corporate commercials and corporate statements from Amazon, News Corp and even from something called the Hedge Fund Association, all falling over to show enlightenment about racism, even embracing the slogan “Black Lives Matter”. But, as I explain in the show, once people win an unwinding of the militarization of communities and the unwinding of policing as it’s been done for decades, that’s only half the battle because the corporate PR bullshit is trying to hide the depths of how the corporate boot remains firmly on the neck of African Americans, and all Americans, but especially people of color.








WORKING LIFE PODCAST: HOW DO I GET MY DAMN UNEMPLOYMENT CHECK—WE HAVE THE LOWDOWN
Jun 10 2020 62 mins  
The big news—it’s the first regularly scheduled Working Life TV Show!!! View the show now and sign up at www.youtube.com/WorkingLifeWithJonathanTasini But, all our audio podcast listeners will still be able to hear the show in the long-time format. The unemployment system is in chaos—jammed phone lines, crashing websites. People can’t get the checks they desperately need to pay for simple things like food, utilities and rent. So, I decided to devote the lion’s share of the show to dig into why this happening—and give concrete tips on how to access the system. Do not give up—that’s the message Judy Conti, government affairs director for the National Employment Law Project and I deliver in our conversation. As hundreds of thousands of people are massing in the streets, we are inundated by a slew of corporate commercials and corporate statements from Amazon, News Corp and even from something called the Hedge Fund Association, all falling over to show enlightenment about racism, even embracing the slogan “Black Lives Matter”. But, as I explain in the show, once people win an unwinding of the militarization of communities and the unwinding of policing as it’s been done for decades, that’s only half the battle because the corporate PR bullshit is trying to hide the depths of how the corporate boot remains firmly on the neck of African Americans, and all Americans, but especially people of color.











WORKING LIFE PODCAST: THE PEOPLE SHOULD OWN THE VACCINE; JOE’S BAD TAX IDEAS
May 27 2020 51 mins  
Episode 183: If I say that drug companies are sleazy leeches whose CEOs make millions of dollars while basically killing thousands of people who can’t afford outrageous drug prices, you’d shrug your shoulders and say, “yeah, well, duh.” Drug companies make these huge profits largely because of an absolutely insane system of patents, which you could stop with a change in the law. It’s especially important to get this idea in our heads right now with the rush to create a vaccine for COVID-19, which makes drug companies salivate over the prospect of pocketing huge profits for something that should be ours to own—which is what I talk about with Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Here is a prediction that I’d go to Vegas and bet a huge pile of money on: when it comes to making up big state budget deficits looming in the coming months because of the pandemic-caused economic crisis, and eventually in a year or two when the hand-wringers in Congress consider the pandemic-generated larger federal debt, it isn’t going to be rich people paying, nor corporations. It will be regular people. Politicians will cut jobs and screw workers, cut pensions and screw retirees and cut school funding and screw children. This is all a consequence of bad tax policy over many decades—and Joe Biden is only making it worse by promising not to raise taxes on people earning less than $400,000 a year, which lets plenty of well-off people off the hook. Matt Gardner, senior fellow at the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, and I chat about Biden’s folly as well as the not entirely surprising hypocrisy of a Wall Street titan, Jamie Dimon. I also reflect on the amazing and shocking news that the American Federation of Teachers dug into its own treasury and spent $3 million to buy 500,000 N95s, 50,000 face shields, and more than 1 million surgical masks to make sure its members—thousands of whom are frontline workers—do not get sick and die. Amazing because it shows the greatness of the labor movement. Shocking because it exposes how the country’s political leaders running the show are just deeply dysfunctional and incompetent.







WORKING LIFE PODCAST: NATIONALIZE PAYROLLS NOW; GIG WORK IS A FANCY NAME FOR EXPLOITATION
May 20 2020 50 mins  
Calling people “gig” workers is a subtle trap. “Gig” can sound anywhere from upbeat to just a mundane description. The truth is the “gig” economy is just another way of exploiting people and it’s a dream for all capitalists to have a pool of workers who can be used and abused at the beckon call of a supply chain or a big tech company, at the lowest cost possible. And not a surprise—lots of gig workers are at great risk during the pandemic. I explore the lives of “gig” workers in a conversation with Bama Athreya, an economic policy fellow at the Open Society Foundation and a veteran social movement activist. The pandemic has put domestic workers at risk. Think of it logically: you can be locked down in a home with your client, essentially enslaved, with nowhere to go and no social distancing space. You could easily be trapped in a home, forced to stay inside because of a curfew, without personal protection equipment. Elizabeth Tang, the General Secretary of the International Domestic Workers Federation, joins me from her perch in Hong Kong to talk about the pandemic threats facing domestic workers. My rant of the week is simple: we need to nationalize all payrolls. It’s breathtaking how badly the elected leaders of the country are handling the economic fallout of the pandemic, not to mention the medical crisis—it’s a bi-partisan catastrophe, with the worst human in the Senate, the wealthy Mitch McConnell, showing no rush to stop the implosion of millions of peoples’ lives, while Nancy Pelosi refuses to entertain Pramila Jayapal’s fantastic proposal to pay every unemployed person up to $90,000 on an annual basis while the pandemic rages.







WORKING LIFE PODCAST: GREED DROVE RETAIL’S COVID-19 COLLAPSE
May 14 2020 51 mins  
EPISODE 181 Here’s a no brainer observation: It would be hard to find any areas of agreement between the AFL-CIO and Goldman Sachs. Well, I got one—it turns out that the AFL-CIO and Goldman Sachs, along with scores of heads of states, labor folks and business titans, are on the same page about one idea which hasn’t gotten a lot of attention—creating $3 trillion in grants for worldwide distribution by the International Monetary Fund to countries needing immediate financial aid to contend with the pandemic. You’ll learn all about this fascinating global tale in my conversation with Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. And speaking of money, Morris Pearl, the chair of Patriotic Millionaires, joins me to explain how we can free up $200 billion for badly strapped charities by just a little jiggering of the rules for philanthropic foundations who sock away tax break-driven contributions from rich people. My rant for this week: to be sure, COVID-19 closed down retail stores lickety-split but the collapse of name brands like J. Crew was already in the cards—Wall Street pirates, especially private equity companies, had been looting big chains for years, piling on huge debt burdens that all but guaranteed scores of retail outlets could not weather an economic crisis. It’s an example of the way in which the pandemic has exposed even further the rotten so-called “free market” economic system.








WORKING LIFE PODCAST: FIXING THE PANDEMIC’S FINANCIAL RUIN IN STATES AND CITIES
May 06 2020 44 mins  
Episode 180 It is quite something to hear the elites in Washington—especially Republican members of Congress and the menace in the White House—blather on about wanting to wait to see how well the previous, inadequate fiscal stimulus works before deciding whether to do anything else. That’s while tens of millions of people are in the streets, huge lines of hungry people form every day across the nation and states and cities are on the brink of financial ruin. States and cities not only employ collectively millions of people but, my god, their services—from education to just picking up the garbage—are damn essential. And you don’t need a computer to get that with the economy shut down and people sheltering at home, revenue to the states through incomes taxes and other taxes has nosedived. It’s just around the corner, folks: when there are gaps in local budgets, especially at the state level, they are coming after us with cuts pretty quickly to our services, our pensions and our communities. I welcome back Meg Wiehe, deputy director of the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, to wrap our minds around this: Congress should make up any shortfalls states and cities face—and we should use this crisis to also fix the decades-long, deeply crazy, screwed up ideology that skimped on strong government in favor of low taxes for the rich and corporations. Then, I circle back to what’s happening with poultry, hog and meat processing workers in a conversation with, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail Wholesale and Department Stores Union, as we focus mainly about the crazed notion of forcing plants to open up even if COVID-19 is raging through the workplace.









WORKING LIFE PODCAST: GLOBAL WORKERS FACE COVI-19 RAMPAGE WITH LITTLE DEFENSE
Apr 29 2020 54 mins  
EPISODE 179 There is no way to downplay the risks to U.S. frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic—and I’ve dug into that in the past month or so, in our various segments talking about workers in health care, postal service, hog and poultry processing, airlines, rail, and subways. It’s dangerous and frightening—and it’s exponentially more terrifying when you look at the global threat to workers. Think about what tens of millions of workers in poorer countries, with far fewer resources, are facing. The images coming out of Africa, Asia and South America showing huge migrations of workers are mind-boggling—how do you even wrap your mind around how to achieve social distancing at bus depots in India, crammed with huge crowds of migrants, who are desperately trying to get home because they have nowhere to go as industries have shut down in the pandemic. Or, consider Haiti, the poorest country in this hemisphere—close your eyes and think of garment workers who pack into tap-taps (those are public minibus transports) to ride to factories that are teeming with people, that on a good day, are dangerous, risky places to work—and, then, arriving at a factory to find that the employer is forcing workers to sign a piece of paper that says if the worker gets sick that worker is legally responsible for their illness. Shawna Bader-Blau, executive director of the Solidarity Center, joins me to paint the global picture. And, then, courtesy of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), it’s the Dirty Dozen of the Corona Pandemic, and a few other dishonorable mentions—companies like Amazon and Tyson Foods who, surprise, put profits over the safety and health of workers, along with big corporate lobbyists who work hard to block paid sick leave. I chat with Peter Dooley, a National COSH leading workplace safety and health expert, about the Dirty Dozen, and we also discuss a model framework for how to make sure workers stay safe in the pandemic.













WORKING LIFE PODCAST: IS YOUR CHICKEN WORTH A WORKER’S LIFE?; STIMULUS DONE THE RIGHT WAY
Apr 15 2020 48 mins  
EPISODE 177 The dinner plates of millions of people are soon going to be an interesting place to focus the mind on the balance between the desire to fill bellies with protein—poultry and pork, mainly—versus the worthiness of peoples’ lives, specifically the lives of the workers who process the chickens and hogs in plants across the country. To put it bluntly, workers are getting sick and dying from COVID-19 just so millions of people can chow down some meat product at dinner. And those products may be harder to find because the virus is raging through food processing plants nationwide and fraying the supply chain from factory to plate. To get an on-the-ground report about the epidemic, I’m joined by Randy Hadley, the president of the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union’s Midsouth Council who has been working in the industry for over four decades. Since today, April 15th, is normally tax deadline day, it’s a good time to look across the spectrum at how stimulus money—tax money—has been flowing, or should flow, and who should benefit. People and state governments, for example, need a lot more economic support, while CEOs and corporations should go to the end of the line, or, at least, every dollar should invested in a workplace should go towards keeping a worker on the job. And maybe there’s a silver lining down the road—a renewed belief that an effective, activist, well-funded government is a good thing. To unwind all this, I chat with Amy Hanauer, the executive director of the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.






WORKING LIFE PODCAST: HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND TRANSIT WORKERS FACE THE PANDEMIC
Apr 01 2020 53 mins  
EPISODE 175 The other night I was watching an episode of Season 3 of Ozark and there was a scene in which the mother, played by Laura Linney, walks out of a supermarket with her son, both of them pushing a shopping cart. My head went immediately to, without a thought: I hope they sanitized that bar on the cart where their hands were placed…and then a few seconds later I laughed. That is where our heads are at these days—but, for lots of frontline workers out there, it’s all very real, deadly real, terrifyingly real. So, again, this week you are going to hear about those workers—today it’s health care workers and transit workers as I talk with the leaders of two very important unions: Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, which represents 180,000 health care workers, and John Samuelsen, the president of the Transport Workers Union, whose members work on the buses, rail and airlines all across the country. Perhaps not coincidentally, both of them are New Yorkers with a real feel for the pandemic bomb hitting that city. The workers we are going to hear about—and this is not dramatic exaggeration—are getting sick and dying because of the pandemic, in no small part because of the malfeasance, ignorance and just plain simple “We don’t give a crap about workers” attitude that has meant a lack of equipment to protect folks from the virus.

WORKING LIFE PODCAST: RETAIL WORKERS ON CORONA FRONTLINES; AMAZON MAIMS; CORI BUSH RUNS
Mar 26 2020 57 mins  
When I have snuck out briefly in the past couple of weeks to safely get a few items at the supermarket, I made sure to thank the workers in the aisles and my cashier for being on the job, and I also tell them be safe and careful. They are supremely vulnerable to getting sick. Those retail workers, who still have jobs despite many stores having closed down, are forced to show up at work, mainly because they have no choice—their boss hasn’t shut down and the workers need the paycheck because lots of them are like millions of Americans with very little in the way of an emergency cash cushion, and in lots of cases they have zero paid sick leave. Today, I speak with Dave Mertz, vice president and New York City director of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, about what’s happening in the lives of retail workers on the corona frontlines. And speaking of bad employers—even without a pandemic Amazon is injuring workers and tossing them away like disposable units. Irene Tung, senior researcher and policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, talks to me about a stunning new study she recently co-authored that looks at Amazon’s injury and turnover rates. I wrap up this week’s episode with a conversation with Cori Bush, a single parent, registered nurse, a pastor, an activist, and a community organizer in St Louis Missouri, who is a strong progressive taking on a long-time entrenched incumbent in a Democratic primary in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District.









































Working Life Podcast: A Union For Politicians’ Staffers
Nov 27 2019 48 mins  
Episode 158: Hypocrisy probably makes it into the top three characteristics, alas, of the vast majority of politicians. That isn’t a reason not to participate in the electoral process but it’s just one of those cautionary, red lights to keep an eye out for. To wit: all those politicians who eloquently talk about the importance of unions—mostly that talk comes when a politician wants a union endorsement or a check—but they get very weird when their own staffers try to unionize. So that’s what makes the unionizing effort among staffers at the New York City City Council something to watch—partly because it could set a standard for the whole country. Zara Nasir, a City Council staffer and a main organizer of the unionizing effort, joins me for a chat about the campaign. I also revisit the race for the Democratic nomination for New York’s 16th Congressional district, which has drawn another great progressive candidate who is challenging the odious corporate Democrat, Eliot Engel. The son of immigrants from Eritrea, Andom Ghebreghiorgis joins me in a chat about his vision as a young progressive activist running to unseat a long-time incumbent who is way past his expiration date. And, last, I’m not big on the holiday consumption craziness but I will say there is even more data out just in the past few days that make a clear case that, if you have to shop and consume over the next few weeks, don’t use Amazon. I touch on two reports that document how workers are killed, maimed, and stressed by the Amazon machine which relentlessly has one goal: to make Jeff Bezos even richer, no matter the cost to workers. -- Jonathan Tasini Follow me on Twitter @jonathantasini Sign up for The Working Life Podcast at: www.workinglife.org Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.tasini.3



Working Life Podcast: Deval Patrick Destroyed Peoples’ Jobs
Nov 20 2019 44 mins  
Episode 157: Deval Patrick has become very, very rich since leaving the post of Massachusetts governor. That’s what happens when you become a managing director of Bain Capital, one of the behemoths in the private equity industry. Patrick became rich working for a company—being a managing director of a company—that has screwed thousands of workers, especially 30,000 workers for Toys R Us who don’t have a job today because Bain Capital, with Patrick in the leadership, drove that company into liquidation. I talk about Bain Capital’s role in the demise of Toys R Us with Jim Baker, executive director of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project. Over a decade ago, I started reading about something called a “Financial Transactions Tax”. It’s often also called a “Tobin Tax” after its creator, economist James Tobin, and it originally focused on taxing currency speculation. But a broader idea is popular: each time a Wall Street trade is made, a very, very, very, tiny tax is levied—which could raise hundreds of billions of dollars, perhaps $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) proposed the tax way back in 2008; Bernie Sanders has been for it, and made it part of his 2016 presidential campaign—and both of them are pushing some version of the tax right now in Congress. Jessica Schieder of the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, who recently co-authored a paper on the financial transaction tax, chats with me about what the heck it is. -- Jonathan Tasini Follow me on Twitter @jonathantasini Sign up for The Working Life Podcast at: www.workinglife.org Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.tasini.3










Working Life Podcast: Two Tales of Wall Street Vultures
Oct 31 2019 58 mins  
Episode 154: The Gordon Gekko boast in the fictional movie “Wall Street” that “Greed is Good” is really an organizing principle for the financial vultures who rob the country day after day. Today, you will hear two tales of greed and robbery by hedge fund and private equity vultures. First, it’s Paul Singer, the CEO of a hedge fund called Elliott Management, who has a net worth of $3.5 billion, is a political buddy of the Koch brothers and is a funder of climate change deniers. As Beth Allen, the communications director of the Communications Workers of America, explains in our chat Singer now has his sights set on screwing thousands of CWA members who work for AT&T by trying to extort money from AT&T. Then, I circle back with Eileen Appelbaum, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, who was on the program just three weeks ago digging into how private equity vultures are behind the plague of surprise medical bills. This week, Eileen and I talk about a sham study that private equity leaders have ginned up to try to deflect the rising chorus of criticism against their tactics. And last up, finally, thankfully, a leading corporate Democrat Gregory Meeks has a primary challenger in New York’s 5th Congressional district—Shaniyat Chowdhury, a great progressive and a proud democratic socialist, chats with me about his campaign. -- Jonathan Tasini Follow me on Twitter @jonathantasini Sign up for The Working Life Podcast at: www.workinglife.org Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.tasini.3






































































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