November 8, 1997 - New York Times: "U.S. JOBLESS RATE DECLINES TO 4.7 PERCENT, LOWEST SINCE 1973"
"Although this was good news for workers, private economists fear that an increasingly tight labor market will revive inflation, which has been remarkably absent through nearly seven years of economic expansion."
WoA Comment: Ironically, the stock market didn't like this news either. More people employed means more families with the money to make the purchases necessary to keep the economy strong. And the economists and the Republicans who warned that increases in the minimum wage would result in higher unemployment were obviously wrong.
November 5, 1997 - Washington Post: "GOP LEADERS EMBRACE BUSINESS CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT HEALTH CARE MEASURES"
"…Republican leaders in Congress have embarked on a crusade to block a new generation of federal efforts aimed at regulating the quality of medical care Americans receive."
WoA Comment: With more and more Americans receiving lower quality health care as HMOs expand their market share and push for cost reductions, the Republicans have clearly positioned themselves against workers and their families on this issue.
October 9, 1997 - USA Today: "GRIDLOCK GRINDS INDUSTRY DOWN"
"Costly and frustrating transportation delays that started this summer continue to torment businesses throughout the West…A transportation nightmare that began in the West is rippling across the USA…"
WoA Comment: If something isn't done, this problem will eventually impact the whole economy, pushing up inflation and costing jobs. More money must be invested in the nation's transportation infrastructure. Such investment will provide more jobs and help our economy compete globally, which means a better quality of life for workers and their families.
"In the already time-poor day of many workers, a new pressure is building. Increasingly, companies are pushing "off-the-clock" work, tasks done outside regular work hours for no pay."
WoA Comment: Labor laws need to be strengthened to curb this kind of abuse and make the workplace more family friendly.
"In dollar terms, children living in the richest American families easily are the most affluent of any industrialized country, and those living in poor American families are among the poorest..."
WoA Comment: The Republicans are trying to pass huge tax breaks for the rich while they oppose increases in the minimum wage, just the sort of policy making which has caused the middle class in America shrink over the past twenty years and poverty increase.
"The safety agency performed 24,024 inspections in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, down 17.5% from the year earlier and a 43.3% drop from 1994."
WoA Comment: Worker safety is being sacrificed for political expediency. The Clinton administration is being cowed by a Republican Congress willing to cut almost any program opposed by corporate interests.
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