Microcredit: good cause or neoliberal fairy tale?

April 2014

In 1976, Bangladeshi economist Dr. Muhammad Yunus came up with the notion that poverty could be solved in developing countries with “microloans” — lending small amounts of money to poor people so they can start a business. Yunus launched the non-profit Grameen Bank, which made microloans to groups of poor women — and declared poverty… Read more »

Food prices, drought, and poverty

April 2014

Across the globe climate change is wreaking havoc on cities and rural areas, and the people and other creatures that inhabit them. Floods, droughts, extreme storms and rising temperatures are here to stay. Those paying the highest price are the world’s poor and low-wage workers. They are driven from their meager homes, and can’t afford… Read more »

Freedom Socialist editorial — $15 an hour now (not eventually)

April 2014

Seattle has become a beacon of hope for low-wage workers as a movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour picks up steam. So it was quite a blow when Socialist Alternative (SA) and Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant announced that the organized campaign called 15 Now, which SA leads, is adopting… Read more »

Seattle’s fight for $15/hour: Leave no one behind

June 2014

When the small city of SeaTac passed a $15 minimum wage initiative in November 2013, it heightened the hopes of all those fast-food strikers and other labor protesters over the last few years. Just a few miles north of SeaTac, the election of socialist Kshama Sawant to the Seattle City Council on a platform that… Read more »

Europe: austerity breeds electoral advances by the far right

August 2014

Seventy years after millions perished in the war against Hitler, fascism is on the rise, as witnessed by the results of the May election for the European Union Parliament. France’s National Front (FN), a neo-Nazi party, beat all other French parties and gained 20 seats, for a total of 23. It now rivals England’s Independent… Read more »

The fight for $15/hour — what activists can learn from Seattle

August 2014

All eyes were on Seattle in June, as the city council adopted a $15/hr. minimum wage plan — the highest in the nation for a major city. Organized labor and legions of low-paid workers celebrated mightily. The victory also gave fresh fuel to a movement that is scoring gains across the country. In November, San… Read more »

Fast-food workers strike on Sept. 4

October 2014

In their biggest action since launching the fight for $15 per hour, better working conditions and union rights, fast-food workers joined by homecare unionists took to the streets in 150 cities across the country. More than 450 were arrested, but remain unintimidated. Their bosses at McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC better watch out.

Living wage fight flourishes in California — Campaigns underway in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego

October 2014

As the cost of living in California climbs upward at a racer’s pace, alliances of progressives, socialists and trade unionists have launched intense campaigns to raise the minimum wage in cities across the state. San Francisco and Oakland have placed living wage measures on the November ballot; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, under strong pressure… Read more »