Portal Pages/Economic Justice

The Attack on Working People & Organized Labor

It became clear in 2011 that there was a broad attack on working people, especially those in unions.

Anti-labor campaigns by corporate interests are nothing new, and are frequently masked by rhetoric about freedom of choice for employees. The main framing of these anti-labor campaigns is built around the idea of a "Right to Work." Corporate CEOs and wealthy "free market" economists portray themselves as friends of the working man and woman. Like most Big Lie campaigns, the truth emerges when history and outcome are compared to current rhetoric and promises.

In 2008 corporate and conservative strategists were developing a series of fake grassroots groups under the banner of the new “Tea Party” rebellion. Read More.

What is Behind These Attacks?

What About the Tea Party Movement?

Visit our page on anti-labor activities on the Right. In a series of articles, PRA Senior Analyst Chip Berlet outlines the history of anti-union campaigns dating back to the 1930s, showing how the National Right to Work Committee and U.S. Chamber of Commerce have tried to “flip the script” so it appears that corporate repression of workers aren’t the problem, unions are!

And in both a feature article and a radio documentary, PRA Editorial Director Abby Scher digs into the current U.S. Chamber of Commerce misinformation campaign trying to stop labor law reform this year.

Fighting for the Union Label

The Indypendent

Rite Aid warehouse worker Angel Warner stood before a crowd of dock workers, cookie makers and other unionists gathered outside the corporation's annual shareholder meeting on June 25 in New York City. Warner had traveled from the Mojave Desert city of Lancaster, Calif., where she works at a sprawling million-square-foot warehouse that distributes merchandise to hundreds of Rite Aid stores throughout Southern California. Read more...

Report! Marriage as a Cure for Poverty?
Social Science Through a “Family Values” Lens

This report exposes the questionable social science justifying George W. Bush’s campaign to promote marriage as a cure for poverty. Rightist academics and think tank researchers ignore data showing that pushing low-income women and men to marry might actually diminish a low income woman’s chances of rising out of poverty, and rely on evidence and reasoning that do not meet scholarly standards. The report is a companion to Dr. Hardisty’s earlier report Pushed to the Altar: The Right Wing Roots of Marriage Promotion.

Tax Revolt as a Family Value
How the Christian Right is Becoming a Free Market Champion

The Public Eye magazine, Winter 2006

"Death Should Not Be a Taxable Event." In August of 2005, this headline appeared on the website of the conservative evangelical Christian organization Focus on the Family. The accompanying article asked Focus members to persuade their Senators to repeal a federal tax on inherited estates. Read More...

Saving Monsignor Ryan
Refuting the Myths of Neoconservative Roman Catholic Economics

The Public Eye magazine, Winter 2009

In October 1936, a Roman Catholic priest and professor of moral theology at the Catholic University of America took to the airwaves to defend the New Deal from scurrilous attacks made by another Catholic priest, the demagogic radio personality of the day, Father Charles Coughlin. Monsignor John A. Ryan’s speech was titled "Roosevelt Safeguards America." In many ways, the radio volley between the two priests still reflects debates raging in the church and in American society today. Ryan’s explanation of the sources of support for Communist anti-clericalism in Spain that he outlined in his radio address remains important in light of the claims of a small group of contemporary neoconservative Roman Catholic intellectual leaders whose views have had a profound influence on the American Catholic Church, as well as broader American public discourse. Read more...

On Economic Justice

When they began their campaign for political power in the 1960s, the ideologues of the New Right were outside the main branch of the Republican Party with their embrace of privatization of essential government services, tax cuts for the wealthy as a supposed economic engine, union-busting, and deregulation of environmental and other protective laws. Today this network - through their new think tanks' skillful reframing of issues, coalition building with the Christian Right, and enormous expenditure of money to mobilize voters - has significant influence in the Republican Party, and is a major force in shaping public policy debates in the United States.

In the past five years, the free marketers have forged common ground with conservative Christian evangelicals and fundamentalists similar to "fusionist" coalitions of conservatives in the 1950s; and the campaign against Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s.

by portraying "Big Government" as tyrannical; taxes as theft, and a full employment economy as a utopian heresy, the New Right defends unfair power and privilege for a tiny wealthy minority.


The Right's Attack on Aid to Families with Dependent Children
(expanded version)

The Public Eye magazine, Spring 1996



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