Nov 23 2015

‘You Cannot Build a Strong Economy on a Falling Wage Floor’

CounterSpin interview with Holly Sklar on minimum wage economics

Holly Sklar (image:

“You need people to have enough wages to be able to buy what they need. And if you are going to have a growing middle class, you need people to be able to buy more than just the bare necessities.”

Sep 24 2015

‘They’re Robbing Kids of Critical Thinking’

CounterSpin interview with Jesse Hagopian about educational struggles in Seattle

Jesse Hagopian

“The movement is truly a mass social struggle to redefine the purpose of education: instead of being filling in bubbles, actually critical thinking.”

Jul 16 2015

The Minimum Wage–and Other Left Ideas Washington Post Might Find ‘Lame’

Scott Walker (photo: State of Wisconsin)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker denounced the left for not having any real ideas for workers. In his Washington Post column The Fix, Philip Bump largely endorsed this perspective.

Jun 16 2015

Scapegoating Labor for Fast Track’s Defeat

Anti-TPP rally, New Zealand (cc photo: Neil Ballantyne/Wikimedia)

Virtually every organized Democratic constituency made it clear that defeating fast track was a top priority. Yet all these movements tended to drop out of establishment media accounts of the fast track fight, leaving labor as the lone opponent.

May 15 2015

Tiffany Finck-Haynes on Bee Collapse, Michelle Chen on Nail Salon Workers


Are pesticide-makers’ PR efforts affecting government research into massive bee die-offs? And are occasional blockbuster stories like the NYT piece on labor conditions in nail salons the best media can do for workers rights issues?

Feb 20 2015

Marjorie Cohn on ISIS AUMF, Laura Flanders on Worker Co-Ops

Obama (image: NBC News)

Would an Authorization of Use of Military Force actually make attacks against ISIS legal? And are such attacks really the solution to the crisis? Plus we’ll discuss a different way of organizing work in our increasingly unequal society.

Feb 14 2014

Sue Sturgis on Moral March, Toni Gilpin on Skills Gap Myth


This week on CounterSpin: Tens of thousands of moral marchers descend on Raleigh North Carolina, the latest and most dramatic example of a social justice movement sweeping the state. The national press is mostly skipping the story; Sue Sturgis from the Institute for Southern Studies fills us in on what’s happening.

Also on the show: You may have heard that the reason we have so many unemployed people isn’t because there are no jobs, but because people don’t have the right skills for the jobs that are open, in part because of our failing schools. If it doesn’t sound right to you, that’s because it’s wrong. So why say it? We’ll talk with labor historian and educator Toni Gilpin about the popular myth of the “skills gap.”

Jun 01 2013

‘Such Is Life’ Coverage of Another Blast’s Dead

When corporations kill, media turn fatalistic

Texas fertilizer explosion (photo: Mike Stone/Reuters)

When corporations kill, media turn fatalisticAnyone could have predicted the Boston Marathon bombing would receive the high-color, saturation-style coverage it’s gotten. The April 15 attack lends itself to all sorts of narratives U.S. corporate media love to explore: the ever-present “terrorist” threat, scary Muslims and their “networks,” the potential of new security technology. Still, it was hard not to be struck by the contrast between the attention devoted to the Boston bombing and that given to a disastrous explosion two days later in a Texas fertilizer plant. TV networks especially “seemed to decide covering two big stories was covering one […]