MARGARET FLOWERS – On a snowy weekend in January, activists for social, economic and environmental justice from across the United States gathered in a Chicago union hall to plan a Global Climate Convergence: ten days of action from Earth Day to May Day. Many of these activists had never focused on the climate crisis before, being mired instead in fighting battles that loomed more immediately in their lives. Who has the capacity to worry about climate change when your community is hungry, cold, without shelter, lacks health care or is being poisoned? During that weekend meeting, we transcended the barriers that typically lead to working in narrow silos and treading water while the oceans literally and figuratively continue to rise around us. We stepped outside of our particular areas of advocacy, connected our struggles, and forged a collective effort to take action together this spring and beyond. The rallying cry was that the time has arrived to join hands and change course.
ROBERT REICH – Why the decline of public institutions? The slide . . . started more than three decades ago with so-called “tax revolts” by a middle class whose earnings had stopped advancing even though the economy continued to grow. Most families still wanted good public services and institutions but could no longer afford the tab. Since the late 1970s, almost all the gains from growth have gone to the top. But as the upper-middle class and the rich began shifting to private institutions, they withdrew political support for public ones.