KPFK Standing Up for Social and Economic Justice with Peter Mathews, ep2

KPFK SPECIAL PROGRAMMING | Riveting conversations with call in listeners and supporters of KPFK. Some of the topics discussed include: the unfair plight of adjunct (part-time) college instructors and professors; need for a living wage and increased minimum wage, environmental injustice; educational injustice K-12 through college and university; destruction of our food, water, air, and soil through the use of dangerous pesticides and GMOs, fracking, and underregulated and unregulated fossil fuel emissions; the outsourcing of middle class jobs by big corporations while they receive corporate welfare through tax loopholes and taxpayer subsidies from politicians in our government– the very same politicians whose campaigns are funded by big corporations, their owners and their lobbyists; and how to fix this through the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Clean Money, publicly funded elections!

Listener Supported KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles, 98.7 FM Santa Barbara, 93.7 FM North San Diego, 99.5 FM Ridgecrest

Standing Up for Social Justice program credits:
Host: Peter Mathews
Producer: Alan Minsky
Co-Producer: Brett Covey
Audio Engineer: Gianna d’Angelo
Visuals Editor: Brett Covey

KPFK Standing Up for Social and Economic Justice with Peter Mathews, ep1

KPFK SPECIAL PROGRAMMING | Riviting conversations with four top leaders of our time:  Dr. Michael Parenti, Activist for Social Justice and renowned Author of “Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life”; David Cobb, spokesperson for the Move to Amend Coalition (introducing the 28th Amendment stating Corporations are Not People and Money is Not Free Speech []; ♦ Pamm Larry of Label GMOs, introducing a ballot requiring the labeling of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms (food)) []; with special mention to Mom’s Across America; and ♦ Pat Alviso of Military Families Speak Out []. With host Professor Peter Mathews [].

The entire broadcast is located here:

Listener Supported KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles, 98.7 FM Santa Barbara, 93.7 FM North San Diego, 99.5 FM Ridgecrest

Standing Up for Social Justice program credits:
Host: Peter Mathews
Producer: Alan Minsky
Co-Producer: Brett Covey
Audio Engineer: Gianna d’Angelo
Visuals Editor: Brett Covey


The following topics were broadcast on KEIB-AM Los Angeles radio on June 21, 2014. David Cruz and Peter Mathews: [Listen] [Back to Home Page]

Start Time: 37:59

♦ U.S. Health Care Is the Worst in the Developed World
♦ Court Ruling Against Teacher Tenure Won’t Help Your Schoolchildren
♦ The Great Recession Knocks a Family out of the Middle Class
♦ Consumer Price Index Jumps 0.4% in May As Inflation Heats Up
♦ Corporations Scramble for Lowest Business Taxes by Shifting Income to Low Tax Countries
♦ Off Shoring Tax Loophole used by Apple, Inc. and others to avoid paying billions in U.S. Federal income taxes.

Start Time: 65:04

♦ War and Crisis in Iraq, the Disastrous U.S. Intervention in 2003 and the Danger of Intervention Today: 

[Listen] [Back to Home Page]

We need a ‘living wage’

oc register-2

By PETER MATHEWS / Contributing Writer

The Long Beach City Council recently voted for a “Living Wage” of $13.26 per hour for Long Beach Airport and Convention Center workers, including their retail workers.

Minimum wage has lost 20 percent of purchasing power since 1973, and President Barack Obama recently called for cities across the nation to raise the minimum wage, since Congress will not.

Since 2009, the top 1 percent has captured 93 percent of the new income generated. Since 1973, the rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer and the American middle class has shrunk by 10 percent.

In 1980, the average CEO was making 40 times the income of the average American worker. Today, the average CEO is making 400 times the income of the average worker. Poverty and hunger have increased significantly among low- and moderate-income Americans.

We must commend the Long Beach City Council for trying to uplift the plight of these specific workers, by guaranteeing them a “living wage.” If minimum wage had kept up with increased worker productivity since the 1970s, it would be $21 per hour. If it had kept up with inflation, it would be $16 per hour. However, such a steep, sudden increase may place an unbearable burden on small business. We know that U.S. small businesses employ two- thirds of American workers.

That’s why the local, state and federal governments must reduce the tax burden on small businesses as they create a living wage or raise minimum wage, for millions of poor and middle-class Americans. Governments must also reduce many of the burdensome, unnecessary, and unproductive regulations on small businesses, while keeping the necessary ones. This approach is the most balanced – the only one that will work to benefit American workers and entrepreneurs.

Two prominent Founders of the United States of America, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton helped establish a “Commercial Republic.” An important part of the business of America was going to be business. Another Founder, Benjamin Franklin, an amazing inventor and business entrepreneur, wanted other Americans to be able to do the same: create new ideas, new products, new services and new jobs so all could prosper.

However, President Abraham Lincoln put the concept of entrepreneurship in perspective when he noted, “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

Lincoln’s vision, also the vision of Madison, Hamilton and Franklin, was complimentary and gave birth to the American Dream. Without adequately paid workers, the guarantee in the American Declaration of Independence of the Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness would be empty. Without well-paid workers and a large middle class, there would be no one to help produce and buy the products that guarantee adequate profits for successful business entrepreneurs, and the quality of life for 99 percent of Americans would deteriorate. As will American democracy.

When will our political and corporate leaders of today start re-applying these practical and ethical principles?

The Long Beach City Council has lessened the burden on some workers. It, and other levels of American government, must now act to lighten the burden on other workers and to liberate the genius and energy of small businesses.

Peter Mathews is a full-time political science professor at Cypress College and an adjunct professor of sociology at Long Beach City College.

Lies of Wall Street Bailout; Hunger Hurts U.S. Economy; California Special Elections Cost Millions

Peter Mathews on KTLK AM 1150, the David Cruz Show.(Nov.25, 2013). $1 million election; hunger =$167 billion in lost productivity; bailout won with lies 

Prof. Mathews notes that as budget cuts deepen ($5 billion cut in food stamps alone), wages stagnate, and unemployment remains high, hunger and poverty has increased in the U.S., costing over $167 billion in lost economic productivity and earnings. Mathews suggests raising the minimum wage to a living wage, while compensating small business by lowering their taxes. He also shows that the more than $700 billion taxpayer bailout of Big Corporations and Wall Street did not help small businesses, American workers and homeowners on Main Street. Unlike what Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Larry Summers promised Congress and the American people in order to push through the bailout, around $4 billion was spent to help small homeowners while the bulk of the $700 billion went to the Big Corporations and Wall Street Banks. These Big Banks, instead of lending money out to small businesses and struggling homeowners, used it to make more money in other ways, including parking huge amounts of it in the Federal Reserve and drawing billions of dollars of interest on it. Today, the Big Banks’ excess reserves at the Fed total more than $1.4 trillion! Not only that, many of the Wall Street Banks gave their CEO’s and other top executives millions of dollars in bonuses. Prof. Mathews told the radio audience that two excellent sources of investigative information on this debacle are Matt Taibbi’s Jan. 4, 2013 article in Rolling Stone, “Secrets and Lies of the Bailout”, and the Academy Award winning documentary, “Inside Job”, narrated by Matt Damon. Peter Mathews began his analysis by looking at the huge expense of California Special Elections that are triggered by the middle- of- the term resignation of State Senators like Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet). The $1.1 million cost of such an election can be avoided if the California Constitution was amended to allow the Governor to appoint a temporary State Senator until the next election, as he does in the case of a U.S. Senator’s death or resignation.  [Listen]  (8 min.)