Archive | November, 2011

Texas Unemployment

29 Nov

According to the BLS current population survey (CPS), the unemployment rate for Texas fell 0.1 percentage points in October 2011 to 8.4%. The state unemployment rate was 0.6 percentage points lower than the national rate for the month. The unemployment rate in Texas peaked in August 2011 at 8.5% and is now 0.1 percentage points lower. You can also see Texas unemployment compared to other states.


Unemployment Rate October 2011 Month/Month Year/Year
National 9.0% -0.1 -0.7
Texas 8.4% -0.1 +0.2


Unemployment Rate: Texas, National



Pepper spray UC Davis

27 Nov

Go to and watch the video clip of the police professionally, calmly, and politely telling the occupiers that if they dont get off the sidewalk so people can pass that they will be pepper sprayed.

Goals for the future

23 Nov

Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here? …a proposal from Michael Moore
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement’s “vision statement” to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:
We Envision: [1] a truly free, democratic, and just society; [2] where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus; [3] where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making; [4] where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others; [5] where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments; [6] where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just the privileged few; [7] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings; [8] where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible; [9] where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed.
The next step will be to develop a specific list of goals and demands. As one of the millions of people who are participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, I would like to respectfully offer my suggestions of what we can all get behind now to wrestle the control of our country out of the hands of the 1% and place it squarely with the 99% majority.
Here is what I will propose to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore
1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).
2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.
3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.
4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.
5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.
6. Reorder our nation’s spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.
7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.
8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.
9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can’t run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)
10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:

a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.
b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.
c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a “second bill of rights” as proposed by President Frankin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.

Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online (at Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don’t have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighborhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action.
We are but ten weeks old, yet we have already changed the national conversation. This is our moment, the one we’ve been hoping for, waiting for. If it’s going to happen it has to happen now. Don’t sit this one out. This is the real deal. This is it.

New York Wall Street

22 Nov

..NEW YORK (Reuters) – With just a few protesters huddled against the cold winds at Zuccotti Park on Friday, city officials are hoping protests which have taken place here for the past two months have run their course.

“There are problems in the country,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show. “You can make yourself heard, which I think has been done. Now it’s time to get back and build the economy and create the good paying jobs that people need.”

Having been evicted in the early hours of Tuesday morning by New York police and no longer allowed to camp at the park, just a handful of occupiers huddled together against brisk autumn winds in a largely empty space.

Most demonstrators may have just had protest hangovers, after a series of marches on Thursday that slowed traffic in the financial district and led to some scuffles with police and more than 200 arrests.

Organizers insist they are sticking around.

“A lot of us went to bed last night thinking we had the best day of the movement,” said protest spokesman Ed Needham. “We all thought, we still believe, this is still the unfolding of a new chapter.”

With no organized network of housing for scores of protesters who traveled to New York from other cities, the movement is confronting fundamental questions of where to gather and where to sleep.

“It’s hard to say where it’s going right now,” said John Carhart, 28, of New Jersey.

He said organizers were hoping to find an indoor space before the end of the year, “so people will have a place to put their belongings and a place to sleep that’s not outside.”

A few local churches are housing some of those left homeless by the evictions from Zuccotti Park. The protesters are allowed to return and congregate in the park, but they cannot sleep or lie down, and few have returned.

Caiti Lattimer said she and others like her who live in New York are hosting those from out of town. But she acknowledged that the coming Thanksgiving holiday may thin the ranks.

“People are going home for Thanksgiving,” she said. “But there are still people who … will remain.”

Organizers declined to elaborate on the movement’s next move, saying discussions and plans are ongoing.

But protesters at meetings late Thursday night said conversations about the group’s future ranged from plans to occupy homes foreclosed by banks to boycotting major chain stores during the upcoming holidays.

Joel Garcia

Umemployment Statistics as of September 2011

22 Nov

The August jobs report was dismal for plenty of reasons, but perhaps most striking was the picture it painted of racial inequality in the job market.
Black unemployment surged to 16.7% in August, its highest level since 1984, while the unemployment rate for whites fell slightly to 8%, the Labor Department reported.
“This month’s numbers continue to bear out that longstanding pattern that minorities have a much more challenging time getting jobs,” said Bill Rodgers, chief economist with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.
Black unemployment has been roughly double that of whites since the government started tracking the figures in 1972.
Economists blame a variety of factors. The black workforce is younger than the white workforce, lower numbers of blacks get a college degree and many live in areas of the country that were harder hit by the recession — all things that could lead to a higher unemployment rate.
But even excluding those factors, blacks still are hit with higher joblessness.
Dominique Berry

Occupy Wall St. is not over just yet

22 Nov

-Francisco Gonzalez

LULAC on the “Gainful Employment” Rule

17 Nov

LULAC joins a broad coalition of more than 35 organizations that advocate for civil rights, consumers, veterans, students and college access today sent a letter to President Obama urging his administration to issue a strong and enforceable “gainful employment” rule.The letter points out: “Numerous investigations have revealed pervasive abuses by some career education programs: deceptive and aggressive recruiting of students; inflated job placement rates and false reporting to authorities; overstatement of a program’s value and understatement of its high cost; and dismal completion rates. Too many of these programs are preying on low-income students, minority students, and veterans who are seeking to further their education and, by doing so, enhance their employment opportunities.”


The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Thank you for your leadership to make college more affordable in order to expand opportunity and
strengthen our economy. We appreciate that, in a time of intense budget pressures, your education
reforms seek to maximize the return on taxpayer investment and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse. That
is why we firmly support the Department of Education’s prompt adoption of a strong and enforceable
“gainful employment” rule. We urge you to issue a final rule now that will protect students and taxpayers
no later than the start of the 2012-13 academic year.
Numerous investigations have revealed pervasive abuses by some career education programs: deceptive
and aggressive recruiting of students; inflated job placement rates and false reporting to authorities;
overstatement of a program’s value and understatement of its high cost; and dismal completion rates. Too
many of these programs are preying on low-income students, minority students, and veterans who are
seeking to further their education and, by doing so, enhance their employment opportunities.
The proposed gainful employment rule implements requirements set by Congress and advances a
common-sense principle: Federal financial aid shouldn’t go to career education programs that consistently
leave students buried in debt they cannot repay.
The subprime mortgage debacle and ensuing financial crisis taught our country a hard lesson about letting
such abuses run rampant. You have an opportunity, right now, to make the right decision for our students
and our economy by strengthening and finalizing this common-sense rule. We will support you every
step of the way.