The working environment health care workers face in no way reflects the growing importance of the work these workers do.
Last year, Koch Foods settled a $3.75-million lawsuit over discrimination and sexual harassment against predominately Latinx poultry plant workers. Last week, workers at Koch Foods became the targets of one of the biggest immigration raids in years. The raid separated hundreds of workers from their families, leaving entire communities in fear.

Immigration activists, Payday Report’s Mike Elk detailed last week, see the Koch Foods raid as part of a broader pattern: A workplace gets investigated for abusing workers, then the workers get targeted by ICE. If workers can’t speak up without fear of retaliation — and especially if that retaliation includes family separation and deportation — then none of us can ever truly have justice on the job.

A quick note to readers: We’ll be taking our annual summer break and returning in early September, with lots more news and views about our unequal world and what folks are doing to change it!

Chuck Collins, for the Institute for Policy Studies team
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How States Can Better Care for Direct Care Workers
With the U.S population aging, the need for direct care workers — like home health aides and nursing assistants — is exploding. But the working environment these workers face in no way reflects the growing importance of the work these workers do. Women, immigrants, and people of color make up the overwhelming majority of direct care workers. One in six live in poverty. Their median income: under $20,000. How can we build up a decent direct care infrastructure in the United States? A new report explains what states can do to care for care workers.
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He Gets the Bucks, We Get All the Deadly Bangs
National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre has had better weeks. First came the horrific early August slaughters in California, Texas, and Ohio that left dozens dead, murders that elevated public pressure on the NRA’s hardline against even the mildest of moves against gun violence. Then came revelations that LaPierre — whose labors on behalf of the nonprofit NRA have made him a millionaire many times over — last year planned to have his gun lobby group bankroll a 10,000-square-foot luxury manse near Dallas for his personal use. In response, LaPierre had his flacks charge that the NRA’s former ad agency had done the scheming to buy the mansion. The ad agency called that assertion “patently false” and related that LaPierre had sought the agency’s involvement in the scheme, a request the agency rejected. The mansion scandal, notes the Washington Post, comes as the NRA is already “contending with the fallout from allegations of lavish spending by top executives.”

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Out of Ottawa, Deflating Stats on American Lives
An innovative new report from the Canadian Centre for the Study of Living Standards is challenging the conventional wisdom on economic well-being. By the yardsticks of this conventional wisdom, Americans are doing much better than Canadians. But the new Canadian research compares households at each percentile of the income distribution in the United States and Canada and finds that most Canadians are living “better off than their American counterparts.” This difference in well-being, the new Canadian study concludes, reflects “the slower increase in economic inequality in Canada compared to the United States.” co-editor Sam Pizzigati, author of The Case for a Maximum Wage, has more.
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This week on 

Josue De Luna Navarro, For True Climate Justice, Abolish ICE and CBP. Frontline communities, including undocumented immigrants, ought to be at the heart of the Green New Deal.

Jarod Facundo, What Medicare for All Would Have Meant a Decade Ago. Imagine if a new generation could experience guaranteed care, with quality not determined by wealth, but instead delivered as a human right.

Roger Bybee, Ian Haney López: Dividing Races the Main Weapon of the Rich. We need to better recognize plutocracy’s playbook.

Institute for Policy Studies, Global Labor Movement Loses a Champion. Former AFL-CIO international affairs director Barbara Shailor fought valiantly for the rights of working people all around the world. 

Elsewhere on the Web

Adam Roberts, Is wealth immoral? Vox. An illustrated reflection.

Cortney Sanders, States’ Senior Tax Breaks Reinforce Unequal Wealth, Income by Race, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Another seldom noticed example of how U.S. tax laws privilege the already privileged.

Rana Foroohar, The age of wealth accumulation is over, Financial Times. Financial insiders see a growing backlash against the second gilded age.

Steven Greenhouse, Yes, America Is Rigged Against Workers, New York Times. How diminished union power has left the rich and the corporations they run with inordinate sway over American politics.

Sebastian Mallaby, How Economists’ Faith in Markets Broke America, Atlantic. Mainstream economists have helped inequality grow to unacceptable extremes.

Ben Leet, A Litany of Economic Woes, Economics without Greed. A concise statistical look at how growing inequality has left average Americans much more economically insecure.

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