US economy, labor, worker rights, strikes, union wins 2023
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The Big Wins by Labor Unions in 2023 (Maria)

The author writes, “This year proved to be one of the busiest for strikes in recent years. In October, for example, there were 4.5 million days of idleness because of work stoppages nationwide, the most of any month in four decades, according to preliminary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The end of the United Auto Workers’ strike helped November’s jobs report, with roughly 30,000 jobs added back to payrolls. The unemployment rate edged lower to 3.7%, near historic lows. Those stoppages and the threat of other strikes put major pressure on a wide range of industries.”

Trump Tells Supporters, ‘Guard the Vote.’ Here’s the Phrase’s Backstory and Why It’s Raising Concern (Reader Steve)

The authors write, “Former President Donald Trump is urging supporters to ‘guard the vote’ during next year’s election, a phrase that has set off alarm bells among pro-democracy advocates who say it signals permission to take extreme measures that could intimidate voters and threaten election workers. The phrase is a relatively novel one for Trump, though activists in the far-right movement have been setting the groundwork for it to be deployed more widely.”

US Political Ad Market Projected to Reach Record $16 Billion in 2024 (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “The advertising dollars spent on U.S. elections and advocacy issues will grow to roughly $16 billion next year, up 31.2% compared to the last presidential election in 2020, according to a new forecast. Why it matters: The U.S. political ad market has gotten so big that next year it’s expected to become the 10th largest ad market in the world, surpassing all of Australia.”

Texas Is Still Targeting Kate Cox After Her Historic Abortion Win (Dana)

From Slate: “Before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, states required minors seeking abortion without the involvement of their parents to seek a court order. [Last week], after the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Woman’s Health Organization, an adult woman had to do the same thing, even when her life and fertility were at risk. While a judge ruled in her favor on Thursday, issuing a temporary restraining order granting her doctor the right to perform the procedure without facing penalties, the state of Texas is still determined to stop her.”

Taylor Swift’s ‘Time’ Cover Is Breaking Far-Right Brains (Russ and Laura)

From Rolling Stone: “Time magazine declared Taylor Swift as 2023’s person of the year on Wednesday, and accompanied the announcement with a rare interview from the artist in which she reflected on the year of her career that truly put her on top of the world. Unsurprisingly, right-wing commentators took the opportunity to interpret Swift’s well-earned success to launch into a conspiracy theory bender. Swift, who has publicly aligned herself with the pro-choice movement and declared her opposition to former President Donald Trump, has become the ire of a vocal group of conservatives hell-bent on the bizarre notion that the singer is a political weapon aimed at the upcoming presidential election.”

A Giant Inland Sea Is Now a Desert, and a Warning for Humanity (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Walking toward the shrinking remnants of what used to be the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan was like entering hell. All around was a desert devoid of life, aside from scrubby saxaul trees. Dust swirled in 110-degree Fahrenheit heat under a throbbing red sun. I reached the edge of one of the scattered lakes that are all that remain of this once-great body of water. I took off my shoes and waded in. The water was so full of salt that it felt viscous, not quite liquid.”

Why the Future of Sustainable Tourism Might Be Rural (Al)

From Travel Pulse: “Sustainable tourism is becoming not only a much-needed trend within the global travel and tourism industry, but also a necessity. From hotels taking steps to measure and reduce their energy, waste and plastics consumption to tour operators becoming certified B corporations, there’s no shortage of opportunities the industry is taking to become better for everyone. Yet as the industry continues becoming more thoughtful about its impact on the world, there’s one growing method to combat overtourism, encourage completion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and support local economies and traditional ways of life: rural tourism.”


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