AFL-CIO Chief Economist: Obama Could Do Much More For Workers

By Doug Cunningham

President Obama could have done much more for working people in his State of The Union speech. AFL-CIO Chief economist William Spriggs, speaking on Washington D.C.’s We ACT Radio, says if Obama is serious about addressing income inequality he has to be serious about reversing decades of policies that helped create it.

[William Spriggs]: “It was a little disappointing because the president said look we didn’t get into this situation yesterday or even with the Great Recession. For thirty years before then we had rising inequality. But then he blamed it technology and global politician, Global competition, yes. But he could have mentioned bad trade deals. It’s really policy that got us in this situation and that was the moment to say, so we have to reverse the policies.”


Spriggs says Obama should not be shy about asserting government’s role of advocating for working people.


[William Spriggs 2]: “Government needs to be on the side of the people. This needs to be government for the people. One of the things is that government can be for you having higher wages. And we have to back away from thinking government can’t be for the people. I mean, he’s doing an executive order on the minimum wage, he could have done an executive order talking about employers following the National Labor Relations Act. He could have talked about more good things that employers should do if they’re gonna to be government contractors. So there was a lot more room for him to talk about those institutions and those things that matter like unions.”

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