Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An Evening with Barbara Ehrenreich

Saw Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel & Dimed, at Stanford last week. She was pretty darn good. Pretty darn good.

With a pretty bad cold and all, she toughed it out. Props.

Some folks from the audience gave her some cough drops. That was cool.

She was pretty funny - definitely entertaining. She seemed very down to earth - very chill - laid-back.

She mentioned how our health care was tied to our jobs, but how our jobs were not tied to us. I thought that was a good point. Go without working in America, and you go without healthcare. And having a job is still no guarantee having healthcare - not by any stretch.

Her 'white collar' union organization, United Professionals, seems very cool.

She gave big props to SLAC, the Stanford Labor Action Coalition, for doing great organizing work surrounding their 'Living Wage' campaign. A couple of girls from the group spoke briefly after Ehrenreich's talk.

I asked a question at the end - 'what is it about the U.S. and Israel that makes them #1 and #2, respectively, in wealth disparity? (Ehrenreich mentioned this.) Is it racism? Militarism?' She said something to the effect, 'they have nearly the same exact fiscal policies.' Wasn't exactly the type of answer I was looking for, but somewhat helpful. I was more looking for an underlying reason why Israeli and U.S. citizens were so willing to accept such extreme levels of corruption, wealth disparity, etc.

Misplaced my notes for the meeting, so lots of stuff gone forever. Sorry. :(

...SLAC has a couple of good videos:

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