The Dodd-Frank financial services reform law mandated that banks (and other public corporations) reveal the relationship between CEO pay and median employee pay. Unfortunately, Dodd-Frank left it up to the Securities and Exchange Commission to put that rule into effect, and to decide exactly how much information that rule would mandate revealing; fast-forward nearly five years, and the SEC still hasn't done bupkus on this matter. So Americans for Financial Reform helps you tell the SEC to enact the most vigorous CEO-to-median-worker pay rule possible. I'll try to put this simply: this economy doesn't work for people who work to contribute to society anymore. It works for people who already have money and can use mysterious financial "instruments" to induce corporations to succeed and fail not on the merits, but on their whims. Shining some light on CEO pay, particularly as it relates to worker pay, would allow good citizens to brandish the Big Stick of Bad PR effectively, and could help us reverse the downward moral and economic spiral this "New Economy" has created.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell Congress and the President to make marijuana a Schedule II drug instead of a Schedule I drug via S. 683, the CARERS Act, then Keystone Progress joins with MoveOn to help you do that. Schedule I drugs, as you probably know, are drugs that are nominally extremely dangerous and have no medicinal benefits, so why is pot there? I'm sure it's at least partly because the cotton lobby has long wanted to strangle the hemp industry to death (pot, like many more useful things, comes from hemp), but I'm also sure hysteria over drugs in general has played a part. Yet heroin is a Schedule I drug because it will destroy your life completely; pot is about as dangerous as alcohol or tobacco, which the Controlled Substances Act doesn't schedule at all, and pot also has some utility in treating epilepsy, PTSD, cancer, and Parkinson's Disease. And you don't need to be a legalize-all-the-drugs libertarian to support this effort -- if nothing else, supporting this effort means we can crack down harder on meth manufacturers and their ilk.
In other news, Sen. Mikulski (D-MD) has reintroduced S. 862, the Paycheck Fairness Act, yesterday. S. 862 would address the persistent income gap between men and women for doing the same work by prohibiting employers from retaliating against workers who discuss their income with each other -- which is usually how women find out they've been discriminated against -- and also by forcing employers to prove that they pay men and women differently because of actual differences in qualifications, which most employers don't go very far out of their way to do. Republicans have consistently filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act, and what are their objections? Obama, mainly, and trial lawyers, secondarily. You'll never convince a Republican that "Obama" is no reason to block progress -- maybe even after a real Democrat becomes President and makes the Obama years seem to them like paradise on Earth! -- but "trial lawyers" also means nothing in a nation where corporations file four out of every five lawsuits. Moms Rising helps you tell Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Finally, S. 697, the Vitter/Udall chemical "reform" bill, is still out there confusing people about the definition of "reform." You're no doubt aware of its defects -- that it would prevent states from regulating dangerous chemicals while the EPA is evaluating them, and not only provides for a rather slow evaluating process for dangerous chemicals (the EPA would only have to start reviewing a little over two dozen of them within the next five years), but certainly doesn't take into account the EPA's chronic underfunding, which (though it might offend Sen. Enzi!) we should certainly address. Sen. Tom Udall's participation is rather disheartening, since he just won re-election rather handily in a very tough year; hopefully he won't tell us that we have to support this bill to get some progress, when, fact is, we don't -- especially not when S. 725, the Boxer/Markey bill, is also out there, albeit without big chemical corporations' support. So CREDO helps you tell your Congressfolk to reject the Vitter/Udall chemical "reform" bill, and support real chemical reform in America.