8/17 Inflation As An Excuse For Squeezing Workers; On The Picket Line Against Kaiser Permanente w/ Brian Callaci & Ilana Marcucci-Morris

August 17, 2022

Sam hosts Brian Callaci, Chief Economist at the Open Markets Institute, to discuss his recent piece in Dissent Magazine “Inflation Is No Excuse For Squeezing Workers.” Then, Sam is joined by Ilana Marcucci-Morris, a Kaiser Permanente mental health therapist, to discuss recent efforts by her and her colleagues to strike and organize for better working conditions. First, Sam walks through updates from yesterday’s primaries in Alaska and Wyoming (with Liz Cheney losing in the latter), and the continued suppression of reproductive rights in Florida and Louisiana, before diving deep into the official signing of the IRA into law, and the lingering peril around Manchin’s side deal – especially as progressives (see: Rashida Tlaib) reflect on how Manchin hustled them out of their side deal with the Bipartisan Infrastructure package. Then, Brian Callaci joins as he gets right into situating us within the current inflation discourse, walking through the conventional wisdom that is backing the mainstream media’s rhetoric (blaming wages, low unemployment, etc), and how that is juxtaposed with the actual nature of our current moment, with inflation hitting globally despite each county’s unique levels of wage stagnation and domestic monetary policy. Parsing through these contrasts, Callaci and Sam walk to discuss how US media has been attempting to pin responsibility for inflation on progressive domestic policies like the American Rescue Plan and booming wages, despite the numbers showing wages lagging BEHIND inflation and the obvious international issues of a rampant, three-year-long (so far) pandemic, a shattered supply chain infrastructure, a war in Europe’s bread basket (Ukraine), and violent-levels of monopolistic price gouging in the fossil fuel sector. Next, Sam opens the debate of whether this belief in Fed monetary policy is a genuine misdiagnosis, or if it’s an active undermining of a workforce that has been growing in strength and solidarity, wrapping up the interview by looking at the differences between a solution based on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, and on based on its fiscal policy, exploring why the former is likely a clouded attempt to stifle wages. Then, Ilana Marcucci-Morris joins from the Kaiser Permanente picket line as she dives into how she and 2,067 other mental health therapists in California have spent the last 13 months pushing against Kaiser’s actively destructive policies around patient mental healthcare, using their bargaining power to bolster their patients’ right to care and ensuring they are able to provide the necessary work that they are there to provide.

And in the Fun Half: Sam talks with Brennan of KY from the Bo Hines campaign, Ben from VA on his former employer’s “no spoofing at work” policy, and explores Liz Cheney’s subtle soft-launch of a presidential campaign. Stephen Crowder hosts Don Jr. to boast about his stance as the most on-the-ground conservative, maybe ever? and preview Donald’s DeSantis talking points in a presidential race. Dominique from Baton Rouge discusses the Louisiana Democratic Party’s endorsement corruption, Joe from Minneapolis brings up the effect of a redistricting a week before the Democratic primary in the most progressive regions of Minneapolis, and Christina Bobb continues to frustrate conservative media by refusing to answer anything for DT. Prager continues to make Sam famous, Matt Walsh continues his stochastic terrorism against a literal Children’s Hospital, and Greg Gutfeld continues to be a very weird little racist homophobe, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Brian’s piece here: https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/inflation-is-no-excuse-for-squeezing-workers

Check out the Kaiser Permanente mental health workers story here: https://nuhw.org/kaiser-dont-deny/kaiser-strike/

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