Top image photo credit: Kalexanderson. Used under Creative Commons license.
As Creative Commons becomes more and more of a rule rather than an exception, the nonprofit organization behind it continues to push sharing through free legal tools and community building. One such effort, Team Open, culls stories of creative commoners from around the globe who use Creative Commons licenses to create a better the world.
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- Tens of thousands of mourners line up for miles for their last chance to say goodbye to Nelson Mandela
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- Jobless Fear Looming Cutoff of Benefits
- New Prosperity Mine Approval Could Trigger Lawsuit: First Nations
- Canada’s Indigenous First Nations Threaten $600 Billion in Energy Deals
- Experts Eye Oil and Gas Industry as Quakes Shake Oklahoma
A great tutorial on how to use fish guts and fish waste to make your own incredible fish fertilizer for the garden.
“Our employees are like family.” It’s a sentiment employers often espouse—and some readers may dismiss it as a cliché: After all, many U.S. workers—particularly lower-wage workers—face dismal conditions, especially when it comes to policies that help them care for their families.
Few American workers are able to take paid leave when they must care for a sick family member or new baby; only 12 percent of private-sector workers currently have paid family leave, and a mere 4 percent of the lowest-wage workers have access to such leave. And the United States is now the only industrialized country that does not offer paid maternity leave.
But the reality is that many employers do want to treat their employees well—they simply find adequate benefits unaffordable.
A new federal bill, introduced today by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., aims to make it easier for employers to do right by their employees.
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act would create a paid family and medical leave insurance program, enabling employees to take time to recover from serious illness, care for a sick loved one, or bond with a new child. The program, funded entirely by small contributions from employers and employees, provides up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave.
Here’s how it would work: Under the FAMILY Act, both workers and employers would contribute a small amount from each paycheck to the insurance fund. The cost for a full-time, year-round worker making the median annual income would be $1.68 per week, about the same as a cup of coffee.
A new Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave would administer the fund. Employee and employer contributions would fully cover benefits and administration. During leave, workers would get up to 66 percent of their monthly wages, capped at $4,000 per month in the first year. Almost all workers and employers would be covered and required to contribute.
Because it creates a pool of funds to support the program, the FAMILY Act would make the cost to employers of offering this important benefit significantly lower than if they were to provide it on their own—something that is out of reach for many small employers.
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In California, nine out of ten employers report positive or no effects of paid family leave on business operations. And 91 percent of workers in low-wage jobs who used paid leave say it helped them to better care for a new child. Given their experience, it’s not surprising that California employers are also speaking out in favor of the FAMILY Act.
Many employers across the rest of the country are also supportive. To Rob Everts, co-executive director of Massachusetts-based Equal Exchange, this bill is about seeing employees as “human beings, who have human needs.” He says the FAMILY ACT will “give companies the capacity to treat their employees right—and ultimately, to build better businesses.”
For workers, the passage of the law could mean no longer having to choose between the health of one’s family and paying the bills. Particularly for the most vulnerable workers—those in lower-wage jobs who are most likely to lack any paid leave—the FAMILY Act would be an important step toward remedying inequalities. It would address health disparities, help give children from all socioeconomic backgrounds the best start possible, and alleviate the financial and personal stress of caring for an older relative.
The owner of Bluebottle Coffee Company, James Freeman, explains: “I know I want [paid leave] for my own family … [and] … my 225 employees should have this chance to care for their families, too.”
Opponents of the bill worry that in this tough economy, requiring businesses to contribute to a family and medical leave insurance program is inappropriate. However, employers’ contributions amount to less than 0.02 percent of payroll—a small price to pay for a program that would help boost loyalty and employee retention, lowering the significant costs of turnover.
Indeed, the costs are so minimal and the benefits so compelling that, according to a recent poll from Small Business Majority, a plurality of small business owners from across the country support a program like the one proposed under FAMILY.
Paid family and medical leave is long overdue in this country. The FAMILY Act comes at a time when workers need the economic security of paid leave more than ever. And many business owners are embracing the model wholeheartedly. That’s because, by and large, employers do want to be both profitable and fair, ensuring their most valuable resources—their employees—are well cared for. Sometimes it’s a heavy lift to reconcile both goals. But if passed, the FAMILY Act will significantly reduce the barriers to doing so.
Elizabeth Ben-Ishai adapted this piece for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions. Liz is a policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). Follow her at @Liz_Ben_Ishai.
New way-finding signs are springing up in the public spaces of West Colfax (a neighborhood in Denver, Colorado). But these signs don’t just point you in the direction of actual places; they point you in the direction of your smartphone to find out more. With a simple tap of your mobile device to the sign (using NFC technology or QR codes), you will find yourself holding a dynamic guide to nearby destinations -- from historic spots to public art to local businesses -- in an instant.
- Kitco Metals among gold traders facing Quebec tax fraud allegations
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- Alex Stanczyk: Physical Supply Never Been Tighter
- Canada Post to phase out urban home mail delivery
- Canada Post, OPG highlight public pensions problem
- “We cannot trust” Intel and Via’s chip-based crypto, FreeBSD developers say
- If People Were Paying Attention To This Obscure Inflation Chart, There Would Be Panic
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- What China's Energy Trajectory Says about Climate Change
In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish discuss:
- The Case for a Coming Crash
- One that could erase the gains of the past 2 decades
- Focus on Resilience, Not Money
- Don't define yourself by your portfolio size
- Post-Crash Investments
- What to buy once the world is 'on sale'
- Emotional Mastery
- A critically important success requirement
We are comfortable thinking of the sharing revolution as a global trend spreading all over the planet and I can confirm this based on my recent personal experience in Chile, France and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. However, we should not forget to consider cultural and economic differences shaping diverse models of collaboration.
Rationalizing Usury: the Time Value Hoax
(Left: a famous Usurer) So I'll get down upon my knees and bless the Working Man, Who offers me a life of ease through all my mortal span; Whose loins are lean to make me fat, who slaves to keep m...
Well, the idea of markets being rigged is pretty much coming out of the woodwork now, and the fact that it is indicative of too much power being concentrated into the hands of too few people, especially moral people, is gaining acceptance.
You know, historically we've seen this over and over again, and many times it has not ended all that well for the 'money changers.'
Here's the 'meme' being presented in Canada by CBC.
- SA freeway speed camera smashed again
- More Americans fork half their salaries over to landlords
- Solano County student homeless numbers hit record high
- Demand rises sharply at Tri-City food pantry
- SNAP benefits affected local food pantries
- Pa.'s bleak outlook: A $2 billion deficit may be in Pa.'s future
- China to Make Local Officials Accountable for Debt
- Greek doctors strike as government moves to tackle healthcare debt
- Congressional Countdown: 5 Days To Reach Budget
- Eurogroup says Greece needs more austerity
- Taper & Quantitative Easing Reality Check
- Drilling California: A Reality Check on the Monterey Shale
We’ve recently been treated to two mutually exclusive forecasts: that the Great Bull Market will run until 2016 or 2018, so no worries; and that markets are exhibiting bubble-like characteristics that presage another crash.
So which forecast is more likely the correct one?
- Why the next stock market decline could be in excess of 50%
- What historic indicators of coming decline are telling us
- The case for holding cash now
- If the market does roll over substantially in early 2014, how long may the decline last?
In Part I, we attempted to answer the question, Which forecast is more likely to be accurate: that the Bull market in stocks will continue for years to come, or the market will swan-dive in yet another multi-year crash?
We concluded that there was little historical evidence to support the claim that the S&P 500 will extend higher for an additional three to five years.
Here in Part II, we’ll look for clues about the possible amplitude and timing of the decline that the five-year cycle of the “new normal” suggests is likely.
(A reminder on gold: I detailed a forecast on gold earlier this year based on price action around key support/resistance levels, and nothing in recent price action has caused me to amend that forecast. I have also noted that gold does not correlate well with either stocks or the U.S. dollar; i.e., its dynamics are largely independent of stocks and the USD. To the degree that gold is viewed as a “risk-off” safe-haven asset, it should do well if “risk-on” assets such as stocks crater.)Forecasting the Amplitude of the Next Decline
A number of technical analysts have noted this megaphone pattern in the stock market, a pattern formed by alternating higher highs and lower lows. This is one basis of forecasts for the SPX to drop to the 500-600 level in the next downdraft, potentially retracing the entire Bull advance from 1995.
While this megaphone may not play out, it establishes a potential target for a crushing drop from current highs...
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- Snowden document shows Canada set up spy posts for NSA
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- JPMorgan files patent for Bitcoin-style payment system
- Officials Near San Francisco to Monitor Fukushima Plume
- Take a ride on the supertanker superhighway
- 2012 Calgary flood study foresaw June's devastation
At the LeWeb conference today in Paris, Silicon Valley technology analyst Jeremiah Owyang unveiled his new venture, Crowd Companies, a "brand council" to help big corporations thrive in the collaborative economy. An increasing number of big brands want their share of the sharing, and Crowd Companies aims to help them do just that.
Every holiday season, the Center for a New American Dream encourages people to spend and consume less by thinking differently about gift giving.
It turns out that corporations are like people. When they feel threatened, they'll do anything to get back at their perceived nemeses. The instinct to survive can bring out the worst in people – and, it seems, corporations, too.
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- Australia Wants Its Gold Back
- TSB says CN Rail failed to report hundreds of derailments, collisions
- Jackpine Mine will destroy wetlands and wildlife, First Nations say
- White House Triples Agency Renewable Energy Mandates
- Which Sheep: Find the Sheep of Your Dreams