Discounting Lives to Maximize Profits

Fires, manufacturing, Bangladesh, outsourcing, Walmart, sweatshops,     by WALTER BRASCH   Imitating Sgt. Schultz of “Hogan’s Heroes,” Walmart executives claimed they knew nothing—NOTHING—about working conditions in a garment factory in Bangladesh where 112 workers died and more than 150 were injured in a fire. Tazreen Fashions made Walmart’s Faded … Continue reading

American Patriotism in Hyper-Drive

  by WALTER BRASCH  It’s midway between Flag Day and Independence Day. That means several million copies of full-page flags printed on cheap newsprint, June 14, have been burned, shredded, thrown away, or perhaps recycled. It’s an American tradition.  Flag Day was created by President Wilson in 1916 on the … Continue reading

Mission Impossible: Finding a Mini-Van Made in America by Union Workers

  by WALTER BRASCH   Last year, not one of the 491,687 new minivans sold in the United States was made in America by unionized workers. Some were manufactured overseas by companies owned by non-American manufacturers. The Kia Sedona, with 24,047 sales, was built in South Korea, Russia, and the … Continue reading

Labor Pains: A Fable for Our Times

Once, many years ago, in a land far away between two oceans, with fruited plains, amber waves of grain, and potholes on its highways, there lived a young man named Sam. Now, Sam was a bright young man who wanted to work and save money so he could go to … Continue reading

Outsourcing America’s Health Care

“Ola, Amigo! Pack your bags, we’re going to Mexico!” bubbled Dr. Franklin Peterson Comstock III, faux physician and money-maker. “Yeah, I could use a decent vacation,” I replied, figuring he’d pay for both of us since he had just set the world record for the most nose jobs in a … Continue reading

Stories We Will Still Have to Write in 2012

  by WALTER and ROSEMARY BRASCH   In January 2009, with a new president about to be inaugurated, we wrote a column about the stories we preferred not having to write, but knew we would. Three years later, we are still writing about those problems; three years from now, we’ll … Continue reading