On that sweltering July 5th 1852, exactly 162 years ago today, Frederick Douglass delivered his famous speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”, a speech uncensored in its brutal rebuke of the hypocrisy of America celebrating independence, while its black population remained shackled in slavery. I wonder what he would say today if he were here in our time. No doubt the brutality of slavery in his time can never be compared to anything going on today.
Yet in view of the determined aggression of America’s conservative forces in our time, to derail every single gain made in the last century to advance Democracy and make this country “a more perfect union,” one wonders what he’d say. In the lifework of Frederick Douglass in which he combined his abolitionist cause with the fight for Women’s Rights, he always saw the struggles of enslaved African Americans as intertwined with the struggles of ALL disenfranchised Americans.
A family-run concrete business in Michigan, the U.S.’s second-biggest carmaker, the largest railroad and a solar power provider in California are all hiring as industrial companies lead a broad labor-market rebound that’s on pace to add the most jobs in 15 years. Employment may be headed for a “breakout year” as companies feel more secure adding to payrolls following several years of demand rising only to stumble on threats from U.S. budget standoffs, a debt-ceiling induced default and a European credit crisis, said Marisa Di Natale, a director at Moody’s Analytics. Industries from construction to autos to oil and gas are increasing jobs as growth accelerates after a harsh winter stunted business. Help-wanted signs at concrete company Kent Cos. is one indication of a hiring rebound that could create more than 2.56 million jobs, the most since 1999, if the pace is sustained. Warren Buffett’s BNSF Railway plans to grow by 2,100 positions in 2014. SolarCity is adding 400 people a month at the rooftop power-system installer backed by Elon Musk. At Ford, hiring is so strong that the automaker predicts it may beat a 2011 plan to bring on 12,000 new workers by 2015.
Jeff VanderLaan, chief executive officer at Kent Cos., plans to add 100 people this year, a 27 percent jump in his workforce to a record 475. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based provider of services such as pouring floors and installing piers is seeing business boom in Texas, North Carolina and Ohio. May employment growth was also driven by the oil and gas extraction industry at 7.6 percent and building construction at 5.2 percent. Outpatient care jumped 5.8 percent and motor vehicles and auto parts climbed 4.3 percent. The continued recovery in homebuilding is crucial for the job market, Di Natale said. Beyond the direct construction jobs, new homebuilding spurs purchases of carpets, flooring, lighting, appliances and furniture. Moody’s is forecasting job growth of 1.8 percent this year, which would be the highest rate since 2005, and for it to peak at 2.4 percent in 2016. Housing starts on an annual basis surpassed 1 million in May and April. They had declined to as low as 478,000 in April 2009, creating pent-up need for homes and apartments. The boom in technology has driven the unemployment rate below 1 percent in the industry. New financial regulations and requirements for the Affordable Care Act are also boosting demand for professionals, he said.
On This Day: President Obama gets a hug from a little girl as he greets Wounded Warriors and their families in the State Dining Room of the White House, July 5, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
The President will host a group of teachers at the White House for lunch to discuss the administration’s efforts to ensure that every student is taught by an effective educator. He will be joined at that lunch by the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
The President will welcome NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to the White House, ahead of the NATO summit in Wales this September.
In the evening, he will depart for Denver, Colorado, where he’ll spend the night.
In Denver, the President will attend a DSCC fundraising event. He will then travel to the Dallas, Texas area for a DCCC event. In the evening, he will travel to Austin, Texas, where he’ll attend a DNC event and remain overnight.
While in Austin, the President will attend a DNC event, and will deliver remarks on the economy, before returning to the White House.
The President will attend meetings at the White House.