BTS 7/21/08: Financial Crisis; SEIU Takes on Private Equity and Healthcare Firms; Puerto Rican Teachers Strike

Listen: Play - Download

We live in interesting times: the distance and disconnect between Washington and the public couldn’t be wider, with widespread anger and fear about the failing financial sector and the ‘bailout’ of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They are too big to fail while ordinary people are too small to bail says a Wall Street Exec. He’s right, but there is more to it. The Fed has rushed to the rescue of Fannie and Freddy, and Congress continues to debate helping homeowners in trouble. Nomi Prins says the rescue operations aren't getting to the root of the problem. We’ll ask her to elaborate.

Meanwhile workers are fighting the attacks on their living standards and working conditions -- and protesting worldwide to fight the war on greed. The SEIU organized a global day of protest with 23 unions in 25 countries to take back the economy from buyout firms who exploit tax loopholes to amass great wealth at others' expense, while here in Southern California United Health Workers have organized a "Workers Justice” week at St. Joseph's Health System, and striking Puerto Rican teachers come to LA to talk about what it will take to win quality education for all students as well as build a truly progressive labor movement. We'll talk to SEIU, UHW healthcare organizers, UTLA and the Puerto Rican teachers.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Nomi Prins is a journalist and Senior Fellow at Demos. She writes about politics, money and relationships. Nomi is the author of Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (The New Press, October 2004);Jacked: How "Conservatives" are Picking your Pocket (whether you voted for them or not) (Polipoint Press, Sept. 2006)

2. Jono Shaffer is Director of Field Campaigns for SEIU private equity project, and formerly directed the Justice for Janitors campaign, based in LA.

3. Richard Camarillo is an MRI technician at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton.

4. Jan Smith is a Respiratory Therapist at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton.

5. Joel Jordan is a retired teacher and Director of Special Projects for UTLA (United Teachers of Los Angeles).

6. Rafael Feliciano Hernandez is president of the Federacion de Maestro de Puerto Rico (FMPR). Since 1989 he has been a secondary school science teacher and active member of the FMPR.

7. Luis M. Santiago has worked as a history teacher since 1976 and has been active in the FMPR since 1978.