Manuel Madrid

Manuel Madrid is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

How the Tax Cut Sacks Puerto Rico

For the Puerto Rican economy, already bleeding jobs and citizens after a decade-long recession compounded by Hurricane Maria, the Republican tax overhaul was one more blow.

GDA via AP Images Hooked on Drugmakers: For decades, tax favoritism—now withdrawn—brought pharmaceutical companies to the island and provided manufacturing jobs at well below mainland wages. This article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . I n keeping with the anti-Latino posture of the Trump administration, Puerto Rico has been subjected to a double policy assault on top of the natural disaster of Hurricane Maria. First, FEMA has failed dismally to respond to the human suffering and nearly $100 billion in damage from the hurricane, a display of both low priority and sheer incompetence that never would have been tolerated in a mainland state such as Florida where citizens can vote. Recent research suggests that the actual death toll caused by the hurricane could be more than 70 times the figure put out by the Puerto Rican government. And now, in the 2017 Republican Tax Act, the Republican Congress has added to Puerto Rico’s misery. It...

D.C. to Decide on Giving Its Servers a Raise

Next week’s election includes an initiative to hike the tipped worker minimum ($3.33) to the level ($12.50) for all other District workers.

Charles Russo Frank Mills in 2026, the propaganda bar for the No campaign trickle-downers_54.jpg T he “2026” pop-up bar occupies the basement of a two-story building in Washington’s trendy Dupont Circle neighborhood, where young professionals observe the tradition of the weekly happy hour with near-religious fervor. Upstairs, the parent bar, Rebellion, brims with the usual sounds of glasses clinking and laughter. Head to lower level, though, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks painting, reimagined for a new age. The dimly lit and almost-empty bar stretches to the end of the room. Two servers sit idle on their smartphones while the bartender finds ways to keep busy. This not-so-happy hour is dolorous by design, part of a campaign by restaurant owners to depict a ballot measure, known as Initiative 77 , as a threat to their workers. The measure will come before voters in the city’s primary elections on June 19. The initiative would gradually phase out the...

Missouri's Greitens Guts Public-Sector Unions on His Way out the Door

The scandal-plagued governor scrambled to sign anti-union legislation and a stack of other bills before he resigned.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Former Governor Eric Greitens speaks on January 29, 2018, in Palmyra, Missouri. trickle-downers_54.jpg I n the waning hours of his tenure as governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens delivered on his campaign pledge to kneecap the state’s labor unions. A former up-and-comer in the Republican Party, Greitens’s star quickly dimmed after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced and a felony charge of invasion of privacy and a charge of potential campaign-finance violations followed. Under the threat of impeachment proceedings in the state legislature, Greitens announced his resignation right after Memorial Day, giving himself until the end of that week to tie up loose ends on his way out the door. And tie them up, he did. Greitens signed a staggering 77 bills into law before handing the reins over to Mike Parson, his lieutenant governor. One of those bills was H.B. 1413 , which would require unionized government employees to vote every three years on whether they want...

Fast-Food Blues: Workers Protest Low Wages, Sexual Harassment as McDonald’s Profits Soar

At annual shareholders’ meeting, the fast-food chain’s tone-deaf executives fail to confront critical issues facing the company’s workers.

AP Photo/Teresa Crawford Solo Littlejohn, a fast food worker from Cicero, Illinois, joins a 2016 Fight for 15 protest in Chicago trickle-downers_35.jpg S hortly before the company’s annual shareholder meeting last week, more than 100 cooks and cashiers rallied in the rain outside McDonald’s new headquarters in Chicago’s West Loop to demand higher wages. In recent years, the meeting has attracted demonstrations organized by the union-backed Fight for 15 movement. But in 2018, a new grievance appeared on the roster of complaints against one of the world’s largest fast-food chains: sexual harassment. With the help of Fight for 15, ten current and former female McDonald’s employees in nine different cities have taken legal action against the company over alleged instances of harassment by employees and managers. Most shareholders appeared largely indifferent to the unrest. The topics of pay and harassment did not appear on the group’s agenda, which included elections to the board of...

OPM Director Wants Federal Workers to Join Retirement Race to the Bottom

Few civil servants work for the federal government to get rich, but at least they can count on a decent pension. The Trump administration wants to change all that.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin The Office of Personnel Management in Washington W hat better way to kick off Public Service Recognition Week than a proposal to cut retirement benefits for current and former federal employees? Before the start of the annual celebration during the first full week of May, Office of Personnel Management Director Jeff Pon sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan outlining the administration’s proposals to cut monthly retirement income for all future federal retirees and to require employees to fund a larger portion of their retirement. The proposals, which mirror requests made in the White House’s fiscal year 2018 budget, are sure further strain to an already frayed relationship between the Trump administration and federal workers. The requested changes would reduce cost-of-living adjustments for current retirees in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), which provides retirement benefits for most federal workers hired before 1984. Such adjustments would...

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