It's a new economy – and the fastest growing fields don't pay enough to live.
If you grew up before the recession, you may not have a true picture of what today's economy is. Teenagers used to get minimum wage summer jobs and occasionally those jobs led to careers. According to a new study by the National Employment Law Project in Washington, the fastest growing number of jobs are in fast food and other minimum wage jobs – but the people who are holding those jobs are older – and they're forced to turn to public assistance because they can't make ends meet. And that cost falls on taxpayers. There were strikes by fast food workers in August, and most recently, Walmart workers in more than a dozen cities walked off the job demanding better wages. Tsedeye Gebreselassie is a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project.
Coming up, an outspoken Afghan woman who says the best thing the US can do for her country is get their troops out now. And despite a recession, Ireland's committed to doing what it can to help the hungry around the world.
The US plans to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, though so-called “special forces” will stay there through 2024. Afghan president Hamid Karzai said the US wants to keep nine bases in Afghanistan – a number the White House hasn't confirmed. But one Afghan woman continues to speak around the globe, demanding that the war in her country end now.
Malalai Joya is an Afghan politician and author and a former elected member of the Afghan Parliament. After several assassination attempts against her, she has organized an underground movement that continues to work for Afghan independence.
Her most recent book is Raising My Voice.
A UN and World Trade Organization agency is working to make global connections, bring together fashion and fair trade by connecting artisans in developing countries with industry professionals. Those textiles, bead work and other traditional crafts are used to produce clothing and accessories.
The goal of the International Trade Centre (ITC) is to empower women and support small businesses in the developing world gain access to global markets.
UN Radio reporter Diane Penn spoke with the ITC's new Executive Director, Arancha González in New York.
Finally, the global recession isn't leading to austerity cuts everywhere. In the Republic of Ireland, in fact, the government says the economy is looking better and it plans to share the wealth. Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore spoke before the UN General Assembly last month.
That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our theme music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.