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NC makes headlines for Common Sense Economics

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Bloomberg News reports

Common Sense Economics is a groundbreaking new course in populist economics created by the AFL-CIO that aims to change people's attitudes about the economy with one simple idea: the economy is not like the weather. Don't like the economic forecast? You can change it!

What does it look like when workers take charge in our economy? Watch this video!

Unions and community partners in North Carolina have taken a lead role in testing this new way to talk to others about the economy, training trainers in Common Sense Economics who then conduct training sessions in their communities.

Bloomberg News published a story on Common Sense Economics this week that included coverage of a pilot training held last month in Greensboro and co-hosted by us, Working America, and the N.C. Justice Center:

Ten chairs lined the front of a community center in Greensboro, North Carolina, where Mr. Moneybags was giving a lesson in wealth inequality. Moneybags, played by tobacco worker John Ledbetter, sprawled across seven of them as nine of his classmates jostled for the rest.

“How does that look to you all?” Katie Gregg, an organizer with AFL-CIO affiliate Working America, asked a class of workers, retirees and community activists.

“Greedy,” someone shouted.

“What does this tell you about the economy?” Gregg asked.

“It’s unfair.”

The labor union’s musical-chairs wealth tutorial debuts across the U.S. next week with the goal of convincing 1 million Americans that reversing income inequality starts with their vote. Part political rally, part membership drive, the class is the union’s answer to slower wage and economic growth as it pushes for an increase in the minimum wage, higher taxes on the wealthy and more government spending on infrastructure.

“People aren’t happy with the economy they’re living in but think they have no alternative,” said Damon Silvers, policy director at the AFL-CIO, which organized the effort. “You’ve got to explain not only why the economy is unjust to working people, but that it’s dysfunctional and there’s a different way of doing things.”

Equal distribution of income. 10 people. 10 chairs. 1 each.

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) April 16, 2014

Read the rest of the story, Mr. Moneybags Acts Out Union’s Lessons on U.S. Inequity: Economy.