Why the Republicans’ Old Divide-and-Conquer Strategy—Pitting the Working Class Against the Poor—Is Backfiring

For almost forty years Republicans have pursued a divide-and-conquer strategy intended to convince working-class whites that the poor were their enemies. The big news is it’s starting to backfire. Republicans told the working class that its hard-earned tax dollars were being siphoned off to pay for “welfare queens” (as Ronald Reagan decorously dubbed a black […]

Why You Shouldn’t Succumb to Defeatism About the Affordable Care Act

Whatever happened to American can-do optimism?  Even before the Affordable Care Act covers its first beneficiary, the nattering nabobs of negativism are out in full force. “Tens of millions more Americans will lose their coverage and find that new ObamaCare plans have higher premiums, larger deductibles, and fewer doctors,” predicts Republican operative Karl Rove. “Enrollment numbers will […]

The Meaning of a Decent Society

It’s the season to show concern for the less fortunate among us. We should also be concerned about the widening gap between the most fortunate and everyone else. Although it’s still possible to win the lottery (your chance of winning $648 million in the recent Mega Millions sweepstakes was one in 259 million), the biggest lottery of […]

When Charity Begins at Home (Particularly the Homes of the Wealthy)

It’s charity time, and not just because the holiday season reminds us to be charitable. As the tax year draws to a close, the charitable tax deduction beckons. America’s wealthy are its largest beneficiaries. According to the Congressional Budget Office, $33 billion of last year’s $39 billion in total charitable deductions went to the richest 20 […]

JP Morgan Chase and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The Justice Department has just obtained documents showing that JPMorgan Chase, Wall Street’s biggest bank, has been hiring the children of China’s ruling elite in order to secure “existing and potential business opportunities” from Chinese government-run companies. “You all know I have always been a big believer of the Sons and Daughters program,” says one JP Morgan executive […]

What Walmart Could Learn From Henry Ford

Walmart just reported shrinking sales for a third straight quarter. What’s going on? Explained William S. Simon, the CEO of Walmart, referring to the company’s customers, “their income is going down while food costs are not. Gas and energy prices, while they’re abating, I think they’re still eating up a big piece of the customer’s budget.” Walmart’s […]

What Tuesday’s Election Results Really Mean

Pundits who are already describing the victories of Terry McAuliffe in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey as a “return to the center” of American politics are confusing the “center” with big business and Wall Street. A few decades ago McAuliffe would be viewed as a right-wing Democrat and Christie as a right-wing Republican. […]

Why Washington Is Cutting Safety Nets When Most Americans Are Still in the Great Recession

So how to explain this paradox? As of November 1, more than 47 million Americans have lost some or all of their food stamp benefits. House Republicans are pushing for further cuts. If the sequester isn’t stopped everything else poor and working-class Americans depend on will be further squeezed. We’re not talking about a small […]