We’re living in troubled times, but we’ve gone through troubled times before and come out better for them. I’m not discouraged by the challenges this country faces – I’m hopeful. Despite all of the issues this country currently faces, we have been moving in the right direction, albeit very slowly.
This blog originally appeared on WalkerViewPoints on 9/30/20 Many kids, like me, first-generation college students, with farm and factory parents realized the American Dream. Ours was postwar America, a time of relative prosperity, when a poor kid could afford a decent college, when good jobs were abundant, and when wages were good.’ Introducing the Great Society in 1964 at the University of Michigan, Lyndon Johnson … Continue reading What Happened to the American Dream?
Last month, I was getting ready to convene yet another meeting by Zoom. I got a message from a wealthy New York lawyer informing me that her second home in East Hampton, a beach area about a two hour drive from New York City, didn’t have reliable enough high-speed internet to handle Zoom. For us, it wasn’t a big problem – we rescheduled our meeting … Continue reading The Digital Divide
California is in crisis. From wildfires, to blackouts, to the deadliest month of the COVID pandemic, disasters of every kind are wreaking havoc across the state. Now with the state facing a $54 billion dollar deficit, due to the economic ramifications of COVID, massive cuts to critical public programs are slated to go into effect come October. That’s only going to make a bad problem … Continue reading Instead of taxing the rich, the California legislature jumped ship
On March 12th, the lights went out on Broadway when Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the theaters to close. The same day, other institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, Carnegie Hall, and the New York Philharmonic announced that they would close too, while performances were canceled across the country in places like California, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Boston. With Broadway fully shuttered … Continue reading Want to Save the Economy? Save the Arts First.
During college in Louisiana, I heard people say, “So much of life is the family one is born into,” I didn’t have a clue what this meant. My father was the first in several Louisiana generations to graduate college. He supported us by selling janitorial products and our mother, who didn’t graduate college, never worked. I’d never imagined life as the one-percent, the top ten … Continue reading Inheriting Opportunity: Public vs. Private Schools
The U.S. has been mired in the worst recession in most Americans’ lifetimes since late February, according to top economists. From the highest rates of unemployment in our country’s entire history to miles-long lines at food banks, it’s obvious that millions of Americans are in dire financial straits. One would expect, then, that the poverty rate in America would also be skyrocketing. However, multiple studies … Continue reading A Closer Look: Mid-Recession, Why Aren’t Poverty Rates Skyrocketing?
We know that the racial wealth gap is real, and large. We also know that it didn’t just happen, it’s the result of a long history of government policies that favored white families over Black ones. Just because many of these programs and policies have ended doesn’t mean we can ignore their legacy.
Sometimes there are moments where conducting business as usual is not only grossly inappropriate, but simply impossible. The nationwide protests this past week are exactly one of those moments. The murder of George Floyd, like the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and every other unacceptable killing of Black Americans before them, have exposed the rotten truth at the heart of our country: the United … Continue reading Black Lives Matter.
A response to NYT article, “California, in Rush to Save Lives, Pushed Potent Economy to Brink”: As a grateful Californian and participant in the “potent economy” I am deeply offended and dismayed by this article on multiple fronts. My biggest beef, is that the article was void of any counterbalancing reasons as to why California shut down in the midst of an MIA (missing … Continue reading Stop Obfuscating. We Know Who’s to Blame.
As an American who has benefited immensely under our system of capitalism, I so want to believe the purpose of capitalism is to increase happiness for all. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, is prompting me to ask questions that challenge that belief. Questions like: who do we take for granted in our society, when the reality is that our society depends on them? The Coronavirus has … Continue reading Undocumented Workers Are Essential. Let’s Treat Them Like It.
As we approach the third month of nationwide social distancing orders, many of us have become accustomed to our new life indoors thanks to the plethora of activities and connections internet access can provide. However, for many of my fellow Americans in small towns and rural communities, high-speed fiber optic internet connection is a luxury that they simply do not have access to. In today’s … Continue reading High-Speed Internet Isn’t a Luxury – It’s a Necessity
Since the program’s launch, countless small businesses across the country discovered that the government loans they were promised to stay afloat during the COVID-19 crisis were handed over to wealthy corporations before they ever saw a dime. Those small businesses are the backbone of the American dream, offering immigrants and low income Americans a path to financial independence and success. But without critical aid, the … Continue reading Big corporations are Preying on the Small Business Loan Program
As the COVID-19 pandemic spurs unprecedented layoffs, business closures, and general economic havoc, the US policy response has largely focused on trying to put fires out as they arise rather than following a long-term strategy to contain the economic wildfire. This is flawed but certainly understandable thinking, as it can be incredibly hard in the midst of an unprecedented crisis to discern which problems need … Continue reading Saving the Postal Service is a Democracy Issue
One of the largest looming catastrophes of the COVID-19 crisis is right in American homes. This April, nearly a third of renters weren’t able to pay their rent, and with many hourly and low-wage Americans still out of work, many are wondering how they will afford groceries, medicine, and other necessities – never mind the rent. The beginning of May marks the second rent or … Continue reading American Homes are at Risk. We Need a Tenants Bailout Now.
Post originally appeared on WalkerViewPoints on 3/26/20 Inequality has steadily escalated since the days of Reagan and Thatcher. It’s now deeply ingrained in every aspect of our society. And, no matter what the major problem of the world, the less fortunate always get the short end of the stick. The environment is a good example. As we continue to pollute our water, who is forced to … Continue reading Inequality Propounded
As I write this, I am eating lunch in my New York City office, near the Flatiron building in Manhattan. A lot of people have offices in this neighborhood, like FanDuel and Credit Suisse. As I often do as part of my regular office day, I went to a branch of Dig Inn that normally has over a dozen workers making lunches assembly line style. … Continue reading A COVID-19 Economy: I’m Not Worried About the 1%. I’m Terrified for the Bottom 50%.
Most working Americans see taxes taken out of their paycheck every other week. Wages are taxed in real-time, while investment growth (from stocks, dividends, etc., ) is only taxed when the investment is sold. On any given year, rich people are not paying any taxes on the majority of any increase in their personal wealth. This is because most of their wealth comes from their … Continue reading Equalizing Capital Gains is Essential for Equality
One afternoon in Georgia, a man lifted a $2 can of beer from a corner store. He was quickly caught, prosecuted, and ordered to wear a $1,000 ankle monitoring device as part of a plea deal – at his own expense. The man, already impoverished, sold his plasma to try and make the minimum payments. When he fell behind, the court jailed him for not being able … Continue reading In Revenue Shortfalls, Don’t Fine the Poor – Tax the Rich
Amid warning signs of recession, rather than helping normal Americans Donald Trump has yet again suggested a new round of tax cuts for the rich. Trump has proposed, then backed down from, then proposed again, then backed away from again, indexing capital gains to inflation, which would hand over $100 billion in tax cuts to some of the richest Americans. We shouldn’t be surprised that … Continue reading America First or Rich People First?