My memory of Representative John Lewis, an icon of the 1960s Civil Rights movement and a decades-long member of Congress, is from 2012. Lewis was at a Democratic party event and he related a story of someone recently coming to his office on Capitol Hill, and apologizing for having beaten him up many decades earlier – all the way in 1961. To put that in … Continue reading To Honor John Lewis, Take Up His Battle
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%.
As I’m writing this, it’s several days since the Iowa caucuses, our nation’s first step towards choosing a Democratic presidential nominee to face off against President Donald Trump. And it’s also several days after one of the more spectacular election night snafus in recent memory. The Iowa fiasco has already drawn widespread condemnation, and threatened to undermine public confidence in this aspect of our democratic … Continue reading Democracy Needs A Paper Trail
As the 2020 presidential candidates increasingly talk about raising taxes on the wealthy, it seems like every day a new, well-paid talking head comes out of the woodwork to try and convince us all why this would somehow, actually, be a bad thing. The latest act of mental gymnastics comes to us from Lee Ohanian, an economics professor at UCLA, who desperately wants working Americans … Continue reading Actually, Taxing Capital Is A Great Idea
If you’ve kept pace with the news recently, then you’ve been reading a lot over the last few weeks of horrific conditions in which some people in this country are being held: babies without diapers, children without beds, parents separated from their kids. Honestly, I am having trouble typing the keys on my keyboard because I am so disgusted thinking about it. The Trump administration, … Continue reading Money Shouldn’t Buy A Different Kind of Justice
Last week, former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal bemoaning popular support for progressive policies that seek to expand the social safety net to support millions of Americans, arguing that these people don’t understand the “true cost” of such policies and that Republicans need to “make the case for freedom.” Let’s make that case for freedom. It starts by … Continue reading Who Has Freedom in the American Economy? Increasingly, Just the Rich
In reading about the massive college admissions scandals this week, a truth struck me that I hadn’t consciously been aware of before. Yes, compromising the proctors and cheating on the standardized tests is bad. Bribing the coach to admit your child as an athletic recruit, when they don’t even play sports, is bad. Yes, many of the actual students involved were probably not aware of … Continue reading Pearls of Wisdom: “For college admissions, $50,000 is a scandal, $50 million is a celebration.”
One of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis was the high demand for securities backed by sub-prime mortgages and rated triple-A (AAA) by the rating agencies. The agencies gave the AAA rating to many bonds that turned out to be much riskier than the rating implied. The demand for those bonds, driven in part by the ratings, was the main driver of the issuance … Continue reading Pearls of Wisdom: Who is Being Regulated?
Despite calls to move to the center and focus on bipartisanship, since the 2016 election the Democratic party is finally beginning to realize that it can no longer compromise on its values for Wall Street cash. Even setting aside the simple fact that progressive platforms like raising the minimum wage are good policy, it’s clear that relying on Wall Street money and ignoring the energy … Continue reading Why Progressives Don’t Need Wall Street Millionaires
After decades of degeneracy, Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse and harassment of dozens of women in Hollywood is being widely discussed and covered in the media. Some of these women accused Mr. Weinstein of criminal acts (assault, rape), while many claimed he acted incredibly inappropriately (suggesting that he could aid their career advancement if they had a sexual relationship with him). In some of these … Continue reading Are Secret Settlements Good for Companies?
Two years ago, billionaire David Geffen donated $100 million for renovations and naming rights to David Geffen Hall. Wealthy due to his success as a music promoter and executive, Mr. Geffen is well-known today for his philanthropy. For example, UCLA’s School of Medicine was renamed in his honor following a $200 million donation in 2001. I’m not opposed to these donations, in and of themselves. … Continue reading Elected Officials, not Philanthropists, Should Make Decisions for Our Country
When we discuss economics there are, very broadly, two types of people: First, there are regular people. They mostly need to work, and a lot of them try to save enough so that they can retire someday. Some of them succeed, but increasingly, many do not. Being a regular person means spending most of your income. Some live very well, and some live very poorly. … Continue reading My Tax Philosophy
By any measure, Secretary Price’s chartered flight is an unreasonable use of taxpayer money.
Donald Trump sent the American people a clear message on Tuesday when he announced an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): in Trump’s America it is acceptable to deny people their humanity and deport them from the country they grew up in because they have a different skin color, talk with a different accent, or come from a different part of the world.
Our politics has changed a lot over the last 52 years, from July 28, 1965 to July 28, 2017.
Back in 2008 Henry Paulson, the Treasury Secretary in the Bush administration, needed to put billions of dollars of the taxpayers money at risk to bail out the big banks. We as a nation have decided that we never want to do that again.
Congress finally got the message from the American people. And the message they received is clear: major political donors should have more money and more influence on politics.
The strength of any state is its people. To succeed and grow, a state needs its citizens to be engaged, both civically and economically.
When I was young, people knew what “our way of life” meant. And that’s what worries me.
During every election cycle it seems that all anyone can talk about is the necessity for a dramatic change in the political system. Yet, each time a new Congress is sworn in, it seems to be more of the same.