Opinion: Coronavirus Questions Values of American Economy Itself, as well as Trump’s

When Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker tried to purchase the protective gear necessary for healthcare workers in his state, the problem wasn’t necessarily that the inventories of the equipment he sought didn’t exist. Rather, the obstacle he faced was that the companies warehousing these supplies were sitting on them, letting a bidding war play out between states and between states and the federal government. read more

Opinion: Coronavirus Highlights Inhumanity and Inefficiency of For-Profit Economy

Trump Coronavirus Response

The economic culture in the United States still largely holds to the belief that private industry, guided by the pursuit of private interests and the profit motive, leads to the most efficient and effective economy. Conservatives, of course, cling to this belief on steroids, as is evident in their hallmark platform calling for small government, even no government, railing against bloated government operations and programs such as Social Security, Medicare, national parks, and more. As I’ve written much about lately (here and here, for example), Trump is operationalizing this ideology in hyper-drive, rampantly destroying the public sphere and railing against the public school system as “failing government-run schools,” as he eyes the dismantling of that system as well. read more

Opinion: Coronavirus Can Teach Us the Value of a Democratic Economy Heading into November

Wise people always remind us to never let a good crisis go to waste.

Wise people with evil inclinations have, of course, taken this sage advice to heart, often exploiting crises, sometimes even arguably manufacturing them, in order to achieve nefarious ends. Naomi Klein, for example, in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, develops precisely this thesis. She studies crises, such as the Iraq War or Hurricane Katrina, as moments when political and economic leaders took advantage of people’s physical and emotional distraction, their fear and vulnerability and desperate need, to push through neoliberal policies that effectively rolled back civil rights and democracy, furthered economic inequality, and basically consolidated power even further in the hands of the few. read more

Opinion: Decency and Empathy are Key Political Factors Helping Biden, Hurting Sanders

As primary election day, March 17, approaches in Illinois, I have been doing some canvassing for a candidate running to keep her seat as a state representative, Lindsey LaPointe.  I have known Lindsey for a few years as someone who is active in our neighborhoods (before she took over as state rep), always present around local issues and trying to make life better in our little corner of the world in Chicago.  Last fall I attended an event at a local park called “Peace in the Preserves,” and of course Lindsey was there.  We fell into conversation, and as a professor at a small state university in the city, I drifted into my usual and somewhat long-winded talking points about higher education funding, pension issues, and so forth. read more

Opinion: Trump’s Attack on Land, Environment Undermines American Lives and Economy

Ronald Reagan notoriously once asked, “Where would this country be without this great land of ours?”

As ridiculous as Reagan sounded asking that question, the question has taken on a renewed seriousness given Donald Trump’s assault on the American land itself and thus, by extension, we Americans who depend on a safe and well-managed environment to provide clean water and myriads of other resources to make our lives possible. read more

Opinion: Betsy DeVos’ Corrupt Assault on Public Education Continues

The drama of the impeachment of the nation’s president, reports indicate, simply has not captured the interest or concern of the American audience.  Apparently the melodrama of daytime soap operas attracts their attention more than the antics of a corrupt president and administration actively undermining the nation’s security for personal gain at the expense of the people’s interests. read more

Opinion: Democracy Dies at Amazon, Are Trump and Bezos Really Such Strange Bedfellows?

Recently Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters for The Washington Post Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig published their assessment of Donald Trump’s presidency to date, seeking to step out of the news cycle and “assess the reverberations” of his administration throughout the nation. Titled A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America, the book layers scene after scene of Trump’s ineptitude, prioritization of self-interest over care for the nation’s well-being, and general lack of any moral compass or intellectual rigor. read more