Category: Social Policy

‘Other Than Honorable’? Veterans with ‘Bad Paper’ Seek Long Overdue Benefits

On Veterans Day this year, in a nation now reflexively thankful for military service of all kinds, nearly 500,000 former service members are not included in our official expressions of gratitude.
These forgotten men and women had the misfortune to leave . . .

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The Anti-Migrant International

In early December of 2017 the Trump Administration officially withdrew the United States from the UN Global Pact on Migration, claiming the 2016 accord “undermine[s] the sovereign right of the United States to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders.” . . .

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Education Workers in Chicago Are Challenging the U.S. Ruling Class

Though the media is casting the strike of education workers in the Chicago Public Schools as (just) another episode in the wave of teachers’ strikes, and the press in Chicago is doing its best to defeat the union, this contract . . .

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The Class Struggle and the Yellow Vests: Where Are We Headed?

We have never seen so many upheavals in so few years in France.
Society has been turned completely upside down in a way that is totally unprecedented. The social programs won after the Second World War have been savaged and democratic . . .

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Global Warming, “Grass” Farming and a Planned Economy

As the Global Climate Strike date (Sept. 20) approaches, the question that will be on the minds of millions will be: “Is there a possible way to avoid a disaster that could threaten the existence of life on earth?” Michael . . .

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Reflections on El Paso

The intense revulsion over the horrific slaughter in El Paso has shifted politics. But beware of ruling class solutions to crises caused by the ruling class.
The revulsion at white supremacy has even forced a temporary change in Trump’s rhetoric. On August . . .

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Reactionary Populism, meet Great Britain

If you’ve had the displeasure of tuning in to Fox News at any point over the last ten years, you’ll know that they’ve played no small part in turning the U.S. into a right-wing hellscape. A place where male political . . .

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Beyond Brexiternity?

The British Crisis and the Left

None of the Brexit three options will achieve any kind of consensus; any of them could happen.

The Endless Brexit Crisis: Interview with Neil Davidson

The British political system has been thrown into turmoil since the summer of 2016, when a narrow majority of voters supported a referendum in favor of Britain leaving the European Union (EU). The Conservative Party government headed by Prime Minister . . .

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The Latest Charter School Scandal

Charter schools are big business opportunities and lax oversight rules make them ripe for financial manipulation and outright theft. The latest charter school scandal just broke in California where two business operatives are accused of siphoning over $50 million in public dollars . . .

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Puerto Rico: A U.S. Colony in the Caribbean

In 1898 the U.S. military invaded and seized Puerto Rico and Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Unlike Cuba, Puerto Rico has not yet achieved independence and the United States continues to exert political, economic, judicial, and military control over the . . .

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Capitalism and the Reactionary Power of White Identity Politics

Momentum for building a post-neoliberal U.S. has been gaining strength with each passing day. However, despite the rise of new and exciting figures, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the tide of striking teachers in even GOP dominated states, we must remain aware that whenever there has been potential for revolutionizing government and politics, there has always followed a reactionary and brutal backlash.

Cedric Johnson and the Other Sixties’ Nostalgia

There is something politically familiar in Cedric Johnson’s two essays in Catalyst (Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 2017) and New Politics (No. 66, Winter 2019). Because his political conclusions are very general, even vague, ones that build “on broad solidarity . . .

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Beyond The Nation State: A Critical Look At Venezuela’s Current Crisis

Venezuela has made headlines in the last few weeks, as Venezuelan opposition leader and National Assembly head Juan Guaidó has declared himself interim President, throwing the country into turmoil. Current President, Nicolás Maduro has called the effort a coup. Meanwhile, . . .

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New York Progressives Must Demand More

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I campaigned for governor with the slogan of “Demand More!” because Gov. Cuomo has governed as a social liberal but as an economic conservative. Although he touts the agenda he outlined in his January 15 State of the State and Budget presentation as “progressive,” New York progressives should not be satisfied. It is still a conservative economic program. Progressives must demand more.

I’m seventy-two, and must still work

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The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It

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Randy Shaw, Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America. University of California Press, 2018. 304 pp.

When millennials head home for the holidays this month, many who are city dwellers will be hosted by parents or grand-parents whose housing is far more spacious and financially secure than their own. Even guests with well-paid jobs in relatively stable rental markets will cast an envious eye at the benefits of baby boomer house buying decades ago.

Fighting for Healthcare for All or Sitting Out the Fight?

The New York Health Act and the NYC Municipal Labor Movement

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While a Single Payer healthcare system is on the table nationally (in the form of several bills, but perhaps more importantly, in the platforms of nearly all the top presumptive Democratic presidential nominees), the actual creation of such a system is perhaps more likely to be accomplished at the state level first, and it’s possible New York and California are tied for “most likely to succeed.” Even as some advocates caution that we should only fight for a national single payer plan, despite there being even less of a “pathway to victory” in the short-term, I see these campaigns as complimentary. Ambitious and aspiring New York State politicians are well-attuned to what constitutes “progressive” on the national scene, and it is to everyone’s advantage if supporting single payer is viewed as part of proving their credentials.

The Green New Deal Promises Peace and Progress. Will Nuclear Advocates Undermine it?

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The environmental policy centerpiece of the incoming Democratic House of Representatives is what’s now known as “The Green New Deal.” But it’s already hit deeply polarizing pushback from the old-line Democratic leadership. And it faces divisive jockeying over the future of nuclear power.

Anchoring an Argument

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Scott McLemee considers Leo R. Chavez's Anchor Babies and The Challenge of Birthright Citizenship, which makes clear how little has been added to the stock of anti-immigrant rhetoric over the past century.

Reports of the forcible separation of parents and children at the border by U.S. immigration authorities tell only part of the story of the violence now being directed against hard-won norms of civil society.

How NGOisation Provides Cover for the Murder of Shack Dwellers

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In South Africa ten members of a militant shack dwellers organisation have been assassinated in the past six years. Yet many progressive organisations have distanced themselves from these militants. Jared Sacks exposes the complicity of a mainstream NGO that could have played an important role defending the movement against these political assassinations. Sacks argues that when movements refuse co-optation, repression, including assassination, become necessary to maintain power.

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