Exclusive: Many Americans still wonder how it happened, how did a country admired for its Great Middle Class, which sustained strong democratic institutions, end up with Third-World-style wealth inequality and a democracy to match? In reviewing Winner-Take-All Politics, James DiEugenio seeks an answer.
When kids scramble to buy the latest Nike running shoe, they’re mocked for their consumerism; yet, when Mitt Romney mentions his wife’s Cadillacs and other one-percenters tool around in their luxury autos, they’re admired for their success — a commentary on America’s crisis, writes Phil Rockstroh.
The late Steve Jobs was perhaps the most acclaimed businessman of his generation, making the iconic Apple products both stylish and efficient, even if that meant pushing his work force to extremes. But those extremes sometimes meant cruelly exploiting overseas workers, as Michael Winship reports.
Exclusive: The Tea Party has been fueled by the idea that key Founders, like James Madison, opposed a strong central government and thus laws like “Obamacare” are unconstitutional. But Madison was the framer who devised the Commerce Clause upon which health-care and other reforms are based, notes Robert Parry.
The fact that the American Left lacks the media outreach to the public that the Right has is proving decisive as conservatives consolidate their influence in blue-collar communities that, ironically, are suffering from right-wing excesses of the past three decades, as Danny Schechter explains.
The Occupy movement is at a divide, with the initial encampments mostly disbanded but with new plans for marches and civil disobedience this spring. There are also schisms between non-violent activists and some anarchists who favor more aggressive action, a split that Stephanie Van Hook addresses.
The powers-that-be would prefer the common folk to accept their fate quietly, even as many are made surplus to the work force and all are facing global warming’s coming devastation of the planet. But more and more people are choosing to make noise through messy dissent, as Phil Rockstroh observes.
Exclusive: It has become an article of faith on the American Right that the Founders opposed a strong central government and that federal activism — from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to President Obama’s health-care reform — violates the nation’s first principles. But that’s not the real history, writes Robert Parry.
Rick Santorum, the latest Republican “flavor of the month” for president, exudes a boyish enthusiasm that many Americans find personally appealing. But his vision for America would combine a moralistic theocracy with free-market capitalism and perpetual war, a nightmarish scenario, says Lawrence Davidson.
In demonizing the long-dead Saul Alinsky, Newt Gingrich is exploiting ignorance about the Chicago community organizer while blowing a dog whistle for some bigots on the Right over the “foreign-sounding” Russian-Jewish name. He’s also got his history wrong, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.