Economy

The Fat Cats of Fast-Food

A protest for higher pay in the fast-food industry. (Photo by Annette Bernhardt)

Pay inequity has worsened across the U.S. economy, but perhaps nowhere more than in the fast-food industry where CEOs and other top executives fatten their compensation as their fast-food workers subsist on taxpayer-provided food stamps, as Michael Winship explains.

Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

Exclusive: Any propaganda war starts by planting stories that your target is getting rich, whether he is or isn’t, the latest move in demonizing Vladimir Putin. But the larger question is what might happen if the neocons succeed in destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia, asks Robert Parry.

The Iron Law of Oligarchy Returns

Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-first Century."

America likes to think of itself as a land of the Great Middle Class with a government “of, by and for the people.” But that reality has changed drastically over the past several decades, as money and power have created a dominant American Oligarchy, writes Danny Schechter.

Beneath the Ukraine Crisis: Shale Gas

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, speaking to Ukrainian and other business leaders at the National Press Club in Washington on Dec. 13, 2013, at a meeting sponsored by Chevron.

Exclusive: Behind the geopolitics pitting Russia against the West – and the ethnic tensions tearing Ukraine east and west – another backdrop for understanding this deepening conflict is the big-money competition for Ukraine’s oil and natural gas, writes Nat Parry.

America’s Surge Toward Oligarchy

Timothy Geithner (left), then Treasury Secretary, meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (White House photo)

Exclusive: With the rapid concentration of wealth in a few well-manicured hands and the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court declaring money to be speech, the American surge toward oligarchy has gained what looks like an unstoppable momentum, as JP Sottile explains.

Foreign Entangling Sanctions

President Thomas Jefferson in a portrait by Rembrandt Peale.

The U.S. government prefers economic sanctions as the opening move in any international chess match with adversaries, but sanctions on Iran – and threatened ones against Russia – could disrupt energy supplies and hurt the West as much as the targets, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

America’s Mad Dash to Oligarchy

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Since Ronald Reagan’s “supply-side” tax cuts for the rich – followed by other giveaways like eliminating the “death tax” so billionaires can pass on their fortunes to lucky heirs – the United States has been on a mad dash to oligarchy, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

Marijuana as a Wedge Issue

A marijuana plant.

Given the damage to so many lives from enforcement of the prohibition on marijuana use, liberalization of those laws is emerging as a movement with bipartisan appeal, even reaching into Red States like Oklahoma, as Richard L. Fricker reports.

What Venezuelan ‘Regime Change’ Could Mean

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. (Photo credit: Valter Campanato/ABr)

Exclusive: Venezuela’s socialist government may be next on Official Washington’s list for destabilizing sanctions as violent protests sweep across the oil-rich country. But “regime change” in Caracas also could undermine the entire region’s independence, as Andrés Cala explains.

Making Money the Measure of Politics

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts.

U.S. pundits decry countries like Iran as undemocratic for having a screening process for candidates to high office. But U.S. politicians must pass muster with wealthy donors to be considered serious candidates, a system that the Supreme Court just made worse, says Lawrence Davidson.