Economy

FDR’s Legacy of Can-Do Government

President Franklin Roosevelt

Born to a well-to-do family 132 years ago, Franklin Roosevelt would earn the hatred of America’s plutocrats when – as President – he deployed the federal government to battle the Great Depression, an animosity toward FDR that the modern Right continues to this day, writes Beverly Bandler.

Dick Cheney: Son of the New Deal

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.

From the Archive: In a coincidence of history, right-wing icon Dick Cheney shares the same birthday as liberal icon Franklin Roosevelt, Jan. 30. But the ironic link goes even deeper since – in many ways – it was FDR’s New Deal that made Dick Cheney possible, as Robert Parry explained in 2011.

Pete Seeger and the Causes of Mankind

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The death of Pete Seeger on Monday brought back waves of memories for millions of people around the world who recalled his friendly tenor voice appealing to the best instincts of mankind, urging an end to war and want, as Michael Winship recalls.

The Mountaintops of the 1 Percenters

Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

In the final speech of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. talked about reaching the mountaintop and gazing down on a promised land of a brighter future. But today’s mountaintops are often reserved for elites to meet and gaze upon each other, with the teeming masses far from view, as Danny Schechter reflects.

The Battle over Dr. King’s Message

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Day is a rare moment in American life when people reflect – even if only briefly – on the ideals that guided Dr. King’s life and led to his death. Thus, the struggle over King’s message can be intense, pitting a bland conventional view against a more radical call for profound change,…

MLK’s Warning of America’s Spiritual Death

Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, DC.

At the dawn of the last year of his life, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. broke with many political allies by warning that the Vietnam War and the militarism that surrounded it were inflicting a “spiritual death” on America, an impassioned speech that cast King outside mainstream opinion circles which considered his advice naïve if…

The Injustice of US Justice

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. saw the injustices in American society and sought to correct them. He succeeded in many ways as laws were changed to eradicate overt segregation, but other problems proved more intractable as witnessed in the criminal justice system, as Laura Finley notes.

The Weapons of the Poor

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Many on the American Right define themselves as Christians and angrily defend the religion’s symbols and myths, but this Christian Right ignores a core reality about Jesus, that he spoke to and for the poor, decried the rich, and demanded social justice for all, as Rev. Howard Bess recounts.

Capitol Hill’s Millionaire Club

Mr. Moneybags from the "Monopoly" game

Back from the holidays, Congress is hearing calls to raise the minimum wage, renew long-term unemployment insurance and spare food stamps from sharp budget cuts. But with most members now in the millionaire club, these issues are more and more abstract, writes Michael Winship.

The War on Poverty at 50

President Lyndon Johnson

The Right has long cited President Johnson’s War on Poverty as proof that “guv-mint” has no place in providing for “the general Welfare,” that the “free market” must rule as the master of American society. But there are real lessons to be learned from the past half century, writes Alice O’Connor.