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December 21, 2014
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Tag: David Sirota


White House/Pete Souza

The Treasury Secretary’s Misperceptions About Wealth

By Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s reckoning, being a millionaire does not constitute living high above the ranks of ordinary people.

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Are Charter Schools Segregating America’s Education System?

Charter schools are often promoted as a tool to address educational inequities, but a potential precedent-setting legal case launched earlier this month says the opposite.

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

A Multi-Billion Dollar Secret

If you are a public school teacher in Kentucky, the state has a message for you: You have no right to know the details of the investments being made with your retirement savings.

Posted on Dec 5, 2014 READ MORE



Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.com

A Big Election With Little Local Journalism

What if you held an election and nobody showed up to cover it? That’s what the 2014 midterms were like in much of the country.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 READ MORE



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Wall Street Takes Over More Statehouses

No runoff will be needed to declare one unambiguous winner in this month’s gubernatorial elections: the financial services industry.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



Frederic Legrand / Shutterstock.com

Tuesday Probably Meant Nothing for 2016

A more careful look at the returns significantly complicates the narrative that an American electorate, which recently tilted Democratic, has since shifted back to the Republican fold.

Posted on Nov 7, 2014 READ MORE



harper kt / Shutterstock.com

Is the Minimum Wage Really a Living Wage?

Under pressure to raise his state’s minimum wage, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker confidently declared that there was no need to do so.

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

In Legalization Battles, Alcohol Defines the Politics of Marijuana

Drug reform advocates are so sure marijuana is safer than alcohol, they are now challenging police to a “drug duel” to prove their point.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE



Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

Fracking for the Cure?

One of the world’s largest fossil fuel services firms is partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation on a breast cancer awareness campaign, despite possible links between fracking and cancer.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

How Big Brother Can Watch You With Metadata

Why did Bradley Cooper and Jessica Alba fail to record a tip when they paid their cabbies during New York City taxi rides back in 2013?

Posted on Oct 10, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Why Economic Inequality Is Not a Bigger Political Issue

If critics of income inequality are wondering why the growing gap between rich and poor hasn’t been a more potent political issue in the upcoming elections, a new study offers some answers.

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

A Pension Jackpot for Wall Street

Most consumers understand that when you pay an above-market premium, you shouldn’t expect to get a below-average product. Why, then, is this principle often ignored when it comes to managing billions of dollars in public pension systems?

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



Pincasso / Shutterstock.com

Too Big to Punish

A few months ago, in a press conference about the felony conviction of Credit Suisse, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “This case shows that no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach, is above the law.” Yet, earlier this month, the Obama administration announced its proposal to waive some of the possible sanctions against Credit Suisse.

Posted on Sep 19, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Shareholders’ Quest for More Transparency

A proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule would force publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to their shareholders.

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 READ MORE



Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

The GOP’s Worst Fear: High Voter Turnout

It is rare for a politician to publicly deride efforts to boost voter turnout. It is seen as a taboo in a country that prides itself on its democratic ideals. Yet, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last week slammed efforts to simplify voter registration.

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 READ MORE



360b / Shutterstock.com

Should Companies Have to Pay Taxes?

Reading companies’ annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission is a reliable cure for insomnia. Every so often, though, there is a significant revelation in the paperwork.

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Journalists on the Government’s Blacklist

As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street, and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, a study released earlier this month revealed that many government information officers block specific journalists they don’t like from accessing information.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 READ MORE



L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock.com

Is Corruption a Constitutional Right?

Last week, the GOP filed a federal lawsuit aimed at overturning the pay-to-play law that bars governors from raising campaign money from Wall Street executives who manage their states’ pension funds.

Posted on Aug 15, 2014 READ MORE



pio3 / Shutterstock.com

Juking the Job Stats

A decade ago, as the United States hemorrhaged manufacturing jobs, the federal government considered reclassifying fast food as a manufacturing industry.

Posted on Aug 8, 2014 READ MORE



Alan Freed / Shutterstock.com

Clinton vs. Warren: Big Differences, Despite Claims to the Contrary

Hillary Clinton’s political allies want Democratic primary voters to believe that the former secretary of state is just like populist Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, and they’ve been claiming that there are no differences between the two possible presidential contenders. There’s just one problem: That’s not true.

Posted on Aug 1, 2014 READ MORE



Pavel L Photo and Video / Shutterstock.com

Stadium Subsidies Financed By Pension Cuts

As states and cities grapple with budget shortfalls, many are betting big on an unproven formula: Slash public employee pension benefits and public services while diverting the savings into lucrative subsidies for professional sports teams.

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

A Local Fight for the Future of the Internet

The front line in this fight is Chattanooga, Tenn., where officials at the city’s public electric utility, EPB, realized that smart-grid energy infrastructure could also provide consumers super-fast Internet speeds at competitive prices.

Posted on Jul 18, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Lawrence Jackson

Corporate Welfare Gets a Boost From Democrats

The Export-Import Bank—a government agency providing taxpayer subsidized loans to multinational corporations—has been called “one of the most egregious forms of corporate welfare.”

Posted on Jul 11, 2014 READ MORE



DavidSirota.com

Why Did Pando Fire Two of Its Best Reporters?

David Sirota was breaking big stories at Silicon Valley site Pando Daily, so it’s a bit odd that he and fellow contributor Ted Rall were abruptly let go without any public explanation.

Posted on Jun 25, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

U.S. Government at War With Itself Over Civil Liberties

Given the last year, it seems more than a bit hilarious that the U.S. government has just posted its latest annual announcement about “funding for programs that support Internet freedom.”

Posted on Jun 20, 2014 READ MORE



stocklight / Shutterstock.com

Al Gore’s Warnings About Inequality and Democracy

The former vice president recently told a tech industry conference when “95 percent of all the additional national income in the U.S., since the recovery began in ’09, goes to the top 1 percent, that’s not an Occupy Wall Street slogan, that’s a fact.”

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 READ MORE



Marcio Jose Bastos Silva / Shutterstock.com

Private Equity Is Becoming a Public Problem

A few weeks ago, a top official at the Securities and Exchange Commission reported on what he called a “remarkable” amount of potentially illegal behavior in the private equity industry—aka the industry that buys up, changes and sells off smaller companies.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE



Mr. TinDC (CC-BY-ND)

Big Money Behind a Big Merger

There are plenty of reasons to worry about the proposal to combine Comcast, America’s largest cable and broadband company, with Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable firm and third-largest broadband provider.

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 READ MORE



L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock.com

Imagine Christie’s Budget Crisis on a National Scale

Two key decisions by the New Jersey governor have redistributed wealth from pensioners to hedge fund managers while throwing the state’s finances into chaos.

Posted on May 23, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Is Journalism Losing Its Nerve?

A new survey from Indiana University suggests things are fast changing in the news industry—and not for the better.

Posted on May 15, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

An L.A. Story That’s All Too Familiar

When a city is forced to spend more on Wall Street fees than on basic public services, it is the sign of trouble.

Posted on May 9, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

We’re All Just Grenades in the Partisan Wars

No matter how serious the issue, the political class seems pathologically determined to present everything as a fun-and-games, red-versus-blue battle whose only important consequences have to do with the next election.

Posted on May 2, 2014 READ MORE



i4lcocl2 / Shutterstock.com

Wall Street’s Secret Swindle

In the national debate over what to do about public pension shortfalls, here’s something you may not know: The texts of the agreements signed between those pension funds and financial firms are almost always secret.

Posted on Apr 25, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Will Government Use Its New Leverage Over the Financial Industry?

If you read one business book this year, make it “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis. The journalist famous for “Moneyball” and “The Big Short” takes readers inside the parasitic world of high-frequency trading that is harming the broader economy.

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

In Chicago, You Have to Pay to Play With Public Money

In America, there is regular ol’ corruption, and then there is Chicago Corruption, with a capital “C.”

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

The Labor Market’s Double Standards

Technology, sports and politics are distinct worlds. They have their own junkies, their own vernaculars and their own peculiar customs. Yet, in recent weeks you may have noticed a common economic argument coming from those worlds’ respective leaders—an argument about who should have a right to engage in collective action and who should not.

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 READ MORE



Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com

Let Them Eat NCAA Brackets

There are many modern-day analogies to Marie Antoinette’s attitude toward the proles during the 18th century, but nothing quite like Warren Buffett’s billion-dollar giveaway.

Posted on Mar 28, 2014 READ MORE



Do Companies Have a First Amendment Right to Track You?

If you think that is a purely academic question, think again.

Posted on Mar 7, 2014 READ MORE



Gil C / Shutterstock.com

How the Rich Became Dependent on Government Welfare

Remember when President Obama was lambasted for saying “you didn’t build that”? Turns out he was right, at least when it comes to lots of stuff built by the world’s wealthiest corporations.

Posted on Feb 28, 2014 READ MORE



The NFL Proves Why America Needs to Update Its Civil Rights Laws

If ever there was a perfect example of how employment discrimination against gay people operates on a day-to-day basis—and why Congress needs to outlaw such discrimination—the National Football League just provided it.

Posted on Feb 21, 2014 READ MORE



PBS Becoming the Plutocrats Broadcasting Service

Our most prominent public media outlets are becoming instruments for special interests to launder their ideological agenda through a seemingly objective brand.

Posted on Feb 14, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Congress Suffers From Selective Deficit Disorder

The same farm bill that cuts food stamps by $8 billion could increase subsidies to wealthy farmers and agribusinesses by $15 billion.

Posted on Feb 7, 2014 READ MORE



AP Photo/Gregory Bull

John Elway Is an Anti-Subsidy Hypocrite

Not to beat up on the Denver Broncos after Sunday’s rout in New York, but one of the team’s heroes and top executives really needs to check himself.

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Don’t Pity the Billionaire

The rich have never been richer and the poor keep getting poorer. And if you think there’s a problem with that, you’re a Nazi. At least according to the poor, put-upon oligarchs.

Posted on Jan 31, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

The Economic Case for Paid Leave Laws

For all the pro-family rhetoric that dominates America’s political discourse, U.S. law remains decidedly anti-family.

Posted on Jan 24, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Reefer Sanity Takes Hold in Colorado

Seven years before legal marijuana went on sale this month in my home state of Colorado, the drug warriors in President George W. Bush’s administration released an advertisement that is now worth revisiting.

Posted on Jan 10, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Celebrating the End of the Fake ‘War on Christmas’

Another winter solstice has come and gone, and yes, the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus has once again survived the alleged “War on Christmas.”

Posted on Dec 27, 2013 READ MORE



Abode of Chaos (CC-BY)

Edward Snowden Is the Whistle-Blower of the Year

For months, a debate over Edward Snowden’s status has raged. In the back and forth, one question about this icon who disclosed NSA abuses has dominated: Is he or is he not a whistle-blower with all the attendant protections that should come with such a designation?

Posted on Dec 20, 2013 READ MORE



Russ (CC-BY)

Three Questions About the Motor City

Though these questions have mostly been ignored, continuing to ask them can at least highlight the fact that something nefarious is happening right now in the Motor City.

Posted on Dec 13, 2013 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Eating Like There’s No Tomorrow

Right around now, many Americans are picking at the last few chunks of leftover turkey.

Posted on Dec 6, 2013 READ MORE


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