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Author: Robert Reich

Rule of the Minority: Understanding how the Senate’s Filibuster is actually Unconstitutional

A lot has been said about the filibuster these days. But here is one thing about this old Senate rule that most people might not know: the filibuster actually violates the Constitution. 41 Senate Republicans, who represent only 21 percent of the American population, are blocking the “For the People Act,” which is supported by 67 percent of Americans. They’re also blocking an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, supported by 62 percent of Americans. And so much else. Even some so-called moderate Democrats, like Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, have outsized power to block crucial...

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Power of the State: A departure from Ronald Reagan’s limited government to an absolute intrusion

I am old enough to remember when the Republican party stood for limited government and Ronald Reagan thundered “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Today’s Republican party, while still claiming to stand for limited government, is practicing just the opposite: government intrusion everywhere. Republican lawmakers are banning masks in schools. Iowa, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona and South Carolina are prohibiting public schools from requiring students wear them. Republican states are on the way to outlawing abortions. Texas has just banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even...

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Corporate Welfare: When Republicans punish the poor with “Capitalism” and reward the rich with “Socialism”

Much of the news from Republicans in Congress has been about their attacks on the agenda of Democrats, with abundant false claims of scary “socialist” policies. We do have socialism in this country — but it is not policies promoted by Democrats. The real socialism is corporate welfare. Thousands of big American corporations rake in billions each year in government subsidies, bailouts, and tax loopholes—all funded on the taxpayer dime, and all contributing to higher stock prices for the richest 1 percent who own half of the stock market, as well as CEOs and other top executives who are...

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Wealth Supremacists: When money drives the agenda of an anti-democratic coalition that obstructs progress

It is natural to believe that President Biden and the Democratic party leadership would do everything in their power to stop Republicans from undermining democracy. So far this year, the Republican party has passed roughly 30 laws in states across the country that will make voting harder, especially in Black and Latino communities. With Trump’s baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen, Republicans are stoking White people’s fears that a growing non-White population is usurping their dominance. Yet while Biden and Democratic leaders are openly negotiating with holdout senators for Biden’s stimulus and infrastructure proposals, they are not...

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The immigration problem begins with us: The truth about the United States Border-Industrial Complex

The story you have heard about immigration, from politicians and the mainstream media alike, is not close to the full picture. Here is the truth about how we got here and what we must do to fix it. A desperate combination of factors are driving migrants and asylum seekers to our southern border, from Central America in particular: deep economic inequality, corruption, and high rates of poverty — all worsened by COVID-19. Many are also fleeing violence and instability, much of it tied to historic U.S. support for brutal authoritarian regimes, right-wing paramilitary groups, and corporate interests in Latin...

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Structural Imbalance: The concentration of wealth has left the American economy perilously fragile

Policymakers and the media are paying too much attention to how quickly the United States economy will emerge from the pandemic-induced recession, and not nearly enough to the nation’s deeper structural problem, the huge imbalance of wealth that could enfeeble the economy for years. Seventy per cent of the U.S. economy depends on consumer spending. But wealthy people, who now own more of the economy than at any time since the 1920s, spend only a small percentage of their incomes. Lower-income people, who were in trouble even before the pandemic, spend whatever they have – which has become very...

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