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Author: Robert Reich

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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Defined by its delusions: How the Republican Party became the greatest danger to American Democracy

The greatest danger to American democracy right now is not coming from Russia, China, or North Korea. It is coming from the Republican Party. Only 25 percent of voters self-identify as Republican, the GOP’s worst showing against Democrats since 2012 and sharply down since last November. But those who remain in the Party are far angrier, more ideological, more truth-denying, and more racist than Republicans who preceded them. And so are the lawmakers who represent them. Today’s Republican Party increasingly is defined not by its shared beliefs but by its shared delusions. On May 28, 54 U.S. senators voted...

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The politics of bigotry: Why Republicans still fabricate conflicts without proof in order to stoke fear

There is no ‘surge’ of migrants at the border and there is no huge voter fraud problem, there is only an attack from the Republican hard-right. Republicans are outraged – outraged! – at the surge of migrants at the southern border. The House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, declared it a “crisis … created by the presidential policies of this new administration.” The Arizona congressman Andy Biggs claimed, “we go through some periods where we have these surges, but right now is probably the most dramatic that I’ve seen at the border in my lifetime.” Donald Trump demands the Biden...

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From GOP to POT: The Party of Trump officially supplanted Republicans to become a political cult

Donald Trump formally anointed himself head of the Republican Party at the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 28. The Grand Old Party, founded in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin, is now dead. What is left is a dwindling number of elected officials who have stood up to Trump but are now being purged. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s popularity has dropped 29 points among Kentucky Republicans since he broke with Trump. In its place is the Trump Party, whose major goal is to advance Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Its agenda is...

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Out of the Ashes of Trump: President Biden sets course to finally heal the economic poison of Reaganism

While most of official Washington has been consumed with the Senate impeachment trial, another part of Washington is preparing the most far-ranging changes in American social policy in a generation. Congress is moving ahead with President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which expands health care and unemployment benefits, and contains one of the most ambitious efforts to reduce child poverty since the New Deal. Right behind it is President Biden’s plan for infrastructure and jobs. The juxtaposition of Trump’s impeachment trial and President Biden’s ambitious plans is no coincidence. Trump left Republicans badly fractured and on the defensive. The Republican...

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