David Coates

Answering Back

Answering Back: The Living Book is a resource to keep you up-to-date as you fight for a better America. The book consists of 10 chapters, each covering a major issue in today’s political debates. Additional articles on these topics are regularly added to the book’s website, so it continues to live on. Here you will find the latest story lines, data sets, and literature references necessary to keep you fully up to speed with this incredibly rapidly changing and important set of political struggles.

I encourage you to respond to any and all of the articles. – David Coates

April 13, 2016

Horses for Courses? The Candidates and the Economy.

It may be difficult to believe right now, but eventually the nightmare will be over. The race for the presidency will end, and we will be free of the daily media diet of who is ahead, who is behind, and who might get ahead as others falter. Time and again right now, the bulk of […] read more »
March 19, 2016

The Democrats and the Donald

People of all kinds of political persuasions are rightly horrified by the violence erupting at Trump rallies,1 and by the demagoguery of the candidate himself.2 People of a more progressive predisposition are often equally disturbed by the hold that Donald Trump appears to have on the support of at least sections of the white working […] read more »
February 25, 2016

The Housing Crisis of the Young

There was a time, not very long ago, when housing was high on the political agenda, and understandably so.1 By 2008, the inadequate financing of it – first in the United Kingdom and then massively in the United States – had triggered the worst economic crisis in over six decades. The bitter fall-out from that […] read more »
January 25, 2016

Common Weaknesses in the Republicans’ Tax Proposals

Though for understandable reasons the leading Republican presidential candidates continually emphasize the things that divide them, we would do well to concentrate rather on the things that do not. The televised-debate format accentuates differences. It did so on tax policy, for example, when last the candidates met – Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio clashing sharply […] read more »
January 1, 2016

Working Class Anger and the Problem of Progressive Politics

The start of a new year – especially the start of an important election year as this one happens to be in the United States – is a good time to reflect on the broad strategic choices facing progressive forces on both sides of the Atlantic. One reflection in particular seems relevant in the US […] read more »
January 1, 2016

How Best to Separate Donald Trump from his Base

If there is anything currently uniting most political commentators in contemporary America, it is surely their on-going fascination with the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. The common agreement on both sides of the political aisle through most of 2015 appeared to be that his campaign was eventually bound to fail – the reason being some […] read more »
December 9, 2015

Questions that go unanswered as we drift to a State of Permanent War

As the main US media outlets report and amplify each and every outlandish assertion by Donald Trump and his fellow contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, major damage is being done to the underlying quality of the dominant political discourse in the United States. That damage has two main characteristics. By giving so much airtime […] read more »
November 27, 2015

TPP Time in America

Every political system has its own local economic agenda. The UK’s clearly currently includes the Osborne commitment to austerity politics, with its potentially devastating impact on the plight of the low paid in contemporary Britain. Here in the United States, that austerity agenda is enthusiastically advocated by the Republicans who control the US Congress, but […] read more »
November 5, 2015

Waiting for the TPP

Figures on US economic performance continue to disappoint. Seven years out from the greatest financial crisis since 1929, economic growth is sluggish, levels of unemployment and under-employment remain unacceptably high, and real wages for most Americans are still trapped at 1970s levels. Not that the United States is alone in any of this. Globally, important […] read more »
October 4, 2015

Challenging Republican Premises: On the Cutting of Taxes

One of the great dangers of the seemingly never-ending media coverage of the Republican presidential circus is that it facilitates the steady drip into the popular consciousness of a set of problematic conservative assertions that any serious progressive politics needs to question and refute. This media-induced steady slippage of Republican cliché into received truth was […] read more »

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