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 14, 2014

Dozing through “the Great Moving Right Show”

            The greatest danger currently facing all of us in America, and particularly progressives, is one of drift. As an economy, the United States is drifting along a low-growth path that is acclimatizing all of us to levels of unemployment which only a decade ago would have been treated as an outrage. As a society, […] read more »
March 16, 2014

Paul Ryan as the Prince of Paupers

Given the scale and depth of poverty in the United States, it is not surprising that periodically debates about it should surface in Washington DC. What is more surprising is that the issue of poverty is not permanently center-stage. It did return there briefly last week because of the publication of a report on the […] read more »
March 13, 2014

The Poverty of Policy on Poverty

            Earlier this month, those who govern us – and those who would govern us – each laid out their vision of how to alleviate poverty in the United States. Since there is currently a rather large amount of poverty around that ideally would be rapidly alleviated,[1] you could legitimately expect that the proposals that […] read more »
February 16, 2014

The Cost of Empire? Extracts from “America in the Shadow of Empires” (forthcoming)

Extract (1) From Chapter 1 THE U.S. GLOBAL MILITARY FOOTPRINT One thing that is definitely building up around us is the scale, extent and cost of America’s military role overseas. Historically, that scale was modest and the role was limited – mainly to the Americas and to a number of Pacific islands – but no […] read more »
February 16, 2014

The Long-Term State of the Union – Counting the Cost of Empire?

              There is something desperate about the current quality of politics in Washington DC. It is not that our elected representatives steadily avoid any discussion of key issues. It is rather that – on far too many occasions – the way in which they choose to discuss those key issues trivializes them to the […] read more »
January 30, 2014

The State of the Union Address – Taking the Longer View

It is presumably unreasonable to expect any modern President of the United States to use his best prime-time moment, the annual State of the Union Address, to tell Congress and the American people that on his watch the state of the union is not strong – even if that is the truth. No politician these […] read more »
January 24, 2014

In Defense of the NHS

              There has been a lot of talk and writing lately, by Cal Thomas and others uneasy with Obamacare, about the lessons that we can and should draw from what they characterize as the failure of socialized medicine in the U.K. In doing so, the picture they draw of health care in the U.K. […] read more »
January 11, 2014

America’s War on Poverty, America’s War on the Poor

January 2014 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the State of the Union Address in which Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty.[1] This anniversary is leading to much soul-searching here in the United States.[2] Partly that soul-searching reflects the high levels of poverty that persist in contemporary America. The US does not define the poverty […] read more »
December 30, 2013

New Year Reflections: The Character of the Task before Us

 The start of a new year is always a good moment for reflection on the nature of our present condition. It is an even better moment for the adoption of resolutions designed to improve that condition. So perhaps we should try both. OUR PRESENT CONDITION Our present condition is not good. Five years on from […] read more »
November 27, 2013

Social Security in the Cross-Hairs

(Addressed to a UK Audience)             In the UK, pension reform is controversial enough, though it rarely occupies centre-stage for long and there is often common ground between the parties. In the US, by contrast, the reform of Social Security is a perennial political issue, and it is now heavily-partisan in nature. The language of […] read more »

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