David Coates

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 »
June 30, 2013

Half-forgotten or Totally Forgotten – Poverty in America?

              Successful progressive politics require widespread popular support for progressive programs, and there is no way in which that support can be created without those programs being fully and regularly explained. But on so many important issues, that is simply not happening right now. True, the scale of unemployment[1] is periodically decried by politicians […] read more »
May 11, 2012

The Unfinished Business of the Obama Administration: Poverty & Unemployment

The Obama Administration has unfinished business: lots of it, actually. The President will no doubt seek re-election in November by emphasizing policy successes. He would do well, however, to seek re-election by also recognizing policy failures: recognizing them and committing his Administration to do better. To win re-election, that recognition will need to be honest […] read more »
October 31, 2011

Poverty Amid Plenty – America’s Continuing Shame

  The current wave of mass protest against Wall Street excess has completely reframed the public conversation in the United States.  The “deficit problem” with which Washington was consumed in the first half of 2011 has not vanished from the political agenda, read more »
March 24, 2011

Reframing the Deficit Debate

The dominant discourse in national American politics these days is a discourse on deficits. The leadership of the Republican Party, emboldened by their mid-term capture of the House, regularly informs us that “we are broke, and that we need to do something about it.”  read more »
December 19, 2010

America’s Bleak Mid-Winter

In Christian churches across the length and breadth of this land, millions of Americans will take comfort and inspiration this week from the story of the Nativity. They will glory in the well-known tale of a poor couple, read more »
September 23, 2010

Contemporary Poverty and the Tasks of the Left

…Our imperial endeavors alone, if Chalmers Johnson is right, “will, sooner or later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency.”[1] read more »
June 5, 2010

The Recession May Be Over, but Unemployment is Not

The U.S. unemployment rate edged up to 9.9 percent in April, then fell back to 9.7 in May. Long term unemployment also worsened. In April, an extra 169,000 workers had been unemployed for more than 6 months: to bring the total to 6.7 million. The under-employment rate – people in part-time work who wanted full […] read more »
May 2, 2010

Chapter 4: May 2010 Update

The ‘progressive’ elements of the health care reform passed March 21, 2010 – especially the proposed taxation of so-called “Cadillac plans” and the payroll taxing of incomes over $250,000 – continued to attract rightwing criticism, in a year in which CEO pay in the 200 major U.S. companies continued to decline slightly. The median package […] read more »
November 28, 2009

Introduction to Chapter 4

One tragic consequence of the downturn in the US economy triggered by the 2008 financial crisis was an increase in the number of people in or on the edge of poverty in the United States. As we just saw, unemployment stood at 10.2% officially in November, and was likely over 17% by then if you […] read more »

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