David Coates

US Blog

Blog: Here you will find the very latest opinion pieces on the issues discussed in Answering Back and Making the Progressive Case. The comments here are very much concerned with the political strategy to effectively counter conservative arguments.

August 5, 2014

Responding to David Brooks: The Question of Poverty and Character

  David Brooks’ recent essay on “The Character Factory” would have us believe that “nearly every parent on earth operates on the assumption that character matters a lot to the life outcomes of their children” while “nearly every government anti-poverty program operates on the assumption that it doesn’t.” Assertions like that, coming in the wake […] read more »
July 19, 2014

Defending Trade Unions while the Justices are Away.

The nine justices of the Supreme Court are now in recess, leaving the rest of us the summer in which to reflect upon and digest their latest set of rulings – particularly the two handed down on the last day before they took their break. Quite properly, given its reactionary nature, their 5:4 ruling on […] read more »
July 15, 2014

Economics and the Gathering Storm

One lesson that you kind of learn the hard way in American politics is that it is always a mistake to think that, from a progressive point of view, things are so bad that they can’t get any worse. You only have to think it before the ground shifts under your feet again. I know […] read more »
July 8, 2014

Reflections on Economic Under-performance on Both Sides of the Atlantic

One of the most intriguing problems in any form of contemporary analysis – political or economic – is to judge whether contemporary trends are best read as a glass half-full or a glass half-empty. The events themselves rarely dictate which view should prevail: almost always the judgment call (and it is necessarily a matter of […] read more »
June 12, 2014

Winning in November by Defending the Affordable Care Act Now.

Lindsey Graham’s recent warning that Republicans might yet push for a presidential impeachment serves to demonstrate, if further demonstration was still required, of just how brutal Washington politics could get if his party ends up in control of both Houses of Congress after the mid-term elections in November. In progressive terms, the achievements of the […] read more »
May 13, 2014

Progressives Politics after Piketty: Making the Case for Managed Markets

It is very rare for the Left to have a best-seller but we have one now. The French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is currently being both widely read and even more widely discussed. That is great news. The question it leaves us with is how to put all that reading and […] read more »
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 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 »

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