BY PHILIP KOTLER – Among the millions of products and services produced each year, there is a group loosely called ‘sin’ products. Think of “alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana” as major sin products. Think of “prostitution services” as a ‘sin’ service type. Think of recent efforts to discourage the consumption of soft drinks, candy, and packaged … Continue reading Should Government Put a Tax on ‘Sin’ Products and Services?
BY PHILIP KOTLER and CHRISTIAN SARKAR – For many years, Americans held a clear idea of the differences between the Republican and Democratic parties. The Republicans were a party on the right, the Democrats a party on the left. But now the distinctions aren’t so clear. What went wrong? Neither party today is answering or … Continue reading Brand Confusion: What Do Our Political Parties Stand For?
BY MARK BLESSINGTON – True or false: Are America’s wealthy few growing their wealth at the expense of everyone else? The question is not whether the rich are getting richer. The question is whether they are gaining wealth at the expense of everyone else. The Congressional Budget Office provides a comprehensive report on wealth every three … Continue reading Progressive Taxes: Needed to Offset Income Inequality?
By MARK BLESSINGTON – The Republicans just failed to repeal and replace Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most explanations miss why the Republican plan failed. The answer comes from answering a key question: Why did ACA insurance rates rise in 2016? The answer is absurdly simple: Because US health insurance companies jacked-up their ACA … Continue reading Fixing Obamacare—the Right Way
By PHILIP KOTLER – We have had “Obamacare” and now the Republicans have fallen short in replacing it with “Ryancare” (a.k.a. “Trumpcare”). Both plans have their unforgiving and deep critics and enemies. I think that it is time to adopt the healthcare system that Canada and most other nations have: a single-payer healthcare system. A single-payer … Continue reading It’s Time For A Single-Payer Healthcare System
BY PHILIP KOTLER – Our new President, Donald Trump, has decided that building a Mexican Wall and increasing the U.S. military budget by $54 billion (over the present military budget of $596 billion) are the most important early steps to take in his first term. But building the Wall might cost as much as $40 billion … Continue reading Kulturkampf: Trump’s War on the Arts
[Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Global Imperial Plutocratic/Kleptocratic Brave New Fantasyworld of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump] BY SCOTT DEWEY – As long as humans worship the trappings and display of power and wealth—as with celebrity, political power, military power, economic power—and they obviously do—there can be no democracy; democracy cannot … Continue reading Why We Worship False Idols, Always Have, And Always Will
BY PHILIP KOTLER The US has been downgraded in The Economist’s Democracy Index. It is now in the “flawed democracy” category. Donald Trump got elected as U.S. President on a platform that included a lot of changes that appealed to many people. Trump promised to “Make America Great Again” by bringing back the high paying jobs that had moved overseas … Continue reading The ‘Terrorist’ in the White House
BY PHILP KOTLER Lobbying describes the effort of lobbyists to influence decisions made by government officials such as legislators, regulators or judges. The term came from the fact that “influence peddlers” would appear in the lobby of legislative buildings to buttonhole legislators and influence their voting on behalf of the legislators’ clients. Most of the … Continue reading Lobbying: The Scourge of Good Government
FLYNT L. LEVERETT, Pennsylvania State University and ROBERT SPRINKLE, University of Maryland Chinese President Xi Jinping’s appearance at last week’s World Economic Forum shows global leadership is shifting, not drifting, toward Beijing. The most vigorous defense of globalization and multilateral cooperation was mounted not by an American statesman, but by the president of the People’s … Continue reading China steps up as US steps back from global leadership
BY PHILIP KOTLER & CHRISTIAN SARKAR – As President-Elect Trump and his “Corporate Cabinet” take over Washington – the American public will witness radical changes taking place in our institutions, policies, and regulations. These changes might undermine America’s position as the world’s leader over the past century. The billionaires and generals who make up Trump’s cabinet bring … Continue reading Are We Kissing Democracy Goodbye?
BY RALPH NADER – Even for a failed gambling czar, Donald Trump has been surprisingly quick to show his hand as he sets the course of his forthcoming presidency. With a reactionary fervor, he is bursting backwards into the future. He has accomplished this feat through the first wave of nominations to his Cabinet and … Continue reading Trump Trumpets His Real Plans
By ROBERT WEISSMAN “Trump has converted the GOP into a populist working-class party,” Trump advisor and far-right economist Stephen Moore told Republican members of Congress at a caucus meeting. Well, advisor Moore, meet the Trump transition team. The leader of the would-be populist working-class party has invited rogues’ gallery of insiders—corporate lawyers, investment fund managers, … Continue reading What Populism? Trump’s America Is Party Time for the Corporate Elite
Philip Kotler’s upcoming book – Democracy in Decline: Rebuilding its Future describes 14 symptoms of a sick democracy: #1. Voter Literacy & Turnout #2. Quality of Political Leadership #3. Exceptionalism #4. Public Trust #5. Gridlock #6. Money in Politics #7. Gerrymandering #8. Extremist Primaries #9. The President vs. Congress #10. Federal vs. State Governments #11. Supreme Court vs. … Continue reading Democracy in Decline: An Interview with Phil Kotler
Where did the wheels come off our Democracy? by Christian Sarkar John Ehrenreich is an American author, academic, and clinical psychologist who has published books on health policy, US social policy, and US history. He is the author of Third Wave Capitalism: How Money, Power, and the Pursuit of Self-Interest have Imperiled the American Dream … Continue reading Third Wave Capitalism – An Interview with John Ehrenreich
BY MARK BLESSINGTON I long for a reemergence of an FDR-like era. FDR was a no compromise Democrat. He was even willing to take on the Supreme Court. It happened before, and it can happen again, if we push hard enough. I’m not ready to give up on the USA yet. For me, Hillary Clinton represents giving up … Continue reading No-Compromise: Why We (The People) Can’t Take It Anymore
BY SUHAIB RIAZ, University of Massachusetts Boston; Sean Buchanan, University of Manitoba, and Trish Ruebottom, Brock University Reforming Wall Street has become a key issue in the ongoing presidential primaries. Bernie Sanders in particular has used his rival’s close ties to the financial industry, including speaking fees and political donations, to suggest Hillary Clinton wouldn’t … Continue reading Why is it so difficult to rein in Wall Street?
Ryan J. Thomas, University of Missouri-Columbia In a 2012 column, former New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane asked his readers if the Times should be a “truth vigilante.” Clumsily worded and unnecessarily dramatic, Brisbane’s question pertained to something simpler: whether Times reporters should fact-check assertions made by subjects and sources in the text of … Continue reading Why presidential debates need real-time fact-checking
At what income does the middle class end and the rich begin? Hillary defined the rich as starting with incomes over $250,000. Bryce Covert, in an article, claimed that the middle class ends at $206,568. Why? Because this is the income that defines the start of the top 5% of income earners. The top 5% is … Continue reading Needed: A New Set of Income Tax Brackets
By Mark Blessington I call this the Era of Compromise Democrats. From an economic perspective, the last Democrat to really fight for the people was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was even brave enough to stand up to the Supreme Court. While President Obama immediately spoke out against Citizens United in 2010, he did nothing to directly oppose it. … Continue reading The Sad Legacy of Compromise Democrats