BY PHILIP KOTLER – The low-income working class is one of the largest groups in America. You can spot its members working at Wal-Mart or McDonalds, in large or small factories, in clerical jobs, and toiling in agricultural areas. This group includes single individuals, unmarried co-habitors, married childless couples, and families. The common denominator is that they … Continue reading The Suffering Working Class – What Can Be Done?
BY JESSICA CORBETT “It comes as no surprise that ExxonMobil and other oil companies are calling for anything and everything short of moving off fossil fuels entirely—most notably, the unwieldy and unproven concept of carbon taxes.” Amid warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that there’s a closing window to act to prevent a … Continue reading ‘This Is a Scam”: ExxonMobil-Backed Carbon Tax Will Not Save the Planet
BY MARK BLESSINGTON – The US has high income inequality compared to other large economies. While income inequality in the US is close to China, it is rising in the US while declining in China. Many studies use the Gini statistic to measure income inequality. A Gini of 100% represents maximum income disparity, and a Gini … Continue reading What Drives US Income Disparity?
BY JOSEPH GRAF, American University School of Communication Mainstream press coverage of President Trump has been unfavorable. Thomas Patterson of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center found that 80 percent of stories in the first 100 days of the administration were negative in tone. The president has attacked the media as “fake news” and journalists as “the enemy of the … Continue reading Trump craves good press from the ‘fake news’ media – just look at his White House newsletter
BY PHILIP KOTLER – China and the U.S. represent two opposing systems for running an economy. We will know in twenty years which system performs better in GDP growth, product quality, and innovation. We will also have a clearer understanding of the economic and non-economic gains and losses with each system. The Chinese government is highly … Continue reading Will China’s State-Directed Capitalism Outperform the U.S.’s Unguided Democracy?
BY JAKE JOHNSON – A social media platform like this “is the ultimate surveillance tool: an addictive product that’s optimized to collect and analyze the intimate details of our lives.” While the pro-Trump data firm Cambridge Analytica has received a flood of media attention in recent days following reports that it harvested the personal information of … Continue reading Amid #DeleteFacebook Fervor, Experts Say Time to Tackle Big Data Profiteers
BY JAKE JOHNSON – “Town by town, city by city, local leaders are taking back everyone’s right to connect and communicate.” As advocacy groups and open internet defenders in Congress continue their efforts to repeal the Republican-controlled FCC’s attack on net neutrality, the mayors of 11 cities have signed a new pledge vowing to refuse to … Continue reading 11 Mayors Applauded for Refusing to Do Business With Companies That Don’t Support Net Neutrality
BY PHILIP KOTLER – Donald Trump was elected U.S. President one year ago. He gave his first State of the Union address on January 31, 2018, lauding all the positives of his record. But what has he actually accomplished? What damage has he done? What role has been played by his personality quirks? Trump attracts both lovers … Continue reading Trump’s One-Year Scorecard
BY CHRISTIAN SARKAR Alba’s Dream (2017) The public has not forgotten Puerto Rico, and neither has Patrick McGrath Muñiz. After experiencing Harvey in Houston, and witnessing Hurricane Maria passing over Puerto Rico and Irma in Florida, where most of his family and friends live, the issue of climate change has become even more personal for the … Continue reading Lamentations: Disaster-Capitalism, Puerto Rico, and the Art of Patrick McGrath Muñiz
BY PHILIP KOTLER – We all grew up in a world of work. To live, we had to work. And there was much work to do. We trusted that there will always be jobs requiring workers. Today a new disruption has taken place in our job picture. The robots are coming! Most of us were not well … Continue reading Life, Death, and Taxes in a Jobless World
BY PHILIP KOTLER – The answer to the question depends on who you ask. CHRISTIAN SARKAR Capitalism Works For Me! True/False, 2011 (aluminum and electrical) by Steve Lambert How well is American Capitalism working? The answer to the question depends on who you ask. If you ask America’s corporate executives, their answer is that American … Continue reading How Well is American Capitalism Working?
BY PHILIP KOTLER – This country badly needs serious and comprehensive tax reform but it is not likely to get it. The Republicans couldn’t get health reform or immigration reform and they are not likely to get tax reform. Their bills are always flawed by insisting on proposals without Democratic participation. Although the Republicans have … Continue reading The Nightmare of Tax Reform
BY CHRISTIAN SARKAR – Even as Houston slowly recovers from Hurricane Harvey, there’s a buzz at the Art Car Museum on Heights Boulevard. Trump THIS! is a thought-provoking exhibition to say the least. It’s the 12th Annual Open Call exhibition… READ all about it in the Huffington Post >>
PHILIP KOTLER – Here is a brief manifesto for our priorities, if we mean to save Democracy in the USA. Free-market capitalism has subverted our democracy. The growth of income inequality has undermined the American Dream. Increasing polarization has destroyed our unity as a nation. The plutocracy must end. We need to produce wealth for … Continue reading A Manifesto for Just Capitalism
BY DIMITAR SABEV – From its very beginning marketing enhanced economic growth by provoking and channelling consumption, and in many cases this has been socially beneficial. There is growing evidence that the social and economic system based on the premise of constant and rapid growth has breached its limits. Consumption has to decouple from economic growth … Continue reading Consumption, Economic Growth And The Future Of Marketing
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 – Why is it that in a rich country like the U.S., poverty continues to affect 50 million citizens, about 15 percent of our citizens? At the other end, the top 0.1% of our citizens receive 40% of all income and own 40% of all our wealth. Numerous studies show that our … Continue reading Is Universal Basic Income Inevitable?
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 JOANNE BERNSTEIN “May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” —President John Adams, upon moving into the new White House. All of us who are passionate about the arts are repelled by our new administration’s promise to eliminate the NEA, the NEH, and government funding for PBS. We know that cutting … Continue reading The Real Value of Government Support for the Arts in the U.S.
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 PHILIP KOTLER – America’s greatness was recently challenged by Donald Trump who asserted that the U.S. had lost its greatness. His campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again.” He claimed that only he and his party could restore the country’s greatness. This raises the question: How can we define where a country ranks in its “greatness?” I have long … Continue reading What would Make America Great Again? The Battle Between Two Definitions of Greatness
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
BY PHILIP KOTLER If We Face a Jobless World, What Can We do About it? A depressing thought: U.S. citizens are facing the prospect of slower economic growth for the next 10 or 20 years. Instead of returning to the 3.5% growth rate of the post war period, GDP, at best might grow at only … Continue reading Are We Facing a Jobless World?
Our founding fathers raised this same question! They didn’t want a Monarchy. But they also didn’t want a Mobocracy. John Adams, our second president, distrusted the masses and defended inequality among men and advocated a government by an Aristocracy based on birth, education, and wealth. Even our two political parties want to moderate Democracy. They … Continue reading Do We Really Want Democracy?
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
BY PHIL KOTLER – We just got the news that JP Morgan decided to raise CEO Jamie Dimon’s pay by 35 percent! He will take home $27 million for 2015! The JPMorgan directors think that Jamie is singularly responsible for the rise in their revenue and profits in 2015. Or they admit that a few … Continue reading Are CEO’s Overpaid? Ask Jamie Dimon!
BY PHIL KOTLER – My latest post on the Huffington Post channel asks whether the Federal Government should raise more tax money and do some good in the process by placing a financial transaction tax (FTT) on the purchase and sale of securities. Join the discussion!
BY J RICHARD HARVEY, JR., Villanova School of Law – Corporate inversions have been front page news in the US for months with everyone from President Barack Obama to the man on the street expressing a view as their usage has surged. Unfortunately, many of these views are not well informed. For example, most news reports cite … Continue reading What’s driving the surge of corporate inversions?
BY PHIL KOTLER – Look at the picture below. What do you see? A manufacturing process, with no workers in sight. We humans have been replaced by robotic arms and artificial intelligence. Think of an Amazon distribution center. Most of the ordered books and goods are picked up by robotic arms and assembled near a … Continue reading The Robots are Coming! Will they eat our jobs?
by Philip Kotler Hillary Clinton’s stated recently that she will not raise taxes on the middle class. She will raise taxes only on the rich and super rich. But 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 … Continue reading Needed: A New Set of Income Tax Brackets [A Response to the “$250,000 a Year Is Not Middle Class” Op-Ed by Bryce Covert]
BY BERNIE SANDERS in the New York Times: WALL STREET is still out of control. Seven years ago, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department bailed out the largest financial institutions in this country because they were considered too big to fail. But almost every one is bigger today than it was before the bailout. If any were … Continue reading Bernie Sanders: “To Rein In Wall Street, Fix the Fed”
By Mark Blessington Have you ever wondered why publicized unemployment is so low yet so many people don’t have jobs? The U.S. Department of Labor announced that unemployment in October was 5 percent. The details in the same report, however, show that 37 percent of our working age population did not have a job in … Continue reading The Truth About Unemployment
Phil Kotler’s latest article in FORTUNE asks us to ask more questions. In the last Republican TV debate, Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief, Gerald Baker, put the following question to presidential candidate Rand Paul: “Income inequality has been rising in the United States. Fifty years ago, for example, the average CEO of a big corporation in this country earned … Continue reading FORTUNE: What the Presidential Candidates Are Failing to Address About CEO Pay
The Econ4 network of teachers, professors, practitioners, students and others are working to shift how economics is understood, taught and practiced. We’re now launching a video contest to crowdsource as many short, 3 minute videos about “Greed” as possible. We will distribute many of these across our network and beyond. The contest is patterned after the … Continue reading CALL FOR ENTRIES: Greed! A Video Contest from Econ4