BY SYLVIA TASCHKA, Wayne State University Comparisons between the United States under Trump and Germany during the Hitler era are once again being made following the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Even in the eyes of German history scholars like myself, who had earlier warned of the troubling nature of such analogies, Trump’s … Continue reading How can America heal from the Trump era? Lessons from Germany’s transformation into a prosperous democracy after Nazi rule
BY PHILIP KOTLER & CHRISTIAN SARKAR The cover of the May 20, 2020 issue of Forbes magazine carries a picture of Larry Ellison, billionaire founder of Oracle Corporation. On page 114, there’s a Billionaires Index that runs six more pages in very small print. The following becomes clear: Almost every country has billionaires. Even Venezuela and … Continue reading Why Can’t Billionaires Advance the Common Good?
BY Georgios Samaras, King’s College London When a wave of right-wing extremism hit Greece in 2012, few would have predicted that Golden Dawn, one of the groups involved, would grow to become the third largest party in the Greek parliament. This was the beginning of a long period of turmoil in Greek politics that saw a … Continue reading The end of Golden Dawn: has Greece shown us how to deal with neo-Nazis?
BY CHRISTIAN SARKAR and PHILIP KOTLER In our work on cultural narratives, we’ve proposed that cultural narratives create meaning for our place in the world, and provide a map for the journey ahead. The structure of a cultural narrative can be diagrammed as follows: In politics, the structure of a cultural narrative becomes an ideological framework for living … Continue reading Biden vs. Trump: A Tale of Two Narratives
BY PHILIP KOTLER I know that Presidential debates have occurred in each past U.S. election. I know that Biden earlier said that he would accept debating with Trump. But I would advise Biden to not debate even if this is the first time this has happened. Biden is entitled to a first time, given that … Continue reading Why Biden Should Decline a Debate with Trump
BY JON QUEALLY Government watchdogs, Democratic lawmakers, and pro-democracy advocates declared it a “Friday Night Massacre” for the U.S. Postal Service after news broke in a classic end-of-the-week dump that Louis DeJoy—a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump and the recently appointed Postmaster General—had issued a sweeping overhaul of the agency, including the ouster of … Continue reading ‘Friday Night Massacre’ at US Postal Service as Postmaster General—a Major Trump Donor—Ousts Top Officials
BY ROBERT REICH Trump will do anything to be re-elected. His opponents are limited because they believe in democracy. Trump has no limits because he doesn’t. Here’s Trump’s re-election playbook, in 25 simple steps: 1. Declare yourself above the law. 2. Use racist fearmongering. Demand “law and order” and describe protesters as “thugs”, “lowlife” and … Continue reading Trump Doesn’t Believe in Democracy—Here’s His 25-Step Reelection Plan
BY JOE SALTZMAN, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism When Americans think of journalists attacked, arrested or imprisoned while doing their job, they think of it happening in distant lands – in places like Russia, Syria, Afghanistan, El Salvador and Mexico. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are so ingrained … Continue reading It can’t happen here – and then it did
BY JESSICA CORBETT A new report examining the federal budget illuminates the deep connections between the climate emergency and the U.S. military, arguing that the shift to a green economy requires a just transition away from both fossil fuels and endless war.The report, entitled No Warming, No War: How Militarism Fuels the Climate Crisis—and Vice … Continue reading ‘No Warming, No War': Report Details How US Militarism and Climate Crisis Are Deeply Interwoven
BY JESSICA CORBETT In a new video from The Intercept, author and activist Naomi Klein explains how the Trump administration and other governments across the globe are “exploiting” the coronavirus outbreak “to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks,” and urges working people worldwide to resist such efforts and demand real support from political … Continue reading ‘We Know This Script': Naomi Klein Warns of ‘Coronavirus Capitalism’ in New Video Detailing Battle Before Us
BY HEATHER ALBERRO, Nottingham Trent University From transport and housing to food production and fashion, our civilisation is driving climate and ecological breakdown. It’s no coincidence that almost every single sector of industry is contributing to the planet’s downfall, either. A deeper issue underlies each one’s part in the malaise enveloping the planet’s ecosystems – and … Continue reading Humanity and nature are not separate – we must see them as one to fix the climate crisis
BY CHRISTIAN SARKAR and PHILIP KOTLER Maybe they’ve been spooked by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Or maybe they decided that it’s time to reclaim the political conversation before America turns full-fascist. Whatever the reason, the CEOs of this great nation published their own manifesto under the august umbrella of the Business Roundtable. In it, they finally … Continue reading “Now that CEOs found purpose, what are they going to do with it?”
BY PHILIP KOTLER – A recent news item mentioned that a group of 18 ultra-wealthy Americans including George Soros and Abigail Disney and members of the Pritzker and Gund families published an open letter asking presidential candidates to support a moderate wealth tax of 1 percent. The wealth tax revenue would be used to fund environmental initiatives, fuel economic growth, and … Continue reading Can Billionaires Save America?
by PHILIP KOTLER – Revolutions occur when the income and wealth gap between the rich, the middle class and the poor reaches a boiling point. We may be near the boiling point. This gap launched the Russian Revolution of 1917. Social injustice led to Castro’s takeover of Cuba and Mao Tse Tung’s takeover of China. The picture … Continue reading What To Do About The Growing U.S. Income Gap Between The Rich And Everyone Else
by PHILIP KOTLER and CHRISTIAN SARKAR – For some time now we’ve been saying that the wheels have fallen off our democracy. Things aren’t looking good around the world. The Guardian reports the world’s 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as half the planet. 26 plutocrats own as much wealth as 3.8 billion people. Welcome to serfdom. And … Continue reading The Flywheel of Corruption: Why Our Democracy Isn’t Working
Let’s drop the dead-end debate of capitalism versus socialism and focus on choosing terms that capture what we really mean—an open, fair, and accountable market essential to real democracy. by FRANCESS MOORE LAPPE My headline poses a question I struggle with. “Capitalism” refers to an economy driven by owners of private capital, typically with the aim … Continue reading “I’m a Capitalist,” Says Warren…But Why?
BY PHILIP KOTLER – The Trump administration released its defense budget on February 12, 2018. It asked for $686 billion, which is 62 percent of the proposed total federal spending budget. The defense cost is even higher if you include other costs in the total budget, such as the $88.9 billion that pays for the War on Terror, including military … Continue reading Is The U.S. Defense Budget Too Large?
BY PHILIP KOTLER – No democracy is perfect. Some democracies work better than others. Swiss democracy works well. Canada’s democracy works pretty well. American democracy has fallen on hard times. In 2016, I published Democracy in Decline in which I cite many problems and solutions. We have voter suppression and low voter turnout. We let politicians choose their … Continue reading “Let Us Fix American Democracy”
BY JON QUEALLY – “I mean we can talk for a very long time about all these stupid philanthropy schemes… But we’ve got to be talking about taxes. That’s it. Taxes, taxes, taxes. All the rest is bullshit in my opinion.” While the private jets have mostly left the airport outside of Davos, Switzerland following the … Continue reading Historian’s Advice to Davos Elite Worried About Pitchforks: ‘Stop Talking About Philanthropy’ and Start Paying Higher Taxes
BY JAKE JOHNSON – In a bid to loosen the stranglehold corporate money has on the political process and “restore democratic power to the American people,” a bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Thursday introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s deeply unpopular 2010 Citizens United decision. “Let’s not mince words here—for too long, … Continue reading In Bid to ‘Get Big Money Out of Politics,’ House Lawmakers Introduce Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United
BY JAKE JOHNSON – As corporations in the United States and around the world continue to reap record profits thanks to enormous tax cuts, widespread tax avoidance schemes, and business-friendly trade and investment policies, an analysis by Global Justice Now (GJN) published Wednesday found that the world’s most profitable companies are raking in revenue “far in excess … Continue reading At the Heart of Global Woes, 157 of World’s 200 Richest Entities Are Now Corporations, Not Governments
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 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 PHILIP KOTLER – There is a hidden meaning behind Trump’s slogan to “Make America Great Again.” His slogan is code for “Let’s Make America White again.” Immigration policy is one of the toughest issues facing the U.S. and its core beliefs and values. Both political parties are doing their best to bury or avoid … Continue reading The Closing of the Golden Door: When Fear Became U.S. Immigration Policy
BY PHILIP KOTLER and CHRISTIAN SARKAR “If you are silent at a moment like this, if you do not condemn the racism you see through whatever channels and avenues you have, you can leave church now because you’re doing church wrong,” – Robert Wright Lee, IV, minister and descendant of General Robert E. Lee The tragic … Continue reading How did we get to Charlottesville?
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 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