The pundits always seem to miss the politics of capitalism in their effort to explain inequality.
It looks like a new book by Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson, Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality Since 1700, is gaining traction among the punditry class, following last year’s nod to Thomas Piketty’s Capital. Read more →
Can starting your own business rocket someone from the near bottom to near top of the economic pyramid? It might work for a few lucky, hard working, dedicated, amazing individuals, maybe. Some do indeed generate new economic opportunities for themselves – and, in a very few cases, even for others in their community. But that isn’t even half the story. All too often, the results are much less rosy. Read more →
At the recent LAWCHA conference here in Washington, D.C., I was among those applauding heartily when Empire of Cotton: A Global History, Sven Beckert’s sweeping study, received the Philip Taft Labor History Book Award. It’s worth taking a look at how the “empire,” carries on today, as Beckert asserts. Read more →
In 1968, on the corner of the campus of Indiana State University, there sat a small home. Previously a member of Terre Haute’s older downtown suburb, time and the university’s expansion had witnessed the neighborhood go from row upon row of upper class homes, to areas annexed for the college’s use. Read more →
In most of the liberal discussions of the recent police killings of unarmed black men, there is an underlying assumption that the police are supposed to protect and serve the population. That is, after all, what they were created to do. Read more →
Six weeks following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri Emerson Electric Chairman and CEO, Michael Farr, unveiled the corporation’s $1.5 million “Forward Program,” a multifaceted five year education and employment package to support “renewed community enrichment and development in Ferguson and the North County area.” Read more →
This is a different and expanded version of a previously published essay that appeared in Jacobin.
Dinkytown’s Best Breakfast
If you are in Minneapolis, after a hard day’s night, the place to go for a morning pick-me-up is Al’s Breakfast. Read more →
In 1886, several prominent European socialists came through Cincinnati in search of insights into America. Their local comrades–“delightful German-American friends” took them to a local dime museum. There, a showman introduced cowboys with “stereotyped speeches about them,” as his subjects lounged about “in their picturesque garb, and looking terribly bored.” Then, one of the cowboys, “singularly handsome face and figure, with the frankest of blue eyes, rose and spoke a piece. Read more →
Historians should think carefully as they ponder the meaning of the UAW defeat in Chattanooga. Some analysts write as though a full-fledged co-determination structure was in play. In reality, the union leadership held backroom meetings with Volkswagen executives that promised a commitment that seems all too close to the kind of company unions that labor historians should recognize from the past—joint labor-management organizations designed to lure workers away from democratic control and a voice. Read more →
On the morning of Thursday, January 9, 2014, 7500 gallons of a coal cleaning chemical known as Crude MCHM (principally composed of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol) leaked from a storage tank and then from a containment wall at a facility on the banks of the Elk River in West Virginia in Kanawha County. Read more →