Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives by Tag 'poverty'
Child Trafficking and Adoption in Haiti
JULIAN VIGO
UNICEF estimates that approximately 300,000 Haitian children are restavèk (child slaves) and that 3,000 children are trafficked out of Haiti each year.  However, these figures are widely considered conservative both because there are no serious studies to date on this s...
How the Other Half Still Lives
CHARLES R. LARSON
Some of us can remember reading Michael Harrington’s ground-breaking study of poverty in the United States: The Other America (1962).  Sadly, Sasha Abramsky’s ...
Kids Have No Seat at This Table
FRANKLIN STRIER
“It must not for a moment be forgotten that the core of any social plan must be the child.” -President Franklin Roosevelt, 1934. “There are three things I like about Italian ships. First, ...
The Real Economic Parasites
KEVIN CARSON
Everywhere you look in the right-wing commentariat, you see the recurring theme of the “underclass” as parasites. Its most recent appearance was the meme of the productive, tax-paying 53% vs. the tax-consuming 47%. And of course there’s the perennial favorite mythic...
Homeless Industries in San Francisco
BINOY KAMPMARK
It is a condition that the United States has given a particular meaning to.  From being the light on the hill for liberty, the American vision has become a case of survival on the streets.  Homeownership, even renting, is a privilege.  Welfare is set for the chop.  Fo...
Rural Definitions: You’re O-U-T!
CAROL MILLER
The squabble over how to define rural diverts us from the real problem: Support for vital rural development programs has been decimated. Maybe it’s time for a new take on an old idea. The emerging fight in Washington over how to define “rural” for some federa...
Global Rescue Plan
DAVID SWANSON
When the wealthy nations of the world meet as the G8 or in any other gathering, it’s interesting to imagine what they would do if they followed the golden rule, valued grandchildren, disliked unnecessary suffering, or wished to outgrow ancient forms of barbarism, or...
Homeless Plan Has Good Ideas (And Scary Ones)
TOM & JUDY TURNIPSEED
Homelessness is finally catching the attention of the media, everyday people and even politicians in the Midlands of South Carolina. We’ve heard much about compassion, humanity, respect and some sensible approaches to ending homelessness. A community approach t...
Radical Remaking of the Economy is Taking Root
KEVIN ZEESE and MARGARET FLOWERS
It is time for the economy to work for the people, not the elites; it is time for economic democracy. As the school year ends, college students are coming home to a paucity of summer jobs and young adults are graduating into an economy with ...
A Dispatch From The Toughest Slums on Earth
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Nairobi They tell you ‘peace’, but you know you are living in a warzone. You know it from the start; you’ve sensed it ever since you were a very little boy or a girl. You wake up ev...
The National Mantlepiece
NORMAN POLLACK
Picture with me a vast luxurious hunting lodge, high-ceilinged, massive oak beams, bear and other trophy rugs, an inner sanctum of America’s ruling groups, formally known as “Interpenetration,” but more affectionately, to its members, “Co-Partnership,” to signif...
Farm Suicides Soar
P. SAINATH
Suicide rates among Indian farmers were a chilling 47 per cent higher than they were for the rest of the population in 2011. In some of the States worst hit by the agrarian crisis, they were well over 100 per cent higher. The new Census 2011 data reveal a shrinking farmer...
Dr. Kyenge’s Crusade
FREDERICK B. HUDSON
In 1933, the writer Arna Bontemps, a fellow member with Langston Hughes of a collection of writers, artists, and musicians that history has dubbed “the Harlem Renaissance,” in recognition of the creative contributions they offered to the world, penned a moving...
Recurring Nightmares?
KEVIN ZEESE AND MARGARET FLOWERS
The weekly news is like a recurring bad dream that is becoming an even worse nightmare. While the investor class cheers a rising stock market, the rest of us sink. The headline that jumped out at us this week came from Bloomberg News, ...
The Elusive Minimum Wage
DAVID MACARAY
If you happen to follow the American and international labor scene, and want to kill a leisurely hour, an entertaining way of doing that is to visit the Department of Labor’s (DOL) official website.  It offers a wide selection of labor tidbits, explanations of bureaucr...
The Poorer Nations
LUIS NIEVES
If global resistance is not on the horizon that does not mean that struggle must turn inwards.  Precisely the opposite is necessary, which is to say that national and regional struggles must be alert to the ideological importanc...
Destroying Detroit In Order To “Save” It
TOM STEPHENS
“We use data, analysis, advocacy and community organizing to protect and increase participation in the democratic process and to demand that state and local decision makers consider race and economic justice in their planning, funding and policymaking de...
Military Spending vs. People’s Health
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
The latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows that, considering some data uncertainties, the world military spending in 2012 dropped slightly (0.5 percent) when compared to 2011. It is the first decline in military spending since ...
On the Streets of Oakland
LINH DINH
Other people’s lives come fluttering to us in the tiniest fragments, and these we gather, when we bother to, into an incoherent jumble of impressions we pass off as knowledge. Further, our ears, eyes and mind are all seriously defective and worn-down, making intelligenc...
Los Angeles at Ground Zero
LINH DINH
Sightseeing buses are for those who deeply dread the places they’re visiting. You can’t really see a city or town from a motorized anything, so if you claim to have driven through Los Angeles, for example, you haven’t seen it. The speed and protection of a car preve...
Life is Cheap in Karachi
ASHRAF KHAN
Karachi, Pakistan. Laiq Hussain, a member of the radical Sunni group Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, was riding his motorbike down a busy street in central Karachi, with a friend on the pillion, when they were ambushed. A bullet hit Hussain in the right temple: ...
Tyranny Of The Reasonable
PHIL ROCKSTROH
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” — Ernest Hemingway ...
A Woman of Courage in a Ravaged Land
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
Somalia can be considered one of the most troublesome countries in the world, one frequently called a “failed state,” ravaged by violence and instability. But in such unfavorable place a valiant woman has quietly emerged as a presence of dignity and hope. Dr. Hawa Abd...
The Causes of Global Inequality
RAJESH MAKWANA
As international negotiations on a new set of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) continue, it is worth reflecting on some of the limitations and failures of the MDG framework. Significantly, the program represents the only internationally agreed framework for trying to a...
‘Factivism’ and Other Fairytales from Bono
HARRY BROWNE
It had been just about possible to ignore Bono’s TED talk about the imminent e...
The Arithmetic of Desperation in Detroit
CHRIS LEWIS
Lansing has it out for Detroiters. That’s William Scott’s estimation, at least. “The politicians in state government, in my opinion, care more about the suburbs than here in Detroit,” the retired auto worker told me a few years ago, sitting in a lawn chair perched...
The Pretense of Doing Good (While Raising Millions)
MARK SCHULLER
On Tuesday, Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn, whose new role is Haiti’s ambassador to the United Nations, ...
India: Growing Inequality and Destructive Development
GRAHAM PEEBLES
Upon a foundation of deep spirituality and philosophical treasures, proclaiming unity, justice and service, New India, horns honking in violation of the good; is racing, no time to spare towards the Alter of Materiality and Market Fundamentalism. Under the careful ...
Object Lessons on Chronic Poverty in America
JOHN GRANT
In The New York Times February 6th on pages 20 and 21, across from each other, there were two tragic stories centered around the themes of sex, race and power. You might call them love stories, though they were definitely not Hallmark card or Harlequin romances....
No Urgency for Haiti’s Poor
JOHN CARROLL, MD
Port-au-Prince. How long should we let hundreds of thousands of Haitians live in horrid tents and shacks after the earthquake of 2010? They have been living in squalid conditions for three years now. 

And how long should we let a two year old little b...
Jakarta’s Killer Floods and the Elites
ANDRE VLTCHEK
It is ‘biasa’ – business as usual – at the ‘Mall Of Indonesia’ in North Jakarta. As if there has been no tragedy of a great magnitude that occurred in this city just a few short minutes drive from its pseudo-Baroque arches and security guards. ...
Dr. King Had Other Dreams
TOM and JUDY TURNIPSEED
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was 26 years old; Coretta had just given birth to their first child. E D. Dixon, another Montgomery pastor, asked to host a meeting in Ki...
Stop the Poverty, Start the Healing
ROSEANNE DEMORO
The pervasive poverty engulfing this nation comes as no surprise to America’s nurses.   They see the country’s declining condition in their patients–  an assault on the basic state of health of America’s population, with appalling effects.  Nurses are soun...
Manufacturing Poverty
CHERI HONKALA
On December 10, community leaders all across the country held vigils and rallies outside Congressional offices to defend the safety net and protest the so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations in Washington, DC. It was part of a coordinated national campaign on Internati...
Police State India
ANDRE VLTCHEK
In the middle of December 2012, New Delhi was once again choking on a thick stratum of smog. Everyone around me was coughing, while I was supposed to be filming, for one of my documentaries. But in such conditions, filming became almost impossible, unless one was yearning...
Atheism and the Class Problem, Revisited
DAVID HOELSCHER
I want to briefly follow up on a recently published article of mine about atheism and economic justice. Doing so makes good sense, I think, because the piece is long, research-based, and addresses an unduly neglected topic. I’ll get to the article presently, but first l...
Inequality and Poverty American-Style
GRAHAM PEEBLES
Irrespective of ones circumstances or stage of life, illness is never welcome, in America if your poor it can prove to be a total catastrophe, ending often in personal bankruptcy. “According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a ...
When Plutocrats Blame the Poor
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
London. In Charles Dickens ‘Hard Times’, there is a scene where one of the main...
No Wait for Austerity
KATRINA BACOME
I don’t have a television, so I didn’t get to see President Obama deliver his reelection speech last night. Like millions of Americans, the day after the election was much the same as every other day. I spent my first day after Obama’s victory moving for...
The Political Economy of Sharing
ADAM PARSONS
The idea of sharing is increasingly popular today as an answer to many of our social, environmental and economic problems. By learning how to share more in our everyday lives – in everything from cars, clothes, couches, meals, household tools, even our time and skil...
What Sandy Shows South Africa
PATRICK BOND
Durban, South Africa. What did Hurricane Sandy teach us a week ago, here in South Africa, just as $30 billion of state funds is being committed to the dig out of vast new Durban port capacity over the next three decades, plus billions more nearby for petro...
Solidarity After the Storm
LAURA RAYMOND and JEENA SHAH
While the extent of Hurricane Sandy’s damage in the U.S. and the Caribbean is still being assessed, what’s already clear is that across the map the recovery process will be long and require massive financial and human investments by both governments and non-govern...
Capitalism is the Crisis
KATRINA BACOME
Our topic today is a livable economy, and right now that conversation is urgent. I don’t have to tell you that, you’re all here because you know something is wrong. We live in a society that promises us that if we work hard we will succeed. If we allow the fre...
Are Bombs Broken?
ERIC PATTON
If a bomb goes off and kills a lot of people, does that mean the bomb is broken?  The question is ludicrous.  If the bomb were broken, it wouldn’t go off. That is self-evident, but why is it self-evident?  It’s because, intuitively, we all understand...
In the Zone of the Homeless
MICHAEL DOLINER
I am living in the middle of the produce district in Los Angeles. Every morning trucks beeping and backing up wake me, especially the trucks dragging away the full dumpster and sliding in the empty one. Nearby are the toy, flower, and fabric districts. Also, spread among ...
“Kick-a-Nigger” Politics
KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to car...
Where are the Clergy?
MEL KING and Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Our two fathers would have much to say to today’s presidential and Senate candidates who are pandering for middle class votes?  As if tens of millions of economically struggling families, like the ones in which we were raised, did not even exist.  In the face of such ...
Trickle Up and Trickle Down
PAUL CANTOR
Trickle down economics refers to the view that the profits of the rich ultimately trickle down to the poor.  Specifically, for example, tax cuts that benefit the rich motivate them to invest and the growth that results from that investment benefits everyone....
Respect for Life in the Slums of Cite Soleil
JOHN CARROLL, MD
Port-au-Prince. Do four pound babies in one of the worst slums in the world really count? It seems they do at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Cite Soleil. This precious little girl was born on Friday morning (three days ago) but was having ...