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'
Mexico en Verano
PAT CABELL
On July 1st, 2012, the day of Mexico’s recent presidential election, I visited the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City, hoping to encounter a painting by Remedios Varo. A surrealist painter fleeing the Spanish Civil War, Varo was among the many notable exiles to make t...
The Widening Wealth Gap
KAREN DOLAN
We can’t seem to stop having record numbers of people living in poverty in the United States. The richest continue to get richer and the rest of us continue to see our incomes get lower and lower. New Census Bureau figures ...
John the Baptist in Red Wing Shoes
DANIEL CHURCH
Fairbanks. Shift work can be a dangerous, nauseating experience. Working 12 hours straight in a control panel at a power plant for 84 hours I often have entertained myself by adjusting the junked out radio with an antenna that wraps around the wall like a ...
Letter From a Wretched Pakistani
SHAFQAT HUSSAIN
Jab zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e giran Rooyi ki tarah ur jayenge. When the weighted mountains of tyranny Will fly off like cotton whisps. — Faiz Ahmed Faiz. This memorandum is addressed to you. Y...
World Bank’s Jim Yong Kim Comes to South Africa
PATRICK BOND
Durban, South Africa. “One of the things you learn as an anthropologist, you don’t come in and change the culture,” Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim told wealthy alumni when contemplating the institution’s notorious hazing practices, prior ...
Hot Autumn in the Kingdom of Spain
DANIEL RAVENTOS and JULIE WARK
On 20 November 2011, thirty-six years after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco, the right-wing Popular Party (PP) won a resounding victory in the parliamentary election. Less than ten months later, voting intention polls show that public support for the Rajoy gove...
Why You’re a Lot Poorer Than You Thought You Were
MIKE WHITNEY
You’re a lot poorer than you thought you were. According to a report by Sentier Research “real median annual household income… has fallen by 4.8 percent since the ‘economic recovery’ began in June 2009.” That’s worse...
An Interview With Cheri Honkala
LEE BALLINGER
Cheri Honkala was born into poverty in Minneapolis in 1963. For the past twenty-five years she has served as national director of the ...
America’s Descent Into Poverty
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The United States has collapsed economically, socially, politically, legally, constitutionally, environmentally, and morally. The country that exists today is not even a shell of the country into which I was born.  In this article I will deal with America’s economic co...
Defining Inequality Down
DAVID GREEN
Since the recession of 2008, it has become increasingly apparent that for the past four decades the majority of the American population has gotten a raw economic deal. Computer applications and internet technology have made accessible raw data from the Census, the Bureau ...
A Tale of Two Classes
SAM PIZZIGATI
Peter Edelman has battled poverty for nearly half a century — first as a top aide to Senator Robert Kennedy, later as a state and federal official, and currently as a key figure at a widely respected law and public policy center in Washington. Over his years in a...
The Deepening Recession in Black America
SALVATORE BABONES
The recession has been hard on everyone. Tens of millions of people lost their jobs. Many of those who didn’t lose their jobs suffered salary cuts. Retirement savings and home values have plummeted. Even people who have kept their jobs and homes have ha...
Child Poverty in America
STEVEN HIGGS
Downtown Bloomington, Indiana with its upscale restaurants, bustling bars and East Coast-style boutiques and nail salons – all brimming with the rich and their progeny – has always advanced a false image of the Southern Indiana town so many describe with utopian super...
Playing Games on the Poor
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
London resident Zita Holbourne plans to participate in the Friday July 27th Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games held at the gleaming new stadium located not far from her community of Newham. However, Holbourne, a trade union activist and poet, is not partici...
Rich Man, Poor Man Long Island-Style
KARL GROSSMAN
Poverty and extreme wealth on Long Island, where I live, have been in the national spotlight in recent days. HBO this month broadcast a powerful documentary “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island.” Filmmaker Marc Levin followed four Long Island families who suddenly became ...
A House Call in Haiti
JOHN CARROLL, MD
Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Many years ago while working in a free clinic in Peoria, Illinois, I came to realize how a house call could teach much more about a patient than seeing the patient in the office. Office visits are artificial and don’t tell you near...
Romney the Possessed
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
A Mitt Romney presidency would greatly worsen America’s moral decline.  It is not about his money, but about his moral sense.  It is not about his worth, but his views on other people’s worthiness.  Not about his inheritance, but his attitude toward the disinherite...
Balancing on the Poor
TIMOTHY COLLINS
Shame on the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee for slashing food and nutrition programs in its version of the 2012 Farm Bill. According to The New York Times,  the House measure cuts $16.5 billion from the food stamp program,  part of $35 billio...
Some Outrageous Facts About Inequality
PAUL BUCHHEIT
Studying inequality in America reveals some facts that are truly hard to believe. Amidst all the absurdity a few stand out. 1. U.S. companies in total pay a smaller percentage of taxes than the lowest-income 20% of Americans. Total corporate profits for 2011...
Why Obama Must be Defeated
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Not Ralph Nader. Not Amy Goodman. Not Noam Chomsky. Not Chris Hedges. Not Cornel West. Not Alexander Cockburn. Not one of the great left critics in the United States have dared say what Harvard Law School Professor Roberto Unger said last week. “President Obama must be ...
American Disconnect
SAUL LANDAU
New York City’s wealth stands in stark contrast to the countless people begging on its streets. New York is different of course, but not for the 1% who live well across the country; the rest of the population less or far less well. That’s America in 2012, where...
The Real Retirement Crisis
ERIC LAURSEN
“The lifespan of any civilization can be measured by the respect and care that is given to its elderly citizens, and those societies which treat their elderly with contempt have the seeds of their own destruction within them.” ...
The Meaning of Occupy
PETER BOHMER
The Occupy movement in the United States is part of a global upsurge that began in Tunisia in late 2010, spread to Egypt and the Middle East, Wisconsin, Chile, Spain, Greece, Wall Street and the rest of the United States and now Quebec. I focus on the United States, parti...
No One Hears the Poor
KATHY KELLY
Kabul. Here in Kabul, Voices co-coordinator Buddy Bell and I are guests at the home of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APV), where we’ve gotten to know four young boys who are being tutored by the Volunteers in the afternoons, having “retired” from the...
The Myth of Equal Rights
JACK RANDOM
The civil rights movement illuminated the hypocrisy of the liberal promise.  It made overt, and recorded on television for the world to see, an old daily fact of American life:  that a black person who protested his condition, or moved one step out of line, ...
The Austerity of the Affluent
P. SAINATH
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s stirring call for austerity tugs at the national tear ducts.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has pleaded for it in the past and watched his flock embrace it creatively. With the finance ministry even acting on Dr. Singh’s call in 20...
White Living
LINH DINH
Outside the Gallery, Philadelphia’s low-class shopping mall, Jimbo si...
50 Percent of the 99 Percent
LAURA CARLSEN
What’s 50 percent of 99 percent? This isn’t a math quiz. To put the question in non-numerical terms: where are women in the global economic crisis? The movement of the 99 percent that began in the United States made visible the human beings who suffer th...
Preying on the Poor
BARBARA EHRENREICH
Individually the poor are not too tempting to thieves, for obvious reasons. Mug a banker and you might score a wallet containing a month’s rent. Mug a janitor and you will be lucky to get away with bus fare to flee the crime scene. But asBusiness Week ...
Taking It to the Streets in Spain
DANIEL RAVENTOS and JULIE WARK
The citizens of Spain have taken to the streets and squares in great numbers to demand their rights. Estimates vary enormously. Spain’s right-wing government claims that 22,000 people came out in Barcelona in the demonstrations on 12th May while the organiser...
What Kind of Society Do Americans Want?
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
On 7 May 2012 ...
Repression Through Marginalization
RAVI KATARI
It’s not easy to get the President of the United States to provide meaningful answers to questions regarding issues of serious concern to the population.  During a Q&A session with Obama put together by YouTube in January, a woman pressed him about her husband’s ...
The Violence of Poverty
ALYOSHA GOLDSTEIN
On April 22, 1968, the National Welfare Rights Organization held a vigil on Capitol Hill in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., who had been murdered eighteen days earlier.  This was to have been the day that King presented the demands of the Poor People’s Campaign to Co...
Health Care in an Age of American Decline
RAVI KATARI
“A heart that’s full up like a landfill.  A job that slowly kills you.  Bruises that won’t heal.  You look so tired, unhappy.  Bring down the government, they don’t speak for us.  I’ll take a quiet life, a handshake of carbon monoxide....
The Weaponization of Atheism
JEFF SPARROW
In a few days time, the Global Atheist Convention meets in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, a huge building sprawling out next to the Yarra River, just south of the central business district of Australia’s second biggest city. But walk north for fi...
It’s Time to Revive the Civil Rights Movement
Rev. JESSE JACKSON
We mourn Trayvon Martin, the young African American who, armed only with candy and a soft drink, was shot dead for the offense of “walking while black.” George Zimmerman, the vigilante who shot him, has not been arrested, apparently pr...
How to Beat Poverty in India
P. SAINATH
One Tendulkar makes the big scores. The other wrecks the averages. The Planning Commission clearly prefers Suresh to Sachin. Using Professor Tendulkar’s methodology, it declares that there’s been another massive fall in poverty. Yes, another (‘more dramatic in the r...
Child Soldiers: a Symptom of War, Poverty & Imperialism
DANIEL KOVALIK
I have seen a number of articles written recently about the problem of Child Soldiers in various conflicts abroad – most notably in Africa and Colombia.   What has struck me about these pieces, and the discourse about this phenomenon in general, is that they treat the...
What Do the World Bank Statistics Really Tell Us?
ROBIN BROAD and JOHN CAVANAGH
Now here is what sounds like a New York Times headline to celebrate: “...
Should We Celebrate a Decline in Global Poverty?
ADAM PARSONS
You may be forgiven for missing the good news recently reported by the World Bank: that the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined in almost every region of the developing world. According to the ...
Message From a Bleeding Heart
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
47% of young children in India are malnourished, and up to a third of the world’s undernourished children are Indian. United Nations Children’s Fund, 2011 The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says India has t...
Rediscovering Poverty
BARBARA EHRENREICH
It’s been exactly 50 years since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, “discovered” poverty, thanks to Michael Harrington’s engaging book ...
Beyond the Golden Couples of Pyongyang
JOHN FEFFER
It’s not likely that an Occupy Pyongyang movement will set up tents in Kim Il Sung Square anytime soon. Protest, after all, is virtually non-existent in that society. But the same widening inequalities that plague the United States and the global economy can also be fou...
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
RON JACOBS
On March 8, 1997 workers at the University of Vermont were at the beginning of a struggle to unionize.  The units of the workforce that were prime for unionization (and most likely to vote in a union) were those units that maintained the buildings and grounds of the univ...
Missing Foundations
LINH DINH
Americans are living on borrowed time, economically. Like air conditioners, copper pipes and aluminum siding of a foreclosed home, what remains of our prosperity will be violently stripped away. There is no economic recovery because the foundations for such are simply not...
Sex Trafficking
LAURA AGUSTÍN
It is good luck for Good Men that sex slavery has been identified as a terrible new phenomenon requiring extraordinary actions. In the chivalric tradition, to rescue a damsel in distress ranked high as a way knights errant could prove themselves, along with slaying dragon...
Occupy vs. the Global Race to the Bottom
ROBIN BROAD and JOHN CAVANAGH
Ever since the first tent was pitched in Zuccotti Park in September 2011, the Occupy protests have been giving life to a “99 percent movement.” Expect to hear a lot more from them: plans for a ...
Take a Train in Jakarta
ANDRE VLTCHEK
If you take a train in Jakarta, be warned: the images that would unwind behind your windows could be too disturbing to bear for someone who is not a war correspondent or a medical doctor. It would often feel as if hundreds of thousands of the wretched of the earth decided...
Debunking Charles Murray … Again
ROB URIE
I know the areas of Philadelphia that Charles Murray refers to in his new book Coming Apart and I...
Blaming the Poor for Their Own Poverty
CAMERON RIOPELLE
Nicholas Kristof and Daniel Patrick Moynihan have much in common. Namely, they have constructed variations on the “culture of poverty” argument. In “The White Underclass,” his recent op-ed piece for the New York Times, Kristof brings our nation’s favorite blame ...