RJ Eskow

Here are 11 questions you should ask Libertarians to see if they're hypocrites

Libertarians have a problem. Their political philosophy all but died out in the mid- to late-20th century, but was revived by billionaires and corporations that found them politically useful. And yet libertarianism retains the qualities that led to its disappearance from the public stage, before its reanimation by people like the Koch brothers: It doesn’t make any sense.

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Don’t let the Trump administration corporatize Medicare

The Trump administration is engaged in a massive deception about Medicare Advantage plans, those commercial insurance plans that contract with the government to offer Medicare benefits. These plans are offered as an alternative to traditional Medicare, the public plan administered by the government.

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Wall Street is leading the attack on Pelosi - Steny Hoyer is the real barrier to the progressive agenda

It’s impossible to understand the Democratic rebellion against Nancy Pelosi without understanding the way power works in the House of Representatives. To understand the self-serving men behind this rebellion, heed the words of the late screenwriter William Goldman: Follow the money.

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A Movement Emerges to Free Former Students from Crushing Loan Debts

Every so often, perhaps once or twice in a person’s lifetime, the trajectory of society changes. It happened in the 1930s, when the country found a new sense of shared purpose as it rebuilt itself under the leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It happened after World War II, when the era of technological and economic progress seemed as if it would never end. It happened in the 1960s, as large segments of society dedicated themselves to civil rights and social advancement.

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How the Ghost of a Billionaire Dedicated to Privatizing Social Security Will Haunt Us for Years to Come

Peter G. “Pete” Peterson, the billionaire businessman and anti-government crusader, died last week at the age of 91. He leaves behind family and friends who will miss him, and a vast coterie of consultants and politicians who may miss his checks even more. They can take comfort from the words of Percy Bysshe Shelley: “He doth not sleep/he hath awakened from the dream of life …”

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Descendants of Freed Slave's Land Taken for Amazon Data Center? Time to Radically Rethink Property Rights

This is a story about property: real and imagined, legitimate and illegitimate. It’s a story about who gets to decide who can own what … and whom. It’s a story of reality, both physical and virtual. It’s a story that begins with humans in chains, moves through Disney’s desire to make a theme park out of our most painful history, and ends with the descendants of slaves dispossessed by a company owned by one of the richest people in the world, a company named for a river.

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Monarchy in America? One of Trump's Tax Proposals Would Create a Permanent Aristocracy Overnight

“There is a myth out there that…at heart, he’s really on the side of the little guy,” Hillary Clinton said recently of Donald Trump. “Don’t believe it.”

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Bill Clinton's Out of Touch Economically: That's a Big Deal

He's eloquent, he's popular ... and he's out of touch with the daily lives of most Americans. Bill Clinton's economic worldview spells trouble, both for a party that's still reeling from defeat and for a nation where millions of people struggle just to make ends meet.

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Let’s Nationalize Amazon and Google: Publicly Funded Technology Built Big Tech

They’re huge, they’re ruthless, and they touch every aspect of our daily lives. Corporations like Amazon and Google keep expanding their reach and their power. Despite a history of abuses, so far the Justice Department has declined to take antitrust actions against them. But there’s another solution.

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10 Reasons Americans Should be Wary of Rand Paul's Libertarianism, Especially Young People

Republican Senator Rand Paul has been making a big play for millennials lately, most notably by taking his civil liberties pitch to colleges around the country. Paul has got the right idea when he says his party must “evolve, adapt or die” (although I think the first two are virtually the same thing). Katie Glueck of Politico wrote that “The Kentucky senator drew a largely friendly reception at the University of California-Berkeley as he skewered the intelligence community."

Sen. Paul spoke of “dystopian nightmares” and added that “your rights, especially your right to privacy, are under assault.” Paul also said he perceives “fear of an intelligence community that’s drunk with power, unrepentant and uninclined to relinquish power.” 

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6 Examples of Wildly Overpaid Rich Folks (And the Teachers We Could Have Gotten for That Money)

Economic outcomes aren’t produced in a vacuum. They reflect the politics, culture and values of the people behind them. Today those forces aren’t saying good things about us as a society. Think about it: since when is a failed Silicon Valley executive worth nearly 2,000 times as much as a teacher?

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What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

These four libertarian/conservative dystopias are offered, as Rod Serling used to say in "The Twilight Zone," "for your consideration."

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How Elizabeth Warren's Privacy Rules Will Fight the Corporate Snoops

This week Sen. Elizabeth Warren and six colleagues introduced the Equal Employment for All Act, which would make it illegal for employers to disqualify job applicants based on their credit scores. It's an admirable and important bill which deserves our support. It also gives us an opportunity to have a broader discussion about the kind of society we hope to become.

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How Right-Wingers Are Stepping Into An Obamacare Trap

You don’t have to be an unqualified fan of the Affordable Care Act to recognize the lunacy of most Republican objections to it. From “death panels” to “a loss of liberty,” there’s only one consistent through-line to most of their objections: They come from Republicans, they’re directed at a Democratic president, and they’re irrational.

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6 Signs Our Culture Is Sick With Greed

The love of money for money’s sake is the social disease of our time. We see it all around us: in the celebration of ill-gotten stock gains, public admiration for the heads of criminal banks, the words of Kanye West, in the commercialization of charity and even spirituality.

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The Shamelessness of Bankers

It’s not easy to maintain a civil tone while describing the magnitude of the misbehavior among executives at Wall Street’s largest institutions. To criticize bankers is to describe large-scale wrongdoing, mass-produced outrages that lead to widespread misery. It can’t be done without routinely deploying words like “perjury,” “forgery,” “fraud,” “deceit,” “corruption” and “rapaciousness.”

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Beware: Huge Media Companies Are Selling Corporate Ideology as the 'New American Center'

“IT’S OFFICIAL,” the box on my screen announced in capital letters. “YOU’RE ONE OF THE BLEEDING HEARTS.”

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What Are Democrats in the Senate Smoking? Caving into Right-Wingers to Cut Medicare Would Be Political Disaster

As the Bob Dylan song says: "Things should start to get interesting right about now." You may think they're alreadyinteresting -- what with government closings, threats of a debt default, and extremist rhetoric under the Capitol Dome -- but chances are we ain't seen nothin' yet.

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Letter to an Angry Libertarian

Dear Libertarian:

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7 Signs America Has Regressed Back To the Harsh, Cruel 19th Century

Tea Party Republicans long for the days when there were no government authorities to enforce laws and restrain the power of unchecked wealth, the days when there was no Justice Department, no SEC, no other agencies protecting Americans from the misdeeds of bankers and corporate titans. But it already seems as if our entire country has secretly been transported back in time. We may think we’re living in the 21st century, but all the signs suggest we’re living in an earlier and harsher era.

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Why Breaking Bad's Walter White Is the Epitomal Greedy American CEO

Do you know what would happen if I suddenly decided to stop going into work? A business big enough that it could be listed on the NASDAQ goes belly-up. Disappears! It ceases to exist without me. —Walter White

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5 Wildly Offensive Comments and Actions by Rich Jerks

“The poor we shall always have with us,” said the Bible, and lately there are more of the poor than ever—over 50 million at last count. But that doesn’t stop wealthy Americans from saying things that reek of insensitivity and callousness toward those less fortunate than themselves, which nowadays is pretty much everybody.

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7 Things About Prosecuting Wall Street You Wanted to Know (But Were Too Depressed to Ask)

President Obama's Justice Department, under the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder, hasn't indicted a single bank executive for the massive Wall Street crime wave that devastated the economy. The regulatory reform which followed the 2008 crisis wasn't nearly enough, and yet Republicans are trying to weaken even that.

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8 Signs the Rich Have WAY Too Much Money

The statistics about wealth inequality in this country are both astonishing and alarming. But statistics can’t tell the entire story if they’re presented in isolation. Our country is increasingly being turned into a plaything for the ultra-rich. 

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How Do We Fight the Hate-Filled Right Wing Agenda Without Succumbing to Hate Ourselves?

When is it fair to say that some political battles aren't just disagreements over policy, but actually represent a struggle between 'good' and 'evil' points of view? And when, if ever, is it helpful to say so?

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Why Tom Friedman Is the Ayn Rand of Our Times

If Thomas Friedman didn't exist, America's high-tech entrepreneurs would have had to invent him.  Come to think of it, maybe they did. The dark science-fiction vision he celebrates serves them well, at pretty much everyone else's expense.

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5 Powerful Men Who Were Catastrophically Wrong About the Economy - But Reaped Rewards Anyway

The boards are lighting up with consternation at the notion that Lawrence Summers might be rewarded for his vital role in triggering the 2008 financial crisis by being given the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve. Summers is reportedly lobbying hard for the job, along with many of his powerful Washington friends. (He has a lot of those.) There have been no denials from the White House, which may be treating these stories as a trial balloon—and a test of our national economic amnesia.

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Why Are Americans So Passive?

From the first breaths of life to the last, our lives are being stolen out from under us. From infant care and early education to Social Security and Medicare, the dominant economic ideology is demanding more lifelong sacrifices from the vulnerable to appease the gods of wealth.

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Are Corporations Trying to Distract Us with Social Issues While They Take Control of Our Economy?

I was having breakfast with a friend in North Carolina the day after that state voted against gay marriage, and after Barack Obama said on television that he now supported it. My friend knew I had supported the cause for a long time, so he asked me what I thought of Obama’s comments. I said "I think he’ll be tacking to the right economically once he’s re-elected."

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9 Ways the Right’s Ayn Randian Experiment Screws Over the Young

Conservatives keep claiming liberals want a “cradle-to-grave nanny state.” That rhetoric has distracted us from the real social re-engineering taking place all around us. The right, along with its “centrist” collaborators, is transforming our nation into a bloodless and soulless Randian State.

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