YES! Magazine

A better world needs better economics

Science warns us that the 2020s will be humanity’s last opportunity to save itself from a climate catastrophe. Decisive action must begin this year. Climate change, however, is just one of the many crises telling us that business as usual is not an option. We must not delay action to create the world we actually want.

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Could the U.S. reinstate the military draft?

Fears of a new U.S. war in the Middle East surged at the beginning of the year, along with speculation that the government could reinstate the military draft. In this excerpt from his memoir of draft resistance during the Vietnam War, Death Wins All Wars, Daniel Holland discusses the military-industrial complex and the importance of acting on individual conscience. He ends by pointing to a current government commission on increasing military, national, and public service—one that is due to release recommendations in March 2020.

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Can moderate Democrats sign on to a progressive president?

The short answer could have been ripped from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign: “Yes, We Can!”

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A new housing option for squeezed middle income Americans

Retirees Mary-Jo and Joe Ginorio have lived in the same modest house in the West Winston Manor neighborhood of South San Francisco for more than 30 years. It’s no surprise: They know all their neighbors, have relatives living nearby, love the area’s diversity, and enjoy being able to walk to their local stores. More surprising to them is that their adult son and daughter (plus her family) have all returned to live at home in recent years because of high rents and house prices in the Bay Area.

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What a public bank can do for real people

The little city of Hazen, North Dakota, population 2,300, is the kind of town where farming and ranching families often have a second income from a job at a power plant or a coal mine.

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How CEOs behave like closet socialists

Progressives and socialists in the United States are working towards major economic changes such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. It is urgent that we empower national government to take over such critical functions in society as health insurance and the transition to a green economy. But we often encounter pushback: Many Americans worry about the risks of giving control over so much of our lives to a central authority. Our opponents cite the failure of the USSR.

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Here are 12 books to read instead of 'American Dirt'

By now you’ve probably heard the buzz around Oprah’s latest pick for her book club, American Dirt, written by Jeanine Cummins. The controversy is that Cummins, a White woman, used racist stereotypes in the book that was marketed as a poignant and realistic migration story. The drug cartels, violence, and negative Mexican tropes Cummins uses to create a migration thriller have been assailed by Latinx writers and critics.

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Here are 10 things you should know about socialism

What do we mean when we talk about “socialism”? Here are ten things about its theory, practice, and potential that you need to know.

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Before #BlackLivesMatter: The roots of Black digital activism

In 2015, two colleagues—Deen Freelon and Meredith Clark—and I set out to better understand how Black Lives Matter emerged. Our report, Beyond the Hashtags, the Online Struggle for Offline Justice, crystalized then-NAACP president Cornell Brooks’ sentiment: “This isn’t your grandparents’ civil rights movement.” Our study showed us that Ferguson, Missouri birthed Black Lives Matter. It told us that Twitter named Michael Brown for the world. Traditional news media outlets were a day late, and when they did arrive, Twitter was their primary source for information. It afforded a 24-hour glimpse into a radical new way of making news, of telling stories—giving unfiltered voice to those whose voices are traditionally unheard, ignored, or silenced.

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For a sustainable food system, look to seeds

"Our seeds are more than just food for us. Yes, they are nutrition. But they’re also… spirituality,” says Electa Hare-RedCorn, a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and a Yankton descendant. “Each seed has a story and each seed has a prayer.”

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Deradicalization in the Deep South: How a former neo-Nazi makes amends

On a late summer morning in Athens, Georgia, Shannon Foley Martinez sits barefoot on her back patio, still in her pajamas, and clicks “follow” on the Twitter profile of a White nationalist named Adrian. He has almost no followers, so he notices her within minutes. “Hello,” he types via direct message. “Hello!!!!!” she responds as her 3-year-old son plays nearby.

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Building a better man: Could a mindful masculinity end the gender wars?

Millions of pages have been devoted to demystifying the relationship between men and women, unpacking gendered power dynamics, and more recently, to interrogating toxic masculinity and finding ways to hold some men accountable for their bad behavior. What is now known as the #MeToo movement began more than a decade ago, when activist Tarana Burke launched a conversation around sexual harassment and assault often experienced by women and femmes with the powerful phrase “me too.”

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Why impeachment matters, regardless of the outcome

As I’m writing this, the House Judiciary Committee has unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump which, according to my awesome powers of precognition, are going to get approved by the U.S. House of Representatives only to get voted down later in the Senate.

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Healing a divided nation begins face to face

Three weeks after the 2016 presidential election, a group of 21 people came together in South Lebanon, Ohio, outside Cincinnati, to talk.

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How to shop sustainably

By now, the word is out: Fashion, particularly “fast fashion,” is killing our planet. Low-cost, cheaply made clothes that are designed to be worn briefly until styles change are terrible for the environment.

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'The Battle in Seattle': How we shut down the World Trade Organization 20 years ago

On November 30, 1999, a huge gathering of environmentalists, labor unions, and human rights activists gathered at the World Trade Organization’s meeting in Seattle to protest the WTO’s “free trade” agenda. The police responded with tear gas, mass arrests, and civil rights violations. Twenty years on, veteran activist Lisa Fithian recalls the scenes in the streets and the ongoing significance of what became known as “The Battle in Seattle.”

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How death doulas ease the final transition

Vivette Jeffries-Logan and Omisade Burney-Scott are friends for life—and collaborators in death.

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You can’t put capitalism over sustainability—and other lessons from China

I just returned from a conference of influential decision-makers in China, where I presented on economics for an ecological civilization in the 21st century. China and the United States are very different, but when it comes to current threats and missed opportunities, we share a great deal more than we may realize.

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Impeachment won’t save our Democracy

So it’s official: The U.S. House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is moving toward impeaching President Trump. In announcing this, Pelosi finally did what many on the left thought should have been a no-brainer. Her reluctance to move the process along has been frustrating for many eager to try to stop Trump’s trampling on the rule of law.

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Climate activist warns of other 'existential threats' — driven by elites' fears of death

On a late spring day in Seattle, I went for a walk in my neighborhood to enjoy the long-absent rays. But a thought intruded not long into my walk: I needed to pick up an N95 mask before the wildfires started and the hardware stores sold out. That’s what had happened the previous summer when, on a few occasions, smoke from wildfires in British Columbia and eastern Washington blew in and made the city’s air quality the worst of any major city worldwide. Calling this the “new normal” falls short; every year, new disastrous milestones are passed. Not only are human deaths per year expected to increase by at least a few hundred thousand, but 1 million animal and plant species will be at risk of extinction.

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What abortion bans and easy gun access have in common

Abortions and guns. Few issues are as polarizing or have so completely dominated the national discourse in recent years. Across the country, states have passed hundreds of measures to either curb or expand access to both.

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Here are 7 things people forget to do before they die

Unless death is imminent, too many of us find the thought of it so frightening and vague that we prefer not to think about it. Kathy Kortes-Miller, author of Talking About Death Won’t Kill You, is a palliative care provider and a cancer survivor. She knows that by talking about death now, we can not only have a better death, but a better life.

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A people’s history of board games

We are living in the golden age of board games. Thousands of new board games are released every year, played by millions of people around the world.

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Ursula K. Le Guin is still the radical feminist we need today

Ursula Le Guin is one of the great world builders to ever put words to paper. She tapped into the divinity that shapes the world, to craft universes for our imaginations, and then shared these imaginings until they began to change the world, this world.

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It’s not a woman’s job to protect a man’s virtue

It’s a story as old as the Bible itself: Female temptress threatens to destroy virtuous man with witchy powers of persuasion.

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Race against time: How white fear of genetic annihilation fuels abortion bans

Last year, White people constituted 60% of the U.S. population, down from about 90% in 1950. It’s projected that by 2050, they will be the new minority and people of color will be the majority—a nightmarish prediction to some White people.

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Effective tax policy that thwarts plutocratic power-building hinges upon this key detail

When we talk about the wealthy, who are we really referring to? Is it the billionaires on private jets? The neighbors up the street who seem to always have the flashiest new cars and exotic vacation photos?

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Here are 20 ways you can help immigrants right now

Immigrant children are dying in federal custody. Children in detention are being denied basic supplies like soap and blankets—and the Trump administration says that’s fine. Trump threatened then delayed mass immigration raids across the country, using the plan as a bargaining chip with Congress, while families are left in an ever-heightened state of uncertainty.

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On reparations: The question isn’t if -- but when and how

We will never achieve racial justice in America if this country does not examine the impact and legacy of slavery—and make strides toward achieving reparatory justice.

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A graceful exit: How to take charge at the end of life

I was standing in my cubicle, a 24-year-old fact-checker envisioning a publishing career of glamor and greatness, suddenly shaking as I read the document my mother had mailed. It detailed her wish that I promise never to keep her or my father alive with artificial respirators, IV-drip nourishment, or anything else she deemed “extreme.”

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