The Great Debate

My union right or wrong: Should rogue cops and football players be defended?

By Nelson Lichtenstein
December 30, 2014

Law enforcement officers turn their backs on a live video monitor showing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has he speaks at the funeral of slain New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Rafael Ramos near Christ Tabernacle Church in the Queens borough of

Unions of football players and police officers are still strong organizations — even as the rest of the labor movement unravels. But scandal in the National Football League and murder on the streets of New York City has many people asking if these high-profile unions are too strident in defending their members.

For police, when it comes to law and order, ‘order’ historically comes first

By Allen Steinberg
December 24, 2014

Demonstrators in Times Square protest a grand jury decision not to charge a policeman in the chocking death of Eric Garner, in New York

Police misconduct has ignited a political firestorm in New York and many other cities across the nation, not seen in quite some time. Relations between the public and the police are fraught with tension, mistrust and violence. Many are outraged. Politicians and the media are posturing and promising reform. The police are angry, feeling besieged.

from Stories I’d like to see:

Where did the Department of Education’s ‘Race to the Top’ lead?

By Steven Brill
September 30, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama visits Wright Middle School in Madison

We are fast approaching the fifth anniversary, on Jan. 10, of when state applications are due to apply for awards under President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top program.

The minimum wage fight: From San Francisco to de Blasio’s New York

By Ken Jacobs and Michael Reich
February 11, 2014

In his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama urged cities and states to bypass Congress and enact their own minimum wage increases. “You don’t have to wait for Congress,” he stated.

Troubled Ties: The Clintons and populism

By Bill Schneider
January 6, 2014

What’s behind the sudden outburst of populism in the Democratic Party?

Partly the weak economic recovery. Most economic indicators have turned positive — economic growth is up, unemployment down, the housing market is in recovery. But ordinary Americans are not feeling it. In last month’s CNN poll, two thirds of Americans said the nation’s economy was poor. More than half expect it to remain poor a year from now.

Why do New York politicians hate small business?

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
December 17, 2013

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed a commission to figure out how to make the Empire State more business-friendly and change its reputation for high taxes. The New York state government is now running commercials on national television touting the tax breaks that businesses can get by relocating there. “Small Business Saturday” – the annual post-Thanksgiving event encouraging folks to patronize small businesses — was heavily promoted in nearly every media outlet.

Bill de Blasio, the Not-Bloomberg

By Joyce Purnick
September 11, 2013

Bill de Blasio, whose strong support in New York City’s Democratic primary for mayor may have averted any runoff, had a secret weapon — and I speak not of his delightful Afro’d son, Dante, but of the very man he wants to succeed, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.