The Great Debate

Think everything on a dollar menu costs a dollar? Think again.

By Peter Van Buren
August 1, 2014

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How expensive are those everyday low prices? How much do things really cost on that fast-food restaurant’s dollar menu? The answer is more than you think, but maybe not for the reason you think.

from Reihan Salam:

Paul Ryan’s promising new plan to end poverty

By Reihan Salam
July 24, 2014

Ryan speaks at the SALT conference in Las Vegas

Paul Ryan has long been known as the GOP’s budget guru. With the release of his new report on expanding opportunity in America -- the most ambitious conservative anti-poverty agenda since the mid-1990s -- he is on the cusp of becoming something much more than that.

Why not a war on child poverty?

By Mike Males
April 22, 2014

President Barack Obama’s recent speeches at the LBJ Presidential Library and National Action Network marking the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Act had a serious omission. While acknowledging “our work is unfinished,” Obama failed to mention this nation’s worst social trend: the stunning increase of children and youth living in poverty.

Tackling inequality: Where a president meets a pope

By Martin E. Marty
March 27, 2014

There has been much speculation about President Barack Obama’s meeting with Pope Francis on Thursday. One Catholic church authority asserted, “it is not the task of the pope to offer a detailed and complete analysis of contemporary reality.” The pope got that message — he wrote it himself in his first official “Papal Exhortation” last year.

How ambitious the world?

By John Podesta
September 25, 2013

For more than a decade, the very idea of multilateralism often seemed to be on life support — damaged by the Iraq invasion and its messy aftermath, buffeted by the global economic crisis and bruised by the difficulty of coming to agreement on critical trade and climate issues in Doha and Rio, respectively. Now, the world’s attention is riveted on whether the United States and Russia’s agreement to avert the immediate crisis triggered by the use of chemical weapons in Syria can be effectively overseen by the United Nations Security Council.

We need to support anti-poverty measures that work

By Sister Simone Campbell
September 17, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau’s release of 2012 poverty data tells us once again that millions of Americans in our wealthy nation continue to struggle at the economic margins, with no signs of progress. The nation’s just-released official poverty rate in 2012 was 15.0 percent, which represents 46.5 million people living at or below the poverty line. This marks the second consecutive year that neither the official poverty rate, wages, nor the number of people in poverty was statistically different from the previous year’s estimates.

First chapter for ending extreme poverty

By John Podesta
May 30, 2013

Children queue for free porridge at a local government feeding program in Tondo, Manila, Oct. 29, 2011. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

We must focus on the working poor

By Brandon Roberts
January 15, 2013

In many respects the economy is healing, as both the unemployment rate and hiring statistics slowly improve. But there are growing numbers of Americans being left out.

Government can reduce inequality, but chooses not to

By Timothy Noah
December 18, 2012

This essay is a response to the Reuters special report The Unequal State of America.

Where is Obama’s promised minimum-wage hike?

By Ralph Nader
July 24, 2012

During the 2008 campaign, presidential candidate Barack Obama made a pledge to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2011. Promises like this one inspired a generation of young voters, excited long-neglected progressive voters and gave hope to millions of his supporters across the country.