The Great Debate

Democrats: It’s the states, stupid (Part 2)

By Herman Schwartz
October 29, 2013


Since the government shutdown, public opinion of the Republican Party has hit a new low. Yet the Democrats might not be able to gain from it. Despite the GOP’s fall from grace — and even if they suffer a lower vote count in the 2014 midterm elections — the Republicans might still control the House of Representatives and many state legislatures after the polls close.

With unemployment high, France forces stores to close early

By Peter Gumbel
September 25, 2013

The French like to refer to the Champs Elysées in Paris as “the most beautiful avenue in the world,” and 300,000 people stroll up and down it every day to see for themselves, many of them tourists looking to shop. No surprise, then, to find that retailers from Nike to LVMH are willing to pay premium rents for space on the avenue, which runs in a straight line from the Place de la Concorde up to the triumphal arch at Etoile.

Rebuilding America’s high-wage economy

By Robert Kuttner
August 1, 2013

Good for President Barack Obama for emphasizing the need to restore America’s middle class. However, the actual proposals in his new summer offensive would not go very far toward that worthy goal.

Death in Bangladesh: Triangle fire redux

By Kevin Baker
June 6, 2013


So now we are to have Senate hearings on the deadly conditions in Bangladeshi garment factories, and so must pretend to discover what we have known all along — in seeking to save a few dollars on our next trip to the mall, we are willing to let other people suffer the worst horrors of our own past.

A cry for worker fairness

By Senator Robert Menendez
June 5, 2013

People rescue a garment worker trapped under rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Bira

Thatcher: Master of the ‘unexpecteds’

By Daniel Yergin
April 16, 2013

The passing of Margaret Thatcher comes at a time when the great theme that shaped her years as Britain’s prime minister – the frontier between government and the private sector – is again the focus of serious public debate. Her historic achievement was to widen the frontiers of the “market” and, as she said, to have “rolled back the frontiers of the state.”

‘Inclusive Capitalism': Bridging business-labor divide

By Nathan Milikowsky and Andrew Stern
April 2, 2013

Economic policy debates often focus on areas of division and discord. On the minimum wage, you’ll see some businesses fighting labor. On regulation, you have government versus the free market.

Why do unions seek exemption from anti-stalking laws?

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day is a time when couples go out for romantic dinners and exchange gifts, while singles meet up in bars, hoping to make some bad decisions. Valentine’s Day is also a day when people with crazy ex-boyfriends or -girlfriends are reminded of how thankful they are for anti-stalking laws.

The right-to-work coup in Michigan

By Nelson Lichtenstein
December 13, 2012

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s decision to sign a right-to-work law is just the latest battle in Midwestern Republican legislators’ convulsive campaign to eviscerate union political clout. Lansing, Michigan, now follows Madison, Wisconsin, Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Indiana, as a state capital flooded by union partisans — in a spirited, but vain, effort to forestall these laws.

One big reason for GOP optimism

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
December 5, 2012

There are 25 reasons for Republican optimism in the wake of a disappointing November. Twenty-five is the number of states next year where Republicans will have unified control of the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the legislature. Up from the current 24.