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inequality



  • The Broken System: What Comes After Meritocracy?

    by Elizabeth Anderson

    Philosopher Elizabeth Anderson reviews Michael Sandel's critique of meritocracy, a book that locates an explanation for the Trumpian moment in the rise of competitive individualism in the platforms of both major parties. 



  • The Way Out of America’s Zero-Sum Thinking on Race and Wealth

    by Heather McGhee

    White resentment is a key political factor in America's stingy public sector; post-WWII support for social welfare, government intervention in the economy, and public investment receded after the civil rights movement demanded "jobs and freedom" for all. It's time to replace zero-sum thinking with a concept of social solidarity. 



  • Whose Rights Matter in Pandemic America?

    by Liz Theoharis

    In Cold War America, political movements that challenged the oppression of poverty were suppressed in favor of the formal ideal of civil rights. A leader of the revived Poor People's Campaign first envisioned by MLK before his death says that history must be addressed and undone. 


  • King’s Final Book: Both Political Roadmap and Passionate Sermon

    by Fred Zilian

    As Black History Month unfolds amid an atmosphere of crisis and division like that which prevailed in 1968, it's worth revisiting Martin Luther King's publication that year of "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community" – a call for reordering national priorities toward justice through politics and for renewed spiritual and ethical dedication to shared humanity.



  • Beyond Donald Trump: When Poisons Curdle

    by Andrew Bacevich

    The writer regrets not absorbing the message of MLK's prophetic "Beyond Vietnam" sermon when it was delivered in 1967. But the years since have shown he wasn't alone, and the nation's failure to reflect on the interconnection of racism, materialism and militarism accounts for the dire state of affairs reflected in the January 6 attack on the Capitol. 



  • The Commonality between Biden’s Education Secretary and Betsy Devos is a Warning

    by Adam Laats

    Public education has long been envisioned as a black box that can fix the social problems created by inequality in the United States. When it has failed to perform this miracle, the education system has been subjected to successive waves of wrenching reform. It's time to fix the society outside the school walls. 



  • Reflections On An Imploding Empire

    by Russell Rickford

    Progressive dissidents must meet the moment of Biden's inauguration by not settling for what liberal politicians offer on economic justice, human rights, environment, labor, and health. 



  • The Life in "The Simpsons" Is No Longer Attainable

    In the 1990s, "The Simpsons" drew humor by putting bizarre dysfunction in the context of middle class suburban banality. Today it's the idea of homeownership paid for by a stable single income that seems outlandish.



  • A More Perfect Meritocracy

    by Agnes Callard

    Two new books take aim at the moral failures of meritocracy. But we can advocate for a more just society without giving up on merit.


  • Can Biden Broaden Our American Dream?

    by Walter G. Moss

    Can a program of national service create pathways to individual opportunity while also building the social cohesion America needs to recover? 



  • Against Returning to Normal

    by David Walsh

    Liberal pleas to return to a "normal" defined by bipartisan consensus ignore the long legacy of ideological conflict and the pursuit of division as a political strategy by the conservative movement. 



  • Why Supermarkets Are Powerful Flash Points In Racial Politics

    by Tracey Deutsch and James McElroy

    In addition to selling food, grocery stores have also preserved a social order that treats shoppers of different races differently, dispensing hierarchy along with food — and, in fact, creating it.



  • Neoliberal Hong Kong Is Our Future, Too

    by Macabe Keliher

    While orthodox economists like to point to Hong Kong as an ideal free market, the social consequences have been disastrous. Inequality is rising, wages are declining and working hours increasing, overall economic opportunity is dwindling, and housing is so unaffordable that office workers sleep in McDonalds. Is it any wonder that the streets are now burning?