How the Great Society Democratized our Economy

The media buzz surrounding the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s May 1964 speech announcing his Great Society has focused on the question, did it “work?” In other words, did the 200-odd pieces of legislation passed over the following two years…

In Defense of a “Default” Foreign Policy

I am an advocate of what Michael Walzer calls the “default” left position on foreign policy: minimal engagement, at least until we get democracy right here at home. Still, self-interest and moral obligation require some attention to the world beyond…

Lynn Williams: In Memoriam

Lynn Williams—president of the United Steelworkers of America from 1983 to 1994—died on May 5 at the age of 89. Lynn was an extraordinary union leader—smart, compassionate, and visionary. His strength and creativity helped protect and expand his union through…

America Without Unions

The recent defeat of its effort to unionize workers at Volkwagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee factory was a crushing blow to the United Auto Workers, and a setback to the embattled U.S. labor movement, which could have used the morale boost of…

Class War: The View From the Board Room

The Vice-President for Governmental Affairs has just finished his report to the corporate board of directors. “Thanks, Ted,” says the Chairman. “You and your Washington staff have done a great job. Getting that little amendment inserted in the budget bill…

NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

New Year’s Day, 2014, marks the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Agreement created a common market for goods, services and investment capital with Canada and Mexico. And it opened the door through which American…

The Stem, the Flower, and Corporate Greed

In his New York Times column this morning, David Brooks uses a garden metaphor to instruct us on the different functions of the public and private sector. He writes that the government is like the “stem,” providing us with the…