There Are No Low Wage Jobs, and the Poverty Line Does Not Exist

Also published on Alternet at

Also published at Democratic Underground at

On Tuesday, September 24, 2002, the Census Bureau is expected to release its 2001 data on poverty and income. No doubt we will see an increase in the number of families living below the so-called poverty line, and no doubt part of the explanation that experts will give for this is the continuing shift in our economy away from high-paying manufacturing jobs and toward read more

Steve Forbes' Snake Oil Made Me Sick

I got an Email from Steve Forbes on September 20 titled “Getting Rich is Your Best Revenge!” I found it much more distasteful than the ones I get from Nigerian and other non-U.S. royalty. The last I’d heard from Steve Forbes was when I saw him as a presidential candidate on TV proposing a Flat Tax as a solution for foreign relations, public education, housing, and weight loss. Why was he sending me this personal Email now to help me, in particular, get rich? And against whom read more

Credit or Debit? Not Just an Annoying Question

I don’t think Visa and MasterCard wanted me in their focus group, but then they probably don’t want me in their country either. They practically write bills for Congress, such as the bankruptcy bill that might be voted on this month, and yet they still seem to want to know what people think. Either that, or they’re doing “push polling” – five of the eight people in the focus group I was part of on September 5 worked for Congress members, at least one of them read more

What Is Next for the Living Wage Movement

A six-year struggle by ACORN, SEIU, and allies in a living wage campaign to raise the minimum wage in New Orleans ended on September 4 when the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that only the state, not localities, can set wage standards. New Orleans would have been the first city in the country to enact a citywide minimum wage, a proposal that was overwhelmingly approved by public vote on February 2 and upheld by district court on March 25. Currently 86 cities and counties in the country have living read more

The Washington Post Goes to War

On Sunday, Aug. 18, 2002, the Washington Post ran an editorial, an ombudsman column, and three op-eds about a potential U.S. attack on Iraq, as well as two related articles. One article, placed on the top of the front page, reported on a memo that “Defense” Secretary Rumsfeld sent to the White House and the media. “Defense” officials were worried that countries such as Iraq or Iran could use cruise missile technology to attack “U.S. installations or the American homeland.” read more

The Scandal is Somewhere Else

Also published, in a slightly longer version, at

Even Ralph Nader is saying that the current rash of corporate accounting scandals is uncovering more than he expected. There’s not just feigned and willful shock and surprise out there. Some honest and intelligent commentators are dumbfounded. Why?

Perhaps I’m just a cynic and always expect the worst and sometimes end up being right. Or perhaps my reasoning is oversimplifying. But I am not surprised by the read more

Ask Marilyn, Get a Right-Wing Response

Also published at

Most Americans read few if any newspapers. The papers that are read most often are the Sunday editions, the ones with the comics, the TV guide, and Parade Magazine. The papers that carry Parade as an insert run the full gamut from extremely right-wing to moderately right-wing, but Parade itself sticks close to the extreme, not just with its articles but especially with its regular advice column “Ask Marilyn.”

Marilyn Vos Savant describes read more

Bush Hangs "Kick-me" sign on Nation's Back

Also published at Democratic Underground at

I grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and live here now, and I no longer feel safe. In addition, I’m angry, because our government seems to be doing everything it can to make this place as widely and fiercely hated as possible. The debate over global politics, the environment, and the bombing of other countries is not just about others’ misery, owl species, or the world of our great-grandchildren anymore. It’s read more

Make Love, Not War

Memorial Day, 2002

The Washington Post has a little section called “You Haven’t Lived Here if You Haven’t

Tweaking the Legalized Bribery System Pleases Few

Also published at BuzzFlash at and at Bartcop Reader at

May 16, 2002

Last week conservatives and liberals separately filed suit to claim that various parts of the recently passed Shays-Meehan/McCain-Feingold bribery reform legislation should be thrown out as unconstitutional. Last night (May 15) in a debate at the National Press Club over the proposition “The Government is Still for Sale,” all four participants, two arguing the read more