Democratic Left

The Small Business Frenzy

Recently, small business has become the answer to every question. How can we build the economy, create jobs and raise the standard of living? Small business! Why can’t we have paid sick days, family leave, minimum wage, pensions, job safety, environmental standards and fair taxes? Small business!  Indeed, Left or Right, good or bad, no proposal will fly if it can’t be proven to help small business.

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Beyond Warm-and-Fuzzy Socialism

My prompt is simple — to the extent anything this early in the morning can be simple. It’s to say what it means to be a socialist today.

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Deconstructing Obama's Climate Message from a Green (and Socialist) Perspective

For democratic socialists who care about the environment – and for countless American environmentalists who probably don’t care about democratic socialism – President Obama’s approach to climate change in his 2013 State of the Union Address offers a remarkable collection of contradictions.

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Support the Balancing Act

In 2011 and 2012 the U.S. Congress, driven by Tea Party extremism and corporate money-fueled hysteria over a contrived “debt crisis,” enacted $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years, mainly by slashing vitally needed domestic programs that serve our most vulnerable citizens. Cuts in the 2011 budget alone included $600 million from community health centers, $503 million from Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition programs, $400 million in home energy assistance, and $1.6 billion from environmental programs.

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Viking Love: The Economist Gets it Wrong

Cornel West has noted that “justice is what love looks like in public.” By that measure, the Nordic countries take the cake. But The Economist magazine, long identified with libertarian economic ideals, lauds the “Nordic model” in its February 2nd cover story as a “centrist” economic path for global capitalism while ignoring the very politics which make it the most humane.

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Capitalism and Poverty: A Socialist Analysis

Poverty is not created in a vacuum. Socialists understand that poverty is caused by the natural workings of a capitalist marketplace that has always excluded a significant part of the population from decent jobs and, thus, from the ability to purchase on the private market goods necessary for a decent life for themselves and their children. Socialists also recognize that poverty under capitalism is largely maintained by a skewed distribution of wealth and services, not by lack of a work ethic.

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Justice for Immigrant Workers

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) favors both the DREAM Act as well as broader immigration reform legislation that would grant immediate permanent resident status to all undocumented workers and their children and would establish an expeditious and non-punitive road to citizenship for these workers and their families. Such measures should render illegal the all-too-frequent local law practice of using racial-profiling to arbitrarily check individuals’ immigration papers. These practices effectively criminalize “breathing while brown.”

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MLK Was a Radical, Not a Saint

Today Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is viewed as something of an American saint. His birthday is a national holiday. His name adorns schools and street signs. Americans from across the political spectrum invoke King's name to justify their beliefs and actions, as President Barack Obama will no doubt do in his second Inaugural speech and as gun fanatic Larry Ward recently did in outrageously claiming that King would have opposed proposals to restrict access to guns.

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