Mormon Country

Karen and I love the canyon country of southern Utah. Last November, we spent three weeks hiking in the five national parks that span the state from west to east.  We drove from Tucson north to Phoenix and up, up to Sedona and Flagstaff, rising 6,000 feet out of the polluted desert developments and into […]

The Blighted Groves of Academe

The more I read about the state of our colleges and universities, the more thankful I am that I quit my job at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) in 2001, after thirty-two years of teaching. I wrote the following essay a dozen years ago, and since then, matters have gotten progressively worse, not […]

A Nation of Immigrants: Part Two

Since the publication of Part One of this post a few days ago, President Obama has decided not to nominate immigrant-rights advocate and attorney, Thomas Saenz, to head the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department.  Saenz is currently Los Angeles mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa’s chief legal advisor, and he has a long history of commitment […]

A Nation of Immigrants: Part One

Every night on CNN, Lou Dobbs bashes immigrants.  No matter what the subject, he manages to turn it into a horror story about the evils of people he calls “illegal aliens.”  They steal; they cheat; they use drugs; they murder innocent people; they transmit diseases; they have filthy habits; they take jobs from decent hardworking […]

Michael Steele is a Nitwit and Wolf Blitzer is a Jackass

Economic ignorance is widespread in the United States. People think they know something about the subject, but few do. My mother is convinced that China is the cause of all our economic problems. When I challenge her, she doesn’t think it matters that I have spent forty years studying and teaching the dismal science. If […]

All The News That's Fit to Steal

In December of last year, Monthly Review magazine, of which I am Associate Editor, published an article by Jim Straub titled “Braddock, Pennsylvania: Out of the Furnace and into the Fire.” In his essay, Jim told the story of one of the nation’s most devastated industrial towns. He described how this once famous steel city, […]

Ain't That America . . .

First, an update on wage theft. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay has joined Tom Colicchio as a defendant in a class action lawsuit charging wage theft. This suit was filed on January 16, 2009 by the same law firm that initiated the Colicchio class action. Flay’s enterprises are under the umbrella of the firm Bold Foods […]

Was the 1982 Recession Worse than Today's?: Some Comments

I always told my students that it is necessary to examine many statistics to understand what is going on in the economy. The growth of the Gross Domestic Product (roughly our total yearly production) is often used as a measure of the economy’s health. However, the GDP could be growing rapidly, while the growth could […]

The Employee Free Choice Act

Note: Parts of this are taken from the new edition of my book, Why Unions Matter, which will be published by Monthly Review Press next month.   Labor unions have been on the ropes in the United States for many years. In 2007, union density (the share of employed workers in unions) was around 12 […]

Tom Colicchio: Top Chef or Top (Wage) Thief?

We have watched hundreds of cooking shows on television. One of our early favorites was Top Chef, in which a group of talented cooks compete in an elimination format for a large monetary prize and designation as “Top Chef.” The chief judge on the show is Tom Colicchio, a noted chef who has won five […]