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Richard Kirsch
Richard Kirsch is a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.

Entries by Richard Kirsch

Shared Security: A New Deal for the New Century

(7) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 10:45 AM

If Social Security, the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and the 40-hour workweek laid the foundation for the middle class in the 20th century, what would be the equivalent for the 21st century? The odd couple of a billionaire entrepreneur and a labor leader have come up with what could be...

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N.Y.C. Taxi Owners Are Denying Benefits to Drivers -- The City Council Can Stop Them

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 1:59 PM

Earlier this month, the New York City Council enacted basic protections for workers at car washes, one group of exploited, largely immigrant workers. Next up on the City Council's to-do list should be reversing a court decision that robbed taxi drivers, another group of mostly immigrant workers, of...

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The Economic Narrative in Hillary Clinton's Launch Speech

(55) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 4:39 PM

In her campaign launch speech on Roosevelt Island, Hillary Clinton talked about her fight for an "economy that works for everyday Americans, not just those at the top." That rallying cry is becoming the core economic message of more and more Democrats. In their announcement speeches, Bernie Sanders...

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Why Democrats Should Worry About Republicans' Newfound Economic Populism

(143) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 10:16 AM

It would be a huge mistake for Democrats to dismiss the newfound economic populism of Republican presidential candidates as obviously laughable given Republicans' deep alliance with corporate America. Republicans are aiming to pull off a populist jiu-jitsu, using anger at corporate influence over government to justify even more dismantling of...

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L.A. Port Truck Drivers Put Their Jobs on the Line for Decent Pay and Cleaner Air

(1) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 12:57 PM

Following the most recent work stoppage by port truck drivers in southern California, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the formation of a new trucking company, which will be a model for good pay and protecting the environment. The announcement takes the port drivers' ongoing protest of low...

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Obamacare's Nine Lives

(5) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 9:59 AM

If Obamacare survives yesterday's Supreme Court challenge, it will really be the cat with nine lives.

The death of what became the Affordable Care Act has been predicted regularly ever since President Obama's election in 2008. Right after Obama's election, I got a wave of calls from reporters, each highly...

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The Politics of Responsibility, Not Envy

(125) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 10:04 AM

According to former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers -- who is emerging as a key economic advisor to Hillary Clinton -- the big political challenge in addressing economic inequality is not to embrace "a politics of envy."

No, Mr. Summers, it's not the politics of envy. It's the politics of responsibility.

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Obama's Middle Class Economics Has to Be About Fairness and Prosperity

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 10:44 AM

In coining the new term "middle-class economics" and linking it to raising wages and taxing the rich and Wall Street to put money in the pockets of working families, President Obama used his State of the Union address to ask the public that most potent of political questions: "Which...

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Van Hollen Tax Proposal an Economic and Political Home Run

(21) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 3:06 PM

Rep. Chris Van Hollen's (D-MD) proposal to tax Wall Street speculators and CEO millionaires to put money in the pockets of working families and the middle class, the engines of our economy, is a political and economic home run. It allows Democrats to focus on economic growth and fairness...

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Chuck Schumer and the Democrats' Identity Crisis: Economic Policy vs. Rhetoric

(14) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 3:08 PM

Two weeks before New York Senator Charles Schumer once again delivered for Wall Street with the omnibus budget deal, he gave a major speech in which he sounded like a progressive champion. Schumer offered a stirring defense of government as the only force that can stand up to the...

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The Budget Fight Was the First Skirmish in the War for the Soul of the Democratic Party

(72) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 6:56 AM

Progressives lost the battle over the budget last night because President Obama and a minority of Democrats took the side of Wall Street. It is the first of many losses we will see in the next two years as Republicans relentlessly pursue their corporate agenda. The bigger question is whether...

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A Dem Who Can Explain That Fairness Is Prosperity Will Sweep in 2016

(15) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 3:28 PM

The familiar debate within the Democratic Party -- move left or right -- is on. In a memo to a "limited number of Democratic leaders," Third Way, the leading organization for corporate Democrats, lays down the gauntlet: "Democrats are offering economic fairness, but voters want economic growth and...

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News Flash: Progressives Have a Winning Economic Narrative -- and Democrats Who Used It Won

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 9:15 AM

The big post-election consensus is that Democrats believe, as The New York Times put it, they were missing "a broad economic message to enthuse supporters and convert some independents."

So what would that missing narrative be? The point of a narrative is to give people an explanation of...

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Port Drivers Take on Low Wages in an Industry Built on a Lie

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 8:43 AM

It's a David and Goliath story, only in this case there are 120 Davids taking on a hidden Goliath of an industry that every day touches everyone who is reading this in hundreds of ways. The port trucking industry is built on an illegal fiction, designed to rip off the...

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SCOTUS Ruling Doesn't Gut Public Unions, But Creates New Challenges for Care Workers

(4) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 2:49 PM

A huge sigh of relief mixed with curses. That's my reaction to the Supreme Court's decision today to block home care workers in Illinois from being required to pay union dues, while continuing to allow public employee unions to collect dues from all the workers they represent. The...

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Working Families Party Endorsement of Cuomo Shows Progressive Political Power

(3) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 10:50 AM

It would be a mistake to think that the New York Working Families Party's endorsement of a Wall Street, austerity Democrat -- Andrew Cuomo -- is a defeat for the surging progressive wing of the Democratic Party. In fact, just the opposite is true. The endorsement was a demonstration of...

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The Minimum Wage Index: Why the GOP's Filibuster Will Hurt Workers

(32) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 3:04 PM

This week, a minority of United States senators blocked a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from coming to a vote, overruling the 54 senators who supported the bill. If the bill had passed, it would have been only the fourth time the...

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Post Office Piles on Shift to Low-wage Economy With Staples Deal

(2) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 2:36 PM

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has just come out with its latest report on the wage levels of jobs added as the nation has emerged from the Great Recession. As with NELP's previous reports, which continue to garner national attention, the news was pretty simple: we're only...

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In the Wake of McCutcheon, Can Democracy Tame Capital?

(8) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 11:02 AM

The Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision, making it even easier for the rich to buy political power, highlights the big question raised by Thomas Piketty's new instant economic classic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. What chance is there for our democracy to stop the relentless accumulation of wealth by the richest...

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Florida Election Shows Danger and Promise in Obamacare Debate

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 4:45 PM

As pundits debate the impact of Obamacare on the special congressional election held in Florida on March 11, a headline from a new Bloomberg national poll actually does as good as any describing what happened in the Sunshine State: "Americans Stick with Obamacare as Opposition Burns Bright." That national...

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