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Richard (RJ) Eskow
Richard (RJ) is a Senior Fellow with the Campaign for America’s Future and the host of The Zero Hour, a weekly program of news, interviews, and commentary on We Act Radio. The Zero Hour is syndicated nationally and is available as a podcast on iTunes. Richard has been a consultant, public policy advisor, and health executive in health financing and social insurance. He was cited as one of “fifty of the world’s leading futurologists” in “The Rough Guide to the Future,” which highlighted his long-range forecasts on health care, evolution, technology, and economic equality. Richard's writing has been published in print and online. He has also been anthologized three times in book form for “Best Buddhist Writing of the Year.”

Entries by Richard (RJ) Eskow

The GOP's Anti-Elderly, Pro-Billionaire Agenda

(423) Comments | Posted June 4, 2015 | 9:49 AM

Few political advisors would suggest running on a platform of open hostility toward the elderly. Most families include an older person, after all, and everyone who lives long enough will become older themselves someday.

Seniors vote in greater numbers, too.

That may be why the GOP isn't openly presenting itself...

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Is Jeb's Social Security Flub the Worst Bush Gaffe Yet?

(252) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 11:27 PM

George W. Bush: His policies brought untold harm, but at least his gaffes offered some occasional lighthearted moments. Now his brother Jeb may have outdone him in the faux pas department -- but there's nothing funny about it.

The former Florida governor has been running on a platform which includes...

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In Search of the Democratic Soul

(25) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 1:10 AM

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A Google search for the phrase "soul of the Democratic Party" yields thousands of hits, because the struggle for that soul has been a perennial subject of debate. I've probably used the...

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Tracking the Progress of the Progressive Agenda

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 10:12 AM

We live in a political era dominated by corporate cash, billionaire "beauty pageants," and a right-wing noise machine whose rhetorical phasers are permanently set to "stun." It's easy to lose track of ourselves when we're distracted from moment to moment by Fox News pinwheels and celebrity-driven media circuses.

But out...

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The Big Banks Are Corrupt -- and Getting Worse

(105) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 8:16 AM

The Justice Department's latest settlement with felonious big banks was announced this week, but the repercussions were limited to a few headlines and some scattered protestations.

That's not enough. We need to understand that our financial system is not merely corrupt in practice. It is corrupt by design - and...

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The Left Matters -- Now, More Than Ever

(130) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 10:42 AM

Some leading Democrats seem to have a love-hate relationship with the left. Sure, progressives seem to have more influence than ever in the party this year, at least rhetorically. But it doesn't look like the friction will be going away any time soon.

President Obama has been escalating his war...

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Obama's Trade War Against Warren Wounds His Party -- and His Legacy

(103) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 10:13 AM

Well, this is awkward. A few days ago President Obama literally laughed off Sen. Elizabeth Warren's concern that his so-called "fast track" provision, which would limit Congressional power regarding trade deals for the next six years, endangers 2010's Dodd/Frank financial reforms.

"I'd have to be pretty stupid," to sign an...

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Opportunity or Inequality? That's No Choice at All

(4) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 10:21 AM

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll recently asked, "Which concerns you more: the income gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the country, or middle and working class Americans not being able to get ahead financially?"

If you understand how the economy works, that isn't just the...

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Social Security, Ten Years From Now

(209) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 8:08 AM

For the Huffington Post's 10th anniversary I was invited to predict what Social Security might look like 10 years from now. That future is filled with both possibility and shadowed by danger.

To understand exactly how rich those possibilities are, let's begin by looking back 10 years.

Dark Days

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Bring Back Free College and Cancel Debt for the 'In-Betweeners'

(18) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 11:17 AM

The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it.

-- John Adams, 1785

Momentum is building for an exciting "new" idea, one which is, in fact, far older than many people realize: Free higher education in the...

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After Baltimore: Soul Searching in Another America

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2015 | 8:59 PM

When asked about Baltimore last week, President Obama said this: "... if we think that we're just gonna send the police to do the dirty work of containing the problems that arise (in our inner cities), without as a nation and as a society saying what can we...

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A 'College' Closes, But Student Debt Lives On

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 9:47 AM

This week Corinthian Colleges Inc. announced that it had "ceased substantially all operations and discontinued instruction" at its remaining campuses. That should have brought the indebtedness of its many defrauded students to an end. This "educational institution" was nothing more a profit-making scheme, morally on par with the banks...

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The Surprise Issue of the 2016 Election?

(18) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 3:48 AM

The 2016 election season is just beginning, but a surprise issue is already emerging among both Republican and Democratic candidates: Social Security. Some observers thought that conservative candidates would be inclined to avoid the so-called "third rail" of American politics this time around, but the opposite seems to be true....

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Social Security Trust -- Or, Never Lend Money to a Conservative

(143) Comments | Posted April 19, 2015 | 10:08 PM

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Never lend money to a conservative. That's one conclusion to be drawn from recent attacks on Social Security by Bloomberg View columnists Megan McArdle and Ramesh Ponnuru. Apparently promises, even legally executed...

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Return of the Vanishing Worker

(8) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 1:06 AM

On April 15, perhaps as you're reading these words, working people in 200 American cities will rally for a $15 dollar base wage and the right to form a union. Solidarity demonstrations are planned in more than 30 cities on six continents, and have already taken place in Switzerland,...

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Social Security: The Empire Strikes Back

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 9:27 AM

The long knives have been coming out over Social Security lately. The latest wave of attacks was triggered by an amendment from Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Joe Manchin which would have expanded Social Security benefits, and which won the support of most Democrats in the Senate. That signaled a potential...

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In Rahm Emanuel's 'Embarrassing' Victory, A Warning for Democrats

(78) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 11:44 AM

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Despite the power of incumbency, the backing of the President, and an array of wealthy and powerful backers, Rahm Emanuel nevertheless became the first mayor in Chicago history to be forced into...

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What Everyone Should Know About the Student Debt Crisis (in 4 Charts)

(19) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 11:51 AM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah Cummings, who co-chair an initiative called the Middle Class Prosperity Project, are holding a forum this afternoon (Thursday, April 2) at the University of Massachusetts in Boston on "Tackling the Student Debt Crisis" (more info here).

If the word "crisis" seems dramatic...

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Big-Bank Bad Guys Bully Democracy -- And Blow It

(12) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 1:33 AM

For so-called "masters of the universe," Wall Street executives sure seem touchy about criticism. It seems they don't like being painted as the bad guys.

But if they don't like being criticized, why do so many of them keep behaving like B-movie villains? That's exactly what...

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Hillary's Challengers -- and the Anti-Wall Street Wave

(5) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 1:10 AM

Former Governor Martin O'Malley and former Senator Jim Webb spoke at a firefighters' union event earlier this month. Both are the subject of renewed press interest as they contemplate entering the presidential race. Sen. Bernie Sanders has been publicly weighing a run. Elizabeth Warren is being encouraged to enter the...

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