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Richard (RJ) Eskow
Richard (RJ) is a writer and editor with the Bernie 2016 campaign, a Senior Fellow with the Campaign for America’s Future and the host of The Zero Hour, a weekly radio program. Richard is a former consultant, public policy advisor, and senior executive with work experience in the US and more than 20 foreign countries. His writings have appeared in a number of print and digital publications.

Entries by Richard (RJ) Eskow

What's Killing the American Middle Class?

(162) Comments | Posted May 16, 2016 | 9:06 AM

A new study by the Pew Research Center spurred a rash of headlines last week about "the dying middle class." But the word "dying" might be more appropriate if we were watching the regrettable but inevitable effects of natural forces at work. We're not. We're seeing the fruits of deliberate...

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Derailed in D.C.: 'Bomb Trains,' Poison Tracks and My Chemical Exposure

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2016 | 10:48 PM

A CSX freight train derailed in Washington, D.C. last week. The Washington Post reported that ethanol, which is colorless and highly flammable, was leaking out of one of the overturned cars in the accident's immediate aftermath.

The 14-car derailment also "spilled half the liquid contents of a 15,500-gallon tanker"...

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Wall Street's Fraud of the Week Club

(76) Comments | Posted April 13, 2016 | 2:53 PM

In April 2006, while Goldman was preparing an RMBS backed by Countrywide loans for securitization, a Goldman mortgage department manager circulated a "very bullish" equity research report that recommended the purchase of Countrywide stock. Goldman's head of due diligence, who had just overseen the due diligence on six Countrywide pools,...

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Barney vs. Bernie: Sanders Is the Real 'Progressive Who Gets Things Done'

(441) Comments | Posted April 6, 2016 | 10:31 AM

As he has so many times in recent months, Barney Frank had some harsh things to say about Bernie Sanders -- this time in a recent interview with Frank has endorsed Hillary Clinton (a fact neither he nor Slate interviewer Isaac Chotiner saw fit to mention), and has...

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Bernie's Right. Wall Street's Business Model Really Is Fraud.

(93) Comments | Posted March 29, 2016 | 2:09 PM

"I've said if the big banks don't play by the rules, I will break them up." -- Hillary Clinton

Our nation's largest and most powerful banks have repeatedly engaged in widespread fraud, causing both individual suffering and a recession that millions of Americans are still living through today.

They continued...

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The Penalty for Poverty Should Not Be Death

(52) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 2:00 PM

The Brookings Institution recently issued a report showing that poor Americans die at a much earlier age than rich Americans, and that this life expectancy gap between rich and poor is growing rapidly. A professor of public health at Yale University told the New York Times, "It's embarrassing."


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New Study Confirms: Private 'Trade' Courts Serve the Ultra-Wealthy

(24) Comments | Posted February 29, 2016 | 10:26 AM

A new study confirms what many activists have suspected for a long time: The private courts set up by international "trade" deals heavily favor billionaires and giant corporations, and they do so at the expense of governments and people.

Smaller companies and less-wealthy individuals don't benefit nearly as much from...

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Inequality Against Democracy: 10 Facts About the 0.01 Percent

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 1:21 PM

Economic inequality inspired Occupy Wall Street, a movement that in a few short months transformed our political with the concept of the "1 percent" and the "99 percent." Today the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders is altering the political landscape with a call to reduce inequality.

Why does this theme...

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5 Reasons Why Glass-Steagall Matters

(61) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 10:25 PM

The Glass-Steagall Act came up as a major point of disagreement between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during Saturday's Democratic presidential debate. The Act, which was originally enacted in 1933, separated risky trading and investment from traditional banking activities like business lending and consumer finance.

1933 -- Anthony Adverse and...

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The 'New Democrats' Meet the New Reality

(151) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 7:29 AM

Several recent news articles have suggested that, in the words of a Washington Post headline, "there's ... a big economic fight happening in the Democratic Party."

It's true. The corporate-friendly policies of the party's more conservative wing have fared poorly, both as policy and as politics, and as a...

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How Unions Fight Inequality and Strengthen Democracy

(24) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 8:56 AM

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A new study from the International Monetary Fund concludes that unions reduce inequality and foster a healthier economy for everyone, mainly by preventing the wealthiest among us from keeping the fruits...

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Sanders vs. Clinton: Who Has the Best Plan for America's College Students?

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 3:45 PM

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The differences between the college financing plans offered by Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are important - both for their impact on the middle class, and for what they tell us about...

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'Sowers of Change': The Pope Arrives at a Critical Moment

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 11:01 PM

Pope Francis' first visit to the United States begins with his arrival in Washington DC on Tuesday afternoon. From the nation's capital he goes to its economic capital, New York City, before concluding his trip with a visit to the nation's birthplace in Philadelphia.

That itinerary seems to suit the...

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In Troubled Times, the Federal Reserve Must Work for Everyone

(11) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 10:57 AM

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It's been a chaotic few days for the world's markets. Recent events do not paint the picture of a stable economy guided by rational minds. Instead, the world of global finance looks...

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80 Years Later, Republicans Are Still Fighting Social Security

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2015 | 12:08 PM

Some things never change. "The lash of the dictator will be felt," a Republican House member said in 1935 when Social Security was first proposed. "Social Security is the delinquent child of the left," a Fox News commentator said this week, "that grew up to be an evil...

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The GOP Debate: It's What Oligarchy Looks Like

(60) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 2:02 PM

In the run-up to the first Republican presidential debate, a flurry of news stories about the candidates offered glimpses of oligarchy in action. Consider:

  • Jeb Bush's largest Super PAC has already raised $103 million, most of it collected before he even officially declared that he was running for president....
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"Open Borders": A Gimmick, Not a Solution

(14) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 11:21 PM

Newsweek recently published an article by Daniel Bier with the headline "Bernie Sanders on Immigrants: Silly, Tribal and Economically Illiterate." The piece, when it is not distracting the reader with rather unimaginative vitriol (phrases like "lame socialist agenda" are hardly Pulitzer material), bases its argument on a trendy libertarian...

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

(400) 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?

(247) 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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