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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

Snakes and Ladders at Netroots Nation

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 10:59 AM

At the emotional high point of this year's Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, Rev. William Barber II concluded his roof-raising opening-night invocation by asking, "Can I be a preacher for three minutes?"

"My son is an environmental physicist," Rev. Barber said, "and he told me, 'Daddy, if you ever get...

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Are Disabled Americans Pawns in a Larger Social Security Game?

(5) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 10:59 AM

Sen. Sherrod Brown discusses Social Security expansion with me on The Zero Hour

William Galston writes in the Wall Street Journal about a Republican senator's plans to force a confrontation on government disability benefits....

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7 Reasons Consumers Won't Love the $7 Billion Citigroup Deal

(6) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 8:56 AM

The Justice Department's settlement with Citigroup was finally announced yesterday. A $7 billion settlement against a too-big-to-fail bank? What's not to love?

We'll answer that with another question: If the settlement that the Justice Department just negotiated with Citigroup is meant as punitive, why did Citigroup's stock go up when...

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Citigroup's $7 Billion Fraud Deal: The Clique's Still Clicking in DC

(3) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 11:38 PM

Pop quiz: Which bank is widely considered too big to fail, needed (and got) a $45 billion government loan during the financial crisis, recently failed a stress test performed by the Federal Reserve -- and has enjoyed a revolving-door relationship with both the Clinton and Obama administrations?

If you answered...

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Barack Obama, Wall Street Warrior?

(8) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 8:39 AM

It was good to hear President Obama say that reining in Wall Street's high-risk behavior is an "unfinished piece of business." It would be even better if this observation were quickly followed by action -- the kind of concrete action he can take immediately, with or without Congress's cooperation.

The president made his...

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Revolutionary Independence

(5) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 11:55 PM

The event we celebrate on the Fourth of July is not America's victory over Great Britain. The British weren't defeated until September 3, 1783.

July 4, 1776 is the day the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence.  That's the day we formally declared ourselves independent and laid out the egalitarian...

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10 Mind-Bending Questions About the 'Hobby Lobby' Decision

(168) Comments | Posted July 3, 2014 | 10:22 AM

Judge Ginsburg certainly got it right when she said that the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision is going to create "havoc." And as the repercussions mount, so do the questions, in areas that range from economics and taxation to theology and philosophy.

There are those who might say that...

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Warren Brings Populism Down South. Is Hillary Paying Attention?

(13) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 1:53 PM

Well, now, this is interesting.  Elizabeth Warren went to Kentucky to campaign for Allison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic Secretary of State who's looking to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that "A wide range of people from college students to people in their 80s attended...

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5 Signs the U.S. Is Failing to Protect Women's Rights in the Workplace

(1) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 11:44 AM

The Prime Minister of Morocco recently compared women to "lanterns" or "chandeliers," saying that "when women went to work outside, the light went out of their homes." His remarks, which ran counter to Morocco's constitutionally-guaranteed rights for women, promptly provoked both street demonstrations and an "I'm not a chandelier" Twitter hashtag.


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On the Economy, It's Been One Snafu After Another

(12) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 10:25 AM

A lot of people know the old quote which says "predicting is hard, especially about the future." Granted, everybody gets it wrong sometimes, but this time our economists were really wrong. We were told the economy grew slightly in the first quarter of this year. Now, two revisions later, the...

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A Secret Plan to Close Social Security's Offices and Outsource Its Work

(3) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 10:23 AM

For months there have been rumors that the Social Security Administration has a "secret plan" to close all of its field offices. Is it true? A little-known report commissioned by the SSA at the request of Congress seems to hold the answer. The summary document outlining the plan, which is labeled...

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The 'Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich' Corporate Tax-Dodge Crisis

(2) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 10:19 AM

Medtronic is as American a company as they come. The surgeon who created its original technology was born and raised in Minnesota, where he lived his entire life. He was educated at a public university there, which is where he eventually conducted his research.

Medtronic's workforce was educated at American...

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Unions 2.0? AFL-CIO's Trumka on Austerity, Labor's Progressive Roots and Elizabeth Warren

(7) Comments | Posted June 15, 2014 | 8:21 PM

Full interview with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka characterizes his vision of a progressive and populist-oriented labor coalition, not as a modern innovation, but as a return to labor's roots. In an...

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8 Lessons the Left Can Learn From Cantor's Loss

(16) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 10:30 AM

Twenty-four hours have now passed since House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's surprise primary defeat. Oceans of pixelated ink have already been spilled interpreting its meaning. Cantor's defeat has certainly put an end to the conventional wisdom that "establishment Republicans" were beating back the tea party this year (although only in...

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Washington's Cold Shoulder for Defrauded Students and Soldiers

(6) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 3:03 PM

President Obama signed an executive order Monday limiting student debt payments to 10 percent of their income, telling an audience in the East Room of the White House that he and his wife only paid off their law school loans about 10 years ago.  "This is why I feel so...

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Obama Could Appoint a 'People's Fed' Board -- and Transform the Economy

(5) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 11:29 AM

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve was created to represent the economic sectors and portions of our population most directly affected by the central bank's actions. Instead it's comprised almost entirely of economists and lawyers who are associated with Northeastern institutions and the Washington, D.C., political class.

With the current...

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The Real Piketty Scandal (Is Right-Wing Deception)

(18) Comments | Posted June 1, 2014 | 7:52 PM

Conservatives in all corners of the globe must have felt their hearts sing, if only for a moment, when the Financial Times ran a piece entitled "Piketty findings undercut by errors." Sadly for them, the FT's claims proved untrue. But if you think that put an end to the accusations...

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Is the 'New Populism' Real?

(4) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 11:24 AM

"Democratic movements are initiated by people who have individually managed to attain a high level of personal political self-respect," historian Lawrence Goodwyn wrote nearly four decades ago. "They are not resigned; they are not intimidated."

"The game is rigged," Sen. Elizabeth Warren said at last week's New Populism...

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The Pillow Book of Tim Geithner

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 10:23 PM

In 10th century Japan a "pillow book" was a form of diary, a place to gather notes, lists and other scraps of paper and reflect upon them before retiring to bed. A "court lady" to the Empress used hers to depict life in the royal household, and today The Pillow...

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Did Washington Rescue the Wrong Economy?

(20) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 9:35 PM

Economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi recently wrote an editorial for the Washington Post headlined "Why Tim Geithner is wrong on homeowner debt relief." Using data and arguments from their upcoming book, House of Debt, Mian and Sufi essentially argue that former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's recent public statements...

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