A new book argues that the Constitution’s framers believed that vast concentrations of wealth were the enemy of democracy—so what happened?

By Jedediah Purdy, The Nation, 11 July 2017 Illustration by Tim Robinson. “Aconstitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. in 1905. Holmes was dissenting from the Court’s majority opinion in Lochner v. New York, which held that the New York State Legislature had violated the right to freedom of contract when …

End of coal: Failure (of us) to plan for it hurts miners most: can we have the dialogue and planning we need?

On a just transition History shows governments that don’t anticipate and make provisions for the decline of coal burden communities for generations Retired coal miner Kenneth Dangerfield, from Morgantown, West Virginia, speaks to Barack Obama’s labour secretary Thomas E. Perez in 2014 (Photo: US Department of Labor) By Oliver Sartor and Andrzej Błachowicz Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US …

Modeled after the Civil Rights Era’s citizenship and freedom schools, the new Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership teaches skills for the Trump Era.

By Chuck Collins, also see Sarah Van Gelder’s effort underway, June 2017 More than 200 people crammed into a meeting room at Smith College to listen to Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum speak at the May 4 opening ceremony of the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership. The new school provides in-person training opportunities in activism in five cities throughout Western Massachusetts. “We need the Sojourner Truth School …

Our fake democracy

By Tim Egan, NYTimes, 23 June 2017 We tell ourselves stories in order to live, as Joan Didion said. We do this as a nation, as individuals, as families — even when that construct is demonstrably false. For the United States, the biggest institutional lie of the moment is that we have a government of the people, responding to majority …

If money is speech, can democracy work?

By Chris Gay, Occupy.com, 5 June 2017 Now that a certain sort of plutocrat sits at the apex of American power surrounded by well-to-do courtiers, this might be a good time to revive an unsettling question: Does the U.S. have a political system or a political marketplace? The Supreme Court provided its take with the 2010 Citizens United ruling, which …

Facebook’s role in European elections under scrutiny

By Mark Scott, NYT, 7 June 2017  Sam Jeffers, a founder of WhoTargetsMe?, in London. The group designed a tool to monitor Facebook’s role ahead of the British election. CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times Lawrence Dodd lives in one of Britain’s most fiercely fought voting districts, and he has been peppered almost daily with ads from the country’s …

Millennials are over a quarter of the world population and 1 in 7 identify as activists and half of those say their activism is an important part of who

Excerpt from The Guardian, by Daisy Kendrick, 14 June 2017 Millennials account for 27% of the global population.  About 58 percent of global Millennials live in Asia, including a whopping 385 million in India—by far the largest domestic population of Millennials in the world, and accounting for 19 percent of the global generational cohort. The next largest regional concentration is …

Now Just Five Men Own Almost as Much Wealth as Half the World’s Population

By Paul Buchheit on Common Dreams, 13 June 2017 Last year it was 8 men, then down to 6, and now almost 5. While Americans fixate on Trump, the super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of 06/08/17, the …