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Debtors’ Island: How Puerto Rico Became a Hedge Fund Playground

You could call it a perfect storm: a fiscal crisis converging with a deep secular economic decline.1 Once touted as the showcase of U.S.- led economic development, debt-strapped Puerto Rico is currently embroiled in a struggle for survival. During the mid-twentieth century, Puerto Rico grew at a rapid pace, betting on cheap labor, privileged duty-free access to the U.S. market, and tax incentives for U.S. companies. By the 1970s, however, the formula had lost steam and …

by Jennifer Wolff
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The Internet vs. the Labor Movement: Why Unions Are Late-Comers to Digital Organizing

Over the past decade, the importance of digital organizing has soared in electoral and issue based campaigns on the left. The idea that an electoral field organizer need not be a capable database user is patently ridiculous at this point. Political campaigns understand that they need to invest in staff with expertise in digital organizing—whether those are people who can write e-mail subject lines that will…

by Kati Sipp
2015-12-28 (1)

The Fissuring of the Republican Party: A Road Map to Political Chaos

Donald Trump took his own stab at idiocy by reading out Graham’s phone number, encouraging his audience to “try it.” Trump’s antics came in response to Graham’s own a day before when in an effort to defend his friend John McCain, another of the billionaire’s targets, he called the rich politico the “world’s biggest jackass.” The contest intensified in September after GOP polls…

by Darren Dochuk
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Black Lives Matter: Toward a Modern Practice of Mass Struggle

Born as a Twitter hashtag, Black Lives Matter has evolved into a potent alternative to the political paralysis and isolation that racial justice proponents have faced since the election of Obama. In just over two years, the young movement has reinvigorated confrontation politics, giving voice to a popular and righteous rage, establishing a new touchstone of grassroots resistance…

by Russell Rickford
2015-12-28

The Subprime Specter Returns: High Finance and the Growth of High-Risk Consumer Debt

Recognizing the risks to the public, regulators have begun to step in to curtail abuses and hold accountable those who violate the law in lending practices that affect all borrowers, including those with subprime credit scores. While default rates remain relatively low thus far with these subprime loans, we should guard against complacency. Despite the fact that large banks may be pulling back…

by Jennifer Taub
2015-12-28 (2)

Contingent Faculty of the World Unite! Organizing to Resist the Corporatization of Higher Education

The once hallowed and secure work life of American university faculty has for the past quarter century been in turmoil. Being a professor was once a respected, stable profession, but is now increasingly characterized by low pay, minimal benefits, and no job security.

by Malini Cadambi Daniel