Bernie Sanders, Labor, Ideology and the Future of American Politics

The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, contrary to all expectation, has become the most important left insurgency in the United States in nearly half a century. A year ago, even his most optimistic supporters might have hoped that Sanders would enliven the presidential debates by challenging Hillary Clinton on issues of Wall Street power and big money corruption, and perhaps garner a quarter to a third of the primary vote. Instead, Sanders won

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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…

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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 …

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Feeling the Bern: An Analysis of the Sanders Phenomenon

When Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for president, his assertion that he was in this to win seemed like maybe the kind of statement a candidate feels he has to make. If you followed this sort of thing, a more modest and reasonable hope seemed to be that he’d at least fare better than Dennis Kucinich, the last candidate of the left to attempt a significant candidacy, in 2004 and 2008. As a U.S. Senator, self-identified socialist, and the longest serving independent member of Congress, Sanders hopefully could…

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