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Author Archive | Michael D. Yates

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The Social Democratic pipedream

Today in the United States, there has been an upsurge in social democracy/democratic socialism (I use these terms interchangeably; I don’t see much difference between them, at least in the U.S.) The main current of social democracy is the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), whose overall political perspective can be described as follows.

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Photograph Source- Thane Tucson – CC BY-SA 4.0

Love the land or watch it die

Sagebrush, Ponderosa Pine, Juniper Trees, and Piñón Pine are important flora in the western United States. Juniper can live more than 1,000 years, as can some Piñón. Ponderosa live up to 400 years. Sagebrush is a perennial and can survive for 100 years. All have been and are used for a variety of purposes by […]

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Screen shot of strawberries

What we sow is what we eat

Our treatment of the earth, of the dirt beneath our feet, is directly connected to our system of food production. The pollutants we put in the soil show up in our groceries. And the entire wretched business of agriculture derives from the nature of our economic system, which compels every giant corporation, every “entrepreneur,” to […]

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Tenure Umbrella

Just Wait Until I Get Tenure

The first thing to understand about colleges and universities is that they are workplaces. And like all workplaces in capitalist societies, they are organized as hierarchies, with power radiating downward.… Those at the top have as their central objective control over the enterprise, so that their power can be maintained, that revenues from tuition, grants, […]

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Mother Nature, Make Me Rich

  NBC recently aired a show called America’s Next Great Restaurant.  Contestants, each of whom hoped to open a restaurant chain, were put through a series of tests to see whose idea had the best chance for success.  A panel of judges eliminated one person at the end of each program, until the last one […]

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In and Out of the Working Class

Cesar

  Author’s Note: This story was recently posted on CounterPunch.   Here I have corrected a couple of errors pointed out by readers.  The essay is taken from my book, In and Out of the Working Class.  I worked for the United Farm Workers Union during a sabbatical leave in the winter of 1977.   I […]

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Open Veins of Latin America

Let’s Hope This Gift Keeps on Giving

  Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, 25th anniversary edition (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1997). As Editorial Director of Monthly Review Press, I was delighted to learn that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gave his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins […]

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The Blighted Groves of Academe

  The more I read about the state of our colleges and universities, the more thankful I am that I quit my job at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) in 2001, after thirty-two years of teaching.  I wrote the following essay a dozen years ago, and since then, matters have gotten progressively worse, […]

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Bisbee deportation of IWWs, July 12, 1917

Tombstone

  “Our community is expanding: MRZine viewers have increased in number, as have the readers of our editions published outside the United States and in languages other than English.  We sense a sharp increase in interest in our perspective and its history.   Many in our community have made use of the MR archive we […]

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Paul Krugman on Race

  In a June 9 New York Times column, economist Paul Krugman tells us that “Mr. Obama’s nomination wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago.  It’s possible today only because racial division, which has driven U.S. politics rightward for more than four decades, has lost much of its sting.”  He attributes this to Bill Clinton, […]

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The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti

Sacco and Vanzetti

“If it had not been for this thing, I might have lived out my life talking at street corners to scorning men.  I might have died, unmarked, unknown, a failure.  Now we are not a failure.  This is our career and our triumph.  Never in our full life can we hope to do such work […]

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Cheap Motels and a Hotplate

All the Economics You Need to Know in One Lesson

  CHEAP MOTELS AND A HOTPLATE: An Economist’s Travelogue by Michael D. Yates ORDER THIS BOOK This essay complements my forthcoming book: Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate: an Economist’s Travelogue (Monthly Review Press). We Meet an Economist Karen and I were hiking in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on the Atalaya Mountain Trail, which begins […]

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