The second American snack-food strike in 3 months has a lot to teach us about the shifting battle lines in labor

In July, a successful worker strike at a Topeka Frito-Lay factory captured the nation’s attention. On a recent episode of the “ Pitchfork Economics” podcast, Kansas State Representative Jason Probst said the strike showed workers “have had their fill. …


Only in America is filing taxes such a complicated mess. Here’s how other countries do it better.

“Everybody I know wants a simpler tax process,” a caller to a recent episode of “Pitchfork Economics” asked. “So why isn’t it happening?”

It’s a great question. Filing taxes in the United States is so incredibly complex that many people feel compelled to hire highly-trained experts to complete and file…


A real estate CEO appraises the home ownership inequality problem in the US — and how to fix it

It’s impossible to discuss the size and scope of income inequality in America without including housing in the conversation. In the same way that corporate profiteers line their pockets while their workers fall below the poverty line, wealthy homeowners have rigged the system so their properties surge in wealth at…


A poverty policy expert explains how Biden’s Child Tax Credit could change America’s broken relationship with welfare.

“The United States is unique in that it really has three benefit systems that break down almost precisely by income level,” Professor Wendy Bach explained in a recent episode of “Pitchfork Economics.”

“We have what I like to call welfare for the wealthy at the top, delivered mostly through tax…


If the minimum wage continued to grow alongside worker productivity, as it did for the first 30 years, the federal minimum would be $24 per hour right now.

Saturday, July 24, was the 12th anniversary of the last time the federal minimum wage increased, to $7.25 an hour. This is, by far, the longest the nation has gone without an increase to the federal minimum wage since the labor law was first instituted in 1938. While many states…


Kroger closed grocery stores rather than give workers a $4 raise. Now it’s padding shareholders’ pockets with a $1 billion stock-buyback scheme.

Back in February, I wrote about the national grocery chain Kroger’s announcement that it was closing low-performing stores in Seattle and Long Beach, California, after the two cities passed laws requiring grocery stores to pay their front-line workers additional $4-per-hour “hero pay” during the pandemic.

“Giant corporations love to use…


The wealthy celebrity chef fights hard for small restaurant owners. Too bad he doesn’t seem to care about restaurant workers.

Less than a decade ago, the celebrity chef Guy Fieri was a joke.


A new McKinsey study shows that race and gender inclusion isn’t just compatible with economic growth — it’s absolutely necessary

Most Econ 101 classes teach that an economy is a zero-sum game — that it’s impossible to win without some other economic actor losing at the same time, and that one group’s gains must result in another group’s losses.

Not only is this trickle-down theory completely wrong, but it’s also…


A former deputy secretary of the Treasury is helping to reimagine a greener, more environmentally responsible financial industry.

When we think of combating climate change, our minds tend to turn to green energy like solar or wind power. But the world of finance has a tremendous impact on the environment, and we’ll never be able to steer away from impending climate calamities until big business takes action.

Remarkably…


Here’s how one state attorney general fought back.

If I asked you to name the job title of a worker who would be required to sign a noncompete agreement, you’d probably think of high-paying jobs — designers of new Apple products, for instance, or CEOs with access to corporate secrets. Noncompetes were designed for just that purpose: to…

Paul Constant

Political writer at Civic Ventures. Co-founder of the Seattle Review of Books. Author of comics including PLANET OF THE NERDS.

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