Can Wal-Mart Use Its Power For Good?
February 25, 2010
Wal-Mart's enormous leverage over its suppliers has attracted plenty of attention in recent years. Usually, critics home in on the negative impacts. The retailer can dictate prices to factories around the world (after all, a single producer needs Wal-Mart more than vice versa), which encourages ruthless cost-cutting that, in turn, can lead to lower wages and shoddier working conditions. And that's not even the half of it. Barry Lynn wrote a long piece for Harper's in 2006 exploring the pros and cons of Wal-Mart's vast "monopsony" power. But there's a flip side, too.
December 17, 2009
Last month, the Senate voted to confirm Judge David Hamilton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Getting a judge confirmed is always a good thing for a president. But it's hard to view what happened to Hamilton as a victory for Obama. In fact, if anything, the episode suggests that the president's approach to nominating federal appellate judges is seriously misguided. Back in September, The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin reported that the administration nominated Hamilton in order to show that it was taking a new, post-partisan approach to judicial appointments.
Breaking: Wal-mart (!) Backs Key Reform Principle
June 30, 2009
Should the government require that employers either provide their workers with health insurance or pay some money to help defray the cost? Wonks call this an "employer mandate" and it's among reform's more controversial notions. Most reform advocates support the idea, arguing it's necessary both to raise the money necessary to finance universal coverage in the early years and to protect existing employer coverage for people who already have it.
Is Libertarian Ideology Killing Newspapers?
June 03, 2009
It's long been remarked that Craigslist is to newspapers what Wal-Mart has been to America's local businesses: a ruthlessly efficient leviathan that robs older businesses of their capacity to generate revenue. But Mark Gimein has a piece in The Big Money that illuminates a key difference. While Wal-Mart is bent on maximizing returns for its shareholders--an appropriate goal, for a corporation--Craigslist is not.
October 22, 2008
The resentments of Sarah Palin.
August 13, 2008
Earlier this summer, when the Obama campaign announced that Jason Furman was joining its staff as director of economic policy, the storyline seemed to write itself: Centrist adviser will pull Obama to the right. Furman had first made a name for himself as a wonky twentysomething wunderkind in the later years of the Clinton administration--a period when, to the consternation of many liberals, Clinton emphasized balanced budgets, free trade, and welfare reform.
The Devil's Advocate
September 24, 2007
The sleazy lobbyist who might save the world.
Hillary And Wal-mart
May 20, 2007
I always wondered why Hillary Rodham Clinton never boasted about her service on the Wal-Mart board. After all, she boasts--even exaggerates--about everything she's done and does. I have had this "story" in my head for maybe fourteen years. I tried to get New Republic staffers to go after it, anyway without the success. Let me be frank. I think that the argument about Wal-Mart does not come out one-sided, either in terms of the economy as a whole (not just in the U.S.) or of local economies.
February 12, 2007
IN THE SUMMER of 2004, when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacked John Kerry with a series of ads challenging his service in Vietnam, the hapless candidate had a defender across the aisle: John McCain. Shortly after the ads hit the airwaves, the Arizona senator called the smear campaign “dishonest and dishonorable” and urged President Bush to condemn it.