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The Neoliberal Consensus Is Over  

On February 19, Wal-Mart announced that it would raise its minimum wage to $9. The following week, Wisconsin, the home of labor progressivism, passed right-to-work legislation. What’s going on? Some analysts believe that Wisconsin’s action is a harbinger of things …









China on the Capitalist Road  

In 2005, China experienced more than seventy five thousand public protests in rural villages and urban factories. These bursts of discontent appear to have made a deep impression on China’s party leaders. As in nineteenth-century Europe, the specter of revolution …



Remembering Irving Howe  

Irving Howe invited me to write for Dissent in 1972, when I was a graduate student. My main qualification was my participation in a socialist youth group. This was one of Dissent’s first moves toward generational reconciliation, but given my …



In Our Schools  

Half a dozen years ago Americans rediscovered the failure of their public schools. A series of governmental and foundation reports warned that the mediocrity of elementary and secondary school education endangered America’s competitiveness in the global economy. There was little …



Race, Class, and Poverty  

America declared “war on poverty” twenty-five years ago, yet in most inner-city neighborhoods conditions are worse now than they were then. In the years since Michael Harrington opened an innocent nation’s eyes to the sorry reality of “the other America,” …



Ways for Democrats  

Lester Thurow’s The Zero-Sum Society (Basic Books, 1982) provoked a storm of protest from liberals and leftists who charged that Thurow’s emphasis on the need for economic growth represented an abandonment of concern for working people and the poor. Apparently …



The Unions Try Self-Criticism  

The American labor movement is being battered by tides of change. Union membership as a proportion of the total work force is down; relative wages are declining; hard-won work rules are being surrendered; and employers are sowing the seeds of …



Concession Bargaining in Steel  

Things are grim in South Chicago. Two years ago, Wisconsin Steel went bankrupt, leaving 4,000 steelworkers without jobs, pension plans, and their last paycheck. Then Pullman Standard closed, after United Steelworkers of America District Director Jack Parton’s frantic efforts to …