American consumers pay hundreds of billion of dollars in inflated pharmaceutical prices because drug companies are legal monopolies, a result of current patent laws. Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research evaluates 4 separate strategies for slashing the cost of drugs and seeing drugs as a common good.
A single-payer system is one in which the government, rather than private insurance companies, pays all health care costs. Some on the left have long harbored hopes for a national single-payer system, but the odds that Congress would ever extinguish the private insurance industry have never been anything but long. Vermont is different. Vermonters proudly bring … Read More
Half a year after Newark Public Schools launched an “agenda to ensure all students are in excellent schools,” the plan has come under a federal civil rights investigation to determine whether it “discriminates against black students.” An in-depth look into the district’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to close one South Ward school reveals how real estate concerns … Read More
Hilary Wainwright’s booklet – The Tragedy of the Private, the Potential of the Public – describes water, health and education as “the commons” and illustrates a quiet process of remunicipalization is taking place all over the world. There is a palpable momentum to these ideas. Last summer saw the formation of the We Own It campaign … Read More
In the recent issue of the American Prospect editor-at-large Harold Meyerson has written what may be the single best piece on the reasons behind the decline and fall of the American worker since the 1960s and the rise of the age of anxiety. The disparity between then and now is stark. In the 25 years before … Read More
I support foreign aid because it reflects a willingness of rich nations to share resources with those less fortunate. I criticize foreign aid because it tends to go from government to government, often encouraging corruption and wastefulness. Or is driven primarily by self-interest, often undermining rather than nurturing a country’s independence (e.g. U.S. food aid that … Read More
On November 7 New York Times business columnist Floyd Norris writes about a study of a 2009 federal law intended to force down the hidden fees credit card companies impose on their customers. When Neale Mahoney, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, set out to evaluate the effect of that law, he … Read More