Steve Fraser

Steve Fraser is Editor-at-Large of New Labor Forum and co-founder of the American Empire Project (Metropolitan Books). He is, most recently, the author of Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace. He teaches history at Columbia University.

Articles by this author

Views
Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 9:45am
The Rebirth of Family Capitalism
George Baer was a railroad and coal mining magnate at the turn of the twentieth century. Amid a violent and protracted strike that shut down much of the country’s anthracite coal industry, Baer defied President Teddy Roosevelt’s appeal to arbitrate the issues at stake, saying, “The rights and...
Read more
Views
Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 9:21am
Making Disaster Pay
In 2007, a financial firestorm ravaged Wall Street and the rest of the country. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy obliterated a substantial chunk of the Atlantic seaboard. We think of the first as a man-made calamity, the second as the malignant innocence of nature. But neither the notion of a man-made nor natural disaster quite captures how the power of a few and the vulnerability of the many determine what is really going on at ground level. Causes and consequences, who gets blamed and who leaves the scene permanently scarred, who goes down and who emerges better positioned
Read more
Views
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 10:59am
The Politics of Debt in America: From Debtor’s Prison to Debtor Nation
[ This essay will appear in the next issue of Jacobin . It is posted at TomDispatch.com with the kind permission of that magazine, and re-posted at Common Dreams with subsequent permission. ]
Read more
Views
Monday, December 3, 2012 - 1:28pm
Debtpocalypse, Austerity and the Hollowing Out of America
“ Debtpocalypse ” looms. Depending on who wins out in Washington, we’re told , we will either free fall over the fiscal cliff or take a terrifying slide to the pit at the bottom.&nb
Read more
Views
Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 12:34pm
Locking Down an American Workforce in the Prison-Corporate Complex
Sweatshop labor is back with a vengeance.
Read more
Views
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 9:52am
Take Our Children, Please! A Modest Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
In 1729, when Ireland had fallen into a state of utter destitution at the hands of its British landlords, Jonathan Swift published a famous essay , “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being A Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public.” His idea was simple: the starving Irish should sell their own children to the rich as food.
Read more
Views
Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 8:22am
The All-American Occupation: A Century of Our Streets Vs. Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street, the ongoing demonstration-cum-sleep-in that began a month ago not far from the New York Stock Exchange and has since spread like wildfire to cities around the country, may be a game-changer. If so, it couldn’t be more appropriate or more in the American grain that, when the game changed, Wall Street was directly in the sights of the protesters.
Read more
Views
Monday, September 12, 2011 - 8:06am
Message to the Unemployed: Uncle Sam Does(n’t) Want You
Not long ago, the city council of Ventura, California, passed an ordinance making it legal for the unemployed and homeless to sleep in their cars. At the height of the Great Recession of 2008, one third of the capital equipment of the American economy lay idle. Of the women and men idled along with that equipment, only 37% got a government unemployment check and that check, on average, represented only 35% of their weekly wages.
Read more
Views
Monday, May 3, 2010 - 11:09am
History's Mad Hatters: The Strange Career of Tea Party Populism
On a winter's day in Boston in 1773, a rally of thousands at Faneuil Hall to protest a new British colonial tax levied on tea turned into an iconic moment in the pre-history of the American Revolution. Some of the demonstrators -- Sons of Liberty, they called themselves -- left the hall and boarded the Dartmouth, a ship carrying tea, and dumped it overboard.
Read more
Views
Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 11:18am
The New Deal in Reverse: How the Obama Administration Ended Up Where Franklin Roosevelt Began
On March 4, 1933, the day he took office, Franklin Roosevelt excoriated the "money changers" who "have fled from their high seats in the temples of our civilization [because...] they know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision and where there is no vision, the people perish." Rhetoric, however, is only rhetoric. According to one skeptical congressional observer of FDR's first inaugural address, "The President drove the money-changers out of the Capitol on March 4th -- and they were all back on the 9th."
Read more

Pages