Les Leopold

Les Leopold

Les Leopold, the director of the Labor Institute in New York is working with unions, worker centers and community organization to build a national economics educational campaign. His latest book, Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice (Oct 2015), is a text for that effort. All proceeds go to support this educational campaign. (Please like the Runaway Inequality page on Facebook.) His previous book is The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It (Chelsea Green/2009).

Articles by this author

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Friday, January 21, 2011
Financial Socialism by and for Wall Street Elites?
More than 70 percent of Americans say big bonuses should be banned this year at Wall Street firms that took taxpayer bailouts, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. An additional one in six favors slapping a 50 percent tax on bonuses exceeding $400,000. Just 7 percent of U.S. adults say bonuses are an appropriate incentive reflecting Wall Street's return to financial health.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wall Street's Ten Biggest Lies for 2010
What a great year for Wall Street: profits up, bonuses up and, best of all, criticism down, especially from Washington. Somehow Wall Street has much of America believing its lies and rationalizations. We're even beginning to forget that Wall Street is largely responsible for the economic mess we're in.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Another Taxpayer-Funded Thanksgiving Feast for Wall Street
"Thus the real reason for Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is: Socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets, and we thank God we live in a country where we can have them." ~ "The Great Thanksgiving Host," The Ludwig Von Mises Institute - a Tea Party favorite re-write of American History.
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Friday, September 17, 2010
Poverty Rises as Wall Street Billionaires Whine
The ranks of the working-age poor in the United States climbed to the highest level since the 1960s as the recession threw millions of people out of work last year, leaving one in seven Americans in poverty.
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Friday, September 03, 2010
Why the Big Lie About the Job Crisis? And the $10 Trillion Answer
The August unemployment numbers are ugly, yet again. Nearly 30 million Americans are still jobless or forced into part-time jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics official unemployment rate is 9.6%. It's borader and more telling jobless rate (U6) of 16.7% confirms that we're stuck in our own version of the Great Depression. We'll need more than 22 million new jobs to bring us back to full-employment. Happy Labor Day.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010
Five Washington Excuses for Ignoring the Jobs Crisis
"Slowly but surely we are moving in the right direction. We're on the right track." ~ Barack Obama, Aug. 18, 2010 President Obama's pollyanish comments coupled with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' outburst against "the professional left" reveal just how out of touch the Obama Administration is with the tens of millions of everyday Americans who are engulfed by the jobs crisis.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010
Why the Idiocy About Unemployment?
My wife, a labor economist, is upset with NPR's "The Take Away" (and many other news programs) for reinforcing the myth that somehow the unemployed are to blame for not having a job. We all should be angry as well because the jobs just aren't there. In fact, the latest unemployment statistics show that there are five unemployed workers available for every vacant job. Why blame workers when it's so clear that Wall Street's reckless gambling caused the jobs crisis?
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Sunday, June 13, 2010
Is there a Global War Between Financial Theocracy and Democracy?
Senate and House conferees are about to reconcile a financial reform bill that is virtually designed to institutionalize "too big to fail." And when they do we'll lose another battle in the ongoing war between global financial markets and democratic nation-states. This war has been going on for decades -- but democracy hasn't always been in full retreat.
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Friday, May 14, 2010
Help! What's the Cure for Financial Insanity?
Now that the bank lobbyists are nearly finished neutering the financial reform bill, it's time to face reality: our financial world will continue to be run by the very financiers who crashed the system two years ago. The bankers' arguments ricocheting through the halls of Congress make it seem as if our financial system is basically rational and sound -- that only a few flaws need fixing. That's lunacy. Our bright bankers may be rational as individuals, but collectively they perpetuate a fractured system gone utterly mad... and getting madder every day.
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Monday, January 25, 2010
Wall Street Bonuses Can Create One Million Green Jobs
President Obama may be joining the populist crusade against Wall Street. In the span of one week he opened up a three front war: a tax on big banks, full support for a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and the embrace of Paul Volcker's plan to break up the big banks. It's about time. Or has the time already passed? Yes, there is enormous popular anger against Wall Street and the bailouts. However, the deepest anger is rooted in the enormous fears and hardships caused by the lack of jobs.
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