Sarah Anderson

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Monday, November 15, 2010
Food Shouldn't be a Poker Chip
This Thanksgiving, most farmers around my hometown in central Minnesota are celebrating a good harvest. Rain--for once--fell at the right time in the right amounts, and prices for many crops grown in Litchfield are high.
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Friday, November 12, 2010
Decoding the G-20 Drama
There was a big brouhaha at the G-20 summit this week over what they’re dryly calling “global trade imbalances.” In the simplest terms, what this boils down to is this: Americans buy too much stuff from China. The Chinese stuff is artificially cheap because of currency manipulation, but also because of labor repression that keeps wages down. And because wages are so low, Chinese people don’t buy very much stuff, so the money from exports piles up.
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Friday, September 03, 2010
FDR’s Labor Day Plea Resonates Today
On the eve of Labor Day in 1936, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned in his “Fireside Chat” of a potentially dangerous surge in class divisions if more was not done to support ordinary workers. For FDR, providing the opportunity to labor for a “decent and constantly rising standard of living” was fundamental to a healthy democracy.
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Sunday, July 04, 2010
Boost Taxes on Some Financial-Crisis Creators
The economic crisis we're enduring is very costly. America faces a critical choice: Who should pay the bill? We can stick it to the poor by ripping our safety net. We can kick the can down the road by short-changing public education and infrastructure. Or we can find more equitable, forward-looking solutions. One place to look for new revenue: the financial sector that got us into this mess in the first place. Wall Street is one of the most under-taxed sectors of our economy.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Reining in Wall Street: Round 1
A year and a half after the financial meltdown, Congress is about to conclude Round One of the fight over reining in Wall Street. Let's hope they're not planning to hang up their gloves. The House and Senate are still working out the differences in their respective versions of the financial reform bills. It's not too early, however, to say that while the legislation will make some positive differences in the lives of ordinary people and small businesses, it will not be enough.
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Friday, March 26, 2010
Enabling Wall Street's Secret Gambling Problem
After the financial meltdown of 2008, I remember thinking that I wouldn't be running into Wall Street lobbyists much anymore in the halls of Congress. If you'd just driven the economy off a cliff, wouldn't you be embarrassed to show your face on Capitol Hill? And surely, I thought, these firms wouldn't spend their taxpayer bailout money on high-priced lobbyists. Boy, was I naive. Last year alone, Wall Street spent more than $200 million to block efforts to rein in their recklessness.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010
Time to Tax Financial Speculation
For decades, international activists have been pushing the idea of a tax on financial transactions. Such a tax would give us a twofer: a drop in short-term speculation that serves no productive purpose and leads to dangerous bubbles, and 2) loads of money that could be used for good things, like health, climate, and jobs programs.
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010
My Cat is No Fat Cat
It's a good thing my long-haired calico Hyacinth can't read the newspaper. Otherwise I'm sure she'd be deeply offended by all the recent headlines about "fat cats." President Obama used the derogatory term in an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes." "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street," he said. Granted, Hyacinth may be on the pudgy side, but she has little in common with greedy financial executives.
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Thursday, November 05, 2009
Clash on Investment: Global Trade and an Opportunity for Civil Society
During the past several months, I spent nearly 30 hours in meetings of a private sector committee tasked with advising the Obama administration on a particular set of international economic policies. My seat at the table was one of many signs of the new opportunities for advocates of progressive change in Washington. At the same time, my experience was an up-close-and-personal look at how hard corporate lobbyists are fighting to make sure nothing changes.
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Monday, October 05, 2009
Getting Past the Smoke and Mirrors
BACK IN THE MIDDLE AGES, shadowy figures known as alchemists claimed that they could turn lead into gold. We have alchemists today who don’t have to fake such miracles. We call them CEOs. Our contemporary power-suited alchemists can turn sinking sales, falling profits, even global economic collapse into personal mega-million-dollar windfalls. They have discovered, in effect, the secret to perpetual income growth.
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