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Columns by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

These columns are reproduced in the Jackson Progressive by the kind permission of the authors.


The Nasty Class and Anti-Union Bias of Auto Bailout Opposition, or the Wall Street-Detroit Double Standard

12/12/2008
Exactly why the Republicans have torpedoed a $15 billion bailout to the three big automakers is something of a mystery. These are industries that, unlike the Wall Street financial firms, actually make things, as opposed to simply shifting assets around. Even that bastion of free-market conservatism, the National Chamber of Commerce, is screaming that to let the big three go under would be a unmitigated disaster. Bush himself is in favor of the bailout. If it is, as Mr. Weissman suggests, an effort to destroy the United Auto Workers, then we may reasonably conclude that the Senate Republicans are borderline psychotic, because the consequent damage to the economy, especially in Michigan, will have very real political consequences for a party that is increasingly becoming disconnected from reality. Read the column.

Of Snowboarders and Corporations

2/6/2006
Natural people, that is, people that live and breathe and love, as opposed to legal persons like corporations, are regularly put away for negligent homicide. It's rare, however, that corporations are even prosecuted for crimes, let alone convicted. What does this mean for us? Read the column.

Gospel of Work vs. Gospel of Wealth

1/25/2006
M & W recount the history of the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York in terms of the people who lived there, and the changes that corporate ownership of the main industry, the Remington Arms Company, made to the social structure and the quality of life. Read the column.

Corporate Crime Quiz

12/21/2005
Twenty five questions that you should be able to answer if you paid attention during 2005. Take the quiz.

Need a Birth Certificate?

10/31/2005
M & W explore the impact of privitization on the simple act of getting a birth certificate in New York. Too often, privitization means the sale to the public of that which already belongs to the public, but at a much higher price. In this case, it is birth certificates. Read the column.

National Geographic Kids Under the Corporate Thumb

08/07/2004
M & W point recently saw an issue of the National Geographic with a featured title: "Why are we so Fat?" When they picked up the magazine a leaflet promoting National Geographic Kids, a magazine for ages 6 and up, fell out. The latter magazine, free from ads until three years ago, is now loaded with ads for "fast food, candy, sugary cereals, snack cakes and other junk food. And it reaches 1.2 million households." And the National Geographic asks why we are fat.... Read the column.

Remembering Reagan

06/10/2004
Amidst all the hagiography surrounding Ronald Reagan this week, Mokhiber and Weissman give us a strong dose of reality therapy as they review Reagan's contribution to the nation during his eight years in the Whitehouse. Read the column

U.S. Bullies Europeans on Chemical Testing

10/18/2003
The European Commission, the governing body of the European Union, recently proposed a regulation that would require the manufacturers of chemicals to test them for safety before introducing them into the environment. The Bush administration went berserk,since the profits of the U.S. chemical industry would be affected. Read the results of the U.S. campaign to sabatoge the European standards.

Crooks

7/20/2003
Both the Republicans and Democrats accept millions and millions of "contributions" from corporate criminals. If you believe that those contributions are given to advance the public good, then the editor would like to seriously discuss with you about what a wise investment the new Woodrow Wilson bridge being built over the Pearl would be. Read the awful news.

Corporate Homicide

3/31/2003
The last homicide prosecution brought against a major American corporation was in 1980, when a Republican prosecutor charged Ford Motor Co. with homicide for the deaths of three teenaged girls who died when their Ford Pinto caught on fire after being rear-ended in northern Indiana. Perhaps it is time for a similar prosecution against tobacco executives.Read the column.

The Unbalanced Hawks at the Washington Post

3/06/2003
The leading newspaper in our nation's capital has become an unremitting booster for invading Iraq, with little dissent. M & W explore this phenomenon. Read the Column

Too Much

2/25/2003
M & W discuss the ways in which the Bush White House manipulates the press in order to get a free ride. Read the column.

12 Reasons to Oppose a War with Iraq

2/20/2003
In another one of their notable lists, M & W lay out in clear and compelling language why we shouldn't go to war with Iraq. If you think that it's a good idea to kill up to half a million Iraqis, most of whom will be children, and place the lives and health of over 150,000 young American men and women at risk, then think again. A willingness--if not an eagerness--to spill the blood of other persons is a characteristic of not only a great war leader, but also of a serial murderer. The reasons.

Corporations, War, You

2/6/2003
M & W analyze the reasons to go to war with Iraq--big oil, the military-industrial think tank complex and the ideology of empire--and contrast them with reasons not to go to war: the risks and uncertainties as well as the clear illegality of it all under international law. They also suggest what you can do if you oppose the war. Read the column.

Stealing Money From Kids

1/28/2003
When a new factory comes to town, its owners often demand a break on the property taxes they would normally pay to the city or county on the value of their factory and the land underneith it. Since the main source of funding for our public schools is the property tax it follows that the tax breaks actually come from the coffers of the schools. Since most corporations hold themselves out as fervent supporters of education, what gives? Read the column.

The New American Filter

1/16/2003
M & W attend a get together at the National Press Club sponsored by Atlantic Monthly Magazine and The New America Foundation titled "What is the Real State of the Union?" Assembled there were 14 hot New America Foundation fellows who were asked to write about the state of the nation. Noting the corporate sponsorship of the event, M & W, when called uponed to comment, asked their usual awkward elephant in the bathtub questions and, in general, made themselves unpopular to a crowd that had come mainly for self-congratulatory purposes. God bless 'em. Read the story.

Of Caviar and Capitalism

12/17/2002
M & W explore how the free, unregulated market has, since the end of the Soviet Union, virtually destroyed the cavier industry by overfishing. It is a repeat of our own American experience in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when rampant overfishing led to the rapid destruction of sturgeon populations in the Eastern United States and the Great Lakes, all in a matter of decades. Read the article.

Newsweek is Bad for Kids

11/13/2002
Newsweek recently ran an article stating the TV is Good for Kids. M & W explore the fact that Newsweek is owned by the Washington Post, which owns a number of TV stations. Could there be a bit of a conflict of interest here? Read the article

Shell Oil and the Politics of Hype

12/7/2002--Royal Dutch Shell has gone out of its way to let you know about how responsible it is with respect to the environment. What's the story?Read the article.

A Day at the American Enterprise Institute

11/2/2002
M & W visit the right-wing American Enterprise Institute for a day of lectures on "Europe: Anti-Semitism Resurgent?", "Does Excessive Regulation Threaten Subprime Lending?", and "In Defense of Empires." Since the AEI, along with the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, is strongly influential in both domestic and foreign policy circles in the current administration, their experiences are an eye-opener and a dire warning for what the elites have in store for us. Read the article.

Bowling for Baghdad

10/18/2002
Michael Moore's new movie Bowling for Columbine has reached theatres in the major cities (Jackson is definitely not a major city. We must wait.). The movie delves into our American propensity to seek violent solutions to political and personal problems and contrasts it with the habits of other nations--like Canada--and their people. M & W further explore this theme in pointed questions to our own government officials. Their responses are not encouraging. Read the article.

The Boeing Boondoogle

1/12/2002
The United States Congress just authorized the lease of 100 Boeing 767s from the manufacturer at what Senator McCain estimated to be five times the cost to purchase the planes. It's another example of the power of large and influental corporations to plunder the public purse. Read the article.

The Ten Worst Corporations of 2001

1/2/2002
M & W announce the ten winners of the annual competition for worst corporation of the year. In a year marked not only by the now-standard forms of corporate marauding but also by brazen wartime profiteering, it was no easy chore to identify Multinational Monitor's 10 corporations of 2001. Read the article.

The Moral of the Story: Care

12/19/2001
If corporations are to be given the same constitutional rights as human beings, then we have the right to hold them to the same standard we hold human beings -- a moral standard. M & W explore the relationship between corporate morality and limited liability for shareholders and come to some revolutionary conclusions. Read the article.

The Global Justice Movement: Alive and Kicking

12/05/2001
Since September 11, the media have rushed to write obituaries for the movement against corporate globalization. Don't believe everything you read. The movement is alive and kicking. Read the article.

Kill, Kill, Kill

11/24/2001
M & W comment upon the sanguinary attitude of a number of well-known writersand commentators in the U.S. press. Read the article.

The Cipro Rip-Off and the Public Health

11/08/2001
Confronted with the prospect of bioterrorism on a massive scale, the Bush administration and the pharmaceutical industry have colluded to protect patent monopolies rather than the public health. Continued

How Wall Street Created a Nation

10/26/2001
Almost 100 years ago, J. P. Morgan, the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell and other well-connected and wealthy tycoons decided to make a killing by buying up the French interests in the failed Panama Canal and bribing the U.S. Government to change its mind about building a canal through Nicaragua, the excavation of which had already begun. In the process, it created the nation of Panama. A new book tells the entire sordid history. Read the article.

Three Arguments Against the War

10/17/02001
Unspeakable acts of violence were committed on September 11. The perpetrators of the horrific attack of September 11 must be brought to justice, using the instruments of domestic and international law. The unconscionable slaughter demands prosecution. But bombing a desperately poor country under the yoke of a repressive regime is a wrongheaded response. The U.S. bombing of Afghanistan should cease immediately. Continued

The Big Banks' Dirty Little Secret

10/07/2001
The big banks have worked a deal with Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC): enforce the law against us, fine us if you must, but don't tell the public. And for years, OFAC has agreed to be a party to this cover-up which insulates the banks from publicity surrounding their wrongdoing. Read the article

The Wartime Opportunists

9/25/2001
The rush to war has given quite a few unscrupulous politicians the opportunity to push their private agendas as patriotic and anti-terrorist, agendas such as fast-track authority for the president on the Free Trade Area of the Americas and opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, neither of which has anything to do with curbing terrorist attacks. Read the article.

Respond to Violence: Teach Peace, Not War

9/13/2001
The talk is war; a glance at the newspapers clearly demonstrates that the American People are being prepared for military action against an enemy, although we really aren't sure where it is. In any case, the actions we take will undoubtedly kill hundreds or even thousands of innocent civilians - collateral damage -- thus preparing the way for another bitter harvest. M & W write of one who is teaching another way. Read the article.

September in Washington, D.C.

9/12/2001
This year, at the end of September, the maturing anti-corporate globalization movement is poised to make history. During the fall meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, tens of thousands of people will come to Washington, D.C. to denounce the institutions' policies, and to challenge the logic of corporate globalization. Read the article

Corporate Globalization and the Poor

8/06/2001
It's not enough to mock Bush's pretension of being a defender of the poor by pointing out that, through his giant tax cut, the president has overseen one of the history's great transfers of wealth to the rich in U.S. history. Critics must respond to his claims. Read the article.

Ball Park Franks Fiasco: 21 Dead, $200,000 Fine

8/03/2001
A company pleads guilty to a crime that leads to the death of 21 human beings. The company pleads to two misdemeanors. The company is fined $200,000. Think about that. Now read about that.

Slam the Doctor's Door on the Pharmaceutical Companies

7/6/2001
The pharmeceutical industry depends upon people getting sick rather than people staying well. M & W report the experiences of a West Virginia doctor friend of theirs with the pharmeceutical reps that daily visit his clinic. Read the article.

Censorship at the National Press Club

6/22/01
The National Press Club in Washington, D.C., is famous for the hard questions it asks of famous people that come before it. But at least one person is exempt from the traditional no-holds-barred examination: Henry Kissinger. Questions about his involvement in Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile and other unfortunate nation were simply not asked, all in accordance with a prior agreement with Kissinger. Read the article.

The Campaign to Take Back Pacifica

6/11/01
As the reader probably already knows, the Pacifica Network is a progressive radio network with stations in the largest cities of the nation. (Why not Jackson?) The board of the Pacifica Foundation has recently become dominated by corporate types who are attempting to convert the network into what will essentially be a commercial enterprise, and in the process is betraying the intent of its founder and its charter. The listeners are fighting back. Read the article.

Corporate Taxes Under Attack

5/25/01
Now that the president select has all but pushed through his massive tax cut for the wealthy, the corporate elite is standing in line for its share of the goodies, especially a reduction in the corporate income tax. M & W explain the history and the plotting behind this latest push. Read the article.

A Call to Defy Corporate Domination

5/17/01
Given the choice of joining a union or not, 48% of workers said they would join. Only 14% of the workforce, however, is unionized. Quite a discrepency, isn't it? There's a long history of organized labor in the U.S., but most of us don't know it. Read the article.

Big Pharma and the Global Response to HIV/AIDS

5/10/01
M & W explore the irony of the large pharmeceuticals jockying for control of a new fund anticipated to be established by the richest nations to combat HIV/AIDS worldwide. Read the article.

Warning: Philip Morris Wants Regulation

5/1/01
When a tobacco company embraces regulation it's a good idea to hang on to your wallet and very carefully scrutinize what is going on, on the reasonable assumption that baloney normally does not embrace the grinder. M & W enlighten us on the initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) to create a Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and why Philip Morris is supporting a tobacco treaty. Read the article.

Every Nook and Cranny

4/24/01
M & W explore a single instance exemplifying the infiltration of commercial values into every "nook and cranny" of our lives. What should our lives be about anyway? Is every single human activity the product of buying and selling? Is everything a "contract"? Is everything for sale? Read the article.

Corporations: Different Than You and Me

1/24/01
In 1886, the U. S. Supreme Court mentioned in an opinion that corporations were persons with the same right as human beings and therefore protected under the 14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. It was a decision as evil as it was idiotic and we are still suffering its effects. M & W explore just why corporations are not persons and ought not to have the same rights. Read the article.

The Corporate Conservative Administration

1/11/01
It looks as though the Bush Administration will be completely dominated by large corporate interests. M & W give a rundown on the boardroom to cabinet shuffle by telling which foxes are being appointed to guard which henhouses. Not a happy sight. Read the article.

The Insurance Industry/FBI Connection

1/3/01
The insurance industry pumps a lot of money into the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIP) and the latter organization has become cozy with the FBI, especially since the former number two man in the FBI now heads it. Apparently the FBI is anxious to prosecute persons trying to defraud insurance companies but not quite so enthusiastic in enforcing the law against the companies themselves. Read the article.

New Century, Same as the Old Century: The Ten Worst Corporations of 2000

12/27/2000
Self-regulation is the rage in Washington, D.C. The idea is based upon the assumption that corporations put the welfare of society above their own welfare, and that, left alone, they will refuse to pollute, maintain safe workplaces and manufacture only safe products. If you believe that, please immediately send $1,000.00 to this publication and you may choose which of the Potomac bridges you would like delivered by UPS to your doorstep Tuesday morning. M & W once again puncture the myth that large corporations are benevolent. Read the article.

The People's Health

12/18/2000
Savar, Bangladesh -- More than two decades ago, the nations of the world issued a call for "Health for all the people of the world by the year 2000," in the Alma Alta Declaration, the product of a World Health Organization-UNICEF conference. Now, with 2000 upon us, it is evident that the world failed to turn the vision into reality. There are signs of hope, however. Read the article.

The Real Thing: Democracy as a Contact Sport

12/13/2000
When you heckle a speaker in a public place, and speak the truth, the First Amendment is supposed to protect you. But not in the United States of America if the speaker you're heckling is Doug Daft, the president of Coca-Cola and the "public" place is the Smithsonian, and you are questioning why he was using a public instutition to promote a junk food product. Learn what's happening to our freedoms.

Enemies of the Future

12/02/00
And you thought populism meant the movement of citizens to control, through democratic means, their economy, their government, and their lives? Clearly, you have not been paying attention. Read the article

Business Power and Mobility

11/29/00
The power of global capital is not just in corrupting elections with astronomical campaign donations; its greates power is its mobility, its power to move elsewhere, rather than pay decent wages, adhere to environmental standards or to maintain safe workplaces. Read the article

TABD: Corporate Conspiracy

11/19/2000
Corporate rule is not built on a conspiracy. But that does not mean that corporations never conspire. Sometimes corporate executives do gather in secret meetings and work to plot collective approaches to advance Big Business's broad interests. Case in point: the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). Read the article.

Busted: the Genentech/American Heart Association Connection

11/10/2000
Lat year, the American Heart Association published guidelings for physicians advising that tPA, Genetich Inc.'s clotbuster drug, be used to treat strokes. Dr. Jerome Hoffman, professor of medicine at the UCLA Medical School, sat on the American Heart Association panel that hashed out the new guidelines. He was the only member of the panel who raised serious questions about recommending using tPA to treat strokes. Genetech is a large contributor to the AHA. Is there a connection? Read the article.

National Breast Cancer Industry Month

10/26/00
Nation Breast Cancer Awareness Month was the creation of Astra Zenice, then a subsidiary of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), a giant chemical firm. It is now supported by the entire cancer establishment, including some of the biggest polluters in the world. Is it any mystery why its emphasis has always been on early detection and cure, rather than discovering the causes? Read the article.

Bud Bowl III

10/16/2000
M & W went to the debates in Boston and Winston-Salem, sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, a front set up by the two parties under corporate sponsorship to deliberately exclude third-party candidates. It has succeeded. The debates have since become little more than a show without substance. Read the article.

IMF/World Bank: Stupid, Cruel, Brutal

10/12/2000
There is no policy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank that is more stupid, cruel and brutal than the insistence that poor countries charge fees for children to attend school and for people to access basic health services. The IMF and World Bank condition loans to impoverished countries on the adoption of Contract with America-style "structural adjustment" policies. User fees -- also known as community financing, cost sharing or cost recovery -- are often one part of the structural adjustment policy package. Read the article.

Look Before You Leap

10/5/2000
Last month, the Alliance for Childhood (www.allianceforchildhood.net) a group of more than 75 educators, child-development and health authorities called for a time-out from the overwhelming pressure on educators and parents to computerize childhood. Read the article.

Withering Democracy

9/27/2000
For all but the ideologically committed or deluded few who believe corporations and their executives make contributions out of a sense of civic obligation, there can be little doubt that the U.S. campaign finance system is fundamentally corrupt, and corrupting. Read the article.

A Not So Academic Oversight

9/19/2000
M & W visit the annual convention of the American Political Science Association, hoping to learn of new findings on the role of corporations in the political process. To their surprise they found that corporations and their role are virtually invisible in the literature, even though corporate influence is at a high. Read the article.

Ford/Firestone: Homicide?

9/12/2000
When human beings deliberately cause deaths of other humans, the criminal law usually calls that murder and punishes people who murder with long prison sentences. But what about corporations? If they are persons, why should corporations escape criminal prosecution when they deliberately cause deaths? Apparently Ford and Firestone knew perfectly well that the tires they sold were killing people and they deliberately continued to advertise and sell those tires. Read the article.

Bobo Paradise and its Discontents

9/4/2000
M & W review a new book by conservative Brooks on the new elite, Bobos in Paradise, The New Upper Class and How They Got There, and make some observations on the political and economic consequences of the change. Read the article.

Toast

8/19/2000
M & W contemplate, through their personal experience of exchanging a series of electric toasters that fail to last, the new manufacturing paradigm: shoddy products, disposable society, planned obsolescence, high-tech but no respect. Read the article.

The Billionaire Mindset and Wealth Inequality

8/16/2000
A report from The Conference Board http://www.conference-board.org/, a staunchly pro-corporate, conservative organization, highlights how the current economic boom times have left low-wage workers behind. Read the article.

Rats in the Grain

8/8/2000
A couple of weeks ago, M & W attended Reno's press briefing to ask her about a new book -- Rats in the Grain: The Dirty Tricks and Trials of Archer Daniels Midland, The Supermarket to the World, by James Lieber (Four Walls, Eight Windows, 2000). Specifically, they ask her why the FBI, in an antitrust investigation that sent two executives to jail and cost the company a hundred million dollar fine, wasn't allowed to question CEO Dwayne Andreas, a big Democratic Party contributor. Read the article.

Killing Africa with Kindness

8/1/2000
With the announcement of a billion-dollar-a-year U.S. government loan program for African countries to buy AIDS drugs, the fight to deliver affordable drugs to people with HIV/AIDS in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world has entered its third phase. Read the article.

Taken for a Ride

7/25/2000
The automobile companies are criminal outlaws. Prosecutors have attempted to prosecute the big automakers and their executives for a host of conspiracies against the public, but every time, the political power of the auto industry has crushed any attempts to rein them in for the public good. Read the article.

A Civic Lesson for Big Tobacco

J7/18/2000
The $145 billion punitive damage award against the tobacco industry in the Engle case in Florida should be celebrated as evidence of a civil justice system that works, proof of the value of juries and a major public health achievement. Read the article

Fronting for Big Coal

7/11/2000
M & W attend a press conference where African-American and Hispanic groups release a report showing how minority populations will suffer most if the United Nations Global Warming Treaty (Kyoto agreement) passes the U.S. Senate. The press conference was coordinated. by a group called the Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED), a coal industry front group, which did its best to conceal that fact. Read the article.

Cop Killer

7/3/2000
Mumia Abu-Jamal is often described by the media as a "cop killer," even though there is considerable evidence that his trial was grotesquely unfair and even included fabricated evidence. M & W comment on the fact that a far worse murder episode by a sausage factory owner -- the cold-blood murder of three food inspectors in broad daylight -- never inspired the press to use the term "cop killer" to describe the murderer, a white businessman. Thus the press once again softens its reporting of corporate crime. Read the article.

Big Ideas on Corporate Accountability and Global Sustainability

6/20/2000
Sometimes, it is important to think big. M & W discuss two progressive proposals by two members of Congress that would spread the benefits of globalism beyond a small corporate elite and minimize its impact upon the environment. Read the article.

Which Way, CFA?

6/8/2000
The Consumer Federation of America is at a crossroads. Set up in 1968 to advocate in Washington, D.C. for consumer interests, the Federation is being consumed by Washington's corporate culture. Will it seek to reverse course and get back to its consumer roots? Or will it become just another corporate front group?

Stop Corruption Now!

5/30/2000
Both parties are marinated in Fortune 500 cash and both stink for it. Read about the post-China vote party when Clinton and the Democratic National Committee raised $26.5 million in one night.

A Tsunami of Corruption

5/6/2000
In which Mokhiber and Weissman describe the current state of the Union: a nation ruled by giant corporations for their own corporate purposes without regard to the good of the public. They point out that the overweening power of the large corporations breeds corruption, not only on the national level but also on the state and local level. They cite illustrative examples and discuss some remedies. Read the article.

Amoral Defense

5/19/2000
A right-wing think tank, The Center for the Moral Defense of Capitalism, called a press converence in opposition to Earth Day. M & W attended and asked a few questions of this Spotsylvania, Virginia-based organization that is closely affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute. Read the article.

GE: Every Plant on a Barge

5/17/2000
General Electric is as American a company as could be imagined, having been founded by inventor Thomas Edison. Its loyalty to American workers, however, has long since vanished, as it ruthlessly moves its productive facilities to whatever workforce is the cheapest. Read the article

The Meaning of April 16

4/19/2000
Now that the demonstrations against the IMF and World Bank have come and gone, what has been accomplished? Some of the demonstrators are still in jail, having been treated brutally and unconstitutionally. After having ignored the real reasons the demonstrators were in D.C and the shameful behavior of the D.C. police, the mainstream media have conveniently forgotten that the demonstrations happened at all. But the secrecy and aura of infallibility that has surrounded these institutions and the awesome power they wield over the third world, and, ultimately over our own lives, has finally been punctured. They are no longer completely off the radar screen of public awareness, and their effects are beginning to be understood. Read the article.

Sixteen Years for a Snickers Bar

4/11/2000
Last week, a Texas jury recommended that Kenneth Payne, 29, spend 16 years in jail for stealing a Snickers candy bar. When asked why the Draconian penalty, the prosecutor replied that it was a king size candy bar. Where is the 21st Century Victor Hugo to write another Les Miserables about this 21st Century equivalent to stealing a loaf of bread? The urge to put people behind bars for minor infractions has become truly manic, at least if the defendant isn't a large corporation or otherwise rich and powerful. Read the article.

A Dozen Reasons to Come to DC for April 16

4/5/2000
The next citizen showdown against corporate globalization will be on April 16 and 17, when thousands of people come to Washington, D.C. to protest -- through legal demonstrations and/or civil disobedience -- the politics of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. For details on events, see www.a16.org. Here's a dozen reasons why you should join the protests Read the article.

Is the Market a Ponzi Scheme?

3/27/2000
M & W compare the current boom in the price of stocks with a scheme by a 1920s financier who built a house of cards with investors' money and left them holding the bag. Read the article.

IMF on the Ropes

3/21/2000
There may be no single institution with greater pernicious influence in the world than the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Now, for the first time, the Fund faces a real challenge to its existence, at least in its current form. Read the article.

The House of Butterflies

3/13/2000
Asbestos isn't the only substance whose dangers were hidden from the public for decades. The oil companies knew as early as the 1920s that lead was poisonous and dangerous, but deliberately kept the public in ignorance. It wasn't until the 80s that the people of the United States were informed of the public health hazard presented by leaded gasoline. Now, a 30-page investigative article in The Nation tells the tale. But first, read the commentary by Mokhiber and Weissman.

Al Gore, Corporate Welfare Environmentalist

3/7/2000
Gas prices are rising and the threat of global warming looms ever larger. Al Gore, what have you done to wean the United States from its oil dependency? Gore's reply leaves us little hope that a presidency occupied by the author of Earth in the Balance will take his own book seriously and lead this nation -- and our World -- into environmental responsibility. Read the article.

Who Owns America?

2/28/2000
M & W come across a book first published by 21 conservatives in 1936. Unlike mainstream conservatives today, these conservatives understood that the shrinking of the government could not be successfully accomplished without restricting the size and power of the giant corporations. Read the article.

Big Tobacco Off the Ropes?

2/18/2000
Big tobacco is even now in the process of trying to take back the economic and political territory it has lost over the past few years, and the tobacco companies, who make their profits from pushing toxic, addictive nicotine delivery systems, have plenty of money left to do it. Furthermore, they are utterly unscrupulous. Read the article.

Shakedown in Toledo

2/8/2000
In the last 20 years, the corporate shakedown game has been elevated to an art form. Corporations have orchestrated race-to-the-bottom bidding wars among states and cities hoping to attract a new factory, or even maintain an existing facility. States and localities shower companies with tax breaks, subsidies, regulatory exemptions, discounted utility rates and other favors -- all at the expense of average taxpayers.

Now a pair of attorneys are set to challenge the very validity of business location tax incentives. Read the article.

Close the Lid

1/31/2000
Joe Thornton, a research fellow at Columbia University's Center for Environmental Research and Conservation is having his book published shortly: Pandora's Poison: Chlorine, Health and a New Environmental Strategy (March 2000, MIT Press), arguing that chlorine and the organochlorine chemicals made from it pose a global health and environmental threat. Read the article.

One Big Company

01/12/2000
The announced merger of AOL and Time-Warner prompts M & W to reexamine their opposition to the corporate mergers. [Note to true-blue, buttermilk-and-cornbread eating, saucered-and-blowed drinking Southerners: This is a satire, folks, and we Southerners are often deaf to this kind of humor; instead, we tend to take it literally. This column is intended to be tongue-in-check. You have been warned. - Ed.] Read on.

The Nature of the Machine

01/10/2000
What happens when a tenured professor doing research in genetics suddenly realizes that her work is being misused by powerful corporations and speaks out? Read the story of Martha Crouch, a Professor of Biology at Indiana University in Bloomington.

The Ten Worst Corporations of 1999

12/30/99
Each year, to highlight the consequences of corporations and greed run amok, Multinational Monitor publishes a list of the 10 worst corporations of the year. Here's this year's list, in alphabetical order:

The Corporate Century

12/29/99
As we move to the end of the millennium, it is important to remind ourselves that this has been the century of the corporation, where for-profit, largely unaccountable organizations with unlimited life, size and power took control of the economy and of the political economy -- largely to the detriment of the individual consumer, worker, neighbor and citizen. Read the column

Somebody Else's Wealth

12/21/99
Where does the vast wealth of the United States come from? It is hard to read the financial and popular press today without encountering stories that suggest the answer is the creativity of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. To this prevailing, romanticized perspective, Winona LaDuke offers a jolt of reality: Many of the great U.S. fortunes are based on somebody else's wealth -- the natural resources of Native Americans. Read the column

You Can't Eat Enough of It

12/12/99
At least 192 people have died of asbestos-related disease from a mine near Libby, Montana that was owned by the W. R. Grace corporation for nearly 30 years. At least another 375 have been diagnosed with the fatal disease. As expected, the company says it did no harm. Read the column

A Whiff of Democracy in Seattle

12/6/99
Now that the WTO ministerial is over in Seattle and the tear gas has dissipated, M & W assess the impact of the demonstrations and long road ahead towards more economic democracy. Read the column

Support Your Local Corporate Crime Police

11/26/99
Earlier this year, the Justice Department put out a fifteen-page memo titled "Federal Prosecutions of Corporations." The only problem was that they didn't make it public. Mokhiber and Weissman explore the reasons in light of the Clinton administration's failure to prosecute corporate criminals. Read the column.

10 Reasons to Dismantle the WTO

11/23/99
WTO critics now face a perilous moment. They must not be distracted by illusory or cosmetic reform proposals, nor by even more substantive proposals for changing the WTO -- should they ever emerge from the institution or its powerful rich country members. Instead, they should unite around an uncompromising demand to dismantle the WTO and its corporate-created rules. Read the column.

Why Bother?

11/15/99
The columnists, attempting to ascertain why the people of the U.S. are so complacent about the takeover by corporations and the corporate ethos of our society, visit Sam Smith, publisher of the Progressive Review, and the inspiration for the Jackson Progressive. Sam has recently completed a book with the tentative title: Why Bother? Reasons for Doing and Being. His analysis of the current state of the nation is not a happy one and his prescription for the malady is far from the solutions proposed in the media: We need an uprising of the soul. Read the column.

Teflon Bob and Banking Deregulation

11/6/99
The Senate has already passed the banking deregulation bill, tearing down the walls that were enacted in the 1930s to prevent another economic meltdown. Now that the Great Depression merely an incident in history books, the financial world has again decided that its practioners are smart enough to play without ill effect the same games as they did in the 1920s. Read our 10/23 article on the subject and then read Mokhiber and Weissman's column.

Other Recent Mokhiber and Weissman columns:

Cell Phone Nightmare (11/2/99)

Corporate Hospitality at the WTO (10/26/99)

DOW 3600 (10/16/99)

A Bleak Week for Communications Democracy (10/9/99)

Tupperware, Disney and the Selling of the Public Space (10/5/99)

Corporate Scofflaws (9/27/99)

The Drug Lords Defeated (9/24/99)